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February 23, 2007
Official Word: Call to Arms
The latest post on the official DoW blog gives us more insight into the workings of the exciting new Call to Arms expansion.
The Call to Arms rules are used to create customised armies when only the battle map’s terrain has been defined. (Note we can see on this sample map new ‘ridges ‘terrain, which will be included in the expansion.)
There are two drafting modes: Impromptu, for friendly, short set-up time sessions; and Organised, for veteran gamers wanting more control.
The mechanics are designed to simulate medieval deployments by using the concept of Battles or Guards: the vanguard, which led the column of troops on the march, the middle, which followed, and the rearguard, which closed the column.
These Guards would then deploy abreast opposite the enemy, with the vanguard moving to the right wing, the middle to the centre and the rear to the left.
Players draw Deployment cards to specify the type and composition of these units. Choices may be influenced by the terrain (units deployed on impassable terrain must be instead deployed on your baseline or first row of hexes); your reserve (a card held in Reserve cannopt be fully deployed; instead two of units are deployed on your baseline); and initiative (cleverly, the player with the most Green units outside of his Reserve ‘out-scouts’ his opponent and starts the game)
In Organised mode players choose their own decks to draw from, and if you cannot raise the troops you’d like from the common Army pool when they need to be deployed, you’ll have to call on Feudal Levies, represented by Feudal Levy tokens of the appropriate colour. During deployment these are exchanged for units of equal or lower rank.
Specialist cards introduce another interesting aspect to Organised deployment, allowing you to develop interesting card combos (though you can only select two per game) to modify the deployment process and complement your troop or War Council selections.
BattleLoreMaster Desktop Images
As promised—more BattleLore Desktop Images for your computer, in four different resolutions!
Using authentic BattleLore art kindly provided by Days of Wonder, these first batch of 8 desktops also features one for each of the Lore Masters.
Keep watch for new desktops in the Guild Downloads section as they are created.
Now— go forth and proudly proclaim your allegiance to BattleLore on your computer!
February 19, 2007
Call To Arms Desktop Images
The official BattleLore site has just released five 1600x1200 Call to Arms Desktop Images.
Due to the high resolution of these images we can get a glimpse of some of the possible upcoming unit types for BattleLore: goblins mounted on ostriches? Goblins armed with slingshots? Human pikemen? Heavy cavalry with lance? Goblin drummers? Dwarven axemen? And of course … the dwarven bagpipers ..?
Keep an eye out for new BattleLore desktops here on BattleLoreMaster.com—coming soon!
February 16, 2007
Official Word: Spring ‘07 Expansions Roadmap
Some exciting announcements in the latest official DoW blog post—things are really starting to heat up for BattleLore now!
First, in March, registered users will have free online access to the Epic Expansion. Finally we will have rules for using the flipsides of two BattleLore boards to create a huge battlefield with up to 3 players a side. There’s also a tantalising mention of a ‘unique new twist involving an ingenious use for a couple of your cardholders’ and DoW expect Epic BattleLore to become the dominant format and preferred form of play for in-store events and game conventions.
This online supplement (a printed version including a second game board and some extra Lore tokens will be released in the same month) will come with five new Epic adventures, all of which can be played with a single army set.
But wait, it gets even better! DoW have skipped the blister releases and in April are going straight to their first major boxed supplement: Call to Arms. Eric told me about this exciting army deployment system recently and it is really something. As has been mentioned in the past, BattleLore will not use point-based army building, but instead an unique card-driven system featuring Deployment decks, Specialist cards and Feudal Levy tokens. Yes, customising and deploying your armies will almost be a game in itself closely mimicking medieval deployments of yore, not a dry mathematical exercise. Call to Arms will retail for about US$20.
Finally , in May, the first figure sets or Specialist Packs will start shipping. Rather than blister packs, these sets will introduce a couple of new units around a common theme: probably beginning with a Goblin Skirmisher set, a Dwarven Battalion (complete with Bagpipers) and an Hundred Years War Battalion. Each will retail for about US$20. These will also be released as single-unit blister packs exclusively off the DoW website.
The Game: Expansions section of this site has been updated with the information above. BattleLore is certainly beginnning to develop a completely unique character of its own with these new expansions.
February 14, 2007
The land of the Iron Dwarves is harsh and unforgiving—much like the mercenary bands who call it home—and I have dared much to travel here, ever in thrall to the sound of the pipes that have beckoned me onward.
At last, I can send you this, which I ask you to forward to my usual employers. More information will follow, but for now, I look forward this night to a bed far softer than mountain heather, and a tankard of ale as large as a Dwarven grudge!
February 12, 2007
I have been wandering far afield, following a sound that beckons me onwards. Always it seems to echo from beyond the crest of the farthest hill, and always it eludes me. The nights grow colder, and the wind whips the heather into pools and eddies. I stumble over the exposed rocks, scratching my palms cruelly as I fall. The rain is like shards of ice as it hits my face.
Ever the sound calls me. I know I am on the brink of some new revelation, something that will change the way I have come to understand the battles of this world.
There are some who will pay handsomely for this information. Soon all will be revealed. Perhaps … just over that next hill …
February 7, 2007
BattleLore Fan/Demo Posters
Planning in-store demos of BattleLore? Setting up a BattleLore club at school or work? Or maybe you just want to let your friends know when the next game is on? These BattleLore Fan Posters have been designed for you.
Available in a variety of sizes and with a space where you can write in the time of your next game in thick black marker. Note that since printers vary so much in their margin settings, the posters have been designed with artwork right to the edge. Use the Fit to Paper setting in your Print dialog box for best results, then trim.
Now get out there and organise a game!
Download A4 (210x297mm) PDF (423Kb)
Download A3 (297x420mm) PDF (734Kb)
Download Letter (8.5x11in) PDF (410Kb)
Download Tabloid (11x17in) PDF (713Kb)
February 6, 2007
Official Word: The Calm Before the Storm
With that exciting and mysterious title the official blog has been updated—the latest post briefly talks about fan sites, upcoming web support, and teases us with a mention of new expansions to come. But the most interesting announcement from DoW is the new online Painting Guide.
The Guide is a detailed step-by-step look at painting your BattleLore miniatures to tabletop standard by a group called Team Toulouse (website in French), along with a small gallery of the figures in action. (I’m personally not a fan of black undercoating as I think it forces you to layer the paint on too thick, but it’s purely a matter of preference, and the results shown are excellent.) There is also some very helpful advice here on choosing colour schemes for your miniatures.
For other tips and tricks on miniature painting, check out the appropriate section of the BattleLoreMaster forums.
It’s also great to see BattleLoreMaster.com get a mention (and screenshot) on the official forum (as does Torgan.net). DoW are working on a new tool that sounds like the MySpace for DoW game players—a place to “share your best ideas, game resources, pictures and stories with fellow players” and provide each fan with a BattleLore space of their own. This new web tool will debut for Memoir ‘44, then carry over to the BattleLore and Ticket to Ride communities. DoW has always led the way when it comes to the web side of their business, and this looks to be a big new feature of that.
The various online Compendiums are still a work in progress, but apparently several of the questions that have come up have now been answered ( a marathon three day session with game designer Richard Borg seems to have been very productive). DoW are still working on PDF output and various other refinements.
And, some would say most excitingly, we learn that the new expansions will be the subject of next week’s entry. Having been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of some of these, I can assure you no BattleLore player will be disappointed!