While Debbie is off answering the lure of grease paint and treading the boards reprising her off off off Westend Olivier Award winning performance of third tree from the left, the rest of our pandemic fighting group had to find our own entertainment for last night.
Sadly Matt was unable to make it, leaving Jonathan and myself to duke it out over the tabletop field of cardboard.
Our first game of the evening was Discoveries. A game Jonathan had been wanting to try.
During our game I was snapping up the tribes cards, especially after I got one early that allowed me to ignore whether the tribe was a friendly or hostile tribe. What I had forgotten was the points are awarded for the tepees based on who has the most, and not for the actual number you have. Which gave me a six point advantage instead of a twelve point one.
Damn that was a big miscalculation. One that cost me the game. Jonathan did better on the set collection than me, and edged the points scored on completed explorations also. So the six point advantage I got on the tepees was not enough to swing the game in my favour.
I think when the worst thing you can say about a game are comments about how the dice feel too light, or they should have included the score pad, then the game has to be good. And it is an enjoyable game. Is it a great game? No. But definitely one that will see more play. I have to try it with more players, who knows the whole game may change and become great.
Our second game of the evening was Battlelore Second Edition.
I was playing the Uthuk Army, while Jonathan played the Daqan Army.
One of the nice touches over Memoir '44 is the mustering of your army. This is basically building your army from the forces available to you before combat. This was our first play so we went for the other nice touch of using one of the predefined armies provided for the game. The ones we chose are shown below.
I chose mine because I wanted to play with a big monster! While Jonthan chose his because he thought a smaller army would be easier to command while learning the game.
The great thing about Battlelore is having the setup being part of the game. Which means Jonathan and I get to choose a scenario for our half of the board.
These scenarios decide victory point scoring, and extras like getting lore points. They also decide first player!
Scenario with the lowest starting letter goes first. Which meant Jonathan was going first.
Then after setting up the board according to the scenarios chosen, it's time to place your forces on the board. And here is another great little touch. You place cards representing the units face down, along with dummy cards to disguise where your forces are. Then once all placed, both players turn the cards over and place the figures for their forces on the board.
Draw your starting hand of command cards and lore cards, and let battle commence.
Before starting I thought we might struggle to get enough lore to play lore cards, especially the higher cost ones. However that was not to be the case.
I made one tactical mistake right from the start. I thought I'd camp my Chaos Lord on my building to get the two lore tokens each go. However what I hadn't read before positioning near to the building was it can't occupy a building hex. Doh!
Destroying units doesn't earn victory points in Battlelore, as they do in Memoir '44. However occupying banner hexes at the end of your turn do. During the early game Jonathan was scoring two victory points each turn and taking an early lead on that front. The best I could achieve was a single point. But I was getting plenty of lore. So I thought my best avenue was to eradicate Jonathan's forces from the board, the second win condition.
I managed to stop Jonathan's victory point engine, and make good use of my lore cards. Occupying both banner hexes I had started getting two victory points each turn. Jonathan eventually started scoring victory points again. It was going to be a race for a victory point win. A smite the enemy from the face of the board was still on for me. But before that would happen one of us would have reached the required sixteen victory points.
My victory was a close win. If I hadn't won that turn, Jonathan would have won on his. It was that close.
Jonathan had been getting frustrated with his forces. The army was too light for going against mine. With the archers acting like artillery in Memoir, it didn't help that Jonathan was rolling badly! Which isn't helped with only one face on the die being the hit for archers. He wasn't much of a fan of the lore cards. I on the other hand was, I'd been using mine more effectively. I had even called a swarm to block line of sight on my units, stopping an attack.
I like Battlelore, it's your Memoir fix when you want a fantasy setting. There are some great touches to the game. Definitely one to get back to the table, and add to its armies.