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FFGAnton

Thoughts from Richard Borg on using BattleLore: Horrific Horde Call to Arms Deployment cards

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Q: The instructions offered in the BattleLore: Horrific Horde Goblin Army Pack rulebook is: "These new cards, when added to the Call to Arms Deployment cards that already deploy Goblinoid units, make up sets of Goblinoid Army Deployment cards that allow players to field a Goblinoid force in either drafting mode."

Is there any further detail about how the Goblin CtA Deployment cards were intended to be mingled with the Original CtA cards? Any thoughts that can be shared about the reasoning behind the deployment cards in BattleLore: Horrific Horde Goblin Army Pack ending up as they did? Any further detailed rules about how best to use them?
 
A: Actually there are a number of ways we envision how the Goblin Deployment cards could be used.
 
First, if a player only owned the Horrific Horde expansion, it would be best to add cards (A8, A9, B8, B9, C8, C9) that feature units from the Horrific Horde expansion, to Pennant Call to Arms Deployment card sets A, B, and C. Goblinoid units would still be considered mercenaries to a human force when using Impromptu mode or Organized Mode. 
 
Second, if a player owned all three Goblinoid expansions; Horrific Horde, Goblin Skirmishers and Goblin Marauders, it was our intention that cards (A8, A9, B8, B9, C8, C9) and cards (A10, A11, B10, B11, C10, C11) be combined with the deployment cards that featured Goblinoid units from the Call to Arms expansion:
  • Set A = (A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A11)
  • Set B = (B1, B2, B3, B8, B9, B10, B11)
  • Set C = (C1, C3, C4, C5, C8, C9, C10, C11)
Human units would now be considered mercenaries to a Goblinoid force when using Impromptu mode or Organized Mode.
 
Note we also always use specialist cards when playing Call to Arms adventures.
 
For those of you who would rather field a pure Goblinoid force, before I share a few alternative modes our group uses with deployment cards, let me repeat a few thoughts I posted some time ago about the design philosophy behind the Deployment Card sets and Specialist cards.
 
Many of you, no doubt, have gone to play in a friendly game or tournament where a point system was used to set up your forces prior to the battle, only to find your opponent has mini-maxed the point system (some call it cheese) so that the whole game session was really not much fun. By design, the chief focus and main intent of the Deployment Card system was to reduce this sort of cheesy experience. It is our belief that the deployment decks go a long way to provide players with an almost endless variety of alternate ways to set up an adventure, while still providing an equal and balanced setting.
 
Regarding Specialist cards, during competitive play and tournaments we recommend you limit the number of cards to two. However, when playing friendly games players can agree to a greater number prior to the start of the adventure. The main focus of the Specialist cards was to give players the opportunity to use their new units from expansions, yet prevent a situation that would throw off or unbalance an adventure in favor of the wealthiest player.
 
If a player owns all three Goblinoid expansions; Horrific Horde, Goblin Skirmishers and Goblin Marauders, set up three sets of Deployment cards for the Pennant player that feature Goblinoid units:
  • Set A = (A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A11)
  • Set B = (B1, B2, B3, B8, B9, B10, B11)
  • Set C = (C1, C3, C4, C5, C8, C9, C10, C11)
Lightning Mode
Lighting Mode is not meant to offer a great deal of control. Instead, its benefits are extremely quick set up and no need for Feudal Levy tokens. Our group has always enjoyed the challenge presented by this shuffle and deal form of deployment.
 
After the battlefield is selected and terrain hexes are placed, the Pennant player selects one set of deployment cards (see above sets). Shuffle the cards in the set and deal one card face up in each battlefield section, plus one as a reserve. The Standard player also selects a set, shuffles the cards and deals one card face up in each battlefield section, plus one as a reserve. Each player then does the following:
  • Deploys his Guards
  • Scout ahead
  • Call the Reserves
  • Call the War Council
  • Call the Specialists
 
Strategic Plan Mode
Strategic Plan Mode works best when players have time to study the field of battle and consider multiple deployment options. We typically select a scenario and assign players their camp (Pennant or Standard) at the end of a game session, so there is ample planning time before the next session.
 
After the battlefield is selected and terrain hexes are placed, the Pennant player selects any four cards from the Pennant Deployment Card sets (see above sets) and places one card face down in each section of the battlefield and holds one as a reserve. The Standard player selects any four cards from the Standard Deployment Card sets and places one card face down in each section of the battlefield and holds one as a reserve. Each player then does the following:
  • Deploys his Guards
  • Scout ahead
  • Call the Reserves
  • Set War Council
  • Call the Specialists
 
Note: This mode will allow the Pennant camp to deploy a total Goblinoid force by not selecting any deployment cards with Human units.
 
Using the Strategic Plan Mode, it's likely you will require Feudal Levy tokens. However, because most guys in our group have their own copy of BattleLore, we house rule that when a player comes to the game but has selected units that he cannot field from his base game or expansions, the unit is lost. This tends to reinforce that players should spend time to plan before the game session.
 
Enjoy!
Richard Borg

 

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Thanks for the clarification on those Call to Arm cards.   Will there be a like setup of cards to use for the dwarfs and/or humans as well? [as in pure dwarfs, and pure human]

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Caboose said:

Thanks for the clarification on those Call to Arm cards.   Will there be a like setup of cards to use for the dwarfs and/or humans as well? [as in pure dwarfs, and pure human]

The short answer is  - Yes.

You will find both deployment and specialist cards in each of the future expansions. We hope the above will also provide players with guide lines and the opportunity to enjoy both of these coming expansions to their fullest.

Richard Borg

 

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Richard Borg said:

Caboose said:

 

Thanks for the clarification on those Call to Arm cards.   Will there be a like setup of cards to use for the dwarfs and/or humans as well? [as in pure dwarfs, and pure human]

 

 

The short answer is  - Yes.

You will find both deployment and specialist cards in each of the future expansions. We hope the above will also provide players with guide lines and the opportunity to enjoy both of these coming expansions to their fullest.

Richard Borg

 

Thanks Richard - since that was probably one of the underlying issues with these new CA cards in the future expansions!

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The Dwarf card sets are as follows:

 

A1, A2, A5, A8, A9, A10, A11

 

B1, B3, B5, B8, B9, B10, B11

 

C1, C2, C6, C8, C9, C10, C11

 

 

It should be noted that it is impossible through selecting only these cards, for the Standard player to field a Monster.

 

Cheers,

Giles.

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FFG Anton said:

that Richard Borg said:

 

For those of you who would rather field a pure Goblinoid force, before I share a few alternative modes our group uses with deployment cards, let me repeat a few thoughts I posted some time ago about the design philosophy behind the Deployment Card sets and Specialist cards...
 
I had forgotten about this carrot that had been dangled - were there supposed to be some ideas(aside from playing the Strategic Planning variant and only choosing those particular cards) about fielding a Goblin-only (and now Dwarf-only and soon Human-only, using the additional CtA cards with Bearded Brave and Code of Chivalry, respectively) in the original post or are those to follow at some point?
 
With the majority of my plays with BattleLore coming on Vassal with relative newcomers to the game, I haven't taken the time to come up with my own workarounds, other than using only the CtA cards that came with Horrific Hordes to deploy a Goblin-only Army.  In the coming months, if no other alternatives are offered, I was planning on working out "substitution cards" - essentially exchanging the Human units from the Original CtA cards that remain to make full decks when combined with the expansion CtA cards with reasonable Goblin and Dwarf units, and then doing the opposite, if need be, for the Human-only effect.
 
Thanks for the consideration :)

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I can see how simply adding an extra specialist card or two can really make customizing the game far easier, without breaking it.  I also see how competent players can use a point system and avoid cheese.  Taking no more than two powerful nits, for instance, and requiring a green unit : special unit ratio, or somesuch, can go a long way to avoiding a min-max situation.

What frustrates me about the Deployment cards is that you should always be able to give up something to get a unit you really want, but some units are easier to do this with. Example: Bear Riders require a deployment card with red cavalry, while Mounted Knights (Scottish Wars) require you to have gren units.  HUGE disparity.

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How do we play an Epic match using the new Call to Arms cards?  If you truly want a Dwarven or Goblin only army you only have 4 cards to choose from each set, A B or C.  Epic rules allow for a fifth card so how can we still have an all one race type army?  If you mix the three sets together you may not have enough figures to go around.

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I'm still holding out hope that FFG does have race specific Call to Arms deployment decks in the works (along with some more races/factions...) before tackling that with other players.  Clearly revised CtA decks would involve the human units introduced in the existing figure expansions.  Arbalestiers, Halberdiers, Spear Bearers, and the varieties of knights would populate several, if not all of the deployment cards in each of the three decks - assuming that the A, B, C format was kept.  For example, two cards in A and B would feature Lancers, while deck C would only have one card but with two Lancer units.  Things like that.

My internal clock probably has another 6 months without news or releases before getting serious about what race specific CtA decks would look like.

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toddrew said:

I'm still holding out hope that FFG does have race specific Call to Arms deployment decks in the works (along with some more races/factions…) before tackling that with other players.  Clearly revised CtA decks would involve the human units introduced in the existing figure expansions.  Arbalestiers, Halberdiers, Spear Bearers, and the varieties of knights would populate several, if not all of the deployment cards in each of the three decks - assuming that the A, B, C format was kept.  For example, two cards in A and B would feature Lancers, while deck C would only have one card but with two Lancer units.  Things like that.

My internal clock probably has another 6 months without news or releases before getting serious about what race specific CtA decks would look like.

 

With all the Print on Demand things that FFG has been doing recently, this seems like an easy thing to do cheaply…

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Yup.

Working on the variant decks right now - hope to have some rough ideas to playtest by the end of the week.

Anyone, feel free to email me if interested: t_rewoldt at hotmail.com

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