Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BattleLore


  1. Call to Arms looks pretty darn cool. I've read through it a bit, but I haven't gotten to try it out yet.

  2. I need to play again soon.

  3. Did y'all see that you can now buy the epic battles expansion? I think I might just give those guys my credit card. Give me one of everything, and two if it's really cool.
  4. I need to play again soon.

  5. Have y'all been following the controversy about the cleric lore cards? Check it out. I don't see much of a problem. I explain my position at the end of that thread, but I'll repeat it here in a nutshell. I think the cards are fine (almost). They can theoretically do a lot of damage, but it's diffuse. That's a key point because in C&C a unit battles at full strength until it is gone. Where I have a minor, very minor, problem is that you have that tiny, tiny chance of a huge impact. If I went w/ a house rule, it would be that no unit may take more than 2 figures of damage. This would nicely limit the max damage while still rewarding a high level cleric.

  6. I really need to play soon.

  7. Once I realized the cleric direct damage cards were diffuse, I concluded a high level cleric wasn't such a good bet. All the other cards are expensive, and you might not even get the cards in question.

  8. Did I mention I want to play again soon?

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11 Comments:

At 10:15 PM, June 05, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

Ted,
I just got my copy of Epic Battlelore by UPS today. It's rather underwhelming. Its essentially a few duplicate boards, one sheet of unpunched victory and lore counters, and a book of scenarios and about two pages of extra rules.

Don't get me wrong--I love Battlelore, too, and couldn't wait to buy it simply because I like the production quality of the materials and would rather have a professionally printed book of scenarios than printed pages on paper from the website. And what arrived is exactly what was advertised...but it doesn't even come with a box (probably because they expect players will just toss this stuff in the original box). It's just a strip of paper wrapped around the middle of all the items and glued together to hold all the items together.

From the sound of it, you'll want the professionally printed scenario book and rules, too, and they do incorporate the Call to Arms ruleset, too. If that's the case, then by all means grab it.

But if you want to see exactly what you're getting for your money first, I can bring Epic Battlelore to either Fri or Sat gaming to show you exactly what you're getting for your money.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually read through the rules yet to see what I think about the implementation. Still, given that there's a few people in the group that like Battlelore, something that purportedly lets more than two people play can't be all bad.

 
At 10:36 PM, June 05, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

BTW, I read the long post on BGG about the person who summed up the objections to the Cleric cards. He actually did a great job of recapping the debate. But a lot of users apparently took exception to the assumption that he was speaking for some assumed silent majority of BL players, and most seemed to think he needed to be more open to modifying the game by house rules if he was that unhappy with the rules as intended.

Steve and I played Call to Arms three weeks ago during that Saturday gaming session at Jeff's where I met you and Mark as you were blockgaming (Liberty?). To my recollection, Steve played a level 3 cleric on the War Council, and I countered with a level 1 cleric, primarily because I couldn't decide between limiting the number of cleric cards in play (to reduce the chance that the area effect cards came up) and putting a cleric on so that I could make some use of those same cards if they came my way.

I ended up countering Steve's use of one of the cards with a Rogue card that lets you cancel an opponent's lore card before it is played by paying half of its lore cost yourself (and I didn't even have a rogue on my council). It was fortunate that I could play it--just good timing. But it worked.

I am not sure where I come down on the debate. Overall, I feel like the game should be played as is, especially since the creators are aware of the issue and have specifically said that the design is as they intended, and not an oversight. But there's no doubt that it does seem a bit unbalanced, and an opponent putting a level 3 cleric on their war council makes me concerned in a way that other level 3 characters do not.

I saw that the creators proposed (under a bit of pressure from people who were really unhappy with the cards, it seems) a semi-official modification of the cards, limiting damage to two dice regardless of cleric level, if I recall correctly. I would be open to house-ruling that or any other modification if my opponent was as well. I think the game would feel more balanced and more like the outcome depended on unit play on the board rather than some lucky card draw. But it would feel less fun, too, like the game had been artifically toned down.

I'd love to play a game with you sometime, and I bet Steve would, too.

 
At 11:10 PM, June 05, 2007, Blogger Carlos Pena said...

I just got the "Base BattleLore" about a week ago. It rocks! I think that I will have the house to myself the weekend of the 16th. I was planning to see if I could host a bigger type game like TI3, CotE, or RRT. Perhaps I could add Epic BattleLore to the list of possibilities?

 
At 2:11 AM, June 06, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

Chris, the key with the Epic BL set is that you allows you to play Epic scenarios (highly recommended by the way) with just one copy of the game. For similar games like Memoir 44, if you want 2 maps to play the sweet large scenarios, you need to get a second copy of the game. I don't think that they wanted to included much else.

I need to play this more too. I hate houseruling games like these too much. Too much of a hassle.

 
At 12:46 PM, June 06, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

it does seem a bit unbalanced

The key word, IMO, is seem. The genius of these cards is that the card impacts the player the way the spell would impact the army. It would pretty unnerving to see the very hills attack you. After the dust clears, however, most units will still be ready for action.

Re: epic

I was a bit worried that the C&C system wouldn't hold up on the larger board size, but early session reports on BGG have convinced me that fear is unfounded.

 
At 9:29 PM, June 06, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

I should be getting Epic BL in sometime soon as well. I'm really eager for DoW to put out some real expansion material for this game, not that the base game isn't great. Anyone else a bit underwhelmed by the goblin band expansion set? It seems like they could have gone through a heck of a lot of fantasy lore before deciding to add marching bands to the armies. Silly French! How about some undead? Dragons? Or even dragging out the tired old orcs and elves might be nice.

I'd also like to see some additions to the council as well, where the possibilities for expansion decks seem endless.

Anyway, I totally acknowledge this is pretty weak criticism, seeing as the game is still less than a year old. I'm sure we're going to see some big things added to this game before the end of the year.

In the mean time I need to peel the shrink off Colosseum.

 
At 10:08 PM, June 06, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Anyone else a bit underwhelmed by the goblin band expansion set?

I'm willing to admit that at first blush I wasn't too excited. What hooked me, however, is the fact that it's a specialist, and you can only have two specialists in a given battle. This forces you to make choices and try different combos. One time you take the goblin band + long bow, another time you take infiltrate + dwarven bag-pipers.

I agree that I'm anxious for some "real" expansions. Both the undead and the 100 years war expansions would be nice to see.

In the meantime, however, I think there's a lot of fun to be had with the stuff at hand.

Now if I could get some time to play....

Henry: hurry up and grow so you can come home, buddy!

 
At 11:02 PM, June 06, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

I was a bit underwhelmed too... but then again i will be getting them. The stuff that has been coming out is basically upgrades to the base game: stuff you almost just NEED to have for the base game. I'm waiting for the true expansions....

Definitively looking forward to new armies and more CREATURES. How cool would it be to have a huge dragon, with just a couple of 'servant' units around it pitted against an army coming to slay it.... Ok, maybe not classic C+C system, but breaking (or at least stretching)the mold would be cool.

Yes, you won't be disappointed with Epic BL. Jon and I have tried it twice now. It works really well. heck, it makes you wonder if you'll ever go back to regular BL (well...time constraints may still bring you back because it definitively makes scenarios longer). The added 3 'open' command cards that both players can use adds a lot of flexibility effectively reducing 'cardlocking'.

All this epic talk made me realize that Call to Arms doesn't work with Epic. That sucks.

 
At 8:51 AM, June 07, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

I was just wondering about the interaction between Epic and Call to Arms.... weird that they didn't include some Call to Arms cards into the Epic set...

Yes, creatures are desperately needed to increase the coolness factor. Human infantry is nice and all, but C&C: Ancients does a better job at depicting non-fantasy combat. Lore and monsters are what BattleLore is all about.

Oh, and I'll take great pleasure in sending my goblin marching band to take on the dragon once it arrives!

 
At 11:03 AM, June 07, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

I saw this posted on the BattleLore forums, "The rules for Epic indicate how you can use Call to Arms to generate your armies. There are two versions - one based on a 2 player game ans the other the 4-player Reluctantr Allies version. You can go to BattleLore's main page and download the rules to see how it works."

 
At 11:07 AM, June 07, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

Sweet... I would actually be surprised if they hadn't thought of that (using call with epic).

 

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