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Main | October 2006 »

BattleLoreMaster Posts

September 2006

September 29, 2006

Official Word: The Odds of Battle

The latest post on the official DoW blog continues the discussion about basic game concepts, with an emphasis on the Battle dice and varies melee abilities.

After reading the earlier post about the Battle dice, it would seem on first examination that the chance to hit units with a banner colour of red, blue or green is the same.

This post puts those assumptions to the test by pointing out the following factors: the number of dice a unit rolls to attack varies; some units have the chance to do damage on a Bonus Strike roll, and the Lore symbol can also affect damage.

Interestingly, we discover that Lore symbols can do damage when combined with a Bonus Strike symbol roll—for example, a magical Long Sword. This surely opens up a huge range of possibilities.

It is mentioned that the units primarily fight in melee combat, and that ranged weapons are usually limited in effectiveness. Melee also features a number of Follow-on Actions. In melee combat (ie. adjacent hexes), a unit that destroys a unit or forces it to retreat can Gain Ground and move into the vacated hex (similarly to Take Ground in M’44) and a cavalry unit doing the same can Pursue by moving an additional hex and attacking again—which makes cavalry particularly mobile and deadly.

A new concept, at least to M’44 players, then enters play: a unit that can ignore a Flag symbol is also Bold, and Bold units may Battle Back, (as they can in C&C:Ancients).

Therefore attacking a powerful unit exposes you to the risk of being immediately attacked right back!

The next post will discuss Morale, and how to boost and keep it.

C&C Games: Memoir ‘44

Memoir '44This series of three articles will look at the other games in Richard Borg’s Commands & Colors series.

The first examines the most commercially successful and well-known to date: Memoir ‘44.

Published 2004 by Days of Wonder. 2 players, ages 8 and up, playing time 30-60 minutes.


1 double-sided hex map, 144 Axis and Allied Army pieces (each army consists of 42 Infantry, 24 Tanks, 6 Artillery and 18 Obstacles), 36 obstacles, 44 terrain tiles, 60 Command cards, 9 Summary cards, 8 battle dice, 2 card holders, 32 page rules and scenario booklet.

Memoir '44The game is of typical Days of Wonder high quality: plastic modelled army men, tanks, artillery pieces and obstacles, linen-finished thick card terrain tiles, four-fold double-sided board, wooden dice, plastic box insert, full colour rules and exceptional graphic design and illustration throughout. The Command cards could perhaps be a little bit thicker and their black edges can show signs of wear, but these are minor criticisms of what is overall an extremely high quality product.


The second Commands & Colors system game focuses on the battles of WWII. With a relatively simple, yet easily expandable system the base game elegantly recreates and commemorates the battles in Northern France in 1944, and other theatres of WWII in the expansions. In fact it was published in collaboration with the Mission for the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings & Liberation of France.

The board is double-sided, with a green grass texture on one side and a beach and shore on the other, each battlefield divided into three sections: left, centre, and right.

Basic gameplay

ScenarioPlayers set up their forces according to a scenario, which usually recreates a particular engagement of the war. Hex-sized terrain tiles allow the basic board to be customised with hills, forests, rivers, towns etc. The plastic pieces are set up in units: four men form an Infantry unit, three tanks an Armor unit, two artillery pieces an Artillery unit. Each player then receives a number of Command cards. These cards consist of Section cards and Tactic cards. Section cards, when played, allow a number of units in a section, or several sections, to move and/or attack. For example, a General Advance card may allow the player to move and/or attack with two units in each section. Tactic cards allow special maneouvres and actions, for example a Counter-Attack allows a player to issue the same order his opponent just played; an Ambush allows you to attack before your opponent if he engages you in a Close Assault.

During a player’s turn, he plays a Command card and then chooses which units to activate; these units may then move, and once all movement is completed, attack.

Units have different move and attack capabilities; for example an Infantry unit can either move 1 hex and attack, or move 2 hexes and attack. They have an attack range of 3 hexes, and roll 3 dice at a target one hex away, 2 dice at one 2 hexes away, and 1 dice at a target 3 hexes away. An Armor unit is faster and more deadly; it can move up to 3 hexes and still attack a target up 1, 2 or 3 hexes away with 3 dice.

Battle diceAttacks are resolved by rolling special Battle dice with symbols on them; if you roll a symbol that matches your target unit, one figure from that unit is destroyed: for example if you are attacking an infantry unit and roll an Infantry symbol. Units remain at full strength until totally destroyed. For each Flag rolled the target unit must retreat one hex; a Star indicates a miss, a Grenade a hit on any target.

An Infantry unit may also Take Ground by moving into the hex vacated by a unit it destroys or forces to retreat; and an Armor unit may Armor Overrun by doing the same but with the additional advantage of being able to attack again.

Terrain often affects movement and modifies the chance of a successful attack: for example a unit must stop when it enters a forest hex, and an Infantry unit attacking a unit in a forest rolls one less die, an Armor unit 2 less dice.

The basic abilities of units and the affects of terrain are easily remembered, and the system easily accommodates extra layers of complexity or different types of units, terrain or landmarks. In the expansions, a few simple rules can give the game quite a different flavour. For example in the Pacific Theatre expansion, a Japanese unit may ignore the first flag rolled against it, infantry units at full strength close assault with an additional die, and if close assaulting may move 2 hexes and still battle. These few modified rules effectively simulate the character of the Japanese army.

Each scenario sets out how many Victory Points are required to win and any special rules; a VP is won for every enemy unit destroyed, and occasionally for holding objectives.

With two sets, players may place the boards side by side and play huge Overlord scenarios, in which more players may take part by playing in teams. Online support for the game is excellent, with a wealth of official and unofficial scenarios available at the Days of Wonder website.


Terrain PackTerrain Pack
66 terrain tiles, 22 landmark tiles, 20 markers, 16 obstacles, 28 Special Unit badges, rules and 4 scenarios.

Winter/Desert Board Map
Double-sided board; snowy expanse one side, desert the other. Brief Campaign rules.

Eastern FrontEastern Front
Russian army (42 soldiers, 24 T-34 tanks and 6 ZIS-3 anti-tank guns), 44 double-sided terrain hexes, 4 obstacles, 10 markers, 14 Special Unit markers, Political Commissar poker chip, rules and 8 scenarios.

The Political Commissar rules, in which the Russian player must choose their next turn’s Command card a turn ahead, give the Eastern Front battles quite a different feel. Lots of cover, minefields and snipers make some of the scenarios gruelling battles of attrition. The snow-covered Winter battlefield (available separately) board is recommended for maximum visual enjoyment of the Eastern Front scenarios.

Memoir '44Pacific Theater
Japanese army (48 soldiers, 12 Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, 6 Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft guns), 44 terrain tiles, 4 obstacles, 10 markers, 14 Special Unit badges, Night Attacks sheet, rules and 8 scenarios.

Some excellent scenarios bring to life the vicious close-combat nature of this theater of war. Night attacks, with visibility changing turn-to-turn, and offshore warship bombardments add extra flavour.

Upcoming Expansions

Memoir ‘44 Carrying Case
Release date yet to be announced. This carrying case will not only hold your base game and all the expansions, but will also includes the new Air Power rules.

Rules Reference and Summary Sheets (Unofficial)

I have created an unofficial rules summary for the base game and a comprehensive set of two double-sided unofficial summary sheets that include all the terrain, obstacles and forces of the base game and all the expansions. They can be downloaded here, along with reference sheets for many other popular boardgames.

(Game component, dice and scenario images Copyright ©2002-2006 Days of Wonder. All Rights Reserved. Game play photograph by Universal Head)

September 27, 2006

Official Word: The Play of Command

Turn SequenceThe latest post on the official DoW blog is a general one about gameplay, going over concepts familiar to Memoir ‘44 and C&C: Ancients. However, some of the ‘criticisms’ that are often levelled at the Commands and Colors system games are specifically addressed and discussed.

First we get a look at the sequence of play, which follows the usual order, however several follow-on actions are listed: gaining ground, pursuit, bonus melee attack and enemy battle back.

Gaining Ground and Pursuit probably have their equivalents in Memoir ‘44 as Advance and Armor Overrun; in C&C: A as Advance and Momentum.

In the latter game there is also a Battle Back option, like we see here, which reflects the more hand-to-hand nature of historical combat. This should certainly lead to more intense and protracted melee situations.

ArmyThe bulk of the post talks about the Commands & Colors system. Despite the fact that the game system works beautifully, some critics believe that the card-driven nature of the play detracts from the historical reality—why, for example, would you not be able to activate a unit on the right flank just because you don’t happen to have a card at that time that allows you to do so?

Leadership CardThe answer is part gameplay, part history. The card system rewards the strategic use of cards, forcing players to marshall their hand of cards in such a way as to be able to put their plans into action.

It’s pointed out that the cards could be thought of as a limited set of battle instructions you have for the battle; also that since the deck is used by both players, if your opponent has a number of left flank cards, you will have more opportunity to draw right flank (ie. opposite flank) cards; and that Tactic cards also give you an added level of flexibility. Historically, it’s obvious that battlefield communications were unreliable and that the chaos of battle is a factor. Whichever way you justify the system, there’s no denying it makes for a challenging, interesting game.

There’s also a mention of the battlefield hexes that are bisected by flank lines, and their tactical advantage since they lie in two sections and can thus be ‘activated’ more often. It’s pointed out that they can be hotly contested due to this advantage. I’m not sure of the historical justification for this, if any, but it’s another factor that has to be taken into account when formulating your play strategies.

CommanderFinally, another War Council member is revealed: the Commander. We are told he dictates the size of your Command card hand, and indeed the same Command ‘crown’ symbol is on his token. Looking at the Rogue War Council member here, we see she has a ‘Mask’ symbol—what could this signify?

Some Section cards activate units ‘Equal to Command’, which is the number of levels allocated to the Commander. It’s beginning to look as though you can allocate levels among your War Council members to suit your playing style: to speculate, perhaps more to your Commander, allowing you to play more Command cards, but a corresponding lesser amount to a Wizard, giving you less strength in Lore—or vice versa. All should be revealed soon when the War Council is discussed.

September 23, 2006

Official Word: Battle Dice

Battle DiceThe official DoW blog has been updated with a look at the colourful Battlelore Battle dice. Basically, damage is determined by the colour of the helmet symbol, modified by Bonus Strikes, terrain, weaponry and Lore factors.

Coloured Helmet symbols count as hits against that unit’s banner colour, ie, a blue helmet rolled means a hit is scored against a blue banner unit, and a figure removed. The orange ‘sword and shield’ symbol is a Bonus Strike.

Weapon CardThis summary card for the Shortsword (click the cards to see larger images) shows not only whether the weapon is melee or ranged, but the type of damage, the chance of rolling Bonus Strike symbols, and any special rules.

Here we can see that the shortsword ignores one Bonus Strike if fighting cavalry. The long sword, which has greater reach, will count all Bonus Strikes against cavalry. A Bonus Strike is, of course, an extra hit.

Battle Dice CardThis Battle Dice summary card shows what the various symbols on the dice mean.

The Black Flag symbol is the familiar Retreat result, which usually means the unit must retreat one hex towards its own side of the battlefield.

The Stars symbol, which is also in the Battlelore logo, is treated as a miss in historical battles, and a Collect Lore Tokens (collect one Lore token) or Trigger Lore Effect result in Lore adventures.

Lore tokenThus, for reasons that will no doubt be explained in future reports, it seems that lack of success in battle allows you to build up your Lore tokens (shown at right), and thus your ability to use magic or legendary actions. Apparently we’ll be learning more about Lore after a few more blog entries.

I’m not sure how this works thematically, but I assume it would certainly help to even out the luck factor, allowing those ‘unlucky in battle’ to be ‘lucky in lore’.

September 21, 2006

Official Word: Command Cards

The official DoW blog has been updated with a post about the Command card system. There’s nothing particularly new here for players of other Commands & Colors games like Memoir ‘44, but we do get a first look at some BattleLore Command cards, and they look beautiful.

While in M’44 the two outer board sections are referred to as the Flanks on the cards, in BattleLore they are called the Wings. As we heard in the last interview, Scenarios are called Adventures.

Section CardsThe two Section cards revealed are Scout (order 1 unit on the Right Wing) and Advance (for each Command card you have issue an order to one unit on the Left Wing). I haven’t seen the latter type of Section card in M’44, though perhaps it exists in the other C&C games.

The two Tactic cards are Blue Banners (for each Command card you have issue an order to one Blue Banner unit) and Darken the Sky (all units with ranged weapons can battle twice, but cannot fire at point blank or move). The latter card would certainly be handy in an Agincourt adventure … Apparently these two tactic cards have equivalents in C&C: Ancients.

Tactic CardsThe red crown icon identifies the cards as being Command cards—linked to your Commander in the War Council. It’s been pointed out that the icon matches the icon on the ‘Outpost’ tile you can see here—does that make the tile a command outpost? More news on this as information on the Lore cards and War Council is revealed. Click the images on the left for a closer look at the cards.

While waiting for BattleLore to arrive, there’s still the other great C&C games to enjoy of course. A friend and I played the ‘Guam Landings, July 21, 1944’ scenario from the Memoir ‘44 Pacific Theater expansion last night. What a fantastic game! It came right down to the wire—with one Victory Point to win and no other options left, the Japanese made two suicidal charges on a tank unit in the hills—and they would have won too, if not for an unlucky roll …

Update: It’s been confirmed that the borders of the cards are white, which should reduce the minor edge damage that occurs with black bordered cards such as those in Memoir ‘44 after extended use.

September 20, 2006

Official Word: Point System?

There have been some requests from wargamers for a point system in BattleLore to aid in constructing your own armies and scenarios—just a quick note to say that Eric Hautemont of DoW has confirmed in the DoW English forums that this will not be in the base rules. However he has noted that some time next year we may see some kind of system, “though not necessarily along the lines people usually think off when they say ‘point system’”.

September 19, 2006

The Battle of Agincourt

Apparently one of the starter scenarios in the BattleLore game will be the Battle of Agincourt. Let’s have a look at this defining conflict of the Hundred Years’ War.

The Battle of Agincourt was fought on 25 October 1415, Saint Crispin’s Day, between the English army of King Henry V and the French army of Charles VI (commanded by the Constable Charles d’Albret and various Armagnac noblemen).

After the successful siege of Harfleur, Henry planned to march directly to Calais and sail back to England. The English marched 260 miles in 17 days, and the army was exhausted, hungry and suffering from dysentery and disease (and down to only 900 men-at-arms and 5,000 archers from the original 9,000 total) when they found their way to Calais blocked by d’Albret’s army.

AgincourtAt dawn, the forces were laid out roughly a mile apart. The battlefield was a freshly plowed field between the villages of Agincourt and Tramecourt, and it had been raining continuously for days. It was to become so muddy that many deaths (including that of the Duke of York) were caused by drowning.

The French formed two lines of armoured men-at-arms with crossbowmen and some ineffectual bombards (cannon) between. 2,200 mounted knights, including 12 princes of royal blood, guarded the flanks and formed a reserve in the rear. In traditional fashion, the men-at-arms in the English army were flanked by wedges of archers, positioned forward from the rest of the troops to give covering fire along the main front. An innovation was the use of large pointed stakes set at an angle in front of the archers, called palings, to discourage a cavalry charge. Altogether, there were 20-30,000 Frenchmen compared to 5,900 Englishmen.

After three hours of stalemate, Henry ordered his troops to move the line forward to within extreme longbow range (400 yards). The first volley of arrows goaded the French into attacking, and the mounted French knights attempted to overrun the longbowmen protecting the English flanks. They were decimated and driven back in confusion. Contrary to popular opinion, an English arrow could not normally penetrate a knight’s plate armour, but their horses could not carry enough armour to stop the arrows. Wounded horses threw their riders and churned up the mud in front of the English positions.

The main French attack was from the first line of men-at-arms. The French force was not an army however, but a group of knights who had come together at the behest of the King, so it was dangerously undisciplined. Everybody tried to push their way into the first line to display their banners, and as they marched toward the English their line was squeezed together by the narrowing field, until they were so close together they couldn’t use their weapons effectively. However, even with the mud and the crowding, the French men-at-arms began to throw the English back.

Despite some intense fighting, the English line held. While normally quite mobile, the combination of the mud and the crowding disabled and disordered the armoured men-at-arms, and now the English archers joined the melee with hatchets and swords. The English had merely to knock them down, where they drowned in the mud or suffocated under fallen bodies.

The second line of men-at-arms followed the first. Now, however, there was the added complication that the English positions were blocked by a wall of bodies. The second line had no better luck against the arrows, mud, and English men-at-arms than the first.

The only French success of the battle was a sally by a group of French knights who cut through the woods and attacked the English camp. In Shakespeare, the raid on the camp was Henry’s reason for ordering his prisoners killed; though it was possibly a later justification.

Total English losses were put at thirteen men-at-arms (including Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York, a grandson of Edward III) and about a hundred of the foot soldiers. The French lost 5,000 soldiers.

Agincourt is remembered particularly for the English longbow destroying the ‘flower of French chivalry’. It is most famously portrayed by Shakespeare in his play Henry V, though Shakespeare did change some historical facts. A recent theory states that the English were not as outnumbered as previously thought, and in fact the figures were exaggerated to build up Henry’s reputation.

Sources: Wikipedia entry Computing, Agincourt Computing, The Great Battles

September 18, 2006

BattleLore discussed around the Boardgaming Roundtable

Mark Kaufmann and Eric Hautemont of Days of Wonder discuss the history of the company, their games, as well as their upcoming game BattleLore. Download the MP3 episode at Garrett’s Games and Geekiness Podcast or go directly to Garrett’s Games and Geekiness 33 to listen via QuickTime (via Boardgamenews).

Confirmed: the board is the exact same size as Memoir ‘44, double-sided. The regular side has slightly shifted (by half a hex) flank lines to M’44. The flip side has the same terrain but you can rotate it 90 degrees and line it up with another board to play ‘epic’ battles—thus making the epic game area more of a square. Even more web support is planned for BattleLore than M’44 (including epic scenarios).

Non-historical scenarios (those with magic and ‘legendary actions’) are called Lore Adventures. Lore cards are drawn from a separate deck from Command cards, and use a new mechanism—at the start of a game you are given, or can choose, a War Council, your ‘party of advisors in the field’ that give you special powers, and allow you to use certain Lore cards from the common deck. So you can choose powers based on the type of scenario, the lay of the land, the forces involved etc. You will have to manage a pool of Lore tokens to let you use your legendary actions when the time is right.

All these choices should mean that scenarios (now called Adventures) play very differently each time.

In the individual figure blister pack expansions you also get a summary card, plus a cardboard terrain piece that is the lair of the creature.

The box is 50% deeper than the normal Days of Wonder box, and the game is US$70.

September 16, 2006

First look at the game in progress!

Battlelore boardAsmodée Editions have given us the first glimpse of a BattleLore game set up and in action on a promotional page for the game—looks fantastic! It also mentions a ‘system of management’ in which the heroes play a large part—the War Council sheets? Can anyone give me a better French translation?

Click the thumbnail for a larger image.

Those War Council sheets look interesting … it looks like there are spaces for the large leader tokens (you can see one—the Rogue—on the Scenarios page). Each player also has a mysterious small cup with a die or counter in it. More news as it comes to hand …

Official Word: The Troops

The official DoW blog has been updated, giving us our first clear look at how a unit of figures will appear in a hex from above. This confirms that normal troops are four to a hex and mounted troops four to a hex: just like Memoir ‘44 infantry and armour. The figures appear to slot into the bases, which means a little extra work for the perfectionists among us (who, me?) filling in the base texture.

Troops are divided into three different types by the main colour of their banners: Green (Irregulars), Blue (Regulars) and Red (Heavy). Irregulars are untrained recruits armed with bow or stick and no armour, but very mobile; Regulars are trained military troops (shown with swords); and Heavy troops are less mobile heavy cavalry. It is noted that nothing in the system prevents variations on these categories however, so for example you could have ‘elite irregulars’.

Summary CardWe also get a look at a new type of summary sheet, which shows the Move and Battle abilities of these types in a similar way to M’44. There’s a little more complexity here since each type of troop moves and battles differently depending on whether it is Green, Blue or Red. The Mounted Units summary notes that mounted units may make a Pursuit, which I assume is similar to an Armour Overrun in M’44; ie. after a successful attack the unit may move into a vacated hex and battle again. Imagery of heavy mounted troops mowing down fleeing peasants springs to mind!

Summary CardIn the comments there’s some additional interesting information. All the races and unit types will have their own summary cards. Every figure base will have a hole for a banner, so banners can be assigned to any figure. The figures will come glued into the bases. Also note that the pictures are not of the same scale, so of course the figures themselves are in scale.

The system is looking simple but flexible so far: my kind of game! Images of miniatures are, as ever, compiled on the Game page.

September 14, 2006

The Forums Are Open!

Yes folks, the BattleLoreMaster forums are now open for membership. Discuss the new BattleLore system with like minded gamers, ask rules questions, discuss figure painting techniques or the fantasy and historical background of the game—or just find gamers in your area.

Please be a bit patient while I fine tune the look of the forums over time. Also, to minimise the inevitable spam registrations, I will be approving registrations manually - so if you can’t get on the board to start posting right away, it just means I haven’t got around to approving your membership yet (probably because—since I’m in Australia—it’s the middle of the night!)

Welcome to the BattleLore army! Go join up …

September 13, 2006

Official Word: More on Miniatures

From Eric Hautmont, Days of Wonder CEO: “… the figures in a hex will typically be in the 1-4 range (1 for big unique figures like the Creatures, 3-4 for infantry and cavalry units).

In terms of sizes of the sculpts, the dwarf is 22 mm from bottom of base to top of head. Humans on cavalry are about 30mm high from bottom of base to top of head, and the Hill Giant is 40mm+.”

This just in: “The units are dual color … gray figures but varying color for the base, depending on the race (gray base for humans, greenish for gobs …)”

September 12, 2006

The Hundred Years’ War

BattleLore ‘meshes history and fantasy together’, and it seems possible that players may forego the fantasy element altogether and recreate historical battles. Since the press release mentions the Hundred Years’ War, let’s have a quick look at that period in our history:

The Hundred Years’ War in fact lasted 116 years, from 1337 to 1453, and included several periods of peace. The war was a series of raids, sieges and naval battles between England and France as English kings tried to claim the French throne, but it spilled over into Scotland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and the Low Countries. It included such famous battles as Agincourt and characters such as Joan of Arc that have inspired literature for centuries. Eventually, starting with a defeat at Orleans against a force led by Joan, the English were expelled from France.

The Kings of England were descendants of the Norman conquerors and spoke French; and since France was weak and divided, and the English already controlled a good portion in Aquitaine (around Bordeaux in SW France), they wanted to rule France as well. The hostilities broke out when the French king Charles IV died without an heir, and a faction of French nobles, faced with the fact that the English king Edward III was the best claimant for their throne (his mother was French and the dead king’s aunt), crowned a French cousin instead and attacked Edward’s lands in Aquitaine. In 1337 Edward declared war.

The Edwardian War (1337-1360)
Battle of SluysIn 1340 an attacking French fleet was destroyed off Sluys (in modern Netherlands), giving crucial control of the Channel to Edward. In 1346 at Crecy, armoured French knights charging up a hill were massacred, largely by English longbowmen. After a successful siege, Calais became a fortified English stronghold for two centuries. A year later the Black Death began ravaging Europe.

In 1356 Edward’s son, known as the Black Prince, won a great victory at Poitiers and captured the French king John II. He was ransomed and peace declared in 1360, leaving the English in control of large areas of France.

The Caroline War (1369-1389)
By 1369 Charles V of France broke the alliance and began pushing England back with the help of a Breton general named Bertrand du Guesclin, and in 1381 the young Richard II of England was facing a revolt of peasants in his own land. The French, helped by Spanish warships, attacked England in a series of successful raids. However Charles V’s son, Charles VI, went insane, and France plunged into civil war between two factions—the Armagnacs and the Burgundians (who allied with England).

The Lancastrian War (1415-1429)
AgincourtThe English took this opportunity to invade Normandy. In 1415 Henry V found himself outnumbered by the French army at Agincourt, but again the English longbowmen were devastatingly victorious. In 1420 the treaty of Troyes was signed, giving control of northern France to England and the crown to Henry on the French king’s death.

Joan of Arc
In 1429, a peasant woman from Lorraine called Joan of Arc, inspired by visions from God, relieved the English siege of Orleans and led the future Charles VII to his coronation at Rheims in 1429.

Joan of ArcJoan was captured by Burgundian troops, sold to the English and burnt at the stake in 1431. Inspired by her martyrdom, Charles VII managed to drive back the English over the next 25 years, capturing English strongholds until only Calais was left. A formal treaty to end the war was eventually signed in 1475.

The Hundred Years’ War is considered the most significant of all medieval conflicts and an important period in military evolution. The longbow and fixed defensive positions of men-at-arms began to supersede heavy cavalry and force changes in armament, and the Scots inspired the use of lightly armoured cavalry that dismounted to fight. Gunpowder, firearms and cannons were also introduced into warfare. It is said that at the Battle of Crécy, the age of chivalry came to an end.

Main Sources: Wikipedia entry,

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September 11, 2006

Official Word: Miniatures

The official DoW blog has just been updated with a look at the BattleLore miniatures. And the ones shown—a human heavy cavalry and a goblin archer—look stunningly detailed (love those textured bases). We’ve been told previously that that there will be fifteen different sculpts (humans, goblins, dwarves, and a giant spider figure) in the base game, and that the human figures will be about 25% larger than the Memoir ‘44 figures.

Summary CardWe also get a look at what looks to be a unit’s Summary card—in this case for troops armed with common bows. It has Weapon Type, Damage, Bonus Strike and Special headings.

We’re introduced to a key mechanic of the game—banner bearers. The banners themselves look to be of a sturdy plastic that can be attached to different figures like a peg, and the colour stickers that identify them look bold, colourful and clear. The banner’s shape identifies the ‘camp’ the unit belongs to; its base colour the level of training (mobility and combat-worthiness), and the weapons symbol identifies its special combat abilities. Once the figures are painted it certainly is going to be a spectacular battlefield.

The use of banners (and indeed, the whole concept of fantasy units on a hex field) reminds me of the old Milton Bradley/Games Workshop game Battle Masters, and indeed the similarity was mentioned in the Tom Vasel interview, though Eric Hautemont of DoW said the game was not an inspiration for Battlelore. In Battle Masters moreover, the banners were not only bizarrely tall and out of scale, but had no real useful game purpose.

Images of miniatures as they are released will be compiled on the Game page.

September 10, 2006

Welcome to!

New games are being released all the time. But occasionally, very occasionally, you hear about something that just gives you a feeling. A feeling that this game is going to be big.

I had that feeling when I heard today that Days of Wonder, the game company known worldwide for high quality, highly successful games such as Memoir ‘44 and Ticket to Ride, had announced a new mass fantasy combat system called BattleLore by renowned Memoir ‘44 designer Richard Borg. So much so that I immediately felt impelled to register this domain and set up this site.

Here at I’ll be gathering together everything I can find to do with BattleLore. It looks like BattleLore is going to be something that is going to be around for quite some time. We’ve just begun here and things may be a little rough as we design and develop the site depending on what Days of Wonder has in store for us. So bookmark the site and come back regularly as we discover and explore the world of BattleLore together!

Enjoy, Universal Head