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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Official Word: Heroes Expansion Warrior

WarriorThe final preview of the BattleLore Heroes Expansion characters has just been posted over at Fantasy Flight Games— the Warrior hero, who, as expected, is an aggressive hero and a good choice for newbie players who don’t want to bother too much about subtle tactics!

I’m a bit surprised to see that the Warrior illustration is female, for two reasons. One, with the exception of Joan of Arc, woman weren’t involved in warrior roles in battles during the Hundred Years’ War, which is the historical period BattleLore is ‘based’ in (with fantasy additions, of course). I have nothing against more sexual equality in gaming stereotypes, but this seems to underscore the fact that BattleLore may be getting a bit more Dungeons & Dragons and a little less ‘alternative historical’, which I personally think is a shame.

Two, my pre-production figure of the warrior seems to be male. Of course the figure may have since changed, or the plate armour is just too heavy to really tell!

Anyway, back to the skills. The Warrior doesn’t muck about on the sidelines, but takes on enemies, whether heroes or troops, face-to-face, and she has no interest in Lore either. She has six skills to choose from up front; no prerequisites.

Of course, she has Riding like all our other heroes. It is recommended that this skill is avoided until her other abilities are developed, however.

Path Finder is the same as the Rogue skill, and allows her to ignore terrain movement restrictions and move one additional hex.

The remaining skills are combat-oriented. Assassin—also, somewhat strangely, a Rogue card—adds a die when battling an enemy Hero in melee combat, and adds damage when a hit is scored. I think this would have been better renamed for the Warrior, but that’s a small nit-pick.

Blademaster is another shared skill with the Rogue, adding one additional die in melee combat, while Hack-and-Slash (yay, a unique Warrior skill at last!) gives the Warrior two additional dice. That’s more like it!

Her last skill is Bruiser, that allows each Sword-on-Shield (Bonus Strike) result to be rolled again until no new Sword-on-Shield results are rolled. Lore results rolled on the extra dice are ignored.

All-in-all I found the Warrior to be a little uninteresting, with her reliance on Rogue-type skills, and I think the visual treatment would have been much better suited to a burly medieval warrior-in-armour-type, even though it’s a bit of a cliché. Personally I’d like to see BattleLore’s unique Hundred Years’ War setting retained and emphasized, rather than see this generic American fantasy look creep in. Still, it’s going to be a great expansion!

Of course we have yet to se what special Artifacts—probably weapons—the Warrior can wield. Hopefully Artifcacts will be the subject of the next post!