BattleLore review

Battlelore

BattleLore was published in 2006 by Days of Wonder, famous for the likes of Small World, the Ticket to Ride series, Five Tribes, and Memoir ‘44. The game was designed by Richard Borg and illustrated by Miguel Coimbra, Julien Delval, Nicolas Fructus, and Christophe Madura. In 2013 Fantasy Flight Games republish game.

Game Components

  • 8 card holder racks
  • 24-page Adventure book with 10 scenarios (also serves as a tutorial sequence)
  • 12 BattleLore dice
  • 2 reversible War Council sheets
  • 1 Reversible Map board
  • 2 Lore buckets
  • 80-page Rulebook
  • 6 obstacle rectangles
    • 2 Fords / Bridges
    • 2 Fords / Ramparts
    • 2 Ramparts / Bridges
  • 46 terrain hexes
    • 1 Healing Pool (Cleric) / Elevated
    • 7 Wooded / Straight Waterway
    • 9 Wooded / Elevated
    • 3 Wooded / Forked Waterway
    • 5 Wooded / Curve Waterway
    • 7 Elevated / Straight Waterway
    • 1 Wooded / Headwaters
    • 3 Elevated / Forked Waterway
    • 3 Elevated / Curve Waterway
    • 2 Stronghold (Commander) / Elevated
    • 1 Elevated / Lake
    • 1 Training Camp (Warrior) / Wooded
    • 1 Secret Passage (Rogue – Wooded) / Secret Passage (Rogue – Elevated)
    • 1 Rogue’s Den (Rogue) / Wooded
    • 1 Magic Pentacle (Wizard) / Wooded
  • 6 Objective (Victory Blazon) tokens
    • 1 Iron Dwarves / Lion (Pennant)
    • 2 Fleur-de-lis (Standard) / Lion (Pennant)
    • 2 Lion (Pennant) / Lion (Pennant)
    • 1 Goblinoids / Lion (Pennant)
  • 24 Lore Master tokens
    • 4 each of Warrior, Commander, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard, Creature
  • 54 Lore and miscellaneous tokens
    • 4 Web / Eye Tokens
    • 2 Commander Tokens
    • 2 Poison / Eye Tokens
    • 36 Lore Tokens
    • 2 Warrior Tokens
    • 2 Cleric Tokens
    • 2 Creature Tokens
    • 2 Wizard Tokens
    • 2 Rogue Tokens
  • 60 Command cards
    • 18 Tactics Cards
      • 2 Green Banners
      • 2 Red Banners
      • 2 Blue Banners
      • 2 Counter Attack
      • 2 Foot Onslaught
      • 2 Darken the Sky
      • 3 Mounted Charge
      • 1 BattleLore
      • 2 Leadership
    • 42 Section Cards
      • 2 Forward
      • 2 Surround
      • 2 On the March
      • 11 Patrol (3 x Left, 5 x Center, 3 x Right)
      • 6 Advance (2 x Left, 2 x Center, 2 x Right)
      • 6 Scout (2 x Left, 2 x Center, 2 x Right)
      • 13 Attack (4 x Left, 5 x Center, 4 x Right)
  • 60 Lore cards
    • 15 Cleric Cards (all different)
    • 15 Warrior Cards (all different)
    • 15 Wizard Cards (all different)
    • 15 Rogue Cards (all different)
  • 42 Summary cards
    • 10 Landmark Summary Cards
      • 2 Landmark Rules
      • 1 Magic Pentacle
      • 1 Healing Pool
      • 2 Ramparts
      • 2 Stronghold
      • 1 Rogue’s Den
      • 1 Training Camp
    • 8 Terrain Summary Cards
      • 2 Bridges
      • 2 Waterways
      • 2 Elevated Terrain
      • 2 Wooded Terrain
    • 8 Weapons Summary Cards
      • 2 Common Bow
      • 2 Long Sword
      • 2 Crossbow
      • 2 Short Sword
    • 6 Unit Summary Cards
      • 2 Creatures
      • 2 Mounted Units
      • 2 Foot Units
    • 6 Game Concept Summary Cards
      • 2 Medieval Tactics
      • 2 Battle Dice
      • 2 Morale
    • 4 Special Unit Cards
      • 1 Iron Dwarves
      • 2 Giant Spider
      • 1 Goblinoids
  • 73 Banners
    • 26 Standards
      • 2 Red Standard Heavy Cavalry
      • 2 Red Standard Heavy Infantry
      • 3 Blue Standard Regular Cavalry
      • 9 Blue Standard Regular Infantry
      • 3 Green Standard Archers
      • 2 Green Standard Irregular Infantry
      • 1 Red Standard Heavy Iron Dwarf Swordsman
      • 1 Green Standard Iron Dwarf Crossbowman
      • 3 Blue Standard Iron Dwarf Swordsman
    • 32 Pennants
      • 3 Blue Pennant Regular Cavalry
      • 2 Red Pennant Heavy Cavalry
      • 2 Red Pennant Heavy Infantry
      • 2 Green Pennant Irregular Infantry
      • 9 Blue Pennant Regular Infantry
      • 5 Green Pennant Archers
      • 1 Red Pennant Hobgoblin Swordsman
      • 2 Green Pennant Hobgoblin Cavalry
      • 2 Blue Pennant Goblin Swordsman
      • 1 Green Pennant Hobgoblin Archer
      • 2 Green Pennant Goblin Skirmisher
      • 1 Green Banner Giant Spider
    • 15 random banners
  • 217 miniatures (humans, dwarves, goblins, and a Giant Spider)
    • 18 Regular Cavalry
    • 12 Heavy Cavalry
    • 16 Heavy Infantry
    • 16 Irregular Infantry
    • 72 Regular Infantry
    • 32 Archers
    • 12 Iron Dwarf Swordsman
    • 4 Heavy Iron Dwarf Swordsman
    • 4 Iron Dwarf Crossbowman (later called Arbalestiers)
    • 4 Hobgoblin Swordsman
    • 6 Hobgoblin Cavalry
    • 16 Goblin Skirmisher / Swordsman
    • 1 Giant Spider
    • 4 Hobgoblin Archers

Gameplay

Richard Borg is the author of The Command and Colors System, which lies in the base of the BattleLore game mechanics. The Command and Colors System is a wargaming system based on the use of section cards, tactics cards, and battle dice. Section cards define the occupation of different field sections by units, tactics cards allow special attacks. Battle dice are used to resolve individual battles.

In BattleLore, fantasy and history come together. You command your troops of fantasy creatures on the battlefields of Medieval Uchronia. BattleLore takes The Command and Colors System to a new level and lets players lead war battles in the world of wizards, warriors, and clerics.

BattleLore is a wargame for two. It takes about an hour to play.

Battlelore - Gameplay

Rules

If you have already played games based on The Command and Colors System, learning the rules for this one will be easy for you.

In the second edition, at the beginning of the game, each player chooses a scenario card. Then you secretly build your army putting deployment cards face down. Once everyone is ready, the real figures replace the cards.

On your turn, you play one command card. You can move and attack with the number of units indicated on the card.

Combat works like this. If you are the attacker, you roll the number of dice equal to your attack rating. Your opponent might have to flee from you. If not, they may choose to counter attack you immediately.

You go on taking turns until one of the two victory conditions is met: one of the player’s armies is completely destroyed or one of the players gets 16 points. The winner is the player with 16 points (or the survivor, in the former case).

Find the PDF rulebook for the second edition here.

There are plenty of helpful videos on YouTube as well.

Battlelore - Humans against Beasts

Similar Games

BattleLore vs Memoir 44

Memoir 44

Memoir ’44 is more minimalistic than BattleLore. It does not have the bulk of all the figures, cards, and player aids that BattleLore does. The game mechanics is quite similar.

Memoir ’44 takes about 30-45 minutes to play.


BattleLore vs Command and Color Ancients

Commands and Colors: Ancients

Ancients is more elegant than BattleLore. Also based on The Command and Colors System, it highly reminds of BattleLore. Ancients has wooden figures instead of plastic ones.


BattleLore vs Battle of Westeros

Battle Of Westeros

Battles of Westeros is a rather different game from BattleLore, Memoir ’44, and Command & Colors: Ancients, but it is a reimplementation of BattleLore. In Battles of Westeros, there is no track of victory points, instead you win by achieving special conditions of scenarios.


BattleLore vs Runewars

Runewars

Runewars is more complicated than BattleLore and plays better with three people while BattleLore is meant just for two players.


BattleLore vs Warhammer

Warhammer

Warhammer can be played by two to four people. It is a fantasy wargame that lets you lead different types of battles: from skirmish battles to full-blown epic wars with great armies.


BattleLore vs DiskWars

Diskwars

In Diskwars, you can have two to eight players. It is a fantasy miniature game, but there are no miniatures. Instead, you have disks that stand for different creatures.


BattleLore vs Summoner Wars

Summoner Wars

Summoner Wars is more complicated than BattleLore. It can be played by two to four people. Summoners are powerful beings who use the power of Summoning Stones to lead their race to conquest. The game takes place on the planet of Itharia.


Expansions

BattleLore: Bearded Brave

Battlelore - Bearded Brave

Bearded Brave brings you six different types of Iron Dwarf units. The expansion has 27 cards, 40 new figures, and a rule book with 4 new adventures.

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BattleLore: Call to Arms

Battlelore - Сall to Arms

This expansion for the first edition makes the deployment of your troops personalized and puts an end to predetermined troop placement and scenarios.

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BattleLore: Creatures

Battlelore - Creatures

Creatures brings you sculpts of Rock Elemental, Wood Giant, and Hydra.

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BattleLore: For Troll and Country

Battlelore - For Troll and Country

Here, you get two epic-sized adventure maps: Troll Bridge and For Troll and Country.

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BattleLore: Dragons

Battlelore - Dragons

Now you have a dangerous new combatant: Dragon! The expansion has three plastic miniatures: the Fire Dragon, the Ice Drake, and the Wood Wyvern. There is also a rulebook included with four new adventures featuring dragons.

Another feature the Dragons expansion has is the Troll Card from For Troll and Country Expansion.

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Specialist Packs

Specialist Packs include BattleLore: Dwarven Battalion Specialist Pack, BattleLore: Goblin Marauders Specialist Pack, BattleLore: Goblin Skirmishers Specialist Pack,

BattleLore: The Hundred Years’ War – Crossbows & Polearms, and BattleLore: Scottish Wars. They bring new units with Specialist and Weapon Summary Cards for them.

BattleLore: Earth Elemental

Battlelore - Earth Elemental

The Earth Elemental is a promo figure. The package comes with a banner, three cards, and a creature lair hexagon.

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BattleLore: Epic BattleLore

Battlelore - Epic Battlelore

Now you can combine multiple board games into one epic-sized battlefield. This expansion allows 2, 4, or 6 people to take part in the game.

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BattleLore: Heroes Expansion

Battlelore - Heroes Expansion

Heroes gives you 10 unique Hero figures, 110 Skill, Artifact, and Landmark cards. It also introduces Leaders and Champions.

BattleLore: Hill Giant

Battlelore - Hill Giant

The scary Hill Giant is a promotional miniature.

BattleLore: Horrific Horde

Battlelore - Horrific Horde

Horrific Horde brings you two new troop types and 42 additional figures for your BattleLore army.

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BattleLore: Code of Chivalry

Battlelore - Code of Chivalry

Code of Chivalry introduces the Human Army consisting of arbalesters, knights, and lancers to BattleLore. It has two new unit types and also two unit types previously released in Scottish Wars and The Hundred Years’ War Expansions.

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FAQ

Q: Is there an errata for BattleLore?

A: No, there is not.

Q: Is there an Android app or an iOS app for my iPad?

A: Yes there is. Here is a link to the iOS app. Here is a link to the Android one.

Q: What is the difference between the first edition and the second one?

A: At first, Fantasy Flight Games wanted to release a reprint of BattleLore, but they ended up releasing the BattleLore Second Edition in 2013. The 2nd edition saw some changes in the game mechanics. The Command and Colors System was replaced with individual unit stats. Now each unit type has unique stats dictating combat dice, movement, special abilities, and damage capacity. Also, now you can choose a new army to deploy at the beginning of every game.

Q: Can I play BattleLore online?

A: Yes, you can play BattleLore on Vassal and on ZunTzu .

Youtube

Conclusion

BattleLore is a glorious wargame accessible even to people not familiar with wargames. The rulebook is great and will help you with the process of set-up and getting on with the game.

Considered scenarios and beautiful fantasy miniatures are the great decoration of BattleLore.

If you are interested in getting a not overwhelmingly complicated wargame for two, BattleLore could be your best choice.

You can buy BattleLore on Amazon here.