Matthew McCloud
United States
Richmond
Kentucky
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“Tell me what is wrong, was I unwise to leave them open for so long.”

Welcome to a Grubsnatcher review. Each of my reviews will be named after a song, or after lyrics within a song. I will not use numerical ratings with my reviews but instead show elements that personify the game. I feel that numerical ratings will change between play groups as bad rules will be house ruled.

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Battlelore was my first game back into the gaming foray. In about 2000 I picked up a copy of Settlers of Catan, but afterwards my gaming group disintegrated into the wind. Around the winter of 2006 I noticed a game on the shelves of my local friendly gaming store. The title rang out to me, Battlelore. It looked interesting since I am a huge fantasy enthusiast. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so I went home and loaded up the computer.

This led to me to Board Games with Scott. After watching his hour explanation of the game, I was sure this was the game I wanted. So I rushed over to my local friendly gaming store and picked up the copy. This was before I knew about the prices of online retailers, so I paid quite a pretty penny for the pretty box. Anyways, on to the game itself.

The Components

The box is beautiful. It’s sturdy and fairly thick with an embossed paper sleeve. It’s fashioned in the same square boxes of the Days of Wonder line. The only difference is this is box is deeper, allowing more contents within the boxes. The game could have probably used more space, but my bookshelf space is already limited so I appreciated the box size. The game stands out on the shelf with a quality piece of fantasy artwork on the front. I’m sure many do not enjoy the surreal Battlelore art style, but I enjoy it. It takes itself seriously but at the same time knows how to poke fun at itself. That’s what gaming is all about, right?

The Dolls



The first thing I noticed when popped open the box was the dolls. Even now, with me looking through the components, I’m blown away at just how good they look. The only real problem with the non-rigid plastic the models are fashioned. I’m sure this was part of the marketing plan in an attempt to get all those dolls into one box. It is better to have bent models than a box of broken dolls. But let me say one thing when I opened the container; the pieces reeked. The plastic did not have time to air out it looks, and the game has a strong smell of freshly molded plastic. Thankfully, after a few games to smell dissipated.

Each figure represents a different race with a combination of arms. Some figures do represent the different configuration, such as the short sword goblins representing two different units. Models come in two types: cavalry and infantry. Cavalry receives three models per unit, infantry receives four models per unit and the massive creature(s) only receives a single model. Cavalry units move quicker than infantry. Creatures are an odd bunch, and the single creature in the base set allows moves as cavalry. Each of these units are further divided into three different separate categories: red, blue and green. Red units have slower but hit hard. Green units are quick but are suffer offensively. Blue units, who tend to make the bulk of the armies, are the mix of the two; they can be quick but are also more inclined to inflict heavy causalities.

To help differentiate the colors, each unit comes with banner with a weapon symbol with the color in the background. Only one model per unit will have the banner which attaches firmly in a small indention on the base. The banner doesn’t grant any special powers but if eliminated it grants the enemy a victory point. The most basic of the weapons is the short sword, which makes up a majority of infantry weaponry or long swords for cavalry. Each unit can also be further divided into different races which can be easily sifted by glancing at the different colored bases. In the base set only two races are included, the hardy brown-based dwarves and the cowardly but quick green-based goblins.

The models are over all pretty good looking. It’s often hard to tell the difference in models, but you eventually can learn to pick them out after the first couple of games. The exception is blue and red cavalry. They are so similar it is often time hard to tell the difference. If you are having this same trouble I suggest looking at the faces. Blue do not wear full helmets while the red do.

Models do not look differently depending on the player. Instead two separate types of flags are used: standard and pennant. The exception of this is the monstrous creatures, which comes with single flag for both sides. This is not a problem considering that creatures are a rarity where you rarely get more than one on the board.

Inserts



The inserts work as intended. Most of my reviews talk about how games do not use space efficiently. This is not true for Battlelore. The box uses its space with great efficiency. The models come with two layers of clear plastic inserts. The top layer consists of the banner carriers along with its model already attached. Each model has its own unit nook, so it’s easy to put them away. Underneath is a larger insert with a vat of random figures. Tucking alongside is a hiding place for the monstrous spider, the banner carriers for the non-human races, the goblets and a reservoir for spare flags.

Underneath the doll plastic sheet rests a large black insert that carries the dice, counters, terrain and cards. The inserts work well; I’ve yet to have any pieces slip from their original location. I also noticed that the game while the game comes with pounds of plastic and cardboard yet doesn’t require any clipping or counter punching? I love this idea and the concept provides me with more time to play the game instead of prepping. I give you two Ninety-Degree angle thumbs up, Days of Wonder, for the inserts.

Board



The board is a simple wide-open map. The board is separated into three sections. There are three sections: left, center and right. A player does not have free access to the movement of his units. He will be forced to move what is according to his Command Card hand. Also, along the edge of the map is seven spots to place banner carriers during battle. This way it’s easier to keep track of victory points. Winning conditions are almost always linked to the number of banners the player eliminates.

On the flipside of the board is half of the map for the larger epic-sized game. You cannot play Epic without the expansion and probably more than one copy of Battlelore. I will not speak of Epic in this review but will cover it in a greater detail in a future review.

Command Cards




The meat of any command and color game comes in the form of Command Cards. Command Cards come in two flavors: tactics and section cards.

The Section cards are divided allowing the player to move certain number of units in the chosen section. There are many section cards, but a majority only allows you to more three or so troops in one specific section. A note: Command Cards that one player holds will use the reciprocal section cards. The first player’s left is the other player’s right. If one player has a large number of left cards, the other player might have a large number of right section cards. Keep this in mind when trying to make tactical decisions, otherwise you will be using false information.

Tactic cards allow a player to move a certain type of unit under certain circumstances. The Mounted Charge, for example, lets a player move a large number of your cavalry in any section. The Darken the Skies card allows a player to shoot twice with all your ranged units, yet they cannot do this while in close combat and are not allowed to move.

Learning the Command deck is the first step to the mastery of the game. And remember, these cards do not attempt to be balanced with one another. Some are clearly better than others. A good majority of the game is attempting to work with what you got. Risk management is the name of the game.

Dice



The dice are custom six-sided cubes. Each side has a different symbol and serves a different purpose.

The first three sides have a single helmet each with a different color. When rolling, if you are attacking a unit each helmet color registers as a causality. If the color does not match, the die roll is wasted.

The fourth side is the bonus strike symbol represented by a yellow sword and shield. Many units do hit on a roll of a sword and shield, but ranged units usually do not. Infantry also have a harder time inflicting causalities on horseback, forcing them to discard the first bonus strike. Later expansions do change all these rules, but this is the general rule for most units.

The fifth side is a flag. If rolled, the unit must retreat one space towards his side of the board. If the troops cannot retreat he takes causalities

The last side, the lore symbol is considered a miss in a non-lore game. Otherwise, it allows you to gain lore points, the resource consumed to use abilities on the lore cards.

Lore Cards



The lore deck is a completely separate deck from Command deck. There are four different types of lore cards within the deck and every one represents a different element. The Warrior is a hard hitting master of battle who doesn’t use deception to win. The Rogue on the other hand uses hit and run tactics and manipulation of resources to take home the victory. The Wizard uses a variety of unusual techniques as well as some powerful ranged attacks. The Priest is often considered the strongest of the bunch with both healing and attack spells.

The deck is constructed prior to each game and not all lore cards will be used during the game. You do not have complete control how the deck is distributed. In fact, cards are pulled from the deck at the beginning of the game and placed back in the box. You will not know which cards are pulled, so if you have a certain strategy and require pulling a certain card you suffer. Instead, attempt to learn the flow of each lore master.

Each lore card has a lore cost, which must be spent with lore. Lore is gained at end of your turn or in the case you rolling lore on any of the dice. You gain Lore cards only at the end of your turn. You have a choice of drawing more if you wish, but you can only keep one each turn.

Goblet



The goblet is by far the most important component on this list. It is used to contain the lore points.

Terrain Hexes

Terrain comes in the space of a hex. This allows the piece to fit perfectly over the board’s hexagonal spaces. I have very little trouble having the pieces to fit together creating a string of interesting terrain. Each terrain piece is also double sided, so this may cause some issues when some of the pieces are already placed. Be sure to make the rivers first or you might not have sufficient pieces to finish.

Forests provide cover for weaker units while hampering the stronger ones. They also block line of sight, which allows it to be a useful cover. Forests are the best spot to hide your archers. If a unit wastes it’s time by attacking archers in the woods with his red units, he is discarding extra dice. A unit must stop when entering a forest. This makes forest excellent places to hide away.

Hills are the bastion of the blue infantry units. Blue units should attempt to enter hills and stay there as long as possible. Units can only attack 2 into the hill but units on the hill can attack with three dice. Hills do not stop a unit but does break line of sight.

Rivers can either stop or hamper depending on the scenario. A unit does not want to stop in a fordable river if you can help it. This imposes harsh penalties upon him. A river is often nothing more than an obstacle to go around. Bridges are a point of interest for all units. Those who hit on the bridge are always considered bold. This allows single units to fight off stronger opponents but it also makes him a huge target. Fords make the character weaker to cross, so one must be careful when you cross. When you strike at an enemy while in a Ford, you roll only two dice. They suffer no penalties.

Ramparts. These little guys provide a bitter sweet benefit. Any unit on a rampart rolls 2 dice, but any unit who attacks them also only rolls 2 dice. Units that move onto a rampart also cannot battle, unless they came from a rampart. This gives the defending unit one large chance to save whatever is behind the walls. The Rampart reference card is one of the greatest weaknesses in Battlelore’s player aids. It provides very little details on actual rules and you have to check the book to get a true feeling of what they really do.

Stronghold. The stronghold is used in only one scenario. It allows all units on the Stronghold to become bold, but if you ever lose the Stronghold you lose 1 command card randomly. Protect this asset with all your resources if you can.

There are also terrains pieces included in the game but not used in any scenarios. I will not discuss them in this review but instead all you to experience them yourself. Maybe they will expand on these features in future expansions.

The Counters

The counters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A majority are useless but some do serve purposes. I assume that sometime in the future they will expand on the rules on how to use the counters.

A most important of the counters are the lore counters. These little blue discs are used to calculate the current lore total of your force. This is not hidden information, if a player asks you how much lore you have one must answer.

There are other encounters used in the game, one used for calculating the rank of the lore council (one chip equals one level). Also, victory point chips are used if certain locations are worth victory points.

A majority of the counters are wasted space and I’m not sure what their function is of the writing of this review. Some have the pictures of beasts or the war council symbol. I believe that at a later date they will explain but it does seem like a waste currently.

The Card Racks

The game also comes with card racks that keep your cards upright and out of sight. I’ve had little trouble with getting the cards on the base set’s racks. It might become a problem if you do sleeve all your cards; the area does become a little clustered. There is a finite number of ranks, but if can steal more racks from other games.

The Rulebooks and Player Aids

The Rulebook

Rulebooks should come in two types: those that are used a teach tool or as a reference. The Battlelore rulebook is indeed one that is a teaching tool. The rulebook is not concise. It is long and drawn out. This does not make it a bad rulebook. In fact, it is one of the better rulebooks.

The book is divided into chapters, each discussing a different element of game play. You do not need to know the full extent of the rules when you play the game. You only need to rules that are expressed in the scenario.

The book is full color and bound with a book spine. The diagrams in the book are spot on with almost very detail explained multiple times with many examples. Sometimes, the book does go a bit overboard but it’

The rulebook is good springboard for people who are trying to learn gaming. It doesn’t have any complicated rulings to comprehend and is just fun to read.

Reference Cards



The Reference Cards are some of the best to come out of any game. They give concise and detailed information on each card. They are doubled sided, which can be a seen as a bane and boon. While it does take up extra space and color ink in the printing process therefore increasing the price of the product, it does save you time from flipping cards trying to find the correct card side.

Every element of the game is on these cards from the morale rules, to the dice sets, to the weapon selection. Not only is there one set of cards but two for each side.

I was very impressed with the quality.

Lore Council Board



Also nestled in the box is a sheet of light cardstock. On the board displays a number of characters which make up the lore council: a Commander, a Warrior, a Rogue, a Wizard and a Priest. Also underneath this main assortment of misfits is a section for creatures and a mysterious slot titled Guest. Usually at the beginning of the game you have a number of points to distribute between the lore council. The higher the rank of Lore Council member, the greater the influence that the council will have over the lore deck. The exception to this rule is the Commander, which allows you to carry more command cards in your rack.

The War Council board is used just as much for reference as it is for purpose. The side of the card tells you the number of starting lore cards and lore. The higher you allow one single war council to reach, the higher starting lore points and lore cards.

The Objective

The game is won by reaching a number of victory points according to the scenario. Different scenarios have different victory conditions, so be familiar with both sides of victory.

The Flow



At the beginning of the game, each player decides on the scenario used for this battle. In the base set, the game comes with ten different scenarios. If you run out, you can check the Days of Wonder website for a few more official scenarios. There are also numerous other player created content that is often subject to quality.

Each scenario has set troop locations along with terrain located in the scenario book. As you continue to complete scenarios more rules are added. More will be discussed on the scenarios and the rules implied later. The scenario also has a victory point requirement. When this requirement is met, the game ends. There are ways to get victory points that may be out of ordinary so read the rules careful.

In the early scenarios, the player has no choice in how many command card he receives. This does change later in the scenarios, as players can pick the Commander on his Lore Council. By doing so, he receives extra Command Cards. Also with command cards, the first player is not determined randomly but by the scenario.

Once the game is set up, each player takes turns playing Command Cards. You may play one command card each turn. Once all units have ordered and moved, combat will probably ensue.

Combat is a simple affair; the color of the troop determines the number of dice the unit gets to roll. All casualties and effects are calculated within this roll of the dice. There are some modifiers within the dice rolled. For example, a hill can reduce the maximum number of dice rolled by units. Ranged combat also uses this mechanism but is usually reduced in strength if the archer moved this turn.

The state of Bold is a very important concept. If a player has two other units touching any of its sides it is considered bold. Bold allows the person to battleback and ignore the first flag rolled against him. A battleback allows a unit to attack with his full dice against another unit. A battleback is a special attack that allows the unit to strike against

Ranged Combat is usually pretty weak. Ranged combat usually does not bonus strike. Most units can shoot up to four spaces. A unit that is shooting must also have line of sight. Models and some terrain does block line of sight. A ranged unit cannot be battleback in return, even if they are adjacent to a unit. This makes Ranged Combat perfect for destroying or weakening stronger units. They are also useful against cavalry which only has three units.

Creatures are an oddity when it comes to Battlelore. To kill a creature, you must roll to hit as normal. After the first roll of hits, you are required to do a second roll: all successful dice are rolled again to actually kill the creature. Only one hit is needed to kill the creature with this re-roll. This does make the Creature a mixed bag. While they do come with nifty special abilities that no other unit can do, they also add a huge element of luck. A creature can be killed with an archer with a single die roll. This is not likely, but it has happened in the games I’ve played. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if creatures did not take up a slot in the Lore Council.

When a unit is destroyed or retreats, a unit may use a special movement called a Pursuit. Infantry can only move into the space once occupied by the enemy. A cavalry, on the other hand, receives a greater benefit. They can move in and attack. If the cavalry unit destroys a second unit, he may move in again but may not attack.

A vital tactic to winning the game is denying your enemy victory points. The key to playing Battlelore is trying to keep your lines clean and breaking your enemies. Breaking formation means that you are often left in the open without any chance of battle back. You are efficiently reducing your There are disadvantages to keeping formation. You if cannot retreat, you lose one model per space you cannot retreat. While this does seem unlikely, it becomes a very real possibility.

Lore changes the entire game. When one plays the lore version of the game, it does feel like there is a certain element of randomness. While this is true on the surface, it only becomes a matter of time before you begin to learn the tactics involved from each lore council and you can make educated decisions. One learns that certain lore cards can only be played at certain times.

At the end of each turn, that player may draw two cards (discarding one), game one lore card and one lore, or gain two lore. This provides some information on what your opponent has in his hand. Keep a close eye on the draws he uses, this will tell you if he planning to use a large assault. If he is drawing two cards a turn, he is digging and you might be able to take a chance without his having the adequate resources to fund his cards.

Specifics

The Troops

Footmen

Green Short Swords



Green Infantry are a tough unit to use. They are quick, yes, but they are often targeted by stronger units if left in the open. They can approach units quickly and strike even faster but is it really worth it? The only real purpose of a Green Infantry is to fill in the backlines so that you can keep your lines bold.

I’ve been wondering if using the mechanics from Command and Colors: Ancients could make Green Sword Swords a better choice. In that game, you may retreat from any battle with a green unit if it attacks you before dice are rolled. Green Infantry does have a greater purpose in the Call to Arms expansion, but in the base set they are the worst of the units.

Blue Short Swords



The most common unit comes as one of the most versatile. The Blue Short Sword is almost always a good choice to engage an enemy. They can be mobile or they can be deadly in battle with three dice of damage. They can move two and not attack or move one and attack. This versatility makes them the a worthy backbone of the army.

Red Short Swords



Red Short Swords will be your usual heavy hitters in the game. There is a problem: often times they are placed in the back instead of closer to enemy lines. They are the slowest of the units and considered the game is a victory point slugfest they sometimes don’t even have the chance to reach combat without a special way to include the movement output. That is the price you often pay for having a four damage dice combat expert.

Red Short Swords are often targets if left in the open. Never leave a Red Short Sword alone, make sure they are bold. You are wasting your heavy hitters otherwise. If you need to, place some of those useless green infantry to cushion a few arrows.

Green Shortbows



Green Short Bows have a range of four and do not hit on a bonus strike. While seemingly weak they are excellent assassins for red infantry or cavalry. Green Short Bows are one of the best ways to weaken cavalry before they hit your own battlelines. They are often great for hitting the slow moving red infantry. They are good for striking at dwarven units in close combat, ranged units are not affected by battle back. Green Short Bows should always try to find protect in forests.

Cavalry

Blue Cavalry



The lightest of the human Cavalry is blue. They strike at three damage dice and move three spaces. They are a nice overall package with a good amount of utility. To keep Blue Cavalry safe, attempt to keep them in the hills. If the enemy is using archery to pick off horse riders, use hills and forest to break line of sight.

A majority of the scenarios have the blue cavalry in the backlines. Once the lines start opening up, the blue cavalry can easily out.

Red Cavalry



This unit is often times considered the best. It can hit hard, follow up in pursuit, can ignore the first bonus strike and moves at a fair pace. Protect these guys and keep them bold. If you can, surround them with blue cavalry or allow them to travel with green infantry. They are monsters of battlefield when Mounted Charged is played. Do not let Red Cavalry in range of archers and especially dwarven crossbowmen! Allow a few weaker units to take fire if you can help it.

Goblins
Goblin are a racial a green humanoids that are quick but are cowardly. If forced to retreat they move double the distance, as well they must check to see if they lose any models to desertion.

Blue/Green Goblins



Battlelore uses the same models for blue and green goblins.

Green Goblins are probably the weakest unit the game. They can move two and attack but all goblins can do that. That’s right, all goblins can move two while engaging. Green Goblins are good for one thing: staying in the back lines and keeping the red and blue goblins bold.

Blue Goblins do exactly what a Green Goblin does only better. They are usually imposed with the strict requirements of a Short Sword wielder, but because they get the special goblin rush they can move two and get a full attack of three dice.

Red Goblins



Red Goblins are the prized goblin fighters. They normally move only one but if they engage an enemy they can move two. They are quite better than blue or green goblins because of this fact. Be sure to keep these guys bold or they will fall just as easily as any other goblin.

Goblin Archers



I have a hard time trying to get a solid strategy on these units. They move act just like a human archer, but in this case they are weaker because of their cowardly nature. They do not benefit from the goblin rush; green units can move two hexes in the first place. But strangely enough, the goblin archer does do well because it can ignore battle back attempts. It is one step above the green goblins but not as good as the blue and not even on the same level as the red. I would be happy if they replaced all Green Goblin Sword Swords with Short Bows.

As with all archers, keep them in forests if you can and do not be afraid to attack in melee if protected by terrain. The opponent will not have a chance to deal mass damage while attempting to flush the goblins out of the forest.

Lizard Riders



Lizard Riders are the quickest unit in the game with a movement of four and the ability to attack. They suffer from the penalties of goblins without gaining anything from their mobility racial ability. They are perfect for hunting down lone units and breaking lines against non-bold units. The root of the problem with Lizard Riders is their speed is a disadvantage. Battlelore comes with only two unit’s worth of Lizard Riders, but to keep them bold you would need three or preferably more. This is not the case, so the Lizard Riders are currently lame ducks without any true gimmick with the exception of being the only goblin able to ignore Bonus Strikes.

Dwarves
Dwarves are always bold. If they remain bold because of formation, they may ignore two flags. Dwarves also usually have better equipment than their human counterparts. Sadly, the dwarven units are leagues above the goblin units.

Dwarven Crossbow



Dwarven with crossbows are great. No really, they are one of the best units in the game. They are green units but they hit on a bonus strike. They only hit three spaces away but are bold starting out. They cannot be battle back against because they are ranged. If you take a Dwarven Crossbow unit in a forest they can hold off the flank by themselves. Because of their green nature, Dwarven Crossbows are also very quick for a dwarven unit.

Dwarven Blue Short Swords



Dwarves are slow. Still, normal dwarven units are Blue Swordshorts. All dwarves are bold, so they can hold off flanks singlehandedly if need be. Do not take this for granted, a dwarf can die just as easily as a human. The unit would have more battleback chances, but this doesn’t matter if your dwarf is dead.

Dwarven Red Short Swords




Dwarves with red swords are a force to reckon with. A common tactic for people is to hit a weaker unit, forcing the unit to retreat. The opponent then moves in free of the threat of battle back. Dwarves on the other hand, are immune to an extent to breaking lines. This concept makes the Dwarven Red Short Sword a force to reckon with. If you are fighting against a Dwarven Red Shortsword unit it might be best just to ignore them and go for slightly weaker prey. The exception to this rule is ranged combat. If you can, always use Ranged Combat against red dwarves. It you can kill two or more, that is usually enough to go in with a blue unit and finish them off with a killing blow.

Monster Unit

Spider Unit



The game only comes with a single monster, the Giant Spider. The model is pretty good looking, one of the centerpieces of the base set.

The spider has two powers, web and poison. Poison is questionable in intent; it deals damage to a unit every turn. If the spider had an easier chance to inflict kill poison it might be a better choice. Web on the other hand is a wonderful tool to use. You can use web to lock up your favorite enemy unit and run off and web others. Do not rely on rolling lore to trigger either web or poison. Attempt to save up lore on the creature and than attempt to web key units. The spider is forced to roll only two dice which allows her only a 1/3 chance of rolling one lore. Again, I would suggest saving up the lore on the spider and going in with surgical strikes.

Monstrous creatures are often a risk. They either make up their points in spades or they die in combat quickly. This is also a problem that the only creature in the base set in green. The spider will be getting less lore each turn because of her only rolling two dice. Find a forest as quick as possible and post her up there. Spiders do not need support as they are bold to begin with, which is a great bonus.

Lore Cards

Warrior Deck

[/b]The Play-style: [/b] The Warrior deck is designed to enhance his own units. He specializes in lore that requires troops with never little indirect action. A warrior can also boost his entire armies and play Command Cards from his lore rack.

What to Expect : When playing against a warrior deck, you should expect many dice to be rolled. Do not take his low Command Value for granted, he can play Command Cards from his lore.

d10-1 Strength, Lore: 1
This allows a single target to roll an extra die. This is excellent for flushing out units from terrain or making cavalry stronger for the turn in an attempt to get Pursuit. It’s also useful for making red infantry hit stronger in an attempt to deny his enemy a battle back attempt.

d10-2 Agility, Lore: 1
A single target may ignore a single color hit. Agility is best used on cavalry or creatures. Note there is also a Rogue card by the same name and effect.

d10-3 Take Aim, Lore: 2
This allows one ranged unit to roll three extra dice. While only effecting on unit, it’s good for eliminating charging cavalry or red infantry without having to worry about battle back. Also, if you have a Dwarven Crossbow Take Aim is almost a given. It allows the unit to roll 5 dice at a range of 3 with a chance to bonus strike! Note that Crossbowmen CAN bonus strike against cavalry.

d10-4 Fearless, Lore: 3
Fearless is useful for certain tactics. It allows a single target to ignore all flags. It’s useful for goblins that may be in risk of fleeing. If a red infantry is attempting to strike, it may also be a safe investment. It’s also useful for holding an objective. Otherwise, you might want to toss the card for a better one.

d10-5 Run, Lore: 2
A single target may move one additional hex and still battle. This card is worth using on red infantry; otherwise it might be else too look elsewhere.

d10-6 Parry, Lore 3.
This card is a copy of the Wizard’s Slow.

d10-7 Mass Run, Lore: 5
This card allows your entire army to move one additional hex and battle. This is excellent for keeping the slower units into the battle. If you are using a majority of red and blue infantry, use a red command card or a section with 2 or more red units. This card is not worth using on cavalry, as it requires five lore as it doesn’t increase the movement that much more than normal.

d10-8 Berserk, Lore: 4
This makes any card into a combat monster. It allows a single unit to roll one extra die for each level of Warrior. As well, any successful bonus strike is re-rolled. A high level warrior is vital in getting the best out of berserk but if high it can be used to destroy battle lines. Obviously, this card can turn a red unit into a single turn killer, but you should be careful when used against infantry to cavalry. As a reminder, Cavalry force all weaker units to ignore the first bonus strike if the kill attempt fails. It is often best to use cavalry against cavalry. Plus, the cavalry can move in with momentum advance and get an extra attack with the bonus damage. Because of this, Berserk is great to use with Command Cards that boost the damage of units.

d10-9 Evade. Lore: 5
This card is tricky but very useful. If you are trying to use a formation that keeps units behind, Evade may not be your best choice. If you try to use a formation that lines up the evade card may be a slight surprise and a waste of dice for your opponent. This card can also be used to prevent a Battleback. This can be used also an insurance card if you expect to kill a unit but fail.

d10-1d10-0 Bonus Attack, Lore: 5
This allows the player to make a pursuit when he kills a unit. If the target is cavalry he may get a second follow up movement. If a player attempts to hide his units behind the main lines, this card is essential for eliminating them quickly and efficiently.

d10-1d10-1 First Strike, Lore: 5
This is a reactionary card that allows a unit to strike before the enemy. This is a great way to protect units that are down to a single model and the opponent thinks takes a risk in breaking the lines to go in for the kill. Often times, under the above the case, the First Strike unit will force the opponent to retreat. It’s also useful if the opponent is gutsy and attacks with a unit that is at a single model. First Strike is often times wasted if both sides are in formation and at full strength.

d10-1d10-2 Field Command, Lore: 7
This card allows you to move as many units as you have in your Command. This is useful in two situations; you have a high Command or you have a low command and need to move certain units. In the first situation, you can simply move a massive number of units in any number of sections. In the second situation, you may move units that would otherwise be wasted. If you play the middle ground, this card is not for you, unless you get an unlucky Command Card draw.

d10-1d10-3 Mass Shield, Lore: 7
This expensive card is often at times hard to use. The card must be placed in reaction to your opponent playing his Command Card. This means he can change his tactics accordingly by choosing to order different units. Thankfully, your entire army receives the benefit: ignoring one color hit and one flag. This is best used when an opponent plays Battlelore, a high Command section card or any other card that boosts damage.

d10-1d10-4 Cry Havoc!, Lore: 9
For each Warrior above 1, all that camps units can roll an extra die. Lore also counts as a hit. This is indeed a scary card. If played in the correct moment it can be devastating. As a sidenote, Cry Havoc is almost never worthwhile to use with Battlelore; lore already counts as hits. This card is useless if you do not have a Warrior on your war council at least level 2: just toss it.

d10-1d10-5 Assault, Lore: 13
This card allows you to move of all of that player’s units. It also allows them also strike at one extra die. It’s perfect to use when your units are about to clash. This card is a perfect target for Assault, but thankfully, if it is canceled, you still get to play a Command Card.

Rogue Deck

Play Style: Denial. This is the best word to describe the Rogue. He uses his powers to deny the enemy access to his own coveted abilities.

What to expect: Do not take anything for granted. Always question your moves when certain actions seem to be too easy. Watch how much lore the Rogue has left, it may be attempting to use a complex set of maneuvers. Attack when the Rogue is at low lore.

d10-1 Pickpocket, Lore: 1.
This card allows you to gain Lore from your opponent. This card has its uses denying your opponent the correct lore needed to do powerful lore cards. Once you learn to memorize the lore cards and their values, you can make educated decisions in using this card. Also, it’s not terribly useful if you don’t have at least 2 in your Rogue.

d10-2 Agility, Lore: 1.
This card is the same as Warrior’s Agility, down the artwork. Check above entry.

d10-3 Déjà vu, Lore: 1.
Déjà vu allows you to discard this lore card instead of the one you just played. This card creates great combinations with other cards. Fireball can used and saved again for a second blast, Assault can be used again on a future turn and if you feel really mean you can always pick up the Priest’s Terrain damaging spells. You must be careful when this card is reused, the other player may be saving back a Foiled or Dispel Magic.

d10-4 Fearless, Lore: 4.
This card is the same the Warrior’s Fearless, down to the artwork. Check the above entry.

d10-5 Backstab, Lore: 3.
Backstab is one of the best reason to use the Rogue. It forces your opponent’s own bonus strikes to be considered hits against his own units. This does mean that both units can be wiped out in a flurry of blade and treachery. Also, this card is used after the roll meaning you can use it the best possible time for the best possible results. There isn’t any particular unit that best uses this card, but one should consider when to use it.

d10-6 Spy, Lore: 5.
This card is simple: look at your opponent’s cards and discard one. You should take away the best card, hopefully those linked to his war council. You can use this guide to figure out which cards are usually worth tossing. Between this and Foiled, a Rogue intensive player can keep the opponent’s lore choices to a minimal.

d10-7 False Orders, Lore: 4
This lore card allows you draw one command card per level from your opponents rack at random and force him to use that card. This card can be frustrating to your opponent. It is best used in the middle game when he has his lines set and he is attempting to refill his hand with strong cards. This way, you can pick what would benefit you the most, usually allowing him to attack where he has the lowest density of troops or simply to force your opponent to use that awful Leadership Command Card instead.

d10-8 Terrified!, Lore: 5
Roll three dice: each flag and lore forces the target to retreat one hex. Nothing can reduce these results. This card can break just about any line or soften a unit in the front lines that does not have a proper escape route. It’s also good to use on a card that is on the baseline because each flag or lore counts as an immediate causality. This is even better if the unit is a goblin.

d10-9 Stealth, Lore: 5
This scaled card allows the unit to move one extra movement per level of Rogue + 1. Including, he may move through units. This card is one of the red infantry’s best friend. Most of the game they in the back lines never able to read deep in combat. This covers two problems: their low movement and their back placed position. This card may not be useful if you are using heavy goblins, but if used with a dwarven force it may be impeccably valuable.

d10-1d10-0 Ambush, Lore: 5
This card is a copy of the Warrior’s First Strike with a different name. See above entry.

d10-1d10-1 Scatter, Lore: 5.
A card that allows a unit to run before it is hit. Only the unit is targeted he may move back three hexes. This does ignore terrain, but does not ignore units. This is a great way to retreat back to your side of the board if a river stands in your way or allows you to run when being attacking by a large battle dice unit.

d10-1d10-2 Stolen Orders, Lore: 6
This is an excellent card if you are running long on useful command cards. Towards the end of the game, many powerful cards will rest in the discard pile and it allows you to make any great decisions. You will never be able to play Battlelore, one of the better cards in the deck. It forces a reshuffle of the Command Deck.

d10-1d10-3 Shadow Walk, Lore: 5.
This allows characters to hide. He places a token on the unit and it becomes hidden. While hidden, it can only take for one die damage but also only battle backs for one die. The effect ends if the unit is ordered and chooses to, or is hit by the enemy. This card is incredible at key times during the game. Placing this card while heavily engaged with enemies will stop a brunt of the damage. It’s also a good card to use if you have a bad rack of Command Cards, just to give a few more turns to plan.

d10-1d10-4 Sneak Attack, Lore: 9.
This card allows a unit to hit and run. A single moves three hexes, hits for one extra die of damage and finally moves away three move hexes. What makes this lore card so wonderful is that is forces your enemy from battle battle. It’s very useful for getting red infantry to the front line or allowing a creature to move in and move out without much of a threat of retaliation. Also, this does scale slightly allowing a character to move one extra hex on the second move for every rank above 1 in Rogue.

d10-1d10-5 Foiled, Lore: Varies.
This cancels a lore card by paying half the cost. If you can, never discard this card and instead plan on using it. It can save you from attacks from your opponent’s fireballs or the Priest’s damaging abilities. It’s one of the most versatile cards in the game because it denies the opponent choices.

Wizard

Play Style: Indirect Damage and Ranged Damage. Wizard also has the best movement abilities allowing his units to get where it is needed.

What to expect: If the wizard player is setting up to use his archers, you might expect him to have a good Lore card that involved archery. Also expect your troops to die violently even if under cover. You might want to consider two stronger forces instead of one to protect yourself creeping doom. Wizard is hard to plan around because it often times does not require special triggers. The only exception is you notice a wizard collecting lore. He might be attempting a fireball to wipe out a unit.

d10-1 Invoke Lore, Lore 1
This card is a no-brainer. You gain four lore when you use it and it costs one, so you gain three. The only disadvantage to this card is that it’s useless if you don’t have a wizard on the war council. In fact, it will cost you four to use and you gain four. Just toss it and hope for something better.

d10-2 Blur, Lore: 1
Same as the Warrior’s Agility. Check above entry.

d10-3 Lore Drain, Lore: 2.
Same as the Rogue’s Pickpocket. Check above entry.

d10-4 Eagle Eye, Lore: 2.
This is the Wizard’s version of the Warrior’s Take Aim. Check above entry.

d10-5 Slow, Lore: 3
Slow forces enemies to roll two dice in combat. This is best used against red units and is practically useless against green. If you are playing against a heavy red and blue camp this is an excellent choice. As they ram into your battle lines, you simply deny them attack a red unit dice as well getting your own damage. If on the other hand the enemy is using majority green with no red, it’s best to toss this card. A note on this card; one cannot increase the damage in any way, but it may be reduced! This is a good way to make a Warrior Lore Council to lose those precious extra attack dice.

d10-6 Magic Missiles, Lore: 4
Magic Missiles are the friend of Darken the Skies: it allows all ranged units to roll two extra dice. Lore symbols also count as hits. Dwarven Crossbowmen are always a good choice to use with Darken the Skies, causing them to hit half of the time on each die. If you have the choice, always use Magic Missiles against men on horseback. They can’t handle the extra hits.

d10-7 Magic Web

d10-8 Mass Might, Lore 5.
This is a slightly weaker version of Enchanted Mass Might. This does target all allies, so it’s useful when using a larger selection of units. This card is useful for all lore councils, so be careful. Spending an extra three lore isn’t bad for allowing 1 die to all units.

d10-9 Mass Speed, Lore: 5
Same as the Warrior’s Mass Run. Check above entry.

d10-1d10-0 Portal, Lore: 7
A card that is great to get a unit into position. This allows one unit to teleport three hexes per level, plus one. If you are playing a level three Wizard, you can get one unit just about anyone on the board. Ten hexes is a massive movement. This is useful for getting red to the frontlines of the main fighting, to get a unit in behind enemy lines and assassinate certain weaker units and also to get an archer into position around the enemies backlines and pick off certain key elements.

d10-1d10-1 Enchanted Mass Might, Lore: 7
Enchanted Mass Might allows all melee units to roll one extra die. Lore symbols also count as hits. This card is best used if used with a powerful section card or tactics. You might be tempted to come out of formation to get the best of Enchanted Mass Might, but this is only useful if you think it will end the game that turn for certain.

d10-1d10-2 Greater Portal, Lore: 9
This card is one of the most fun in the set! It allows you to switch two units’ positions on the board. This card also always you to order these units if they are your own. This usually means putting one of your stronger troops in the position one of your opponent’s troops. This is a great way to destroy an enemy’s lines by taking a key unit. In return, you can take a unit of your opponents and put it in your line that can easily be flogged by many units. This unit will be open and free to attack.
Of course, you could use to refresh the lines, which is a viable tactic. If you two blue units only with one model apiece can be exchanged for two fresh red units in the backline. A useful card that is expensive but worth the lore spent.

d10-1d10-3 Creeping Doom, Lore 9
This is one of the two indirect attacks from the Wizard deck. This attack deal 1 die of damage for each level of wizard plus one more to a single target hex. Only lore and banner color hits count for effects. Afterwards, each adjacent enemy takes the same number of dice in damage. This attack does scale, so it is useless for non-Wizard units. This card can wreck havoc into a players lines or can be used to destroy an entire flank. This is a very large incentive to play a high level Wizard.

d10-1d10-4 Fireball, Lore: 10
There is a common perception that the Fireball is the strongest of the cards at the wizard’s arsenal. I can argue the point, but the ability to wipe out a totally fresh unit is a very tempting feeling. For every level of wizard, you roll 1 die, plus 2 more. If you roll any lore it wipes out that unit. It doesn’t matter if the unit is at full strength or at one model, it will destroy it. If no lore symbols are rolled, the target takes hits equal to the number of banner hits. The second part is crux of the card, it only allows damage on banner hits, which is a fairly good chance considering you didn’t roll any lore. But it is rarely enough to kill a half strength unit.

d10-1d10-5 Dispel Lore, Lore: Varies
This is the Wizard’s version of Rogue’s Foiled! Check above entry.

Cleric

Playstyle: Terrain Effects and Healing.

What to expect: Stay out certain terrain. If yourself pulls that card, you might want in considering keeping it. This insures that you cannot be the target of the spell. The Cleric player may continue to dig for his particular terrain spell but this is in vain. Also, focus on one unit otherwise you will find that the damage you inflicted is healed.

d10-1 Summon Lore, Lore: 1
Same as the Wizard’s Summon Lore. See above entry.

d10-2 Stone Skin, Lore: 1
Same as the Warrior’s Agility. See above entry.

d10-3 Bless, Lore: 2.
This card allows you roll one extra die during Battle for one unit. This attack does become stronger the higher your cleric level, so it’s more useful than it appears at first.

d10-4 Move as Wind, Lore: 2
The target of this lore can more 1 additional hex and still battle.

d10-5 Heal, Lore: 3
Heal is one of the two healing cards. This one is played alongside a Command Card. For each level of Cleric, the user rolls 1 dice. For each lore rolled, the unit recovers one unit, plus one more. This card is cheap and can help to protect your red units or cavalry.

d10-6 Blinding Light, Lore: 4
Blinding Light is a great card that displays a penalty to the enemy’s dice.

d10-7 Divine Terror, Lore: 5
Same as the Rogue’s Terrified. See the above entry.

d10-8 Commune with Nature, Lore: 5
All ordered units, under the effects of this card, ignore all terrain bonuses. Great for flushing out blue troops on hills and archers in forests. It is usually worth keeping just for insurance.

d10-9 Hold, Lore: 5
This stops a unit from moving and attacking. This is an excellent card to use if your enemy attempts to move his entire line into yours line. Often time he will place in a place of disadvantage without forming proper lines or he will not let a strong formation break. This is also useful for denying your opponent’s vital attacks against single model units.

d10-1d10-0 Hills Rumble, Lore: 7
The first of the set of Priest terrain spells. For each level of Cleric, you deal one die, plus one more. Lore and banner hits also deal damage. You may have to lure your enemy into the hills if he notices you are playing a level three Cleric. This can be accomplished by playing a Dwarven Crossbowman on the hill and pick away. This is often considered one of the strongest cards in Battlelore. I have to agree, but once you learn how to fight it, you do not have to worry as much.

d10-1d10-1 River Rage, Lore: 7
The second of the Cleric’s terrain spells. This one is a bit subjective; not all scenarios use rivers. Also, many players will learn that a level three Cleric may keep a River Rage in his hand. It’s usually still worth keeping if there are any rivers. The true problem arises when there are zero rivers. Toss this without question.

d10-1d10-2 Forest Frenzy, Lore: 7
Forest Frenzy is one of the harder of the Cleric’s terrain spells to ignore. Many have no choice but to place archers in forests, otherwise they are walking targets. This is the ban of those archers, and a great way to wipe them out. Use forest frenzy and soften them up enough that you deal massive damage. They may only take two dice worth of damage in combat from terrain, but they can’t be protected from direct lore spells.

d10-1d10-3 Mists of Terror, Lore: 6
Mists of Terror is the dwarven killer. All units are frightened, as if they were goblins. They also cannot ignore flags for any reason. This is great for killing those front liners or letting cavalry come in sweep through the battlefield with Pursuits. This does hurt goblins, but often times it’s questionable if it’s worth it. If you are fighting a goblin heavy army you might want to toss this and hope for a terrain damaging spell.

d10-1d10-4 Chain Lightning, Lore: 8
This is the only offensive spell that the Cleric has that doesn’t require terrain. Rolling 1 die per level plus two more isn’t that awful. Any lore or banner hits count as a hit. Next, if the lightning did deal damage, the lightning goes down the line to the next adjacent enemy. This continues until it misses or runs out of new enemies. This attack is risky, but because a majority of the time people creates a single large battle line, it can and maybe will strike them all. It’s also very expensive for what it does, hitting a massive total of eight lore.

d10-1d10-5 Healing Mist, Lore: 10
This card is played as a Command Card. You roll two dice per level plus three. For every lore rolled, one figure is returned to a weakened unit. For each banner color, return one figure of that color. For every unit that recovers one unit also is ordered and fights at one extra die. This card has a possibility of allowing you recover nine figures from beyond the grave, allows them to order and with more rigor. This card is great to use if the Command rock looks bare with very little options. It’s also good just to refill the ranks. This card does make a difference, but sometimes it does fall flat. Sometimes you roll all red banners when all your red banners are already off board. It’s still a very potent card, giving even more power to the already potent Cleric.

Scenarios


d10-1 Agincourt.

The first scenario is also the most simple. The game introduces forests, archers, cavalry and banner types. It is an excellent scenario and a quick one to play.

The English, portrayed as Pennant banners comes with five archers, one red and three blue infantry. The key to this battle is reaching the forests with the archers in a quick and efficient manner. It will take a few turns for the French’s cavalry to reach either flank. Take advantage of this by playing to command cards that order many units. The Pennant’s greatest weakness is the center. The center lacks defining terrain, allowing the units to be out in the open. If one can, run a spare archer to help defend the flanks. Attempt to keep the blue infantry in the center, or the center section cards will go to waste. The pennant has a single red infantry that should be used to travel down the center to help engage the enemy. Also, Darken the Skies almost always spells victory for the Pennant.

The French come with one red cavalry on each flank, one blue cavalry in the center, a single archer (with bow envy) and five blue infantry. The key to winning with the French is to get the red cavalry into combat with the archers before they can reach the forests. If they reach the forests, instead concentrate on the center archers. Attempt to move the center up and move quickly. The English will have better Command Card choices than the French. This means the French will have to play what he gets.

Do not use the morale rules, or more importantly the Pursuit rules, for this scenario or the French will destroy the English. Instead, play it as it is suggested. Even when knowing the deeper rule set, it’s a very fun scenario trying to hustle to greatest terrain locations while trying to outmaneuver the horses.

d10-2 First Chevauchee

This scenario is designed to teach the use of pursuits, bonus melee attacks, battle backs and support. Both sides of this battle are fairly even so it’s often time comes down to split-time tactical decisions. The key to this scenario is watch your opponent and use counter tactics are appropriate.

The Pennant Banner has soundly placed both blue banners on the hills in the center, using the red infantry to support them. The Pennant must also be careful with both of his red infantry; they are both in the open and are subject to being pelted with arrows.

The Standard does have an advantage by having a set of hills to use for cover. For the Standard, do not keep the red infantry on the hills for long, they will lose any advantage of extra damage if they do and still become targets of ranged fire. If the blue units of the left become threatened by archers, go around the hill to insure their safety. The right cavalry unit should be safe from ranged fire, so attempt to break the lines or engage with his cavalry in the center.

d10-3 Burgos, Castille

The Pennants have it rough. Goblins are introduced in this scenario. As always, if you can do not use them unless you can keep them in formation. Keep them back if you can, they will die if you are not careful. Do not let engage the enemy. The opposing flank has a red unit and will turn mincemeat into any goblin who attempts to engage. I often let the goblin cavalry pass the bridge and set up the center human archer on the bridge. If you can meet up with your only red cavalry with the goblins you can use the force to create a bold formation horde. You can move your goblins out of the flank if you wish; the Standard Bearer’s ford does bottleneck slightly because of blue units. The only saving grace is the red cavalry. Use to break to support the weaker goblins if you can.

As for the Standard Banner, attempt to move and try to eliminate the goblins as quickly as possible. Keep formation and they shouldn’t be a problem. If the goblins have a whole in the ranks and not bold at any bold, strike them. They will almost always disengage taking causality with them.

In the Standard Banner’s right flank is very useful but often overlooked formation: two front cavalry with one green unit to keep the bold. Only move two hexes each turn so the slower green infantry can keep up. You can engage the weaker right left and destroy the open green infantry. The Standard Banner must be careful; a Red Cavalry is in hiding behind the green short swords.

d10-4 Deeper in Castille

The Standard Banner force is by far superior. Dwarves are introduced in this module. This makes for one interesting attack because the dwarves even if outnumbered can repel just about any Goblin force. The dwarves are placed towards the center of board, which already covers their greatest weakness: speed. The Standard Banner’s best bet is to attack the blue dwarf on the take over the hill. Eventually, you will have a superior position. It will take a few turns for the rest of the army to move in so it might be better. The Standard’s ranged tactics are simple. Stay on the hill and shoot with the Dwarven Crossbow. What makes this scenario a monster is that the Standard Banner also receives sheer power with two red infantry and one red cavalry. The Standard Banner should win this scenario unless his luck is horrible.

The poor Pennant banners have it rough. No only do they have worse units but they have inferior number of Command Cards. Victory is best acquired by using the left flank. Two red infantry might able to able to flush the single blue dwarf on the hill. Also, two Green Short swords are open for attack. Attempt to get them in cover in forests as quick as possible.

d10-5 Wizard and Lore

The Standard Banner comes with a single Red Cavalry but to use him he must cross a ford. A quick English player can move his units to that area and bottleneck so he can’t enter. Also, the French has to compensate with a group of weak Green Infantry.

Thankfully, the Pennant has ranged superiority. This does mean that Magic Missiles will become an issue for you. Hit the forests with your archers as quick as possible. Also, if the pennant receives the fireball lore card, expect the Red Calvary to be blown into the next scenario.

d10-6 A Complex Web

The Standard Banner will have an advantage in this battle. They have two red cavalry along with a red dwarf. If the spider hits the forest, ignore it. It is not worth the trouble. Attempt to engage the center with either the left or right sections. Attempting to hit the weaker hits on the left may be wise choice.

The Pennant Banners have their work cut out for them. They have one red cavalry but a slew of weak goblins. Do not attempt to engage with the goblins unless you are certain you will break the lines with their added mobility as well as denying the enemies battleback. The middle and center sections are powerful, with red cavalry and two red units. With the left section, attempt to pick off the archers while engaging the cavalry with your two red units. The warrior is a powerful selection because of its movement enchasing powers as well its extra dice.

d10-7 Crisis in Avignon

This scenario involves a capture point. The goal of the battle is for the Pennant Banner to capture a bridge protected by the Standard Banner. A river only reaches towards the side of the Standard Banner, so it makes for a dangerous game.

The most important element for the Pennant is attempting to take the bridge. In this scenario, both sides have the choice divvying of a lore council. A wish choice for the Pennant is three levels in Cleric or three levels in Wizard. For the level three cleric, if the Pennant receives a chance to get the card River Rage, he is almost certain to win the match. For the Wizard, two cards make the scenario: Greater Portal and Portal. They can easily capture the bridge or break the Standard Banner’s well thought battle lines. As for unit movement, attempt to engage at the bridge and pull across the river. Use you cavalry to break into the lines and get a momentum advance.

Pennant, the key to this battle is keep formation and do not break it. If you find a copy of Foiled or Dispel Lore keep it. You will have to worry about the greatest threat to this scenario, River Rage. If you do get River Rage keep it. Let your opponent dig through the dig in an attempt to get it. If you must, take your entire river protecting force and place. Use the left flank and center to engage the enemy. If you need, use them to fill in the gaps of the fallen.

Also a strange suggestion but one that you should take to heart, do not place anyone on the bridge unless it’s a certainty that you will lose it. This is vitally important end game when a single victory point can make the difference. A single casting of Great Portal can end the game in a hurry. On the other hand, you must be careful if the Pennant is playing a high level wizard, he may just use the vanilla Portal to teleport a unit onto the bridge.

d10-8 A Burgundian Chevauchee

The Pennant Banners in this scenario receive two levels in Warrior and Wizard. These two lore councils are known for their unit enhancing potential. First off, the Pennants don’t have goblins. Instead you are provided with units that can provide support. Also, stay away from terrain. The Standard Banner has three levels in Cleric: the master of terrain and denying units defensive terrain-based bonuses. Engage the enemy on your own terms. The Pennant does outnumber the Standard Banner with red troops. Find his weakness in the lines and rush your red troops in for support. The side has better mobility because of the moderate ranks in warrior, wizard and rogue. If in doubt of breaking the enemy’s lines, an Enchanted Mass Might always works wonders.

The Standard Banner must learn to maximum the terrain. The Pennant must attempt to get the enemies to approach terrain in a compelling fashion. The player should be able to outmaneuver his enemy; he does a higher command than the Pennant Banner. Also remember to keep formation at all times. If the lines are broken the game will be compromised. It will be hard for the Standard Banner to win this one, but if you use your terrain to your advantage coupled with the powerful cleric lore cards the Standard Banner do have a chance in winning

d10-9 Free Companies on War Footing

The cleric is the mastermind of this scenario. One should either intend to play as the cleric or create a counter strategy. Hills Rumble and Forest Frenzy will be a very popular choice because of the wide variety of terrain used in this battle. Cleric also has the choice of Commune with Nature which will slaughter those not prepared to deal with it. The counter strategy should be simple; make sure your enemy never reaches seven lore (the cost of Hills Rumble and Forest Frenzy) or keep a Foiled or Dispel Lore handy. The Pennant Banners have many goblins in this scenario. As always, keep the Goblins bold and in the forests. A Foiled or Dispel Magic lore card is a good choice.

For the Standard Banner, the Cleric never hurts. He can never match the lore councils of the Pennant; the spider will take a precious lore council slot. You should attempt to place your dwarves in the hills to prevent damage. The blue dwarves can reach a set of hills in the left section if they run forward. The English also receives a Spider. This map is probably an excellent showcase for the Dwarves. Hampered slightly by creature slot. Duck in and out of forests.

d10-1d10-0 Assaulting the Tourelles

The Pennant finally receives the Spider. At the same time, they will also have to deal with goblins. Sadly, they also have to deal with goblins. You must keep the goblins bold of they will die because of red cavalry. The spider can be used to lock down troops with web or to poison the strong dwarven units.

If you plan to capture the fortress, attempt to find lore cards that break down units, like a fireball or even better: berserk. Just move your red infantry to the front lines and destroy the usually non-Bold archers and begin hope for the best. Do not plan to attack with the goblins to capture the castle unless you are attempting to run for the last victory point.

An interesting selection is the Greater Portal lore card. You can use this to teleport a unit onto the fortress and receive an instant victory point. This is best used towards the end of the game, or the French will simply turn and smack your troops away.

The Standard Banner need to stay back and watch the flow of battle. Keep the dwarves in defensive position. The ramparts are excellent places to keep your archers as well. You only truly attack force is your left flank. Do not feel afraid to attack the goblins if you can keep formation. This is also included in the fact that you have three red infantry.

Ponderings



Battlelore originally had three races. Deleks are red archers that hit on the banner color, flags, lore and bonus strike. Sadly, they cannot climb stairs so they were removed pre-production.

Battlelore has hit the table many times. It is my most played game in the last year, I’ve probably played a solid fifty or sixty times, if not more. When not playing the game, I usually look over the game in ways to find great combinations with lore cards with certain command cards.



Pros

* Simple rules
* Excellent rulebook and player aids.
* Variety of units
* Caters to different play styles
* Randomization can fun
* Easy to learn

Cons

* Some counters not used in the base set.
* Luck does play a factor.
* Lore set up before each game can be tiresome.
* Randomization can be frustrating.
* Bending Models.
* The Set Up is a bit long



As you may have read, there are models that are very bended. While this wasn’t much of a problem with my set, the plastic is soft enough you can place the model back in position. The problem remains when returning it to the box, the model components become squashed again. I suggest getting a tackle box and tossing the inserts.

The real difference between Memoir 44, Battlelore and Command and Colors: Ancients is certain elements within the game. What games Battlelore shine over the other three?

Battlelore is known for its Lore System. The extra deck makes for interesting powers. While this adds a bit more randomness, you learn to control the flow of the deck. Each member of the lore council has each of their distinct flow and powers. Once a player learns to take advantage of each it makes the game much more interesting. While the diversity is not nearly as robust as Command and Colors: Ancients, it does have enough to keep the game interesting. Also, terrain is the star player in Memoir 44, yet Battlelore does have terrain it does attempt to meld more than it is. The tactics come from the lore council and your command. The terrain doesn’t have nearly the same diversity, which is probably for the better. The game already has plenty of concepts to memorize.

Lore. Unlike the other three, Battlelore has a second deck that is used to harvest special powers through the game. This makes the game much more chaotic but forces one to learn the lore deck in a hurry. If one takes the Cleric War Council, you will be sure not have too many units close to hills or rivers. If the player is attempting to bait you into entering the river’s area, you learn to use the wizard and rogues ranged attacks.

There is plenty of diversity in Battlelore, and plenty to be had with the expansions. The game has quite of punch with a rather liberal dose of randomness. It such a wonderful game.

“And as each moment has unfurled, I’ve been waiting to awaken from these dreams.”
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Ted Kostek
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I'm giving this a thumb on the basis of pure length.

Great review of a great game. While BL has a few problems for me, overall it is one of the best games out there IMHO.
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Robert Wesley
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Calling miniatures "Dolls" makes about as much sense as calling cubes "blocks".
What IF... I 'call' them "my precious-s-s-s-s-s!..."? sauron
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William Boykin
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For BJ.....
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This isn't a review, its a dissertation.

Darilian
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Jim Patterson
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Re: Grubsnatcher Review: Battlelore “Tell me what is wrong, was I unwise to leave them open for so long.”
Verily. You could've broken this up into a review two strategy articles.
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Richard Young
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Frankly, I prefer this approach to reviews much better than the short Geek Gold harvesters we've been seeing all too frequently of late. While it is more detailed than was necessary, I'd rather see posts that err on the side of information than the opposite. Kudos to the author of this most informative examination...
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Darren M
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generalpf wrote:
Incredible review!

Unfortunately, just like your similarly incredible HeroScape review, it will be out-thumbed by a mediocre or just plain lame review of Agricola that appears on the same page.

Look, it's happening again!
Luckily my eyeballs can cope with reading multiple reviews on very different games... in the same day even.
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Jim Nave
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Quote:
Sadly, they (daleks) cannot climb stairs so they were removed pre-production.
however the DO have anti-grav packs which allow them to float up stairs - as seen in "Dalek".
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Mike Romeo
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Do those Deleks comes with the game? or an expension? Or do they have nothing to do with the game? I'm planning to buy this game and would go right now if it included playing with those Deleks.
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Todd Rewoldt
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I am still waiting for FFG to get to the Torks...I imagine the Daleks are quite a ways off before production.
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