Battles of Westeros (8)
FAQ/Errata/Downloads (46)
Featured Forum Posts (2)
Historical Background (2)
Miniatures (8)
Miscellaneous (9)
Official Site Info (42)
Other C&C Games (3)
Playing BattleLore (15)
Prerelease Game News (59)
Reviews & Reports (23)
Site Updates (21)
The Raven (12)

BattleloreMaster Posts

Official Site Info Category

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Official Site Info: Repurposed French core sets

Apparently it’s been tough to get hold of a BattleLore core set for a while now, so Fantasy Flight Games has introduced a stop-gap measure by ‘repurposing’ some French sets with English cards and reference sheets. English rules will be made available as a PDF download. Look for a big red sticker on these boxes.

Days of Wonder must have printed a huge run of BattleLore when they first released the game … it will be interesting to see how FFG tackles the production problems surrounding the core set when these repurposed French sets run out.

My guess is in a smaller edition with smaller armies; so if you still haven’t got a core set, grab one (or two) now!

Check out the full announcement on the FFG site.

Update: As announced here, the following expansion sets will get the same treatment to make them available: Goblin Skirmishers, Goblin Marauders, Dwarven Battalion, and The Hundred Years’ War.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Official Site Info: Code of Chivalry

Fantasy Flight Games has announced another BattleLore army pack: Code of Chivalry. The Humans are being expanded with knights, arbalestiers, and lancers.

In keeping with the ‘some old, some new’ nature of recent releases, the box will contain two new unit types as well as two types previously released in the Hundred Years War (arbalestiers) and Scottish Wars (the mounted knights) expansions, plus 6 new Call to Arms deployment cards.

Now that we’ve had ‘top-up’ packs for the Humans, Dwarves and Goblins, fingers crossed for a new race next time!

Check out the announcement on the FFG site. More information is promised soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Official Site Info: Bearded Brave details

There’s some new information about the Arbalest, Spotter and Mighty Bolt Thrower unit types on the Fantasy Flight Games website. Iron Dwarf Spotters come equipped with the Spy Glass, and are a single figure that can be embedded in a single ranged foot unit. When present, the unit’s ranged weapon attacks receive an additional hex of range and roll an additional combat die.

Mighty Bolt Thrower units are made up of two bolt thrower figures and two Iron Dwarf crossbowmen acting as a crew. They can fire up to 5 hexes and benefit from bonus strikes when making ranged attacks. They are vulnerable however—each hit they take eliminates a Bolt Thrower AND a crewman.

Check out the article on the FFG site for full details and card images.

Update: More information about the bear riders here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Official Site Info: Bearded Brave

Fantasy Flight Games has announced another BattleLore ‘army expansion box’, Bearded Brave. The Iron Dwarves are being expanded with four new unit types.

In the box will be six different types of Iron Dwarf units, including Bear Riders and Mighty Bolt Throwers. 40 new figures, 27 cards, and a rulebook with 4 new adventures.

Check out the announcement on the FFG site. More information is promised in the coming weeks.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Battles of Westeros News

More official information about Battles of Westeros has been released; an article about troop management in the game. Sounds interesting, and actually quite different from the BattleLore system.

For all the detail, visit the Fantasy Flight website.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Official Site Info: Horrific Horde

Horrific Horde Expansion

A big surprise from Fantasy Flight Games this morning with the announcement of the BattleLore: Horrific Horde expansion set!

It’s an interesting release, for several reasons. Firstly, veteran players will probably not get too excited about the 42 figures in this set: we’ve seen the Goblin Swordsmen, Hobgoblin Cavalry and Hobgoblin Hyena Riders before (interestingly, there are no Drummers, Spear Bearers and Slingers from the Goblin Skirmishers set, so it isn’t really an entire Goblin army). The only new units are some Goblin Halberdiers, and some fantastic-looking Ogres.

However, what this new set does tell us is that FFG are listening to the fans and releasing large expansion sets of one racial type. I think I can safely predict that a big dwarf set will be the next release, consolidating some of the units from the Dwarven Battalion and Scottish Wars sets, plus some new Dwarf units. But after that, perhaps we’ll finally see new BattleLore races on the battlefield?

(As a personal aside, I would love to see the sculpt for green and blue banner goblins replaced. It never seemed to match the style and scale of the other goblin figures.)

Anyway, back to the Horrific Horde! As well as the figures, you get unit summary and specialist cards, weapon summary cards for the updated Goblin Slinger rules, 15 deployment cards to use with Call to Arms, and a rulebook with five new Adventures. I would guess that this all comes in a box the size of the Scottish Wars and Heroes expansions.

The Ogre is a great looking figure and certainly has a lot more ‘oomph’ than the Troll sculpt. It can move one hex and battle, and wields a spiked club for 4d, hitting on a bonus strike; it’s also subject to a ‘Frenzy’ rule. Also, a unit consists of three figures, which is something new, so it’s a red banner unit not a creature.

Is the start of a new series of much-awaited army packs? Elves, undead, orcs …?

The Horrific Horde is coming this (northern hermisphere) summer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Battles of Westeros Officially Announced

Battles of Westeros

Fantasy Flight Games has officially announced their new game Battles of Westeros.

In news articles on their website, FGG announce the new upcoming release and Christian Petersen, CEO of FFG, answers some questions about the game. The official minisite has also been launched.

The interview gives us some very interesting insights into what is happening with BattleLore at FFG, and possibly, what happened with it at Days of Wonder. Apparently, due to various factors, the original game can no longer be produced at an affordable pricepoint. This is pure speculation, but I think we will see ‘classic’ BattleLore re-released in a completely new format at some time in the future—perhaps a core game with far smaller armies, and then small army packs as expansions.

After reading the information available so far, I must admit I’m in two minds about this new release. Firstly, it looks like a great game, and I have no doubt that I will buy it and enjoy it. But I am confused about it being branded a BattleLore game. Petersen himself admits that they “have some slight similarities” but are “different games”; that “we acquired BattleLore to be our core brand for medieval tactical warfare games … the BattleLore name is not necessarily tied to Richard’s Command and Colors system”; and “the key value to FFG was the BattleLore brand.”

Well, this is new … and very confusing to BattleLore players and non-BattleLore players alike.

According to Petersen, BattleLore has “an eclectic mix of a fantasy and historic medieval theme that FFG has never been comfortable with”, and that Battles of Westeros is a non-magic, gritty medieval game that is more in line with their vision.

Petersen goes on to say that “classic BattleLore” will continue to be supported. This is great news, but again, confusing to the game-buying public that isn’t keeping track of these developments by visiting the website and reading the articles. It seems to be completely reasonable for someone who sees a game on the shelf branded ‘A BattleLore Game’ to expect that it will be compatible with the game BattleLore, does it not? And doesn’t it seem strange that a game specifically targeted as not including magic is branded with a name—and a logo—that specifically emphasises ‘Lore’, or magic?

Again, I think the new game looks great and I will most likely buy it. But if it’s not BattleLore, why brand it BattleLore? Why change the name BattleLore into a generic brand name, when there is already a specific game system by that name? A specific game system that will now be rather clunkily referred to as ‘classic’ BattleLore?

I can see what FFG are trying to do—creating a generic brand for a game series—and no doubt when all the dust settles and time has passed, the fan base will accept that BattleLore is now a brand name and not a particular game system.

Personally, I don’t expend energy worrying too much about these matters—there’ll always be plenty of quality games to play from FFG, and I have enough gaming goodness to happily fill my available hours. But it seems a shame that the uniqueness—the ‘eclectic mix’, if you will—of the BattleLore game has been diluted in this way.

What do you think? I’d be interested to hear your opinion. And should this website cover all the ‘BattleLore’ releases from FFG, or just ‘classic BattleLore’?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Official Site Info: Dragons Released!

Dragons Expansion

Fantasy Flight Games has just announced that the new BattleLore expansion set BattleLore: Dragons is now shipping. Follow this link for the announcement, and to download the rules. The models look fantastic …

Importantly, the rules for using Creatures have been updated and clarified as well, so be sure to check out the link above and download the PDFs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Official Site Info: Creatures

Creatures Expansion

Next up from the series of previews from Fantasy Flight Games is a look at the cards for the three creatures (two of which are models we’ve seen before, the Giant and Elemental, previously only available as promo figures) in the upcoming BattleLore: Creatures expansion set.

Again, it’s mostly flavour text, but we do see the cards for the Wood Giant (Green banner), Hydra (Blue banner) and Rock Elemental (Red banner).

The Wood Giant moves up to 2 hexes and battles, and retreats 2 hexes per flag. His damage is 2 dice. Being a denizen of the forests, he ignores the movement and combat restrictions of woods, so he can move through them and also battle on a turn he moves into them. Each bonus strike is re-rolled for additional hits or flags until no more bonus strikes are rolled. The Giant player can force his target to retreat 2 hexes for every Lore he rolls.

The Hydra is going to be the figure everyone will want from this set, with its interchangeable heads. It may move up to 2 hexes and battle, and retreats 2 hexes per flag. It’s melee damage is 1 dice plus 1 dice per head, and it also hits on a bonus strike symbol. The Hydra is only hit on its banner colour, and one neck is removed for each hit! The fun continues when a Hydra rolls a Lore symbol in melee—if it is missing a neck, a neck with 2 heads can take its place! Great stuff.

The red Earth Elemental is a magical force to be reckoned with. It moves a number of spaces equal to the Lore you spend (ignoring movement and terrain restrictions), it does not retreat, and it has a melee attack of 4 dice. It’s melee attack does a big 4 dice damage and hits on a bonus strike. It’s 1 Lore Tremor attack makes all surrounding units retreat one hex for each Lore, and its 2 Lore dice Earthquake attack makes all surrounding units take 1 hit and retreat.

However, the Earth Elemental must be kept on the go—if it is not ordered in a turn it is removed and must be summoned again.

Previews of the actual figures and the dragons soon, hopefully.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Official Site Info: Dragons

Dragons Expansion

The information from Fantasy Flight Games just keeps pouring in—now, a look at the abilities of the three types of dragons in the upcoming BattleLore: Dragons expansion set.

The article is mainly flavour text, but it does show us the abilities and attacks of the three types: the Wood Wyvern (Green banner), Ice Drake (Blue banner) and Fire Dragon (Red banner).

All the basic information is the same, except the melee attack damage, which is 2 dice for the Wyvern, 3 dice for the Drake and 4 dice for the Fire Dragon. All the Dragons hit on a Bonus Strike result. As for movement, they can all move up to 2 hexes and battle, or fly up to 4 hexes and then use their breath attack. Retreat is 3 hexes per flag, with the option of ignoring the first flag.

Dragon are certainly going to be dominant, fast-moving features on the battlefield, and when Lore is paid (1 for the Wyvern, 2 for the Drake, and 3 for the Fire Dragon), the hexes that are flown over are going to feel the effects of their horrific breath weapons! The Wood Wyvern can unleash a Poison Breath attack that does 2 dice damage against every hex flown over. Each Lore rolled equals a Poison Breath token, the effects of which are still unclear.

The Ice Drake has a Frost Breath attack that does 3 dice damage and each Lore rolled equals a Frost Breath token, and the Fire Dragon’s Fire Breath attack does 4 dice damage and doles out Fire Breath tokens.

No doubt we’ll soon find out the additional effects of these Breath tokens. Dragons and Heroes are certainly going to shake up the battlefields of BattleLore however!

Monday, August 24, 2009

BattleLore Rules Online

The Rules for BattleLore: heroes are now available to download from the Fantasy Flight Games BattleLore Support page. Also, the expansion comes with a pad of Hero record sheets, but you can download more directly from this page.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Heroes and Creatures on their way!

Fantasy Flight games has announced that the Dragons and Creatures expansions—yep, two separate expansions—will be available before the end of the year.

See the video of CEO Christian Petersen’s GenCon speech here at the Fantasy Flight website (click the Friday clip). The announcement is about three-quarters of the way through.

You can see the spectacular multi-headed Hydra, which comes with the old hill giant and earth elemental figures, here, and the packaging for both sets here.

According to information on the FFG forums by people at GenCon, Dragons comes with three figures: the Fire Dragon is a red banner creature, the Ice Drake is blue, and the Forest Wyvern is green. You need two hits to trigger your critical hit roll, and always roll one die less than normal. They all have the Fly ability and have a 4 dice attack.

Creatures will include the Rock Elemental and the Forest Giant (the same figures as before but renamed) as well as a Hydra with modular heads. The Hydra is a blue banner figure and comes with 6 different heads and necks—every time it takes a a banner colour hit it loses a neck, but if it rolls a Lore, it gains a new one!

The Elemental and Giant will have modified rules, plus modified rules for a new version of the Spider called a Blue Widow Spider will be included.

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?

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!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Official Word: Heroes Expansion Wizard

WizardThe BattleLore Heroes Expansion news continues with a look at the Wizard hero, who harnesses the arcane arts for death and destruction.

We certainly have a different look for the Wizard hero here; a flamboyant pastels-and-armour-garbed woman with a strange bird familiar, fireball, sparkling wand and a riding beast that’s a cross between lion and horse! It’s a little much for my taste, a bit too Dungeons & Dragons, but others may disagree.

But the important thing is what she brings to the BattleLore battlefield. And it looks pretty tough. The Wizard uses offensive strategies and is best taking on enemy heroes or normal troops. She can also take more equipment into battle by summoning a servant or utilizing her skills in alchemy. For the player who wants to get his hero up in the front lines dealing damage, the Wizard is a good choice.

She has five skills to choose from at the beginning; one requires a prerequisite but is only a support skill.

Of course, there’s the usual Riding skill, apparently not as useful to the Wizard as it is to other players, unless she is wielding an artifact that requires quick movement around the battlefield.

Of the remaining skills, two allow the Wizard to equip differently before the game, while the others are offensive spells.

Alchemist allows the Wizard to use a potion more than once (they are usually discarded after use). The maximum number of usages per turn is always one, however, and the skill only alows two ‘repeats’. Potions appear to be included under the heading of ‘Artifacts’. We learn that heroes start the game with a single Artifact, and that the usual maximum number a hero can carry is two.

However, Unseen Servant allows the Wizard to take three Artifacts into battle. This seems very handy, as artifacts appear to be quite powerful—and the Rogue has a skill that allows him to steal one from the Wizard.

Now it’s time for a bit of offensive magic!

The not-so-subtly-named Destruction lets the Wizard destroy an opponent hero’s Artifact, if they are in melee combat and the Wizard gives up all Lore rolled (minimum 2). This could really annoy your opponent, taking away a powerful item from his arsenal early in the game.

Ball Lightning allows a Wizard in melee to cause a hit by using all the Lore symbols she rolls. You can add the skill Lightning Arc to this and share the ability with a friendly adjacent unit!

According to the article, the Wizard is therefore more powerful when leading a troop, and they recommend keeping her with a red banner unit so her powers can be best utilized with the larger offensive dice pool.

Only one left: the Warrior!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Official Word: Heroes Expansion Field Commander

GeneralMore BattleLore Heroes Expansion goodness this week with a preview of the Field Commander hero.

Our new commander is a rather flamboyant blonde warrior in red and purple, somewhat younger and less encoumbered by armour than we’ve been used to. I liked the old white haired, hard-bitten character myself, but a change is good.

The Field Commander is for those players with a focus on their army; he uses his skills to help other units. He seems to be quite a fighter in his own right as well. Like the Rogue, all of his 5 class-specific skills don’t require skill prerequisites, but are available from the start of the game.

Like other heroes, he has the Riding skill. This seems to be an important first choice for the Commander so he has the mobility to effectively use his other skills where they’re needed on the battlefield.

Outflank is another movement skill. Your Commander can be ordered out-of-section of using an order from a section Command card. This means that if you have the Riding skill, your Commander will always been on the move.

The Blademaster gives a bonus to melee battle dice—though no additional casualties like the Rogue skill of the same name.

Call to Arms requires that your Commander be adjacent to a supporting unit, and adds two dice to his combat roll (though the supporting unit can’t battle that turn).

Now, a couple of skills that improve your Commander’s Command!

Scouting lets you draw three replacement Command cards and keep one after your Commander is ordered by a scout Command card, giving you some extra flexibility in your command choices.

And finally, Lead by Example allows the Field Commander, when ordered by a Scout card, to order up to 3 contiguous units (as long is one is adjacent to your Commander).

Great stuff to reduce the vagaries of luck and put the control of command back in the player’s hands.

Coming up next, the Wizard.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Official Word: Heroes Expansion Rogue

RogueThe lead-up to the long-awaited release of the BattleLore Heroes Expansion continues with a look at the Rogue hero.

New artwork for the Rogue sees a male version dressed in purple-lined cloak, mask and rather fetching thigh-high leather boots. All the rage in Uchronia this season, I’m sure!

The focus of the Rogue is targeting and disrupting your opponent’s hero—but of course, in a sneaky way. He’s not going to last if you go up against your opponent’s Warrior in combat.

Unlike the Cleric, who has a skill selection limited by rerequisites, the Rogue has a full complement of skills to choose from.

The Riding skill returns, a skill that all heroes have in common, though it appears its effects can vary for each hero. In the Rogue’s case, it increases his movement to 4 hexes, but is also required for the use of other skills (just how it does isn’t clear at this stage).

The Pathfinder skill allows the Rogue to treat all terrain—even impassable terrain— as though it was clear countryside. He still can’t end his move on impassable terrain however. Very handy indeed. Like Riding, it also sets up the use of other skills.

Right, onto the all-important combat skills!

Assassin gives your Rogue an extra battle die in melee combat against another hero (hero versus hero combat—excellent!).

Blademaster gives you the extra battle die in general melee combat. In addition, if you roll at least one hit, you roll an additional die when making the Casualty Check.

The article’s suggestion for these skills to wait until you can see how your opponent will utilise his hero—whether they come to the fore to offer combat, or stay hidden in the ranks instead.

The last two skills are Leech and Thievery.

Leech allows the Rogue to still the Lore that an opponent rolls when attacking a Rogue. Yeah, not that exciting, but we have yet to see how Lore works in relation to heroes. And you have to be attacked to use the sill, so as the article suggests, you should postpone selection of this skill until a bit later in the hero development process.

Thievery allows the Rogue to steal one artifact when in melee with an enemy hero, after spending a minimum of 2 rolled Lore. This is the first mention of artifacts, which sound exciting. Each hero begins the game with one, but it appears that more can be taken as a hero develops.

Next up for discussion is the Field Commander.

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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Downloadable Unit Upgrades for BattleLore

FFGIt’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from Fantasy Flight concerning BattleLore, so hopefully these two tidbits are the precursor to some new announcements.

Advanced Training: Field your armies with boosted Dwarven Cattle Riders and the improved Goblin Sling ammunition designed by BattleLore creator, Richard Borg! Commanders can print out the following altered cards that take the place of the existing cards of the same name.

You can download the new unit cards here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fantasy Flight Updates

A little late with this news (I’ve been on holiday) , but Fantasy Flight Games have at last revamped and modernised their website. Lovely stuff! The BattleLore section is here and the new forums are here.

There’s also a new Troll scenario available for download, to go with the For Troll and Country expansion pack.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fantasy Flight Games BattleLore site

FFGFantasy Flight Games has launched their official BattleLore website, featuring a bit of writing by yours truly on the About page.

You’ll also find a 1.8Mb PDF download of the BattleLore rules book on the Support page.

And don’t forget to check out the FFG forums.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Brief FAQ from Fantasy Flight Games

Fantasy Flight Games have posted a brief FAQ about the future of BattleLore. Excitingly, the ‘Hereoes’ expansion is planned for release this Fall. The FAQ is reproduced below:

Q. Will FFG release be a new edition of BattleLore?
A. Not for the time being. We intend to support the current game system and theme for quite some time.

Q. Is FFG planning to release the BattleLore expansions that DOW already had in the works?
A. Yes, we will be releasing the expansions which were already being manufactured by DOW. These are the Heroes expansion and For Troll and Country, which we hope to ship sometime this Fall.

Q. When will FFG be shipping existing BattleLore products to distributors and retailers?
A. The inventory is currently being transferred to our warehouses in U.S and Europe. Once it is settled there, we will resume supply to the marketplace. We expect this to take another 2-4 weeks.

Q. Which logo will be on BattleLore products in the future?
A. The existing inventory, although sold by FFG, will still carry the DOW logo. With an eventual reprint, this will be changed to the FFG logo.

Q. Will Richard Borg be involved in the development of new content?
A. Yes, we are very excited to be working with Richard on creating new content and products for BattleLore.

Q. When will FFG announce their future plans for BattleLore?
A. We intend to have more details on our support and release plans for BattleLore around the time of the Essen Game Fair (towards the end of October.) Around that time, please stay tuned to the FFG website for more information.

Q. What will become of BattleLore’s online presence?
A. We will be working on taking over as much online content from the DOW BattleLore site that we can. Unfortunately, we will not be able to execute a simple and quick port of the existing scenario editor and scenario database, as the software for this is understandably proprietary and integral to DOW site. We are working to come up with a good solution for this problem and we think that the fans will be happy once all is settled. Please note, however, that this will take time and that we appreciate your patience in this.

FFG will be unveiling our own BattleLore website sometime in September, to which content will be added on a regular basis.

Friday, August 22, 2008

BattleLore to be acquired by Fantasy Flight Games

Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight Games announce
agreement on the BattleLore Board Game and Game System

FFG to acquire all rights, existing inventory and future development for fantasy game system.

Los Altos, CA; Roseville MN - August 21, 2008. Days of Wonder (DOW) and Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) today announced that they have reached a comprehensive agreement for FFG to acquire all worldwide rights to, and become the sole publisher of, the BattleLore game system. In addition to all copyrights, game artwork and the moulds to reproduce existing figures, FFG will also purchase all remaining unsold inventory for the original BattleLore game, its expansions and the recently announced Troll Map expansion. Transfer of the game is expected to be completed by the end of September 2008.

Richard Borg, BattleLore’s author, has also agreed to support and develop additional expansions for FFG. DOW retains all rights to its other Command and Colors title, Memoir ‘44, and will continue to publish and develop additional expansions this game, also created by Borg.

“BattleLore is as perfect a fit for FFG as could possibly exist in the marketplace,” said Christian T. Petersen, CEO and founder of FFG. “Needless to say we’re very excited and proud to include this power title and brand into FFG’s family of products. Previous to today, FFG had no fantasy ‘battlefield’ game, a void which we now can fill with this gorgeous industry leader. We plan to support this game vigorously. Even in the very first discussion with Eric and Richard about this deal, there was a flood of exciting ideas for how FFG can expand this game, serve its community, and move the brand of ‘BattleLore’ forward under the FFG banner.”

“With its strong resources and superb track record in developing fantasy titles, FFG is the perfect partner to take the BattleLore game system to the next level in gaming. As fans of the game ourselves, we are confident it will be in great hands”, said Days of Wonder CEO, Eric Hautemont. “This agreement now allows us to focus our resources on providing even more support for the other games in our portfolio as well as successfully launching yet-to-be-announced new games.”

“I am delighted with the opportunity to see BattleLore gain a second life at Fantasy Flight, and look forward to partnering with them as we continue to develop and expand the BattleLore system,” said BattleLore author, Richard Borg.

Further questions answered on this DOW forum post.

Hopefully BattleLoreMaster will continue to be here to support the BattleLore game system. Congratulations to Fantasy Flight Games on taking over the line, and let me take the opportunity to sincerely thank Eric and the team at Days of Wonder for their fantastic support of this site. They really are a dedicated, wonderful bunch of people.

PS: Even the Raven didn’t see this one coming!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Official Word: Of Heroes and some Missteps…

Female SorceressDays of Wonder’s News Centre Blog features a long post from Eric Hautemont, DOW’s CEO. It’s an interesting insight into the challenges faced by Days of Wonder to guide BattleLore through its first year, and a small peek at what’s coming in the future.

Some fans seemed to be getting a bit antsy about initial releases, the lack of communication lately, the Heroes pack not arriving by the expected late ‘07 date, and the fact that there is as yet no campaign background for the game.

Eric’s post clears up some of the misconceptions, and also shows us that they are still very much taking on, and dealing with, retailer and customer feedback with the goal of making BattleLore the best game system it can be.

Let’s all sit back a little and let Days of Wonder do what they do best—make great games. Certainly customer feedback is essential, but overly critical and non-constructive comments on forums such as BoardgameGeek don’t do anyone any good. I think most fans would prefer that products took a little longer to release and were done right, rather than be rushed out with errors; and certainly very few of us fully understand all the issues involved with creating, producing and distributing modern boardgames.

Mounted ThiefAnd if mistakes do happen, DOW has always shown itself willing to correct them. The great thing is, DOW is the kind of company that isn’t afraid to be totally honest with its customers about the challenges that crop up up when making their games.

Right, enough of that, let’s get back to playing BattleLore!

We get a look at two brand new figures with the post—a female Sorceress and a mounted Thief. Part of the Heroes set?

A couple of other newsworthy items: more insight into the production process and a mention of possible army packs in the future in this post by Eric. And ColtsFan76 has hunted down some official responses to some questions that have been bothering BattleLore players.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Official Word: Dwarves on the war path … seen from the rear

Scottish WarsOK, maybe they could have come up with a better title to this post! The official blog shows the back of the box for the upcoming Scottish Wars: A Dwarven Perspective expansion, revealing the figures to be 6 Cattle Riders, 8 Clan Chiefs, 12 Human Mounted Knights and 16—count ‘em, 16—Spear Bearers.

If you click the image to see a larger one, you may recognise the writing on the back—yes, it’s the first published dispatch from The Raven!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Official Word: Dwarves on the war path

Scottish WarsThe official blog gives us the first look at the upcoming Scottish Wars: A Dwarven Perspective expansion.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Official Word: Banners in Sight!

More news on the official blog about the Specialist pack errors.

You can contact DOW customer service to receive your replacement blue long sword banners for your Goblin Hyena Riders (these are the same banners as used in the base game, so it’s not essential to get them).

As for the Specialist card backs, the 10 cards given in the Call to Arms expansion will be reprinted, so from now on Specialist cards and Deployment cards will share the same backs. According to Eric of DOW, this was the original intent, but by ‘getting fancy’ and giving the Specialist cards different backs, they caused a bit of confusion that came back to bite them! ETA for these cards is mid-November due to printer delays.

Finally, with 100 Years’ War and Goblin Marauders packs now shipping, the adventures that came with them are online, including a new web adventure: Abandoned Tower.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Official Word: Two new adventures and embarrassing mistakes

The DOW crew must have had an unpleasant welcome on returning from holidays, having to kick off work with a couple of apologies on the official blog.

Card backsThe Goblin Skirmishers and Dwarven Battalion packs (and future sets to be released in August) have the wrong graphics on the backs of the Specialist cards—they should be as seen on the right, not on the left (the card back for Deployment cards). It’s not a gameplay problem, just a visual one.

Secondly, two of the banners in the Goblin Marauders pack are blue mounted bow ones instead of blue long sword (for the hyena riders).

Neither of these problems are serious, and DOW apologise and are looking into ways of fixing these issues. Of course a minor hullaballoo has already started on the DOW forums, with varying reactions from understanding to demands for immediate replacements.

As a graphic designer, I can sympathise—no matter how many times you check these things, errors can creep through. And I’m sure we can continue to rely on DOW’s peerless customer support, as long as we keep things in perspective and understand that minor graphic errors are not the end of the world and won’t affect our gaming enjoyment.

On a much brighter note, two new adventures are online for use with the specialist packs: Goblin Gold and Dwarven Renegades.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Official Word: Summer is Coming…

…And the news over at the official blog is that of upcoming Specialist packs and trade shows.

Coming up are Origins 2007 (Columbus, OH - July 4 thru 8), where demo versions of the Dwarven Battalion and Goblin Skirmishers Specialist sets will be shown (sets should be shipping by Mid-July); the World Boardgame Championship (Lancaster, PA - July 31 thru August 5) where demo versions of the Goblin Marauders and the Hundred Years’ War - Crossbows & Polearms sets will be previewed; and Gencon 2007 (Indianapolis, IN - August 16 thru 19), where hopefully those two packs will become available.

100 Years War Specialist PackThe four battles included in the Hundred Years’ War - Crossbows & Polearms set will be Crécy, Cocherel, Patay and Poitiers. In addition, Agincourt is revisited in Epic mode! All great news for historical BattleLore fans.

Finally, the DoW team are off on summer vacations and updates to the official blog will slow down. Keep coming back here to BattleLore Master however, where we have regular updates and new goodies!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Official Word: Revised Epic BattleLore Online!

EpicThe complete Epic rules are now available for download here. This revised PDF includes rules for using Call to Arms with Epic, plus the 4-player Reluctant Allies variant.

In addition, you’ll find two new four-player Reluctant Allies adventures, Logroño and the Road to Najera, in the official adventures section of the BattleLore site.

While you’re there, check out the other new Epic adventures, Raid on Al-Jazirah Al-Khadra, The Caliphate’s Enforcer, Sultan of Swing, Moorish Giant and The Sultan’s Run.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Official Word: Goblins invent the printing press!

The latest post on the official blog site is an announcement for the new PDF generation functionality now built into the Adventures section of the official site.

The Export PDF button generates impressive-looking Adventure layouts very similar to those in the original Adventure booklet. The system is in BETA at the moment but no doubt fine-tuning by those busy goblins will bring it to perfection in no time!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Official Word: The Long View

In response to growing speculation (some of it here on the forums) about where BattleLore is heading, Eric Hautemont posted a great overview on the official site of the game at its six month anniversary and a look at the future.

Check out the post for the full details, but briefly, here are some of the main points:

  • - the rest of the year DoW will concentrate on core supplements for BattleLore, leaving further game world background development until more units and core systems have been released
  • - new units to come are the Goblin Skirmisher and Dwarven Battalion sets, followed by a 100 Years War set, another Goblins Specialist set and, a bit further down the road, a larger yet-to-be-announced set
  • - hopefully, at the end of the year, we’ll see the greatly-desired Heroes of BattleLore supplement (“the last key building block to the BattleLore game system”); letting you gain experience in battle and use magical items

All, in all, the future looks very bright for BattleLore—that is, if we can all be patient enough to let Eric and his team work without constant interruption!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Official Word: The Coming Months

After a month’s silence while the staff of Days of Wonder were flat out creating new stuff for us to enjoy, there’s some exciting news over at the official blog.

Call to ArmsCall to Arms is on its way and should reach stores by early May. Follow that link to download a PDF of the rules now. MSRP will be $20 in the US, €15 in Europe.

EpicNext in line for release is the expanded deluxe, printed-version of Epic BattleLore. Its due in stores around the end of May. MSRP will be $15 in the US, and €15 in Europe.

Pre-orders for both can be made on the DoW web store next week.

SpecialistLate June/early July, in time for an Origins release, sees the first two Specialist packs: a Dwarven Battalion and a Goblin Skirmishers set. These packs introduce new units to the game, along with their Specialist and Weapon summary cards. Each of these packs will retail for $24 in the US and €20 in Europe.

Update: The rules for Call to Arms used with Epic BattleLore will be in the deluxe printed version of Epic. Also, those who have bought two BattleLore sets needn’t worry about buying the printed Epic: according to Eric, DoW will ‘take good care of them’. More news soon.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Official Word: Epic BattleLore Online!

EpicIt’s here! Flip over those gameboards and enjoy the next step in the BattleLore experience: Epic BattleLore.

You must be a registered user of BattleLore to download the rules. When the paper version comes out in later Q2 2007 it will consist of a second board map, additional Lore tokens, new Epic Adventures, and the new Reluctant Allies multi-player rules along with new Alliance tokens.

And to accompany the Epic release there are five new adventures, Epic 1-5, in DoW’s official Adventures section!

Update: Richard Borg has corrected the Epic 5 Adventure as follows: the Green Pennant unit on the 5th row next to the archer unit on the right wing should be a Blue Banner Regular Infantry unit. Note this has now been corrected online.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Call To Arms Desktop Images

Call to ArmsThe official BattleLore site has just released five 1600x1200 Call to Arms Desktop Images.

Due to the high resolution of these images we can get a glimpse of some of the possible upcoming unit types for BattleLore: goblins mounted on ostriches? Goblins armed with slingshots? Human pikemen? Heavy cavalry with lance? Goblin drummers? Dwarven axemen? And of course … the dwarven bagpipers ..?

Keep an eye out for new BattleLore desktops here on—coming soon!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Official Word: Spring ‘07 Expansions Roadmap

Some exciting announcements in the latest official DoW blog post—things are really starting to heat up for BattleLore now!

Epic BoardFirst, in March, registered users will have free online access to the Epic Expansion. Finally we will have rules for using the flipsides of two BattleLore boards to create a huge battlefield with up to 3 players a side. There’s also a tantalising mention of a ‘unique new twist involving an ingenious use for a couple of your cardholders’ and DoW expect Epic BattleLore to become the dominant format and preferred form of play for in-store events and game conventions.

This online supplement (a printed version including a second game board and some extra Lore tokens will be released in the same month) will come with five new Epic adventures, all of which can be played with a single army set.

Call to ArmsBut wait, it gets even better! DoW have skipped the blister releases and in April are going straight to their first major boxed supplement: Call to Arms. Eric told me about this exciting army deployment system recently and it is really something. As has been mentioned in the past, BattleLore will not use point-based army building, but instead an unique card-driven system featuring Deployment decks, Specialist cards and Feudal Levy tokens. Yes, customising and deploying your armies will almost be a game in itself closely mimicking medieval deployments of yore, not a dry mathematical exercise. Call to Arms will retail for about US$20.

Finally , in May, the first figure sets or Specialist Packs will start shipping. Rather than blister packs, these sets will introduce a couple of new units around a common theme: probably beginning with a Goblin Skirmisher set, a Dwarven Battalion (complete with Bagpipers) and an Hundred Years War Battalion. Each will retail for about US$20. These will also be released as single-unit blister packs exclusively off the DoW website.

The Game: Expansions section of this site has been updated with the information above. BattleLore is certainly beginnning to develop a completely unique character of its own with these new expansions.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Official Word: The Calm Before the Storm

MiniaturesWith that exciting and mysterious title the official blog has been updated—the latest post briefly talks about fan sites, upcoming web support, and teases us with a mention of new expansions to come. But the most interesting announcement from DoW is the new online Painting Guide.

The Guide is a detailed step-by-step look at painting your BattleLore miniatures to tabletop standard by a group called Team Toulouse (website in French), along with a small gallery of the figures in action. (I’m personally not a fan of black undercoating as I think it forces you to layer the paint on too thick, but it’s purely a matter of preference, and the results shown are excellent.) There is also some very helpful advice here on choosing colour schemes for your miniatures.

For other tips and tricks on miniature painting, check out the appropriate section of the BattleLoreMaster forums.

It’s also great to see get a mention (and screenshot) on the official forum (as does DoW are working on a new tool that sounds like the MySpace for DoW game players—a place to “share your best ideas, game resources, pictures and stories with fellow players” and provide each fan with a BattleLore space of their own. This new web tool will debut for Memoir ‘44, then carry over to the BattleLore and Ticket to Ride communities. DoW has always led the way when it comes to the web side of their business, and this looks to be a big new feature of that.

The various online Compendiums are still a work in progress, but apparently several of the questions that have come up have now been answered ( a marathon three day session with game designer Richard Borg seems to have been very productive). DoW are still working on PDF output and various other refinements.

And, some would say most excitingly, we learn that the new expansions will be the subject of next week’s entry. Having been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of some of these, I can assure you no BattleLore player will be disappointed!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Official Word: Creature Compendium Online

CreatureThe official DoW blog has just announced that the Creature Compendium is online!

The Compendium follows the format of the Lore Card Compendium and acts as a repository of FAQs, examples and house rules for creatures in BattleLore.

At the moment the Compendium features a ‘How To Use It’ entry, a ‘Design Notes’ entry with some thoughts about the role of Creatures in BattleLore, a ‘Generic Creature’ entry that answers questions about the use of creatures in general; and specific entries for the Giant Spider and the two promotional miniatures, Hill Giant and Earth Elemental.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Official Word: New Dice, New Adventures

It’s been a while since we saw anything on the official blog, but the latest post packs a double punch.

Firstly, replacement dice are now available as promised for those of you who have noticed wear on your set. You can get them here. These are the same dice as those in the box but with more permanent screen printing. DoW may produce more deluxe-quality dice in the future (possibly even metal dice).

They only ask that you request replacement dice only if you really need them, as DoW is replacing and shipping these at their own expense.

AdventureSecondly, and more enjoyably, there are seven new official adventures online!

The first four (#11a-14a) are Lore adventures where the Free Companies of Seguin of Badefol fight the troops of Sir Arnold of Cervolles. A month later, Seguin’s forces confront the army of Jacques of Bourbon at the Lore version of the Battle of Brignais (#15a), complete with a Hill Giant!

The remaining two are Medieval adventures: the Historical Battle of Brignais (somewhat confusingly, also #15a), and the Battle of Lewes (#16) opposing Simon V of Montfort to King Henry III of England, fought 100 years earlier.

The next post will feature the long-awaited Creature Compendium.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Official Word: The Adventure Editor is online!

Adventure EditorThe latest official DoW blog post tells us that the official Days of Wonder Adventure Editor is online (see the links in the bottom right-hand corner of the page)—and already the unofficial adventures are starting to appear.

  • The Editor features:
  • true multilingual support, with Author’s control on translatability
  • support for double-board (ie Epic) battle maps
  • a WYSIWYG war council interface
  • numerous filters for searching through the adventures
  • and all the features already present in the editor’s prior incarnation, developed for Memoir ‘44 (WYSIWYG battle map layout, after-action reports…)

We don’t know yet what this means for our own Adventures section, but we’ll see how things work out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the tools are there, so set off on some new adventures!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Official Word: Apologies

The latest official DoW blog post covers a few production issues that have comes up with the first run of BattleLore, and DoW’s plans to solve the problems. It’s certainly impressive how transparent DoW is being to their customers and how quickly these issues are being resolved.

In relation to the dice issue, new more durable dice are already being manufactured, and will be shipped to users who register on the DoW website. A special page will be set up as soon as the dice become available.

The problem with bent figures is easily fixed, but DoW are looking into other packaging alternatives in the future.

The Online Adventure Editor is not up yet, but staff are working hard to get it online as soon as possible.

All in all, it’s obvious that DoW is working hard to resolving all issues and fix any components that haven’t met their own extremely high standards. DoW already have a reputation for exceptional customer service; this post certainly confirms it.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Official Word: Online Tools (Part 1)

Burning BookThe latest official DoW blog post introduces the Lore Cards Compendium, a comprehensive listing of all the Lore cards—Cleric, Wizard, Rogue and Warrior—to come with the core game.

The plan is for the Compendium to grow into a comprehensive, searchable directory of Lore cards, including FAQs specific to each card, innovative ways to play them, and even end-user designed house rules. While DoW asks that discussions are kept to the official DoW forums (and don’t forget our own BattleLoreMaster forums), a Comments feature allows users to add their own brief gameplay observations about the cards.