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Subject: C&C:Ancients / BattleLore rss

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Will DeMorris
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Between the two games I find myself leaning towards C&C: Ancients for two reasons. First, I personally find the subject matter for C&C:A more interesting. It's not that I don't like the fantasy/mideval theme of Battlelore, but rather other games scratch that itch for me. (Descent, Wizard Kings, D&D, etc) Second, I feel the rules in C&C: Ancients give me more options. Leaders, more extensive evasion rules and greater unit diversity combine to give me a game I enjoy more.

Both are great games. Really I would pick the one who's subject matter you find more interesting. For me that is C&C:Ancients.

-Will
 
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Mark McEvoy
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wlaznak wrote:
The reason I ask is because I find myself drawn to that game above the other C&C games. This is due to the historical theme, wooden block aesthetics, and slightly more complex rules.


Funny you should mention that, as I was just thinking about it the other day. While it seems most people prefer figs over stickered wood blocks, I can understand some players liking the simplicity and elegance of the wood-block representation. Which got me to thinking - some C&CA players use aftermarket figurines to play C&CA; I wonder if any consideration has been given to making stickered-wood blocks for BattleLore, to please those who would rather play with C&CA style blocks than molded plastic men.
 
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Mark Christopher
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wlaznak wrote:
So my question is this:
How does the experience in C&C:Ancients compare to the experience in BattleLore?

I'm another who prefers C&C:A, for the same reasons as others. The additional rules, such as the ability for light and fast units to evade (thus making cavalry feel like cavalry), everything being able to battle back, and on-board leaders who give far more options than just left, center, or right, all combine to make a dynamic game that feels like a battle. Don't get me wrong, BattleLore is a fun game, my second favorite of the series, but it is closer to M'44 and BC than C&C:A in battle dynamics.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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I'm a C&C:A fan myself.

Just out of curiosity, how many people play with upright blocks as opposed to using the blocks lying down?
 
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Sifu
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Upright!

Haven't played BattleLore yet (will soon, friend just bought it), but groove on Ancients. Probably my favorite game.
 
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Mark Christopher
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Hungadunga wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how many people play with upright blocks as opposed to using the blocks lying down?

Upright. I want to be terrified when I see those damn elephants towering over my men.
 
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Mary Weisbeck
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I'm another who prefers Ancients. The extra rules, which Mark mentioned, make it feel like I have more control and options. Battle Lore's lore gives you more things to juggle but doesn't make it feel like you have more control, at least in my opinion.

We play with one block up and the rest lying flat. Now you can see the units whether you're sitting down or standing up for that God view. I like the idea of using blocks in place of the minis in BattleLore with just the banner-holder to show the type of unit. Heck, even pennies would be easier to manipulate!
 
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Mike Jones
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Hungadunga wrote:
I'm a C&C:A fan myself.

Just out of curiosity, how many people play with upright blocks as opposed to using the blocks lying down?


Based on my experience with other block games that use the blocks as hidden, I started off by just putting the stickers on one side. But, after talking to some others they convienced me to put them on both sides and play upright. So, upright it is.
 
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Guy Riessen
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upright!

And C&C:A is a game with many more interesting options for the commander, for all the reasons mentioned above, in my book that makes it a better game than Battlelore. Both are fun though, and if you're going to eventually get both, you might want Battlelore first so that you don't get spoiled by the variety of tactics and variety of troop abilities in C&C:A.

Of course maybe Battlelore will get much better, and more flexible, as expansions come out?
 
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Andrew C
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thatmarkguy wrote:
...some C&CA players use aftermarket figurines to play C&CA; I wonder if any consideration has been given to making stickered-wood blocks for BattleLore, to please those who would rather play with C&CA style blocks than molded plastic men.


I recently picked up BattleLore as well. I like the fantasy theme and the lore and council mechanics...but I find myself wishing it came with blocks.

The figures are too "blah" colored, and I don't have the time or talent to paint them. Compounding the "blah" color problem is that both same color armies use, in many cases, the same exact minatures! Memoir at least has different colors and sculpts for the armies. I much prefer the colored artwork on C&C:A's blocks, along with unique artwork for each army. The block color itself makes telling which unit belongs to which army a snap.

Also, storage seems to be a problem in BattleLore. No way am I going to squeeze all those units back into the blister packs.
 
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Mark Christopher
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To paraphrase something someone, I think Barry Kendall, once said: when you see all the enemy infantry line up in a BL session, you don't get scared. However, when you see all the infantry line up in a C&C:A session, you certainly do get scared.

Between the (relatively few) orders that'll allow you to move it all in a single turn and the amazing destructive power (5 dice) of heavy infantry, there's a lot of pre- (and post-) contact maneuvering (such maneuvering is there but seems to be less prevalent in BL, and almost nil in M'44 and BC, at least as compared to C&C:A. The on-board leaders really give you a lot of flexibility); trying to weaken that line with ranged attacks, or nip at the flanks with cavalry, and of course, setting up your line to both meet that one and set it up to better handle the chaos that results when those lines smash into one another.

C&C:A gives the best "realism:rules" ratio I've seen in a wargame. At least, a decent enough feeling of realism for such a simple rules set.
 
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Steve Werth
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To answer your question about what makes CC:A so great (though to me Battle Cry is still better), it is the flaw you mentioned in your first post: the randomness of the cards. Trying to make the most out of randomness makes for great play in these games. So you might almost want to consider that not a flaw.
 
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Sifu
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I'm with Steve. You may begin to develop a strategy based upon the scenario and your resources (including your initial card draw), but the randomness of the draw forces you to be strategically flexible, and make good tactical decisions in the face of uncertainty. Whether this is a "flaw" wholly depends upon your gaming preferences.
 
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Barry Kendall
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Mark, it's nice of you to try to cite source, but I don't think it was me that said that, although I do blather on a lot about these games--I love 'em all.

I do like the mass effect of multiple figures on the blocks, but I've complained before about how hard it is to see the infernal blocks when they're upright--the light is overhead and the dang things are in shadow and my eyes aren't as young as they used to be. Overall I dislike the blocks intensely. I often use a horde of "Feudal" figs with the pegs cut off--these figs conveniently come in three shades of blue-gray and brown so the green/blue/red differentiation is easy to reproduce.

My personal preference for games in this system in the era of mass warfare would be the "best of both worlds" piece: a block of miniatures with a banner to identify (I think the banners are one of the best innovations in BLore). I'd love to see this approach taken with the Napoleonic version that's rumored (well, it's more than a rumor, I've seen it demoed at cons with 25mm figs, but that's not the same as Published in a Box). Just picture four blocks of eight figures each (four by two) in a two-rank line representing a mass of French infantry coming at you under a Tricolor! Or three blocks of three cavalry each, a lovely little unit of nine Dragoon Guards coming at you. Drool.

I do at present like C&C:A better than Battlelore, because I'm more of a "stick 'em and fight 'em" guy than a "let's see, which spell can I use?" sort. But in fairness, I haven't yet played a full War Council game against an opponent (other than my multiple personality) yet. And I'm really looking forward to what's going to happen with two back side boards put together. That's a lot of hexes in each area!

I especially like the Battle Back ability in C&C:A in which ANY unit still standing in after being hit can hit back. In fairness, it may well be that Battlelore's requirement for "Bold" morale (Supported units only) in order to Battle Back is deliberately intended to reflect the historically less cohesive, less well-trained and often more impulsive Medieval masses rather than the drilled armies of Rome, Carthage or Greece.

I also like Evasion for lighter troop classes in C&C:A.

That said, having seen the system evolve as it has I don't think Richard Borg will let a good idea go quietly into the night. I foresee many of the abilities generally available in C&C:A becoming part of race-specific attributes in BLore--for example, Elves might be able to Evade any time, just as Dwarves can Battle Back any time (being Bold and Grumpy). I suspect we will see Heroes or Battlefield Leaders as blister supplements, acting similarly to Leaders in C&C:A.

Overall I'm just glad to see this delightful system getting so many nice treatments and such a good reception. I really hope that some of the other things Richard told me are in the pipeline will see the light of publication day in 2007, including some things nobody's heard about yet (sorry, I promised him I won't tell and I must respect his considerations since he makes his whole living at game design).

 
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Mark Christopher
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Barry Kendall wrote:
Mark, it's nice of you to try to cite source, but I don't think it was me that said that, although I do blather on a lot about these games--I love 'em all.

My apologies, Barry. I'm sure I was misremembering you as the author of that particular post. Heck, I'm probably misremembering what I was trying to paraphrase! shake
 
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John O'Haver
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Hungadunga wrote:
I'm a C&C:A fan myself.

Just out of curiosity, how many people play with upright blocks as opposed to using the blocks lying down?



We play with the blocks laying flat and, per Kevin Duke's idea, flip one or two blocks vertical to indicate which units have been ordered and whether they can roll 1 or 2 dice if missile units.

My main gamer and I are old chitheads and are used to the flat visual of counters, even big fat wooden ones.


I do have BL but I have the first three games and C&C:A has the least amount of randomness of those three in the cards with the Line Commands, Unit Type cards and leasdership cards, etc. That is not to say one can't be immobilized by bad draws but Battle Back prevents enemy attacks from being completely risk free.

BTW, you ain't really dealt pain
until you've matched up Heavy Infantry with Alexander the Great AND Clash of Shields. That's 8 dice and a real good chance at advancing and hitting something else. I saw it once and thank goodness I was not on the receiving end.
 
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Gisli Sigtryggsson
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markus_kt wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how many people play with upright blocks as opposed to using the blocks lying down?

Upright. I want to be terrified when I see those damn elephants towering over my men.


Ah, that's another reason why I play with the foot units lying flat and all the mounted units upright.
 
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Les Haskell
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Years ago when I first played Battle Cry I felt that the random draw of the cards was a flaw. I'm a wargamer from way back and to me tactics and strategy had always been the decisions I made on the mapboard.

I also didn't like how the Sniper counter in Squad Leader disappeared when Advanced Squad Leader came out. They replaced an individual counter with a randomly activated abstract system. The fact is you don't have control over everything that happens on the battlefield. Also, in the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War series (by AH and later MMP) you roll dice for movement. Again, the fact is that armies don't always move as fast as the commander would like.

I've come around to see the random draw of the cards (in BC, M44, CC:A and BL) as representing situations beyond my control as commander. I've had an idea that I haven't tried. For those who think the cards make the game too random try doubling the hand limit. I think that would retain the aspect of giving orders to your troops though the cards but it would lower the chance of not being able to do anything because of lack of good cards. I haven't tried ot because the card play as is is part of the design of the game. As I said I've come around to like it that way.

As to your original question I like CC:A best (for all the reasons others mentioned).
 
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