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A Command & Colors Game (Currently Restocking)
A BattleLore Game
This BattleLore expansion gives you the opportunity to conduct battles on a grand scale, by combining the back side of two game boards to form a single, unified, giant battlefield.
This supplement also gives you a chance to adventure in the company of friends (up to 3 to a side), making it the format of choice to introduce new players to the game.
Players: 2 - 6
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 728 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item.
- additional battlelore board map
- punchboard with new Alliance tokens
- player turns' markers
- lore tokens and epic battlelore rules booklet
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
BattleLore is a great game – one of the best I’ve ever played, and the Call to Arms expansion is simple yet adds a lot of variety to the game, making it essential in my opinion. I was really looking forward to the Epic expansion (Days of Wonder, 2007 – Richard Borg), since the Overlord scenarios in Memoir '44 (same designer – same basic system) are my absolute favorite of that game. The designer warned me that BattleLore would be different; and I could tell that, since the flip side of the original board was half of a huge, deeper board rather than the long board of the Overlord scenarios.
The Epic expansion simply adds another board (you can get this by buying another copy of the basic game, but that seems awfully expensive), some tokens (more lore tokens, alliance tokens, and turn order tokens), and a very well written rule set. The rules are mostly available online, for those who buy two copies of the game and, therefore, don’t need the expansion.
While the Overlord rules are the best, most fulfilling way to play Memoir ’44, the multiple player rules in Epic BattleLore aren’t nearly as interesting. In fact, I feel that Epic is a very good expansion; not because of how it handles multiple players, but because it creates an exciting huge game for two players!
There are two ways to play with multiple players. For six players (or less), each player takes one section of the board and controls the units in that section. The player in the middle (Lord Commander) is the player who decides which cards are played, but each player is in charge of their own units. This is an okay way to play, although the “Field Marshals” (folks on the side sections) may not get the full experience of the game.
The four-player game is known as “Reluctant Allies” variant. This is an interesting version that utilizes two of the scenarios in the book and also requires two whole copies of the game. Half of the forces in each army are marked with the alliance banners. Two players take each army – one controlling the units with alliance banner tokens, the other the forces without. The player with the most green banners takes Turn Marker # 1, then the next player takes Turn Marker # 2, etc. Each player has their own War Council and controls their own cards – both command and lore. On a player’s turn, they may only order their own units but may also move their allies units by assigning two orders per unit moved. The game plays as normal, following the normal Epic rules, with the first team to get the prescribed number of banners being the winner and the player on that team with the most banners being the overall winner. I find this variant okay, although I don’t like that you need two copies of the game, but would rather play with six or two players.
When playing an Epic scenario, a few changes are made. Obviously the board is much bigger and there are some fairly huge armies involved. However, there is also an extra “Epic Command” rack placed on the table, which has three command cards that both players can see placed in it. On a player’s turn, they have two options.
- They can play a single tactic card, either from their own rack or from the Epic Command rack. After the end of their turn, this card is replaced.
- They can play one or two section cards; but if they play two, one must come from the epic Command rack. The two section cards can be the same section or two different ones; it doesn’t really matter. Both cards played are then replaced.
There is no doubt in my mind that having a high level Commander is almost critical in an Epic game. Many tactic cards allow a player to move forces equal to command; and since there are so many units on the board, the ability to move five or six of them can be a devastating-blow. The Leadership card from the original game, which allowed a player to move one unit at +1, has been upgraded in an Epic game to allow a player to move extra units equal to their Commander’s level. Anyone who takes a level one or no Commander at all in an Epic game is simply asking for trouble.
More lore tokens are included, because with all the forces running around the board and fighting, there is a lot more lore being given out. Since archers tend to fire quite a bit more (due to the large board), lore is not given for their rolls. Interestingly enough, I think the value of archers has really increased with this expansion.
Seven expansions are included in the rules, five or which follow normal Epic rules – the other two the Reluctant Allies variant. The scenarios are really nothing special, although they do show some huge armies and cause a player to either get seven banners and at least two more than their opponent – to win, or be the first to gain nine banners.
Epic can be mixed with the Call to Arms expansion, which is modified slightly to allow players to put more forces on the board. This is fine by me – I only wish that the players could use more than two specialist cards, although we’ll probably just make a house rule to that end.
My overall opinions of Epic are positive, although it’s not as necessary as Call to Arms; and players who like smaller battles may never need to purchase it. I personally love the huge two-player battles, although they do take a bit longer to play and set up (the entire process just tops two hours now). New players can be taught Epic with very little problem, and the bigger board seems to give players a little more room to maneuver – something nice for the goblins. BattleLore has now reached top status in my game collection and offers so many variations that I’ll never play the same game twice. Utilizing both expansions (and the specialist packs), BattleLore has now officially replaced any desire that I’ll ever have to play a miniature game.
“Real men play board games”