Friday, November 13, 2009

The Chaos Army Is On the March!

I recently traded Martin Wallace's Mordred (not a bad game, mind you, but one I wasn't playing much) for a copy of Stephen Baker's Battle Masters... which has some flaws (the insanely random nature of the card draw/order system, for example) but is an absolute hoot to play. The huge plastic battle map and the truckload of plastic miniatures & flags make it a major "toy soldier" experience. (This is, BTW, the second time I've owned Battle Masters - I sold my original copy some years back because it was so hard to transport. Dumb, Mark, very dumb.)

You may be unaware of the designer, Stephen Baker - but he's become a hero of mine... this is one of the main guys behind Heroscape as well as Battle Ball, Risk - Lord of the Rings & Die Schlacht der Dinosaurier (The Battle of the Dinosaur Riders). If you love plastic miniature combat games, this is your guy.

Of course, Braeden (my 8 year old) instantly fell in love - we played a couple of games to get the hang of it and then we began the campaign. The first battle was actually fought to a stalemate - Braeden managed to kill all of my figures but my Ogre Champion before the aforementioned Ogre finished off his troops. However, the Ogre can't occupy the tower, which is the winning condition for the battle, so we declared it a draw.

We fought the second battle tonight, with his forces of good (the Imperial Army) attempting to contain my Chaos Army (led by the now-elite Ogre Champion) behind the river. A well-placed shot from the Mighty Cannon took out my Chaos Knights... but the Ogre did his work, cutting a big enough hole in the defenses to allow me to win the battle with seven units surviving & obtaining elite status.

The next battle is the free-for-all "no one starts on the board" massacre... this will cut into the advantage of my elite units if they get left off board for too long.
As things stand, I'm winning the campaign 1-0. (Each of the first 3 battles are worth 1 point, the 4th battle is worth 3 pts & the last battle 5 pts.) I'll keep y'all posted.

Final note: there are two expansions for Battle Masters that I just found out about (thanks to Boardgamegeek): Imperial Lords & Chaos Warband. They were only published in Europe... so finding them is going to be a real challenge. Any help from my loyal readers is highly appreciated.

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