Sunday, April 4, 2010

Battlelore session report -- Axe and Spear

Young General and Old Warrior turned their attentions to the Dwarven Battalion expansion, where Young Warrior started off with the Dwarven-dominated army and Old Warrior took a mostly human horde flavored with a few Goblinoids.

Young General continued his War Council policy of spreading the Loremasters around with four Level 1s, although this time he did beef up his Commander to a Level 2 and therefore had a 5-card hand. I'm beginning to have my doubts about this approach. While it does allow the use of any lore cards without additional cost. it also means forgoing the chance to have a Stronghold, take advantage of any Level bonuses or have a large hand of Lore cards. This last point is perhaps the most important. With the top lore master being a Level 1 then the player will never have more than 2 cards to choose from, making it hard to get the cards you want or put together a plan.

Old Warrior once again selected a war council that included a Level 2 Commander, a Level 1 Warrior and a Level 3 lore master of another type -- in this case a Wizard. I like this particular mix for the following reasons: The Level 2 Commander means there will be a 5-card hand of Command Cards, which generally provides enough choices to avoid a dead hand. I like the Level 1 Warrior because many of the Warrior Lore cards are useful and only one of them has a Level Bonus, so 95% of the benefit of picking a Warrior lore master is satisfied by the first level.

As far as a Level 3 lore master goes, I think each of the remaining ones, Wizard, Cleric and Rogue, has enough good points to consider selecting. I decided to go with the Wizard this time mostly as a change of pace. As it turns out I didn't get that much use out of the Wizard's spells, with my best one -- Portal -- dispelled. The best lore card I played was the Assault, which is a Warrior card.

The battle itself, as is our style, mostly involved small maneuvers, rather than grand sweeps. Young General concentrated most of his troops in the center sector, traying to take advantage if the dwarves' toughness. Old Warrior sent the Goblin Lizard riders on around the right but they were bloodily repulsed, barely escaping with one rider left each.

Overall the Goblins did well, being amply supported they were generally bold and the few times there was Goblin Run they didn't lose anyone. The Dwarven bagpipers got little play, and were among the units that fell during a 6-4 victory for the Old Warrior's Human-Goblin force.

Neither of us was impressed with the scenario, which really seemed like a pretty boring set-piece fight, so we may not bother switching sides, especially because Young General is no fan of the Goblins.

As far as the new units introduced in this expansion, the Dwarven spear bearers are pretty decent. Being dwarves they will usually get to battle back, making the spear special ability useful. The Axe unit was, in contrast, fairly ordinary. The jury is still out on the bagpipers. Young General made little attempt to use them and they were among the first units taken out so they only got to use their special ability once or twice and it had no effect.

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