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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Official Word: Heroes Expansion Announced!

Heroes Expansion

A lot of BattleLore fans have been waiting for this one for a long time. I’ve got a set of Hero figures I’ve had for ages that I’d love to show you, but can’t (it will be interesting to see if they match this release). People were beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. But at last, Fantasy Flight have announced the BattleLore Heroes Expansion.

Priest standingComing this Fall, Fantasy Flight Games is proud to release the long-awaited expansion for BattleLore, BattleLore: Heroes. In this expansion, leaders and champions will be called to the fields of battle to aid their sides with new skills and artifacts. The road to adventure and glory is never easy and fledgling adventurers will begin their campaigns with only the barest of abilities and must survive the harsh realities of war to become a legendary hero.

The first review looks at the Cleric, and it’s notable that Fantasy Flight has moved away from the ‘classic’ goblin Cleric to give us a human version. It certainly is strange to finally see new artwork for BattleLore, but happily, the look is very similar to past illustrations, so there’s been no jarring change in the game’s graphic style.

It would appear that Heroes start with an initial skill selection, which are either bought or played with the expenditure of Lore tokens.

The Riding skill tells us that each hero will come in mounted and unmounted versions (something I already knew from my figures).

It’s also clear that Heroes develop over the course of a game, and that certain skills require other skills as prerequisites.

The Chant skill allows the Cleric to force attackers to roll one less battle die when attacking the hex he is in.

If players learn this skill, they have access to a stronger version called Battle Hymn, which extends the effect to adjacent hexes.

The skill called Herbal Remedy, similarly, is the prerequisite for two other skills. The skill allows the troop a Cleric is leading to ignore a hit. Prayer for the Dying and Healing Hands expand on this skill; one for when the Cleric is alone and one for protection of an adjacent troop.

We are told that the Cleric has the potential to shine in the early game, especially against an offensive hero that is still undeveloped, “since the Cleric can potentially be able to stay off the field of battle longer and accumulate more experience.”

Obviously getting your heroes in amongst it at an early stage of the game can slow their rate of development, which implies some interesting strategic choices.

Priest mountedBattleLore: Heroes is coming Fall 2009. Listed price is US$39.95.

Here’s the information from the FFG product page:

BattleLore: Heroes introduces player-created Leaders and Champions to augment your camp’s forces in battles.

As with all journeys, the beginning is never easy. As a fledgling adventurer, you begin with a bare minimum of skills and artifacts to help you combat the enemy. Adventures have the potential to reward your intrepid Hero greatly if he performs well. But beware, battlefields are not without peril, and taking too many wounds may force your Hero into an unwanted early retirement.

Prepare yourself for the journey of a lifetime!

BattleLore: Heroes includes 10 unique Hero figures, a Rules booklet, 110 Skill, Artifact, and Landmark cards, and much more!

Next time, we’ll be getting a look at the Rogue hero. Great to see BattleLore back in action again.