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BattleLore: Dwarven Battalion
Your Price: $24.95
(Worth 2,495 Funagain Points!)
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A Command & Colors Game (Currently Restocking)
A BattleLore Game
The Dwarven Battalion includes 4 Iron Dwarf Bagpipers, whose music will sow fear in their enemies' ranks; 8 Dwarf Spear Bearers and 8 deadly Axe Swingers.
- 20 New BattleLore Figures:
- 4 Iron Dwarf Bagpipers
- 8 Iron Dwarf Spear Bearers
- 8 Iron Dwarf Axe Swingers
- 14 New banners
- Rules Booklet with 2 new adventures
- 3 new Specialist cards
- 3 new Weapon Summary cards
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
BattleLore is the game of choice for me these days, I’m constantly seeking for ways to pull it out and play it, and it stays fresh and enjoyable for me each time. I like the diversity of the War Council, and how there are multiple strategies that can be employed using the same scenario. Dwarves and Goblins are two races that are employed as “mercenaries” in the basic game, and I loved the models and the special rules they had. But really, it was very basic, with Dwarves essentially being always bold units and Goblins being often frightened and quick to rush into battle. I was therefore eager to check out the Specialist packs that were upcoming. And finally, the first two are here!
The Dwarven Battalion Specialist Pack (Days of Wonder, 2007 – Richard Borg) is interesting, because the Dwarves now have some color as well as possibly the most interesting unit in the game. The models are very nice (the spear bearers are particularly good, as they look like they are holding a huge pointed log; and anyone using the dwarves can now wield some lethal force.
Let’s look at what the expansion pack includes (and by the way – putting both of the specialist packs, Call to Arms, and Epic in the same box now has my box bursting at the seams. You’ll need an extra box to get anything else in.)
- Two new scenarios are added, The Axe and Spear and Iron Dwarf
Ambush. Both of these are normal scenarios with War Councils included
but are intriguing in that they allow all of the new units to be used.
Normally a player, using the Call to Arms expansion, can only have two
specialist cards, which means that not everything new can be used; but
these scenarios give a balanced force for a fully fledged mostly dwarf
army to fight against. Using a tricked-out dwarf army is intimidating,
and the other side really needs to watch carefully when fighting this
- Iron Dwarves Bagpipers: A player can use a specialist card to
replace one unit with a dwarven bagpiper unit of the same color. This
unit has a range of three and has the odd capability of not being able
to hit the enemy. Instead, all banner and bonus hits are treated as a
flag, as well as flags themselves. Thus, this band has the unique
capability of focusing their music on a specific unit – hopefully
causing that unit to retreat. This is deadly against goblin units,
even if they are bold, and also can be devastating when utilized
against a opposing creature that is in front of his own troops. Still,
this is possibly one of the more subtle units the game has introduced
thus far, and beginning players will most likely under-utilize it
(I’ve seen this happen). It can be very effective, though, and can
break enemy lines and maybe get rid of the pesky Goblin Band!
- Axe Swingers: With one specialist card, a player can replace one
or two blue banner dwarf units with axe units. This basically changes
their weapons to axes, which allows them one extra die if they roll a
bonus strike. This is similar to the Hill Giant, although not as good
and possibly not as good as simply giving them an extra die to begin
with? I’m not sure that I would pick them over simply upgrading two
human units to dwarven units; but the models are neat, and they do add
some variety to the game. They are probably best when used in the
scenarios included with the pack.
- Spear Bearers: One specialist card allows a player to replace two
blue banner units with two blue banner dwarf spear bearers. While
I don’t understand why these units don’t get a bonus against cavalry,
they do get an extra die when battling back, which makes them quite
useful, since as dwarves they are bold. Notice that the goblin spear
bearers are red and can advance, making them seem better; but I’ve
seen the dwarves hold their own – red spear bearers for the dwarves
would be too powerful, probably.
- Components: The figures for all the new units look good, and if
nothing else – give you more dwarf figures to wield an almost all
dwarf army, if that interests you. The cards are nice, and banners
and flags are included to allow a player to use the units in either army.
I’m not sure the casual BattleLore player needs to pick up this expansion, although they’re probably not reading this review anyway; but if you want the dwarves to be more than just “bold humans”, this is a step in the right direction. I don’t like it as much as the goblin specialist pack, as it doesn’t upgrade the dwarves as much; but the bagpiper units are a cool addition, and dwarf spearmen are simply formidable. I’m still a goblin fan; but when I see the bagpipers, I’m now certainly worried.
“Real men play board games”