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biomage

Future of BL, who's to blame?

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Reprinted from the Hopeless Gamers interview with Rob Kouba.


The Hopeless Gamer: Cool, cool. So you guys are kind of expanding on what was done before. Any hints at what might be coming for classic Battlelore? Post-goblins?
Rob Kouba: Ehhh… not really. Another watch-the-website type thing.
The Hopeless Gamer: Is there intent for more?
Rob Kouba: Oh yeah, we’re definitely supporting that. It has to do with, like – those come out a little bit slower, just because it’s not all in-house stuff, because [Richard] Borg still designs those, so we always run stuff past him and everything as far as approvals and that. So that’s the reason why the releases for that are a little slower than, say, Westeros or something.


This, however, doesn’t seem to fit well with what Christian T. Petersen said earlier this year,


Christian T. Petersen: Last year, Richard posted some ideas for “future releases” for BattleLore. Unfortunately, some fans took this post as canon, and are now expecting these specific releases. I think it important to note that while they were well-intended ideas of Richard’s, they did not fall in line with FFG’s vision. What we’re working on with Richard currently has no relation to anything in that old post, but something entirely new and different.


So, to me, it seems to me that blaming Mr. Borg for the lack of support doesn’t hold much water, considering what Mr. Petersen said, i.e. we don’t give a fig what Richard thinks if it doesn’t fall in line with FFG’s vision. But, I could be wrong.

 

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I thought it was a pretty piss poor excuse actually since we all know that there's lots of stuff already playtested...

The last two times Rob has spoken about Battlelore, he has been both vague and awkward. It is not particularly reassuring. Judging from his responses and demenour, it appears as though he wants to give development time to BoW to support it "aggressively" aka - get as much out before the tele movie to increase profit, while Battlelore releases will trickle because FFG knows the fans will buy it.

But this is a conversation that we've all had before, so I won't go on.

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biomage said:

 

 

 

So, to me, it seems to me that blaming Mr. Borg for the lack of support doesn’t hold much water, considering what Mr. Petersen said, i.e. we don’t give a fig what Richard thinks if it doesn’t fall in line with FFG’s vision. But, I could be wrong.

I don't recall in all the complaining about how BL has been handled going way back to the DoW days that anyone ever "blamed" De Borg.

 

OD
 

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OD, one could take Rob's comment about needing to pass any BL releases through Richard Borg as "blaming" him for the pace and variety of BattleLore available.  I don't see it that way, per se, more along the lines of what B&K put forth.

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Maybe I shouldn't have said blame. Mr. Kouba simply attributes much of the reason for the slow development as having to run everything by Mr. Borg. 

I just think FFG has no idea what they want to do with this game. They don't have a long history of taking over games that have such a developed following.

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FFG need to re-energize BattleLore.  Some gamers who played the game in passing and have since moved on to other things need to be brought back into the fold.  I don't think any single army expansion will do this.  I think FFG needs to take BattleLore to the next level...to a place the game system would be perfect for and to a place gamers want...to a place where no other game has really gone, and to a place that would fill a noticable void in the world of medieval, tabletop gaming...BattleLore Seige!

Think about it.  I don't think another game has ever done this effectively, especially with three-dimensional pieces.  The BattleLore pieces are already perfectly scaled to be used in a seige expansion.  BattleLore's original rules touch on the idea of seige with the use of ramparts or battlements.  Take it to the next level and release a seige expansion with lots of modular, plastic walls.  You can set-up the walls in any fashion you want, and you can have some speciality wall pieces, like towers and gates.  Then make some specialty siege equipment, such as ballista, catapult, arbalast, ladders, dwarven sappers, and rams.  Give the beseiged some specialty units as well, such as guys with vats of boiling oil, flaming arrows, etc.  Rules and equipment of this type would fit seamlessly into the BattleLore rules, in my opinion, with just a little effort and rule tweaking.  Units already included in the game could man the seige equipment, and if the concept took off, all kinds of expansions could follow, like expansions with seige towers or trebuchets.

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While the idea of siege sceneraios always seems intruiging to me (thinking of battles like those of Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings ;)) I wonder how to do that properly in the Battlelore system. I have not been following all posts here on the forum but others have rightly pointed out that confining one side to a fortress will decrease their mobility (which I think is very important in Battlelore) and the fact that they probably will start at the border of the board will make flags so much more hurting (unless the fortification makes you very very bold in which case flags become defacto useless...).

So, yeah, intruiging to imagine but hard to visualize ;)

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I think Biomage has it right FFG doesn't have a clear idea where it going with"Classic BL" & interceptor comment about FFG needing to re-energize BattleLore is spot on.A good place to start might be going back to the alternative Europe game world that sold a lot of us on the game.Give us a game where campaigns are possible & different races flesh out different nations (Holy Roman Undead..whatever) or even tie it to FFG In House Game World,my personal favorite would be set it in the OoP Midnight World & let us try to stop the Night Kings.

BL does need a serious relaunch with a background,otherwise its just a generic light war game which isn't going to recapture the "Buzz"no matter how good the game system.You could say well thats what BoW is all about,but FFG has said it's not which still begs the question..What Then?A vision is needed here!

That said we  play BL using it as a way to resolve battles in various fantasy worlds based campaigns,it's a great generic Rules Set  & we use 6mm or 10mm figs strands  in place of the game figs. 

 

OD

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Old Dwarf said:

... interceptor comment about FFG needing to re-energize BattleLore is spot on.A good place to start might be going back to the alternative Europe game world that sold a lot of us on the game.Give us a game where campaigns are possible & different races flesh out different nations (Holy Roman Undead..whatever) ...

 

Sounds very good to me, OD.  Four years ago when the game was released, this is where I expected it to be by now.

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BattleLore is a great game with a lot of potential and life left in it...FFG just needs to capitalize on this (IMHO), and not let BattleLore drift away into boardgame obscurity.  Why does BattleLore have over 500 topics and 3500+posts, and BoW only has 77 topics and 377 posts?  Obviously, BattleLore has been around longer, but BoW does not seem to be generating a lot of buzz for being the newest, slickest thing.  Light a fire under BattleLore FFG, and I'm sure it will be successful...the system and game are sound and the potential is there, but the game must be supported to succeed and grow.  I'm a big fan of BattleLore Heroes, Dragons, and Creatures.  I plan on buying Horiffic Hoardes, and I've been waiting FOREVER for Hundred Years War to be re-released.  Why are no copies to be found and everything is sold out...because people bought the product, and it is my understanding there are droves of fans waiting to buy the re-release.  Something else I think would be cool and would generate buzz and interest in the game...give us a winter board, and give us 3d terrain pieces.  The hexagonal pieces are all fine and good, but some 3d trees, bridges, ramparts, hills, etc., all of that would be cool (and heck, it could be used interchangably with BoW, so you'd get twice the bang for your buck).  Also, I dream of an awesome samurai wargame, and I have yet to see one where I wouldn't have to spend hours and hours and millions of dollars collecting and painting miniatures.  Releasing a feudal Japan, samurai/ninja era wargame would be sweet.  Just some thoughts. 

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Interceptor said:

  Why does BattleLore have over 500 topics and 3500+posts, and BoW only has 77 topics and 377 posts? 

 

Well for 1 reason it's all the creative bitching we do about how BL has been mishandled.demonio.gif 

 

OD

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Old Dwarf said:

Interceptor said:

 

  Why does BattleLore have over 500 topics and 3500+posts, and BoW only has 77 topics and 377 posts? 

 

 

Well for 1 reason it's all the creative bitching we do about how BL has been mishandled.demonio.gif 

 

OD

 

Exactly! There isn't enough happening with BL to discuss anything else. Just kidding. Actually, I think FFG has done a pretty good job picking up were DoW left off. However, I think FFG got off on the wrong foot with BL. While I was excited to get the much anticipated Heroes expansion, it should not have been their first priority. Getting the base game reprinted should have been #1. By not immediately reprinting the base game in some form, only the dedicated fans were interested in subsequent expansion. Unfortunately, many of the dedicated fans had certain expectations, expectations to which FFG hasn't met.  Reprinting the game immediately, in one form or another, would have bolster sales of future expansion by bringing in new fans. In addition, if FFG had reprinted the base game, it would have given long time fans an indication that FFG was committed to BL. With the new printing, a revised rulebook and scenario manual should have been developed, incorporating fixes and FAQ. This should have been done before FFG started with the expansions. While developing new expansions, the old expansion could have been reprinted. Had FFG taken these steps, I think BL would be in a much better place today.

Having said all of that, I will reiterate that FFG really had no idea what they wanted to do with the game from the beginning. Maybe they got a good deal from DoW. If they were expecting a cash cow from BL, they handled it completely wrong. Surely they didn't think that just slapping the Battlelore logo on a game that was similar to the command & colors systems would increase sales. It did the opposite for me. I was expecting BoW to be more like BL. However, it is less like BL than C&C Ancients. In my opinion, to justify the labeling, BoW should have been more like BL, OR BL should have been done in a 2nd edition more similar to BoW. But I am a scientist, not a businessman or a marketer, so I could be wrong. 

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