|Battlelore | Published 04 August 2009|
BattleLore: Heroes presents a new type of item that heroes alone can equip and use on the battlefield. These artifacts can support or augment a hero’s abilities and skills in a variety of ways. Today, we will explore the various types of artifacts and take a look at a sample of each type.
The first type of artifact is Armor Enhancement. This type of artifact, when equipped, increases the defensive capability of a hero against a particular type of attack. Some examples are “Sapphire Armor,” “Warding Bracers,” and one of my favorites, the “Orb of Deflection.”
Since this card allows a hero’s troop to ignore one helmet hit from a ranged attack, this can really cut down on the annoyance of arrow volleys. This is especially useful if the troop attacking you is on the run. It is doubly good if the ranged weapon cannot hit on Sword on Shield results.
The second type of artifact is Equipment. These artifacts represent generic items that don’t fall into any specific category. Examples of this type of equipment include “Mount-War,” “Beaker Box,” and “Backpack.”
The “Backpack” gives a hero that is rich in artifacts tremendous flexibility when he is on the field. Since you are limited in the amount of artifacts that you can equip at the start of the adventure, anything that doesn’t count toward this limit is a great tool. The “Backpack” itself allows the hero to trade in the backpack to equip a currently unequipped artifact in its place.
Enchanted Item is the third type of artifact. This category contains items imbued with magical powers that can give a hero additional bonuses when moving, additional dice when attacking, additional defensive powers, and more. Examples of Enchanted Items include the “Maelstrom Cloak,” the “Snaring Rope,” the “Rabbit’s Foot,” and a personal favorite, the “Lore Stone.”
As you can see, the function of the “Lore Stone” is simple. All Lore hits scored against your hero are ignored. This can really be a fantastic item when waging wars against Lore-based enemies. Remember that this does not ignore Lore results so a hero utilizing his Lore to say, destroy your artifact, can still do that.
Fourth on the list are Potions. Potions are unique in that they are normally discarded after use so it will sometimes take patience in order to use them properly. Some potions available to the heroes are “Philter of Fear,” “Goblet of Blood,” “Tonic of Trap Detection,” and the always useful “Wine of Warping.”
Although similar to the Rogue’s skill, a non-Rogue hero can make tremendous use of this potion at the appropriate time. First, the +1 movement can always be used to maneuver for a killing blow. The fact that you can move through friendly AND enemy troops is fantastic and this is what separates this from the Rogue’s skill.
Weapon Enhancement is the fifth type of artifact. For the most part, weapon enhancements are used to boost an attack by adding battle dice. However, the type of attack the weapon can be used in is dependent on the type of enhancement. Some weapon enhancements include “Mace of Fright,” “Lore Blade,” “Sword of Command,” and one of my favorites, “Emerald Charm.”
So the purpose of this enhancement is quite simple. It powers up a green unit so it attacks like a red unit does. Taking this enhancement does a couple of things for you. First the additional movement provided by the green unit is great to have when you are trying to get into position to make a devastating attack. Another thing it does is that it forces your opponent to rethink decisions when outfitting his own hero since he can’t rely on you traveling with a red unit because of its military might.
Only two types of artifacts remain. Since they are not truly artifacts, we will cover both types at one time. The first is a Service and the second is an Instant.
Instants are like potions except they must be immediately returned to the deck. “Experience” and “Treasure” are the two types of instants.
The service, called “Master Physician,” allows you to heal your hero for a cost. This is important though since taking wounds decreases the amount of time that you can use your player during the course of a single career.
Hope you enjoyed getting a peek at the artifacts as well as the different classes of heroes and I look forward to seeing any of you that will be attending GenCon!
FFG BattleLore Developer
I agree with much of the earlier comments, but remember one beauty of Battlelore is you can tailor the complexity to your liking. Clearly you wouldn't introduce Heros to a newbie after their first game or two. Rather you would work up to it, or play it with other experienced players. I don't see the complexity issue as a real problem. The players will have the heroes cards close at hand with the applicables rules printed right there. Artifacts not in play will not confuse the matter.
I'm looking forward to adding this expansion and holding my breath for the race expansions such as Torks!
I have mixed feelings about what we're seeing so far.
On the one hand, I like the way that different leaders are distinct from each other.
OTOH, I worry that this is going to be a lot of complexity without adding much actual depth to the game play. For example, I've played battles where virtually all the action was in a single part of the board. If you've spent all kind of effort to get your hero+skills+artifacts worked out, and then you never get to activate them...what a bust that would be!
There's already quite a few "moving parts" in BL. I never even try to teach people the whole game in a single evening. Adding a bunch of new stuff is going to make the learning curve even more difficult.
I guess I'll know more when I get my copy in my hands. There's no chance I'd skip buying this.
Still, I'm most excited about new races. I hope we get to see elves soon, and undead always make a great foil.
Just what we're looking for. good ion of types and effects. Yes definitely reminds me of Warhammer, but I like Warhammer too. A campagn system is just a natyral progression I feel, something that could be very very meaty in respect to the type of world and future races.
Would not like to see a continual stream of new card/artifact types appearing each month though. Keep a good balanced ion of limited numbers, otherwise we might think your milking a cash cow!
Keep up the artwork too! All good stuff this.
This is great stuff. I see battlelore getting really complex soon. I hope it doesn't get too complicated.
Hmm, so wounds that carry over from one battle to another, seems like some campaign rules would be involved as well!
I like these more than the new hero cards themselves. Looks like a great way to deepen the game play and really customize your heroes. The game is starting to remind me now of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, which I used to play quite a bit back in the day...