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BattleLore: Goblin Marauders
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A Command & Colors Game (Currently Restocking)
A BattleLore Game
Please note: This version is a re-purposed French edition. This version includes English components but not English rules. English rules are available for download at the Fantasy Flight website.
The Goblin Marauders Specialist Pack for BattleLore features 16 figures -- including a Goblin Band Leader and Drummers, plus Hobgoblin Hyena and Ostrich Riders -- Specialist and Weapon Summary cards, 10 new banners, and two new Adventures.
- 16 figures:
- 1 Goblin Band Leader
- 3 Goblin Drummers
- 6 Hobgoblin Hyena Riders
- 6 Hobgoblin Ostrich Riders
- 10 new banners (5 for each camp)
- A Rules Booklet, including 2 new adventures
- 4 Specialist cards
- 3 Weapon Summary cards
- Unit Summary card
Average Rating: 4.5 in 1 review
Fight, Goblins, fight! I’m tired of the dwarves always pushing us around in BattleLore, the game of choice for me these days. 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. The first Goblin pack, the Goblin Skirmishers, was really a boost to the little green fellows, so a second one was gladly welcomed.
The Goblin Marauders Specialist Pack (Days of Wonder, 2007 – Richard Borg) added cavalry units for the Goblin, giving them an incredible edge in mobility – something that the stalwart dwarves will have a harder time with. A second Goblin band also increases the diversity of the Goblins; I now have multiple options when building an army, and I no longer fear the Dwarves.
Let’s look at what the expansion pack includes (as a side note, I now have managed to put all four specialist packs and the epic expansion in the original box. I had to remove the plastic insert and barely got the lid on – so anything new coming is going to need another box.)
- Two new scenarios are added, Goblin Riders – 1373 and Goblin
Chevauchee - 1373. Both of these are normal scenarios with War
Councils included, but are intriguing in that they allow several 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 goblin army to fight against. Using a
tricked-out goblin army is lethal, to say the least.
- The Goblin Band: There are three goblin drummers and one goblin
bass drum figure included in the set with white bases to make them
easy to pick out on the board. Interestingly, the Goblin Bass Drum is
my favorite model in the game currently – and he’s useful also! A
specialist card allows a player to place a green Goblin Band in
reserve. This unit fights as normal (with no bonus strikes) but is
interesting in two ways: it is bold and also provides half the
support to every friendly unit in the same section. This is incredible
for a couple of reasons. One, it provides half the support a unit
needs to be bold – whether it is goblin or not, as long as it is in
the same section! Secondly, if you get the unit onto a space that
covers two sections, it will affect all units in both sections. This
allows the goblin units to move in groups of two, effectively becoming
killing machines, as they are now fast AND bold. The opponent may want
to hunt down the band unit, although they will hover in the back,
drumming up support for the whole army. What makes this band unit even
better is that a player can now use two goblin bands for support
purposes if they also have purchased the Skirmishers pack. Using two
units – and positioning them in the middle spots of the board – can
provide boldness for the ENTIRE goblin army. Sure, this makes the
drummers huge targets, but it’s terrific at the beginning of a battle!
- Goblin Drummers: The player can instead “embed” a goblin drummer
into three different units, replacing one of the units of that type.
This drummer makes that unit bold, which is an amazing feature for a
Goblin unit, as long as the drummer stays alive (it cannot be the
banner holder, so it’s the second last to die). While this allows a
player to have an easy three bold units on the board (red spearmen
come to mind), I think I like the band unit better, since it has a
higher potential to effect more units.
- Goblin Hyena Riders: Apparently Goblins ride anything that moves,
but these fighters have the chance to pursue two hexes beyond the
vacated hex, rather than one. With a blue banner, that makes these
guys rather lethal, although they are still easily panicked and are
prone to quick destruction. Still, they add a fast punch to the
- Hobgoblin Ostrich Riders: This is the first game I’ve played in
which units are riding ostriches – it certainly makes for a unique
sculpt, but these units go beyond that. They are armed with bows that
only have a range of three hexes; but they always roll two dice,
regardless of whether they moved or not. This is incredibly useful,
as their mobility combined with their firepower allow them to scamper
around the edges of an army, picking off the opponents one by one. I
would be hard pressed NOT to choose them as units in my army, and I
like them much better than the Hyena Riders.
- Components: The figures for all the new units look good; and if
nothing else, give you more goblin figures to wield an almost all
goblin 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. However, a couple of mistakes were made - one in the backs of
the cards (something I didn't even notice); and also a couple of
incorrect banners (they included blue banner ranged units - which is
frankly too powerful). Days of Wonder has promised to replace these
for free; and banners from the original game can cover for them while
waiting. It's certainly an embarrassing error - but easily fixable.
I’m not sure the casual BattleLore player needs to pick up this expansion (although they’re probably not reading this review anyway), but anyone seeking to make the goblins a faster, fiercer force will get sinister delight from this pack. I wish one could take more than two specialist cards, and this expansion has pushed me to make a house rule in which we take three specialist cards. Then I can use the Ostrich Riders, the Hyena Riders, and the drummers for a nasty, nasty army. And shouldn’t the goblins be nasty?
“Real men play board games”