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December 29, 2006
Painted Heavy Infantry
I’ve finally began painting my own BattleLore figures and, in keeping with the old maxim of starting with the easiest task, began with the heavy infantry.
These figures were first washed with water and a bit of detergent, allowed to dry, and undercoated white. I started with the metal areas, painting them with Games Workshop Chainmail, washing them with Tamiya Smoke, and highlighting with Mithril Silver…
(… visit the Guild Gallery for more details and some close-up photos.)
BattleLore Unofficial FAQ
A useful Condensed FAQ 1.2 (with Creature Flowchart) has been posted by maxixe on the DoW forums.
Forum membership approval back up and running
Those of you who registered on the forums over the past few days should be approved now (except you %$ spammers)—sorry for the wait. Things are again running as normal. And … Happy New Year to all readers!
December 25, 2006
Quick note about the forums
Just a quick note about the forums—they’ll be no acceptance of new members for the next four days while I’m on a break (forum membership approval has to be done by hand to stop spammers). The forums are still working fine but those who wish to join during this time will have to wait until the end of the week to be approved. My apologies.
December 24, 2006
A Very BattleLore Xmas
A very happy Xmas to all of you who visit BattleLoreMaster.com. I’m sure 2006 will bring us BattleLore players many exciting goodies from Days of Wonder … and I look forward to making sure this site remains your favourite destination on the web for BattleLore information.
If you haven’t yet joined the other BattleLore fans deep in discussion on the forums, don’t forget to join up.
Good health and happiness—and good gaming—to you all!
Another Unofficial Adventures Update
Two new Adventures on the Unofficial Adventures page: Philip Thomas’ fantasy battle between Elves and Amazons at Gallowglass, and Servando Miguel’s The Battle of Stirling Brdge, English versus Scottish with William Wallace as a Hill Giant!
December 23, 2006
Unofficial Adventures Update
The pen of the prolific Philip Thomas has struck again with The Battle of Lincoln, February 2, 1141. It’s on the Unofficial Adventures page.
December 22, 2006
Official Word: The Adventure Editor is online!
The latest official DoW blog post tells us that the official Days of Wonder Adventure Editor is online (see the links in the bottom right-hand corner of the page)—and already the unofficial adventures are starting to appear.
- The Editor features:
- true multilingual support, with Author’s control on translatability
- support for double-board (ie Epic) battle maps
- a WYSIWYG war council interface
- numerous filters for searching through the adventures
- and all the features already present in the editor’s prior incarnation, developed for Memoir ‘44 (WYSIWYG battle map layout, after-action reports…)
We don’t know yet what this means for our own Adventures section, but we’ll see how things work out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the tools are there, so set off on some new adventures!
Creature deployment controversy resolved!
From the DoW forums: “Your Giant Spider from the core game and the two promotional creature figures, the Hill Giant and Earth Elemental are all considered 1 level creatures. To deploy a creature in battle will count as 1 level token for its camp on the War Council. For your enjoyment, you may deploy any one of these when an Adventure calls for the deployment of a creature.”
I am here, in a provincial tavern on the outskirts of Poix. I have been sitting in this dark corner for two hours now, nursing a single tankard and watching with scorn the drunken antics of the local farmers. My contact is late. Yesterday, a local boy tugged at my surcoat and I was about to backhand the insolent peasant when he passed me a note. Scrawled upon it were five words. “The Blue Bell, sundown. Raven.” The boy, seeing my black look, was smart enough not to wait for a denier for his trouble.
The Raven refuses to follow the orders of the King and work to any timetable but his own. But I tolerate his insolence for he often has useful information for me. And so I am here, in the shadows, wrapped in a black cloak and ignoring the curious looks of the provincials.
“My lord?” It is the innkeeper. He drops an envelope on the table and takes my empty tankard. I can see that upon it is a seal. The seal of the Raven.
Unofficial Adventures Update
Philip Thomas gives us another adventure plucked from the pages of history and The Ordnance Survey Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain. This time it’s The Battle of the Standard, August 22, 1138. Check it out on the Unofficial Adventures page.
December 21, 2006
Unofficial Adventures & Guild Gallery Updates
The exciting variety of Unofficial Adventures continues with a new adventure by Philip Thomas: The Battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066.
And over in the Guild Gallery, Sebastian Schwarz shows us his inspiring custom-made BattleLore figure box!
Basic strategy & tactics for new players
1. Get your troops bold/supported as quickly as possible. Ignoring the first retreat flag can keep your line together. Battleback allows you to damage enemy troops even if you don’t have cards to activate them. Use some Cavalry in reserve to quickly mend a breach in your line.
2. Put green troops in forests, blue troops on hills. These units can attack at full strength from this terrain but limit the dice that can be used against them.
3. Use Command cards for specific sections of the battlefield (center, flanks) before the more generic Command cards (blue troops, foot troops). This allows you to adjust to battlefield changes more easily. Maneuver troops onto the hexes that belong to two sections to allow more Command cards to activate them. If necessary, look at your hand of Command cards and move troops into the sections you have Command cards for.
4. When attacking, keep your troops in supported formation. Try to have at least two Command cards for the troops you want to attack with before launching the attack so you can keep pressing or fall back as the situation demands. Either focus on the opponent’s unsupported troops or find a place in their line that you can hit multiple times where killing or pushing back the unit will leave multiple units unsupported.
5. If you get in trouble in one section of the battlefield and don’t have the Command cards to respond, apply pressure on the opponent in another part of the battlefield. Try and get them to change their focus so you can buy some time to get a Command card that’s useful.
6. Don’t give in to the temptation to advance your cavalry too far away. Cavalry units are better used as opportunists who can fall upon enemies left behind or isolated to finish them.
(These notes by EvanMinn originally appeared on the DoW forums and incorporate suggestions from BGG members aristarco, thesama, Kris and tstapp1026)
December 20, 2006
Unofficial Adventures Updates
Check out the Unofficial Adventures section for three new unofficial BattleLore adventures by fans. The first is the Battle of Jemmingen, 21 July 1568 by Servando Miguel, set during the Eighty Year’s War. A great excuse to break out the Hill Giant and Earth Elemental.
The second is the first of what will probably be many Lord of the Rings-style adventures: Battles Of The Fords Of Isen I : Defending The Eyot by Stephane Nolet, which sets Théodred defending a river-encircled eyot (small island) against Uruk-hai, wargs and Dunlendings.
The third is To the Rescue! by Niels Taatgen. Town commander Francois du Pont attempts to rescue the Major from a band of unruly Goblins … but they have a Hill Giant …
in your adventures now!
December 19, 2006
Another Guild Gallery Update
The Guild Gallery now includes some images of the excellent figure conversions by Grungebob that really showcase the possibilities for expanding BattleLore.
December 18, 2006
Guild Gallery Update
Check out The Guild Gallery for a great picture of painted heavy infantry figures with detailed shield decals by Dan Becker.
December 16, 2006
The New BattleLoreMaster
Allow me to introduce the new BattleLoreMaster!. I hope you like the new site, which features more graphics, a wider format, and new sections, all designed to enhance your games of BattleLore. Of special note is the new Guild section, which will feature player-made modifications for the game—home rules, new weapons, armies, terrain and creatures (and look out for wallpapers soon). This section needs your input to grow, so send in your ideas now! There’s also an Adventures section where you can submit your Adventures for all BattleLore players to enjoy. And of course there’s the Forums, where a great community of players is developing—116 members and counting.
Many thanks go to the folks at Days of Wonder for being so supportive.
December 15, 2006
Alfred Wallace of Boardgamenews has come up with an interesting scenario generation/army building system for BattleLore. Check it out here: Alfred’s BattleLore Scenario Generator.
Allow me to introduce myself. I am known, when I am spoken of at all, as The Raven.
Of course, it is a somewhat dramatic pseudonym—not my real name. That, my employers do not need to know, and even less so my enemies. For the moment, all must remain hidden. All you need to know is that I am very, very good at what I do. And what I do is get information, by fair means or foul.
Quite often foul, actually.
I have something for you … something new. Touch my seal to see. More later; for now, there is a darker shadow among the shadows, and I must begone. But before I go—one last thing. Everything here will change … soon.
December 11, 2006
Review: Boardgames With Scott
The Boardgames With Scott video review is online.
It gives an excellent long, detailed overview of how to play in Scott’s usual relaxed and friendly style. “I didn’t expect to like this game …[but] I really like it. A+. Hurrah Days of Wonder! … I’m really impressed. I predict big things for this game system.”
Official Word: Apologies
The latest official DoW blog post covers a few production issues that have comes up with the first run of BattleLore, and DoW’s plans to solve the problems. It’s certainly impressive how transparent DoW is being to their customers and how quickly these issues are being resolved.
In relation to the dice issue, new more durable dice are already being manufactured, and will be shipped to users who register on the DoW website. A special page will be set up as soon as the dice become available.
The problem with bent figures is easily fixed, but DoW are looking into other packaging alternatives in the future.
The Online Adventure Editor is not up yet, but staff are working hard to get it online as soon as possible.
All in all, it’s obvious that DoW is working hard to resolving all issues and fix any components that haven’t met their own extremely high standards. DoW already have a reputation for exceptional customer service; this post certainly confirms it.
From the DoW forums: A few reports are coming in of the symbols on the BattleLore dice rubbing off after only a few plays. DoW is taking this problem seriously and “… will be making an announcement regarding the replacement dice on Monday or Tuesday at the latest … We are very unhappy with this, as you can all imagine, and rather embarrassed. We will make it right, though … sorry for the disappointment.”
In the meantime, if you have a new copy, I recommend an easy solution which will at least stave off the damage: giving them a coat of spray matt varnish. I just did this to my own dice. Be careful not to spray them in hot sunlight, which can cause the varnish to dry strangely, follow the instructions on the can carefully, and allow to dry thoroughly between light coats (we at battleloremaster.com do not, of course, take responsibility for your results!). A Boardgamegeek thread on the issue is here.
December 9, 2006
Opening the box
My (first) copy of BattleLore arrived the other day, so let’s have a good long look at the packed contents of a BattleLore box (and the two promotional miniatures):
First impressions? The quality is stunning. I haven’t seen any photographs that have done justice to the detail in the miniatures—they really have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. As expected, a few of the miniatures in the second layer were a bit bent, but ten minutes with the hot and cold water technique fixed that problem easily. While the plastic trays are great, it’s virtually impossible to remember where all the banner bearers belong in the trays, so instead I’ve moved the bulk of the minis into a plastic compartmentalised box and kept the second tray for banner bearers. As I’ll be getting a second set I plan to use one box for minis and one for everything else.
The game truly is ready to play: no punching out counters and tiles, no fiddly work applying stickers. The rulebook is 80 pages of full colour, packed with examples and beautiful artwork, perfect-bound with a matt celloglazed cover.
The artwork throughout is top-notch. I especially like the fine detail of the grass cover on the Battle Board (much nicer than the somewhat painterly look of the Memoir ‘44 boards, in my opinion). When flipped over, of course, the board becomes one half of an Epic sized board, and the possibilities for huge battles are certainly very exciting.
Now, I’m faced with the daunting task of painting this huge selection of finely-detailed miniatures. Quite a job, but I think the game will be justify the effort and painted miniatures really do enhance the experience.
Time for the battles to begin ..!
December 8, 2006
The RPGnet review of BattleLore by Shannon Appelcline is another huge endorsement of the game: … really shows off the strengths of [Richard Borg’s] Commands & Colors gaming systems, now in a more complex, but also much better polished form. This new game allows for tons of strategy and more importantly fun, all upon the fantasy battlefield. Rating: 5/5 for both style and substance.
December 6, 2006
Official Word: Online Tools (Part 1)
The latest official DoW blog post introduces the Lore Cards Compendium, a comprehensive listing of all the Lore cards—Cleric, Wizard, Rogue and Warrior—to come with the core game.
The plan is for the Compendium to grow into a comprehensive, searchable directory of Lore cards, including FAQs specific to each card, innovative ways to play them, and even end-user designed house rules. While DoW asks that discussions are kept to the official DoW forums (and don’t forget our own BattleLoreMaster forums), a Comments feature allows users to add their own brief gameplay observations about the cards.
Small Adventure Errata
From the DoW forums: “… please note that Adventure #9 has a misprint. There should only be one goblin archer unit in the woods, in the 3rd hex from the left of the map. The goblin archer unit next to it (in the 4th hex from the left) is an error, and should be a green goblin infantry unit, not an archer unit. The Online version of this adventure will feature the correct units, and be posted along with the Adventure Online editor, as soon as it becomes available.”
December 4, 2006
Epic Setup: Two Boards
This photo shows two BattleLore boards flipped over and joined along their long sides to make an ‘Epic’ playing field.
While no Epic scenarios have yet been officially released, players are already experimenting with modifying the existing scenarios on the two-board setup. Impressive stuff. Read the original DoW forums post here.