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The Miniatures War College
Advenio paratus. Egressus melior paratus.
D&D Miniatures strategy and analysis.

September 19, 2005

Enslaved to Numbers

The stats for the Balor have finally come out last Friday. The Balor has one of the more game-changing Commander Effects in the game: Ensalve (Each enemy that fails a morale save must immediately make another morale save; if the second save fails, that enemy counts as eliminated for victory points, is no longer routing, and is a member of your warband for the rest of the skirmish).

Just how useful is it? Well, it's more useful against weaker creatures than more powerful creatures. You have to fail two consecutive morale saves, in addition to figuring in the creatures level you should figure in the level of the commander it is under the effect of. For any decent warband anything that wouldn't be smashed in one attack would have a net morale save of 10 or greater. This places the chance of enslavement at about 20%.

There is also a great deal of strategy involved in enslavement as well. Clearly you are not going to want to whack a fodder piece with the Balor and watch the poor creature go splatter all over the battle mat. Not when you could steal it! A savvy player will engage with a lesser creature against the fodder, one with an attack that will just barely force a morale save.

This also makes Tyrannical Morale a suprisingly good commander effect to have in this instance. You don't need to use it on the first save but you always use it on the second save. This suprisingly fits the pragmatic evilness of the LE faction: If I cannot have it no one can.


  • Your analysis is always appreciated; tactics directly related to the numbers are the tactics that win. There's lots of talk (which is great!) out there about DDM - your's is one of the few couched in terms of real numbers.

    In this case, though, I have to disagree that Enslave will be a game changing effect. The numbers tell it all; with usually about a 20% chance to pull it off the number of attempts needed to reliably see it happen even once isn't likely to happen. Coupled with the fact that any enslaved fig would almost certainly be at <50% HP, the real world result of a successful Enslavement will often be less than significant. Consequently IMO it won't be an ability around which an all conquering warband will be built.

    That's not say it won't be a blast to play! And when it does kick in at just the right time to win a game it'll be one of those great game geek stories. Unfortunately for me it'll probably be my opponent that gets it. :-)

    By Anonymous, at 3:41 PM  

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