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Leo Tischer
United States
Parma
Ohio
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Besides the 2 designers, there’s only 1 copy of Battle Lore Call to Arms in the US – and I got it! (It’s scheduled for release in about 2 weeks I think) Richard Borg had one to donate to the prize table at The Gathering. I was lucky enough to win the Battle Lore tournament and took it as my prize. (Richard was kind enough to sign it for me too). Ok, enough gloating – on to the review.

The Call to Arms expansion offers a couple of new additions including new weapons, new terrain (marshes, archers’ stakes, and cliffs), and rules for random battles. Also in the box are some additional banners, information cards, and markers.

The new weapon is the English long bow. Depending on scenario, some or all of your archers may be designated as having the English long bow. This allows them to hit with sword-on-shield rolls as well as the banner color. This makes them equivalent to crossbows but with a range of 4. They can be VERY lethal!

A new addition to the game is the 10 Specialist cards. When playing a random battle, each side will get two specialist cards. These have various effects on either the game set-up or how it will play. They can deploy additional units, change units’ starting positions, create over-strength units, upgrade weapons (English long bows!), improve defenses, etc. They could also be added to existing scenarios at the players’ option, in order to change things up a bit.

The real heart of the expansion, though, is the army deployment system. This is a method for generating a random, roughly equal battle. It works with a set of cards for each side, pennants & banners. For each side, there are 3 sets of 7 cards each. Each set of 7 cards depicts a number of units in set-up positions in the first few rows of the board. Each player selects a set of cards and then takes 4 at random. 3 of these are then assigned 1 to a sector; the fourth is the reserve card. A map is selected (6 different maps are included with the rule book, but players could just as easily construct their own random map), and then the units are deployed. Each player may then place 2 units from their reserve card in the back hex row of their side. Other reserve units may also be placed depending on the specialist cards selected by each side. Players now select their war council, if playing those rules, and start the game. The player who deployed the most green units gets the first turn (they’ve “out-scouted” the other side). Victory conditions are determined by the map chosen, or whatever the players agree upon before starting.

This is a very easy and fast method for generating random battles. It’s much faster than any points/purchase system I’ve seen. I’ve only played one game so far, but even with reading the new rules, the set up was fast and we were underway quickly. The game was balanced as well. We used the first map in the book (“First Encounter”), a war council of 6 points, and played to 6 victory points. The whole thing took less than 90 minutes, and I won 6 to 5 (better luck next year Paul).

All in all, I’ve found the Battle Lore system lots of fun to play, and the expansion allows for an endless supply of new, roughly balanced scenarios. Kudos to Richard and Days of Wonder for adding a slick idea to an already great game.
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Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
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And kudos to you for the early review! Much appreciated.
 
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Hector Flores
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Second that, thanks for this early look!
 
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
Motherwell
I aten't dead yet...
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Third that, Leo.


My mouth is watering. Thanks for the heads up and I'm not the least bit jealous that you got the first copy.
cry

Jim

Edited for careless spelling and just had a look at your profile and hobbies - Philately will get you everywhere!
 
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Anselmo Diaz
United Kingdom
Crawley
West Sussex
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Fourth that.
And what about the new terrain pieces?
Specifically the "cliffs"? I suppose it's impassable terrain, but surely if pushed(units finding it in their retreat path)they may get losses/be totally and utterly anihilated?devil
 
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Paul O'Connor
United States
San Marcos
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Will the set-up rules support Epic play (two boards?)
 
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Eric Hautemont
United States
Los Altos
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Yes. This is explained in detail in the (expanded) printed rules of the Epic expansion.

Eric @ DoW
 
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Paul O'Connor
United States
San Marcos
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Excellent, thanks Eric!
 
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I am on a Journey...
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
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You've got the only copy available before its release. You dirty bast.....

Ahem I mean congrats and thanks for the review.
 
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Leo Tischer
United States
Parma
Ohio
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Cliffs are like elevated terrain, but indicated hex sides are impassable. Yes, forced retreat against a cliff side would cause casualties instead. Melee and point blank fire are prohibited through a cliff hex side.
Marsh is like woods, exept that it doesn't block line of sight.
Archers' Stakes stop movement upon entering. Only foot units with ranged weapons may attack the same turn they move in. A ranged weapon foot unit on archers' stakes may ignore 1 flag and 1 sword-on-shield hit rolled against it. They do not block line of sight.

The rules to use Call to Arms with Epic Battles is in the Epic pages.
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
Greece
Thessaloniki
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Among the Stars:The Ambassadors
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Pics? Text on the cards?


oh.............come on!!!
 
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
Greece
Thessaloniki
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Among the Stars:The Ambassadors
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you were faster than my comment....blush
 
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Matt M
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Thanks for taking the time from your new game to post a review! (oh, and keeping your gloating over your prize to a minimum...)

-DZ
 
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Anselmo Diaz
United Kingdom
Crawley
West Sussex
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ZiNOS wrote:
Pics? Text on the cards?


oh.............come on!!!


Quote:
you were faster than my comment....


So, where are the expected pics? I can't see anything new...surprise
 
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Will Pattison
United States
Pittsburgh
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I was hoping that the English longbow could ignore intervening units when determining line of sight. That would make a lot of sense since historically archers would fire over their own infantry. Sounds like a good house rule, maybe instead of hitting with sword/shield, so it doesn't get TOO powerful.
 
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