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BattleLore: Call to Arms» Forums » General

Subject: Any 4 will do! rss

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Stephen Michael Hickey
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This expansion has confirmed what I have long suspected about this game. That people can easily make up their own deployments (with some broad guidelines) and still have a reasonably balanced game without having to resort to pre-set scenarios from the author, or anyone else for that matter.

I'm left wondering why on earth I would want to pay good money for the deployment set cards.

If you take some time to compare each of the units on each of the deployment cards you'll find that there is clearly no attempt to balance each of the cards in the set.

May be some attempt was made to balance each of the sets as a group but that is scant consolation if I pick up the four worst deployment cards in the set.

For instance, look at Deployment Set B Pennant bearers. There are 3 cards carrying the same 3 units: 1 blue cavalry and 2 blue foot soldiers. The fourth unit on these cards is a green creature, a green archer and a red foot soldier.

Maybe we can accept all of these as being equal in strength. But you don't have to look too carefully to spot the imbalances such as those found on Deployment Set C Standard bearers. Here, similar cards carry 2 blue soldiers and a green archer. They are supplemented by a red cavalry and a green foot soldier. I'd bet the price of this expansion that the last two units are not balanced.

I'm not not saying that the expansion is wholly unbalanced; just that there is probably far less of a difference between the units than you may think.

So IMHO your better off choosing your own 4 units to deploy in each of the 3 parts of the battlefield.

Looking at the current offering, I don't think that you could go far wrong, by granting yourself a maximum of 17 points for each deployment of 3-5 units and use the following costings of 3, 4 and 5 for green, blue and red foot soldiers and 4, 5 and 6 for cavalry with archers and green creatures at 4. maybe add one point for dwarves and lose on point for goblins. Maybe add a blue creature at 6.

I'm now more convinced than ever that I don't need this expansion.

Edit: typos
 
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Paul DeStefano
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The expansion ensures that no one creates MinMax Cheese armies by forcing a spread of unit types.
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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I see your point about the 'MinMax Cheese' possibility but even that might be interesting to watch: a select number of red cavalry against hoards of peasants having to utilise their numbers, the terrain and various formations to ambush their stronger foe.

If that was a problem you could simply set a minimum number of green, blue and red units on the entire battle field for each opponent.

 
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I disagree, this expansion is not only about the deployment cards, but as the deployment system. It is a well worthy 20USD expansion, and IMHO it introduces a certain level of customization that Memoir'44 really lacks, and by that expanding the system in a rich way.
I've somewhere read that there will be new deployment decks and new specialist cards, THAT is what will end up perfecting the system.

Then again, I am really beginning to think that this promise of new expansions and new features yet to come will end up turning Battlelore into Warhammer, Magic, ASL or some other game that you HAVE to buy 10 000 expansions to really enjoy it.
Off course I love DoW and I surely know how much compromise they put in their creations, so that gives my some calm.
 
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Matt Smith
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I agree with Walter. The main purpose of Call to Arms is to introduce the Deployment/Specialist card system. Just as the base game barely introduced mercenaries and creatures, Call to Arms just scratches the surface of Battlelore army deployment. While I too am not overly thrilled with the initial set of deployment decks, I do like the Specialist cards and the overall concept of the deployment system. I'll reserve final judgement on the deployment cards themselves until I see what's in the Goblin and Dwarven Mercenaries packs.

The other thing about using the cards is it forces you to try different unit types and formations. What a great way to discover more ways to play the game!
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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VVoltz wrote:
...this expansion is not only about the deployment cards, but as the deployment system. It is a well worthy 20USD expansion, and IMHO it introduces a certain level of customization that Memoir'44 really lacks, and by that expanding the system in a rich way.


I'm a firm advocate of customisation of this game and others in the series including memoir 44. But you really don't need someone else to repeatedly dictate the the limited ways in which you can customise the formations. The fact that you are being charged for each of these permutations that, in some cases, are far less balanced than you could create yourself is personally a waste of resources and creative thinking.

Anyway good luck to those whose who don't mind making DOW rich in the process. Perhaps the 'perfect' system will be created from an imperfect start or may be it won't.

 
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Steve99 wrote:

I'm a firm advocate of customisation of this game and others in the series including memoir 44. But you really don't need someone else to repeatedly dictate the the limited ways in which you can customise the formations.

Agreed, I mean, you can deploy the troops yourself, I've seen many house rules that confront an army of troops each side assemble any formation. You are basically paying for a house rule made by Richard Borg.

Steve99 wrote:
The fact that you are being charged for each of these permutations that, in some cases, are far less balanced than you could create yourself is personally a waste of resources and creative thinking.

BUT, what you cannot deny is that the way the deployment cards work with the entire card-based gameplay system. The creative thinking is, I say this again, in making the deployment system, not the cards itself, you can have several expansions in the future with lots and lots of deployment strategies, CtA has just set the ground for that.
I'm not even talking about the specialist cards, that another way to customize the game.

Steve99 wrote:

Anyway good luck to those whose who don't mind making DOW rich in the process. Perhaps the 'perfect' system will be created from an imperfect start or may be it won't.

What everyone has to realize is that Memoir, Battlelore and C&C are boardgames and DoW is a boardgame company, and it is a damn good one, OK. Check the quality of the cards, check the constantant support for their creations and you will know what I mean
The whole concept of "customization" is really a neat addition, to the C&C system, you are basically between the line of heavy war games (BUT boardgames), casual board games and miniature wargaming.
You are not paying 15USD for a little miniature that adds great power to your army and has lost of new rules, nor a Codex book that tells you who was the mother of the first human general and what she ate on weekends.
This is pure boardgaming, nothing more, nothing less.

BTW, they wont ever be a 'perfect' system, because you have to think you are trying to recreate/create the following things:
a) War, war is chaos
b) A game, many people like all kinds of different things on their games
c) Real life, where nothing is perfect

Edit1: typos and grammar, sorry for kicking "la ingles".
Edit2: to add this edit markers, silly me
 
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brian
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Steve99 wrote:
I'm left wondering why on earth I would want to pay good money for the deployment set cards.

Why buy any game? Once you know what you need, you can make it all yourself.

Simple as it is, the deployment decks are pretty innovative in the way they work. Easy to see now, hard to imagine when they were first announced.

I think it was money well spent for the expansion. Nice cards premade for me. Split up to ensure that no single deck will list more units than I need. Unique terrain and the specialist cards.
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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BrianMola wrote:
Why buy any game? Once you know what you need, you can make it all yourself.


I buy games that add something of value to the game. Having a fancy looking card to specify formations that can easily be stated as a generic formation rule is unnecessary, especially as it ends up being more restictive and imbalanced than you could conceive yourself.

BrianMola wrote:
the deployment decks are pretty innovative in the way they work. Easy to see now, hard to imagine when they were first announced.


Innovative and hard to imagine? Are you sure? Some of us had this sussed when the game first came out. See this thread from 2006. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/139788

Anyway, I'll make this my last comment on the subject as the expansion is not that costly and some people are clearly gaining some benefit from it. Others may want to think twice.

 
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AxonDomini
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Steve99 wrote:
Anyway good luck to those whose who don't mind making DOW rich in the process.


What, exactly, are you implying here? That we should mind making DoW rich? If we buy their games & expansions, it's probably because we like them and find them to be a good value for the money we pay. If we like them and find them a good value, we probably want them to make more. If they get rich from their games, it seems likely that they'll make more games. I guess I don't mind making DoW rich.

And, for the record, this expansion offers more than just the deployment cards (though they are clearly the heart of it). You also get the 10 specialist cards, 8 new double-sided terrain tiles, 3 new obstacles and the scenario booklet. Considering you can get the game for under $15.00 online, that's not too bad (especially if you pack it in with a larger purchase).
 
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Dr. Jason L. Garner
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The only two changes I would make would be to allow players to select their four cards from the deck of seven, rather than draw them randomly. Also, I would select specialist cards before assembling the war council, so that you could get the best use from the cards you selected.
 
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