The basic system is to assign a certain number to each side, indicating the number of dice to roll, which in turn would indicate the number and type of units that could move that turn. (These number was called the Command Rating.) Unused dice could be saved and used in a future turn. This would allow you much greater freedom in which units could move, and in what part of the board, but there would still be a luck element representing the chaos of the battlefield.
That blog entry had some ideas about making groups of orders and changing the color of the dice, etc. and that was all well and good, but when I started to test it, I pitched it all out as it adding complexity (bookkeeping) while giving little advantage at all.
The second idea I had was to allow the player to either play the dice rolled or use tokens from the pool, but mechanically that failed miserably as I tried to sort out which token was this turn's and which was in the pool.
So, here are the basic rules:
- Roll the number of dice indicated by the Command Rating.
- For every Red banner rolled, take a Red token. Likewise Blue banners are exchanged for blue tokens, Green banners for green tokens, and Lore for purple tokens.
- Place all of your tokens into your Token Pool.
- You may then play up to your Leadership Rating in tokens, using red tokens to order a Red unit, blue tokens to order a Blue unit, a green token for a Green unit, and a purple token for any unit of your choice. (Note that in the Basic Game, your army's Command Rating and Leadership Rating are the same.)
- Now play out the turn just as you would had you played the appropriate card(s) to order the units.
Humans and Elves versus Humans and Dwarves
Nothing like a good battle with Elves and Dwarves at each others' throats, except BattleLore does not really have Elves. Here are my rules for them:
|Swords||Blue||As Blue||As Blue||Long Sword||As weapon|
|Spears||Blue||As Blue||As Blue||Spear||As weapon|
|Bows||Green||As Green||2 if moved, 3 if stood 1||Elven Bow||Hits on Bonus if Ranged; range of 4|
|Riders||Green||As mounted Green||As Green||Javelin||Range 2, does not hit on Bonus|
|Knights||Blue||As mounted Blue||As Blue||Long Sword||As weapon|
1 During the test game I made them 2 dice, whether they moved or not. I decided later that they should be better when standing.
|So, to start off the game, the HD commander rolls 6 dice, representing his Command Rating. The picture below shows the roll: Blue, Green, two Lore, and two Shield.|
|This converts to the four tokens shown below: 1 green, 1 blue, and 2 purple, allowing the HD side to move up to one Green unit, one Blue unit, and two units of any color.|
|I decided to play only a single blue token, and stored away the remainder for a future turn.|
|The HE commander rolls six dice (also with a Command Rating of 6), and gets a much better roll!|
|Finally, the first attack comes in. The Elven archers (on the left) take a shot at the left-most Dwarven unit, but misses. (The Dwarven unit is Blue.)|
|The Dwarves charge up the hill and score the first kill, taking out the Elven Swords. HD 1-0.|
|The second Elvish formation crashes into the Dwarves, and a Dwarven (Blue) Sword unit is defeated. HD tied at 1-1.|
|More Dwarves arrive on the hill to contest the summit and two Elven units go down. HD leading 3-1.|
|With the Riders attacking from the flanks, while the Elven Swords and Spears press from the front, the Dwarven units are starting to wear down.|
|But the Elven Swords are the first to fall! HD leading 4-1.|
|A lucky shot from the Elven Archers take out the Dwarven Blue Swords. HD still leading at 4-2.|
|The Elves drop back into a proper supported formation and pour fire into the Dwarves. The Dwarven Red Swords finally fall and it is 4-3, with the HD still leading.|
|The Dwarves keep throwing troops up the hill and enlist the aid of a Human Green Lancer unit to attack the rear of the Elven formation.|
|The Elven formation starts to crack and the last of the hand-to-hand fighters fall. The HD leads with 5-3.|
|The Elvish Riders flank the Human Green Lancers, but it is too late; an Elvish Archer unit falls while the other retreats down the hill. The HD leads 6-3.|
|The weakened Dwarven Sword unit is shot down by the Elven Archers, after the Elven Knights failed to run down the Dwarven Crossbows. HD still leading at 6-4.|
|Finally moving away from the struggle on the hill, the HE Knights sweep around the hill and crash into the HD Knights, supported by the Green Lancers. Very little in the way of casualties resulted.|
|The HD Knightly counter-charge, however, absolutely wrecks the HE Knightly formation. Not pictured is the HD crossbowmen firing into the flank of the HE Knights, which definitely helped matters along. HD now leads 8-4.|
|Surrounding the small remaining force of Dwarves on the hill with missiles, the Dwarven Crossbows finally go down in a hail of arrows and javelins. HD leads 8-5.|
I needed to stop, as I had a (face-to-face) game to go to and I needed a bit of a stretch, as I had been sitting down all morning. So, here is where the game was left off at.
As shown in the picture above (click to enlarge), the Human/Dwarves are on the right and the Human/Elves on the left. The Elves have largely been wiped out by the Dwarves, but those Dwarves on the hill are slowly falling to the superior missiles of the Elves.
In the center, the HE Knights were crushed by the HD Knights, but the HE forces have mustered swordsmen and archers to back up the remaining Knight while Knightly reinforcements are brought to the left.
The picture above shows a close-up of the Knightly clash in the center. KD forces are on the right. The picture below shows a close-up of the Dwarven-Elven clash on the hill. Only the two units in the center are Dwarven.
So far it has been a very interesting game. Slow to develop, to be sure, but fun nonetheless. I think these rules lose nothing by allowing the player to pick and choose units from here and there all over the field, however there needs to be some incentive to having leaders, and to using orders to apply to groups. I'll explore that next time.