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[work in progress] Fan expansion- Heroes

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Basically, here is the gist of it. Battlelore is no longer receiving support, so I thought we could all pitch in to make one last expansion. Heroes have been called for, so heroes we shall bring!

 

 

Here's how it works:

 

You get 10 additional hero muster points, which can be spent on adding heroes to your army.

Heroes are represented by tokens, and move with the unit that they lead.

When you deploy your army, after you place all the deployment cards facedown, the players take turns placing hero cards onto the units they want them to lead.

Heroes grant special abilites to the unit, but do not count as a figure.

Heroes are unit-specific, and can only be deployed on the type of unit that is listed on their card.

This provides a way to fix worse units (i.e grotesque, vipers), as you can make their heroes undercosted, and perhaps even have a zero-cost hero!

 

 

 

So what do you think? Is anyone wanting to pitch in to give this game the love it deserves?

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Still, its a cool idea for an expansion, and FFG won't make it, so why not?

 

That's a pretty good point :) Fan creations are always welcome and possibly they could help keeping a game alive :) See the great work Giulio has done over BGG

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While FFG didn't comment on anything Battlelore related... The one guy at the panel asked about Battlelore Elves and it was immediately shut down with the standard "can't talk about unannounced product" and next question, so it doesn't look too good...

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While FFG didn't comment on anything Battlelore related... The one guy at the panel asked about Battlelore Elves and it was immediately shut down with the standard "can't talk about unannounced product" and next question, so it doesn't look too good...

 

Honestly, would you have expected something different as an answer? No one annnounced elves, and in the Q&A time almost never such questions were answered (and even when they answered these questions it was either because the question was absolutely stupid - "shall we see Necrons for WH Conquest?", dude, it's basically written in the core set rulebook - or the answer was "we didn't forget about that game" but still for said game we had to expect 18 months to see it in the stores)

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Here's an example hero:

 

 

Captain Longsworth

Yeoman Archer

2-cost (note again that you have ten hero points to spend. These are separate from muster points)

At the end of the combat phase, if you attacked twice with this unit, and did not resolve any pierce results, perform a free attack, rolling one additional die.

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Big thing to keep in mind here is the deployment. All deployment areas are made of 18 hexes, but with some specific builds you go very close to these 18. So, if heroes are to be placed, it'd be problematic in terms of deployment, especially if you have 10 points and a hero costs 2

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I still hope that Battlelore will get supported with new expansions.... and if it does, I'm certain at one point we will get a heroes-expansion. This would, of course, make fanmade content obsolete.

 

However, the thought about an expansion like this has crossed my mind repeatedly. As there already is an old heroes-expansion, it is helpful to look into that. Here are the rules from the 1st edition for heroes:

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/battlelore/battlelore-heroes/bl-heroes-rulebook-en.pdf 

Reading this, the first question comes to mind: when do heroes die? With the first wound (like shock troops in TI), or the last one? Or maybe, like in the former edition, you roll an extra die to see if the hero is wounded each time?

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I have heroes dying when the last figure is removed right now, but that could change.

 

Big thing to keep in mind here is the deployment. All deployment areas are made of 18 hexes, but with some specific builds you go very close to these 18. So, if heroes are to be placed, it'd be problematic in terms of deployment, especially if you have 10 points and a hero costs 2

That specific hero is one of the cheaper ones. Units that aren't as popular get cheaper heroes, which serves as an incentive to use them. The average is 3-4. Really bad units like the Grotesque and Vipers have the option of a zero-cost non-unique hero that essentially serves as an errata.

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Make heroes dying as last figure & make the hero swapping one of the existing figures. In this way the balance is more easily mantained and you can have Legend Heroes without any problem

I like this idea. So if you have a Captain Longsworth, you would remove a Yeoman Archer from a unit and add the Captain instead. The unit still has 3 health, but the final figure is the hero. Since your idea is that heroes help particular units, this fits perfectly because you can make each hero look like a decked-out version of that unit, which helps visual identity.

 

This wouldn't work if heroes could support multiple unit types. If you went that direction instead, I would say you would have to add the hero as a fourth figure to the unit. However, I wouldn't count that figure as extra health. I would just say the hero retreats from the battle after his/her unit is defeated.

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Are we talking about token heroes or actual miniatures? With tokens, there is no need for a figure swap.

Also, it the last figure is always a 'hero', then the hero is basically an upgrade to a unit. The whole unit would become heroic instead of being lead by the hero. A hero, in this case a leader character, should be killable outright (imho). Devastating to morale, forcing the unit to retreat 1 extra hex. My choice would be to roll the extra die to see if he/she is wounded.

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The figure swap was due to the fact that otherwise the health of a unit would have been modified (4 figures instead of the usual 3 or 1). I agree with you that you could by default say "the last standing is the hero of the unit", my suggestion was mechanical (if you don't like the wording "swap" then go for "treat the last figure standing in a unit as the hero of that unit"); still, you'll have the need to identify those because each hero will be different and if you have 2+ units of the same type you won't be able to remember which unit got which hero

 

I understand your point about "heroic" units and so on; point is that this type of changes are quite demanding in terms of testing, so, possibly it's better to keep it simple

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Are we talking about token heroes or actual miniatures? With tokens, there is no need for a figure swap.

Also, it the last figure is always a 'hero', then the hero is basically an upgrade to a unit. The whole unit would become heroic instead of being lead by the hero. A hero, in this case a leader character, should be killable outright (imho). Devastating to morale, forcing the unit to retreat 1 extra hex. My choice would be to roll the extra die to see if he/she is wounded.

I'm using tokens. If you guys have adequate figures, then by all means go ahead and use them. But they don't count as figures for health, weakness, or taking damage.

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Are we talking about token heroes or actual miniatures? With tokens, there is no need for a figure swap.

Also, it the last figure is always a 'hero', then the hero is basically an upgrade to a unit. The whole unit would become heroic instead of being lead by the hero. A hero, in this case a leader character, should be killable outright (imho). Devastating to morale, forcing the unit to retreat 1 extra hex. My choice would be to roll the extra die to see if he/she is wounded.

I see your point, but I'm also taking a page out of the Runewars book (that's Runewars, the board game, not RuneWars the Miniatures Game). In that game, Heroes don't take damage during battle. They will retreat with units, but they are effectively safe from battle-damage. They are only wounded by other heroes, or if they have an ability that damages them (from a commander card).

 

Now, what would be interesting is to see more expensive units that grant bonuses to other units outside their own. In these cases, we you could "kill" the hero by defeating their unit, at which point they no longer provide bonuses to the other friendly units. This would give you the sense of targeting a hero to remove that threat from the enemy team.

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That's a pretty good point :) Fan creations are always welcome and possibly they could help keeping a game alive :) See the great work Giulio has done over BGG

 

 

Thank you Julia for your nice words. It's nice to see people discussing fan-made expansions. I like very much Toenail idea of  having different/improved units on the battlefiled and heroes is surely a thematic way of doing it. I think an essential question is if one wants to design a hero expansions that integrates with the existing official rules of scenarios creation (scenario cards, for short) or if instead heroes are going to have their own scenarios, and maybe campaigns. Both approaches are interesting, and of course their are not mutually exclusive, but I have the suspicion that designing heroes for the scenario cards requires a more cautious attitude. In my campaign "Sailing Down Corinna tears" I introduced the notion of "veteran units", with the intent of having heterogeneity on the battlefield, very much along the basic idea suggested by Toenail. In fact they could have been "units with heroes". But that was done specifically for the six scenarios of the campaign so it was easy to check that the extra power of the veteran units did not interfere too much with the game balance. In fact I remember that I had to somehow adjust the benefits during play testing. With scenario cards I suspect the task is more difficult.

 

I have also to say that while I like very much the simple approach of unit-specific heroes proposed by Toenail, I'm not convinced by the idea of using them to fix "weak units". The mustering system in BL2ed is rather flexible, so if you think some units is relatively less useful and is never mustered, you can just decrease its cost or, imho better, slightly re-design its characteristics. There are already several good suggestions outstanding on the BGG forum for the Vipers and the Grotesques. In fact I'm myself willing to test them asap (now BOW is absorbing the totality of my playing time :-) ). In my opinion this would be a more straightforward approach and also easier to test: if the modified unit is ALWAYS mustered, then it means that now it is too strong :-) Conversely,  I think that heroes are mainly interesting as long as they introduce new tactical challenges, like the one suggested by Budgernaut. It's not an easy task but I expect the discussion here to come up with some good suggestions, in addition to those already put forward by Toenail. (Sorry for the longish post)

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I started to create the units for the elves. Don't know if I have time to do a proper work soon. If I finish I'll post it here. But I think, harder then units would be the creation of the lore cards...

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Are we talking about token heroes or actual miniatures? With tokens, there is no need for a figure swap.

Also, it the last figure is always a 'hero', then the hero is basically an upgrade to a unit. The whole unit would become heroic instead of being lead by the hero. A hero, in this case a leader character, should be killable outright (imho). Devastating to morale, forcing the unit to retreat 1 extra hex. My choice would be to roll the extra die to see if he/she is wounded.

I see your point, but I'm also taking a page out of the Runewars book (that's Runewars, the board game, not RuneWars the Miniatures Game). In that game, Heroes don't take damage during battle. They will retreat with units, but they are effectively safe from battle-damage. They are only wounded by other heroes, or if they have an ability that damages them (from a commander card).

 

Now, what would be interesting is to see more expensive units that grant bonuses to other units outside their own. In these cases, we you could "kill" the hero by defeating their unit, at which point they no longer provide bonuses to the other friendly units. This would give you the sense of targeting a hero to remove that threat from the enemy team.

 

Interesting idea budgernaut. I do like that.

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