Saturday, 19 April 2014

Battlelore- overview, painted figures and AAR


Fantasy Flight Games' new edition of Battlelore is my latest guilty pleasure. I can have a quick yet challenging fantasy battle with core rules I'm familiar with, without the baggage of the Warhammer Old World or the gravitas of Middle Earth. The base game comes with the human 'Daqan Lords', and the desert nomad chaos bad guys, the 'Uthuk Y'llan'. I'm confident FFG will produce the other fantasy tropes from its Terrinoth realms- elves, orcs, dwarfs, and undead.

Gameplay is the usual Commands and Colors hex-based, card- and custom-dice driven orders and combat. Tweaks include:
  • Victory points based on area control rather than unit destruction
  • Three-strong rather than four-strong units
  • Faction-based 'Lore' (card-managed magic and abilities)
  • Retreats are away from the attacker, rather than towards the baseline
  • Any card may be used to activate one unit anywhere
  • Single-strength units are weaker
  • Simplified terrain
  • No pre-set scenarios- there's a system to create a scenario, an army and hidden deployment

Painted figures
BattleLore painted miniatures

My focus isn't on the game as much as the figures. I do like to paint my boardgame pieces... (War of the Ring, Battle Cry, Doom, Mansions of Madness)
Uthuk Y'llan
Daqan Lords
The figures are this bastard-size between 20-25mm. This is a minor disappointment insofar as FFG did say the figures were going to be 28mm. I'd actually have been happier if they'd gone nuts with 15 or 10mm, and had loads of figures- there is something about a massed battle with lots of little little men and loads of banners that satisfies my soul. Three guys as a unit just ain't right. If you really wanted to, you could replace some of the figures with massed smaller scale miniatures- some of the monsters are scale-less, anyway.
HäT, Zvezda, BattleLore, GW

Italeri, Zvezda, BattleLore, GW
I took more care painting these than I had planned. I had two goals: to make the figures 'pop' on the tabletop, and to attain clear factional identities of red and blue. I was happy with the basing, I wanted it to complement the board.

For more picture of the miniatures see here (Daqan Lords) and here (U'thuq Y'llan).


Here's a solo game I knocked out, spending a bit of time fiddling with the FFG scenario editor to make maps. My solo rules were to draw one card for each side, and play it as well as possible. I ignored lore. Note that this scenario does not have area control victory points. It's a bit of effort to make a report like this, I won't be doing it often, but let me know if you've got any suggestions to enhance clarity. (Click to embiggen)

On the box, FFG has cheekily subtitled this 'A game of fantasy battles'; c.f. GW's 'Warhammer: The game of fantasy battles'.


  1. Interesting AAR and nicely painted figures.

  2. What got you into this one? It kinda looks like FFG's version of Saga for some reason but not quite as cool as the aesthetic Gripping Beast gives. The minis look pretty good for fantasy flight though, and a good dab o paint will always help too. I'm trying to think of reasons for the scale.....differential is the best I can come up and I bet they didn't go with large amounts of small figs as it is not really the sort of look they want. Just my guessing anyway, but I agree it would look much better

    1. All the 'Commands & Colors' games are catnip to me, lots of fun. I don't have to work my way through learning a whole new ruleset, they're just variations on a theme. High fantasy is fun gaming (if you don't take it seriously, that is), there are no moral qualms involved or uniform research required, plus dragons and ogres and skeletons and giant spiders and other silly goodness!

  3. Awesome miniatures and marvelous painting...amazing!

    I have and love the Commands and Colors Ancients/Napoleonic games plus expansions....and looks like I'm going for BattleLore as well...

    thanks for sharing your work/AAR