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Heroes and Races


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#1 David Spangler

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 08:17 AM

I know I echo a lot of other fans of this game who feel that two elements crucial to a fantasy setting are not as fully represented in this game so far. One is heroes and the other is a wider selection of races.  Where, for instance, are the elves (high, low, or inbetween)?  Where are the undead or some equivalent army of evil and shadow?  They don't have to be standard-brand fantasy races; some innovation and creativity might be nice (what about a race of flying creatures to bring in air combat rules?), but there need to be more races than are currently represented, I feel.

The same for heroes.  What is a fantasy game without heroes, magical weapons, sorcerous spells, quests, and the like?  I know a heroes expansion is in the works and has been in the works for a good year now.  I just want to encourage the designers to keep on with it.

So, are there any plans that can be shared now for new races, quests, heroes, villains, and the like?



#2 ColtsFan76

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 09:53 AM

FFG announced that they were going to release more info in early 2009.

Some people may be upset that it is taking them so long to announce - especially after DOW took almost a year to come out with anything new.  But I would rather they get it right.  We also have to understand that the sale of BL was a opportunistic transaction.  They jumped at the offer (allegedly) after DOW decided to ditch the title at GenCon (allegedly).  This kind of fell into their lap and they already had projects in various states of completion.  So once it got into the queue, 2009 is the earliest they can get to it.



#3 Elberon

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 10:15 AM

Well if you don't mind homebrew races etc go here for a load, only thing missing are heroes

www.battleloremaster.com/images/guild/BattleloreCampaign08_10_28.zip

Chris



#4 Torbal

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:43 AM

When I play BL, I usually use my 28mm Warhammer minis because the BL minis are too fiddly for me. It didn't take much effort to simply use the "counts as" rule to make an Undead army and an Orc army for the game. Skeleton archers and swordsmen as green units, wights as blue or red units, skeleton cavalry as green cavalry, etc.

But I do hope FFG rolls out these and other races in the next couple years. I can do without more goblins on ostriches though.



#5 HonorforONEFilms

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 12:02 PM

I like the idea of using Warhammer figuers instead. As soon as I get some I'm so using those instead.



#6 spacemonkeymafia

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 06:54 PM

Torbal said:

I can do without more goblins on ostriches though.

Honestly, this was the only expansion (outside of the "core" expansions- epic, CtA) I thought worth buying.  Nothing has come close to sparking originality except for Ostrich riding Gobbos.  Now, I'm not saying I want to see penguins with machineguns next, but so far that is the only unit pack that got my money.  I have plenty of games that go typical fantasy, but when a game can push that envelope a little a work it convincingly, it gets my attention.  Dwarves on cows didn't quite get there for me but not everything can be a winner.

As for new races...subtle variations on the theme won't cut it for me.  If the only difference between my elf sculpt and my human sculpt is one doesn't have to stop in forest tiles and the other one does, then they can sell this back to DoW.  Sure that might make some new strategies emerge and may cause a veteran player to pause, but it ain't sexy and won't get my dollar.  That kind of subtly doesn't offer me a unique enough perspective on a solid game to convince me that plunking down my hard earned cash will net me a worthwhile enough experience.  I used to be impatient and wanted things out as soon as possible but after seeing the misstep of the Troll pack, I see the wisdom in waiting for both Heroes and new Races.  I want to see a quality product and if that takes them another year (man, I hope not) then so be it.  Blizzard makes damn fine games and the reason is cuz they don't yield to publishers and fans calling for the game as soon as possible.  They take their time and make sure they have a quality product.  That's what I want to see with the upcoming Heroes expansion and I hope they do it well.



#7 sagitar

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 03:50 AM

Tell me about the misstep with the troll pack.

I'm still waiting for my copy of BL to arrive, but am allready looking ahead to expansions and figuring out wich ones to get, or not.

as for new races, personally I could do without skeleton wariors and undead. That is so very much like warhammer. But I'm starting to feel everybody into fantasy games is now using exactly the same creatures.

So it would be fun if BL managed to retain it's own identity and come up with some races that could only be found in this game.



#8 spacemonkeymafia

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:50 PM

The "misstep" as I see it is purely my personal opinion.  The Troll expansion is simply a troll figure and a paper epic battlemap.  The normal bits that usually come with a new figure, namely the reference cards, are absent.  No new terrain feature is on the scenario map which means one can build this with the epic expansion and Call to Arms expansion.  I can't attest to the whether the troll mechanics are balanced but the msrp of $18 for essentially one (incomplete) creature is a misstep in my book.

Now, that being said, this expansion gains a lot more value to a new player.  If you don't have the availability of the hill giant or earth elemental creatures, this set doubles your creature availability, which can open more possibilities.  If you use the map as a makeshift epic board, then you have a poor man's epic expansion right there, with the rules for playing epic either on the map or possibly in a supplement within the set or found online.  I see completists and newcomers the best demographic for the Troll set and you can likely get it for much less than $18 if you look around.   For a more accurate review of the expansions, I would check out boardgame geek.



#9 David Spangler

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 03:52 AM

spacemonkeymafia said:

Torbal said:

 

I As for new races...subtle variations on the theme won't cut it for me.  If the only difference between my elf sculpt and my human sculpt is one doesn't have to stop in forest tiles and the other one does, then they can sell this back to DoW.  .....  That's what I want to see with the upcoming Heroes expansion and I hope they do it well.

I could not agree more.While I would like to see more races, I also want something that gives depth and both imaginative and strategic differences in game play.  There are lots of possibilities for elves, for instance, other than being woodland creatures; some of the elves in Celtic folklore--the ancient, not the recent, stuff--are truly terrifying beings, tall, wearing bone armor, possessed of unusual powers.  And the same for the undead.  The fact that Warhammer or other game systems use these fantasy tropes doesn't make them any less appealing for Battlelore for me, but it does make me want to see them used in new ways, just as Torbal says.  If, for instance, one sees the undead not as truly dead who have been brought back to a semblance of life but as caught in an inbetween place, neither alive nor dead, and in that place sucking energy from both realms of the living and the dead, then you might have a mechanic in which the closer a living person comes to  one of these beings, the less vitality, the less life and energy he has.  A unit could be weakened in all its abilities just by being near an "undead," unless vitalized by some hero or priest who carries a larger-than-life charge of vital energy.   I mean, the undead don't have to just be skeletons with swords, they can be unique kinds of creatures with unique effects.

Creating a fantasy game is a balance, it seems to me, between hitting some familiar notes so that players aren't totally at sea about what's happening and opening up new possibilities and breaking some old molds



#10 David Spangler

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 03:59 AM

Actually, following up on my t hought in the previous post (and not wanting to make one super long post), there is a series of fantasy novels, the name of which I don't remember just now--I only read the first one but thoroughly enjoyed it--in which heros are individuals who are gifted through magic with attributes from their followers.  So fifty people may give up their eyesight in order that a hero may have the ability to see of fifty people combined, or ten people may give up their agility which is transferred magically to the hero, and so forth.  In these novels, individuals are the resource base for the lords and heroes, and individuals who give up an attribute are sheltered and cared for for life, for if one of them dies, then that person's contribution is lost.  Thus, part of the strategy of warfare is to find and kill the followers of a hero or lord who have given up their attributes, for when they die, the hero is weakened accordingly. If they all die, he becomes a normal person. On the other hand, if the hero dies, then all the followers get their attributes back:  the blind can now see, the crippled become agile, and so forth.

This is a wonderful variation on the hero theme and if used in a game could create some interesting resource management issues and strategies.  Even having a hero whose base strength and capabilities (which could already be, well, heroic and beyond the ordinary) are added to by the other units on the board on that player's side would be interesting.  Killing the hero might strengthen all the other units of that player (but stun them or diminish their morale), but killing units would weaken the hero.  Now that would be interesting to play....

 

 



#11 Osaka

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:37 AM

I agree on the comments that the troll expansion was quite lacking, and not up to their normal production value.  My hunch is that this was a last-ditch expansion before selling the game to FF.

With that one exception, so far I think that the rules have been handled very well, and they have done an excellent job with their expansions.  Yes, it'd be nice to see elves, and my personal favorite; undead, but I think it's been a wise decision to err on the side of caution in this regard.  Release too many races too quickly, and it becomes very difficult to give the race the attention it deserves, not to mention keeping it both distinct from and balanced with the other elements in the game.

The introduction of heroes (I believe this was the rumoured next expansion) could be interesting, but I'm concerned that it could go down the road of so many other games I could mention where the heroes are grossly overpowered, and the troops quickly become an afterthought.  Hopefully having a hero will serve as a compliment to the army, and add new strategic elements, but not be so powerful that they become the central focus of the game.

My brother thought that he'd love to see a "Siege" expansion come out, and I agree, but that sort of detracts from the original topic of the thread



#12 toddrew

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 01:31 PM

Osaka said:

I agree on the comments that the troll expansion was quite lacking, and not up to their normal production value.  My hunch is that this was a last-ditch expansion before selling the game to FF.

With that one exception, so far I think that the rules have been handled very well, ...

Just wanted to interject here - I don't think you intended the above to read this way, but one could infer that the rule set for the troll was not handled well.  I would not agree with that at all.  One can argue that the price of the expansion is too high, and that the pre-printed board not too imaginative and I would agree - but as for the mechanics of the troll itself, I think it makes for very interesting play that is thoughtfully balanced with the existing mechanics.

 

Osaka said:

The introduction of heroes (I believe this was the rumoured next expansion) could be interesting, but I'm concerned that it could go down the road of so many other games I could mention where the heroes are grossly overpowered, and the troops quickly become an afterthought.  Hopefully having a hero will serve as a compliment to the army, and add new strategic elements, but not be so powerful that they become the central focus of the game.

I don't think you have to worry about Heroes making the other units an afterthought.  Yet to be seen, but I still feel that the Heroes in battlelore will be embedded within existing units and function similar to leaders in Commands & Colors: Ancients.  They will certainly be the focal point of the games they are involved in, but won't have much impact without the help of the forces around them.



#13 gabzeta

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 02:27 PM

what could it be... from C&C ancients

http://www.gmtgames.com/t-GMTLivingRules.aspx#cca

ORDER UNITS AND LEADERS                                                            
After playing a Command card, announce which eligible units     
or leaders you choose to order. Only those units or leaders chosen to receive an order from the
played card may move, battle, or take a special action.
Units or leaders on a hex with a dotted line running through it
may be ordered from either section.
You may not give more than one order to each unit or leader.
If the Command card allows you to issue more orders in a given 
section of the battlefield than you have units or leaders in that section, those additional orders are lost. 
A leader in the same hex as a friendly unit is considered to be ‘attached’ to the unit.
If the unit is ordered to move, the attached
leader must move with the unit. An attached leader must move
to the same hex as the unit. Note that it still costs only one command to order a unit with an attached leader.
When a Section Command card or the ‘Order Mounted Troops’
Command card is played, a leader in the same hex as a unit may
be ordered to detach from the unit and move by himself. Section
cards and the Order Mounted Troops Command cards have a
helmet symbol to remind players that one or more attached lead-
ers may be ordered to move separately when playing these cards.
Each attached leader detached from its unit and moved sepa-
rately costs one order. The remaining orders on the Command
card may be used to order units (including the one from which a
leader was detached), or unattached leaders. Note that a leader
may not detach from a unit when a ‘Leadership’ Command card
is played.



#14 sagitar

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:28 PM

so I actually was right in thinking this troll addition was made to boost sales, rather than add something to the game.

I wouldn't mind races, if only they are a bit different from what we see in other games with a simular subject. mind you we'd soon be forced to buy even more epic boards.  With all the brilliant minds that visit this site, well soon be knee deep in races and it's no fun having them on the side watching the battle, you'd obviously want to use them all. So we'll need epic epic boards.

I'm not sure if I like the heroes  idea.  In my mind the game only needs one  hero, i.e. the general of the army i.e. YOU. I guess we could have a miniature representing the general if you want a scenario involving heroes. I woul'dn't like to see heroes kill whole armies.

special creatures I wouldn't mind as long as  they have a clear weakness.  Like unbeatable in close combat but vunerable to archers. Superstrong creatures wich simple steamroler over whole armies don't seem like fun to me. It's much more fun if you can easily lose them if you don't take care asto how to use them, so you have to put some thought into using them.

but maybe BL allready has that. I'm going to open my box come Christmas. It's going to be a present, wich means I'll still have two weeks to practise my surprised look.

I'd also like to see terrain miniatures. well at least have the option to have a miniature of a troll bridge on the map, rahter than just a tile.  We could have small hills and trees and whatever, if we'd like. I really think this might make t he game more fun, well at least visually.

this seems to me to be a game in wich there are only the limits of our imagination. Lets hope the designers can keep up with all our great ideas.

 

 



#15 toddrew

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 03:22 AM

sagitar said:

so I actually was right in thinking this troll addition was made to boost sales, rather than add something to the game.

Well, not to get into a whole deal on money grabbing vs. providing a quality product at a fair price/gouging vs. earnest mistake, but DoW did intend to release several (few? couple? see how it goes?) of these paper map "expansions" (modules, I would call them).  They were trying to do both, boost sales and add something to the game :)

sagitar said:

I'm not sure if I like the heroes  idea.  In my mind the game only needs one  hero, i.e. the general of the army i.e. YOU. I guess we could have a miniature representing the general if you want a scenario involving heroes. I woul'dn't like to see heroes kill whole armies.

Have you played Commands and Colors: Ancients?  I am sure there will be many differences between Heroes in BL and Leaders in Ancients, but I assume they will follow the same basic mechanics (embedded within units, able to move from friendly unit to friendly unit, etc.)  You'll still be the hero

sagitar said:

special creatures I wouldn't mind as long as  they have a clear weakness.  Like unbeatable in close combat but vunerable to archers. Superstrong creatures wich simple steamroler over whole armies don't seem like fun to me. It's much more fun if you can easily lose them if you don't take care asto how to use them, so you have to put some thought into using them.

So far this has been the M.O. of creatures - no reason to think that will change. (Though the unbeatable part in any facet of the game is strictly not true to date.)

 

sagitar said:

this seems to me to be a game in wich there are only the limits of our imagination. Lets hope the designers can keep up with all our great ideas.

Cheers to that :)

 

 



#16 spacemonkeymafia

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 09:59 AM

toddrew said:

I am sure there will be many differences between Heroes in BL and Leaders in Ancients...

 

I can only hope ;)

Regarding Sagitar's thoughts on Heroes taking out whole armies, I don't see that as a factor.  Creatures aren't on this kind of powerscale and I don't see Heroes being stronger than a creature.

As for multiple Heroes on a battlefield, this works fine in my imagination.  I just recently rewatched Braveheart and one can see multiple Heroes present on both sides of the field throughout the large battles.  I didn't notice Wallace single-handedly defeating the English in any battle,  though he did more than his fair share.  That is what I'm expecting with Heroes, one or a few specialized individuals who can influence the battle like the war council (the main reason I would like to see Heroes tied to the War council selection) but not single-handedly defeat the opponent player.



#17 sagitar

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:17 PM

Braveheart....

Hm, yeah, not wanting to start a discusson on the quality of american made historical movies, but that is just my fear with heroes.

I call it the rambo thing, where this one character is going to kill everone he runs into without ever having to fear getting hurt. He's going to winn this thing and he knows it.... It's in his cript.

Rather than have heroes, wich single handedly can take out parts of an entire army, I think I'd prefer heroes that will influence the behaviour of troops they lead.

That way, if a hero is alone, the enemy wouldn't really be bothered and in fact he'd be more of a burden because you'd have to watch him or some lost, lonely grunt might just take him out. While a hero with troops can only be harmed if he's lost all his minions.

Mind you if he commands certain troops, he influences their abilities. Archers migh shoot quicker, Infantry might gain extra strength.

Maybe it would also be interesting to have heroes that can only influence certain troop types.

For example, if your hero is some kind of winged ferry type creature and he's in command of archers, they can shoot faster, further and what ever you care to come up with that archers could do better. But if he's in command of a group of dwarves, he doesn't ad anything to these troops at all, and is more of a burden to them as they have to watch his back.

Just some loos thoughts wich may be silly, but one can never know, one day I might make a remark that actually makes sense.

I can all but keep trying.



#18 claudiu_wings

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 05:59 PM

I don't think that every hero will be a "Superman",almost unstopable,trashing everything in he's way.I think the designers are a lot wiser than that.As for races and creatures...let our imagination go wild for a moment.....we have humans,dwarves and goblins..I was thiking of some sort of race that comes from the colder,more frozen parts of the world.A race that has as cavalery - riding polar bears or something.The rider having a spear as a weapon,and when you attack with it,you get to roll x number of dice twice - one attack comming from the rider and another from the polar bear.Or as another nation,some flying units,maybe some griffins or any nice looking flying beings.As new creatures,a dragon could make things more interestingIt could attack multiple units from adjacent hexes in one shot,or maybe when it's on the ground be more vulnerable to melee attacks and when it's up in the air way more vulnerable to ranged attacks.So......yeah..a creature expansion -with more awesome creatures,some new race expansions(including flying beings),the hero expansion and even a siege expansion.

But I do agree that I wouldn't want them all at once,and that there should be time and effort invested in every BattleLore product before it's release.






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