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Subject: Quick question about differences rss

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Dennis Bingham
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I have Memoir '44, which i enjoy tremendously. The main attraction with Memoir to me are not the great plastic models (even though they help a lot) but the game mechanics.

Here I am, trying to figure out which one of the series to get next. I like History battles, but also Fantasy. As mentioned earlier, the plastic models are not the deciding factor but would make me tend to go with one over the other in case of a draw.

Here's my question: What are the key differences between BattleLore and C&C ancients (apart from the obvious, the wooden and plastic models and the board) and how do they both differ from Memoir?

I'm not looking for a comprehensive list, but rather some Key elements that are really different that make them worth buying.

Thanks in advance.
 
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According to what I've read of the rules and Tom Vasel's superb review:

BL provides a limited degree of customization with the War Council.

BL has the Lore tokens, which you get for every "gem" result on the dice. These are used to activate special abilities your War Council characters have. In the other C&C games a neutral result yielded nothing to the player. It seems to be a balancing factor in BL.

BL is designed for targeted customization/expandability. According to DoW they will release monthly packs of units that one can add (or not) to their BL game. M'44 has expansions as does C&C:Ancients, but they are broader in subject matter as opposed to what I understand these will be.

I also read either here (or on the DoW site) that BL was designed to someone accomodate 4 players in the future. I'm not very clear about how that might be.
 
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Dennis Bingham
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Thanks for the quick reply. And even thought the things you mentioned about BL sound intruiging, they also made my feelings shift a little bit more towards C&C. I can't see myself buying monthly, albeit cheap, expansions (units)....
 
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I think the thing that cinched me into getting Battlelore (and passing over C&C Ancients) are:

The miniatures. For the same price (or what, $10 more?), you get a much more attractive board, and lots of attractive miniatures.

I'm not sure how the other games work hand-size wise, but I've read that having a hand full of cards which don't activate the flank you need is lame. And I sort of agree (I think it both does and doesn't work thematically), of course, I've never played any of the Command and Colors series. BUT! In Battlelore, you can choose a war council with nifty stuff like a level 3 rogue, level 2 priest, and big giant freakin' spider! Or, your choice can include a level 3 commander which increases your hand size by 3 cards (for some reason, I have the impression that doubles your hand size.)

So, with an awesome commander, you're much more likely to have what you need to command the battlefield... and I don't know about you, but that's absolutely awesome thematically. Both sides might suffer drawing-the-right-card problems for the battlefield, but the side with a better commander will have less (and some tactics cards are more powerful with more tactics cards in hand, so having a higher level commander can let you do more powerful things tactically.) Of course, he's not going to be throwing any fireballs... but oh well.
 
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ScYcS wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply. And even thought the things you mentioned about BL sound intruiging, they also made my feelings shift a little bit more towards C&C. I can't see myself buying monthly, albeit cheap, expansions (units)....


There's been a fair amount of discussion on this exact subject and I'm not sure why it's even a subject for discussion. DoW is going to make add-ons to BL. It's no different that adding lettuce and mayo to a sandwich that is perfectly edible without the additions. When you buy a car you have "options" you can add. Upgraded speakers, tires, suspension components, etc. None of those things is required for the car to be a good car, they are intended to enhance the experience.

If you buy a game and really, really like it and then later you discover the publisher has found a way to enhance the entire experience with an expansion, then wouldn't you want the expansion?

C&C:Ancients already has one expansion and another on the way in 2007. M'44 has three expansions and at least one more planned. I don't know about you, but the well-crafted design of this system that allows for easy expandability was one of the major factors in my decision to buy all of them in the first place.

Just my opinion. If Lettuce and mayo makes the sandwich better, maybe adding tomato will make it more so?
 
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Mark McEvoy
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ScYcS wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply. And even thought the things you mentioned about BL sound intruiging, they also made my feelings shift a little bit more towards C&C. I can't see myself buying monthly, albeit cheap, expansions (units)....


So don't. I don't 'get' this being used as a reason not to get BattleLore. The game will be *complete* on its own. The fact that DoW has an aggressive expansion plan doesn't diminish the base game in *any way*. The 'major' expansions will probably be comparable in size/impact/scope, frequency, and price as the C&CA expansions. So how does the mere existence of the mini-expansions make the game less desirable?
 
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Dennis Bingham
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That's an interesting example, especially the part when you talk about the designer finding a way to make the game better. And exactly here is my culprit with this: In the case of M44 and C&C:A, the expansions came quite a bit later than the game itself. The designer might have had some idea when releasing the main game, but he surely didn't already plan on monthly releases of expansions. This means that i bought M44 and it was as the designer thought ready for release in all it's glory.

With BL i feel that this is not the case then. The designer (or publisher) already ships some of the games with "Bonus" figures. Meaning, if, like in my case, the local shop is unavailable (next one is 3 hours from here) and I can only order via internet, i am stuck without that "bonus". The Designer must've thought the bonus figure enhances the gameplay enought to warrant a expansion for it. Now, i don't complain about the idea of expansion per se, but if the designer knew the game is much better with the bonus figure, and it's available when the main game is released, I feel left out of a good part of the game enhancement. My gripe is: Ship all the BL games with the giant, then release expansions when they're ready and make a difference.

But that's really beside the point. I just have a feeling that monthly expansions will make me feel i have an inferior game after 3-4 months without them. In case of M44, this feeling is not there....
 
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Blue Jackal
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I think 'expansion-ality' is an issue for SOME games. But I don't think it is for Battlelore.

It's not as if everyone is going to have a copy of Battlelore, building customizable armies, this isn't Magic or Warhammer... the owner of Battlelore will determine what's played with by what is or isn't purchased.

Frankly, the Hill Giant promo is an incentive for people to buy from FLGS or the Days of Wonder site... and it will entice some people, but I certainly don't think a Hill Giant and/or Earth Elemental is worth $20 (as opposed to buying from an online store.) And I think most of the blister expansions won't be worth $10 or whatever the cost will be. That's 20% of the base game!

I mean, how much will they really add? Maybe some will add a lot... if you see one you're interested in, pick it up... and then you and whoever you play with can enjoy it.
 
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Dennis Bingham
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hmmm....my replies regarding the expansion system might have sounded too harsh. I really am still interested in buying BattleLore....just not sure yet if i should get C&C:A first or jump right into BL...
 
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Jon Karlsson
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One thing I think differs alot is that C&C:A's light troops can evade (meaning the attacker then only hits on the correct troop symbol and nothing else, and then the lights get to run away two hexes) when attacked by tactically slower troops. This is a nifty little rule which enhances these guys' survivability and usability greatly, and which is lacking in BL. Therefore I think the combat game of BL will, all else the same, generally be more of a slugfest, and light troops not as usable and more brittle, than C&C:A. (Whether this is a good or a bad thing is of course up to the individual player.)
 
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Matthew M
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It wouldn't be difficult at all to incorporate evasion into BL if one were so inclined. Mounted can always evade foot. If both are foot or both are mounted green can evade blue and red, blue can evade red.

Now it's possible that Lore cards and/or other elements were balanced with the idea of evasion not being in the game, so try at your own risk. Also, it's possible that some expansion units might have an evasion ability and they are saving that feature for them.

-MMM
 
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Kevin Whitmore
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I like this sytem a lot. Battle Cry, then Memoir, followed by C&C: Ancients. But I admit I am having trouble buying Battlelore. Today I just finished stickering my blocks for the C&C expansion.

Like many other BGGers, I tend to want to get all of the expansions for games I like. I look at the entire shelf I have of Settlers products, and the shelf of Carcassonne products, and rue that I don't even play these games all that much.

I was NOT going to buy all the Memoir expansions, and then I did... I have barely played C&C: ANcients and now I own its expansion too.

But I have little restraint when itcomes to games I like. I bet I order Battlelore too, probably within the month.

I'll just have to push my boxes of Magic cards farther down the shelf...
 
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Allen Doum
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To address a misconception in one of the responses.

There is no "nuetral" result on the C&C:A dice. Instead of a Lore symbol there is a Leader symbol. This is used with the on-board leaders (missing in BattleLore, where they all stay back in the tent) to determine Leader causalties, and to give units that are with or adjacent to friendly leaders more hits in Close Combat.
 
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Ralph H. Anderson
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Quote:
That's an interesting example, especially the part when you talk about the designer finding a way to make the game better. And exactly here is my culprit with this: In the case of M44 and C&C:A, the expansions came quite a bit later than the game itself. The designer might have had some idea when releasing the main game, but he surely didn't already plan on monthly releases of expansions. This means that i bought M44 and it was as the designer thought ready for release in all it's glory.

With BL i feel that this is not the case then. The designer (or publisher) already ships some of the games with "Bonus" figures. Meaning, if, like in my case, the local shop is unavailable (next one is 3 hours from here) and I can only order via internet, i am stuck without that "bonus". The Designer must've thought the bonus figure enhances the gameplay enought to warrant a expansion for it.


Although in general your reasoning is sound, the facts are quite different. The designer of all these games, Richard Borg, has been working on this game system and its many historical (and fantasy) incarnations for many, many years. I first met him about 10 years ago and he had already been working on them for quite a while at that time. (There are still other periods including Napoleonic to consider for the future!)

And, as others have mentioned, there is enough richness in the games as first published to keep you quite happy for a very long time even without the extra bonus materials. What is also wonderful is that Richard and others keep putting out additional scenarios which have usually been free.

And now that the games have found such rich productions by both GMT and Days of Wonder, we gamers have the best from both - well tested, thought out games by the designer (expansions included - these are not quick add-ons) as well as beautiful productions by the game companies.

However, if you are on a tight budget and one era or setting intrigues you more than the other - then by all means start there. These will not disappear soon and there will be ample time to immerse yourself in the others when you are ready. I don't think you can go wrong either way. And I would much rather have the problem of deciding which one to get (or which one to get first) rather that not having any to get at all

Enjoy!
 
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Matt Keyes
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Just to address the OP, i don't think BL has leaders like C&C:A does. So, combined with the previous post, the main mechanical differences are (strictly from a C&C:A perspective, since this thread has been almost completely a BL perspective):

1. C&C:A has evade maneuvers for close combat, BL does not.
2. C&C:A has leader units that affect close combat (and other things), BL does not.
3. C&C:A has some customized rules around particular units (i.e. elephants, etc.), but BL has its own customized units as well.
4. BL has this whole lore and war council system that allow you to customize the game a bit more.

(NOTE: i could be off on some of the BL rules)

i have not yet played BL yet (i'm waiting for my preorder), but my initial hunch is that C&C:A will feel much more like a wargame than BL. In turn, BL will feel more like a minis game (i.e. Warhammer) instead. Of course, that's my BL-unplayed opinion.

My favorite thing about C&C:A (esp. over M44) is the feint scent of wargame to it. By no means is it as detailed and complicated as what many would call "true wargames" - however, it still has a wargame feel to some extent. Just tonight i was playing on VASSAL and utilized my ranged units to lure the enemy's heavy infantry forward only to be gobbled up by my med. and heavy infantry. i don't get that sense of strategy in M44 - instead, it feels more like positioning units for the lucky die roll.

BL does retain some of the C&C:A mechanics - esp. battle back, which is a huge leg up over M44 - that will make it feel more like tactical strategy than M44. In the end, however, i do think it will lend itself more to the minis crowd than the wargamer crowd.

That said, i can't wait to play it. When in doubt, buy both .
 
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Ken Takacs
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Another difference between CC:A and BattleLore is that in CC:A, a unit can battle back even if it is not supported by other units. In BattleLore, a unit that is unsupported but not bold cannot battle back. Thus, in CC:A, for example, a unit on the flanks or alone in a hex can battle back, while in BattleLore that may not be the case. Being that lines of troops often get broken up as the game progresses, the lack of an ability to battle back, especially by heavier troops, could be huge.

One other difference is that in CC:A, each type of unit has its own retreat distance while in BattleLore, retreat distances are more generic.
 
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Hi, I had posted this in the CCA page:

Quote:
I got BL yesterday and, while I'm not allowed to play it yet (it's the Xmas present for my son...), I had a look at the contents to check that everything was there and read the rulebook. So these are my 1st thoughts:

1) Contents: top quality! Once you unfold the mounted board it seems to be a solid single piece, really. The minis are a bit smaller than M44, but very stable. Yes, some swords are bent, but not many. The dice, the cards, everything fits somewhere in the box. And the rule book is a BOOK, very easy to read and very very clear. I think that the DoW team has done a lot of proof reading, it seems nothing has been left aside and each and everything is explained with pictures, examples, etc.

2) "Historical" gameplay: it plays very close to CCA! There are 2 historical scenarios out of 10. But there are some differences. LI is the same, MI is like Auxilia (move 1 and fight with 3 dice, or move 2 and don't fight), HI is like MI (move 1 and 4 dice). No one strong enough to throw 5 dice!

All units can momentum advance, but only cavalry can get a bonus CC (after momentum advance plus one hex). Cavalry moves and fights as in CCA, but retreats are treated different: all units retreat 1 hex/flag, so cavalry becomes less fragile in BL. Only bold units (able to ignore 1 flag, either due to support, race or terrain) can battle back.

LI have no range fire, but bow units get further, 4 hexes. Ballista 3 hexes, and hit on "cross-swords" too if they are not adyacent to the target.

3) Additional "Lore" stuff: I've not read in detail the so called advanced rules, but some things caught my attention. Dwarfs are always bold, so they always ignore 1 flag and can battle back. An example given: 1 dwarf unit supported and in a rampart = may ignore 3 flags and battles back!!! Goblins retreat 2 hexes/flag, so you better have them supported (they may lose extra units in the retreat).

The Giant Spider has special powers, like throwing a net on 1 unit or poisoning it. I got the Hill Giant and Earth Elemental, but wait till the 25th for my son to open them... Not read much about the War Council, but one interesting thing are training camps: you can upgrade a green unit to blue or red!

As noted by others, lore symbols in the dice are a miss, but in the advanced rules allow to get lore tokens, so a nice way to balance an eventually unlucky evening...

4) Conclusion: even if I have not played yet, I'm 100% sure I did the right thing buying it!!! Sorry, ehem, suggesting my son to ask Santa Claus to give it to him...

And that's all, hope this will get played a lot the days (and nights) after Xmas eve...


Miguel

EDIT: I forgot, no leaders on the battle field, this is certainly worst than in CCA...
EDIT: Another thing missing, Evade. Light units are not as useful as in CCA, they can no longer evade and they have no fire range...


 
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Dennis Bingham
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Thanks for all the info guys. This helped a lot. I now have to ask the boss (Wife) what she'd prefer. I think she tends towards the Ancient battles a little and from reading the above, i might actually agree with her (especially the retreat, battle back rules).

What does the War council do though?
 
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ScYcS wrote:
Thanks for all the info guys. This helped a lot. I now have to ask the boss (Wife) what she'd prefer. I think she tends towards the Ancient battles a little and from reading the above, i might actually agree with her (especially the retreat, battle back rules).

What does the War council do though?


Hey Dennis, just to clarify, there is battle back in BL. So far it might just be the dwarves... but then, it's a game that's going to expand!

Enjoy.
 
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Blue Jackal
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According to the review at boardgamenews:

There are other elements of classification as well. Units have Morale, which determines how they retreat. Bold units get to ignore a retreat flag and possibly fight back. Frightened units run two hexes per flag. The Support rule ACTUALLY works by making units Bold. This doesn't seem very important at all until you start adding all of the other rules.



Since EVERY unit can be bold (maybe except Goblinoids?) when they are supported, every unit can potentially battleback.
 
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Dennis Bingham
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Doesn't matter anymore, the wife looked at the dwarf miniatures and decided that we (read:she) wants BattleLore....
 
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Evan Stegman
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ScYcS wrote:
...
if the designer knew the game is much better with the bonus figure,
...


Where did you get the idea the optional extra pieces = "much better" as opposed to "just different"?

Certainly not from the designer!
 
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Pierre Pinguet
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ScYcS wrote:

What does the War council do though?


Each Member of your council costs 1 point/level (ie Rogue Lv2=2 pts)
The Commander (level 0-3) determines how many command cards you can play
No Commander --> 3 command cards, Lv 1 =4 cards, etc

The others loremasters allow you to use their type of Lore cards and their level impacts the card effectiveness.
A healing card would heal "Priest Level+1" units for exemple.
You can also use a card without having the corresponding lore master, but at an extra cost of 3 lore points and at LV 1.
 
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