Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wed Dec 28

I arrived a little before 11, and Jeff and Brian were playing LotR:C. For it's length, I enjoy this game. If it were longer, I'd expect more, but it's short, so I'm happy. We played a round of No Thanks, which is a nice filler. Rick showed up and we played something starting with a "Y" that had a really neat dice mechanic. The game combined the pleasure of rolling buckets-o-dice with some actual decisions.

While we finishing the Y-dice game, Jon arrived for his CC:E confrontation with Brian.

Rick, Jeff and I played Reef Encounter and then Goa, both of which are serious brain-burners, but also serious fun IMO. Rick had played RE several times, and so he explain the rules with just a few addenda from me, then the three of us grew and nutured our coral until our parrot fish could gorge themselves. It's neat to see the reefs grow and change, and then suddenly a predator arrives and leaves a huge hole. The ebb and flow of the game is neat.

We turned to Goa, a game (nominally) about Portugese (I think) traders who are developing spice colonies in the Indian Ocean. You found colonies and plantations and develop skills in several tracks. We had a few mistakes, but the general flow of the game was correct. It's a neat game, and it felt close.

Rick, Jeff, and Jon had to leave, so Brian and I broke out BattleLore. It being our first game, we stuck to the historical scenario of Agincourt. We played twice, switching sides. This scenario seems to be pretty unbalanced, with one side having a lot of green (pun intended) archers with short bows while the other side gets elite cavalry. I had thought this was the battle that made the long bow famous, but there's nary a long bow in sight, and the cavalary make a mess of the untrained masses. I enjoyed playing the game, and my pleasure colored my memory. Brian had to remind me the game was lop-sided in each case.

The game was a lot of fun, but I reserve the right to change my mind after more plays. I don't mind if the scenarios aren't exactly balanced, but they should be sorta kinda balanced. "Play both sides" is OK since the game is short and fun, but it still speaks of sloppy scenario design. With so many excellent games vying for my limited play-time, I prefer to see better play-testing and design.



At 9:01 PM, December 30, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I can assure you that later scenarios in Battle Lore have a much better balance. The one Rob and I played (...called the Spider's Web, I believe) came down to the last turn. I think the one Simon and I played yesterday could have gone either way as well, though he did trounce me 6-3. In my opinion, the only way to play this game is with full Lore rules in play (otherwise, I think C&C: Ancients is the better game). I think you could even add Lore to the non-Lore scenarios to spice them up nicely.

Incidentally, DoW has added reviews and battle reports on each of the official scenarios (as well as all the fan-made ones on the site already), and its interesting to see how the reports of wins/losses for each side on each scenario are being reported.

At 10:48 PM, December 30, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Ted, do reserve a final judgement until after a few more plays. I really didn't want to get this game because I had Memoir, and felt like probably not much had changed. The Lore system is really what makes the game shine. It adds the 'take that' and combability (combosity? combobulation?) that is seen in ccg's, which provides good amount of strategic/tactical options.

At 2:13 AM, December 31, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Re: Ben and I's Battle (Lore)

I got pretty lucky on at least 3 of my kills, I'll admit (especially the last one, since I left my goblins wide open for mop up had I failed). All in all, I was pleased with BattleLore a great deal, but was expecting it to play significantly different from Memoir for some reason. The double shot of luck is still there and while I like the system, I don't know if I *love* it enough to play the endless expansion game. I doubt I'd ever turn down a chance to play though! The war council and lore features are sweet! Being able to cancel two of Ben's power moves and have a back-up card that let me keep one of my already played auto-cancels was too vicious for words...

Thanks to Ben again for the graphic novel CD, Blue Moon expansion tiles, and future dice tower! Something tells me I should write more scathing reviews devoid of any recognizable tact to score more free schwag! I kid, I kid…

At 9:45 AM, December 31, 2006, Blogger Rick N said...

The "Y" game is called Yspahan. It's clean and fast - I think I like it.

At 11:37 PM, December 31, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

I looked at DoW's BL site, and I noticed several of the scenarios have decent looking balance #s. An interesting note is that while one scenario had something like a 9-5 record so far, the average # of flags was like 5.5 to 4.5. While it might unbalanced, it seems fairly close.

I've been doing a little solo on a full bore lore adventure, and it seems pretty cool. The lore council is definitely a cool and intriguing mechanic.

At 1:20 AM, January 03, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

Played today with Ben...a user created map. I won 6 to 5. Pretty nice and balanced.


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