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Subject: Game review by wargame fan rss

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Nenad Nikolic
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Graphics on cards are so uniquely ugly, that I doubt that anyone can make so ugly graphics, even if they are giving their best. That is one of the main downsides of this game. I really beleive that anyone that started photoshop more than 2 times can make better graphics. Even my friend that proclaimed himself as technically-challendged would do better.

Regarding characteristics of each unit separately,I would say that cards are balanced (I played with wood elves, the starter pack that my brother bought) – each unit has some field in which it is good, and some other in which he is not so good. Big monsters showed as really a big bonus – treeman killed 2-3 units on his own (even through his point cost is high (444), he has great thoughness of 4, which means that almost all troops are going to wound him only on 1 (in this game - the lower you roll, the better), while he is going to wound almost anything on 5 or less on d6 (6 being auto-fail (there are some exceptions, but I won’t get into so much detail)), so he’ll, sooner or later, kill a lot of things (sooner or later due to the fact that his weapon skill is realtively low, so he’ll score hits mostly on 1-2). So, the armythat has big guy VS army that doesn’t have one is clearly in advantage. That is small downside to human, dwarf and high elf races, althou they have war machines that other races mostly don’t have, so I guess that should be balancing factor.

That leads us to shooting, which, even if it seems as really powerfull, isn’t anything special. Because, once you get to combat with your unit (and that happens realtively fast), the unit is immune to shooting. Also, shooting units tend to have some penalties for shooting (long range, moving,... ), and olny 4 dices to roll for hits, which means that they usually don’t do big damage. I don’t know how good would be all-shooting army, but I think that it wouldn’t be a good idea (because shooting models have penalties in combat, so once you get to them, they are easly killed).

Moral is VERY important in this game, because you roll it really, really a lot. All units have „green wounds“, „yellow wounds“, and „red wounds“. While you are in green wounds, everything is ok. Once you’re out of green wounds, you roll 1st morale test, and your characteristics start to drop. Failing morale test while out of combat isn’t so bad as it is in other games. On the other hand, if you fail morale test while in combat, you would usually get smacked. If you fail morale out of combat, ori f they don’t smack you right up, you have a lot of chances for rally. Units can rally on themself, you can rally them via orders (you have 1 order for each 500 points), and via various special cards. Ideal situation would be to get enemy unit within 1 box of „yellow wounds“, then close him in combat, and hope he’ll fail morale.

Regarding the balance between armies, I would still have to play-test it, althou, from the first look, it seems as if undead army is a bit better than other armies. They have less wounds than other armies, but they don’t have morale (which both means that you can’t rout him before combat, and while in combat, you need to kill him to the last), which is big boost, especially in combination with army specific rule, which allows you to regain wounds in exchange for orders (I already said that you have 1 order for each 500 points). Also, undeads have as core unit *which you must have 1 for each 500 points) yombies, which have thoughness 3, which means that they are very hard to kill, which is great in combination with their point cost of only 90 points (for example – cheapest high elf unit is 177 points). Yes, they are slow, having the lowest movement, but you have twice as many of them, and you are harder to kill (not to mention that you can use special card on them further boosting their thoughness, and thus survivability).

Regarding maneuvering – at the beginning of the game you give unit order ti each of your units, which is basically 1 of 3 options:
1) hold
2) advance (you can give primary target, in which case your unit will move towards that target, and you can set some point of the table as primary target, in which case your unit will move towards that point).
3) shoot (if you don’t have range, unit will move towards closest target, then shoot; you can give primary target, in which case, if you have multiple targets avaiable, you will shoot your primary target).

Each unit follows his unit order, unless you take direct control over unit (which costs 1 order point out of 3/4 you have in 1500/2000 point games). When you take control overu nit, you can EITHER move him anyway you like, disregarding unit’s order, OR change unit’s order for future turns.

You can’t choose not to move your unit (unless unit’s order is hold, or you don’t take controll over unit) if unit has order „advance“ – which means that armies are going to get to close combat really fast, which again means that they are not arrow-meat anymore.

When you get to the combat, you get to the festival of rolling dices. That festival is only just a bit better than playing yamb, because you do have those 3 relevant charactersitics – weapon skill VS enemy shield (substracting those values, you get what you need to roll on d6 to score hit, 1 is always hit, 6 is always miss), strength VS enemy thoughness (same mechanism as with weapon skill), and number of attacks (number of dices that you roll to hit). There are also some bonuses and penals, depending on the situation (archers usually have penals while in close combat, spearmen have bonuses VS cavalry and large targets, etc.), and apart from that, you can use ONE special card for whole combat. And then you have that dice rolling festival, until someone starts to flee, in which case he is probably dead (that’s why morale is very important characteristic), ori n worse case, he’ll be very wounded, so he’ll be dead soon.

Special cards, which I already mentioned several times, are gained each turn, 1 for each unspent order (orders are very important, so I think that 2 good generals wouldn’t have the situation that lots of people on this site argue about – in the late game, you have too much cards; taking good care of your troops with orders would allow you to put enemy in yellow / green health boxes early in the game, which means that you can make him flee from the front line BEFORE dice rolling festival begins). Also, when you are building your army, you can buy 1 special card for each 25 points invested. Special cards give some bonuses to you, or some penalties to enemy. There are various cards for various situations, so you need to take care of your card management – using much cards would give you advantage in that moment, but you would get cardless, so next turn, you would be in big disadvantage, so getting cardless is big penalty.

Since evey army has it’s own deck of special cards, cards are, of course, drawn random, which is another minus to the game for me.

Game isn’t as fast as I originally thought (probably due to the fact that this was our 1st game – I beleive that with more experience, it goes faster).

So all in all...
Pros:
- you don’t need miniatures, nor painting, and you have „army“ really cheaply. You can carry everything in a pocket, and you can play a game on avarage kitchen table.
- being unable to take total control of your units is good idea
- I beleive that you can finish a game in 45 min, with setting up before game and packing up after game, when you get to know rules good. On the other hand, several great board games (and this game definately isn’t in category „great“) can be played in 90 min, so I’m not sure that I would choose bettlegrounds over some other game (personal preferance – other players might have different opinion)
- solid game for 2 players which don’t have a lot of space for playing and/or don’t have a lot of free time and/or money and/or willingness to paint/collect models (I’m just going to say that my really good friend, which really isn’t good painter, painted his 200+ models goblin army in 10 days of casual painting – tabletop quality)
- I think that number of combinations, combined with number of armies gives good replay value
- you know EXACTLY what you are going to get in each pack. That means that I, for my $X, get the „same“ as you do for your $X (conditional „same“ because of the different armies). Unlike with other CCG games where you can buy 20 boosters and get nothing, while you opponents gets great cards in his 20 boosters, so you can’t play against him at all.
- the game is probably good for those that would like to play wargames, but don’t want to spend tons of money and time in models and painting.

Cons:
- graphics are SO AWFUL, that I can’t imagine getting it worse
- being unable to take full control of your units ends up in either spending few special cards and manually controlling your army, or you are going to have kits of special cards while rushing to combat. In both cases, you get to combat really fast (because the playing table is small), and when you get to it, you get to the festival of rolling dices. The idea of being unable to controll all of your troops is good, but the way in which they implemented that idea is not so good (at least for what I like – some other players may see this as totaly positive side of the game).
- Even through you need relatively few bucks, for about the same cash, you can buy avarage priced board game. Since, of course, you can’t play with yourself alone , that means that avarage „gaming crew“ of 5 people (most board game sare for 5 players), could buy 5 board games for that value (or let’s say it is 4 board games). 4-5 good board games, that gave WAY better graphics and game content, and even rules. This is general problem of all CCG games – as soon as 5+ people start buying, we are talking about some serious money boardgame-wise. Just for example – I looked at age of gods board game today, and even through rules aren’t what I like in board games, you can buy the game for about the same money as battleground starter deck and reinforcement deck. Age of gods comes with AMAZING graphics (I haven’t seen so good graphics on board game in a while), and as far as I was able to read reviews – with less uncontrolled randomness (controlled randomness is ok for me).

I would most probably buy battlegrounds at some moment (althou it is not a priority at the moment), because I don’t have a game of that type yet – game engine that is playable, 2 player game, fast paced, and doesn’t take too much space.

Also be aware that I’m great fan of wargames (I have several (which is more than a few gulp ) armies for both warhammer and warhammer 40k, and I have big army for flames of war, etc.) so my view is baised a bit I guess. Of course, different people might like different things, and there are probably those that really don’t care about graphics (I considered myself belonging to this group, untill I saw battlegrounds gulp ).

So much from me... wish you good gaming
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Hope you actually decide to continue playing the game, you will not get disappointed.

some things though....

...units can still be shot at, even if they are engaged (unless you are shooting with a LOS weapon and you cannot see them).

The artwork for this faction was done by the old artist, surf the geek to see some artwork for the High Elves or the Monsters of Monsters & Merceneries. If you still think that the artwork is bad then..... ok.

AND TRY THE CENTAURS!!! Great fun! (for you, not your opponent).

Happy gaming.
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Alex
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Quote:
- graphics are SO AWFUL, that I can’t imagine getting it worse


Hmmm, I don't know what version you're looking at.
My army cards (Men of Hawkshold, Undead and Orcs) look quite nice.
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Tomasz Podgórski
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There is a one player variant at the producers site
The opponent is a bit mindless then, but if you give him double points it can be difficult.

And you can quite easily squish big monsters by surrounding them
 
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Mark Buetow
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Dzon Vejn wrote:
Graphics on cards are so uniquely ugly, that I doubt that anyone can make so ugly graphics, even if they are giving their best. That is one of the main downsides of this game. I really beleive that anyone that started photoshop more than 2 times can make better graphics. Even my friend that proclaimed himself as technically-challendged would do better.


Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I would suggest that if you want to make a quality review contribution to the site, you avoid the nasty attacks and simply stick with a clearly stated opinion that you yourself don't like the graphics. That comment was just...mean.
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Nenad Nikolic
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Of course it's only my opinion... I'm not representing anyone or anything, so I can talk only in my own name, right ?

However, I must add that, from local community in my city, I still haven't heard any positive feedback on the graphics. And the game is just beginning to be popular here, so a lot of people are commenting. The most positive comment was "I don't really care about graphics" .

Of course none of that still means anything. It's just how I, and some people from my city / country, see things .
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Mark Buetow
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Dzon Vejn wrote:
Of course it's only my opinion... I'm not representing anyone or anything, so I can talk only in my own name, right ?


You can say what you want, of course, but the WAY you said it was pretty rude. You make it sound like the artist is a complete idiot and fool and the worst artist ever. Again, you are entitled to your opinion, but meanness isn't necessary. It just sounded harsh, that's all.
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Richard Kitner
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Hello all. I'm the current artist for Battleground. I was just wondering, what factions did you preview to come to the conclusion that the graphics were so godawful ugly? Personally, I've done most if not all of the graphics on the following factions: Dwarves of Runegard, The Umenzi, The Lizardmen, The High Elves, about 80% of the Monsters & Mercenaries and all of the upcoming Punic Wars. I'm also currently working on the newest faction for the Dark Elves.

Here's a sample of that artwork I was allowed to post:



So, you know, I was just wondering. What was the ugly art?

If it was something I created, perhaps I can take your constructive critism and use it to help improve my skills?

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Chad Ellis
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The art for Battleground has always been polarizing. I think that it's been improving with every set as we and our artists learn from what we've done in the past, but I think there will always be some who find the CGI jarring.

If you've looked at Monsters & Mercenaries or High Elves and still think the graphics is bad, we may never make you happy...but hopefully you'll still enjoy the gameplay. If you're basing your reaction on the older sets, it may be that we can still win you over with the improvements we've made since then.

In any case, thanks for the review!
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Andrew Brannan
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Looks like he was talking about Wood Elves and Undead, so you're off the hook.
 
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James Motz
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Dzon Vejn wrote:

Cons:
- graphics are SO AWFUL, that I can’t imagine getting it worse
- being unable to take full control of your units ends up in either spending few special cards and manually controlling your army, or you are going to have kits of special cards while rushing to combat. In both cases, you get to combat really fast (because the playing table is small), and when you get to it, you get to the festival of rolling dices. The idea of being unable to controll all of your troops is good, but the way in which they implemented that idea is not so good (at least for what I like – some other players may see this as totaly positive side of the game).
- Even through you need relatively few bucks, for about the same cash, you can buy avarage priced board game. Since, of course, you can’t play with yourself alone , that means that avarage „gaming crew“ of 5 people (most board game sare for 5 players), could buy 5 board games for that value (or let’s say it is 4 board games). 4-5 good board games, that gave WAY better graphics and game content, and even rules. This is general problem of all CCG games – as soon as 5+ people start buying, we are talking about some serious money boardgame-wise. Just for example – I looked at age of gods board game today, and even through rules aren’t what I like in board games, you can buy the game for about the same money as battleground starter deck and reinforcement deck. Age of gods comes with AMAZING graphics (I haven’t seen so good graphics on board game in a while), and as far as I was able to read reviews – with less uncontrolled randomness (controlled randomness is ok for me).


I personally don't mind the graphics on the early factions. Of course I'd love to see someone illustrate consistently well-done top-down graphics for the same price that they're going to find CGI stuff. Not going to happen. Save me $5 per deck to play with decent CGI stuff? Absolutely.

And as the picture above me shows, the new faction stuff isn't just "acceptable" - it's really good!

Regarding the command limitations, I completely disagree that it's a problem with the game. The best part of their rule-set is that it comes closer than most games to making you feel like a true General. You can't have all your units completely change what they are doing at once, you have to plan it out. You can change on the fly, but then you won't get as many specials. It rewards generals who plan well with the ability to have extra bonuses.

For me the best part of all is the cost. I can get two starter decks for under $30 - equivalent to one board game of questionable value. If I want more, it's $15 a pop but it's complete. At no point do I ever need more than two decks per faction. Love it - no CCG model.

Give the game a few more tries - make sure you add terrain. Especially consider having someone in your group try Kingdoms (the campaign rules). And check out the new art, I think you'll like it!
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CJ
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Forevernyt wrote:
Hello all. I'm the current artist for Battleground. I was just wondering, what factions did you preview to come to the conclusion that the graphics were so godawful ugly? Personally, I've done most if not all of the graphics on the following factions: Dwarves of Runegard, The Umenzi, The Lizardmen, The High Elves, about 80% of the Monsters & Mercenaries and all of the upcoming Punic Wars. I'm also currently working on the newest faction for the Dark Elves.

Here's a sample of that artwork I was allowed to post:



So, you know, I was just wondering. What was the ugly art?

If it was something I created, perhaps I can take your constructive critism and use it to help improve my skills?



F**k me sideways, I was keen to splash out on a new faction and I had a suspicion that Dark Elves would be worth waiting for but if they can match the promise whispered by that picture then I'm sold.
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Nenad Nikolic
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During 1st review I played wood elves VS wood elves (my brother bought starter deck, and you have 2 sample armies of 1500 each, so we tried that out). So while talking about bad graphics, I talked about wood elves (elves of the ravenwood).

I bought lizardmen starter today, and our friend bought mercs. Lizardmen are a little better in graphics than wood elves, and mercenaries are a little better than lizardmen. With lizardmen, there are some graphics that are acceptable, and some that could use improvement, but I can't really say that any is really bad (as with wood elves). Mercenaries are all acceptable.

What I think would make cards look way better is if you add background that isn't single-coloured to the cards (special cards and back side of the units (the side with the text)). Having some artwork in those backgrounds would improve graphics A LOT.

Which card has the graphics of the picture painted above? I didn't see any even similiar looking card? edit: ah, dar elves that aren't realeased yet... yes, that kind of graphics is really good. If all cards would look that good, it would be really, really good.
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Forevernyt wrote:
Hello all. I'm the current artist for Battleground. I was just wondering, what factions did you preview to come to the conclusion that the graphics were so godawful ugly? Personally, I've done most if not all of the graphics on the following factions: Dwarves of Runegard, The Umenzi, The Lizardmen, The High Elves, about 80% of the Monsters & Mercenaries and all of the upcoming Punic Wars. I'm also currently working on the newest faction for the Dark Elves.

Here's a sample of that artwork I was allowed to post:



So, you know, I was just wondering. What was the ugly art?

If it was something I created, perhaps I can take your constructive critism and use it to help improve my skills?




WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Breathing steadily now....... oooohh i love being a fan boy .
 
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David Lloyd
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Responses to a couple of things.....

ZiNOS wrote:
The artwork for this faction was done by the old artist,


Possibly even several Artistic production of the early factions (Hawks, Undead, Orcs, Ravenwood Elves) was done by a collection of 4 artists (might even have been 5 - can't remember if Rich was there that early or not). That being said, I was responsible for the greatest chunk of it - all of the Hawk faction, about half the Undead faction, and about half the Elves of Ravenwood (also added a few critters to M&M, did the terrain pack, have some double barrel ballista models in the high elves, and have a couple of other critters that might appear in a future pack). Most of everything faction-wise from the Dwarves onwards has pretty much been Rich's. Rich does far better battleground style art than me (my opinion), so I'm more than happy to see him continue producing awesome stuff for the game.

Dzon Vejn wrote:
Graphics on cards are so uniquely ugly, that I doubt that anyone can make so ugly graphics, even if they are giving their best. That is one of the main downsides of this game. I really beleive that anyone that started photoshop more than 2 times can make better graphics. Even my friend that proclaimed himself as technically-challendged would do better.


Thanks for the feedback. I'll make sure I don't give up my day job anytime soon

The artwork and product is improving on every release as several people have said. In my opinion the learning process that the involved artists and YMG folks have all gone through these past four years is a big part of the reason (not all) for this improvement. I could add about 6 paragraphs here about the design process and how it has evolved for the better, but in the interests of not sending people to sleep, I won't cut/paste them in. Suffice to say, I hope you do manage some further experience with the game and that hopefully it will be artistically more pleasent for you.

If you (or anyone else reading) want some freebie terrain add-ons, you can download some from my website http://bgfw.digital-wasteland.com/. It gets updated irregularly.... very irregularly....

LazyJ wrote:

I personally don't mind the graphics on the early factions. Of course I'd love to see someone illustrate consistently well-done top-down graphics for the same price that they're going to find CGI stuff. Not going to happen.


Agreed. A while ago (few years now) I had the opportunity to chat with someone who had done the artwork on a couple of Magic The Gathering cards. From (dusty) memory, I think the number that person mentioned for card art for Magic, if applied to BGFW, would have raised the production costs of BGFW by more than an order of magnitude. WoTC, being the megalump corporation that they are, can afford to cover those costs as it doesn't matter what they produce of whatever quality, it will sell in huge well defined volumes. But, unless Chad's willing to start selling bodily organs or complete family members on the black market... yeah... unlikely to happen at the moment.

Dave L.
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Nenad Nikolic
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Big reply incoming .

First of all regarding graphics. Here in Serbia, some guy made a rip-off of MTG (called "izvori magije"). Since I know several artist that made cards for him, I can say you that cost was 10 EUR / card. Also, I know that another guy from Serbia made complete graphics for board game named "Satirikon" for free, except that he needed his name mentioned or something, because it was for his final exam on graphics studies.

If avarage army has 12 units, and there are 9 armies, it is 108 cards. About 20 different special cards per army, it's another 180 cards. Let's say total is about 300 cards. 300 x 10 EUR = 3000 EUR. 3000 / 9 = around 340 EUR per army. I'm not sure what's original selling price for deck & reinforcement (I paid ~17 EUR deck here), but I'll guess at 20 EUR for deck + reinforcement, which means that after 17 sold armies (340 / 20 = 17), you returned your money .

Now I don't know how much graphics costed originally, nor do I know if prices rised for "izvori magije", but I don't think that paying 10 EUR per card would increase costs hugely. And I would rather pay few $$$ more to have better graphics.

Graphics for that rip-off game are way better than those in current armies.

Now regarding more plays, and some new observations (please ntoe: we played only with decks withouth reinforcements, since ingenious bosses of local store didn't order any reinforcement ):

- Wood elves, like in warhammer, have problems with close combat. What seems so far as the best solution is to stick with lots of archers, and to put cheapest units in front (brownies). Althou I do think that reinforcement deck is very important for them, because they get longbows and centaurs, which would change things a lot.

- Lizards have less units than other armies, but they are really though and they hit very good. And they have more health than other armies, and health is really important in this game. They have next to non-existant archers, which is their dowside as an army.

- I would like to add that dice affects game a lot (at least for what I like).

- Keeping your flank is probably the most important thing in the game. If enemy manages to break your flank, you have most probably lost a game. So it ain't the same as with warhammer - I'm stubborn so you can hit me as much as you like in both flank and rear, I don't care.

- Regarding number of attacks (adding to already said) - whenever someone attacks you in a lank OR rear, you loose 1 attack dice. When avarage unit of 5 attacks suffers flank attack and enters "yelolow health", it is almost neutralized. My ancients of 409 points that were in red health (-2 attack dices and worse combat ability) was fighting wood elf archers of 234 points in green (and archers have penalties in combat), from front, and I couldn't do anything to them. To be honest, he didn;t do anything either, but his green unit of 234 points kept my red unit of 409 points. So unlike with other game systems, in battleground it is very important that your unit stays healthy and not to suffer flank attacks. Treeman also did good job of my tyrant spearmen, while he didn't suffer both flank and rear attack - he had fewer dices then, and I had lots of attacks with bonuses. I managed to put him in yellow, which means more penalties for him, and next turn I managed to kill him.

- I still can't find a role for light cavalry in this game. My brother played PERFECTLY his stag cavalry unit, played PERFECTLY flank on which they were, and all the orders were given really carefully and good, and yet they didn't do anthing but die.

- Army abilities seem to me a bit unequal. For example, lizards have order that gives you +1 morale ALWAYS, plus you can remove mark to make 1 more damage WHEN you make 2 damage already, which counts as playing a combat card. So 1 part of army ability works ALWAYS, and another one SOMETIMES. Wood elves have forest guidance which gives them ability to change 1 dice roll to "2" - since there are situations when 2 isn't enough to wound something, it means that their order does ONLY ONE thing, and only SOMETIMES. Mercs are even better than lizards, because they can have multiple things on them, and can use that bonus in 2 ways.

- My personal opinion is that standard table, as proposed in rulebook, is a bit tight for 2000 points battles. And it is even more tight if you don't have shooters. Now if you add terrain to the table, I don't really know how it would look . Since even without terrain you don't have enough room for maneuvering.

- We still need to test terrain (I think it plays really important role). And of course, reinforced decks . Althou lizards need reinforcement the least - elite units aren't too good (they are too expansive for what they do), you get better archers, but too expansive again, so the only really good thing is more raptor packs, because they are really great unit. Plus, of course, reinforcements give you the opportunity to play bigger battles, way bigger (althou the game would last much longer then, so it would be better to play a game of warhammer / 40k / FoW or something else (of course, considering that you have an army, which is something I do have )).

- Please note that wood elves come with rulebook 2.0, lizards with 2.2, mercs with 2.3, and current and official rulebook is 2.4 .

That's it for now. hope I was helpfull to newbies .

P.S.: BIG thumbs up for you (I mean on whole crew that did battleground) keeping an eye on your product . I'm definatelly not used to it , and it feels great when company actually cares about it's own product. I only hope it will stay like that when you get bigger (and if dark elves get out with graphics as good as the picture posted on this topic, you are on a really good way ). Also, if you have more usefull links to some other stuff for battleground, please feel free to post them . Right now, we are discussing about sharing money to make that terrain in colour and on "cards" like those supplied with battleground.

Cheers
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Dzon Vejn wrote:
Graphics for that rip-off game are way better than those in current armies.
Cheers


I don't know your artistic background but after a quick google search, the artwork i saw on that Mtg clone was not something special and to my liking, it was far worse than the Orcs or the Undead.

Take into account that you have to draw 20 guys on top eye view, with the correct proportions and lighting. Not just one close up of a face or a mage or something.

I don't know if you have ever drawn or something but believe me, it is much quicker and easier to draw big characters and only faces in comcs let's say, than to draw a crowded scene.
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Richard Kitner
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Also, in David's defence (artist from early factions), he was dealing with a very significant deadline crunch to get the artwork done. There were other artists involved who weren't making their deadlines or just weren't producing at all.

David did the best he could with the time he had and with what was available at the time. As time progresses, higher quality models get released, programs get revised and updated and the whole image making ability gets better as a whole.

David would knock your socks off if you were to see some of his MASSIVE battle scenes or his expansive epic landscapes. His artwork, really puts mine to shame.

And as was mentioned before, some people just prefer the look of hand painted or drawn images as opposed to the 3D rendered look. However, for time reasons and the fact that on the topdown images, the figures all have to be at the same degree of angle and lighting and shadowing, it has be to be done 3D.

We're all still learning and improving. The game is constantly developing as are the artists and the tools with which we have at our disposal. I think if you stick with the game, you'll come to appreciate the playability and the artwork and the community that is Battleground: Fantasy Warfare.
 
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Nenad Nikolic
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I (still) haven't seen orcs nor undead, so I can't say anything for them. But I doubt there is some HUGE difference between them and lizards / mercs / wood elves.

Top-down images are very.... ungratefull. You have to keep an eye on a lot of things, and the result would never be the same as with frontal view. However, I wasn't only talking about top-down view of units, I was also talking about special cards and back-side picture.

For example tyrant warriors have really good backside picture. Which is somthing I can't say for triceraptors herd (through tricep. herd have really good top-down picture). Also top-down view of giant and mages of mercs are really good.

Pictures of rip-off I'm talking about can be found here: http://www.izvorimagije.com/izvoriste/izvormag.php (click on any left most checkbox, then on button "pretrazi". You'll get a list of cards, and if you click on link under "slika", you'll get pop-up picture of the card).

Since I don't play that game, neither support rip-offs, neither like MTG too much, I of course haven't seen all the pictures, but those that I did (some posted on a forum that I'm reading, and some randomly selected from the list I mentioned here) are all much better than any special card and / or backside picture (again only talking about wood elves, mercs and lizardmen).

Regarding my artistic background: I won best painted army on warhammer tournament once, and my armies are amongst best painted ones usually. Also, I'm working as a web developer in a company where I work, so I work very close with a web designer that is doing graphics (so there are lots of things that I don't know how to do myself, but I know what can be done, and how difficult it is do to, how much time it takes, etc.).

I already like playability of the game (game is based on several wargame systems, mixed up, taken good sides, and removed bad sides - so playability is really good). As for graphics, I have constant feeling that you guys don't uderstand me - I do understand that you are relatively new company on a market flooded with other similiar products, so your resources are probably limited for now. I also understand the process of learning (for example - take a look at some Games Workshop miniature from early editions of the game, and then compare it to any new miniature (for example wood elf miniatures, new chaos knights, etc.) ). All that I'm saying is that, in my opinion, investing more in graphics would improve visual aspect of the game a lot, which would earn you many more new players, and shut up some mouths (for example mine modest ). For example, if the picture posted above is some special card, and if it is going to look like that, just with reduced size (fitting on a card), it would be really great. If you cut it's background and place single-coloured background (be it green, red, blue...), it would look about 75% worse . So what I said in the very beginning - just adding any background to your pictures would improve visual aspect a lot (compare background tyrant warriors with any special card, or with ancients' background for example). Top-down view could also be improved in a several ways - for example merc mages are really good, so I guess that you already started doing something on that field. Also take a look at pitch of the Blood Bowl game, it also has top-down view, yet it looks way batter (add some skull here, some body there, some more detail, and it'll look way better than simple green-grass view).

Hope I was helpfull .
Cheers
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James Motz
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Dzon Vejn wrote:

- I still can't find a role for light cavalry in this game. My brother played PERFECTLY his stag cavalry unit, played PERFECTLY flank on which they were, and all the orders were given really carefully and good, and yet they didn't do anthing but die.

- Army abilities seem to me a bit unequal. For example, lizards have order that gives you +1 morale ALWAYS, plus you can remove mark to make 1 more damage WHEN you make 2 damage already, which counts as playing a combat card. So 1 part of army ability works ALWAYS, and another one SOMETIMES. Wood elves have forest guidance which gives them ability to change 1 dice roll to "2" - since there are situations when 2 isn't enough to wound something, it means that their order does ONLY ONE thing, and only SOMETIMES. Mercs are even better than lizards, because they can have multiple things on them, and can use that bonus in 2 ways.


Wanted to take a quick moment to address these two concerns, as figuring these two things out will uncover new strategic options.

In general, Cavalry in this game is devastating on the Charge turn, hard to shoot, fast, fragile, and expensive. You don't want your expensive horses running into healthy men with spears. You want them to find the weakest opponent they can find, hit them hard to break them, and then exploit that new gap in the line to start a chain reaction of flanking attacks and pinches.

You already found out that getting hit from the side is *extremely* bad. The game rewards people who out-manuever their opponent. Sure the dice are important, but over the course of a game the person who gets in the right kind of fights more often will win. And Cavalry (with some planning) are very effective in getting into the right kind of fights.

About the abilities - rarely are they a "must" for every unit. There are times when the Command is better spent on a card or direct controlling a unit.

Spirit Guidance is one of the toughest abilities to master. But it is absolutely brilliant when using it on archers. Remember, it changes any 1 die to a "2" on any attack roll. That means to hit or to wound! It's a custom command card that you don't have to draw - it's always there! You have the choice of when and where to use it. The lizard ability is great - but probably not as powerful because it is uncommon to do 2 damage without using a card.

Just be open to exploring the game. It is extremely deep - and just because something isn't obvious from the beginning doesn't mean there isn't a use for it later. All I can say is get the reinforcement decks because the options increase exponentially.
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Nenad Nikolic
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For light cavalry: problem with it is that it is most effective on flanks, so you know that it will be placed on 1 of flanks. Now I as lizard have though units, so I place raptors on 1 flank and ancients on other (or triceptors instead of raptors). He can't kill them in 1 turn. And the following turn he is dead.

I mean, both me and my brother are playing wargames for over 15 years now, both of us won some warhammer tournaments, and where usually in top 5, etc., so we rarely make tactical mistakes, and we both know how to use a unit to its maximum . That being said, I do know that if I place my hatchlings in front of his stag cavalry, I'm dead. And if I planned to keep flank with hatchlings, I have tactical problems, right . So that being said, he'll have hard time killing any of my flank units, and when he doesn't kill me, he dies, because he has too little health. Yet, his price is 271 points, which isn't cheap for 6 health unit.

Cavalry units (non-light cavalry) are different story: they have more health, better armor, etc.

As for army abilities: yes, everything you said is true, yet, still, my ability does 2 things (and I must disagree that you rarely do 2 dmg, I had a lot of those situations, especially when charging, and / or when opponent is in yellow or red; and I didn't even activate that ability every time, because I wanted to keep morale bonus few times), while spirit does 1 thing (and not always). Yes, it is good for archers, but I can still play some card on me, making a roll of 2 not enough, or I can change his roll, etc. In my opinion, it isn't equal.

I still have to test some things on lizards, but my experience so far says that you want to get to close combat as fast as possible, and to have on those important units fury by then. Because it both allows you to get higher morale in case things go bad, AND allow you to make 1 more damage in critical situations, if you manage to make 2 damage, because with that bonus damage you usually make his unit go into yellow, and then you have +2 morale and +1 combat dice, making your unit even better in combat. Also with lizards you don't need too much cards when you are not in combat, so I prefer to spent command points on "fury" and manual control of important units. When I get close to combat, I don't need fury anymore, because those important units have it already, and I need only a few manual controls on units, so I take cards at that moment. Having more health than other armies allows me to neglect combat cards while advancing, and allow enemy to make me few hits with shooters. Because, as soon as I'm in combat, I beggin to be only better (blood frenzy (both the dice and leadership) + fury), while his units are getting worse with reduced health.

edit: yes, I agree that game has lots of options, especially with reinforced decks. And we still need to test terrain, which is another important feature.
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I don't mean to imply you guys are not good at tactics. But applying some of those tactics in Battlground surprised me, so I just want people reading to know the game tactics will change as you get more experienced.

What you say is very true - especially about light Cavalry. If you take a light cavalry unit and run it by itself into a Raptor Unit or Ancient unit, it's probably not going to do well. But if you have Light Cavalry on the flanks but behind say, Spearmen, then when the spearmen tie up that big nasty unit your Cavalry are fast enough to get around and flank pinch.

Pinching is the primal element of Battleground, it's more important than almost anything else. One on one matchups are a consideration, but not nearly as important as the ability to gang up. Remember that you force an immediate Route check before combat (with free hits if they break) and give all pinching units (0)+1/+1 for EACH pinching unit plus any additional bonuses they might already have, plus you can still play command cards. Pinching wins battles.

Keep experimenting with different looks - the game really does reward tactical thinking. And while the Lizardmen are powerful, I don't think they completely outclass the Elves. As you pointed out yourself, they don't have much ranged firepower. So they have to cross that whole open field to get to the hand to hand part,under the Elves' watchful eye...
 
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Syndre80 wrote:
The artwork and product is improving on every release as several people have said. In my opinion the learning process that the involved artists and YMG folks have all gone through these past four years is a big part of the reason (not all) for this improvement. I could add about 6 paragraphs here about the design process and how it has evolved for the better, but in the interests of not sending people to sleep, I won't cut/paste them in.


Absolutely nothing wrong with the artwork, whatsoever. Indeed, the fact that it conforms to a very proscribed and limited perspective, with few artists involved, ensures that it maintains a consistent degree throughout. I have never cared for the nonsensical wittering in regards BGFW's use of CGI art and I care for it even less since learning for the decision making process behind its use. I own Hawkshold and I have never been anything but delighted with the quality of the art, let alone the game itself. All credit to those involved in the process.

The degree of acknowledgement of this thread is a travesty, frankly.
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Chad Ellis
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Dzon Vejn wrote:
First of all regarding graphics. Here in Serbia, some guy made a rip-off of MTG (called "izvori magije"). Since I know several artist that made cards for him, I can say you that cost was 10 EUR / card. Also, I know that another guy from Serbia made complete graphics for board game named "Satirikon" for free, except that he needed his name mentioned or something, because it was for his final exam on graphics studies.


I don't want to get into a big argument regarding the art but I think you're comparing very different art requirements.

The top-down views of each Battleground card must fit to highly-demanding specs. Every Battleground unit has the same "camera" angle, height and lighting. The figures are all to scale, with "real" shadowing. The end result is that when all the cards are on the table in play you get a battlefield effect. It's not as good as with miniatures, but it's something we decided early on was important.

That's something that artists working with paint or ink simply can't duplicate.

Now, from what I can see (small jpegs) the art for your friend's game is pretty good and the price he got is fantastic. 10EUR per image is a great deal. But translating that price over to Battleground and assuming that the hand-drawn art will match the specs we require is, in my opinion, unrealistic.
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Dzon Vejn wrote:

If avarage army has 12 units, and there are 9 armies, it is 108 cards. About 20 different special cards per army, it's another 180 cards. Let's say total is about 300 cards. 300 x 10 EUR = 3000 EUR. 3000 / 9 = around 340 EUR per army. I'm not sure what's original selling price for deck & reinforcement (I paid ~17 EUR deck here), but I'll guess at 20 EUR for deck + reinforcement, which means that after 17 sold armies (340 / 20 = 17), you returned your money .



I wanted to address this very quickly, since you're using a bit of fuzzy math here. First off, YMG is not getting 17 Euro per deck. The reatiler takes their cut, the distributor takes their cut, taxes, tarriffs, etc, etc, etc. If I recall an earlier post from YMG, they receive about 3 euro per deck sold, so that's about 113 decks before they break even on artwork. Artwork that's being sold at bargain basement rates from an unproven artist with no credit to their name. That doesn't take into account printing, paying the game designer(s) themselves, advertising, and other various overhead costs. That's a *HUGE* investment in artwork, which has a minimal return on investment in terms of sales. A good enough game (and this one is) will sell whether or not it has spectacular artwork. Look at early Magic. Shoot, look at early D&D manuals. Look at Glory to Rome.


As for the tactics discussion, you seem to be coming from a place of "this works in WFB, so why doesn't it work here?" It's a different ruleset. Sure, there are a lot of similarities, but they are, in fact, different. Tactics that work in one ruleset do not have to translate to another. Otherwise, there would be no point in producing a different game.
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