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August 18 2010

Battles of Westeros First Impressions

I finally got a chance to play the brand new ‘BattleLore’ game from Fantasy Flight Games, Battles of Westeros, so I thought I’d write up my first impressions of the game for anyone who is wondering what this new incarnation of BattleLore is all about. ‘Battles of Westeros First Impressions’ is one of series of weekly articles for the Games Paradise online blog.

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April 01 2010

Battles of Westeros News

More official information about Battles of Westeros has been released; an article about troop management in the game. Sounds interesting, and actually quite different from the BattleLore system.

For all the detail, visit the Fantasy Flight website.

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March 29 2010

Rob Kouba and Battles of Westeros

Rob Kouba answers more than ten questions about Battles of Westeros at The Hopeless Gamer.

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March 23 2010

Battles of Westeros Battle Report

The Hopeless Gamer has an excellent and detailed battle report on the upcoming Battles of Westeros ‘BattleLore’ game. More information is promised soon. Check it out.

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March 18 2010

Battles of Westeros News

Fantasy Flight Games has released a little bit of information about the upcoming ‘BattleLore spinoff’ Battles of Westeros.

There’s our first glimpse of some nice-looking terrain tiles (it would be great if these were compatible with existing BattleLore), and news that the board can be played in both the normal horizontal configuration (which you can expand with add extra boards) and a long lengthwise configuration. But most radically, there are no flanks on the board. Instead, in most circumstances you can only order units if they are controlled—that is, within two hexes of a commander.

For more detail, visit the Fantasy Flight website.

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March 15 2010

Got a Question for Rob Kouba, designer of Battles of Westeros?

If you do, get on over to The Hopeless Gamer and ask it!

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February 23 2010

Battles of Westeros Officially Announced

Battles of Westeros

Fantasy Flight Games has officially announced their new game Battles of Westeros.

In news articles on their website, FGG announce the new upcoming release and Christian Petersen, CEO of FFG, answers some questions about the game. The official minisite has also been launched.

The interview gives us some very interesting insights into what is happening with BattleLore at FFG, and possibly, what happened with it at Days of Wonder. Apparently, due to various factors, the original game can no longer be produced at an affordable pricepoint. This is pure speculation, but I think we will see ‘classic’ BattleLore re-released in a completely new format at some time in the future—perhaps a core game with far smaller armies, and then small army packs as expansions.

After reading the information available so far, I must admit I’m in two minds about this new release. Firstly, it looks like a great game, and I have no doubt that I will buy it and enjoy it. But I am confused about it being branded a BattleLore game. Petersen himself admits that they “have some slight similarities” but are “different games”; that “we acquired BattleLore to be our core brand for medieval tactical warfare games … the BattleLore name is not necessarily tied to Richard’s Command and Colors system”; and “the key value to FFG was the BattleLore brand.”

Well, this is new … and very confusing to BattleLore players and non-BattleLore players alike.

According to Petersen, BattleLore has “an eclectic mix of a fantasy and historic medieval theme that FFG has never been comfortable with”, and that Battles of Westeros is a non-magic, gritty medieval game that is more in line with their vision.

Petersen goes on to say that “classic BattleLore” will continue to be supported. This is great news, but again, confusing to the game-buying public that isn’t keeping track of these developments by visiting the website and reading the articles. It seems to be completely reasonable for someone who sees a game on the shelf branded ‘A BattleLore Game’ to expect that it will be compatible with the game BattleLore, does it not? And doesn’t it seem strange that a game specifically targeted as not including magic is branded with a name—and a logo—that specifically emphasises ‘Lore’, or magic?

Again, I think the new game looks great and I will most likely buy it. But if it’s not BattleLore, why brand it BattleLore? Why change the name BattleLore into a generic brand name, when there is already a specific game system by that name? A specific game system that will now be rather clunkily referred to as ‘classic’ BattleLore?

I can see what FFG are trying to do—creating a generic brand for a game series—and no doubt when all the dust settles and time has passed, the fan base will accept that BattleLore is now a brand name and not a particular game system.

Personally, I don’t expend energy worrying too much about these matters—there’ll always be plenty of quality games to play from FFG, and I have enough gaming goodness to happily fill my available hours. But it seems a shame that the uniqueness—the ‘eclectic mix’, if you will—of the BattleLore game has been diluted in this way.

What do you think? I’d be interested to hear your opinion. And should this website cover all the ‘BattleLore’ releases from FFG, or just ‘classic BattleLore’?

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February 21 2010

Battles of Westeros BattleLore Game Announced!

Battles of Westeros

Information has just come in that a new BattleLore core set has been announced at Sunday’s Fantasy Flight Games Event Center opening.

Fantasy Flight Games has created a BattleLore game set in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire setting, the ‘realistic’ medieval fantasy world already licenced by FFG in A Games of Thrones: The Board Game and A Game of Thrones LCG.

Game design is by Robert Kouba, ‘inspired by the classic game created by Richard Borg’. Kouba has in the past worked on expansions for Descent, Starcraft, and Tide of Iron.

Game Contents
1 Rulebook
1 Westeros Battle Plans Book
1 Six-panel Map Board
138 Plastic Figures
138 Plastic Bases
36 Banner Poles
8 Custom Dice
110 Cards
2 Command Boards
1 Round Track and 1 Round Marker
2 Victory Point Markers
2 Morale Segments, 1 Moral Hub and 1 Morale Marker
50 Order Tokens
86 Unit Banners
14 Control Markers
6 Directional Tokens
20 Engagment Tokens
32 Overlay Map Pieces
3 Archer Tokens
6 Devestation Tokens
13 Tactical Objective Tokens
18 Fire Tokens
1 Catelyn Stark Token, 2 Edmure Tully Tokens
7 tent Tokens
8 Siege Tower Tokens
9 Catapult Targeting Tokens
10 Commander Discs
1 Momentum Token

Interesting that the figures seem to come with separate bases. It’s obvious from a look at this list that this new game is going to be somewhat more complex that basic BattleLore—just look at all those extra tokens for a start! It would also appear that the new game will put magic in the background—if not out of the picture entirely—as I believe the books do not feature magic at all.

For continuing coverage, visit The Hopeless Gamer blog, who is currently posting about the game, including some images of the miniatures. Thanks go to that blog for the photo and information posted above. No doubt the official launch on the Fantasy Flight Games website will be tomorrow!

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