Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: BattleLore or Battleground? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you were enthused about these two games and wanted to pick just one of them to buy and really spend a lot of time getting into (even though you don't have any ready opponents and will probably end up just "playtesting" the game solo for a long while), which would you choose--and why?

Poll
Which game would you choose?
Battleground
BattleLore
      43 answers
Poll created by Patrick Carroll
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's a tough call. I think BattleLore is a better game for novices and is generally more fun. However, I think BGFW is a better game for solitaire play. One of the biggest appeals of BattleLore is the fog of war where you don't know what your opponent is capable of doing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Gross
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I own every product made for both games; in fact, I own 2 set of Battlelore and all of its expansions. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I'll confess to knowing the Your Move Games crew personally, and also to having designed the campaign system used for that game.

I don't really play Battlelore anymore-- when I get the Borg itch, I greatly prefer Commands & Colors: Ancients.

But in any event, if I had to choose between Battlelore and Battleground: Fantasy Warfare, I would not hesitate to choose Battleground (and in some sense already have-- even though I own both, my limited gaming time is given to Battleground).

Points in Battlelore's favor:

(1) Miniatures instead of cards. Actually this isn't a plus for me, since I don't consider the minis to be acceptable without painting, which I'm not willing to do; but for a lot of people, this is a plus.

(2) If you're not used to miniatures games, the rules for Battlelore will be easier to pick up. Basic concepts of miniautures play, like wheeling units, measuring distances, figuring out who's fighting who, etc., can be confusing the first time you encounter them. If you've played any other miniatures game, this isn't an issue, but if you're strictly a boardgamer, this is probably a point in Battlelore's favor.

(3) Faster play time. Although Battlelore takes longer to set up, it plays more quickly, largely due to the fact that it uses hexes instead of free measurement-- there's just many fewer possible ways to move a unit. Some people will claim that all the modifiers to die rolls make Battleground slower, but I strongly disagree: after 2 or 3 games, all the modifiers will be so second nature that you'll apply them without even thinking about it.

Points in Battleground's favor:

(1) Command system. In Battleground, you write a unit's orders on the card (using an elegant letter/number notation), and it follows it until told to do otherwise. But your ability to change orders is limited-- you only have a few command actions each turn, and you want to use them for a variety of things, not just changing orders. So, like in a real battle, you make your plan, and then have limited ability to change the plan in response to your opponent.

(2) Variety. Battleground has 9 full factions out already, with 3 more on the way in the not-too-distant future. What's more, the factions play very differently from one another. In Battlelore, there's much less differentiation.

(3) A point system. In Battlelore, you play a pregenerated scenario. In Battleground, you can do the same thing (a scenario book and campaign system are available for this purpose), but you can also play regular pick-up battles. In either case, you build your army from a huge array of options, paying points for the units you select. The point system is astonishingly good, none of the people that play regularly claim to have found any broken units or armies.

(4) Less luck. I have won the only 3 national tournaments that I've entered, with an undefeated record. The last tournament, I didn't enter, and the person that won is the person that has done a ton of playtesting for the game, and he won with an undefeated record. I don't think the same thing could happen in Battlelore: even the best player, when confronting someone that likes the game at least enough to enter a tournament, is going to lose now and then because of the powerful spells or because of the die luck-- in Battleground you throw so many dice that the luck almost always evens out-- and the modifiers for getting a tactical advantage are so large that you can win even if you roll consistently below average, if you're noticeably more skilled than your opponent.

(5) Less random. This is not the same thing as less luck. In Battlelore, there are spells and spell-like effects that just do strange things-- like taking all the terrain that is normally favorable to you (being on Hills, being in Forests), and suddenly make it attack you. That's a pretty random game effect-- if you ignore all the favorable terrain and your opponent doesn't, and that spell effect doesn't go off, you lose. But if you sieze the terrain and hope for the best, and the spell does go off, you can lose instantly-- on more than one occassion I've lost 15 figures to a single spell (that's in a game where losing 4 figures in a turn to normal combat is considered painful).

(6) More portable. I can stuff 9 full factions-- and I'm talking enough units for each faction to build 3 or 4 full armies, so I've got a ton of choices when it comes time to field my army-- into a single card box and put it in my backpack. It's not the lightest thing in the world, but it's not onerous, either. You can't even come close to replicating that with Battlelore.


I suppose that's enough for now.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the very thorough reply!

I've got a Battleground:FW demo set up at home, ready to try (bought the scenario book with cutout cards and downloaded the rules). But I haven't been able to motivate myself to "playtest" it yet. One reason is that I just have too many new games at the moment and no time to play them all.

But I also have a couple reservations:

1. The rules I downloaded aren't very user-friendly IMO. Which is to say, they're not written in a style that appeals to me, and I'm not confident all the rules are there. The "quick play" rules look simple and intuitive enough to try (and that's probably what I'll do first), but the full rules seem short on examples and such. I don't like the idea of playing a "work in progress"; I like a good, solid set of rules to play by--rules that clearly cover pretty much every eventuality.

2. I do come from a boardgaming background, so it feels a little awkward to measure movement and ranges on an open tabletop. I've played De Bellis Antiquitatis and other miniatures games, though, so it's not entirely foreign to me. Still, I tend to favor the artificial precision and neatness of hex grids.

On the flip side, I've never cared much for miniatures themselves, and I'd never again try painting any (I did that twice in my life--enough to realize I hate it). I also value compactness--so the Battleground cards really appeal to me.

I've played Battle Cry, so I'm familiar with Borg's basic game system. I have mixed feelings about it. BC itself kinda sucks, but mainly because I know enough about the Civil War to see how terribly unrealistic it is. The card-driven mechanic is OK but kinda spoils solitaire play. I find I don't care much for the miniatures (thought I might when I bought the game, but I didn't). Really didn't like the special dice. Strange as it may sound, the fact that Battleground uses regular six-sided dice is a big plus to me.

So, I guess I'm leaning toward Battleground. Will have to make myself play the demo game one of these days.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bwian, just
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, I don't have much to add to andrewgr's comprehensive post. I do actually consider miniatures to be a plus, even when unpainted. But not enough to offset the difference in randomness.

I would just add that BGFW is cheaper, and seems to enjoy stronger publisher support. (This last may change, now that Battlelore has changed publishers.) My only worry is that it might not be random enough: you end up rolling an awful lot of dice, when the net effect is still to watch the best general win .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bwian wrote:
My only worry is that it might not be random enough: you end up rolling an awful lot of dice, when the net effect is still to watch the best general win .


In my experience, that "net effect" only happens in the long run. Barring psychokinesis, dice do funny things sometimes--even if they do even out eventually. Hence, a beginner at backgammon can sometimes defeat a master of the game; not often, but just enough to keep it interesting.

Anyhow, I have no problem with a game rewarding good generalship. I'd only get tired of it if it all became too predictable to bother playing out.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.