Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why don’t you just use BattleLore?

If you’ve been following my Twitter and Facebook feeds, you will have seen posts about my developing a fantasy adaptation of Commands & Colors. Those familiar with Commands & Colors might say “Why don’t you just use BattleLore?”

Well, it’s simple. I don’t own BattleLore.

OK, there’s more to it than that.

Commands & Colors: Epic Ancients Zama scenario on a mat using 4" hexes and cardboard standees for units.
This was at the second Jay's July Jamboree, my annual gaming weekend.

This project’s genesis lies in my annual gaming weekend. I’ve always wanted a large game that would serve as the centerpiece of the weekend. All the better if the attendees could have a stake in the game and bring their own figures, as well. Most of the folks that come to my get-together have fantasy figures in 28mm, so a big fantasy game was a natural avenue to take.

I’ve run Commands & Colors: Ancients at my gaming weekend in its original two-player and Epic eight-player versions, so there is some basic familiarity with the rules among the attendees. Not to mention, the rules are relatively straightforward. I have had success in teaching them to non-gamers, novices and grognards alike.

A close up of the standees from Zama. The colored dot labels help identify the unit types.

The Epic version, in particular, is well-suited as it allows for up to eight players. Perfect for my needs. It utilizes a different activation deck than the original version, taking into account the capacity for more players and larger forces in a game.

BattleLore, as far as I know, does not have an Epic version. This automatically disqualifies it from consideration. It also does some different things such as the Lore deck and the dice work a little differently, too. I figured it’s easier to develop force lists for various fantasy races and factions than rework the Commands & Colors: Epic Ancients deck to include aspects of BattleLore.

As for the various factions, the collections of my friends include Skaven, Undead, Samurai, Hairy Naked Barbarians, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Goblins. This is well and above what BattleLore offers. That being said, certain aspects of the BattleLore forces are going to be mined for ideas in how to handle large monstrous creatures, for example. Oh, and magic. Gotta have magic.

Some of my Skaven. I need to get painting.

So, hopefully this has helped spell out why I’m not just using BattleLore. I have thoughts on various other aspects of this project that I’ll be putting to words in the future. Stay tuned.


  1. If you have a concept in mind I say go with it. Not having Battle Lore is as good a reason as any for not using it. My idea was to use To The Strongest. I have had the rules for over a year (maybe two) but haven't played it yet. I believe there was talk of a fantasy version but I haven't kept up with development.

  2. Looking forward to seeing how you do this.

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