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Friday, August 7, 2009

Official Site Info: Artifacts

An unexpected treat to be included in BattleLore: Heroes are artifacts, special items that can support or augment a hero’s abilities and skills. There are seven types previewed in FFG’s latest Heroes news article.

The first type of artifact is Armor Enhancement. These artifacts, when equipped, increase the defensive capability of a hero against a particular type of attack. Examples given are Sapphire Armor, Warding Bracers, and the Orb of Deflection.

The Orb allows a combined unit (hero and the troop he is leading) to ignore one helmet color hit from a ranged attack. If the attacking troops have just moved and don’t hit on Bonus Strikes, this makes you immune from their ranged attack.

The second type of artifact is Equipment. These are generic items that don’t fall into any specific category. Examples include Mount-War, Beaker Box, and Backpack.

The Backpack allows a hero to trade in the backpack to equip a currently unequipped (“under his character sheet”) artifact in its place. Heroes are limited in the number of artifacts they can equip at the start of the game, but the Backpack doesn’t count towards this limit.

The third type of artifact are Enchanted Items. These items are imbued with magical powers that can give a hero additional bonuses when moving, additional dice when attacking, additional defensive powers, and more. Examples are Maelstrom Cloak, the Snaring Rope, the Rabbit’s Foot, and the Lore Stone.

The Lore Stone allows a hero to ignore all Lore hits in combat; pretty handy, especially against Lore-based enemies, though Lore results still count unfortunately.

The fourth type of artifact are Potions. They are normally discarded after use so players have to be careful to use them at the right time. Examples are Philter of Fear, Goblet of Blood, Tonic of Trap Detection, and Wine of Warping.

The Wine of Warping potion is similar to the Rogue skill Pathfinder: +1 movement and no terrain restrictions. However, you can move through friendly and enemy troops!

The fourth type of artifact is Weapon Enhancement. These are mostly used to boost an attack by adding battle dice, though the type of attack the weapon can be used in is dependent on the type of enhancement. Examples are Mace of Fright, Lore Blade, Sword of Command, and Emerald Charm.

The Emerald Charm powers up a green combined unit so it attacks like a red unit, so you get the movement of green and the attacking power of red! The perfect hero plus troop combination.

There are two other artifact types that are slightly different in that they are not really artifacts as such: Services and Instants.

There seems to be only one Service: Master Physician,, which allows you to heal your hero in exchange for one Treasure and 4 Experience tokens.

The mention of Experience and ‘After Adventure Actions’ implies that there will be some form of continuity for heroes between games. A fledgling Campaign system perhaps?

Instants are like potions except they must be immediately returned to the deck. They come in two types, Experience and Treasure. Treasure allows you to take a Treasure token in exchange for the card, but what Treasure tokens do, we don’t yet fully know.

Well, lots and lots to chew on there and it really looks like BattleLore is gaining a whole new level of complexity and interest with theis long-awaited expansion. Rob Kouba, FFG BattleLore Developer and author of the latest articles, mentions he will be at GenCon 2009—the question is, will advance copies be available?