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Subject: Review by a plastic archer rss

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Paul DeStefano
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All of you people, you play ze game, you review ze game. Pfah! Now for a real inside view. A review by – ze game!

I am Jaques Strappe, French archer piece in BattleLore. How will you tell me from ze dozens upon dozens of other little grey archers that come crammed into your BattleLore box? This is easy. I am ze Versailles Limbo champion. Easily distinguished by ze fact that I am far further leaning over from ze ankle than any of these other men.

Alright, to be fair, quite a few of us seem to be limboing, but mostly this is due to ze sheer volume of stuff thrown on top of us in ze box. It is I, and only I, who do not wish to be straightened by this dipping in hot water/cold water treatment to fix bent miniatures. No, I ask you leave ze one most bent archer in your set at an angle to represent me – Jaques Strappe. Thank you. Now onward to ze review.

Oui, I was crammed into ze so called Bigfoot box with hundreds of others. And indeed, there is no way to tell one figure from ze other. Oh, sure there are foot soldiers in Light, Medium and One Too Many Royale With Cheese sizes, and horsemen and dwarves and goblins and hobgoblins and all that, and ze infamous spider, but of any given type, we are all ze same, even on opposing teams. This is a clever conceit on ze part of ze designers to point out ze futility of war and man’s inhumanity of man.

You see, once we are fielded upon that nice yet oddly folded map board of not too many hundreds of hex shaped spaces, we are distinguished by out banner waving brethren. These banner folk are NOT bent horrifically at ze ankle due to ze rather unfair treatment that they have received by being encased in an interesting plastic case. You could keep those case trays or throw them out, everyone likes to keep us minis in their own way, so find your own style.

I do suggest bagging all of us by type for ze ease of finding us for set up.

Anyway, in a hex, we are grouped with like miniatures and lead by a banner waving zealot, who is exactly like ze rest of his unit, except he waves a banner with zeal. Ze banner will have several very interesting characteristics.

The Shape of ze banner tells you for whom we fight. Color on ze banner tells you how ‘heavy’ a troop is. Icon shows you ze weapon we wield.

A unit is always one strength. Number of miniatures clustered do not matter – after all, there is only one front on which to fight, so others with to replace ze fallen. Or some other reason. Whatever. Does not matter. Some players I hear complain that I am just a hit point marker! Sacre Bleu! Have you missed ze point! Look at us! Step back and look! We are little armies fighting in little battlelines! Replace me with a poker chip and you may as well go play some game with little wooden cubes!

As many have pointed out, we are ze latest refinement in ze Command and Colors series. This refers to ze color of ze banner I have just mentioned and ze command cards that ze players use to hustle and bustle us about ze field.

Each player has cards from a command deck, telling them what commands they may give. Sometimes it is a section of ze board, sometimes it is a color. Sometimes it is to move one unit, sometimes a whole group of us.

This creates ze interesting illusion of command and communication problems, and ze interesting game mechanic of hand management.

Often a player wants to fire my bow, but I am on ze right flank, all alone. Should they use a right flank card, or hold that card for when more of my battlemates stand at ze ready near me?

My bow is not overly powerful. Especially if I have moved. See, usually to hit an opponent, you have to roll an icon on a die that is ze same as that enemy banner. So, if you want to remove a little figure from an enemy hex, and they have a Blue banner, you have to roll a blue. As archers, I only roll ONE die if I have moved, two if standing. Swordsmen often also get to hit on ze “bonus strike” color of orange. So swordsman usually hit harder. But ze also have ze problem that if ze enemy is in a nice line or cluster, their morale is bolstered so they actually fight back.

That’s right, when swordsmen clash, casualties can occur on either side. And it is possible that an unsupported side is forced to retreat – Not just ze French, mind you, so watch those comments!

So, in a very interesting emulation of medieval tactics, players like to push us around in groups. For one, we are easier to command en masse. For two, we help each other in morale. I feel like a real warrior, eh, not some piece of plastic!

This sounds like a lot of rules, doesn’t it? YOU try having a humongous 80 page rule book crushing your legs in shipping! Oui, ze rules are long, but only because they are so very detailed with beautiful illustrations. And then you get these fine little cards detailing whatever rules you might need. Not playing with Crossbows this scenario? Don’t take that card. Only take ze cards you may be using for this battle.

The rules are not complex, but ze wonderful situations they create are ze heart of ze game. Cavalry may pursue and continue to pummel ze skulls of a fleeing opponent. But should they? If they break ze line, then they themselves may soon become ze retreating!

Let us not speak of ze cowardly goblins who flee as fast as their scrawny legs might carry them. Although ze big scaly things their cavalry trounce about upon are quite impressive. ze dwarves, on ze other hand, are quite stalwart fellows, hard as old cheese.

Simple rules alterations create great differences in ze way units are handled. Excellent design mechanisms at work.

Lore – that would be ze second part of BattleLore, starts playing a part a few scenarios in to ze excellent scenario booklet.

This is where things start to get crazy. Wizards. Warriors. Thieves. Ze usual RPG crowd shows up here to help a player. I feel inclined to point out that they are represented by cardboard circles, not wonderfully crafted miniatures such as myself. You see, it is obvious that I am more important. I never see them out here on ze field where ze blood is spilt. Alright, I'm plastic and don't bleed, but they watch ze game like some mighty gods on high, changing the tides on a whim.

These Lore Masters use Lore chips, which kind of work like power points or something that you get sometimes when you roll ze dice. You use them to pay for Lore Card effects which, if this were a movie, would be all of ze cool CGI stuff.

Here, you just get a nice painting on ze card. Fireballs, healing, outrageous strength in arms. All powerful stuff. Or should you just use minor effects more often?

Another agonizing choice presented to ze player.

That freakishly large spider also gets to use Lore tokens to do things. However, being he is just creepy, I will not speak further of him, except that he is a Creature, and there will be more.

There will be more – so is ze promise. From tiny expansions like a creature or a few cards upwards to larger expansions, you can expect that this large box will be overgrown with additional bits quite soon.

But again, at no time do there seem to be too many rules. Just simple rules and very interesting interactions like a well oiled machine.

This would be quite expected, as this is several versions in from ze creation of this fine system.

And that is about it. So here I stand, a mere archer surrounded by dozens upon a beautiful board in what may very well be ze greatest fantasy wargame ever created.

Adieu.
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Jon Quinn
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Geosphere wrote:
All of you people, you play ze game, you review ze game. Pfah! Now for a real inside view. A review by – ze game!

I am Jaques Strappe, French archer piece in BattleLore.

And that is about it. So here I stand, a mere archer surrounded by dozens upon a beautiful board in what may very well be ze greatest fantasy wargame ever created.

Adieu.
Appreciate the review, and I love the game.

But how can anyone be sure that you're being objective about this? After all, you're one of the pieces in the game, so of course, you'll say it is a cool game. The race car in Monopoly would say the same thing about that game.

It's not that I am saying you're wrong... in fact, I think you're right. It is just I doubt you can be completely objective.



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Jeremy Carlson
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I zee dat you are flu-ant in French. Gude for you dat de rulez are written in ze na-tiv tongue of your conetrey, no?
 
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David McLeod
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Funny. There is actually a bar close to Ottawa, ON, Canada that is called Jaques Trap. Have you been?

 
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I am Frederick Lancaster, Captain of a Red Banner Heavy Knight unit, and I shall crush you under my charger you French coward! Ah, forgive me, we are at war and I do so hate my enemies. That being said, you spoke well and true - three cheers for your words. Now die, Frenchman!
 
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Tejas Mistry
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Sammamish
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Quote:
Jaques Strappe
I sink ze name is een-tended to be a, how-you-call-it, a homonymn ya?, to Jock Strap?
 
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Barry Kendall
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Jacques, eet waz lovely of yieu zu present a revieu zo tres artistique et humorouz. I quite agree zat la game est tres magnifique and look forward wiz excitement monumentale zu ze future bon zupplements.

But only--why has ze hot water-cold water bath been such a failure totale at inspiring your freres du foot et chevaliers zu stand uprightly? Apres un jour et noir zey resume ze position limboesque.

Merde.
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Bill H
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"Shijuro" in Awatum (Serpent's Tongue)
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"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation." LP Jacks
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Quote:
a banner waving zealot, who is exactly like ze rest of his unit, except he waves a banner with zeal.
That really cracked me up.

Great review, nice style
 
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Gregory Smith
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Great review! However, I wonder how a self-respecting French archer can write an entire review of a game which includes knights and odd characters without including the most famous statement ever by a similarly-situated Frenchman:

French soldier: Ah don' wanna talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food-trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

Sir Galahad: Well, is there someone else up there we could talk to?

French Soldier: No! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!


Thanks, plastic archer, and thanks, Monty Python.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Merci, all.
 
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Mat zo
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hum

Excusez moi, scuze me

Je peux dire un truc ? heu.. can i say something ?

Dans ma position de véritable mangeur de fromages, grenouilles, et escargots, je pense avoir mon mot à dire.
In my position of cheese, frog, snails eater, i assume that i can say something.

Durant la guerre de 100 ans, c'est à dire entre le XIV et XV siècle, Versaille n'était pas du tout un lieu remarquable, donc pour faire "français'" il vaut mieux parler de Paris (avec Paris on se trompe rarement), de plus Strappe n'est pas tu tout, mais alors pas du tout un nom français... Autant choisir dans le cliché, pas de demi mesure, genre Jaques de Meulin, ou Jacques d'Orléan, voir même Jaques Trois Rivière.
Versaille during the 100 years war, wasn't a special location, if you have to choose a city, choose Paris, you can rarely make mistake by choosing this city for historical referency.
Strappe is not a french name, far form it... Choose a cliché frenchy name will be more appropriate, like d'Orléan, Meulin, Trois Rivière. If you have a problem finding a name, ask a québécois, they have more ofen french name, than french.


sur ce je vous salut
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John Nash
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Hey Frenchie! Thanks for the historical Tour de France so to speak, but clearly English sarcasm is lost on you. From your note, I know you are aware that the author was utilizing humor. The last name "Strappe" isn't intended to be French. Rather the entire name "Jacques Strappe" is a pun on the English "Jock strap." Say the whole name out loud if you don't get it at first. The joke itself is very old. I remember hearing it on Cheech y Chong's "Los Cochinos" album from the early 70's and they probably stole it from some one else. I did like the tidbit on Versailles though. Peace and Pizza from across the ocean.
 
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John Nash
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Hey Frenchie! Thanks for the historical Tour de France so to speak, but clearly English sarcasm is lost on you. From your note, I know you are aware that the author was utilizing humor. The last name "Strappe" isn't intended to be French. Rather the entire name "Jacques Strappe" is a pun on the English "Jock strap." Say the whole name out loud if you don't get it at first. The joke itself is very old. I remember hearing it on Cheech y Chong's "Los Cochinos" album from the early 70's and they probably stole it from some one else. I did like the tidbit on Versailles though. Peace and Pizza from across the ocean.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Take that!

And another!
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