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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Official Word: Terrains, Landmarks and Lairs

The latest post on the official DoW blog looks at the hex tiles that add variety and strategic options to the battle board: Terrain, Landmarks and Lairs. There are four basic terrain types in the core BattleLore set: Countryside (the board itself); Wooded Terrain; Elevated Ground and Waterways. I’m sure we can assume that additional terrain types will be coming in future expansions.

WoodsEach terrain type (and each Landmark and Lair) has a corresponding Summary card where its effects on movement, battle and line of sight are detailed.

For example, this Wooded Terrain card tells us that woods block line of sight and a unit entering the wood must then stop, but may still battle. In addition, the terrain sometimes imposes a cap on the number of default battle dice a unit may roll when attacking into or out of the terrain (in the case of Woods, 2 dice).

LandmarksIn general, rougher terrain limits the number of dice more; a neat device that reflects the effect on manouverability and combat effectiveness that such terrain has on a ‘heavier’ unit.

Note this cap does not affect bonus dice from Lore or Command cards or any other source.

Landmarks are distinctive battlefield features built by the hand of man, and have a number of basic effects: they block line of sight, their occupants may ignore a flag and possibly battle back (ie the unit becomes Bold), and a unit must stop and cannot battle the turn it enters a landmark.

Magic PentacleYou can see they also cap battle dice in the same way as Wooded Terrain.

However, they often also convey unique advantages. The sole owner of a Level 3 Lore Master receives a unique Landmark for that Lore Master.

For example, a Level 3 Wizard receives the Magic Pentacle shown here, which lets the player collect a Lore token at the end of each turn during which that player’s troops occupy the Pentacle.

StrongholdA Level 3 Rogue receives the Rogue’s Den shown here, allowing the player to establish a secret one-way passage to a Wooded or Elevated terrain hex.

The Den is placed in any empty hex on the third or fourth row from your side (it’s not yet clear whether this placement rule applies to all Lore Master landmarks).

Rogue's DenAny player with a Level 3 Commander receives the Stronghold, which makes any friendly troops adjacent to it Bold, but also forces you to lose a precious Command card if it is taken by the enemy! A bit of a mixed blessing perhaps..?

Circle of SummoningFinally, Creatures also come with their own Lair (we can see here how the Hill Giant and Earth Elemental blister packs come with their Lair tile and Summary card in addition to their Creature summary cards) from which they emerge during the battle. Here we see a Circle of Summoning, from which troops may attempt to summon the Earth Elemental into an adjacent hex.