Wizards of the Coast will end support for its Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures skirmish game in the coming months, as it moves its D&D Miniatures from a separate game to acting only as accessories for the D&D RPG. In addition to changing the composition of the miniatures packages (see “D&D Minis Less Random”), a number of other changes will take place between now and the middle of 2009.
The next D&D Minis release, Demonweb in November, will be the last to include skirmish statistics. No further D&D Miniatures skirmish events will be officially sanctioned after D&D Experience in February. WotC will continue to update miniatures stats from previous sets to the current ruleset, to be completed by mid-2009.
D&D Sr. Brand Manager Scott Rouse explained the reasons for the moves in a follow-up post on the WotC Website. Sanctioned skirmish play began to decline in 2006, according to the post, a trend that the company had not been able to reverse. At the same time, rising costs were making the pricing on the mini packages as previously constituted untenable. So WotC sought a solution that reflected what the minis were being used for, and that would change the packages in a way that helped deal with pricing issues. The solution was new packaging that moved away from random packs (which allowed a higher price per mini while giving players more pieces they could use), and acknowledging that D&D Minis were primarily being used for roleplay support, rather than as a separate game.
The integration of D&D Minis and D&D RPG will involve content moving from the miniatures to the RPG. Character class powers from the power cards in the Players Handbook Heroes packs will be added to the databases on the D&D Insider Website, and may eventually be included in a D&D game book.
Rouse expressed regret at the ending of support for the skirmish game, along with the hope that it would continue at some level. “We hope to see skirmish play continue at the grassroots level, using the hundreds of miniatures produced for the game over the past six years and encouraged by the passionate fan sites that exist for the D&D Miniatures skirmish game,” he said.