BattleLore: Initial Thoughts
Okay, so I've read the 80-page rulebook; unbent all my bent miniatures; stored everything in fresh tackleboxes, and played a couple scenarios solo. Here's my initial thoughts:
- Components and production quality is magnificent. Probably one of the best produced games of all time.
- If you don't love Memoir '44 and/or C&C: Ancients, I find it hard to imagine you'd feel any different about BattleLore. The Commands and Colors system is still the main driver behind the game. The game essentially plays in two forms: medieval and fantasy. Medieval is pretty much C&C: Ancients with miniatures instead of blocks and with significantly simplified rules (i.e., no leaders, only a couple unit types, simplified big unit rules, etc.). All the rules about strikebacks, cavalry pursuit, and support/morale are virtually identical to those in Ancients. However, there are only a few medieval scenarios included in the game, so these really just serve as a way to gently ease you into the real game.
- The real meat of the game that sets it appart as a unique game system is the fantasy/lore mode. This mode adds several different decks of action cards. You earn lore tokens as a consolation to each miss in battle, then you spend the tokens to power up the action cards.
- The monsters are well done, having their own separate lore pools and power-up abilities. Each seems like it will be fun to play with, though there's only official scenarios for the spider thus far.
- I'm hesitant to label this game as "Memoir meets Tolkien" or "Caesar takes a wrong turn" as I have only toyed with some pretty basic battles. The advanced scenarios running the system with all the bells and whistles turned on look very cool, and I look forward to working up to these.