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Subject: Goblins in Battlelore rss

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Brad Lafferty
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I recently purchased Battlelore and have been nothing but pleased with the game. One of the few "battle" games I have found which can be set up, played and put away in about an hour.

It took me a while to get used to the goblins. I want to share some tips, in the event there are others out there who ran into this same hurdle.

When using goblins, morale is your biggest liability. Whenever possible, make sure you have a formation that allows two adjacent friendly units to all goblin units. In addition, make sure you have a clear retreat path. I know this seems plainly obvious, but it can be easy to get caught up in a tunnelvisioned strategy and find your goblins (who can move quite fast and attack) without the bold support and a very limited retreat zone. This is especially true if your opponent is skilled enough to move troops to cut off your retreat.

The next rule of thumb: Target one opponent at a time. This true whether or not you have Goblins, but it is even more critical with goblins. Send them in proper formation and focus attacks on one group. Try to pick off the stragglers at the end of enemy formations and be sure to mix regular blue or red human cavalry to beef up the mix a bit.

Go on offense. Play to the strength of your units. Dwarves are obviously defensive. Goblins are fast and can travel much further and still put on the hits. Try to keep spells on hand which will enhance their ability to put on the hurt.

I am sure this is very bassic for most folks on this forum. I have been impressed at the strategic knowledge of most posters. Since this is my first post ever, please don't beat me up if you disagree with something. Instead, please include other tactics you have used successfully with Goblins. Thanks.
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Dan Conley
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No beating up from me! You have some good ideas here!!! I just hosted an Epic event at a small local game con and had a full table. The consensus was that, even though the side with the goblins WON (!), the Iron Morale advantage of the dwarves makes them pretty darned superior to the goblins with their charge-into-combat edge. Their downside of being "frightened" is a big one... yuk
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Sifu
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I like the fact that the Dwarves are "better" than the Goblins. Asymmetry makes things interesting.

Good ideas on Goblin usefulness.
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Gabe Alvaro
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Good points on the gobbos. I would further argue that those points (support, good retreat paths, targeting unsupported units) apply to non-gob units as well. But it got me thinking a little bit more about the "Goblin Rush" power.
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Matt Smith
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I want to know how the original poster can play a game in an hour, including setup? Prior to CtA, my games were taking about 2 hours. With CtA, it's been 2.5-3.0 hours. My friend and I are careful players, but not THAT careful!

My biggest problem with the Gobbos is remembering the Goblin Rush ability. For some reason, I just forget about the extra movement. shake
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Andy M
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I've found we can easily get through a game in around an hour and 15 minutes (including setup time). I would say the average for me is slightly longer though.
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Welcome to the GEEK Brad!
I don´t understand why the goblins get as much critique as they do, as I seem to use them like you do. As long as you keep your gobbos supported, the rush can be a good strategic surprise move, and as long as you keep your retreat paths clear, you have a pretty good chance of running away, so that the enemy won´t be able to catch up with you next turn, at least not with his infantry! Admittedly, I´d rather have dwarfs on my side, but the ability to strike fast and run away from the enemy should not be underrated!
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Karl
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moss_icon wrote:
I've found we can easily get through a game in around an hour and 15 minutes (including setup time). I would say the average for me is slightly longer though.


Same here. Games last pertty much exactly 1 hour (non epic, non Call to Arms). Setup is about 10 mins I'd say (figures separated by type in ziplocks).
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Todd Rewoldt
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Just got beat up playing the Dwarves in #4 - though it wasn't especially due to any feature of the goblins, hard to win when 3d on a bold green banner gets no hits, but the bb gets two on 2 or three occasions.

I love playing the goblins and really like how they are balanced with the dwarves in general, by having greater numbers as well as the rush of the blue and red foots (especially the red!!) and mobility of the green mounted units. Like you said, Brad, use that quick movement to rush up and attack a singular unit with about three gobbos and you'll be succesful more times than not, and still be able to stay bold. Maybe I missed this in your post, but another obvious statement, that also applies to units across the board: very important to limit battle backs. Especially ones that can potentially leave your goblin units unsupported. Because that is when the sweater unravels on that close knit bunch.
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Jay Borden
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Good points on the goblins, Brad.

My 2 cents:
The scenarios usually give the goblin side extra units make up for their weaknesses. The 2 biggest things are picking the right targets and rotating the wounded units. Taking the level 3 commander for the stronghold is also not a bad idea for the goblin player.

If fighting a green or blue unit, you only have a 2.78% or 7.4% chance of 2 or more flags being rolled against you. It’s not pretty when it happens, but the odds aren’t horribly stacked against you by any means. When fighting a red unit, that percentage jumps to 15.7%. So look for a part of the battle field where the red units will likely not reach anytime soon if possible.

I think you should always make the attempt to rotate out wounded units, but with goblins it should be your highest priority when pushing. If the goblins lose support, you entire flank is likely to go down. Since you will likely have a couple of extra units available in the scenario, make sure to bring some extra into the conflicts. You are much more likely to lose support with goblins from panic losses and retreating 2 hexes, so you should play a bit more conservative with them when they start taking wounds.

I love the always bold dwarf units, but you should still be keeping them in formations. Always getting a battle back is great, but a smart player will be able to concentrate attacks while spreading his wounds out if you have only 1 or 2 dwarf units away from your line. They do require less attention, but they shouldn’t be ignored completely.

Regarding set up time:
I find 5 minutes plenty of time to set up any of the original scenarios with everything in separate bags. I bagged each unit separately, keep all the standard banners in one bag, and all the pennants in another (flags do not have units attached while in the bags). My opponent and I set up all the terrain first, then put the scenario book in the middle of the map. We set up all the flags, just laying them in the correct hex without units. We then start adding units by placing 1 unit in the hex with the flag to mark where it goes, then attached the flag to another figure and place it along with the other needed figures in the marked hex. Once done, we double check both sides are correct and start setting up our war councils.

My units are painted so it’s easier to separate them into the different bags when cleaning up.

Play time varies quite a bit based on what command cards are coming out and the lore spells drawn. When the big spells and orders are flowing, we can finish in about 40 minutes. Games have gone as long as 90 minutes, but an hour total is about right as an average.
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Nick Floyd
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I like the gobbos. Especially in CtA where they can be spread out more across the three sections. The basic scenarios have them all grouped together in one section and this makes them a greater liability.

I usually try to keep them in the back and provide support to my front line. When the opponent's units start to break, I'll rush the gobbos forward to run down retreating wounded units.

I especially like the lizard cavalry. They're so incredibly fast. I just wish that the base game gave us three units of these guys so I could charge three at a time and keep them bold. The ostrich shortbow cav should fill this niche nicely though.

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Gabe Alvaro
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Phloid wrote:
The ostrich shortbow cav should fill this niche nicely though.

Can't wait for this. Really hoping these guys can fire on the move without -1d penalty. If so, could create wicked surprise combo with magic missiles.

This pic makes me thinks so
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Carlos Araujo
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Quote:
I usually try to keep them in the back and provide support to my front line. When the opponent's units start to break, I'll rush the gobbos forward to run down retreating wounded units.


I usually play like this too...

Another thing that I like to do with goblins is to rush them against a non-supported opponent unit but I don't keep my goblins supported. So every time my opponent rolls a flag my goblins retreat two (sometimes four) hexes... And in the following rounds I make another rush against the same non-supported unit. It's a risky thing to do but some players start to get nervous with this back and forth goblin behavior and start to concentrate too much in the section where the goblins are or break their own formation just to reach the goblins and kill them... And if your opponent is irritated he is likely to make more mistakes... Does it make any sense??

About the set up time... I kept one of the original blisters (the one with the human banner bearers) and put all other figures separated by type in ziplock bags. It makes the set up a lot easier (and faster).
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Mark Biggar
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mvettemagred wrote:
I want to know how the original poster can play a game in an hour, including setup? Prior to CtA, my games were taking about 2 hours. With CtA, it's been 2.5-3.0 hours. My friend and I are careful players, but not THAT careful!

My biggest problem with the Gobbos is remembering the Goblin Rush ability. For some reason, I just forget about the extra movement. shake


One thing that greatly shortens setup time is to have your figures sorted by type. After I put my figurers in one of those plastic drawer cabinets (the type you get at the hardware store for nuts and bolts), set up became very fast. Most go the setup time is spent searching through the figures.
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