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Has anyone played Battlemasters?

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Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Ethica » Tuesday June 26th, 2012 5:41pm

I mean, I'm sure many of you have.

I bought a set so I could use some of the figures for HQ. But my gf saw the box and suggested we play it.

Is it worth bothering to learn the rules for?


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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby drathe » Tuesday June 26th, 2012 8:06pm

Finding the space to play is a huge problem and setup is a bitch. It's not the most balanced game. The Chaos player rarely wins.

The rules however, are extremely simple. Combat is nearly the same as HQ, but no black shields. Both sides defend with white shields. Movement is based entirely on the luck of the deck. Flip a card, it will show a picture of the unit(s) that may perform their actions. Actions are move and attack, or attack and then move. Some cards allow the unit pictured a bonus attack, or extra movement. Last player standing wins. Their left over units become Elite and may attack and defend with an extra die in the next battle.

Ogre actions are different. When the Ogre is shown, there is a separate deck for the Ogre of up to six cards. 3 attack, 3 move. On the Ogre's turn, shuffle and flip up each card, that's the order of the Ogre's actions. For each BP the Ogre loses during battle, one less card is flipped on its turn.

Cannon attack is different. There are special tiles for it. The cannon has a range of up to 8 spaces away. Place the target on the target unit. Shuffle the cannon tiles and place them from the cannon itself all the way to the target. Start with the cannon and flip. A ball in flight, continue flipping. A cannon ball bounce reduces a unit's BP by 1, continue flipping. An explosion means a unit is destroyed (if under the tile) and you must stop flipping tiles. The ball may not make it to the target.

It's not the best game. But since the rules are extremely simple, I say try it a couple times then use the figs for HQ.

I do like playing mine every now and again with my HQ group to reenact ground battles between the Empire and Chaos. As it's tedious to set up and requires too much space, it remains neglected most of the time.
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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Sjeng » Wednesday June 27th, 2012 4:59am

Lurchbrick made a pc version of it, didn't he? You can always try a game, without needing the room or time to set the game up, and see if you like it.

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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby gravaillon » Wednesday June 27th, 2012 12:14pm

Before playing heroquest, I played battle masters two days per week... When I was 14... Such a good time... Nostalgic thoughts.

Well, the game is very simple and very fun... There are a lot of miniatures so the game very good looking (like HQ). It is very immersive... In fact I prefer battle masters to warhammer and other wargames wich have many many pages of rules and are not so fun to play...

If I replay today to battle masters, perhaps I will find it boring, but I don't think so... Try it, it is really a great and simple game... And also a great extension to HQ, like drathe said (you can make battles after quests, use miniatures for HQ...etc)
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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Ethica » Wednesday June 27th, 2012 2:25pm

It's a whole new raft of figures to paint though :(

Think I will play the pc version and see if it's worth setting up.


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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Baylor_OgreBane » Wednesday July 4th, 2012 9:18am

i think i still have my game even though most of the figs did get conscripted into Warhammer army's and even HQ. I used to play it a lot when i was a kid with my cousin and we would use it as a prelude or part of a story to our HQ games, emerging out of the danger of the dungeons and into the fray of battle. It made sense back then to us, as HQ didn't have mass battle rules and Warhammer was a bit more complex back then so it was a happy medium.... i wounder if i still have mini's that i can poach from there!


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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Daedalus » Wednesday July 4th, 2012 5:58pm

Back in the day when my game group tried Battle Masters, our feeling was great deal for figures and a tower, but meh on gameplay (played it twice). We were playing Battlesystem back then, and liked the options better.

Boardgamegeek.com has some variants posted that improve Battle Masters stratagy a bit. You might want to give them a glance.

Battlelore is basically a fantasy-flavored Memior 44 mass combat boardgame that is way more fun while remaining simple. Unfortunately, it is out of print and expensive. The figures are also of a smaller scale (15 mm?). The rules may still be available for free download.

Baylor Ogrebane's comment of Battle Masters being a better choice than the complex rules of Warhammer still makes a lot of sense today. One of the writers for Warhammer, Allessio Calvatore, also wrote up the rules for Kings of War from Mantic Games (they are available for free download). Think Warhammer stripped down for ease and speed of play. The rules book is only 23 pages with another 25 pages listing the 7 armies. Compare it to Warhammer 8th edition that has a rules book containing 200 pages, which doesn't even include special abilities for the armies (you gotta but the army books or download an extra pdf for those -edit). I'd like to give it a try, but my current game group has invested heavily into Warhammer and won't part with the game. :(
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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Sjeng » Thursday July 5th, 2012 5:09am

So why don't you download the KoW rules and play with warhammer figures? Mantic has undead armies, dwarven armies, elven armies, orcs, and so does warhammer. Just use different rules and try it.

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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby Daedalus » Saturday July 7th, 2012 1:13am

At this point, the other players have shown no interest in playing anything but their Warhammer rules. Too bad for me. I did read the 7th edition rules when I bought Skull Pass, but they have moved on with the Games Workshop new-release-business model. Another little detail is that I still haven't painted up my dwarf army. I'm beginning to think I'm more of a prepainted Heroscape guy these (busier) days.
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Re: Has anyone played Battlemasters?

Postby jkwhite » Wednesday September 12th, 2012 8:19pm

I loved playing battle masters with my friend and I still find pieces to the game scattered around my parents house. It would be cool to play it again with my kids, just because the board is so huge.
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