Ready to Enter the Realm of Terrinoth….Again!
BattleLore 2nd Edition is set in the fantasy realm of Terrinoth. So if you have played RuneWars, RuneBound or Rune Age you will be familiar with the races and spells of the game. It is a themed realm that Fantasy Flight Games have fully fleshed out. More importantly BattleLore uses the Commands & Colors combat system used in the Memoir ’44 and Battle Cry Board games. So those of you familiar with those games will have no trouble playing BattleLore.
Changes to Combat Rules…Make This a Must Buy Game!!
Memoir ’44 and the first Edition of Battlore are great games, but for me I had to suspend a certain amount of reasoning when it came to the game mechanics. In particular when a unit of yours was fired upon, they stood there like lemons, dying, standing their ground or retreating. Thankfully BattleLore 2nd Edition has addressed these annoying lapses in reality with counter-strike, now if your unit does not flee they will return fire. In fact this edition of Battlelore is so much more streamlined and efficient, it feels like a different game.
The Miniatures….Bigger, Bolder and more Butch!!
The quality of the this game has risen to another level. You get two armies, the Daqan Lords and the demon-worshipping Uthuk Y’llan. The detail of these miniatures is first rate, they are bigger than those found in the first edition of BattleLore, which unfortunately makes them incompatible. The opposing armies come with one side blue and the other red plastic figures. I played this game where the owner had spent a couple of days, base painting the miniatures, then dry brushing highlights and touching up on some details. The result was startling and added to the atmosphere of the game. I would recommend playing this game painted. The Legendary figures for either side are spectacular, a huge Eagle with rider against a giant Demon.
Setting Up a Campaign…..It is so Easy!!
This Edition of BattleLore is a game where you can literally pull out of the box and play. Gone are the campaigns in the rulebook. Now you have campaign cards, each player has eight campaign cards for their race, you shuffle them, pick out two blind and then chose one. The campaign card will inform you where to put various terrain and where to place victory points on your side of map. It will also tell you where you can place your troops and other ways to gain victory points.
Build Your Own Army…..It is Even Easier!!
So the Campaign you chose is going to dictate what your army is going to comprise of. You have fifty points to use to generate that army of yours, if you chose to include a command tent then you gain five more points. The down side is that if your opponent captures the command tent they gain two victory points. Any points you don’t use in building your army, you will use for lore tokens. Once your army is made, you add bluff cards and you deploy your army, how and where you like on the hexes designated on your campaign card. Once both armies have been deployed face down, they are flipped over and the bluffs removed and the relevant miniatures replace the cards. Each player gets to chose four tactics cards from a randomly drawn six to select his manoeuvres. Then the player with the lowest alphabetical and numerical campaign card goes first and the battle commences.
I can Smell the Lore in the Air…That is Magic to You and Me!!
The second word in the title of this game is Lore and at the end of each turn, besides gaining a new manoeuvre card, you can have either a lore card and a lore token or two lore tokens. These Lore cards are powered by the number of lore tokens needed to use them and add to abilities of a variety of your units or counter your opponents attacks. It is a resource management part of the game that has to be taken carefully into account, as they will affect the outcome of a particular encounter. The cards are very clear in their wording and I don’t believe we had one card, where we had to refer to the rulebook. The only time we referred to the rulebook was to check on the bonus of terrain.
Combat…Dictated by Dice!!
So the combat is dictated by the dreaded dice and the unit cards will inform you the significance of each of the symbols on the dice to your unit. The cards inform you also how far a unit can move and its health. I found a dice tower to be satisfactory for this game and would recommend using one. Again the combat has been streamlined and I found the various unit abilities amplified the theme of the game, in other words the combat was a joy.
After the Dust had Settled…We Were on the March by Sunset!!
The game is so much quicker to set up and dare I say, enjoyable to play, that that gamer in me was sad to see it being packed away. The Sun had set, but I was ready to march on to the next encounter on the borderlands of Terrinoth, with my Flesh Ripper Brutes howling at that scent of the retreating humans.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.