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Battlelore is now out of print. Many sets are starting to become unavailable, or soon will be. Quite a few folks seem to be deciding whether to get into it now, and if multiple sets would be useful.

I thought I'd share what I found out from my own detailed review of the issue. This is a continuation of the discussion topic found here.


(I originally posted this article as a general thread but have reposted under Reviews and deleted the original. I realised it's in a fact a review of how useful 2nd copies are, and more helpful to others placed here.)


Notes

CTA = Call to Arms

For sanity I generally assume that only the French (Standard) side will field Dwarves and only the English (Pennant) will field Goblins. Otherwise the possible deployment permutations just get crazy. For exceptions, see below.



Man I wish my set looked like this. Courtesy of MVDZIGN



Summary (TLDR)


- You don't *need* a 2nd set of anything even for 4-player, CTA and Epic.

- Get a 2nd Base Set if you want 2 Giant Spiders and can't accept substitutes (only way other than eBay. And I don't think many people are selling there).

- Get a 2nd Base Set if you play 4-Player Reluctant Allies and *must* have 4 matching Lore Cups and 4 original, English War Council sheets.



Hey your hills are taller than mine! Courtesy of Dagobal



- Get a 2nd Hundred Years War + 2nd Code of Chivalry if you're slightly hardcore and want every CTA Human Specialist deployment option for each side.

- Get a 2nd Base Set + 2nd Hundred Years War + 2nd Code of Chivalry if you're hardcore and want the above plus the option to use the King's Allies, Illusionary Troops and Mercenaries Specialist cards to field more of certain units.

- Get 2 of everything (except Epic, Promos, Troll & Country, Heroes, Creatures and Dragons) if you're super hardcore and want to be able to mix CTA deployment decks without using Feudal Levy tokens, and for both sides to have every single Specialist deployment option (i.e. Goblins and Dwarves on either side).

- Get 2 of everything if you're completely, totally insane and want both sides to have the option to field every single thing in the game or to have complete freedom in making DYO scenarios. After all, the worst that could happen is that you resell them when they're an ultra rare grail item, right?!?



And you thought he only did play aids. Courtesy of UniversalHead



Note that you get increasingly diminishing returns on your dollar the further down you go.

Because you only ever field a small portion of your total units in Battlelore, you're only giving yourself more options (which may never actually be used) depending on which CTA cards come up.



Review of Usefulness of 2nd Copy by Set







1. Base Set

An extra Base Set provides:

2-Player

- 2nd Giant Spider for certain scenarios or for CTA (though other creatures can be used as substitutes). Also, if you have Creatures, you can field 1 Green and 1 Blue Spider (that set comes with a stat card for a Blue Spider, but no extra mini) or 2 Green or 2 Blue Spiders. However, you could just use a substitute Spider mini.

- Allows you to play the Epic Agincourt scenario. This is the only published scenario to my knowledge which requires 2 base sets (see below for Reluctant Allies).



You want *two* of these in your home?! Courtesy of Snedueg



2-Player with CTA

- Provides extras of the following powerful/rare units found only in the Base Set: Red Heavy Cav, Red Heavy Inf, Green Hobgoblin Archers, Red Hobgoblin Swordsmen, Green Hobgoblin Cav (there are also 2 in Horrific Horde), Red Dwarf Swordsmen, Green Dwarf Crossbowmen (this figure is found in other sets but not the banner).

These units can be deployed using the following CTA Specialist cards: Goblin Mercenaries, Dwarven Mercenaries, King’s Allies, Illusionary Troops.

e.g. There are 4 Red Heavy Cav units in the Base Set. If all 4 are already deployed by the CTA cards, then having a 2nd Base Set would allow players to deploy a 5th (and 6th) Red Heavy Cav unit using Illusionary Troops (which duplicates a deployed unit).

Note that you can't just use substitute minis (e.g. unused Blue Regular Inf), as you'd also have to make extra banners.



Example of Call to Arms deployment card



4-Player

- 3rd and 4th War Council sheets for Reluctant Allies (4-Player). However, you can hand draw copies, or use the French ones if you have the repurposed set.

- 3rd and 4th Lore Cups for 4-Player. However, you could use any other cup or object.

The Epic rulebook claims that you need a 2nd base set to play the two Reluctant Allies scenarios. However, you actually only need the above plus a substitute Spider (substitute mini or any other BL creature) (info courtesy of ColtsFan76).

- Extra units for CTA deployment for 4-Player. If you have Bearded Brave and Horrific Horde, you're less likely to need these the more Goblin/Dwarf expansions you have. You could also use the Feudal Levy tokens as substitutes or just redraw CTA cards until you get a mix that you have pieces for.



Wow these don't look like bits of plastic at all! Courtesy of Tobold







2. Call to Arms

The main reason to get a 2nd set would be so that each player has a copy of each of the 10 Specialist cards. However, that’s a lot to pay for 10 cards. You could just make extra handwritten copies of each card for personal use, if you have spare Battlelore cards (in some circumstances you may also need to make 2 extra Archer’s Stakes tokens).







3. Epic

I can’t think of any reason why you’d need a 2nd set, except for replacement parts.



Life is tough when you're a Giant. Courtesy of beckerdo







4. Hundred Years War and Code of Chivalry

The best sets to have 2 copies of, since they contain Human units both sides can use.

- E.g. Hundred Years War comes with 1 unit of Halberdiers and 1 Specialist card to deploy them. With 2 sets each side could field a unit each.

- Also allows you to mix the CTA A-B-C deployment card sets (you'll never be short of a unit you *have* to deploy if you stick to one set, unless you're playing 4-player). However, even mixing card sets it’s rare to run out of a unit and you can use the Feudal Levy tokens if you do.

e.g. To play CTA cards Red A12, Red B12 and Blue B12 together, you’d need 5 Foot Knight units. Code of Chivalry has only 4. If you don’t have a 2nd set of Code of Chivalry you could use a Feudal Levy token to substitute in a Red Heavy Infantry.


French deployment card C12


- You also gain the option of using Specialist cards to field more of certain units in certain circumstances.

e.g. With CTA cards Red C12 and Blue C12, all 4 Mounted Knight Longsword units are deployed. Neither player can use the Mounted Knight specialist card which adds 1-2 more. But if there was a 2nd set of Code of Chivalry they could do so.



Specialist cards







5. Scottish Wars

This comes with 4 units of Human Mounted Knight Lancers, so you might think at first that it’s a good candidate for a 2nd set for use with CTA, like Hundred Years War and Code of Chivalry.

However, when I examined the CTA cards closely, I realised that CTA deploys a maximum of 2 Mounted Knight Lancer units. So you don’t need more than 6 units (4 in Scottish Wars, 2 in Code of Chivalry; you must have own the latter anyway to have the CTA deployment B12 cards).

For the Dwarf units, see Item 6 below.



These so inspire me to whip out my paintbrush. Courtesy of B_Fortner7







6. All-Dwarf expansions (Bearded Brave, Dwarven Battalion)


For all but the most hardcore fans, one set is enough.

The benefits of a 2nd set are:

- You can field extras of the rare units (e.g. Bear Riders) using the CTA Specialist cards King’s Troops and Illusionary Allies.

- Enough units if you mix CTA deployment card sets (see Item 4 above).

- The English side which usually doesn’t field Dwarves can have a set of the Specialist cards. They now have the option to field Dwarven specialists. Note that for the FFG sets you will not have a banner for some units (e.g. Bear Riders, which only comes with a French banner).



Houston, we have lost our banner. I think the Gobbos took it. Courtesy of Casterlyrock







7. All-Goblin expansions (Goblin Marauders, Goblin Skirmishers)

Same as Item 6 above, except in reverse for the French side fielding Goblins. However, there’s no super rare unit like Bear Riders.

The closest is Goblin Band, but if you get both G. Marauders and G. Skirmishers you’ll already have 2 such units.

Other rarer units include Ostrich Riders (2 in G. Marauders) and Goblin Slingers (2 in G. Skirmishers).



Who can resist greenskins on chickens. Er I mean Ostriches. Courtesy of cero



There are also only 2 Hobgoblin Spearmen (in G. Skirmishers), but it's less useful to have extras of those as they don't come with their own Specialist card. So they're deployed more rarely (you have to draw the right CTA cards).

On the other hand, when you do draw them, they're always both deployed together and a prime candidate for a 3rd unit using Illusionary Troops or beefing up with King's Allies, since they're probably the best Goblin unit (not counting Ogres).







8. Horrific Horde

This is almost the same as Item 7 above, except that a 2nd set would provide an extra 2 Ogre units with Specialist card. This would allow both sides to field Ogres at once. (I just play that only the English/Goblin side gets the Specialist card).

However, you could also just look for 3 substitute Ogre minis and make a handwritten copy the Specialist card for personal use, if you have spare Battlelore cards.



These trolls aren't afraid to wear purple bras, because they carry big clubs. Courtesy of Masa







9. Heroes

Very, very marginal benefit to 2nd set. Only worth getting if you *must* have two of a hero figure on the board at once (e.g. both sides have a Fighter on foot) and cannot accept substitutes (e.g. a mini from a different game).

Very slight benefit of having extra Skill and Treasure cards, so that more than 1 hero at a time can have the same card. But you could just write down the stats or make a handwritten copy of the card for personal use once you draw it.



I so need to commission this guy to do mine. Courtesy of dagobal







10. Creatures, Dragons, Hill Giant, Earth Elemental, Troll & Country


Very marginal benefit of 2nd sets if you *must* have the option of having one of the same creature on each side at the same time and cannot accept substitute pieces.

e.g. If you own two sets of Dragons, you could have an Ice Drake on each side. But you could also just use the Wood Wyvern as a substitute piece for the 2nd Ice Drake!




Courtesy of Yugblad


11. Extra Dice Set

You may want to consider getting one of these, since the dice symbols wear out easily. However, with heavy play those will wear out too. So an alternative solution is to varnish or lacquer the dice.


----------------------------------------------------------------


Helpful reply to original post:

Thamos von Nostria wrote:
In case someone wonders what a Levy token is:

Call to Arms does not expect the players to have any other expansions. With the standard CTA deck setup, you will only field armies you can set up with the base game and CTA. If you mix up the CTA cards for a non-standard deck (which is allowed), you could come into a situation where one side lacks certain units. In this case, the Levy Tokens are used.

Levy Tokens are just placeholders and are replaced by a unit of the same color after everything is on the board. So, if you lack green archers, you may use a green infantry instead (if you have one available in the box, of course). I am not sure if this is limited in any way, e.g. to units of the base game?


Though it's not in the rules, I'd think the principle is to substitute Base Game units for each other, and Specialist units for each other (e.g. Axe Swingers for Arbalestiers), as long as you have the pieces to do so.
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Larry Thorne

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Re: Should I get multiple copies of the Base Set or Expansions? A detailed review
Wow !!!! Nice research. Very well thought out.
The cool thing for me is you have described my exact collection. I did get 2 sets of Call to Arms due to a shipping problem with Miniature Market. They sent the wrong item and let me keep it.
Thanks!!!!
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Re: Should I get multiple copies of the Base Set or Expansions? A detailed review
stophle wrote:
Thanks, that's very helpful!
I just got myself the DOW sets I was missing and was lucky enough to find a second copy of HYW.
Somehow I've got multiples of the promos on the way, so I guess I'll give them away at some point.

One more question:
The banners are the liming factor for proxing, correct?
For the few really big scenarios I wouldn't mind only having 1 mini+banner while indicating the strength with a die or tokens.


You're right. If you're willing to use glass beads, dice or tokens with a banner bearer you suddenly have a lot more units.
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zaxxon2000 wrote:
Wow !!!! Nice research. Very well thought out.
The cool thing for me is you have described my exact collection. I did get 2 sets of Call to Arms due to a shipping problem with Miniature Market. They sent the wrong item and let me keep it.
Thanks!!!!


Thanks!

I'm very, very tempted to get a 2nd set of Call to Arms while it's still available, just so that both sides don't have to share the 10 Specialist cards.
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Updated Section 7 on the Goblin expansions.
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