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Subject: Relaunch It! rss

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William Smith
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With the successful launch of Descent(2), FFG needs to revisit BattleLore and consider a BattleLore 2 launch. Here is what I'd love to see(from them or someone they sell the license to):
-Richard Borg fully involved!
-New Core Game(smaller mini # than original to contain costs, perhaps have humans only)
-Expansions With Two Never Before Used Races(Elves & Undead...or whatever)....or release as a separate core set
-2 new creatures in core box
-Backwards Compatability With old stuff(at least to some extent)

The argument "we can't make BattleLore because of costs" just doesn't hold water if you look at games like Battles of Westeros(BINO-BattleLore In Name Only)....it can be done. It's time for a reboot!

...it's time!
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Evan Gleason
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Great job Good effort!
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Chris Lewis
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Trouble with a relaunch that is backwardly compatible implies that FFG will mess around with a system that doesn't really need it (BoW with the eight sided dice etc etc isn't an improvement, far from it).

They just need to relaunch the game with rules as they currently are and use two NEW fantasy races*
Agree to new creatures in base set
Use the full Lore deck that Mr Borg developed and play tested for years$

IF I heard the base game didn't use races Mr Borg had developed or wasn't intimately involved the whole way through - I wouldn't buy it as it would be a FFG game based on Battlelore (again) and not Mr Borgs game

*FFG won't do a pure human base set as it will be direct competition to BoW, new races will get old player crowd buying new base sets too.
$DOW took a selection from the deck, Mr Borg has said there are more that would have meant the whole rivers rage (and tree / hill version) would never have been an issue

Chris
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Santi Velasco
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Thumbs up for not giving up hope. But on the other hand, as we say in Spain, "if you're waiting for that, you better take a seat"
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Adam Clausing
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FFG would rather support the Battle of Westeros than Battlelore.
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William Smith
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mandingoman wrote:
FFG would rather support the Battle of Westeros than Battlelore.

Yeah, I know I am dreaming because in FFG's world that steaming pile of poop=BattleLore. Us true BattleLore fans will never buy into the b.s. I know that is strongly worded, but I cannot forgive FFG for what they did to the system(and especially how they essentially cut Richard Borg out of the loop).
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FFG's sole purpose in acquiring the Battlelore system was solely to attach the name of Battlelore to their Westeros games thinking that the die hard Battlelore players will play Westeros. I for one have no desire to play Westeros and will just keep on playing BL.
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red black wrote:

I wonder how many people outside die hard BL fans play this game or are at least interested enough to buy it if a second edition were made available. The current edition could be had cheaply on the second hand market.

O.K., my understanding is that the FFG expansions sold well so to assume interest had waned seems silly to me. Also, by no means is the game available "cheaply" on the secondary market...that's just not true.
red black wrote:

New games in the generic fantasy theme tactical minis/minis hybrid board game might have replaced any desire people would have had for BL. Just my opinion; I bought into BL last year but if I were looking to buy into BL at this time with Mage Wars, Samurai Battles (Dragon Deck) and Dungeon Command released or about to be released I might have passed on BL.

I take issue with a number of assumptions you make here...
-Mage Knight is a questing game and is very dissimilar to BL. Runebound, Talisman, WoW adventure game, etc. were all around when BL was being produced......these alternatives didnt hurt BL.
-Dungeon Command is a skirmish game that is also very unlike BL...it is much more like DnD minis or the original Mage Knight minis games...both of which did well when BL flourished as a Days of Wonder publication.
-Samurai Battles is a game I own and although also being a Command & Colors game, it's theme is very unlike BattleLore so to me it is apples & oranges. Furthermore, I have read the Samurai Battles sales have really dropped quickly due to concerns with the minis...something BL didn't suffer while it's core game was in production. I actually think the Dragon Card mechanism(clealry inspired by Lore Cards) is good, but is a clear homage to BattleLore. I predict that SB will not have nearly the longevity that games like BL, C&C: A and Memoir 44 have had. I wanted to love Samurai Battles, but it is a bit of a mess.

Finally, Borg himself has said that BattleLore is not dead. If he still believes in thr system, I do as well.
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Matt Shinners
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PKDuke wrote:
Yeah, I know I am dreaming because in FFG's world that steaming pile of poop=BattleLore.


That "steaming pile of poop" is attached to the most popular fantasy IP of the year, and that looks to continue through the decade. People know Game of Thrones. They'll wander into a Barnes and Noble and buy a board game where they can fight it out with characters they know and love. Since they'll sell more copies, they can spend more on the set. That's why it's completely consistent to say it's cost prohibitive to print BL and not to print BoW. The masses just won't go buy BattleLore.

FFG isn't going to release an item that is in direct competition with another of their products.
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MattShinners wrote:
PKDuke wrote:
Yeah, I know I am dreaming because in FFG's world that steaming pile of poop=BattleLore.


That "steaming pile of poop" is attached to the most popular fantasy IP of the year, and that looks to continue through the decade. People know Game of Thrones. They'll wander into a Barnes and Noble and buy a board game where they can fight it out with characters they know and love. Since they'll sell more copies, they can spend more on the set. That's why it's completely consistent to say it's cost prohibitive to print BL and not to print BoW. The masses just won't go buy BattleLore.

FFG isn't going to release an item that is in direct competition with another of their products.

It may be attached to a popular IP, but it is still just a 'steaming pile of poop' attached to an IP. I understand that FFG wanted to make BoW...fine(I find George R.R. Martin's stuff incredibly boring but some enjoy it). I don't think hijacking the BattleLore name, and making a game that is BINO(BattleLore In Name Only) was necessary.
 
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Matt Shinners
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PKDuke wrote:

It may be attached to a popular IP, but it is still just a 'steaming pile of poop' attached to an IP. I understand that FFG wanted to make BoW...fine(I find George R.R. Martin's stuff incredibly boring but some enjoy it). I don't think hijacking the BattleLore name, and making a game that is BINO(BattleLore In Name Only) was necessary.


My point was simply that the economics aren't the same between BoW and BL, so saying that they produce BoW isn't an argument for the cost-effectiveness of BL. I wasn't commenting on whether it was a good or bad game.

On top of that, FFG isn't going to release a product that is a direct competitor (pretty similar game systems - yes, I'm aware of the differences) with a game that's selling well.

Finally, saying that some people enjoy it is like me saying that I found Da Vinci Code terribly written drivel, but some people enjoy it. It's obtusely downplaying the popularity of something you don't happen to like.

I will agree, however, that it wasn't necessary. FFG would have been well within their legal rights to just release BoW without licensing BL since A) you can't protect game mechanics under American IP law and B) even if you could, they changed enough of the mechanics to be safe even under a rather stringent standard.

Instead, out of respect to the creator, they attached the name of BL to BoW because they were coopting a lot of his mechanics for the game. I don't think they were trying to get the BL fans to buy BoW - I think they felt the Game of Thrones tie-in would sell the game just fine. I think they threw that on there out of respect to Mr. Borg.
 
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red black wrote:


I've seen BL lots go cheaply. Dave Lorino magdave) deleted his GeekBay entry but IIRC his lot sold for a hundred bucks and he wrote that it was worth $250 new.

This lot sold for $180. http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...'


Come now, check the marketplace or other retailers of used games and you will see that such bargains are few and far between. Most core sets are going for $100 or more...some expansions fetch a similar amount, even opened. To make it sound like you can pick up lots of BattleLore on the cheap as some evidence of low demand is silly...in fact the opposite is true.
 
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Matt Shinners
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PKDuke wrote:


Most core sets are going for $100 or more...some expansions fetch a similar amount, even opened.


That may be what people are asking for them. If you watch the auctions, they rarely (if ever) sell for that amount.
 
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red black wrote:
PKDuke wrote:
red black wrote:


I've seen BL lots go cheaply. Dave Lorino magdave) deleted his GeekBay entry but IIRC his lot sold for a hundred bucks and he wrote that it was worth $250 new.

This lot sold for $180. http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...'


Come now, check the marketplace or other retailers of used games and you will see that such bargains are few and far between. Most core sets are going for $100 or more...some expansions fetch a similar amount, even opened. To make it sound like you can pick up lots of BattleLore on the cheap as some evidence of low demand is silly...in fact the opposite is true.


Not according to Spielboy.com. In fact the game is currently out of print with no reprint or second edition in sight and other options for fantasy tactical combat are out on the market. My guess is that if there was sufficient demand for this product then FFG would find a way to provide it.

Do you understand that FFG used the BattleLore name for their Westeros line and that is why the have silenced it? Also, Borg has said repeatedly that all the FFG expansions sold very well...not a sign of diminished demand. And AGAIN, the games listed in this thread as "competition" for BattleLore are nonsensical...and incomparable.

FFG themselves admitted there was a demand for this product they couldn't meet(a b.s. claim about production costs)...even repurposing French core sets which were gobbled up pretty quickly once made available.

As for the cost of BattleLore on the secondary market...
If the game really lacked appeal it wouldn't sell, in used condition, for more than it's original cost as it almost always does. If a game is unpopular and defunct usually the used market is flooded with stuff at a very low cost because people can't unload it...this is not even close to the case with BattleLore. Anyone who says otherwise is either not very informed or (unfortunately, as much I hate to say it) just not being honest.
 
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red black wrote:

Could you elaborate on your theory of why BL isn't being reprinted or revised because your post isn't at all clear. You're asserting that FFG 'silenced BL' and used the BL name for their Westeros line. What do you mean by that? You assert that there is a demand for BL, production costs are acceptable and Westeros doesn't compete with BL. So what gives?

Do a little research on these forums to understand the connection between the "BattleLore" name and Battles of Westeros...then I think you'll get the picture.
red black wrote:

FWIW, I see a lot of BL in math trades and the occasional "Help me sell my newly acquired BL lot" threads in this forum.

This is the last time I will address this. I am going to assume you are just not aware of the situation as opposed to being dishonest. There is a great demand for BattleLore stuff and VERY RARELY do people steal lots on the cheap. Your "I saw this on EBay", "I saw this post once" anecodital evidence does not disguise the facts that BattleLore stuff, both packaged and second hand, sells well...and almost never below MSRP(and often above). How long have you owned and been playing BattleLore, red black, because I just fail to see how you are not aware of this if you an enthusiast of the game on these boards.
 
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David Millette
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Well. Let me chime in here. First of all I see no need for the rudeness exhibited in this thread. There's something to be said for the ability to state your point without being emotionally attached to them.

Having said that I have the following points to make.

1.I don't agree that FFG did what they did out of a tribute to Mr. Borg who had and still has lots of tested expansions ready for the original game.

2.I think FFG made a marketing mistake by attaching the Battlore name to BOW as I think they alienated a vibrant Battlelore fan base, many of which might have purchased the game otherwise.

3.i've done an eBay sales comparison twice now comparing secondhand sales of BL and BW tracking only completed sales for a month. BL outsold BOW both in terms of total number of sales and total dollar amount of sales by 3-4 to 1. This is the only market that you can compare the two as they both have equal access to sales in that venue.

4.The base BL game sells pretty regularly on the secondhand market for around $50.

Just my thoughts
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mille1212 wrote:
Well. Let me chime in here. First of all I see no need for the rudeness exhibited in this thread. There's something to be said for the ability to state your point without being emotionally attached to them.

Having said that I have the following points to make.

1.I don't agree that FFG did what they did out of a tribute to Mr. Borg who had and still has lots of tested expansions ready for the original game.

2.I think FFG made a marketing mistake by attaching the Battlore name to BOW as I think they alienated a vibrant Battlelore fan base, many of which might have purchased the game otherwise.

3.i've done an eBay sales comparison twice now comparing secondhand sales of BL and BW tracking only completed sales for a month. BL outsold BOW both in terms of total number of sales and total dollar amount of sales by 3-4 to 1. This is the only market that you can compare the two as they both have equal access to sales in that venue.

4.The base BL game sells pretty regularly on the secondhand market for around $50.

Just my thoughts

I appreciate your insights, David. The ebay research you did was very interesting...I hadn't seen those figures before. I believe I worded some of my posts too strongly and I apologize if I caused tension...I appreciate your calming of tensions with your level headed post.

Here is the bottom line with where FFG screwed up the BattleLore franchise...
1. FFG acquires BattleLore from from Days of Wonder
2. FFG claims production costs are prohibitive of producing core set.
an argument which doesn't hold water...
a. as a veteran game producer they would have a pretty good idea as to production of costs of game components(either they are not being completely forthcoming or they didn't do their homework)
b. they never attempt to sell the game at a higher price point despite strong demand for the game(a demand they confirm through various posts on their website and repurposing of French sets)
3. BattleLore name attached to games in the Battles of Westeros line...game bears little resemblance to Battlelore(Command & Colors) system.
(in the background during all of this, Richard Borg reveals that he has additional expansions in mind for BattleLore)
4. original FFG expansions to BattleLore sell well according to Borg(a sign that the franchise is still running strong)
5. game continues to be pursued strongly on the secondary market(we can quibble about pricepoints, but this is not deniable(see David's post, etc.))

The bottom line is, it has become abundantly clear that FFG wanted the BattleLore name for Westeros and never intended to be serious about supporting the core game. As many of us BattleLore fans have been saying for a long time, they should either...
a. return to supporting the franchise(the point of my original post)
-or-
b. sell the franchise to a company that values ith appropriately(as more than just a subtitle to a different boardgame) who will allow Borg to expand on his concept successfully

Business is business, and it is clear FFG wanted the BattleLore name to "hype" their Westeros line....that's fine. However, in the opinion of many(I would guess most) of us BattleLore fans here, the huge mistake was dropping support for the core game(and thus the franchise as whole). I don't deny that FFG can do what they want with the properties they attain, that doesn't mean they've made good decisions or have been entirely honest about their approach to the original BattleLore. The nicest thing I can think of to say about FFG in this whole mess is that, theoretically, they always intended to only sell expansions to the game and knew they would not invest in producing the core game. IF that is true, then I see it as dishonest that they presented themselves as the new standard bearer of the franchise without explaining their intentions.

Why do BattleLore fans care what becomes of the name? In many of our estimations, the name once represented a fine board/wargame that had a promising, long lifespan to look forward to....but instead it was subjugated to being an advertisement for an inferior game system. A combination of missed opportunities for the original, and a cheezy marketing scheme by FFG, tends to rub fans of the original the wrong way. (can I get an "Amen"?)

I think that pretty much sums it up.
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red black wrote:
2.Insomuchas those fans believe FFG canned BL in favor of Westeros. I think if BL was still supported how the BL name is used wouldn't matter.

3I'm not sure that means much since Westeros can be purchased new cheaper than BL at retail channels. I'm guessing most people interested in BL would rather pay ebay prices than CSI prices.


2.That's my point. If they planned on not supporting the original Battlelore, then I believe they would have been better off not using the Battlelore name in conjunction with the Battle of Westeroes brand. They should have let the product stand on its own with the Thrones brand. Thrones fans will buy it regardless of whether or not it has the name Battlelore on the box. Many Battlelore fans will not buy it because it has the Battlelore name on the box. I don't see what they gained with that decision.

3.I disagree. In the only avenue that real sales can be compared for the two products with equal market access Battlelore outsells Battle of Westeroes with no support, no advertising, no new expansion releases, no TV show, no related Thrones theme, etc. This leads me to believe that there is still and interest in Battlelore related products and again brings me back to point #2. FFG should have done things differently even if they could not or chose not to support the Battlelore brand any longer.
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On point #2, I honestly thought that FFG had a point. From my outsider's perspective, there are three major things contributing to the costs.

1) From DOW's own mouth (if I recall correctly), the base game was a loss-leader. They put a lot into that base game to get it in people's hands and had a model to make the money back over time. Part of that may have been severely disrupted when game stores balked at having to sell individual blister packs and forced them to standard expansions.

2) From the time of the original publishing to the time that FFG acquired the license, the economy was heading down and game material was headed up. I don't think even DOW could have produced it for the original dollar amount. FFG coffin boxes were approaching (if not already there) the $100 MSRP. While not a coffin box, BattleLore was certainly 50% more game box and packed to the brim. FFG has since gone down making Descent 2 a standard game box with a lot less plastic.

3) The death knell. Perhaps someone is being dishonest here but the original molds were supposedly lost, stolen, broken, washed away in a typhoon, whatever. I would tend to believe FFG on this one as the limited amount of "existing" figures they used in their expansions were a rather shoddy sculpt that lost most of the details. This implied they used a plastic figure to recreate the mold just to get the piece back into circulation. This is further evidenced in that the "new" sculpts in the FFG expansions looked amazing.

Could they have started from scratch and made their own molds and two brand new base armies? I suppose so. To me, that is the baffling part. I think they had every intent to carry on BL. And they did. They had no reason to bring out Heroes, or Dragons, or reprint the Creatures. But they didn't stop there. They went on to "finish up" the three races we do have with brand new offerings. Why do all this if you are just going to let the line die? Why even put all the effort into acquiring and repurposing the french sets?

The only logical conclusions I can draw are 1) they wanted to do this but the price point is prohibiting them. 2) they want to still but it is too low of a priority. 3) which I hope is not the case, there was some contractual obligation when they purchased from DOW forcing them to round out the expansions they did.

Taking on the BL name backfired. They probably didn't sell many games in the Bl community that wouldn't have already been sold in the Songs of Ice and Fire community already. Where they erred was not making Westeros a straight up expansion to BattleLore. They could have then tapped both worlds and not left this bitter taste behind for loyal BL fans. They also could have introduced LotR into the mix as well.
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Dan Cavaliere
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This is not the first (or probably the last) thread about the future/demise of BL.

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4
Example 5
Example 6

and there are more.

I've stuck around many of these threads and bit my tongue on some and chimed in on others.

It's not just that there are no signs of expansions, reprints, etc. that give an impression that it's done but for me but it's things such as:

•the big sales at the end of the year in '10 & '11 (clearing the shelves)

•the steady release of expansions and then drop off (clearing the shelves)

•the sales of the 'repurposed' sets (clearing the shelves)

•no rules updates or FAQ's (this one is huge for me as there are many rules that need clarifications with the release of the above mentioned expansions)

I can live with my BL set the way it is as I was lucky enough to buy everything as it came out. However I'm sad to see such a good game fall by the wayside soblue
 
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PKDuke wrote:
Your "I saw this on EBay", "I saw this post once" anecodital evidence does not disguise the facts that BattleLore stuff, both packaged and second hand, sells well...and almost never below MSRP(and often above).


Honestly, we've linked 2-3 locations where very expansive BL collections sold in the ~$200 range, and you've linked to nothing showing a sale at a huge price. So you calling for us to provide more proof is laughable.
 
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
On point #2, I honestly thought that FFG had a point. From my outsider's perspective, there are three major things contributing to the costs.

1) From DOW's own mouth (if I recall correctly), the base game was a loss-leader. They put a lot into that base game to get it in people's hands and had a model to make the money back over time. Part of that may have been severely disrupted when game stores balked at having to sell individual blister packs and forced them to standard expansions.

2) From the time of the original publishing to the time that FFG acquired the license, the economy was heading down and game material was headed up. I don't think even DOW could have produced it for the original dollar amount. FFG coffin boxes were approaching (if not already there) the $100 MSRP. While not a coffin box, BattleLore was certainly 50% more game box and packed to the brim. FFG has since gone down making Descent 2 a standard game box with a lot less plastic.

3) The death knell. Perhaps someone is being dishonest here but the original molds were supposedly lost, stolen, broken, washed away in a typhoon, whatever. I would tend to believe FFG on this one as the limited amount of "existing" figures they used in their expansions were a rather shoddy sculpt that lost most of the details. This implied they used a plastic figure to recreate the mold just to get the piece back into circulation. This is further evidenced in that the "new" sculpts in the FFG expansions looked amazing.

Could they have started from scratch and made their own molds and two brand new base armies? I suppose so. To me, that is the baffling part. I think they had every intent to carry on BL. And they did. They had no reason to bring out Heroes, or Dragons, or reprint the Creatures. But they didn't stop there. They went on to "finish up" the three races we do have with brand new offerings. Why do all this if you are just going to let the line die? Why even put all the effort into acquiring and repurposing the french sets?

The only logical conclusions I can draw are 1) they wanted to do this but the price point is prohibiting them. 2) they want to still but it is too low of a priority. 3) which I hope is not the case, there was some contractual obligation when they purchased from DOW forcing them to round out the expansions they did.

Taking on the BL name backfired. They probably didn't sell many games in the Bl community that wouldn't have already been sold in the Songs of Ice and Fire community already. Where they erred was not making Westeros a straight up expansion to BattleLore. They could have then tapped both worlds and not left this bitter taste behind for loyal BL fans. They also could have introduced LotR into the mix as well.


Thanks for you insight here Brian. I concede that there could very well be reasons for the decisions that FFG made in regards to Battlelore, reasons that are beyond the understanding of the general public. They are a very successful game company, so they must be doing something right. I also 100% agree that FFG could have made some better decisions in regards to how they handled the Battlelore brand once they did acquire it regardless of what their intentions were. That was my main point.
 
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My suggestion is to repurpose the game to use 15mm figures. FF could publishe the map, flags, cards, etc. and update the rules to include new scenarios and fantasy race. Then let people purchase their choice of figures.
 
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Part of me still hankers to do BL using 6mm miniatures, using a strip of figures in place of a single figure, I reckon it would look pretty epic.

There are plenty of places to get 6mm figures these days:
https://www.baccus6mm.com/index.php?content=products
http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/
http://www.darkrealmminiatures.co.uk/store/home.php?cat=24 $
http://www.microworldgames.com/collections/6mm-fantasy

6mm flags
http://thesquare-wargames.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=ind...

Good site to get you started
http://folk.uio.no/arnsteio/DBXin6mm/

$ Yes it is a sci fi race but could make a passable monstrous race

Between this lot I reckon you've got 10 - 15 races to knock rules up for just need to use flags to denote specialist units....

Chris
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I think it would be easier for FFG to take a page from Zvezda and simply offer a "Classic BattleLore" rules set and supplementary materials for the already-existing Battles of Westeros core set and expansions.

They could do a simple package that would contain the following elements for recreating Battles of Westeros scenarios (from the core set to the latest expansions) using Classic Battle Lore rules.

Core BattleLore Rule Book: A Westeros-focused Classic BattleLore rule book might mean dropping the Dwarves, Goblins, and Creatures or applying their attributes to particular troop-types or factions. Or simply relegating them to a special section of their own in the rules. There might also be an optional "Heroes" section for introducing the unique Westeros characters. The Lore Rules and Deck would introduce and cover the classic Lore rules and then show players how to assemble a Westeros-Lore Deck—basically, the Medieval Lore deck—for use in Westeros scenarios.

Westeros-themed Scenario Book
Westeros-themed BattleLore Command Deck
Westeros-themed BattleLore Lore Deck
Westeros-themed Battle Dice


To get the figures, board, terrain tiles, and other cardboard bits you need access to the current BoW core set and expansions.

So, a couple rulebooks; a couple decks of cards, and 6–8 BattleLore d6s, and encouragement to invest in the Westeros products that are already available. I think that could be managed by FFG.
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