I was one of the lucky recipients of a review package of BGFW from Your Move Games. Chad Ellis sent me six decks of cards, a packet of 9 six sided dice, and two dry erase markers. The six decks of cards were the starter and reinforcement decks for the Men of Hawkswhold, Orcs, and Undead. These are not collectable. The starter deck packs have basic units and command cards, and a small booklet of basic rules. The reinforcement decks have a buch of the unit cards from the starter decks and a couple new units for that army, as well as advanced rules.
The basic rule book has "quick start rules" and the full basic rules. Today my 14 year old son and I played a quick start game, and a basic game, both my Men against his Orcs.
The quick start game went quickly, each force is about 1500 points, or what was about 7 units. Each unit is a single card that has the unit stats and a top down view of the unit. It is worth noting that 2 different quick start armies are listed for each force, and a starter deck has enough cards to field both, so two players can play for the cost of a single starter deck…
The quick start game got us used to game mechanics. You move the cards much like you would move a base of miniatures in game like DBA or HoTT. Player one moves his units, conducts combat between units in contact and fires his ranged units. Units role an amount of six sided dice, subtracting the defenders def skill from his off skill. This number or less is needed for a hit. Each hit is rerolled, subtracting the defender's toughness from the attackers power. This number or less signifies a hit that caused damage, each point gets marked off on the card (which is where the dry erase markers come in). The defender gets to attack back with units in contact but cannot fire ranged units.
Damage is marked off on a line of circles, green then yellow, then red. After all circles of a color are marked off a route check must be made. In this quick start game the failure of this test means the unit is destroyed. My sons orcs beat the snot out of my men.
The quick start rules are three pages in the rulebook (which is 48 pages long). We enjoyed the game but it was kind of simple. Key thing is we got used to figuring out how to hit and damage and check for routing. Good to play through, but we were eager to try the full basic rules.
A quick word about the componets. The cards are great looking. They feature what I assume is computer generated views of the forces and look really cool. They are sturdy enough and the dry erase markers wiped off easily. The dice were all read and had a dragon emblem instead of a "1". The 2-6 are typical pips. Since the "1" is almost always a hit it was cool to have the dragon emblem there. (you always want to roll lower than a number…)The rule book is tiny, it has to fit in a deck of cards box. You can download the rules in pdf format and I intend too. The tiny type and teeny book are hard to read for my old eyes. Having said that they are well written. One thing we noticed was witht he cards, once the battle lines were joined and units were fighting it could be difficult to tell an Orc card from a Man card because they both show the unit on a green/grass battleground. Maybe a different color for each faction, or at least a different background color for the unit stat lines would have helped here. Maybe better lighting in my living room may have helped too.
I'll write up my review of the basic game later, maybe tomorrow. For now I'll tell you it kicked butt and is not near as simple as the quick start rules. They are perhaps more complex than DBA/HoTT due to the comand cards…. But that is the next review.
PS, Thanks to Chad and Your Move Games for the chance to test these out.