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Subject: Battlelore - The Good. The Bad. The Verdict. rss

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Scotty Pruitt
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"Sir, our green recruits on the right flank flee the battle!" the messenger shouted before his steed came to a complete stop. The dust kicked up from the messenger's horse made its way through the door of the tent. Rays of sunlight danced upon the wartable as the dirt settled. "The enemy has a..."
"Curses!" spat Commander Pruitt as he slammed fist to table. The abrupt motion knocked over the blocks representing units strewn across the mock battlefield. "Everything depended on that right flank holding. Where are those elites I sent to Lieutenant Hornbly?"
"They are en route, Commander. I passed them on the way here." replied the messenger.
Commander Pruitt sighed and applied fingers to each temple in an effort to release the mounting pressure. "They will never make it in time."
"Sir, the worst news is yet to come," the messenger paused for emphasis, "a giant ransacked the flank. The warhammer alone was enough to scatter Redmund's Rangers and Thuhg's Unit to the wind, may Dula release their souls. To make matters worse, several troops of dwarven mercs follow the beast."
The audible intake of breath from those scattered throughout the tent annoyed the Commander. Dwarven mercs and a giant ta-boot. The grimace on Commander Pruitt's face conveyed the seriousness of this news. He needed a miracle. Even though the left flank and center were gaining ground, the demise of the right flank would see his entire batteline fall. The unsupported units on that side of the battlefield were no match for the likes of the giant and dwarves, and the encumbered elites meant to reinforce that flank would now be outnumbered, regardless of their arrival time. Commander Pruitt furrowed his brow and looked around the tent. It was time his war council proved their worth.
"First Mage, your time has come" Commander Pruitt said with a steady voice. "You've heard our situation. Lieutenant Hornbly will be needing your assistance."
The old wizard rose to his feet. With staff in hand, the battle-wise sorcerer collected his mud-stained, red robes about him as he shuffled to the tent's entrance. Before leaving, the First Mage turned to Commander Pruitt to reveal a confident smirk. "I think I will kill a giant today," he replied as he stepped into the fresh air.

Overview

Battlelore gives you and an opponent command over disciplined foot troops, charging cavalry, giant spiders and powerful wizards. Each player commands units with varying levels of ability and skill by way of command cards. These command cards are drawn from a shared deck and allow you to order units based on what section of the board (battlefield) they currently reside: left flank, center and right flank. Units will roll a predetermined number of attacking dice based on their level of experience: green units (rookies) roll 2, blue units (regulars) roll 3, and red units (the elite shock troops) roll 4. The unit color also denotes the movement allowance. Terrain plays a significant roll in Battlelore. Weaker units will use the forests to their advantage while the elite/skilled units will want to go toe to toe in the open.

Not only do you battle your opponent with foot troops, you also manipulate the flow of the game with lore (i.e. magic). The Lore system also uses a deck a cards. Each card represents a spell or an ability. Spells cost a certain amount of lore and specify in which phase of the game they can be played. If you do not have enough lore points in your pool, you have to save enough to be able to play certain lore cards. Lore cards allow you to cast fireballs, move units, counter your opponent's spells and bolster the ability of your units.

Battlelore contains 4 different schools of lore each represented by a character which you will recruit into your war council before the battle starts. The more powerful you make a particular lore master, the stronger his spells will be. However, there is a trade-off. You have a limited amount of resources when designing your council. The more points you give to one class, the less you will have for the others. The 4 classes are: Wizard, Cleric, Warrior, Rogue. You also have the option of devoting some of your war council points to your commander. This will give you more command cards to lead your foot troops.

The complete Battlelore rulebook can be found here --> http://www.battlelore.com.

Edit: Since they released the Call to Arms and Epic rulebooks online, I just assumed they had the Battlelore rulebook there also. You know what they say about assuming... Thanks to Gabe for correcting me. :)

The Good

- The production quality is outstanding! I doubt you'll find a better-produced game out there. The miniatures are detailed, and the artwork is fantastic. There have been a few issues with bent figures. However, when you realize that the figures are bent because they packed so much into the box, it becomes almost acceptable.
- The theme is well executed. While dwarves, goblins and humans are nothing new, the game does fantasy right. I'm sure it will only get better when new races are added.
- The artwork is great. I love the style of art for Battlelore. It improves the fantasy feel mentioned above. I'm eager to see more.
- The system works! Battlelore is a culmination of several previous editions. The rule system has been streamlined and tweaked to provide a fast moving yet interesting battle experience.
- The game is designed for expansions. I like expansions and Battlelore is wide-open for them.
- The game is just fun to play. Throwing dice, casting fireballs and breaking through lines with mounted charges... good stuff.
- The playing time is about right. The game doesn't take too long; sometimes it can be too short! There is a note regarding setup time though. See below.

The Bad

- Setup is a monster. This game requires a significant amount of time to setup. In fact, the setup time has steered me away from a game or two of Battlelore.
- The price is high. Given the amount of components that come in the base game, you'll find that the price tag is up there. However, it's difficult to complain since you receive so much.
- Special promo figures. I don't know to what extent Days of Wonder will take the "promo figure" idea. I enjoy special figures. However, I don't like being forced to make an effort to obtain them. Please, just take my money and give me a figure. Don't make me attend a special event to get my hands on one.
- Luck. There is a good dose of luck in this game, probably more than any other highly rated game that I own. There is enough luck to thwart any well laid plan and give the victory to someone who may not deserve it. With dice rolling and card drawing, this is to be expected. Oh well, such is life on the field of battle.
- It's more about tactical decisions. Besides the war council selection, strategy doesn't play much of a role. Some won't see this as a bad thing, but I do value strategy when "war" is involved. This game doesn't provide that.
- Where is the history? I want background. Days of Wonder has done little of that.

The Verdict - 8.2

With amazing production qualities, a world begging to be fleshed out, and the overall enjoyment the game provides, Battlelore receives high marks from the Pruitt camp. The key factors that bring my rating down are the setup time, cost, and luck. I always like to ask myself: knowing what I know now, would I pay for the game again? Yes.

Mo' Stuff

The Luck Factor - 8 [scale of 1 to 10 - 10 being high]
Let's face it, Battlelore has a good dose of luck. It can't be denied. You can be the better general and make every right choice, but when the other guy is rolling 3 red helmets against your heavy cavalry and you roll nothing but lore when all you need is one hit to win, there isn't much you can do.

The Playing Time - 1.5 hours
This includes setup. I find it takes about 20 minutes to get everything going and the game takes about an hour.

The Ideal Number of Players - 2
This is a two player game.

The Average Price - $52.25
This is an average price taken from thoughthammer.com, funagaingames.com and boardandbits.com at the time of this review. Of course, this doesn't include shipping.
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Gabe Alvaro
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littlechild_zu wrote:
The complete Battlelore rulebook can be found here --> http://www.battlelore.com.
That's a negative ghostrider. DoW has not made the complete rulebook available on their site.

Quote:
- Luck. There is a good dose of luck in this game, probably more than any other highly rated game that I own. There is enough luck to thwart any well laid plan and give the victory to someone who may not deserve it. With dice rolling and card drawing, this is to be expected. Oh well, such is life on the field of battle.
There is a good dose of luck, but I don't think its enough to allow an undeserving player to beat a skilled player.

Quote:
- It's more about tactical decisions. Besides the war council selection, strategy doesn't play much of a role. Some won't see this as a bad thing, but I do value strategy when "war" is involved. This game doesn't provide that.
From a Military/simulation standpoint the game is tactical. Speaking in terms of gameplay, however, there is also strategy in the choice of which command cards to play or to not play and when.

Pretty much agree with all your other points both positive and negative.

Edit: Superb intro btw!
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Alan Kaiser
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blindspot wrote:

There is a good dose of luck, but I don't think its enough to allow an undeserving player to beat a skilled player.
Just to be clear, the C&C system doesn't require more than a game or two to become a "skilled" player in most cases. We're not talking a huge learning curve here. Knowledge of the Lore cards in Battlelore takes a bit longer perhaps. But games between "skilled" players do have a lot of luck. Almost everything you are allowed to do in the game is dictated by two decks of cards and a bunch of dice so luck does play a big role. Note that I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing for a game like this as long as you know what to expect going in.

Quote:
From a Military/simulation standpoint the game is tactical. Speaking in terms of gameplay, however, there is also strategy in the choice of which command cards to play or to not play and when.
I'd say that which command cards you play or don't play is also tactics and not strategy at all. Strategy implies to me that you can develop a plan that you can put in place prior to the start of the game and follow that plan through during the game. Things like the corn strategy in Puerto Rico or the brick/wood strategy in Settlers. Strategy applied to Battlelore would be something like I'm going to attack on the right flank where my opponent is weak and the terrain is favorable then cut into the center. However, if I never draw enough right flank cards to even reach the enemy I can't very well carry out my strategy. The C&C series of games are almost exclusively tactical in nature. Battlelore does introduce a little with the leaders or whatever they are called but beyond that it'd be a stretch I think.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Bag your minis by unit type.

Setup exceeding 5 minutes before game choices begin is too long.
 
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Alan Kaiser
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Geosphere wrote:
Bag your minis by unit type.

Setup exceeding 5 minutes before game choices begin is too long.
Or just do this:

 
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Brian Morris
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Quote:
It's more about tactical decisions. Besides the war council selection, strategy doesn't play much of a role. Some won't see this as a bad thing, but I do value strategy when "war" is involved. This game doesn't provide that.
I will greatly disagree here. Like Memoir it's smart to have a good longterm plan. Some people question how that is possible in a battlecard game but it is and when you do it gives you a great advantage.

In general I look at my hand and plan 3 turns ahead. If I am going to strike on the left I might use a center card first and move another unit to that side to help in the attack. I also try to hold a general card such as move 3 infantry units in my hand as a reserve. I use this to react as needed such as when my opponent makes an error and I want to capitalize on it in another sector where I may not have a card.

Winning at Battlelore isn't about simply playing the best card you have every time it's your turn. It's about using the cards in your hand in a combination that maximizes their effects.
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Gabe Alvaro
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alkaiser wrote:
Strategy implies to me that you can develop a plan that you can put in place prior to the start of the game and follow that plan through during the game. Things like the corn strategy in Puerto Rico or the brick/wood strategy in Settlers.
Those are examples not of strategy, but of "formulas" for victory that people tend to call "strategy" once they've "solved" the game and tried them over and over again. There are many more variables to consider in a single 60 minute scenario of BattleLore than in those games. The strategy comes in weighing those variables and planning ahead for possible outcomes. When you have 6 command cards in your hand and you can only play one on your next turn. What do you think you are doing with the other five? You are strategizing about how you will play them (or not) in the next 5 turns, or at least you should be if you want to win.
 
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mrbeankc wrote:
Quote:
It's more about tactical decisions. Besides the war council selection, strategy doesn't play much of a role. Some won't see this as a bad thing, but I do value strategy when "war" is involved. This game doesn't provide that.
I will greatly disagree here. Like Memoir it's smart to have a good longterm plan. Some people question how that is possible in a battlecard game but it is and when you do it gives you a great advantage.

I'd agree, you have to attempt to put a strategy in place where there is clearly a positional advantage available if you could just get the boys across the board. Sometimes this requires non optimum card play on any given turn and a belief that the basic odds dictated by the deck mix will eventually play out.

For me however there is an important point here in relation to the pleasure that you get from playing the game. Whether it's optimum game play or not, within reason, I want to bend the game to my will. To have a plan and to succesfully carry it out. C&C played as a series of choices based on the best card to play in any given turn seems a fairly shallow gaming experience. (Whether succesful or not!)

I think that the Epic rules for Battlelore have helped expand this aspect of game play. Starting further apart allows a strategy to develop before one or both sides become entirely reactive. The increased card deck provided by the three card pool and ability to use what's good for your strategy whilst denying your opponent cards that might fit theirs has really helped make planning more effective and allows troops to cover greater distances on the table.
 
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dave boulton
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Playing time of one and a half hours, really?

I can get 3 different games done in an hour ifn I rush and certainly think nothing of at least 2 an hour and would expect to get 2

Admittedly it was not that fast when I started though, I feel sure that with contiunued playing things will speed up for you

Walker Red Eye
 
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Geosphere wrote:
Bag your minis by unit type.

Setup exceeding 5 minutes before game choices begin is too long.
Exactly. Well, not quite exactly, I got some Plano boxes that fit into the BL box. Setup is a breeze. The average game with someone who knows the rules is about 20-30 minutes.

I also agree that BL is tactical and that the random factors of dice and cards are far from overwhelming the players influence in the outcome.

Nice review.
 
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Alan Kaiser
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blindspot wrote:
alkaiser wrote:
Strategy implies to me that you can develop a plan that you can put in place prior to the start of the game and follow that plan through during the game. Things like the corn strategy in Puerto Rico or the brick/wood strategy in Settlers.
Those are examples not of strategy, but of "formulas" for victory that people tend to call "strategy" once they've "solved" the game and tried them over and over again. There are many more variables to consider in a single 60 minute scenario of BattleLore than in those games. The strategy comes in weighing those variables and planning ahead for possible outcomes. When you have 6 command cards in your hand and you can only play one on your next turn. What do you think you are doing with the other five? You are strategizing about how you will play them (or not) in the next 5 turns, or at least you should be if you want to win.
I guess we'll just agree to disagree and leave it at that.
 
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Battlelore is a purely tactical game. Many "Command and Colors" hardcore fans will disagree, and tell you that you can build strategies in BL. That building a warcouncil is strategic. But a strategy is a plan on how to achieve specific long term objectives through specific means, and it takes the form of a chain of planned steps to get you closer to you goal. And you can't do that in BL.

In BL, you may plan long term if you want. You may play strategically, even if the game is not designed to be played that way. People are stubborn, what can you do. However, if you play a tactical game strategically, you may find you designed a strategy based on attacking a flank, while never getting the cards to fully develop your strategy.

That means you're stupid, because you made a long term plan without having any assurance you'd get the cards you need to execute it, and stuck with your plan, probably losing, instead of making the best of the cards you did get.

Or, perhaps you get lucky, draw the cards you need, and come to BGG and post that BL is strategic because you built a plan and got to execute it to completion. Even if 9 out of 10 times you fail.

What some Memoir '44 fans call strategy, is only clearly defining a set of objectives to achieve in order to have a dominant position and win. And that is important, even necessary to win, but that by no means comprises any resemblance of strategy. It's just playing smart, through goal oriented actions. Tactical actions aligned with a set of goals.

But that is NOT strategy. Strategy is not only defining a set of objectives, it also involves an execution plan, a sequence of events you will try to execute. It is not only the what, but more importantly, the how.

And in BL you can't always move the units you want to move (because you may or may not have the cards needed to move them). So, planning long term is a waste of time. And sticking to long term plans is plainly stupid.

You may play tactically with the cards you hold in your hand. And also, plan short term. Even save some cards for later. But that is NOT strategy either. That is just playing tactically. Strategy, by definition is long term. A strategy should encompass a whole game. Not just 5 or 6 moves ahead.

Battlelore is a great game, that is meant to be played tactically. I wish people just stopped trying to make BL into something it is not, as if being tactical was bad. It isn't.

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Roberto Arbelaez
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blindspot wrote:

Those are examples not of strategy, but of "formulas" for victory that people tend to call "strategy" once they've "solved" the game and tried them over and over again.
Actually, those are strategic goals with clear, time proven strategies associated with them. People tend to call them strategies...because that is exactly what they are.


blindspot wrote:
There are many more variables to consider in a single 60 minute scenario of BattleLore than in those games.
Nope.

blindspot wrote:

The strategy comes in weighing those variables and planning ahead for possible outcomes.
That is actually a very good definition of tactical playing. Just change "strategy" for "tactics".


blindspot wrote:

When you have 6 command cards in your hand and you can only play one on your next turn. What do you think you are doing with the other five? You are strategizing about how you will play them (or not) in the next 5 turns, or at least you should be if you want to win.
Wrong again. You're not strategizing. You're planning short-term, and you're tactically reacting to your environment (the cards you have, the boardgame, your opponent, etc) and trying to optimize your use of the resources you have available.
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rarbelaez wrote:
Battlelore is a purely tactical game.
So saving cards for a hammer strike to a single point isn't strategic?
 
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Geosphere wrote:
rarbelaez wrote:
Battlelore is a purely tactical game.
So saving cards for a hammer strike to a single point isn't strategic?
Actually it's tactical, since you're reacting a certain way after receiving the card. If you received all your cards at the beginning of the game, and planned how to use them as part of a master plan to win the game, that would comprise a strategy. Or, if at the beginning of the game you could select how to place your troops to better defend or attack, that'd be strategy.

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Dan Swensen
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I must be the only one who doesn't find the setup all that daunting. If you have your banner carriers and figures organized in plastic baggies, just get out the scenario card, plop down all the banner carriers, then fill in with the other figures. It's not that intense!
 
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rarbelaez wrote:


In BL, you may plan long term if you want. You may play strategically, even if the game is not designed to be played that way. People are stubborn, what can you do. However, if you play a tactical game strategically, you may find you designed a strategy based on attacking a flank, while never getting the cards to fully develop your strategy.

Your looking at the trees but can't, or choose not, to see the wood..........
 
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alkaiser wrote:
Just to be clear, the C&C system doesn't require more than a game or two to become a "skilled" player in most cases. We're not talking a huge learning curve here. Knowledge of the Lore cards in Battlelore takes a bit longer perhaps. But games between "skilled" players do have a lot of luck. Almost everything you are allowed to do in the game is dictated by two decks of cards and a bunch of dice so luck does play a big role. Note that I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing for a game like this as long as you know what to expect going in.
Gotta disagree with you on this one. The more you learn how to play this game and the better you are at forming and executing a strategy (yes, that's what good C&C play requires), the better you will be. If you are just trying to maximize your resources at hand and play the best card in your hand every turn, you will not be very good at this game.

You need to understand what your overall goal is and plan how you will achieve it before the game starts. What cards cards become rather incidental as you learn how to mitigate the luck of the draw and use what you have to achieve your strategy. It's the correct implementation of the cards in your hand that is of much more importance than whether you draw a card for the side that you want. Until one learns how to do more with less and deal with scarcity as encountered in this game, they'll just be another person who chooses the Level 3 Commander because they feel the need for the maximum number of options without understanding that the options they are looking for are on the board, not on their cards. Play the Eastern Expansion of Memoir '44 as the Russians to better understand what I am talking about.

Btw, I hear the same complaint about Combat Commander, and it is even more wrong in relation to that game. Some people just aren't equipped to deal with cards.
 
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rarbelaez wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
rarbelaez wrote:
Battlelore is a purely tactical game.
So saving cards for a hammer strike to a single point isn't strategic?
Actually it's tactical, since you're reacting a certain way after receiving the card. If you received all your cards at the beginning of the game, and planned how to use them as part of a master plan to win the game, that would comprise a strategy. Or, if at the beginning of the game you could select how to place your troops to better defend or attack, that'd be strategy.

So you are trying to say that there is no long-term, strategic planning in the C&C series? Silly me, I've been doing this wrong all the time.

Just because you don't have perfect imformation, doesn't mean that you can't make plans and figure out what you are going to do. There can be things that come up that throw off your strategy, but that is tactics and is unconnected to whether or not you had a strategy to begin with.

I never start a BL game without a plan as to how I will achieve victory in the end. Sure that sometimes needs altering based on what my opponent does, but that doesn't mean that I am not using strategy. It's no different than trying to use the corn strategy in PR and not being able to get the requisite corn plantations to achieve victory (of course, I think that PR is much more of a tactical game than this is, but that's besides the point).
 
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Roberto Arbelaez
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Who said anything about strategy depending on perfect information? Strategy doesn't rely on perfect information.

But it does rely on your capability to move your troops when you need to move them (according to your "plans"). Or how else, may I ask, do you execute your plans?

How often do you get to execute them?

Silly you.
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That's the tactics part. Where I want to go, what I want to do, how I want to approach the scenario, all that is decided prior to playing (or should be). How effectively I can pursue the strategy depends on a lot of things, most notably what my opponents do.

I can very often execute my strategy, which is the biggest differnece I've noticed between skilled and unskilled BL and M'44 players. Skilled players can figure out ways to do what they are looking to do and implement their strategy. Unskilled players complain that they never got anything in the left flank and so they couldn't win or do what they want and blame the luck in the game for their loss.

Like I said, I hear the same complaints about Combat Commander and its lack of strategy and chalk those complaints, and these, up to inexperience and poor play rather than a fundamental lack of strategy in the game.

As for who suggested that you need perfect information and perfect control, it sounded like you were the one:
Quote:
In BL, you may plan long term if you want. You may play strategically, even if the game is not designed to be played that way. People are stubborn, what can you do. However, if you play a tactical game strategically, you may find you designed a strategy based on attacking a flank, while never getting the cards to fully develop your strategy.
 
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EventHorizon wrote:

How effectively I can pursue the strategy depends on a lot of things, most notably what my opponents do.
Yeah. The main reason is your opponent...drawing the right cards has nothing to do with how effectively you can pursue your strategy... Or even if you get to try to pursue your strategy, right?

EventHorizon wrote:

Unskilled players complain that they never got anything in the left flank and so they couldn't win or do what they want and blame the luck in the game for their loss.
Never. Unless they were stupid, and tried to play a tactical game strategically.

EventHorizon wrote:

Like I said, I hear the same complaints about Combat Commander and its lack of strategy and chalk those complaints, and these, up to inexperience and poor play rather than a fundamental lack of strategy in the game.
I often find the term "strategy" misused.

Just to get things clear once again,

Not playing strategically does not mean you don't define clear objectives or goals. You just know the system won't let you plan the specifics on how you'll achieve those goals (because you don't know if you're going to be able to activate a specific set of units).

If the system doesn't let you plan the specifics, you can't define a strategy because strategy is the specifics, the how you'll achieve your goals.

However, you will still be able to define goals (how you plan to win the game, if by killing a specific unit, controlling an area, etc.) and you will keep trying to achieve those goals however you can, using (reacting to) the cards you get, and getting around your opponent's moves and reacting accordingly.

That, my friend, is playing tactically. Goal-oriented tactics, but tactics, nonetheless.

Please stop calling that a strategy. It is not.

EventHorizon wrote:

As for who suggested that you need perfect information and perfect control, it sounded like you were the one:
I didnt suggest anything. I said things directly and clearly. And I never said anything about perfect information. Or perfect control.

Read my post.


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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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rarbelaez wrote:

But that is NOT strategy. Strategy is not only defining a set of objectives, it also involves an execution plan, a sequence of events you will try to execute. It is not only the what, but more importantly, the how.

And in BL you can't always move the units you want to move (because you may or may not have the cards needed to move them). So, planning long term is a waste of time. And sticking to long term plans is plainly stupid.

It seems to me that your rather missing the point of the system and possibly any system with random variables. By your definition a commander couldn't use strategy in a real world military operation because the control over the how's and the what's and the when's simply isn't always possibly. You want to model a military fantasy not a fantasy military!

Battlelore is not any kind of simulation but it is has both tactical and strategic elements, if you define strategy in terms of carrying out a pre-defined plan. As in the real world whether that plan will survive contact with the enemy is debateable but I'd suggest that the player who starts a game without one is the fool!

The command deck is not an infinte random pool. It is a fixed entity known before play and reasonable plans can be based on that. Together with movement of creatures through lore, lore cards, and lore council plans conceived before the game, application of a strategy is entirely possible and often fruitful. Slavish adhearence however to a failing strategy will no doubt be punnished but that doesn't mean that it's not valid to try.
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J Mathews
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Define what you mean by 'drawing the right cards'. There are more cards than just flank cards. There are more ways to run a decent offensive or defensive strategy than by hoping that you draw the 'right cards'.

What you seem to be saying is that you have to get do whatever the cards dictate you can do and there is no way to implement a strategy without drawing the cards that allow you to do what you want and so you are left maximizing whatever you get into your hand and it is up to luck as to what you draw. That is a reactionary stance and will lose against the good Memoir and BL players that I know. It's poor playing

What I am saying to you is that skillful players take a different stance, a much more pro-active one. One where you make the cards in your hand conform to the strategy that you are trying to do. Somewhere around half of the cards do not specify where you can order units. I am much more familiar with Memoir '44 and its cards than BL, but the principle is the same. In this view, there is no such thing as the 'right cards' because the game is decided on how you implement the cards, not what they activate. You learn how to make the cards in your hand the 'right cards' and then it doesn't matter what you draw.

So no, what cards I draw doesn't really make a difference as to whether or not I pursue my strategy, or really how effectively I do so. There are enough cards that offer you enough flexibility and enough options that it's not a big deal. Just because someone can't see or recognize something, doesn't mean it's not there.

And while you didn't overtly say that you needed perfect control and perfect information to do a strategy, it's rather strongly implied in what you have written, both in the quoted section above and your other posts. Read your posts.
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Roberto Arbelaez
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Boca Raton
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Skipp wrote:
rarbelaez wrote:

But that is NOT strategy. Strategy is not only defining a set of objectives, it also involves an execution plan, a sequence of events you will try to execute. It is not only the what, but more importantly, the how.

And in BL you can't always move the units you want to move (because you may or may not have the cards needed to move them). So, planning long term is a waste of time. And sticking to long term plans is plainly stupid.

It seems to me that your rather missing the point of the system and possibly any system with random variables. By your definition a commander couldn't use strategy in a real world military operation because the control over the how's and the what's and the when's simply isn't always possibly. You want to model a military fantasy not a fantasy military!

Battlelore is not any kind of simulation but it is has both tactical and strategic elements, if you define strategy in terms of carrying out a pre-defined plan. As in the real world whether that plan will survive contact with the enemy is debateable but I'd suggest that the player who starts a game without one is the fool!

The command deck is not an infinte random pool. It is a fixed entity known before play and reasonable plans can be based on that. Together with movement of creatures through lore, lore cards, and lore council plans conceived before the game, application of a strategy is entirely possible and often fruitful. Slavish adhearence however to a failing strategy will no doubt be punnished but that doesn't mean that it's not valid to try.
In the real world, Commanders plan before the battle. They define a set of goals they want to achieve.

That is defining a set of goals or objectives.

They plan how how their troops will act to achieve them (how they'll be placed, how they'll move, what each unit will try to achieve).

That is formulating a strategy.

But since war tends to change things (and mess with the plans), they have to react to the environment and to their opponents and adjust.

That is called tactics.

Once again, in BL you may plan to take over an area, or plan to destroy several goblin units before the game starts, so you get to win... But that is not strategy. That is defining objectives. Objectives you pursue in order to win the game.

If you start a game without defining your objectives you're a fool.

But once again, that is not a strategy.

Strategy involves how you'll achieve those goals. And you can't know that in BL because you don't know if you'll be able to activate specifi units...







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