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Battlelore (Second Edition); Luck Mitigation on the Field of Battle

Battlelore (Second Edition) is a game that screams my name every time I see it. Both the original and then the reprinted second edition have always appealed to me and I've played both multiple times hoping to feel the magic.

But I don't.

Battlelore has a strong fantasy theme, amazing minis, condenses the frustration of miniature gaming into a simple and accessible rule set, while also giving you the army building fun of miniature gaming....and yet when I play it I feel nothing.

To be more accurate, it feels tedious. I feel like Battlelore, despite all the things I want to love about it, falls into the Commands and Colors system and all the things I dislike about it. For those that don't know, the C&C system effectively boils down to drawing cards that choose in which of three lanes your troops activate. From there, after tactical maneuvering and abilities are taken into account, you roll dice to attack. And it's why I hate the system. I understand luck mitigation, I do. I also am not going to say that there isn't real skill in Battlelore. But skill or not, I feel like when I play Battlelore, I'm not so much the commander of an epic army and going to destroy my opponents...but rather I'm the commander of an army that barely follows what I do, and I basically have to mange their poor decisions rather than making decisions for them.

Is it more realistic? Sure it is. Does it reflect the genuine chaos of battle and attempting to marshal your forces? Sure it does. Do I play board games for the accurate depiction of reality? Not a chance. I play board games for fun, and this isn't fun. When I play Food Chain Magnate it would be more accurate if 9 times out of 10 my restaurant shut down. But thankfully those odds weren't built into the game design. I don't want to mitigate my luck when playing a game. I want to make epic decisions that drive the gameplay. Battlelore won't let me do that. Zombicide does. Rum and Bones does. Blood Rage does. A dozen other games do. 

So despite wanting to love Battlelore....I'll play those other games.


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