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Subject: Roll up, roll up! Get your BattleLore crack here! rss

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Mark Chaplin
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Please step forward.

That's it, that's it, gather round.
I must say that you're all looking rather snug. Good.
Today, for your delectation, ladies and gents, I present to you BattleLore - game of the century!
Calm down, calm down: we do have enough copies to go around.
Please! Hush at the back!
Will everyone stop chuntering on about Hill Giants, please. Please!
Remember there are ladies present, young man!

Sssssssssshhhh!!!

Okay.
As my assistant is ably demonstrating, this wonderous game comes with a smorgasbord of plastic thingamyjigs, a cart-load of pretty cards, and a bucket-load of colourful randomisers - with which you can amaze your relatives and amuse your friends.
Do I hear some cooing from the audience? Gasps of sheer amazement?
I thought as much.
Never before has your eyes beheld such a feast! Drink in the board - it has hexes!
Yes, hexes, madam!
Only riff-raff play on squares these days, you know!
Marvel at this game of games, soon to be amongst you all.

It has been whispered - in hotter climates than these - by those in the know, that this game will spawn more threads/forums/posts than all that came before it. Also, more photos will be taken of this game than is deemed seemly by gentlefolk - such as your good selves. And, what's more, the game has a terrible dark curse.
You heard me right, sir, a curse, of the most disquieting variety, placed upon it by a Romany. It will make your flesh creep.

It's all true I tell you!
Lean forward so that I may warn you of the dangers to come...




... this game will have 2 to 3 expansions released per month! PER MONTH!
The shame!

Smite down those that say this game is not collectable!

Please form an orderly queue behind me, for your copy.






 
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Jim Patterson
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Best to just think of it as really, really, em, really expandable.

DoW does, to its credit I suppose, try to address this issue in their blog (http://blog.battlelore.com/en) by noting that they're not trying to make all the monthly adds-on must-haves for everyone. Whether anyone, me included, will believe them is another question, but at least they tried to confront the issue at the start.

And while I was surprised about the issue rate--not the monthly part, but the 2-3 items per month part--I don't think anyone can honestly say at this point that he or she is surprised that this is going to be a money sinkhole if you're a completist.

 
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Mark Chaplin
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Chambers Dictionary
Collectable:

Set of toys each purchased seperately but priced and marketed in such a way as to encourage the purchase of all or much of the range.

PS. Yes, this would include Settlers, but they don't expand the system at the rate of 2/3 expansions per month! It just seems like it...




 
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Evan Stegman
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Yugblad wrote:
Chambers Dictionary
Collectable:

Set of toys each purchased seperately but priced and marketed in such a way as to encourage the purchase of all or much of the range.

PS. Yes, this would include Settlers, but they don't expand the system at the rate of 2/3 expansions per month! It just seems like it...

Yes, that is the English definition.

But in gaming terms, it means a game system where you purchase packs of random pieces with varying degrees of rarity.

And, on a side note, I don't see that entry in Chambers:

collectable adj 1 capable of being collected. 2 desirable • a highly collectable item. noun (often collectables) one of a set of items which are of interest to a collector.
 
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Scott Everts
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Actually I consider it a collectible game strictly because of the Hill Giant. Since its limited and not available to everyone (once game is released) then I think you can call the game collectible.

The Elemental might be considered collectible too since originally they said it would only be available at cons. But since they indicated it will be available for sale on their site in the future I suppose it can now be considered an expansion.

But then this isn't nearly as bad as something like Mage Knight that not only had insanely hard to get rares but 16-32 promos per set. And don't get me started on the Four Horsemen that only had like 16 available worldwide and went for 3k+ on ebay at one time! Ouch!
 
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Mark McEvoy
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While not part of the 'definition', I think part of the the gaming perception of "Collectible" (much of the negative connotation, anyway) is "Some players will spend more money collecting components than others and therein gain an advantage". In a CCG or, say, Heroclix or Mage Knight, the collectibility also implied a cold war / money pit (you had to collect to compete). In this, you're collecting for the purpose of expanding the game as it applies to all players and specifically advantageous to no one - more akin to Dungeon Twister expansions or Roborally boards.

Quote:
Actually I consider it a collectible game strictly because of the Hill Giant. Since its limited and not available to everyone (once game is released) then I think you can call the game collectible.


So if an expansion like Ticket To Ride's "Mystery Train" or Carcasonne's "Die Katharer" is of limited run or distribution, the base game becomes a "collectible game"?
 
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Jeff Hobbs
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Generally the way I would distinguish between a collectible/non-collectible game would be whether or not you have to purchase multiple copies of the same released item to get all of the available components of the game. Since in Battlelore when you buy the base set (or expansions) you will always get the same components and in each of the expansions you will get the same miniatures and components when you buy the expansion this would not be a collectible game. (Not that they could not put a collectible element into the game expansions later, but I hope they don't)

Even though the hill giant is a promo piece that is more collectible then the other minis this does not make the game a collectible game. Now if they were to say that a hill giant mini was randomly put into one game per crate that would lean more toward a collectible game.

This is a miniature game on par with Warhammer and similar games and yes if you want all of the components you will need to pay for them and it could end up being lots of money. You may also have to bend over backwards to get the promo figures and such, but this still does not make this what is commonly refered to in gaming as a "collectible game".
 
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William Payne
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When reading the first post here, did anyone but me, hear it in there head as if it was being yelled to a crowd? When I relized thats how I was hearing it in my head, I got embarrased. LOL
 
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Mark McEvoy
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I heard it as a bit of a cross between "Circus Announcer" and "Fast talking salesman" (think Harold Hill from the movie "The Music Man").
 
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Brian Morris
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I think the word "customizable" would fit better than collectable. Even DOW says the idea is not for people to buy everything they put out for this. In short you buy the base game and then customize the pieces you want as you see fit. Since most of the monthly creature releases are only going to be in the $10 range it's not going to be a big deal for people to pick up the ones they like and leave what they don't. Much better than putting 5 creatures together and forcing players to pay $50 for all 5 when they may only want 2 or 3.

My only complaint is while the new creature pieces will begin distributing in March (I'm guessing it won't be long before we see fire and water elementals), the first army expansion won't be released until June. So we're stuck with Goblins and Dwarfs for a good 6 months before we get new Elves, Orcs, Undead or whatever armies they have planned down the way. I sish they could give us one of the new armies in March. I think there's still enough time in between the initial release and then.
 
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Robert Harbin
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Collectible...Expandable...Customizable...Greater men than me have debated this in earnest...I only know one thing...I loves me some little plastic monsters and I must simply possess them all.The only thing that will stop me is if this game stinks, which would make all of this debate and hair-pulling and wailing and gnashing of teeth even more fabulous.I got my Hill Giant.Yep, I Collected him,I Expanded him,I Customized him.And after I bathe him at night and read him his favorite 10 page bedtime story about whether he was really free or cost me $20, I tuck that wee little fellow into his tiny little bed, and as I blow out the candle and say goodnight, I think to myself-Damn I am having fun.
 
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Matt Price
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Here's to coddling your plastic minis! I can't wait for the deluge. I want them all.

DOW was a little coy about the types of expansions we'd see, I wonder if we'll see new infantry types, four little plastic guys together that make up a new unit type? Perhaps we'll get whole new armies this way, one unit every coupla weeks...? Sign me up for the DOW direct-deposit program...
 
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Lance McMillan
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Yep, all them neat lil' plastic figures is totally neat -- I just gotta get me every one what comes out!

Okay, I'll even go as far as admitting that I like little toy minis that have game rules about how to employ them in battle. I'd love to buy into BattleLore and own them all, even if the game itself were total crap (which, never having played it, I can't confirm or deny). But whether you call the system "collectible" of "customizable" of "expandable," it all comes down to the fact that it's a highly marketable product that I have to keep buying more stuff for if I want to have the "complete" set.

I fell for that line of BS once with M:tG -- shame on them. I fell for it a second time with Heroscape -- shame on me. I sure as hell ain't gonna fall for it a third time.

Go ahead, buy as many BattleLore expansions as you want. I'm not buying any -- but I'll cheerfully play your copy (and save my money for a more "ethical" product that doesn't prey on my base acquisitive impulses for commercial success).
 
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Ramon Zarate
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I do feel here's a very good example of a Noncollectible-collectible game. Is not the first one, but I think it is just starting to become a popular tactic meant for good bussiness.

I preordered... mind you blush.

Still there is some very unpleasant feeling that this game really crosses the line on most of my reasons toa void "Collectible" games in the usual sense. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.
 
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Nathan Baumbach
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Even if you consider this one as a "collectable" in the same way you consider Heroscape to be "collectable" then I would say this game is a step up in the respectable "collectable" game realm.

Meaning, it appears to be easier to get, would have less of an e-Bay resale value, and doesn't require 6-10 boosters to get all the pieces.

I'm not going to lump BattleLore in the pile with CCGs and CMGs.

 
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Scott Everts
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I will definitely agree it seems more like a hybrid. I suppose the main issue is the huge number of expansions they are planning. I was a slave to my Mage Knight collection for years and almost got caught up in Heroscape before I stopped myself. Many gamers are collectors and I know this will never be as bad as MK but it still is alot to buy when you have the compulsion to "gotta get them all".

Except for the comment about a ton of little expansions I guess we really don't know exactly what they will be offering. Though I expect some factory in China is pumping out all these little plastic men as we speak!

I've sworn off collectibles just because of the crack habit they become but I think this game is much safer since you know what you are buying and you can choose to wait. Of course it all depends if some of these are limited runs. I know Heroscape figures tend to sell out fast and I don't think ever get reprinted. Not sure what plans they have on this game. Will the monthly blisters be easy to get for a long time or will they drop out of print fairly quickly? Something to think about.
 
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David
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We don't even know what these expansions will BE though. Your all just assuming they're going to be plastic men.

What about new Lore cards, new senarios, guest War Council memebers with they're own Lore Decks or those Heroes we've heard hinted at (like Leaders from C&C:A). Alot of those things you could probably due without and not even miss it. They've got tons of things they can add that don't come down to little plastic army men as expansions.
 
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Mark McEvoy
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ScottE wrote:
Will the monthly blisters be easy to get for a long time or will they drop out of print fairly quickly? Something to think about.


Yeah, that's a concern of mine as well... I also wonder about if they mismanage demand making some expansions sell out on day one while other expansions never sell. "Gee, for some reason our Wraith Knight expansion sold like hotcakes, but our Halfling Bard expansion hasn't moved five units. What gives?"
 
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Michael Mitchell
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I quite like the idea of a Halfling bard expansion!
 
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Dan Conley
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Just had to weigh in briefly here. The collector in me is going to want (and probably get!) every expansion available for BattleLore! That being said, it doesn't appear that I'll NEED any of them. SO, with some level of self-control, I don't HAVE to be headed toward debtor's prison over this one!

I agree with mrbeankc that it would be nice to have some alternative armies available a bit sooner. Maybe DOW will reconsider their time frame as we go...

The real deal-breaker for me would be if they decided to do randomized packs of minis as the collectible minis games do. I want to KNOW what I'm buying! If THAT should happen, I'm done.

After all the buildup, it will be nice to get some hands-on time with this one! Looking forward to it!

Dan
 
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Barry Kendall
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I recall reading some months ago that DoW will be releasing these supplements (at that time it was on a one-per-month basis, but it makes sense to concentrate their packaging/shipping of small individual items, from a business point of view) as "small" add-ons in 2007.

In addition, it was reported that at least two larger expansions were to be released in '07. I got the sense that they were talking about something like the Memoir '44 Expansions with a new army, new scenarios and new terrain--a major addition to the basic game.

I would not be surprised to see three new creatures/personalities one month, a new creature and an additional existing "unit" (four infantry or three cavalry, for instance) another month, pattern repeating, and then a larger "expansion" the next month, well into 2007.

Given the "table life" of most of DoW's games (one to two years, then either rejuvenation with a supplement, as in TTR 1910, or decline), my guess is that Battlelore will receive heavy support throughout '07 and continued support at a reduced rate in '08.

Richard Borg has talked about this "Fantasy C&C" game for a number of years now with a proud father's gleam in his eye--it seems to be his favorite version of the system--and it has been extensively playtested with many more units/creatures than those we have seen. From a practical point of view, it would be difficult to cram much more into the DoW box (even at 50% bigger); therefore the expansions make sense in order to get the full flavor of the developed game.

I'd rather see the regular release of blisters than wait a year or more for a Large Boxed Expansion. It gets those additional types into play sooner and keeps the freshness and variety of the game strong.

One statement from DoW, and a similar comment from Richard this past summer, intrigued me: it seems that DoW is looking hard at the new "blister supplement" concept not just for Battlelore, but possibly for Memoir '44 as well. 2007 looks to be an interesting year.

Moreover, since DoW plans to release the "Memoir '44 Carrying Case" (with new Air rules and airplane minis) in the near future, I have little doubt that some sort of secure container will be forthcoming at some point for the "blister" supplements. Perhaps it will even come with a Dragon, hmm.

Busy we will be. Yippee!!!
 
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