Gameplay summary[ edit ] You start the game by choosing a scenario. Scenarios are available from the manual, the Internet, or you can design your own. The terrain and starting positions are laid out according to the scenario. The battlefield is divided into three sections by two red dotted lines, giving each player a left flank, a center and a right flank section. You command your troops by playing a command card.
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It is set in the world of Uchronia, a fantasy version of our own world, during the time of the years war. There is enough to field 2 Human armies with Dwarven Mercenaries on one side, and Goblin Mercenaries on the other. There is also a beautifully illustrated 80 page rulebook, dozens of terrain tiles, 60 Command cards, 60 Lore cards, 12 dice, and lots and lots of tokens.
The rules can be downloaded at Fantasy Flight Games website. For those not familiar with the Command and Colors System, I will try to give a brief overview. Each player will have a War Council with some advisors of different levels. One of those on the council is the Commander. On your turn you play 1 Command Card, activate the units specified by the card, move those units if you want to , then resolve any battles in whatever order the attacker chooses.
There are a variety of Command Cards to choose from. After you are done resolving all your activated units, you draw a new card and your opponent takes his turn playing a Command Card. The rules to the game are quite simple but that is a good thing and are designed to be learned slowly.
The game comes with a Scenario booklet that slowly adds different types of units and different types of terrain. I do recommend playing the first few scenarios to get familiar with the system before adding in all of the units and Lore Cards.
The game also comes with handy reference cards that you can keep out for reference so you do not have to continually check the rulebook. For example, if a scenario calls for Forrest and Hill Terrain, just grab the Forrest and Hill reference cards. No need to have the River or Bridge reference cards cluttering your table. Battlelore is a face paced game. No referencing complicated combat tables.
Most die rolls are simple. Take a number of dice based on the strength of your attacking unit Red-4, Blue-3, Green-2 , modify this number by the terrain type typically terrain gives a limit to the maximum dice rolled , and then apply any bonuses usually from Lore Cards.
Those handy reference cards hold all the information about the unit weapon and make resolving combat quick and easy. There is much more to the combat system such as causing units to retreat, gaining ground or pursuing fleeing units, panic losses, etc but it is a streamlined system.
You will quickly memorize most of the information and find you will not need to use the reference cards for long. Instead, all Lore Cards represent spells cast by a member of your War Council. These cards generally give boosts to your units or hinder your opponents.
All in all, the Lore cards add some fun fantasy elements to the game and seem to be balanced enough cost enough that they do not overwhelm the game. This game has many expansions. The most important expansion in my opinion for replayability is the Call to Arms expansion. This expansion allows a variable deployment for your armies so you do not have to play scenarios in the book. About the only negative thing I can say about BattleLore is the set up and tear down time, especially when playing with custom War Councils.
But part of this time intensive set up is also one of the reasons BattleLore is worth its weight in plastic… there are lots and lots of miniatures. If you can find this game for a reasonable price, pick it up!