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Interceptor2

Alternate Victory Conditions

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I am a big fan of BattleLore, but there is an aspect of the game that becomes redundant, and this is not necessary.  So many of the official published scenarios base victory on collecting a certain number of banners during the game.  For example, most scenarios require one player to capture six to seven banners to gain victory.  This can be a little redundant when there seems to me to be several other options.

Take, for example, scenarios where one player can earn additional banners by holding a space with a bridge or some other objective marker for a certain number of turns.  I really like this idea, but it does not play out real well.  Usually the objective marker is on the opposite side of the battlefield from the player that can benefit from it, and by the time you fight your way there (if you even get that far), one or the other side usually has the required quota of banners for victory before the objective marker even becomes relevant.  Not always the case, but this has proven true for me in many of my games.

My thought is, why base victory solely on collecting banners?  Mix it up a bit.  For example, I have an idea for a scenario using the Dragons expansion, where a small army of knights and soldiers is sent by their king to slay a great red dragon plaguing the kingdom.  The dragon lives in a cave surrounded by woods infested with goblins.  The set-up is simple...create a small army of humans and/or dwarves and place them on the "standard" side of the board on the right, center, and left...just like a normal set-up.  Then create a small army of goblins set-up on the "pennant" side of the board.  Also, somewhere on the pennant side, make a partial ring using hill pieces with a one hex opening to represent the dragon's cave, and the hill terrain is considered impassable and blocking.  Place the dragon inside the "cave."  The dragon fights with the goblins.

Victory conditions are simple...kill the dragon before the dragon/goblin army can earn six or seven banners from their opponent.  Simple, but somewhat of a twist on the regular banner-grabbing free-for-all. 

I have several other ideas, but I'm curious if anyone else has any ideas of their own or has tried any games using alternate victory conditions besides just earning banners.

 

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I agree, there is a ton of potential that hasn't been explored. Of course, what you describe takes the game out of the "board game" category and puts it firmly in the "wargame" family. Not that big a deal, but it does change the perception of the game to nit-picky people.
 

One of the "problems" with scenarios is the "balance" issue. One of the things I like about Battlelore has been it's ability to avoid power creep. In other words, when they introduce new types of units, they all generally have fairly mellow abilities that can be extremely useful in specific situations. They add a level of strategic play where if you do the right thing and have a little luck you can pack a little bigger punch, but not a game breaker.
 

Scenarios like the one you mentioned (kill the dragon) add some problems. The fact that no Battlelore unit is over-powerful means that it can be killed (with luck and tactics) in one turn. So, the goblin layer has a very difficult choice that makes this scenario suck for him. Does he commit his most powerful figure to battle, taking the chance that he will lose in the first couple rounds, or does he hide and move his Dragon to the rear, so he most likely wins...but doesn't have the fun of using a fun playing piece? Why even have a Dragon if you can't use it? Why risk it if you can almost assuredly win the game by simply moving it away fro the front line?
 

I'd like to see some scenarios, and I’d really like to see a campaign book…but it’s going to have to be a well thought out system and series, not just something slapped together. That’s why I think this is a fairly lucrative product line for FF. Books are much cheaper to produce than board games, and I do believe Battlelore fans would scarf up well designed campaign/scenario books in a second. But I’ve been begging (as have many other fans of this game and other like battle games) for years and years.
 

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One of the things you could do with the "kill the dragon" scenario is make the goblin army substantially smaller than the human army.  For every one goblin unit, you can have two human units.  However, the humans only win by killing the dragon.  The goblins win by collecting a certain number of banners, but they alone cannot do this...they must use their powerful dragon which is very hard to kill.  This presents a tactical option for the goblins...go on the attack at the outset, with the dragon, and try to sweep the humans by force and a blitzkrieg, or hide the dragon in the cave and form a defensive ring around it with the goblins.  This will force the humans to attck straight on (meaning the goblins are esentially choosing the field of battle).  Most of the goblins will die at the mouth of the cave, but not before (hopefully) inflicting some serious damage on the crusaders.  Once the goblins are defeated, it's a fight to the finish with the dragon.  Can the dragon kill enough human units to secure victory, or will the humans be able to slay the dragon before becoming crispy critters?  Dragons are hard to kill using the BattleLore rules, and their breath attack can be devestating to individual units if the dice are in its favor.

As to the issue of printing a campaign book...absolutely.  I think this is the direction BattleLore should go after the release of Code of Chivalry.  With the release of the recent expansions, this gives players the ability to field a variety of large, diverse armies.  A campaign book like the one released for Tide of Iron or Descent would be awesome.  One issue with a campaign book would be making it relevant to players that don't have all the expansions.  To overcome this, I think each map could have an alternate set-up section for players that don't have a particular expansion.  Also, each battle map could be interconnected and the Call to Arms rules employed, so players could field armies just with the deployment cards they currently have. 

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Interceptor said:

One issue with a campaign book would be making it relevant to players that don't have all the expansions.  To overcome this, I think each map could have an alternate set-up section for players that don't have a particular expansion.  Also, each battle map could be interconnected and the Call to Arms rules employed, so players could field armies just with the deployment cards they currently have. 

 

Memoir 44 has an excellent (and large) campaign book and it only uses the core box set.  BL could go that route.  They could also have a simple appendix about substituting other units if you have expansions. 

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One of the biggest problems with having a single point objective in Battlelore comes from the C&C system itself.  The objective resides in one of the three sectors of the board.  This makes command cards for that sector much more important, and commands for the other sectors somewhat less important or downright useless.

Of course, this doesn't prevent meaningful objectives other than kill X banners from being used.  They just require a bit of creativity.  Objectives could be placed on a sector boundry space.  Multiple objective spaces could be used.  Or, more general type of objectives could be used such as achieve a breakthrough etc.

Overall, I agree with you.  Kill X units gets to be a bit dull.  I have played a good number of games where one side won the banner victory, but it felt like the battle wasn't nearly half over yet.

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