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Subject: BattleLore: Through a teenage wargamer's eyes. rss

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Thomas Johnston
United Kingdom
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Review: BattleLore

Introduction
At face value BattleLore seems like another card driven wargame set in a fantasy universe however this is not so. If you jump into the game you will find there is far much more to the game than meets the eye. Essentially this uses the same system as Memoir 44 and Command and Colours Ancients, so if you are familiar with either of these games then please skip the next section as I will briefly outline the basics.

Overview
The game map is split into thirds a right wing/flank, a centre and you guessed it, a left wing/flank. Most command cards correspond to one of these flanks, but what is a command card? A command card are the little devils that will win, or lose, you a game of BattleLore. They have a title under which there is a small image which essentially serves nothing but to add ascetics to the cards. Then comes the bit you’ll be most interested in: the actual order itself. Cards that order units on a certain segment of the board have a picture of the board and an arrow on which segment of the board your action is taking place. However some have text as opposed to a picture, this is because the card is usually more complicated to use and has some special rules associated with it.

Gameplay: 9/10
Being a wargamer I naturally enjoy the dice element of the game although sometimes I wish it was harder to hit red units (usually when someone gets lucky and rolls 3 red helmets when attacking my heavy cavalry). The different scenarios provided in the scenario booklet provide hours of fun and progress in order of the amount of special rules they use. For example the first scenario uses very few of the different terrain tiles, no war council and no dwarves or goblins. However the last scenario uses almost all of the game mechanics from a high level war council to ramparts. The card driven aspect is where I have my only problem with the gameplay. Many a time have I had a good strong advantage on the right flank that I need to press home and my hand consists entirely of left and centre cards. Although this is part of the game and probably shapes much of your tactics being an avid Warhammer fanatic I sometimes find it frustrating when such occurrences happen.

Ascetics: 7/10
First off I didn’t know what to call this section as I’m used to writing computer game reviews and I doubt “graphics” would be suitable heading. Let’s look at the pieces themselves first. The models, although unpainted come attached to a base ( a joy I have yet to find with Warhammer products), this means they can be played with straight away. There are a number of banner that can be slotted into a hole in the base of every figure so this allows for some customization when playing fan made battles such as red banner goblins. The map is also very nicely detailed as are the tiles which are double-sided so for epic BattleLore with lots of terrain you may run out. The command card pictures are also very nice and add a nice feel the to the card, also the map of the battlefield telling you where the order takes place is very detailed and ascetically pleasing.

Longevity: 10/10
Not much to say here like most wargames you can rarely get bored of BattleLore and with no obvious game breaking tactics if you play both sides in a game there should be no problem. Also a number of expansions are planned over the upcoming months such as a Goblin expansion and a Dwarf expansion. Also planned is a Hundred Year War expansion.

Conclusion
In conclusion BattleLore is one of the best games I have ever played and will probably stay as that designation for some time to come with the current release schedule. If you like wargames and are looking for a quick and easy to learn game BattleLore is the game for you. Also many other wargamers will like it even if they are used to a more detailed game system. This is truly a game for everyone.

Overall: 26/30
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james napoli
United States
Westwood
New Jersey
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nice simple review.

how many games have u gotten in? what do u think of the setup time?

for me i really enjoy BL, but i think the setup time takes way 2 long.
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James
 
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Thomas Johnston
United Kingdom
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Thanks for the feedback. My dad and I have played quite a few games of the orgional game and one game of "Call to Arms" due to other comitments. The setup time for me isn't that long as I'm used to playing games where it would take half and hour to setup, however I can see where you are coming from and maybe a system whereyou have a bigger base and take a model off it each time it gets hit. However this could complicate things so at the minute I'm ok with the setup time, but I have yet to play epic BattleLore and that could be an enitrely different kettle of fish.
 
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