Some people who tried sent me their comment about this game and eventually some pictures. With their authorization I reproduce here some of their experience and add some comment. I hope it will make you want to play !
What a surprise! I didn't immagine that could also be played virtually! Indeed if you want a large battlefield but are afraid of lacking of bricks to build it, why not building it in a LEGO® CAD software? That's what Draketh Valamiir did in Lego Digital Designer who then sent me some picture of his game.
Well... At least the Brick Roll were real (but tat's the only real bricks he used)... Until the CAD software will add a physics simulation of the bricks.
I found your game while searching up LEGO war games, and I decided to play it. I really enjoyed it and will play more! Attached are some pictures of the game I played, and will describe that here:
Even the Character's Sheets were virtual
First of all, I played it on lego digital designer, scince I don't have enough bricks to play it in real life, so insted of droids I have skeletons etc.
Here is the set up: The Jedi must infiltrate the droid hanger, destroying the droids and single human officer, as well as occupying all rooms.
Here is the turn out: the Jedi won! The Jedi and half the troopers survived.
Some changes: I forgot to make sheets for the two turrets, I'll do that next time. Other than that nothing!
I also like the brick roll and the character sheets made of bricks, they add to the fun!
Draketh played this game alone and it last around 2 hours. He precised me that "it was tough to move to move the vehicule on LDD (Lego Digital Designer), but fun to play with". Personnally I think that a part of the pleasure of playing a brick wargame is to play with our minifig, to manipulate them in a cool Lego set. I wonder if Draketh didn't feel some frustration while playing virtually. He answered me yes, but he doesn't have the bricks to play in real life, so virtually was his only option...
Finally I calculated the Cost Point of his two armies (without the vehicules and the turrets) and noticed that the Droids had 275 points against 543 points for the Jedi (which is almost the double). Draketh didn't check it before playing but guess that would have help to even out the teams though... Actually my point is not to advocate every battle to have balanced armies, you can also find the fun with unbalanced armies, but I was just checking if it was logical to see the Jedi win with half of their team still alived.
I finally tested my own game with a friend of mine! Yes, I finally found a friend that was interested into playing with me and my LEGO® bricks. I could really enjoy the game as a player and see if it is fun or not. I was overjoyed by the potential of this game. Now I can definitly say "This is a fun game! You should try it now!".
For this first try I was not afraid to create a large battle field (96 x 144 studs), and use vehicules (a landspeed and a Kuduu) especially because my friend was sceptical about the rules for the vehicules.
Scenario: This scenario takes place in the starwars universe during the clone war. Anakin with R2, ObiWan with R4, Princess Amidala and Jar Jar with some clone troopers aboarded a Separatist spaceship known to contain the blueprint of a fearsome weapon called the Death Star. Darth Sidious and his apprentice Darth Maul are also present in the spaceship to protect the blueprint. They are helped by Jango Fett, a Geonosian sniper and an army of battledroids.
A quite large base
To win, the Republican who landed in the hangar (in the bottom right of the picture) have to make a path through the corridors to reach the control room (in the top left of the picture) then come back to their ship with the blueprint. The characters with a Repair ability (like R2 and R4) can hack the door switch next to each door to open them. Otherwise any character can open or close any door by using the centralized console located in the small room in the bottom left of the picture.
My friend and me really enjoyed this game. There was a lot of suspense and new development! I played the Republican and my careless Anakin was killed very soon in the hangar by some nasty rocket of Jango Fett. Fortunatly the battle droid was almost useless and it was not rare to see Obi Wan destroying three of them in one Round. Jar Jar riding his Kuduu was not very brave and flew away in the corridors.
Finally Obi could gather the blueprint and give it to the Princess Amidala just before being killed by Darth Maul. The princess then run away as fast as possible (4 actions with 5 studs of move ability equals 20 studs per round). But finally Jango Fett retreated and locked himself in the console room and from there he was able to close all the hangar's doors before the Princess could reach it. At that time, my Republican army didn't have any character that could hack the door, so the Separatists succeed to protect their blueprint and won!
To improve this scenario I would certainly give 2 actions to the Battle Droids (which only had one in this game) and probably removed Jango Fett in favor of more Battle Droids, but everything else seemed to work well.
Last Christmass (2009) I planned to let my two nephews discover my game. They have 6 and 8 years old, so they begin to have the good age to play such a game. But since I could not bring all my LEGO® bricks with me, I just brought four green baseplates and a bunch of pin trees. For the armies I planned to use the starwars battle pack that Santa Claus was supposed to bring to them.
Scenario: No scenario planned, just a simple confrontation in the wood to let them discover and learn the basic rules of the game. I hesitated to integrate the vehicules in the game, but they insisted to have them. The two vehicules had exactly the same description sheet, even if one was a landspeeder and the other one a walker. This way there was no risk for an unbalanced game.
The woody battle filed!
The two armies were well balanced, so in such an open field the confrontation often finish in a tie. The imperial team (leaded by my oldest nephew) still won the game even if his attempt to run over some rebels with his walker failed because the rebels could go throuh the legs of the walker.
During the game the players wanted to be able to fire on the trees and destroy them. As a game master I agreed that the small trees could be destroyed by a gun blaster or a vehicule, but I kept the big trees indestrutible to leave some cover on the field.
The game last around 2 hours and a half, and that was the maximum time I could ask them to be focussed. I think they enjoyed it, even if loosing always bring a little frustration. I'm not sure if they will be able to do another game soon (since I created the character sheets for them to speed up the setup of the game), but maybe in few years.
Jean-Yves created a new scenario in the medieval universe and played it with his friend during the summer 2008. This time he built a huge castle that was supposed to be attacked by the crew of two ships.
Scenario: PANIC IN CRUAZ
An impressive castle!
The Duke of Arn is building a new Castle in a place called Cruaz, to secure the trade around the green lake. Alas! He entrusted the guard of the building site to a cowardly captain. No less than the day before yesterday a terrific monster with many tentacles spread panic in Cruaz. Of course the captain flew away with all his men in a big mess. The Duke was furious with the captain and after having catching and pillory the coward, he decided to board with his men in his ship and get back the precious goods stored in Cruaz. Unfortunately the famous northern pirate Fafrd and his men arrive at the same moment to loot the castle in construction. Will the Duke get back his treasure or will Fafrd lighten him from this load?
Jean-Yves: The game last 3 hours for 7 rounds, it was over because the vikings were wiped out. Few treasures were loaded because there was a lot of fight that we greatly enjoyed. But nevertheless it was not the unique goal, we were supposed to load treasures in the boat. Why it doesn't work?
The battlefield with the two ships berthing.
- All the characters were fighters, not very logical if the goal was to load goods.
- The characters were moving too slowly according to the size of the battlefield.
- We were obliged to fight to enter in the Castle.
- The troopers died too quickly.
Roll barrel, roll!
In my opinion, this game was a good example to show that the shape of the battlefield has a lot of impact on the progress of the game. As you can see in the picture above the two armies arrive on the field close to each other and in a open area. Moreover there was only one entry to the castle, which doesn't give the opportunity for one player to take the back door.
This battlefield naturally leads the two armies to a brutal confrontation in the front of the door. Sometimes a brutal confrontation is what you want to play, but if you want to play a more complex scenario, my advice is to pay attention to your scenery and don't forget to add obstacles like river, hills, trees, or fortification walls. In fact, if this situation were real, I'm sure the two armies would also have fight in the plain, and the winner would have leave calmly with the treasure; a sneak robbery is only possible if you have enough place to hide.
Jean-Yves: Next time I will play this scenario, I will modify some rules:
The castle entrance is very crowded.
- Add 4 thiefs per team, they could not fight.
- Increase the move ability to 15 studs/action for the fighters, 30 for the thiefs [...]
- Increase the HP to 2 for troopers.
- Add 2 ways to access the castle.
In my opinion Jean-Yves well understood how to improve his scenario, but the first and the last solutions are the ones I prefer. By adding more ways and more obstacles the characters won't be able to fight directly from the first or the second round, and will spend all their actions to move and reach the castle. Finally most of the confrontation will take place inside the castle. Then, it depends where are located the treasures. If all the chests are in a big treasure room, there's a big chance that all the characters will die in this room, but if the treasures are spread in several room, the game would have likely a dodge and hide gameplay.
Anyway, I'm glad to see that Jean-Yves and his friend enjoyed the battle, and I'm sure next time he will play this scenario it will be even better!
Lomerandin played a quick improvised game of with two other friends during march 2007. So there was 3 different teams with very few minifigs in each army and a little scenario. In fact this game looked more like a roleplay game than a wargame.
Lomerandin: I know the wargame world because I played Warhammer for a while but oddly I never thought of using LEGO bricks. How wrong I was! Yesterday then I tried BOW with two friends (very quickly). I didn't need to read the rules again to explain to them: I reminded everything at the first read, that means the rules are simple and clear! They immediately understood the principle (who reminded them good memories of roleplay games, but that's another story).
I'm very happy to read that comment because I wanted to make some rules easy to remember. One of my goal was to make a game that can be played by the children and also with which you don't need to refer to the rulesbook during the game. In fact I want this game to be closer to a boardgame than a wargame. This kind of comment tends to make me think that I reached my goal.
Scenario: The money race. 3 players.
Battlefield: a rectangular area (made of 2 baseplates) with a ruined tower on one side and the edge of a forest on the other side. The player A puts 3 minifigs and a chest with 4 coins in the tower. The players B and C have 2 minifigs each hidden by the trees, each player in a corner of the battlefield.
The goal: the players B and C must steal as many coins as possible and bring them back to their starting point. The player A must keep as many coins as possible in his chest.
Special rules: Open the chest and take one coin count as only one action. Each minifig can only take one coin but only if he can carry it (in his hand or in his bag). When a minifig bring a coin at the starting point he leaves the game (he flees with the money without waiting to hear more).
Winner: the player who has the more coins.
I notice that Lomerandin succeed to add some new rules for his scenario in the spirit of . For example opening and taking a coin is just a simple action that doesn't need any BR. And the fact that a minifig must be able to really carry the coin to steal it is also in the spirit of the rules. Of course I'm glad to see such adaptations of the original rules.
It was interresting to see that for each problems with the rules, the players were fair. When I invented new rules from scratch (I was the only one that read the rules) the players were not surprised, that means the rules are fair and balanced.
The use of the BR concerned me a bit. We made a lot of 0 and 1, even with 5 bricks (maximum score of the game: 3!). It's quite frustrating, especially when the minifigs have only one HP. We also had a lot of difficulties to hit the opponents because most of them were over protected, and the Dodge/Armor values were simply huge. And even if a BR is random it helps to have 5BR of defense against 2BR of attack... Anyway this last point is normal and balanced the unique HP of our characters.
I read on lugnet that someone computed that the probability for a brick to stop on its edge is 27%. That means that the average result for a 1, 2 or 3BR is 0, whereas the average result for a 4, 5, 6 or 7BR is 1. In this condition it's normal that it was really difficult to hit the target if your attack value was 2 and your defense value was 5. Maybe more balanced values and more HP (since the minifigs were kind of heroes because unique, not troopers) would have been less frustrating.
Anyway, everything went in a good mood and I planned to offer them a game with pirates, cannibals and troopers. To be continued...
Jean-Yves played two times with his daughter during the winter hollidays 2006. They played in the heroic fantasy universe on 4 baseplates representing the countryside with around twenty minifigs.
Jean-Yves: I just played my first mini-game of BOW in the medieval universe. I say "mini" because I played with around twenty characters and with my 8 years old daughter as opponent (as a lot of children of her age, she likes the heroic fantasy). We had a lot of fun but I only used the simpler rules (no vehicles, no horses neither magic). I never played a wargame with LEGO bricks before but this is really a cool thing, and moreover it develops your agility because moving the minifigs without breaking the scenery and fix the 1x1 plates is not always easy!!!! I should play some other BOW games to refine my impressions. Anyway thanks for these rules that can be played directly and also that can be easily adapted/completed.
The battlefield, a lot more simple than what I planed at the beginning.
I'm glad to see that this game can be played by a 8 years old child because this was one of my goal when I created this game. As is a game made of LEGO bricks I wanted it to be accessible for children and also enough versatile to be adapted by the adults who want more complex rules.BOW: Did you or your daughter find the rules too complex or too simple?
|My character sheets of the second game. They are symetrical and maybe I exagerated a bit on the HP.|