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Subject: Too random? Too...something? rss

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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Just a a warning for everyone at the start: this may probably seem to most fans of this game like a hate-post.

When I've first unboxed it, I was overjoyed. Everything about the game is like a dream comes true; a fantasy epic battle set in the beloved Runebound universe with more than familiar forces from continuously replayed Runewars and even more so Rune Age. It seemed like we'll be able to recreate all those great battles from Runewars which were immensely fun yet everyone thought what it could have been if there were more options to interact in the case of battles themselves, rather than idly sitting back and watching how it folds out (with very, very few options to intervene, rarely).

But then...it went downwards after the 3rd game. After I think a total of 4-6 games in total, it got shelved and never ever replayed again. No one had expressed interest to replay it. And frankly, I didn't quite really ask anyone that much at all.

I passed on opportunities to get the expansion packs due to that.

I've just seen it a few days ago and remembered about it. It's as if with every single play the joy went downwards and I had been starting to slowly hate the game. And to tell the truth, I am not even sure if it's because I don't feel the game allows me sufficiently to mitigate the random factor (rolling dice and drawing so many different cards, with so few being able to keep in hand) or it is something else entirely.

While I think that the introduction of The Hobbit might've made some influence (which is, I think, a vastly superior game to BattleLore with the sole exception of having one and same identical setup on a preset board and practically a single scenario - the only recognizable advantage BL2nded. seems to have, just like it's probably the main if not only sector in which Runewars beats the War of the Ring) in this course, BattleLore has been forgotten much before.

Not even half of the scenarios have been played through, I think.

Does anyone feel the same? Am I...missing something?

P. S. I have played BattleLore: Command. And it has made a similar impact as the board game, with the 'decadence' much, much slower. In fact, I've just played a battle a while ago and it was quite fun. I may even got to say I like it more.
 
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Niko J
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Up to personal taste I suppose. Dice are easily mitigated with proper positioning and card play. It's hard to roll poorly when a typical melee unit has three dice with each having 4/6 chance to roll good. Add some lore cards and things get mental. Or you might roll eight ranged hits for your Flesh Rippers, but that's hilarious in its own way. As for cards, four order cards and ability to muster and deploy my own army means I always have cards that I can use.

You might be missing something, but it's probably just not that fun for you. Heck I'm not too enthused about Runewars.
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Daily Grind
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I found myself simultaneously intrigued and frustrated after half-a-dozen plays. I felt like the in-the-box scenarios, which had heavy focus on squatting on VP hexes left an anti-climatic game with a ton of still living warriors on the board. At the same time, I felt hampered by the command mechanic to execute on my grand plans. It was like an epic battle in slow motion that ended just as things were getting interesting.

For me, this was my first command-and-colors game and as it turns out, I'm not a huge fan of that mechanism. But I found the game (for me) had so much going for it that I wanted to make it work, and I ended up essentially cobbling together a bunch of variants and scenarios from the FFG site that work to my taste, and I'm now having a blast with the game. But it has very little resemblance to the battlelore box I bought.

Thats not so say its not a good game, it just wasn't one that worked for me and my taste. But I kind of respect that the base system is so well designed that I was able to make some adjustments and create a game I enjoy out of the investment.
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chris thatcher
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Personally i love Battlelore and Runewars. Each to their own.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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I love this game!
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David Stahler Jr.
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I don't think has any more luck or randomness than any other light war game. In fact, it might have less than other C&C games considering you can select your starting army and scenario.

And why is this in the "Rules" section?
 
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Nekku wrote:
four order cards and ability to muster and deploy my own army means I always have cards that I can use.


Could you elaborate this part a bit?
 
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S. Russell
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I've played the game a handful of times (all matches with similarly inexperienced opponents) and I'd have to agree with the comment that the game seems to be largely about squatting on VP hexes. I might be approaching the game entirely wrong - in every game I've played the first half of the game consists of turns passing with both sides accumulating similar number of VPs on their respective sides of the board, with a little maneuvering, and a lot of collecting of mana and spell cards. Eventually one side makes a serious attempt at one of the other sides VP hexes and things get a little more interesting, but it takes a while to get there... and then end scores always seem artificially close because of the early game VP squatting.

I've been withholding judgement on the game until I've tried some of the online scenarios...
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Peter Cooper
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I love the game system, but BL2's 'objective squatting' element, while interesting and different to start with, soon lost its appeal. My favourite game, however, is Commands and Colors: Ancients.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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sozman wrote:

I've played the game a handful of times (all matches with similarly inexperienced opponents) and I'd have to agree with the comment that the game seems to be largely about squatting on VP hexes. I might be approaching the game entirely wrong - in every game I've played the first half of the game consists of turns passing with both sides accumulating similar number of VPs on their respective sides of the board, with a little maneuvering, and a lot of collecting of mana and spell cards. Eventually one side makes a serious attempt at one of the other sides VP hexes and things get a little more interesting, but it takes a while to get there... and then end scores always seem artificially close because of the early game VP squatting.

I've been withholding judgement on the game until I've tried some of the online scenarios...


That's groupthink. In my case I find great value in being aggressive early on since if you manage to push your enemy off 1 of the VP gaining area then advance onto it you actually have a net 2 point swing. If your opponent does not respond in kind and also be aggressive then blowouts can easily occur.
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Santi Velasco
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I don't really get the VP squatting strategy. If you're sitting comfortably on your side of the board while your opponent is doing the same unmolested, how are you closer to victory? the goal of the game is not to score VPs, it is to win.
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Ben Boersma
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1st edition was much more fun in my opinion. Better scenarios and more interesting battles.

2nd edition VP ruined the game for us. Each scenario is too focused on those points thus reducing the replayability of each. Playing the same scenario more than once feels very samey. Army building is cool, but some units are much better value than others so it seems like the best armies are always similar.
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Giulio
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srcabeza wrote:
the goal of the game is not to score VPs, it is to win.
But since the latter is achieved by doing the former, how they can be different? Isn't it like saying that the goal in a 100 Metres race is not running fast, but covering the distance in the shortest time :-) Since the victory is achieved by reaching a fixed amount of VPs BEFORE your opponent, I see the BL2ed scenarios essentially as "VP races". One could of course play them differently, with ample maneuver and elegant tactical redeployment... in this way, almost surely losing against any mid-competent player, imho :-)

Edit: This comment is only limited to the scenario generated using the official scenario cards.
 
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Fruit Eating Bear
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I also got to this point, at least as far as the scenarios were concerned, but then I printed off twenty or thirty of the scenarios in the Scenario Editor and they improved the game a great deal for me. Perhaps give that a try. It makes the game feel much more like the app.
 
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Giulio
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May I suggest you to try the two campaigns I designed:The Norgard Campaign and Sailing Down Korina's Tears. Each scenario of the campaign is designed to be rather balanced in its own. So they can be played separately. The second campaign introduces some minor rule modifications and customized lore cards. Enjoy!

Edit: This is totally off-topic... I don't know why, but I find your avatar a bit scaring :-) No offence intended, of course.
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Niko J
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Sargeras777 wrote:
Nekku wrote:
four order cards and ability to muster and deploy my own army means I always have cards that I can use.


Could you elaborate this part a bit?


There are cards that let me order specific unit types or units in specific map sections. Because I can muster my army as I see fit, I can always choose to grab a core of few archers, cavalry etc. to be able to make use of their specific order cards. Likewise, by evenly deploying my units I can make use of any section cards I happen to draw. And since there's four cards but only three sections I should always have at least two cards for a section allowing me aggressively push or defend on at least one map section.

Sure it's all still very random, but for the most part it's randomness that I can work with.
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Santi Velasco
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g1ul10 wrote:
srcabeza wrote:
the goal of the game is not to score VPs, it is to win.
But since the latter is achieved by doing the former, how they can be different? Isn't it like saying that the goal in a 100 Metres race is not running fast, but covering the distance in the shortest time :-) Since the victory is achieved by reaching a fixed amount of VPs BEFORE your opponent, I see the BL2ed scenarios essentially as "VP races". One could of course play them differently, with ample maneuver and elegant tactical redeployment... in this way, almost surely losing against any mid-competent player, imho :-)

Edit: This comment is only limited to the scenario generated using the official scenario cards.


Indeed the goal of a 100m race is not to run fast, but to run faster than everyone else. Similarly in BL, you must score more VPs than your opponent, and that means protecting yours and keeping him from scoring his. Otherwise you're playing poorly. So, I don't see any reason to not rush to grab any VP scoring location from him. I cannot think of any way of tipping the scale in your favor that doesn't imply actively attacking your enemy's positions. That's the reason why turtling makes no sense in this game.
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Jonathan Challis
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Long story short - BL2 made a few good and interesting changes, but overall it's massively worse than BL1 (and the VP system is probably the biggest fail).
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Scott Lewis
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I guess it's all perspective. While I enjoyed BL1E, it felt a lot more flat compared to BL2E - units and armies were essentially the same, with the exception of creatures, and the pre-set scenario setups were somewhat boring. Call to Arms mitigated that to a degree.

I think 1E would have worked better as a pure-medieval game; the pseudo-blend between "real" and "fantasy" never really felt right to me.
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The Battelore 2E VP system is FAR superior to the 1E system. In 1st edition, there was literally no long-term strategic planning required. You always just attacked wherever you could kill a group and get points, and there were very little penalties for being too aggressive.

2E requires both short and long-term planning to be able to hold key areas, *and* keep your guys alive. The variable set-up made this even more interesting.

It's really interesting to see people now claim that 1E was superior. When 2E came out there was a massive consensus that the game was much improved with the new edition.

You can see this in the much higher average rating for 2E compared to 1E, there is no question the gameplay was significantly improved.
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Jonathan Challis
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Zaphod wrote:
there is no question the gameplay was significantly improved.


Well there is a question because I and plenty of others on these boards refute that, and prefer 1st.

Now there are good things in 2nd too, don't get me wrong, but whether it's a majority or a minority opinion, there is a still a significant number of players that think 2nd is worse (and the VP system is often singled out).
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S. Russell
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freddieyu wrote:


That's groupthink. In my case I find great value in being aggressive early on since if you manage to push your enemy off 1 of the VP gaining area then advance onto it you actually have a net 2 point swing. If your opponent does not respond in kind and also be aggressive then blowouts can easily occur.


I had a feeling it might be groupthink, but it seems to take a while to get the right movement cards to make any sort of a push to the other side of the board, hence the tendency toward a VP squatting stalemate in the early game. I could be wrong, though. With most of the games I played, I had a tendency to forget that one can move any individual unit on a given turn. Next time I'll try to be more aggressive... sending out one or two units out just to grab a quick VP (or two, if lucky) might be a good move even if one or both are lost.
 
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Daily Grind
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sozman wrote:
I had a feeling it might be groupthink, but it seems to take a while to get the right movement cards to make any sort of a push to the other side of the board, hence the tendency toward a VP squatting stalemate in the early game.

My experience exactly. Last time I played, we used a scenario on the FFG site (Accidental Encounter is the name) where all the armies are mixed together (thematically, the armies mingled in a dense fog) which removed the problem of getting across the board and it was the most fun I've had playing the game.

So while I've gotten the game 'modded' to a state that I enjoy, its not something everyone is willing to do.
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S. Russell
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srcabeza wrote:
I don't really get the VP squatting strategy. If you're sitting comfortably on your side of the board while your opponent is doing the same unmolested, how are you closer to victory? the goal of the game is not to score VPs, it is to win.


The issue is (in my mind), the focus on controlling VP hexes can lead to cagey and defensive play. In a couple of the games I played, the scores were close at the end of the game largely because of VP squatting, with the difference for the winner being a vp or two that got added during a final push to the other side of the board over the last handful of turns. I just found it a bit unsatisfying that his holding of one more vp hex for a couple of turns at the end game was the difference that won him the game.
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Santi Velasco
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sozman wrote:
srcabeza wrote:
I don't really get the VP squatting strategy. If you're sitting comfortably on your side of the board while your opponent is doing the same unmolested, how are you closer to victory? the goal of the game is not to score VPs, it is to win.


The issue is (in my mind), the focus on controlling VP hexes can lead to cagey and defensive play. In a couple of the games I played, the scores were close at the end of the game largely because of VP squatting, with the difference for the winner being a vp or two that got added during a final push to the other side of the board over the last handful of turns. I just found it a bit unsatisfying that his holding of one more vp hex for a couple of turns at the end game was the difference that won him the game.


Yeah but then I think the result is somewhat fair because he was the one who took a risk. See, sometimes I see BL a bit like soccer; you can play defensively, but you risk being scored a goal in a lucky attack and then it may be too late to recover. So, you need to play aggressively, moreso in BL because you don't have the option of a tie.
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