The Battleground System: Games received for review
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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A while ago I received a number of elements of the Battleground Fantasy Warfare system of miniatures-style but card-based tactical warfare from one of the designers for review. Luckily, I told the kind designer that I would be slow in getting the reviews out. I'm beginning tonight to write the first such review, but especially since as I type this I feel like I'm coming down with something, it may yet be a few days.

The system allows one to set up battles between different armies, primarily fantastic ones but also historical ones. Before receiving these games, I had never tried miniatures games before. The plan therefore that I have in doing these reviews is to essentially document my immersion into miniatures-style tactical games with this system. As (very slowly) these games are reviewed, my plan is to link the review to this Geeklist. Until then, the comments are placeholders with my initial impressions.

As I first post this list, I still feel very much a beginner. Yet my impressions of the game system are on the whole strongly favorable. Nevertheless I do have some specific complaints:
1. Special attributes of any given unit are written on the underside of the card representing that unit so that to look at this information one must pick the card up.
2. Based on my own experience of dry-erase markers, I do not rust them to wipe off cleanly from the cards, especially for textures similar to that of these cards.
3. The command system is not well suited to the needs of simulating at a tactical level formation warfare.
None of the complaints in insurmountable, and in my opinion they are more things to be aware of than anything which should preclude a purchase.
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Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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As a family of related games, this system leads to extremely diverse games by mixing and matching armies.
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2. Board Game: Battleground [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1742] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This represents the basic system for whic each army is treated as an expansion, but when one buys one army, one will have a complete game. Each set is made to be split between two players if need be. Naturally, when each player uses a different army, things set more interesting but the designers are not forcing one to buy two sets to try the system out which shows genuine consideration for users rather than just the monetary bottom-line.
 
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3. Board Game: Battleground [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1742] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
Israel
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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To my knowledge, so far, the only historical armies represented are those of Rome and Carthage during the Second Punic War, but the written materials included with these armies do at least strongly intimate an intention to make more such armies. Unfortunately the last army for the system was issued a bit over two years ago.
 
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4. Board Game: Battleground Historical Warfare: Second Punic War 218-201 BC [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:8608] [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This is the set the review of which I intend to start tonight. That review is very much the review of a player starting out.Yet it is also the review of someone who once intended to become a professional Roman historian in academia.

This set contains two basic armies, one Carthaginian and one Roman. The properties of the armies are intended to be in line with the actual historical armies but balanced for gameplay.

EDIT:
Reviewed
 
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5. Board Game: Battleground Historical Warfare: Second Punic War 218-201 BC Reinforcements [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This game includes not only more units and advanced rules for the basic set but it also includes scenarios designed to simulate actual battles of the Second Punic War. In some ways, I think that such scenarios should have been included in the base game but I also understand why they were not. By this I don't just mean a desire to get users to buy more but the need for more units to be able to represent historical battles.
 
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6. Board Game: Battleground: Kingdoms [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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This is a campaign system for a series of battles with this system.
 
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7. Board Game: Battleground Fantasy Warfare: High Elves [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:7706] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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These I should review after playing them a lot and re-reading The Lord of the Rings, including its appendices. I'd say the Silmarillion but seriously as much as a die-hard Tolkien fan as I am, I never managed to finish it.
 
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8. Board Game: Battleground Fantasy Warfare: High Elves Reinforcements [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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If for the base set, I re-read Tolkien, for this I should read the Eddas used as inspiration.
 
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9. Board Game: Battleground Fantasy Warfare: Lizardmen [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:6613] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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As a devotee of genuine science fiction, I must insist that this is science fiction flavored fantasy but the designer was hardly going for either historical realism or scientific accuracy with this one, whether its base set or its reinforcements.
 
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10. Board Game: Battleground Fantasy Warfare: Umenzi Tribesmen Reinforcements [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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When I first saw this set in its box, I'll admit I cringed. How could a mythical Africa tribal army fighting with primitive weapons not be racist in its presentation? Of course, I'm speaking as someone who looks thoroughly white.) While I want to do some more investigation and show this to other people, I did not find anything specifically objectionable when I opened this set-- not in the base set nor the reinforcements.
 
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