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BattleLore: Epic BattleLore» Forums » Sessions

Subject: BattleLore just got a little more Epic rss

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Steve Cates
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Session Report 3-12-07

Players: (Me) Steve and Richard (Standards) vs. Mark Jackson (aka fluffdaddy) and Dave (Pennants)
Scores: Standards 8 Pennants 2

Rules: The addition of the epic rules was just another delicious layer on the cake IMO. The community rack and the option of playing two section cards vs. one tactic card provided for some interesting decisions. The boost for the BattleLore card from +1d to +2d and the Leadership boost where you can order the number of units equal to your command level (originally forgot) was a decent draw. The additional dice boost was key to finishing off units in a situation where the attacker wants to guarantee a hit or retreat.

Session: I had forgot to printout a scenario and Mark’s internet connection was having problems so we (mostly I) decided to make one up as they were finishing a racing game with dragons. By the time they finished I was half way done setting things up and they helped me throw down the final units and we were ready to explain the rules.

Mark and I had played before so we took the command roles and Dave took the role of field marshal on Mark’s side and Richard was my field marshal taking command of the left and right flanks. So, Mark and I tag teamed the rules explanation and since Dave and Richard had played Memoir before it was pretty easy going.

War councils were set up and I decided to go for 7 levels in this scenario which resulted in both sides choosing level 3 Commander and level 1 creature to which the Pennants chose the Hill Giant and the Standards chose the Giant Spider. Pennants also took a level 2 Warrior and a level one Wizard while the Standards went with the standard level 3 Wizard.

The setup consisted of the Standards being a little heavier on the Dwarf make up and the Pennants heavier on Goblin and one extra unit. There were two rivers angling off the corners of the Pennants lower right and the Standards lower right (sort of polar opposite if that makes sense). Trees and hills were scattered about and the Standard Stronghold was dead center in about row 7 while the Magic Pentacle was back on the 4th row out of the action to collect 1 extra lore token per turn. Finally, the Pennant Stronghold was nestled in behind some trees on their left flank. Pennants went first.

Pennants, being fed great cards in the community rack, struck first blood with the Hill Giant battling the dwarves in an up hill battle where he could only roll 2d and the dwarves failed to capitalize on battlebacks over two turns. The pennants made some forceful moves in the center moving in on the stronghold but the Standards beat back and annihilated two Pennant cav units in one turn and two more in the following turn. With the Pennants almost completely hamstrung by the lack of cavalry, it was only a matter of time for the Standard victory. Creeping doom was played by the standards which was devastating to three of the five units one unit lost 3 figs and the spider came in for the kill on the next turn.

The Hill Giant was attacked by the red cavalry with the BattleLore card and 6 dice didn’t kill the giant but made him retreat with two flags and then the red cav followed on pursuit for a second strike with 6 dice and rolled 3 flags with no critical hit, essentially pushing the HG out of the game. The archers at the stronghold were also ordered on the BattleLore card along with Magic Missiles so they rolled 6 dice on the Pennants last cav unit that was completely destroyed in one swift blow. Finally, the Giant Spider with a souped up 4 dice went and killed another single figure unit in this blood bath.

The Pennants at this point, down 6 to 2, decided that with their dying breath they would get some token pleasure in killing the spider. One reason the final score was so oneside is because they attempted to kill the spider about 10 times and could NEVER get a critical hit. Unfortunately, they failed again on several unlucky rolls in which the spider bit back and poisoned another victim.

The Final turn, the standards threw down two scout cards which gave them two more kills for a final of 8 to 2. Nothing could stop the hot dice.

Comments:
Mark complained about lack of balance in a made-up scenario, but I disagree, I think the hamstringing early with the cav was the real culprit in the one sided victory. I think the system is extremely flexible and the way units are set up shouldn’t drastically unbalance the game, so long as the numbers are roughly equal. Consider the Call to Arms deployment cards which can be applied to any section, Richard Borg has playtested the heck out of those, I’m sure, and they seem to work.

Epic BattleLore might not come out every time I play, but definitely any time there’s four to six people to play that’s going to be the first recommendation.
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Mark Jackson
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BattleLore: Epic BattleLore » Forums » Sessions
Re: BattleLore just got a little more Epic
Some comments on Steve's session report by "the other side"... wow

ironcates wrote:
Rules: The addition of the epic rules was just another delicious layer on the cake IMO.


I'm with Steve here... the added rules (community rack, pumped-up cards, added board space) are all nice. I see a lot of potential in the Epic system... and it doesn't "feel" exactly like the Overlord system for Memoir, either.

Quote:
Session: I had forgot to printout a scenario and Mark’s internet connection was having problems so we (mostly I) decided to make one up as they were finishing a racing game with dragons.


That would be Dragonriders - one of my son Braeden's favorite games.

Quote:
War councils were set up and I decided to go for 7 levels in this scenario...


I think that was one too many points for the War Council. Like I expressed to you Monday night, I think 6 points forces some tension in how you man your council - you're forced to trade off various powers & advantages. The more points you are given, the less interesting the council decisions (and subsequent play) is.

Quote:
The setup consisted of the Standards being a little heavier on the Dwarf make up and the Pennants heavier on Goblin and one extra unit...

Mark complained about lack of balance in a made-up scenario, but I disagree, I think the hamstringing early with the cav was the real culprit in the one sided victory. I think the system is extremely flexible and the way units are set up shouldn’t drastically unbalance the game, so long as the numbers are roughly equal. Consider the Call to Arms deployment cards which can be applied to any section, Richard Borg has playtested the heck out of those, I’m sure, and they seem to work.


And I again, now publicly, respectfully disagree. While the loss of the cav units was a major feature in our loss, having 3 goblin units facing 2 dwarven units on hills on the right flank required the post-War Council placement of the Hill Giant to shore up an obvious weakness, when he would have been much more useful in the center of the battlefield (where the cav losses occurred).

I think set-up matters much more than you credit, Steve, particularly in Battlelore where formation makes a difference in morale.

By the same token, while the sides had roughly equal human units, your side began with 4 dwarves & 1 goblin, while my side had 1 dwarf & 4 goblins.

Quote:
Epic BattleLore might not come out every time I play, but definitely any time there’s four to six people to play that’s going to be the first recommendation.


I like it this way... but I also think it would be a very good way to play large 2 player games.
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Mark Jackson
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One added comment: it's my fault for not saying "Hey, wait a minute!" on Monday night - not Steve's. Friends don't let friends drive drunk... and friends don't let friends set up out of balance scenarios & play them, either.


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Steve Cates
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gamemark wrote:
Some comments on Steve's session report by "the other side"... wow


Heh... thanks for balancing out this Session Report

Quote:

I think that was one too many points for the War Council. Like I expressed to you Monday night, I think 6 points forces some tension in how you man your council - you're forced to trade off various powers & advantages. The more points you are given, the less interesting the council decisions (and subsequent play) is.


I could be persuaded here. DoW says not to use more than 10 and most of their scenarios are 4-6... I wanted to be sure both sides went with a creature just so the newbies (to the game, all due respect Dave and Rich) could see them in action.

Quote:
ironcates wrote:
The setup consisted of the Standards being a little heavier on the Dwarf make up and the Pennants heavier on Goblin and one extra unit...

Mark complained about lack of balance in a made-up scenario, but I disagree, I think the hamstringing early with the cav was the real culprit in the one sided victory. I think the system is extremely flexible and the way units are set up shouldn’t drastically unbalance the game, so long as the numbers are roughly equal. Consider the Call to Arms deployment cards which can be applied to any section, Richard Borg has playtested the heck out of those, I’m sure, and they seem to work.


And I again, now publicly, respectfully disagree. While the loss of the cav units was a major feature in our loss, having 3 goblin units facing 2 dwarven units on hills on the right flank required the post-War Council placement of the Hill Giant to shore up an obvious weakness, when he would have been much more useful in the center of the battlefield (where the cav losses occurred).

I think set-up matters much more than you credit, Steve, particularly in Battlelore where formation makes a difference in morale.

By the same token, while the sides had roughly equal human units, your side began with 4 dwarves & 1 goblin, while my side had 1 dwarf & 4 goblins.


I guess we'll have to respectfully agree to disagree here. While the hill advantage might be a slight advantage to our side, the dwarves didn't really capitalize on their advantage only one vp out of 8 came from their side and you scored one of your vp by killing one of them. If you look at official epic scenarios 4 and 5 and base scenario 10 you'll see that they are slanted even more with unbalanced Goblin v. Dwarf than our scenario was.

I think the flexibility of the system allows for a wide variety of set-up's and I don't think you're giving the system enough credit

Quote:
Epic BattleLore might not come out every time I play, but definitely any time there’s four to six people to play that’s going to be the first recommendation.

I like it this way... but I also think it would be a very good way to play large 2 player games.


Agreed.

Quote:
Friends don't let friends set-up unbalanced scenarios...

LOL...
*trash talk*
Next time you pick the side and we'll see if you lose by lesslaugh
*end trash talk*
(edit: quote mess up)
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