- Shane TappUnited States
I have seen the question arise a few times in the BattleLore Forums and here on BGG: "Will BattleLore quench my table-top gaming thirst?" Admittedly, I asked myself the same question and after having purchased and played the game excessively, I think I can answer the question.
Yes and No
As everyone that actually has a copy of BattleLore has touted, the box comes jam packed with 210 miniatures to play the base set of scenarios and expansion Creatures and Races (c'mon Elves and Undead!) will be released in the future: In this aspect, the game certainly has the feel of miniature armies game at the outset. Maybe not to the ratio of Warhammer 40K, but more like Necromunda or Mordheim...skirmish battles if you will.
So with all these miniatures, the next question you may ask yourself is, "How can I build an army using some type of value system for each figure?" In short, you don't...not with the game rules that are currently in place, anyway. I have seen several good ole college tries at this so far and I'm inclined to agree with the way most people are responding. It is going to be difficult to do while maintaining a balance of unit abilities, unit power, etc. So, while people are already trying to incorporate this into the game, it does not exist in the core rules and therefore is NOT like most other miniature table top games.
The game play is the largest factor for me. While we are using a lot of miniatures, we are using them on a hexed-board and card driven tactics. This differs greatly where you may have limited space but you are not limited to spaces in a table-top war game. By this I mean that table-top war games allow you (for the most part) to move up to a specified range based on the unit or characters ability. This movement is basically unfettered by squares or hexes and includes other game mechanics not used in BattleLore: facing a unit after movement, or charging for example. However, this is perfectly acceptable because BattleLore is exactly what it claims to be: a BOARD game.
I think I'll have people disagree with me on this one, but I find BattleLore a tactical decision making game. I have seen some complain about the randomness or even luck of the card draw, BUT as the old adage goes: If given a lemon make lemonade! Knowing when to hold cards or even burn off those useless cards and having the gumption to do so adds to the game an exciting air of tactical responsibility. Yes, I understand dice are items of chance, but no matter which of the symbols you are after you have a 1/6th chance of getting it. To me, this evens all odds and makes risk-taking a planning and playing factor. I will mention that I find the Games Workshop line of table top war/skirmish games to be even heavier on the chance factor due to the dice rolling. Granted the system is much lighter than most table-top war games the underlying tactical structure is there: Where should I move my units, which units should I move, should I attack, should I retreat, so on and so forth.
Special Characters in Warhammer 40K? Meet Creatures in BattleLore! These are the cherries that get placed on top of an already delicious sundae. It makes a good thing even better. I have always liked adding that special flavor to an army I play with and the creatures fit the bill nicely. I find getting to use an Earth Elemental in BattleLore as exciting as using Chief Librarian Mephiston for my Blood Angels 40K army (for those that play 40K...I KNOW they are cheesy...but I love 'em!).
End - for now:
I could probably keep going about the differences and similarities between BattleLore and table-top war games, but I think you can see the pattern here. In some aspects you will find that BattleLore can fit into the category of Light Table-Top War Gaming and in other aspects you won't. To be fair however, keep in mind it is not and does not claim to be a table-tap war game. It is still a board game and a darn fine one at that.
I invite everyone to please post anything they would like to add. If you do so, please preface it with a Yes: or a No: and keep in mind what the base question is, "Will BattleLore quench my table-top gaming thirst?" As always, there will be disagreements and that's fantastic as well. However, please be kind regardless of how much you disagree.
Thank you all!
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- David McLeodCanada
Quote:"Knowing when to hold cards or even burn off those useless cards and having the gumption to do so adds to the game an exciting air of tactical responsibility"Yes:
I couldn't agree with you more. Some people call the cards to "luck of the draw" but I like the fact that you may be faced with playing a card that is virtually useless to you. I kind of interpret it as confusion on the battlefield. Sometimes, staying steady with your troops and burning a card at the right time can pay dividends in the C&C system.
If you want a mini version of a tabletop game. Kind of like what Mykerinos (kind of "off the cuff" reference) is to area majority games. A good strategic game in a small package. (Battlelore could be considered small package compared to what is required to play Warhammer (i.e. many packages).
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- "GAME OVER, MAN. GAME OVER!"Denmark
Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed...
This reply is from the warhammer/40k HOBBY player, who spends a lot of time converting and painting, perspective:
Yes: There is the joy of bringing fully painted armies to the table/board. And yes, you can customize the board and make some 3d terrain.
No: The minis are too small and fiddly for conversion work, and painting them is mostly more chore than challenge. Although you could (if you were insane that is!) exchange the minis for some 1/72 scale medieval figures. There are a few nice ranges where the minis are slightly bigger and cast in a slightly better quality plastic, which gives them sharper details, and gives you more to work with. I REALLY want to go 3d, which means I will have to custom make a whole new board and some 3d terrain hexes. Tossing a few shrubs onto the game board just wont do it for me!
Although the visuals, and the hobby aspect of a game means a lot to me, I´ll have to say that I really love the mechanics and the feel of BattleLore, and must admit that though I prefer painting/converting Warhammer scale minis, I prefer playing BL over Warhammer any day!
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