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Battle Lore vs. Westeros?


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#1 Lucas Adorn

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:23 AM

Hi.

I had my first game of battle lore yesterday and really liked the game, particularly the order card system.

I'm curious what the major differences between battleLore and Westeros is though, if any.

Has anyone stumbled upon some serious problems with the Westeros system?

 

-L



#2 Old Dwarf

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:03 AM

No I like the BoW System better as it includes real Leader rules,flanking & engagement rules.The main difference is that BoW has NO Board Sections so you have more control over your Units.BoW deals with a specific Game World based on the Books.BL is more generic.

 

OD 


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#3 qwertyuiop

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 03:07 AM

 Also, the D8s are better. Oh, and cavalry seemed a bit more abusive in Battlelore.



#4 Nolanisim

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 03:58 PM

 Personally The Battle Lore game never appealed to me mainly the dry/generic theme.  I enjoy the books the game is based on and this system seams to be a little more War gamey, which I would prefer.  I am planning on waiting until the third expansion comes out to buy them all at once.  But I don't know if I will be able to hold out till then.



#5 Old Dwarf

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:43 AM

Nolanisim said:

 Personally The Battle Lore game never appealed to me mainly the dry/generic theme.  I enjoy the books the game is based on and this system seams to be a little more War gamey, which I would prefer.  I am planning on waiting until the third expansion comes out to buy them all at once.  But I don't know if I will be able to hold out till then.

 

That been my experience as well,thats why we use BL as the basis for Campaings in our own Settings.The other thing is the BL figs which I find too cartoony (probably due to it's DoW development)The BoW figs are much better.

 

OD


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#6 Lucas Adorn

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 07:51 PM

thanks for your inputs guys.

I'm a very big fan of G. Martin's books as well so it is a bit of a pull as well.

I did like the spells in th BL though as they could suddenly turn the battle around creating new suspense. Is there a similar mechanic in Westeros?

 

-L



#7 StarkDad

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 07:19 AM

No spells yet in Westeros - but that parrallels the books.

 

Overall the BOW mechanics are a big step forward from those found in Battlelore.  Leaders are much more interesting and rational than in BattleLore.

 

TomT



#8 azuredarkness

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:02 AM

BoW is planned as FFG's "realistic" medieval combat game, so there won't be any spells for the foreseeable future. If you're looking for magic, check out Battlelore.



#9 XAos

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:24 AM

Lucas Adorn said:

I did like the spells in th BL though as they could suddenly turn the battle around creating new suspense. Is there a similar mechanic in Westeros?

Personally I didn't like the spells in BL.

However, some of the commander abilities & "tactics" on command cards in BoW, could be considered an equivalent to "spells".



#10 edwardthrawn1

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:35 PM

I never was a huge fan of the way leaders were used in BL, a little too generic.  However, I very much enjoyed the board being split into three sections - waiting for the right cards to come up always added a bit of suspense to the game!



#11 Madboyo

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:38 PM

XAos said:

Lucas Adorn said:

 

I did like the spells in th BL though as they could suddenly turn the battle around creating new suspense. Is there a similar mechanic in Westeros?

 

 

Personally I didn't like the spells in BL.

However, some of the commander abilities & "tactics" on command cards in BoW, could be considered an equivalent to "spells".

 

Shame the lack of spells was a major reason to consider but if some of the leader cards are just spells in disguise....



#12 NezziR

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 07:11 AM

There was another similar game published a long time ago called 'Battle Masters'. It played very similar to BoW and BL, but was on a 28mm scale. The figures in the game were plastic versions of Games Workshop figs (for example, the cavalry looked very similar to the Bretonian plastics for Warhammer and the cannons were a direct cast).

The 'board' was a huge mat. We played it on the floor. It even had a large plastic tower in it. We still use some of the figures and terrain pieces for Warhammer games and roleplaying. It had chaos knight and cavalry, orc and goblins (and worg riders), and beastmen on one side, and archers, crossbowmen, halberds, cavalry, and a cannon on the human side.

I particularly enjoyed the cannon mechanic.

It was a lot more simplistic, but we still had fun with it.

Edit: I found an entry for it on Boardgame Geek

Battle Masters



#13 Boromir_and_kermit

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:58 AM

Posting in a Westeros forum, you are going to predictable answers. People in this forum will tell you that the Westeros is better.

Posting in Battlelore forum, people will tell you that that's better.

Personally, I much prefer Battlelore. Westeros is ok and some people really like it. BOW probably has better victory conditions, but for me Battlelore is a better game. Westeros is too fiddly. The D8's are a knee jerk reaction that just makes red banner units insanely powerful and the removal of the flanks and centre was a dissappointment for me as it produced a nice tension. Each move mattered, whereas in Westeros, you can just move them again next turn - it takes the tension away.

Leaders are handled more interestingly in Westeros I think, but the absence of a Lore Council and Magic is dissappointing.

I am not a fan of the books, so keep that in mind. I've also been with Battlelore from the very first announcement and own every expansion to date.

Battlelore is my favourite game.

Cheers,
Ben.



#14 DragonWhimsy

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 07:41 PM

I haven't played BattleLore so I can't directly compare them I'm afraid but I've done a lot of researching while choosing between them.

Shame the lack of spells was a major reason to consider but if some of the leader cards are just spells in disguise....

Everything I have read says that the leader abilities are much more balanced in BoW than magic is in BattleLore. It just makes the commanders stand out and adds a lot of differences between the factions in just the core set.

Westeros is too fiddly. The D8's are a knee jerk reaction that just makes red banner units insanely powerful

The D8's mean there can be a lot more variety in unit strengths as the game continues to expand. And the red units are meant to be powerful. They are used sparingly in the scenarios and are supposed to be something you fear. In addition BoW isn't about killing every unit on the map it's about fulfilling objectives.

and the removal of the flanks and centre was a dissappointment for me as it produced a nice tension. Each move mattered, whereas in Westeros, you can just move them again next turn - it takes the tension away.

You however actually feel like you have some control of your army, and the need to fulfill your objectives in the turn limit means there is a whole new form of tension.

For me Battles of Westeros was the clear choice. The only thing "fiddly" is the turning the banner mechanic which I bypass by placing counters down to the units that have moved.

BoW is the depth of a wargame and eventually the variety of one, but with the streamlined rules and ease of entry of a boardgame. I find it to be the perfect balance where BattleLore has too many holdovers from Memoir '44. The command corridors feel like it's just narrowing your choices so as to not confuse you with too many tactical options. It feels insulting to me. Magic and the Lore Council is more a personal choice.

BoW we know a bit where it's going. With BattleLore they're at a branching point and we don't know what's going to happen with it till FFG announces it's next expansion.

The awesome and thought provoking scenarios seem reason enough on their own to go with BoW. Even the most rabid BattleLore fan agrees that the BL scenarios are pretty much just kill everything. With BoW you can and probably should replay them again and again to see if you can do it better. And of course you get the skirmish option in the core set without having to buy an expansion.

The big minus is having to glue all the miniatures in their bases. But though a pain you only have to do it once and there are actaully some strong positives for it as well. The green bases match the board rather than having them be grey and red. And it kept the cost down of course.

As all new BL sets have to be glued it's not reallly something that game has over BoW anyway. And at least BoW gets the green bases out of it.

From a visual standpoint, if you're not planning on painting the miniatures, then BoW wins there too. Because at least the armies are in their proper house colors and the banners are by house or faction and not just generic unit banners. You can have pennants and banners with your unit type on them... or you can have the banners of the Stark or Lannister hosts flapping in the wind. With Houses Tully and the Mountain Clansman coming soon (and many other factions after that!).

And if you do wish to take the time to paint them, they do seem rather detailed for their size.


"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake, Ensign? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." -Grand Admiral Thrawn

 


#15 Boromir_and_kermit

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:59 PM

No disrespect intended, but researching and playing a game is totally different.

I don't think many people would agree that the leaders are very balanced in BOW - some are and then there are some real out-liers. Magic in Battlelore can certainly vary in power, but there is always a card that you can use to counter it. If you see someone starting to horde lore, you know which cards to keep and which to get rid of very quickly.

Westeros is fiddly. It is not a streamlined game. Even placing tokens on each unit that moves is fiddly. Engagement tokens, turning banner, command tokens, leadership tokens...

D8s make green banner units like glass and red banner units untouchable. The difference in ability is too great. Plonk a red banner unit with "The Mountain" on an building and see if you can move him. If you have green banner units, you can't even capture him unless you get some absurdly lucky circumstances - ridiculous. Even just plonking a red banner unit on an objective makes it very difficult to take it.

The command corridors feel like it's just narrowing your choices so as to not confuse you with too many tactical options. It feels insulting to me.

This just demonstrates that you haven't played Battlelore and reflects the "common complaint" about sections that is made by people that have only played a couple of games. By having full control over your army, each move becomes less important as if you miss something, you can usually fix it up on the next turn.

Battlelore has excellent variety, with race abilities as well as a huge spread of regular troops and special troops, you have creatures and heroes as well. BOW's approach of being able to field any troop as a green, blue or red banner unit (depending on the scenario) does not feel right to me and is a false sense of variety.

The Battles of Westeros miniatures are exceptionally fragile and small. The cavalry are way out of scale with the foot troops.

In my opinion, Battles of Westeros tried too hard to address the common misconceptions of Battlelore and ended up a fiddly mess. Its biggest saving grace are the interesting scenarios. For me, Battlelore was the easy choice. I have played through the BOW base game scenarios to just see what its all about and I much prefer Battlelore. In the end its going to be a personal choice, but I don't see how people can make comment about a game they haven't tried playing. As most people would know, reading the rules and playing the game are very different in practise.

Anyway, this was again longer than I expected to write. I suppose I'm just trying to say that you can read anything you want when doing research, but you don't actually know what's true until you play it. There are a lot of misconceptions about Battlelore around and unfortunately, some people (through no fault of their own) take it as gospel.

I think BOW is a fine game in its own right, but compared to Battlelore, to me it completely pales in comparison.

Cheers,
Ben.

 



#16 DragonWhimsy

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 02:45 AM

No disrespect intended, but researching and playing a game is totally different.

Oh I agree. But one can't always try every game unfortunately. If BattleLore comes out with a new army that really appeals to me I might give it a try.

Westeros is fiddly. It is not a streamlined game. Even placing tokens on each unit that moves is fiddly. Engagement tokens, turning banner, command tokens, leadership tokens...

It doesn't seem so to me but I suppose it's all a matter of perspective. Coming from BattleTech the rules seem refreshingly streamlined. BattleLore might feel more so but it might lose out on depth for me. I really like some of the effects they bring and careful balance of resources.

 

I don't think many people would agree that the leaders are very balanced in BOW - some are and then there are some real out-liers. Magic in Battlelore can certainly vary in power, but there is always a card that you can use to counter it. If you see someone starting to horde lore, you know which cards to keep and which to get rid of very quickly.

D8s make green banner units like glass and red banner units untouchable. The difference in ability is too great. Plonk a red banner unit with "The Mountain" on an building and see if you can move him. If you have green banner units, you can't even capture him unless you get some absurdly lucky circumstances - ridiculous. Even just plonking a red banner unit on an objective makes it very difficult to take it.

Have you played with the optional rules in the FAQ? Specifically the rules for combined fire and reduced strength units? I think those help to make a big difference.

This just demonstrates that you haven't played Battlelore and reflects the "common complaint" about sections that is made by people that have only played a couple of games. By having full control over your army, each move becomes less important as if you miss something, you can usually fix it up on the next turn.

 

The time limit is so pressing in the scenarios it doesn't feel to me that you can just fix things your next move without it having an effect. But you also don't feel totally helpless on an entire flank either. And because of the varied objectives such a system would really make you pay for bad luck even more so than BattleLore does. Even if I played BattleLore and loved the command corridors in that game I'm still not sure they could ever fit Westeros.

Battlelore has excellent variety, with race abilities as well as a huge spread of regular troops and special troops, you have creatures and heroes as well. BOW's approach of being able to field any troop as a green, blue or red banner unit (depending on the scenario) does not feel right to me and is a false sense of variety.

 

I wouldn't say it is false. I would say BattleLore has had 4-5 years more expansions and development time than Battles of Westeros has had. It has helped give variety to a limited amount of scultps in the short term and will give a staggering array of units in the future. And I think different experience levels/equipment levels makes perfect sense to me.

The Battles of Westeros miniatures are exceptionally fragile and small. The cavalry are way out of scale with the foot troops.

 

I really haven't had any problems with them except the Lannister Lances and Pikeman were a bit bent but I fixed that with the hot/cold water trick. A trick I learned from a BattleLore forum. ;)

 

I think BOW is a fine game in its own right, but compared to Battlelore, to me it completely pales in comparison.

 

As is BattleLore. How could it not be? It gave birth to my favorite game! The original poster can't go wrong with either choice. It's all in what aspects he thinks is most important. Both games are doing what they're supposed to. They are not, nor should they be, fulfilling the same purpose.


"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake, Ensign? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." -Grand Admiral Thrawn

 


#17 Boromir_and_kermit

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 08:30 AM

I have only played one or two games with the optional rules and yes they do make some difference.

In terms of variety, just compare the two base games. That is a fairer comparison. Battlelore still has quite a bit more variety in its troops.

With the smaller sculpts in such bendy plastic, I find the detail in the BOW sculpts to be muddied. But this is a personal opinion of course.

I agree that the personal choice of the poster will dictate whether he wants fantasy or book-driven medieval and that the games do not fullfill the same purpose. Ultimately both are good choices. I suppose we both just know which one we'd choose already that's all.

Cheers,

Ben.



#18 KenToad

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 07:41 PM

Boromir_and_kermit said:

 

I have only played one or two games with the optional rules and yes they do make some difference.

In terms of variety, just compare the two base games. That is a fairer comparison. Battlelore still has quite a bit more variety in its troops.

With the smaller sculpts in such bendy plastic, I find the detail in the BOW sculpts to be muddied. But this is a personal opinion of course.

I agree that the personal choice of the poster will dictate whether he wants fantasy or book-driven medieval and that the games do not fullfill the same purpose. Ultimately both are good choices. I suppose we both just know which one we'd choose already that's all.

Cheers,

Ben.

 

 

Hey, some discussion on here! 

I think you both have made great points on both sides.  I'm a huge fan of both systems.  I have only played the core games of both, however.  And, in this sense I think Westeros wins out because of the greater variety of scenarios.  The Battlelore scenarios from the core game did a good job of teaching the game as you progress through the scenarios, but by the last scenario I thought, really, that's it?  I played the last few scenarios several more times.  Obviously, having the expansions with extra troops and creatures be more available would have fixed this problem.  And this was before Battlelore was sold to FFG and the Creatures were repackaged, etc.

I always enjoyed BL, but I felt like the core scenarios just didn't have enough variety to keep me interested, specifically because of the VP's being almost always purely unit elimination.  At the time, I went to BGG to find out more and was surprised that there was no expansion that added more of my favorite element, the lore cards.  I thought the spells were one of the most interesting parts of the game and the cards were a pleasure to admire and play. 

Eventually, I got turned off by the fact that all the "best" expansions, at least as declared by the fans on BGG, were the ones, like 100 Years War, that were out of print and being re-sold for insane prices.  I was borrowing the game from a friend and he only had the Epic Expansion, which also didn't seem all that exciting without new units and/or Lore.  So I returned the game and basically watched the prices of the out of print game skyrocket until Westeros came along. 

The first thing I noticed about Westeros was that I liked the gritty, realistic style slightly more than Battlelore's cartoony style, although I love both and will play either game anytime.  Also, I had recently read the Ice and Fire series, so I loved seeing the familiar names and cool abilities of the Commanders.  It was serendipitous, to say the least. 

For me, I'm glad that both games exist and I'm happy to see that Battlelore has had more fantasy elements added, as that was always my favorite part.  They really are different games.  Battlelore is a grand-scale medieval battle, so the sections and fog of war make sense, although they can be limiting in terms of scenario diversity.  On the other hand, Westeros represents skirmishes and the two hex command range is just shouting distance. 

Both games also have their drawbacks and Westeros in particular has suffered from an amazingly poor editing job in the Rules, Battle Plans and several of the cards.  I mean seriously, half the battle plans have errors and the rulebook has a huge list of errata.  Just how many screw-ups can one game have?  I'm ready for my replacement parts, FFG.



#19 DragonWhimsy

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 01:18 AM

To be fair for any new comers who are thinking of buying into the game though, many of the mistakes are things like "instead of page 24 it should say page 25" which is more them not updating the reference when the page layout changed. Or things like a character having an improper title. Many of them only someone really combing through would even notice.

And the FAQ is updated now so that's nice for those few major things that did slip though. I think the numbers of those weren't that high.

The actual misprint section of the FAQ is only two pages long and the second page is only a little over half full.

I've been very pleased with how civil this thread is. I know sometimes the Westeros/BattleLore divide can become heated. It's silly we all like the same thing just in slightly different flavors.

Also KenToad... I've been trying to generate some more conversation on here since I arrived. I call on all of you Westeros Bannermen to help me out! :)


"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake, Ensign? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." -Grand Admiral Thrawn

 





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