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Subject: 'Calling the Troops' - A Preview of Army Building rss

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Matthew Saloff
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Fantastic new article is up at FFG this afternoon, discussing army building and showing off the army cards for a lot of the units:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4400

Some very cool stuff! Seems like a strategic enough building and setup system, and I love the inclusion of stuff like the Command Tents!
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I like a lot new rule changes/additions. Seems to be a nice balance between speed and flexibility. Room for customizing the scenario/starting army conditions for those who want to, without sacrificing much in the way of set-up time.
 
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Benjamin Symons
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The lay-out of those unit cards bears some similarities with the BoW cards. The font they used even seems to be the same.

Interesting preview.
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One thing I'm interested in seeing is how many core sets you would need to buy if you wanted to field a whole army of infantry units. If you used a command tent, you could have 13 4-cost infantry units with 3 lore left over. That's 39 infantry figures (at 3 figures per unit). I highly doubt you'll get that much diversity in two cores.

At an extreme, you could field 6 Chaos Lords with 2 lore by buying 6 core sets and I bet that would give you enough infantry to fill a 50-point army, so I guess the answer is somewhere between two and 6 sets. (Though I doubt a 6-Chaos-Lord army would be a viable strategy, but we'll have to wait and see.)

Still, this is all just academic for me because I don't intend on buying more than one core. I'm betting that most of the people I play with will stick with the 3 pre-built armies for each faction.
 
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SammySnijbonen wrote:
The lay-out of those unit cards bears some similarities with the BoW cards. The font they used even seems to be the same.

Interesting preview.


It took me about 10 reads before I realized you were talking about "Battles of Westeros" and not "Banners of War", the Runewars expansion.
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Matthew Saloff
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Budgernaut wrote:
One thing I'm interested in seeing is how many core sets you would need to buy if you wanted to field a whole army of infantry units.


I was curious about this as well, though there was that weird sentence in this article:

Calling the Troops Article wrote:
An army cannot exceed your unit count


Not sure what that means exactly or if the 'unit count' is something that can be changed or not, but that might help keep this in check as well, so that it's closer to the 2x instead of 6x cores.
 
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In the Damming the Muir River, there's mention of ford tokens, but no ford tokens specified on the card/set up. Will we be able to place tokens freely?

Overall, there's really nothing new in this preview. Ok, maybe that command tent. A little downed by the mention of multiple base sets (which I have predicted), but I have to see the content of the expansions first.

The more I see, the more I feel that the unit artwork is not as good as other FFG games.

Quote:
Not sure what that means exactly or if the 'unit count' is something that can be changed or not, but that might help keep this in check as well, so that it's closer to the 2x instead of 6x cores.


I suspect "unit count" is just the amount of plastic that you have.

Quote:
An army cannot exceed your unit count, but if you want to expand your options for army-building even further, an additional core set can be added, inviting you to build armies with more mustering points – potentially allowing you to wield the might of a cavalry army, or even multiple Roc Warriors or Chaos Lords.


Now, we'll just need to know if there is a unit limit for a mustering point value. I'm not sure how this affect the game flow, since regardless of the number of units on the table, the number of unit you can activate is still limited. But yeah this kinds of disappointing to me. BattleLore was my first game and I was impressed by how it manage to feel like I'm able to make all kinds of army without ever feeling running out of units within the limitation of the game component. That's why I find KS with +minis stretch goal meaningless because it tells there's something loose in the game design. This one feels like that, a more open game. You can always add more.

We'll see what expansions bring.
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I'm totally with you, Sevej. The game looks like it's worth a core at least to try it out, but I'm not gonna even contemplate multiple cores until I see how expansions pan out.
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Good good. Any excuse reason for me to get another core set is good..

 
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Matthew Saloff
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maxixe wrote:
Good good. Any excuse reason for me to get another core set is good..

:P


Yeah, same. I mean, I kind of figured I would probably want 2x core sets eventually no matter what, to double the potential for both armies, as well as be able to take 2x Roc Riders or 2x Demon Lords, if it's allowed.

Beyond 2 I doubt I'd buy though. I'm looking at it like Warhammer, in that, it may be possible to run even more of any certain unit, but that doesn't necessarily mean it HAS to be maxed out or would be used near enough to make a third core necessary. Unless the game is MEGA fun. Because then I might...
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Mattr0polis wrote:
Unless the game is MEGA fun.

What are you talking about?
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Matthew Saloff
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maxixe wrote:
Mattr0polis wrote:
Unless the game is MEGA fun.

What are you talking about? ;)


Hah, I mean, I can already tell the game is going to be SUPER fun and will merit probably 2x core sets. I'll still have to see if it's MEGA fun though with enough super replayability that will merit more core sets than that though. (Entirely possible though.) ^_^
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You know, this thread is a perfect example of why FFG's marketing strategy regarding core sets is actually quite good. For those of us who want to experience the game but probably won't get as much play time as we'd like, we have the option to purchase a cheaper product with fewer pieces.

It's just interesting to me because, while I've never really been disappointed for FFG not including full play sets in their LCG cores, I've been the kind of person who would prefer to have a complete play set in one package. But in the case of BattleLore I finally see an instance where their marketing philosophy actually benefits me. Kudos to FFG.
 
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Aswin Agastya
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Oh, I don't doubt that the game will be fun. The core mechanisms are rock solid.

I actually more inclined to be okay with the "incomplete" LCG packs. I have the LoTR TCG, and I didn't get involved in the "1 copies, 2 copies" debate (and I only own 1 copy of the core set).

Now, BattleLore is something else. My disappointment does not stem from the "incomplete" standpoint, but more from the game design standpoint. Before I was into board games, I was a miniatures game player, where most games are open design. You can add as you wish, until the game breaks itself (for example, bookkeeping becomes burdensome when the number of miniatures is exceeding a certain point).

My last favorite design from FFG was Descent 2nd Edition, which is more like a "modular design". The components are limited, and yeah, you are never required to deploy more than what you have.

BL2E is a little different than this. Components are limited, but you are allowed to deploy more from the getgo (provided that you have it).

Speaking practically this might feel very similar to the "incomplete" standpoint. Buying 2 D2E boxes adds very little, while buying 2 or more BL2E boxes adds quite a bit.

The absence of limits sort of worries me. Limitations in a game is an extension of the rules. When a game designer put limitation in a game, that means there's development there. Figuring out how much to put into the game while making it inline with the rules is one of the most important and difficult decision to be made in designing board games.

It's like those open source games. They allow you to put all game modifiers... map type, starting conditions, winning conditions and millions other things... why? Because its designer want to give you freedom. But it's also possible that designer can't decide (i.e. don't want to put time into development) the best environment for players to play. I hope in BL2E case, it's the former rather than the later.

I rrrreallly hope BL2E is not a game in which you are allowed to deploy 6 Rocs... If it is, FFG'd better have used at least a whole damn year to playtest it.
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Sevej wrote:
I rrrreallly hope BL2E is not a game in which you are allowed to deploy 6 Rocs... If it is, FFG'd better have used at least a whole damn year to playtest it.


Good point. I was so focused on cost that I didn't even consider how expanding the game might affect balance.

Still, I can't imagine that 6 Rocs/Chaos Lords would be too unbalanced. We'll really have to wait and see all the stats, but you'd only have 6 figures on the board which means you might have more trouble securing VP areas.
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Budgernaut wrote:
Sevej wrote:
I rrrreallly hope BL2E is not a game in which you are allowed to deploy 6 Rocs... If it is, FFG'd better have used at least a whole damn year to playtest it.


Good point. I was so focused on cost that I didn't even consider how expanding the game might affect balance.

Still, I can't imagine that 6 Rocs/Chaos Lords would be too unbalanced. We'll really have to wait and see all the stats, but you'd only have 6 figures on the board which means you might have more trouble securing VP areas.


Plus I'd hazard a guess that the Legend type they have might mean only 1 per army, or possibly 1 per 50 points.

Phill
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Also the article doesn't address the fact that if one side wants X of a unit and the other Y and if X+Y > number in box and who gets what of those units.

Yes I do see one side is blue and the other is red.

On the yeoman archer card, I did not see a recruit value unlike the other cards...just seemed odd. Even the web link for the card shows the same. Same with the rune golems.
 
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tomvilfroy wrote:
Also the article doesn't address the fact that if one side wants X of a unit and the other Y and if X+Y > number in box and who gets what of those units.

Yes I do see one side is blue and the other is red.

On the yeoman archer card, I did not see a recruit value unlike the other cards...just seemed odd. Even the web link for the card shows the same. Same with the rune golems.


It sounds like there are deployment cards that have the muster cost and are placed face down on the board during setup. You would need 1 deployment card for each available unit, whereas you only need a single unit card for each type of unit, since I assume that the unit card is just a reference.
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Matthew Saloff
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tomvilfroy wrote:
Also the article doesn't address the fact that if one side wants X of a unit and the other Y and if X+Y > number in box and who gets what of those units.

Yes I do see one side is blue and the other is red.


You can't mix Daqan Lords with the Uthuk Y’llan, if I understand your question right. It's good vs. bad, so that's not a problem.

tomvilfroy wrote:
On the yeoman archer card, I did not see a recruit value unlike the other cards...just seemed odd. Even the web link for the card shows the same. Same with the rune golems.


Yeah, that's the normal reference card for stats as the game is going on. It's a separate card than the ones used for picking your army and deploying on the battlefield. That's why the other ones are more simplified as well, simply naming the special abilities that those units have instead of fully writing them out.
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Budgernaut wrote:
but I'm not gonna even contemplate multiple cores until I see how expansions pan out.


I guess it's quite obvious that there will be expansions for the other two factions of Runewars – undead and elves.
 
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Graf wrote:
Budgernaut wrote:
but I'm not gonna even contemplate multiple cores until I see how expansions pan out.


I guess it's quite obvious that there will be expansions for the other two factions of Runewars – undead and elves.


And in fact Rune Age has 2 additional factions (Dwarves and Orcs) so I could actually see them supporting 6 total factions, plus all the possibilities with monsters (i.e. Beastmen, etc.) and heroes already existing in Terrinoth lore.
 
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Hansolo88 wrote:
Graf wrote:
Budgernaut wrote:
but I'm not gonna even contemplate multiple cores until I see how expansions pan out.


I guess it's quite obvious that there will be expansions for the other two factions of Runewars – undead and elves.


And in fact Rune Age has 2 additional factions (Dwarves and Orcs) so I could actually see them supporting 6 total factions, plus all the possibilities with monsters (i.e. Beastmen, etc.) and heroes already existing in Terrinoth lore.


Indeed, which is mostly what I was referring to when I said I'd wait and see how the expansions went. If it seems like they are churning out expansion after expansion (a la Descent), I'll have to hold my cash from the second core. I mean, I'd much rather have variation in army rather than depth in squad-squad building. But if the expansions are as slow as they seem to be for Rune Age and Runewars, I may be tempted into a second core.

Speaking of these hypothetical expansions, I would love to see them release the Latari Elves vs. Waiqar the Undying as a sort of second core set. Maybe similar to those D&D board games where they are all stand-alone, but they can be played together. I'm just thinking it would be neat to get an extra board and extra dice that way. But since they're already advertising purchasing a second core, I doubt that will happen.

So do you all think the elves and undead will be sold togehter, or as separate armies?
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Budgernaut wrote:
Speaking of these hypothetical expansions, I would love to see them release the Latari Elves vs. Waiqar the Undying as a sort of second core set. Maybe similar to those D&D board games where they are all stand-alone, but they can be played together. I'm just thinking it would be neat to get an extra board and extra dice that way. But since they're already advertising purchasing a second core, I doubt that will happen.

So do you all think the elves and undead will be sold togehter, or as separate armies?


I think a second core elves vs. undead would only make sense if packed with epic rules to make use of these two boards combined. But then, you'd also need much more units per army than those included.

Edit: or maybe you could combine two factions in a single army, kind of the Battle of Five Armies (four in this case)
 
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