Saturday, February 20, 2010

Battlelore Is Pregnant

Well, not really... but Fantasy Flight Games revealed today that it will be publishing Battles of Westeros, which will use the Battlelore rule system. The "baby" is due in November, just in time for holiday fantasy-novel-series tie-in game-buying season. I'm extremely happy for Richard Borg, the designer (who deserves to make a ton of money yet another version of the Command & Colors system) and Fantasy Flight... but I'm not real happy for me.

You see, I have the bad, bad feeling that this may well spell the demise of support for Battlelore by Fantasy Flight. Battlelore is already on a second publisher (having originally been developed & marketed by Days of Wonder). My evidence, you ask? Well, there's really not any evidence, but this is the Internet so I will indulge in a bit of under-informed speculation:
  • The 3 expansions released have all had evidence of "get something out quickly" rather than "advance the franchise." (I'll detail this below, but I do want to note that I like the ideas behind the expansions.)
  • Given the choice between supporting a licensed tie-in with an extraordinarily successful fantasy novel series (George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones") and non-licensed medieval/fantasy world that is supported only by those who play the game, which one would you put your cash/energy/time behind?
Look, I think FFG is a great company - I've really enjoyed some of their games & they do a bang-up job with a number of different properties. I don't begrudge them the right to choose to make more money & sales for their company by transferring their attention to Battles of Westeros over Battlelore. I just hope I'm wrong.

And, since I brought it up earlier, my two cents about the newest Battlelore expansions:
  • Heroes has some nifty ideas and the sculpts are great, but the rules are NOT well-written and there are obvious mistakes in a couple of the included scenarios. (There's also a card misprint... sheesh. Hasn't anyone figured out how to proof these things yet?)
  • Dragons is another cool idea that has better rules but should have included the revised creature rules... and some more stuff. It's a pretty steep price tag for 3 figures & a smattering of tokens/cards.
  • Creatures ships this week... and I was stunned to learn that I was only getting one new figure for my $23 smackers. (Granted, it's a very cool figure - the Hydra.) I know that the Giant & the Elemental were promo figures that not everyone managed to snag, but that's a pretty weak expansion when that's all you have in the box.
With all that said, my son & I had a wonderful time this last week playing our first Hero/Dragon scenario... and we've set up a second scenario already. But the expansions feel rushed & as if they were only given a cursory glance... something I don't want for a game system we enjoy this much.

As more information appears, I'll keep you posted. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

BTW, the picture & information are courtesy of The Hopeless Gamer... give him some blog traffic/love.

1 comment:

sisteray said...

You might appreciate this: