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Subject: The biggest disappointment in my gaming life... rss

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Ben Boersma
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...was not the game itself, which is probably my favourite boardgame. One that I enjoy immensely. The biggest disappointment in my gaming life was the way Battlelore has been handled by FFG. What a let down.

Yes, this is probably old news, but after another great Battlelore game today, I had to make this post.

I'm not only frustrated for the missed opportunities, but I really feel sorry for Richard. He had all these races lined up and great ideas here:
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?e... and then Christian Petersen slapped him on the wrist in this post here: http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=1122 - the most pertinent bit cut and pasted below:

Quote:
Q: Will the classic BattleLore game continue to be supported?
CP: Yes. We are working on new releases as we speak, one of which will be announced on the FFG site in the near future.
Having said that, I want to make a clarification on the expectations for BattleLore. Last year, Richard posted some ideas for future releases for BattleLore. Unfortunately, some fans took this post as canon, and are now expecting these specific releases. I think it important to note that while they were well-intended ideas of Richard’s, they did not fall in line with FFG’s vision. What we’re working on with Richard currently has no relation to anything in that old post, but something entirely new and different.
Richard has put a lot of time and effort into the game and I really just feel bad for him. FFG appear to be disrespecting the intent and idea of the game and I think its a real tragedy.

I rue the day that FFG got its hands on Battlelore. They just haven't supported it like it should have been.

Before you say "There have been four releases from FFG, what are you whining about!", their releases included three almost identical dragons, three creatures (two of which are reused sculpts), the Heroes expansion that was already in the works at DOW and Horrific Hordes (which is essentially two new units and a bunch of repeats). Most or all of which I'm sure Richard had waiting in the wings in some shape or form anyway.

The whole situation has left a really bad taste in my mouth. I hope that Richard's vision of Battlelore can still be realised somehow, perhaps a relaunch under a different company banner?

Maybe even release it through GMT's Command and Colors: Ancients line and call it Command and Colors: Fantasy, we can sub in 15mm metal minis or use the blocks that GMT do. That way we can actually see some different armies. Some way to get the game that was intended.

Fantasy Flight has made some great games, but I will be really thinking hard before buying anything from them.

Cheers,
Ben.
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Yeah, it's indeed a shame we didn't see any of the exciting stuff Richard gave a glimpse off...

I wish he would just sell (or give away) the (additional) rules for all the things he came up with, but I bet that FFG will not want that
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So far I've been more excited about the FF expansions. The only thing that I think is poorly done is the weak Battle Savvy concept. If I wanted to play C+C Ancients I would (and I don't). I don't need nor do I want "battle back" in my BattleLore.
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Honestly, I couldn't disagree more with this post.

Alright, my disclaimer is I am at GenCon right now moderating half of FFG's BattleLore games - but I am doing it because I want to, not because I am obligated to. And I am the first to be mistrustful of the mishandling of the brand as I was one of the first to blast DOW (which severed my relationship with that company) and I am the first to be suspicious of any new direction with BL (having gotten a glimpse of the prototype of Battles of Westeros before it was announced).

I have to say that after 2 years of not much happening with FFG and BattleLore - which was preceded by how many years of DOW not doing anything with BattleLore? - I am once again excited by BattleLore and the future prospects of the line.

My thoughts were that FFG just bought BL to have an in-house 2-player battle system to run their monopoly on Song of Ice and Fire and near monopoly of LotR. But I have to say they are giving what they can to BL proper.

What do I see?

1) Heroes were FINALLY published after being hinted at since day 1 of BattleLore's release (check your rule book - right there in black and white).

2) FFG republished the creatures that were hard to find by so many people. Granted, it is expensive. So you are paying approximately $10 per figure if you get it at discount. How much did my "free" promos cost me back in the day with DOW? Well since I had to pay $20 more for the base game at full MSRP in an FLGS instead of getting an online discount, they cost me $10 each back then as well.

2a) FFG cleaned up the creature rules big time by being more clear on their special abilities and being more definitive on some other things. They alse put to rest the Levels and how much each creature costs you on the War Council.

2b) Instead of just repackaging old figures (which BTW was requested by many players who missed out), they offered up new abilities for each of these creatures. So now you have two possibilities for each of the old figures. Something for those that had them and those that didn't.

2c) They gave us the Hydra which is a really neat creature and possibly one of my favorites. New mold, new offerings. And it has some heft to it. Enough that if I lose a game, I can chuck the thing at my opponent and most likely knock him out. That'll teach him to roll 3 hits at once!

3) We get dragons. You're complaining about dragons? Come on, man. We have freaking dragons! And flying fire-breathing, poison-spitting, frost-freezing freaking dragons!!!! Do I need to say more? Apparently. We have wanted powerful beasts since the beginning and they are here. We can walk our dragons all over the place and bite people or fly over them with a special attack. Again, all brand spanking new molds. And hefty figures once again. You know when a Dragon is on the field. I agree, cost is still too steep for what you get. But I go back to my previous comments where my "free" promo creatures (at half the size) cost just as much as these figures.

4) Horrific Hordes. Mixed bag. The bad side. More goblins. I am sick of Goblins. More to the point, you have to glue the SOBs together or literally have carcasses strewn all over your battle field. Also, the remade figures are lower quality. I think the reason being is DOW didn't hand over the molds or they were destroyed or something (which I believe was alluded to already in the above mentioned posts) and they had to recreate the figures from the plastic figures they had. Price is once again too steep. But we are comparing that to an expansion that was released years ago and have since gone through a huge increase in material costs. I still think you get some bang for that buck (or forty as it were).

The good? Plenty. And not just here on this expansion but for things to potentially come.

4a) We have more gobbos. Contrary to my point above, we now have enough goblins at least to field an entire Goblin army. You have to use the base game gobbos and the 2 DOW expansions to get there, but no more mercenary armies for them. We have all wanted Army packs and this is the first real step in that direction. So I am fine with Goblins once again if it completes them!

4b) New figures, once again. We have Halberdiers for the Goblins plus new Ogre units. These sculpts are amazing and very detailed (lending credence to my theory on the other figures being so poor - these sculpts/molds are original).

4c) We got a reprinted card for the slings - which was DOW's screw up. The card has been updated for a while on FFG's web page but now we have an honest to goodness summary card to replace the wrong one. (Which reminds me, I think it was the Dragons that also gave us a Troll summary card and a Troll Bridge tile - something DOW failed to do with their horrible decision to go to Battle Maps and print the info on that and not actual cards).

4d) We have brand new Deployment cards so we can get those goblin armies out. DOW failed us big time on this aspect. They created Call to Arms and then fail to support it any way other than Specialist cards. Which makes most of your expansions useless in that they sit idly by on the sidelines. With new deployment cards, you can actually deploy most of those Goblin units directly into the field and not depend on a specialist card getting a couple of them out here and there. We are seeing the development of Armies that we had hoped to see so long ago.

4e) Most importantly, this set tells me a little about the next one. This is pure speculation in my part as I have no inside knowledge on this. I expect the next expansion to be on the Dwarves once again. I expect them to follow the same lines as above:
- Give us enough Dwarves to field an entire Dwarven army;
- Give us a mix of new and old units to flesh this out;
- Get the reprinted card for the Cattle Riders so they aren't so pathetic;
- Give us Dwarf specific deployment cards and revise the Standard camp to get generic creatures on the old cards.

5) What I see at GenCon: FFG has devoted gaming space to run BattleLore near continuously the entire time. We are given a 3-hour time slot with 1 hour off in between each event. They are pushing a combined Epic Call to Arms game with all the current expansions: Epic, CtA, Scottish Wars, and the 3 most recent FFG expansions (not including Heroes). That is about 14 games (as I don't recall how many they are squeezing in on Sunday before it closes - but I know it is at least 2). I am running 8 of those and have already personally taught the combined game to 22 people - most of which had never played BL or only dabbled in the early non-lore scenarios. All of them went away very satisfied with their gaming experience even if they got the snot beat out of them.

So let's compare let downs.
- DOW promised us more creatures. Delivered on only the Troll in a piss-poor marketing move that destroyed the essence of the brand and received such a backlash that they ditched the line within a week.
- DOW promised us Heroes. Forever. Never delivered. And they gave FFG such a basket full of crap that it took them a year to straighten it out and get it published.
- DOW gave us CtA with no way to support it. They gave us these great expansion packs that couldn't be fully utilized in a single gaming session. Never before had so many expansions seen so little use.
- DOW promised some form of an Army-system. Failed us there.
- DOW sat on the line for a good long while without doing much and pretty much failed the entire brand and every fan.

- FFG gave us a reprint of the old creatures. No more were we sitting there with "the THREE" (if we were lucky), we now have 8 creatures to choose from with 3 alternate forms for a total of 11 different creatures. FFG wins this one almost quadrupling the options.
- FFG gave us dragons. Mentioned above but worthy of a double win here.
- FFG finally released the promo figures to the general public. Again mentioned above but something the fans wanted and something FFG delivered.
- FFG finally delivered Heroes.
- FFG finally delivered an Army system with new Deployment cards.
- FFG is giving us brand new material with brand new molds.
- FFG is actively promoting the game at GenCon.

FFG has failed on a few points. They can't figure out how to get the base game republished for the price point DOW did. DOW took a loss (I think - at least the manufacturer did) on it hoping that future revenues would offset the initial loss leaders. At first I thought this was a convenient excuse for FFG to let the line die for new players. But now I truly believe they have a dilemma and are trying to work around it.

Their prices are ridiculous. But I don't know how fair this point really is. Christian has given some good lessons on the costs associated with games these days in other forum posts. I don't know that DOW wouldn't be charging this same amount. Plus they needed to be making that money back on the base game so it might be very possible that DOW's prices would be even higher at this point.

FFG is really cutting some corners to keep the costs down. I don't mind stickering my flags. It reminds me of my childhood where the 2nd best part of Christmas (after actually getting the gifts) was assembling and stickering them. I do mind the gluing of figures together. Especially when I am at a Convention w/o glue and only have a half hour to set up the entire game before my first session. But if it costs me a few bucks in glue and a half hour of my time, I can suck it up.

So have some points been disappointing with FFG? Yes. They had a horribly slow start. But was that really much different than the horribly slow finish with DOW? Am I disappointed they can't get the base game out? Absolutely. It doesn't affect me directly because I have everything and anything new that comes out can immediately be put to use. But it minimizes the base of players which won't allow the passion for this game to increase. And that could spell more doom for the line than anything DOW or FFG has done wrong in the past.

But overall, I am excited. I think the line has gone through (and possibly still is in the midst of) growing pains. But the line is definitely moving again and appears to me to be fully supported by FFG. I can't say if Richard is disappointed. He waited a long time for BL to even be published by DOW and the man has extreme patience. Bu he is going to continue to play BL the way he wants with his dozens of different races no matter what anyone else publishes.

Christian may have publicly slapped him but FFG doesn't like semi-official speculation to seep out. They are pretty controlling of the info they release. They also like thing to come through their developers and not the designers themselves. So while I am not saying Richard was wrong, he really didn't follow FFG policy which is why Christian stepped in.

After seeing the game come together the way it was supposed to be all along, I want to play this game again after it has sat idle for so many years. I am glad FFG has this title now and they should have had it all along (as I had felt ever since DOW announced it so long ago). Any lingering disappointment is purely from the inept handling by DOW and the misguided expectations they set.

Long live BattleLore!

EDIT: fixed some grammar and clarified a couple thoughts.
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Yeah Ben, the FFG takeover hasn´t been the fresh breath of air we hoped for, and it might seem like their primary interest in BattleLore was the name itself, to slap on new FFG games with small army men...

I would love to see some entirely new armies for BL, but as an owner of every single expansion for this, still wonderful, game, I have so many new units and scenarios still unplayed, that when I finish playing through everything once, I´ll probably have forgotten most of it, and will be ready to start over again...
This is not written in defense of FFG, who, I aggree, have not handled their new franchise well , but might surprise us yet, but in support of the BattleLore game itself, which has a LOT to offer, that doesn´t just turn retroactively bad, just because we don´t get the new expansions we expected...
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brian
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sisteray wrote:
So far I've been more excited about the FF expansions. The only thing that I think is poorly done is the weak Battle Savvy concept. If I wanted to play C+C Ancients I would (and I don't). I don't need nor do I want "battle back" in my BattleLore.
Agree. Not sure how I feel about Battle Savvy, either. I am not introducing it at GenCon and left those summary cards in the box. devil

I think part of it is good so regular units can handle Heroes. But I think it should be something earned - like a unit has to capture a Banner before being given the status. Similar to how units in the Civ computer games gain veteran status after fights.

But the great thing about the C&C system is you can modify it to your tastes. I don't like house ruling, but this concept is screaming for some tweaks.
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oneilljgf wrote:
Dear Ben and ColtsFan,

It is refreshing to see reasoned debate from two well-respected members of the BGG community. Some of our newer members could learn lessons from the above. Two diametrically opposite points are pursued without rancour, each backed up with argument based on logic without recourse to personal innuendo. I for one look forward to the continuation of this debate and can only say kudos to both of you.

You are both a credit to BGG. This page should be made compulsory reading for new members.

With warmest regards and thanks,


Jim
Est. 1949

Agreed! thumbsup
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I guess it's "bash FFG week". Perhaps I'll sneak out and buy Horus Heresy to make them feel better
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A great, well thought out post Brian.
You may be surprised to find out that I actually agree with most of what you say, which suggests to me that perhaps I should clarify what it is that I'm most unhappy about.

Its not so much the releases we've seen from FFG (which I kind of feel had their shine taken off for a lot of people due to their pricing.)

Its more the way that Horrific Hordes quietly snuck into production with no great hype or enthusiasm, the way that Christian dismissed Richard's ideas, saying that they didn't fit into the FFG "vision" for Battlelore.

Please Christian, tell us what the "vision" for Battlelore is. We are all listening. We all want to know. Does it include extra races? More lore cards? Racial Heroes? More creatures? Or does it include just rounding out the dwarf and human armies and then calling it a day?

I suppose its inevitable that the Dwarf Battalion box will come out. But what then? Will they have tied off the series and moved onto other things? Perhaps just redoing the base set somehow? Or will we see this great game that is Battlelore continue by releasing more races, lore cards, racial heroes etc...

I guess the major thing is I'm concerned that Battlelore never fitted FFG's vision and that that might mean that we'll never see anything "new" for it.

I'm sure you'll agree that after playing a few really good games of Battlelore... thinking that the game might come to an end with its true potential unrealised, is a really sad thought.

So I hope that sort of clarifies why I'm disappointed.

Cheers and thanks for listening,
Ben.

EDIT: I just reread your post again Brian and I agree also that its possible that Battlelore is still in the midst of growing pains and that it will soon shed its down and become the beautiful swan it was meant to be. I can only hope this is true. It would be great to see a "State of the Game" though don't you think?
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Yeah, a state of the game would be great. It is somewhat frustrating to me because I volunteer, proof-read, and playtest a smattering of FFG games. But as much as I have tried, I can't get into the AH or BL production queue. Perhaps they think I would be too emotionally charged to make rational decisions for those games.

FFG obviously got their 2-player battle system and are going full force on that. 2 expansions have been announced and with so many more houses to explore and Christian's passion for ASoIaF, this will have long life and a lot of the primary attention.

I think it obvious we get the Dwarves rounded out next. After that, who knows? I would have to assume with the way things are going - rounding out armies, the focus on deployment cards, the mix of old and new units - that we HAVE to get armies next. Elves, Undead, Ratmen, Lizards, who knows? But I have been fooled before.

But it just doesn't make sense to me that FFG would spend all this money and resources to "finish up" where DOW left off. Does it? (I am sincerely asking, not being condescending in case it is mistaken for that). I mean if they just wanted the name (which really isn't much of a selling point in my opinion), they got what they want, right? Making these last few expansions just to close out DOW's obligation doesn't seem logical. So to me, this has to be a sign the game is continuing. If they planned for the game to die, why even publish a single expansion? It just doesn't make sense to do that.

I would imagine a state of the game would probably be announced once they figure out what they can do for the base game. I really think they would have to do a stripped down version of just the command and lore cards, the board, the dice, and enough human armies to make the base game playable. That might even be why they are sequencing what they are sequencing. Giving us enough of the base game goblins in Horrific Hordes so that they can exclude Goblins from any future base game. Same with the Dwarves.

I think we are both in support of the game. And it is funny that as you finished a good session you felt compelled to post what you did. And as I finished a series of great games, I had planned to post the above as well - not expecting it to be a defense but a celebration of the brand.

I guess I just see it as a glass half full at this point. Repackaged figures is what I see as FFG trying to release chunks of the base game without having to release the full game. For you and I, HH is a supplement. But for newbies, 2 HH's might be the only way they get a full Gobbo army. And if they don't want to spend $80 on that and a base game on top, they can pick and choose what races they pick up.
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Ben Boersma
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I know that we are both very much in support of the game. I think we always have been (despite the Troll fiasco ) I didn't mean my post to come across as an "attack" but more of a collection of my thoughts. I just enjoy the game so much, knowing that there is more material for it out there that isn't published yet, I just didn't want to miss out on all the fun. (Its a greedy thought I know! ) But also, it seems a shame that Richard has come up with (and tested!) all of this great stuff that won't get used because it doesn't fit FFG's vision. It's sad.

At the end of the day, I think we both want to celebrate Battlelore and see the the game continue to grow, along with many others. My hopes continue to be that it happens. I am just wrestling with the skeptic in me.

My initial impression was that Horrific Hordes (and a Dwarf supplement) is a great way to break the base set up for realistic sale.
But then that leaves the base set as purely medieval armies (albeit with Lore and possibly the spider). Do they really want another base set game with Medieval troops? My guess is they already have that...

... which brings me to something I didn't want to include in this discussion, but I suppose inevitably would be. Battles of Westeros. That is going to have an impact one way or the other. It certainly seems to be the company's priority. With Robert Kouba doing game design duties on both this and Battlelore, with BoW getting the big push at the moment, regardless of what happens with Battlelore, there will be less design time allocated to it it seems.

When BoW was announced, my initial impression was not then that they bought Battlelore for the name, but to remove it as direct competition for BoW and so they could use some of the mechanics without any concerns. I know its a negative thought, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind.

I think there is still a lot of negativity and suspicion surrounding BoW for me. As hard as I try, it just didn't sit right with me and still doesn't. This plays on my mind to a degree when thinking of the future of Battlelore also. I hope that because FFG sees them as different entities, there is room for both.

In regards to asking if it makes sense for FFG to spend money and resources to finish up where DOW left off. Its a good question. Here's my thoughts on it.
Heroes was something that was in development already, more time was expended than expected I imagine getting it out the door, but due to having already been expected. That one was going to be a given.

The rest, well design wise I would have thought these were things that Richard had already done, so the money was more likely in the actual production of the molds/packaging (I have no basis for this however, I'm only assuming).

With those releases out, they had released new product for the game.

The next move was the interesting one. Horrific Hordes.
Did they decide to round out the goblins (and assumingly the Dwarfs) to simply cater to a new core set? Rounding out the game to a finite end? Or have they done it to easily introduce additional races to the game in the future? Who knows? It really could be either way.

I see Horrific Hordes and the Dwarf Battalion as a solid step in the Battlelore game. It is yet to be seen if this step is sideways (only catering for a smaller base set, and thus bringing the game to a completion, letting BoW continue in its stead) OR is it a great step forward (introducing the new standard packaging for releasing new armies for the game - which we can only hope)

Cheers,
Ben. meeple

PS. I've really enjoyed the discussion so far. Its always great to have a good chat and see how other people are viewing situations that are important to you.

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Ummm Ben how much time did you waste posting when you should have been painting all your Battlelore minis

tsk tsk.





Lord Abaddon of Wormwood
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laugh You're right mate, I still have lots to do.

Cheers,
Ben.
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There are 12 expansions to this game, I think that is pretty fantastic. Of that number, does anyone know how many were put out once FFG took over?

Personally, I hope they release the base set 'as is' with a higher MSRP. Don't change a thing.
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Ben Boersma
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Smashing idea Jim, although I don't see it as competition, merely a discussion.

Griffin, FFG has put out 4 expansions. They released:
Heroes
Creatures
Dragons
Horrific Horde

Cheers,
Ben.
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Ok-typical disclaimer-I like BL (2 base sets,all DoW expansions
up to The Troll).BL is the basis of several gaming campaigns my group
conducts.It indeed has been terribly mishandled but to link FFG excellent BoW as some FFG back hand way to replace BL is really an injustice to both Games.

BoW is tightly tied to a specific game world,one that is basically
non Fantasy Race based & BL is a diffrent animal,it's a generic
Fantasy Race based game( lets face it the orginal 100 Year War
never really got developed beyond Scenario names).

There is room for both Games & yes BL has problems around a way
to reproduce the Base Game at a realistic price point.Until that's
solved the additional Races really can't be added.I don't see where
that is effected by the creation of BoW.

I guess my point is ( I'm often never sure ) that our support for BL does not cause a backlash against BoW.It's not fair to either
Game nor to FFG.

PS:It's good to see many of the Old DoW BL gang still involved
& caring about the Game.I think someone should collect all our
reaction about DoW Troll for a book-great blunders in Board
Gaming history.It wouldn't sell much but some of those comments
were pricelessdevil

OD
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Michael Wheal
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FFG Report at GenCon...

They will support Classic Battlelore

See following tweets..


TheD6Generation #FFGReport- Existing Battlelore components will always work going forward, even if they have to re-release the game in a different format.


about 20 hours ago via TweetDeck
Reply Retweet TheD6Generation #FFGReport- More releases for classic Battlelore are coming that have not been announced. #TGNGC #GenCon



enjoy !
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Chris Lewis
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I would love to see an C&C fantasy especially if FFG aren't going with Mr Borg's ideas, I'd be happy with blocks and stickers, or even just something I could print off and get working any way I could. I would love to see what he had developed.

I'm still holding out a candle for FFG, they seem to be having big issues getting the base game re-printed but and it is an important but they are getting something out regularly if not frequently, there could be another two 'holding' releases (Horrific horde version for Dwarves and Humans).

I just don't know whether to be optimistic or pessimistic. I think what gets announced for after the ho-ho Dwa-Man releases will really show FFG's intentions.

Chris
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I agree Chris.
Thanks Matt, that is some good info there.

I'd be quite happy to be have called it wrong here. Let's just see what happens.

Old Dwarf, as I said I didn't want to mention BoW, but if nothing else, with the same designer working on both games, design time will reduce for one... with BoW being pushed, I assume it will be Battlelore.
Again, I hope there's room for both and I think there is as long as people continue to support Battlelore.

Cheers,
Ben.
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Great topic here!!! Kudos to Ben and Brian! Great points by both!

I have Battlelore and all the expansions as well... big fan of the game!

I absolutely agree with Ben's comments about BoW. It does worry me that FFG would support that more than the original Battlelore. FFG needs to get copies of the base game out there to bring in the fanbase and grow the Battlelore line. It boggles my mind that they didn't figure out how they were going to package the base game prior to Gencon.

I do appreciate what FFG has done till now with the expansions they pushed out the door, but how to they expect to get new players without having the base game easily available?
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I didn't see Ben's post as an attack. I just thought it interesting that we both had gaming sessions with (or at least thinking about) the same expansions and he cam e away disappointed and I came away exhilarated. All I meant was I was about ready to post what I posted anyway after the Con was over but in the context of "this is awesome" instead of in the context of a reactionary post saying a disagree and here is why. But that is why I could discuss it in detail as it has already been running through my head about how FFG has given new life to the game.

Quick update: another 3 gaming session moderated, another 15 people taught. Today (or yesterday now) was mostly brand new people - some only having Memoir experience, some no C&C experience at all. Again everyone liked it. As one guy pointed out (a Memoir enthusiast), he said he could "see" the battle and told us a story with great enthusiasm after the session, chronicling the ebb and flow of battle how heavies met on the field and collapsed, how the center appeared weak so they pushed, but his left recovered and tried to flank them and how their left tried one final push and was repulsed. I have encouraged them to let FFG know how much fun they have had.

To address a couple of the other points by Ben.

BoW: As I alluded to before, I saw it (or at least the initial ruleset) through my playtesting group. I read it and was floored about how different it was and why they would even attempt to attach the BL brand to it. (It's like picking up the rights to RC Cola to sell Orange Juice and hoping RC is such a presence in the soft drink market that it will sell your semi related product, when RC is no Pepsi or Coke). The thought, nay fear, hit me right then and there that BL was not going to be supported and FFG just bought the rights to a system they could then tweak internally. But with the release of 4 expansions - and most of it brand new - I don't have that fear any more. I think both lines can continue down different paths because BoW is NOT a C&C system. It takes the hexes and unit types and symbols but that is about it. The dice are different, the orders are different, there are plenty of other concepts foreign to the Bord-world.

Kouba: He is a full time (I assume) in-house designer/developer. Tackling two lines shouldn't be a problem. Look to Kevin Smith and Arkham Horror. While he is not involved in the Small Box expansions (except Black Goat), he did develop all the big box expansions. During that time he redid Cosmic Encounter, created Android, and worked on many more games that I can't remember at this time. So it is possible to fully support multiple games and designs. And with these two being similar, it is possible creative juices from one will overflow into the other and we will see similar concepts (much like we see the parallels between Scottish Clansmen, Japanese Infantry, and whatever the Unit is in Ancients that battles with an extra die at full strength). So this does not worry me.

Christian "versus" Richard: I think you are reading too much into the "vision" thing at this point. I don't see it as them saying they weren't on the same page as far as races or the direction, I think it was the implementation of those ideas that they differed.

First off, don't feel bad for Richard. He is too nice of a guy to get bent out of shape over this. Second, I spoke with him on the phone for about an hour and half 2 years ago when this exchange took place. You have to realize that DOW's version of BattleLore was NOT the same as Richard's vision either. Sure, it is basically the same, but DOW buys the rights and can do what they want. That is why the slingers and cattle riders have been revised. DOW tweaked them and now Richard has put them back in order.

Richard also didn't see the point in adding the Goblins and Dwarves in the base game (I think - my memory sucks after 2 years). But DOW wanted to cram it in there. Which meant they didn't have the room to fit Epic and Call to Arms which is why they were broken out into expansion immediately after the release. Richard also told me at that time, they had developed about 20 races including ratmen and I thought different types of dwarves. He said at that point, his play group was probably 4 or 5 years ahead of where we were at with published versions of these races. So if anything, DOW had the ability to get these out as they could have had 20 more expansions as complete army packs at the time they decided to abandon the line.

Another difference is that Richard has way more than 15 Lore cards per Lore Master. I forget how many there are, let's say 25 each. DOW chose to pick and choose what they put in the base game. The obviously didn't test it enough or had planned to publish more cards sooner. That is why we had the whole FF/HR/RR debate. Cleric looked super powerful. Reason being we didn't see the super powerful cards from the other 3. Or the things that would have countered all that. Also, the same goes for Deployment decks (which BTW are used in Richard's concept of an extended campaign). Again, this was DOW distorting Richard's "true" vision of the game.

So FFG really isn't doing much different. Richard may have thought the game was going to take off and do army packs. FFG may have put the breaks on that because they may have wanted HH and whatever the Dwarven "patch" would be as they struggle with the "base game issue."


So as above, I don't see FFG's strategy necessarily hurting the line at this point. I think they have multiple things to juggle and had they originally produced BL, it would be a completely different beast in terms of what might have been available. But it also would have been a healthy line and possibly the top ranked C&C game. Now, they have to pick up the loose ends and get it back into something they can work with and then move forward again.
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Another great reply Brian. Thanks for taking the time to explain all that.

Let me also clarify that I wasn't disappointed with expansions - I love the Hydra and using the Dragons and am just starting to use Heroes more regularly. I also applaud the inclusion of the CTA cards in HH.

It was my assumption that because what Richard had written didn't fit FFG's vision, that it meant that there would be no more races and the line would be rounded out and completed.
This still makes me nervous as no one wants to speak concretely about Battlelore, so it makes me feel that it is still on rocky ground.

Your clarifications in regards to Kouba ease my mind quite a bit.

I knew that you spoke with Richard after DOW bailed, but I didn't realise that at DOW it wasn't how Richard had envisioned it either. So I've made several assumptions based on incomplete knowledge of the situation. My bad and I apologise. In light of this I feel I should adjust my initial post, but if I change it, it may alter the context of a few things. So for the moment I think I'll leave it. But in retrospect, with the information at hand, I'd like to take back the "I rue the day FFG got the game". As if FFG are serious about continuing to support Battlelore, it could just come out of its terribly bumpy ride smelling like a rose.

Knowing that all that stuff is out there (deployment decks, races, lore cards etc...) is unbelievably exciting and I just want them to see the light of day and be shared with us all. I hope that FFG can sort out the base game, round out the current races and then move forward with getting that material out to the public. I want to see Battlelore succeed big time.

Great work at Gencon too mate, lets hope all that positive feedback makes its way back to FFG.

Thanks again for the great discussion. Always a pleasure Brian, good to see you around the traps again.

Cheers,
Ben.
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Boromir_and_Kermit wrote:
Another great reply Brian. Thanks for taking the time to explain all that.

Let me also clarify that I wasn't disappointed with expansions - I love the Hydra and using the Dragons and am just starting to use Heroes more regularly. I also applaud the inclusion of the CTA cards in HH.
Let me clarify that I didn't think you were disappointed in the expansions, either. Sorry if I implied that - I am sitting in the lobby at 3-4 in the morning because I am too amped up to sleep but if I stay in the room, the glow of the laptop wakes everyone up. So my thoughts aren't crystal clear either!

I think we are all on the same side here and probably even saying a lot of the same things. I think it is good for you to keep the original post intact and let everyone read the discussion. I think it is also good to be cautious - but cautiously optimistic.

Trust me, a lot of this discussion and the questions are being brought up at the table. Everyone is curious and wants the line to continue. So I think we are sending the right message to FFG. I think this line has lots of legs left and if they can get a version of the base game back out, with what is published now, many people will come to the table.

So my biggest disappointment is I haven't seen the Fire Dragon deployed. I want units to burn! But everyone is too scared about that level 3 and not having a diverse enough War Council. Wusses. And then the one time I get to sit in because we had open seats, I didn't draw a creature card! Gah!!! Now that's disappointment!
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That's ok, I know the feeling

No worries mate, I'll leave it as is and will remain cautiously optimistic. I'll have my fingers crossed for good news.

We are most definitely on the same side here, I think I'm just a bit more nervous than you are

Taking a fire dragon is a big deal - I understand their concerns... but come on - It's a FIRE DRAGON! Some of the biggest carnage I've seen in a Battlelore game was done by a fire dragon.
Tough break on not drawing a creature card! Hopefully he sees the light of day soon (I have no idea if there are more games at Gencon or not, or even if Gencon is still on tomorrow)

Have fun!
Cheers,
Ben.
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I have one final game in about 2 hours. That will be the last game of "official" BattleLore Epic Call to Arms for GenCon 2010. If no Fire Dragon makes it out, then we will just recruit him at home. (I just received the expansions in time to learn the rules, not actually play them yet.)

We have seen the Ice Drake and Wood Wyvern. I have to say, I rather like the wyvern over the Drake. Freezing just doesn't seem as powerful as poison.
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