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Subject: Fantasy Setting rss

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a fantasy setting in a game system similar to Battle Cry/Commands & Colors. Since Battlelore is out of print and largely unavailable without mortgaging the kids off, is this a good choice?

GF likes Battle Cry alot but wants something with a little more and in a Fantasy setting.

Is this the ticket and is the complexity over the top or manageable?

TIA
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Eðvarð Hilmarsson
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My only experience with a related game is Memoir '44 so on the complexity level thats the only one I can give you a comparison too.

The basics of BoW are actually rather simple and are on level with Memoirs in that regard. A basic attack is still just a roll of a few dice and hoping to get the matching symbol or a special one. The added complexity comes from dealing with the command system (deciding how and where to activate) and special unit abilities.

BoW gives you alot more options (ie. tough decisions) to deal with and since you activate units through commanders (rather then left-center-right flank) it does feel like a quite diffrent game.

Complexity wise, I would still rate it at a medium, my 8 year old was able to understand the gist of it pretty fast at any rate. There are more complex things that can come up, but those tend to be scenario or unit specific. Its the powerful choice of actions rather then the rules that give it so much meat. I find Memoirs to be rather dull in comparision since its more luck based (since your choices are much more constrained).

As far as being a fantasy setting, then consider that this is a low magic (no magic in the core set) setting, so it brings the game much closer to a medivial theme then a high fantasy one.
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Scott Randolph
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I have to agree with the 1st responder, that BoW is not really a fantasy tactical level wargame (not yet anyway). After 150 plays I sold all of my C&C:A games, I just couldn't take it anymore; I tried really, really hard to like that game and just came to hate it. I have read extensively here on BGG about BoW and I think it might actually be a lot of fun, and different from Battlecry (which I really dislike, I'd give it a "3" if I had ever bought it), and from Mem'44 (sold all of those too, think I gave that about a "4"), plus I am engrossed in the theme and storyline of GoT.

If you are looking for "fantasy" I would say BoW is not what you want. If you are looking for a game that is a great improvement over BC, Mem'44 and C&C:A, then I believe you will find that in BoW.
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Two great responses.

She will likely appreciate the medievalaspect of the game and the correspondence to the Westeros world.

So, regarding the fantasy/magical aspects: does this come into play via expansions?

Thumbs for all!

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Eðvarð Hilmarsson
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Most of the expansions stay with the no magic theme for the Starks and the Lannisters (and their allies). The Brotherhood without Banners does include more mystical stuff (like unit resurection) and causing fires when attacking. The Baratheon expansion (shipped but not out) also contains some magical elements (that make sense for lore reasons).

This is still pretty low key stuff and in theme with the books/show.

If you like the Westeros theme, then its hard to go wrong with this. The the game uses the setting to great effect by making individual characters feel very important to how events unfold each battle. This is also done without it over powering the fact that you have entire armies clashing in the field.

I find the game to have a very impressive fun factor, where each decision I make helps or damns me (and I get to make alot of them).

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Fabio Calzolari
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I'm not very fond in the Westeros theme (i'm waiting for a reprint of the italian translated books, so i know very little about the theme) but i like this game a lot. I own Mem'44 which i like only using the Overlord expansion (even for two players only) 'cause the more dynamic play, and BoW gives me a lot more to think about what to move and when.

Still, i feel it more medieval than fantasy: no magic, no monsters. Just two faction fighting for something, like it happened thousands of times in the Italian history

Battlelore is a slow game. Nice, plenty of fantasy, but no so "fast moving" as BoW and, at the end, it drags too much, for me.

So, what to say?
- if you're searching for a fantasy boardgame about two faction fighting (and not a dungeon crawl game) i'd seek for some good D&D miniature auction: the skirmish rules (i'm still playing the 3ed, which are somewhat 8-10 years old) are simple and fun. The new Dungeon Command games may be also a solution. Still i can't think to another fantasy skirmish boardgame.... they all are Dungeon crawlers.

- if you're more in using Miniatures even without a square grid, the some simple miniatures rules are fun and easy. Song of Blade and Heroes is one of the best i tried... and my kid played it with me when it was 10 years old
You could also try "Into the Fray" wich is a commercial print&play game you can buy at RPGNOW sire. I playtested it and it's nice with some unique ideas.

- An out of print (and now a bit costly) game never failed to appeal friends that was searching for a new game, is Heroscape. It's not just fantasy... it is EVERYTHING. With a couple of basic set (One being "Raise of the Valkirie" is almost mandatory) you could become addicted to it as it happened to million of other players.

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I was actually more concerned with the game system. D&D is out as well asn any dungeon-crawls. We want something we can build on from Battle Cry, and Westeros seems to be in line with that, even if it is magic-poor, and that is not a gamestopper, as the Game of Thrones Theme will help alot.

Thanks!
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Jeff
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Have you thought about War of the Ring? That's got more fantasy theme to it and if you like the Tolkein books you'll really enjoy the theme. The minis in the second edition set are really nice, too.

I agree with others - I've never thought of BoW as fantasy, definitely more historical/medieval in style even though it's a fictional world.

Although War of the Ring is more fantasy it's not deep into magical spells and stuff like that. For me it definitely plays like a military-style war game.
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