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Our Favourites: BattleLore

BattleLore offers gamers the chance to play anything from a small historical battle between the French and English during the Hundred Years War to a huge, sweeping fantasy battle with magic spells being thrown, deadly creatures like the Giant Spider, and Dwarf or Goblin allies.

It is this ability to customise your favourite battles that make BattleLore so appealing to wargame enthusiasts and fantasy fans alike.

In the box you get two whole armies' worth of plastic miniatures, a big pile of tokens and cards making this a great value package. You also will get a gorgeous map to play on, adaptable to any one of the scenarios included with the game using the landscape pieces, so that your battles can take place in anything from an open plain to dense forest - and all the rules you need to take this scenery into account in your battles are included.

Everyone would rather learn a game by playing it, instead of having to memorise a massive book before they can get it on the table. The mass appeal of BattleLore is assured by its approach to teaching you the game. Your first game will be a battle between two human armies, and as you move through the scenarios provided you will learn all the extra rules for each in turn, making the learning of the rules both fun and easy.

In summary, your turn consists of playing a card to order units, moving those units and then attacking with them. Different units have different skills, strengths and weaknesses and one of the most fun parts of the game is learning to get the most out of your army.

It takes minimal time to set up a battle, and each one will take somewhere between a half hour and an hour, meaning several games can be played in an evening.

Take a look at a game set up and ready to play, below.
From this picture you can see a full game set up (that is to say, one using all the rules). One glance is enough to get you wanting to sit down and play a game or two immediately.

This picture shows two full armies facing off and ready to charge, as well as the order cards, magic spell cards and war councils. It should give a great idea of what to expect when you get started on the BattleLore journey.

All of the forest, river and hill pieces are removable, meaning a landscape can be set up in countless different ways, either by following the setup instructions in the scenario booklet, or by inventing your own epic confrontations.

For further ways to customise your own battles, the makers of BattleLore have released many expansion sets to give you even more allies, enemies and battlefields.

On the back of the board provided with the game is half of a giant board - the other half can come from a friend's copy of BattleLore - but you can always choose to make this Epic experience available to you by instead using a specially released extra board, available here. With the Epic Board setup, you can involve more players in your games, either with three a side using the Field Marshal and Generals variant, or two a side using the "Reluctant Allies" variant. Both of these options introduce a fantastic new team aspect to what is already a fabulous experience. It also includes many new scenarios for use with the larger format.

One of the hardest parts in designing your own battles is picking opposing forces that are different, yet balanced in strength enough to be fair - you can make this a matter of moments with the Call To Arms expansion - in a single box you are given the ability to create literally millions of army configurations, and this means no two battles need ever be the same again! It also contains many suggested battlefields to build for your custom armies to fight over.

Of course, if you find yourself growing tired of the same old units the option is provided to expand your game to include special packs, such as The Scottish Wars, The Hundred Years War, Goblin Marauders and many more - each provides new minatures representing exciting new participants in your epic battles. They also include the cards necessary to make them compatible with your other expansions, like Call To Arms, meaning great units like the Dwarven Cattle Riders can now take part in your own designs as well! These expansions each include new scenarios to play with the new figures, as well as those units in your original copy.

The BattleLore range offers a superb level of choice, customisability and fun for anyone even slightly interested in wargaming, and it is easy to teach, fast to play and has a real "just one more game" factor.

It is one of the true giants of modern gaming, we are proud to stock BattleLore and many of its expansions at great, great prices.

To purchase BattleLore follow this link. Any questions, as always, can be directed to Paul using this link.

...keep playing!

The BoardGameGuru team

N.B. At time of writing, the BattleLore range has recently changed hands, from the original publishers, Days Of Wonder, to Fantasy Flight - the publishers of Arkham Horror, Conan et al., . The means that over the coming months some of the expansions may not be available regularly, but rest assured that embarking on the BattleLore experience will continue to be as rewarding to its legions of fans as it has ever been. Fantasy Flight have a great reputation for the quality of their productions and their support for existing games - these expansions will return soon!

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