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Author Topic: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review  (Read 3952 times)

Offline Anatoli

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2817
Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« on: August 30, 2014, 12:06:46 PM »
The "jack of all trades" game Brink of Battle that allowed players to build all kinds of historical skirmish warbands from sword and sandals era to modern warfare expands with an epic fantasy expansion allowing players to field warbands from high fantasy to modern horror settings, use magic and delve deep into the 270+ new traits that the book provides in order to cover pretty much every possible thing fantasy related. Bear in mind that you need the core rulebook in order to use the Epic Heroes content!

Check out the review over at my blog where I describe the key aspects of the expansion, such as the added Power Level to the already existing Period level, over at my blog:
http://anatolisgameroom.blogspot.se/2014/08/brink-of-battle-epic-heroes-fantasy.html



Offline Elbows

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8680
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2014, 09:37:13 PM »
I'll have to look into this.  While assembling a mass army of miniatures for dungeon crawling, it only makes sense for me to look into fantasy skirmish options too.  I've never played BoB but it sounds interesting, and as much as I love tinkering with stuff, the "build your own" aspect would probably appeal to me.




2021 Painted Miniatures: 118
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Offline Faust23

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  • Posts: 1623
  • Father of Sorrows
    • Strategic Elite: Skirmish Wargames for the Discerning Strategist
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2014, 04:55:38 AM »
I'll have to look into this.  While assembling a mass army of miniatures for dungeon crawling, it only makes sense for me to look into fantasy skirmish options too.  I've never played BoB but it sounds interesting, and as much as I love tinkering with stuff, the "build your own" aspect would probably appeal to me.



You can get the pdf bundle here http://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=4496&term=strate
Author of the Origins Award 2013 Nominated Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages; Epic Heroes: Skirmish Gaming in the Realms of Fantasy; and Scrappers: Post-Apocalyptic Skirmish Wargames published by Osprey Games

Offline eilif

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  • Posts: 1907
    • Chicago Skirmish Wargames
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 03:08:51 AM »
Very interesting.  Can you comment on the complexity level and speed of play as compared to common fantasy skirmish games like Song of Blades or Mordheim?

It sounds like a neat product that's quite thorough and well developed and certainly looks very sharp, but I'll be honest , the price is daunting.  $33 for a PDF just isn't going to happen, Even more so when you also have to buy a core rulebook first, though the bundle does save some $. 

I feel like a chance was missed here  Perhaps a printed fantasy version that included core rules would have been a better idea? 
Chicago Skirmish Wargames:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/chicagoskirmish/
Chicago Skirmish Wargmes, Club Blog:
http://chicagoskirmish.blogspot.com/

Offline Elbows

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8680
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 03:36:33 AM »
I agree, the price put me off a good bit...so I'd like to see more of this, or read some unbiased reviews before I consider plunking down any cash. 

Offline Faust23

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1623
  • Father of Sorrows
    • Strategic Elite: Skirmish Wargames for the Discerning Strategist
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 05:51:25 AM »
For those of you who are wondering if the game is any good, I've listed some unsolicited and unbiased reviews the core Brink of Battle rulebook has received since its release in 2012. Not to mention it was nominated for an Origins Award in the Best Historical Rules category.  We lost out to Fire Forge, Battlefront, and Osprey.....and we're proud to have had such high quality competitors. 

Here's the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy review of the BoB main rules. Plus additional reviews from both Wargame Vault and local brick and mortar store customers. At the end I've linked Anatoli's Game Room's review of Epic Heroes. You can also find his review of the main rules on his blog to substantiate the reviews below.

And as for price, well you can replace every 20 models or less skirmish game on the market with these two books. Imagine the amount of money that can save.   ;)

Here's our reviews:

http://www.brinkofbattle.com/downloads/WSS_BoB_Review.pdf


Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Jason A. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 12/06/2013 12:58:35 

Brink of Battle is an enjoyable, carefully executed, and engaging historical miniature wargame that focuses on individual skirmishers rather than large-scale conflict. Every roll made in this game is an opposed roll between players using D10's, to which an attribute is added. While this roll type leaves a lot to chance, it keeps engagements from being dominated by min-maxers or those looking to exploit rules loopholes (of which I've found none!).

Brink of Battle feels very much like the spiritual successor to Mordheim, except that it offers considerably more depth and flexibility. If there's a downside to this game, it's that the book layout and conversational style makes it somewhat difficult to reference the rules during play. I own the physical book, but I purchased the PDF as well as the searchable text can save you a good five minutes of rules hunting.

 Overall, I would say that this is the most engaging miniatures game I have played, and it certainly is the most thoughtfully designed. At $30.00, this game is a steal.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]

Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Frank F. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 03/15/2013 16:06:04 

 BoB is a well written and well designed rules set. I had a bit of a problem initially in designing troops but after a more thorough read thru my problems were cleared up. The rules are logically constructed and best of all, IMO, use only one type of die (d10).
 If you are looking for a game that concentrates on the individual warrior, then this is it. I highly recommend BofB.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]
 
Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Damien O. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 02/22/2013 22:21:23 

 One set of rules allowing you to play every period? We'll see about that. A quick game of Ancients (handled that pretty well), how about some WWII, Germans vs. US (really like what I am seeing), some VC vs. Marines, city fighting during the Tet Offensive/Battle of Hue (heart rate has increased), insurgents vs. Marines at Fallujah (SOLD!!).

 This set of rules truly delivers on its claims, it is the only rule set you will ever need to play any period you want. I highly recommend it to anyone that does not game only one period and likes to transition between many. I love this game.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]
   
Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 09/14/2012 17:16:56 
 
 I have been looking for a skirmish set of rules for different periods for some time. I found everything I wanted and more in Brink of Battle.Clear, straight forward, readable and I can hardly wait to fight my first scenario.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]

Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 07/29/2012 11:32:40 

 BoB produces a fast, simple and satisfying game. The most time consuming aspect of the rules is generating the troops (which can be difficult for people unfamiliar with the rules, since the will not appreciate which traits are the most effective for the sort of trooper they are trying to create - there is, after all, a large number of traits!). My players enjoyed the fact that they were engaged at all times - in fact downtime whilst your opponent has his/her go is impossible).
 The rules are generally clear, although l found the index somewhat quirky. Some things were not listed, or, when listed, not under what I expected. With this minor caveat (which becomes irrelevant once you know the rules), I would recommend these rules to anyone.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]

Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by JJ P. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 06/26/2012 21:37:51 

This rule set does exactly what it sets out to do - historical skirmish gaming-and does so exceptionally well.

 I have been playing wargames since the '60s. I've seen other attempts to capture the ability to skirmish through the ages with a "one size fits all approach" and none of them succeeded. I think this one does for a number of reasons:
 1. The author lays out his rationale for the approach he used and explains it well
 2. He makes some simplifying assumptions that are logical but necessary for his approach
 3. He provides an innovative approach for tailoring your forces

 End result- it works, but more importantly, it is a fun game. What's more, as a solo gamer, it plays well with standard solo gaming approaches. I've found no "show stoppers" in the rules.

 I've played a few scenarios, and enjoy the game play itself, but also am enjoying tinkering with the different possibilities for adjusting my opposing forces based on the traits and skills available.

 So whether you are looking for a "one-off" change of pace for your gaming group, or you want to try some "what if?" options for creating your own scenarios, or you want to actually game a smaller action from a larger game that would have been resolved "off table" with a coin toss or dice roll i the past, or like me, want to use it as a good gaming system that covers the ancient to modern (and now fantasy) where you don't need to learn or remember a new set of game mechanics for other periods, this is a great game.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]
   
Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 06/12/2012 16:08:41 

 I love this game! I'm fairly new to wargaming, and this has been a great way to start! I love that I can use any miniatures I like. I love that I can go to any period of history with one set of rules. I recently built teams using Roman legionaries vs. Celtic warriors defending a village, and a WWII team storming a beach. The traits change a bit, but the play is the same. I also love that I don't have to wait for my opponent to play his entire force to get in any action. It's still turned based, but one figure at a time. It's great! The PDF version is awesome because when I'm building a force i can use the search to look up traits, point costs, or anything I like. It's all right here at my fingertips. Just look up information, type up my choices, and print my team to take to the game. The games can be as small or as large as you like. You wont be disappointed in these rules.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]

Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Alexander K. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 06/03/2012 14:25:52 
 
 A set of rules allowing you to play pretty much any historical period imaginable while keeping the feel of each of the 3 periods (ancient/early modern/modern) which play differently in terms of pace and tactics. You can now buy a couple of miniatures from a range that you might be interested with a clear conscience and without feeling that you are either wasting money on models that you will never be able to play with because you have too few miniatures - or feel that you need to buy a new set of rules for each time periods. Samurai, French Indian War, War of the Roses, Napoleonicís, Modern Warfare etc can all played with this set of rules. Build each soldier to have individual stats, equip him with traits and weapons and throw him into battle in either one off skirmish games or use the campaign mode provided in the rules. Be the leader of an angry mob of peasants in an uprising against the local medieval magnate - or command elite SAS soldiers holding their ground against Afghan militia. Now while most games hold your hand and feed you content and tell you what to do, the Brink of Battle rules are very open ended, meant to be used to create the campaigns and stories that you would like to play. Look at the rules as a toolbox for your imagination. You get a very good foundation of rules that you create your own adventures and skirmish battles with.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]

Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 06/02/2012 16:13:23 
 
 Unlike some of the other reviewers, I'm not a life-long gamer. I've only been in the hobby for about six years, but in that time, I've played several different systems. This has got to be the most enjoyable historical game I've come across, and with Fantasy and Sci-Fi expansions coming soon, I just might have to throw away my Mordheim and Necromunda rulebooks. With a list price of less than $30, this is a great deal. Especially considering there are no new models to buy. Use what you have to play any period in history. Fully customizeable builds with no army list to adhere to means you can make your warband however you want with minimal restrictions. All in all, this is a great system that any wargamer is sure to enjoy.

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]
 
 
Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by john s. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 06/02/2012 01:39:12 
 
 Like most life long gamers, I have a closet full of old, loved, minis. From old D&D heros, to massed boxes of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. A few weeks ago I was looking for a good Modern Warfare skirmish game, sort of a Ghost Recon in miniature. When a good friend turned me onto Brink of Battle. I checked out the rules and on his recomendation, made the purchase of the game.
 Right from the start, I have loved this game! The mechanics are elegantly simple, yet detailed, and the game play is realistic, and still excitingly scinematic when the action starts up! As a skirmish level game, the forces used are smaller than most mass army games, but the individual Trait and Gear system, makes each model a living CHARECTER, a little person you root for, and mourn when he is cut down.
 Within the first weekend, I had emptied my minis boxes making Warbands! WW2 "Dirty Dozen" squad, US Marine Recon and NAVY Seal teams, I even used old Bretonian Knights as not terribly acurate French and English! Making the armies is nearly as fun as playing the games! This game is well worth the small price tag for a complete game, and the fact you get to make it your own sucks in your imagination! I havent liked a game this much since 40K was called Rogue Trader, and had cut-out paper Space Marines!!

Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]
     
 
Brink of Battle: Skirmish Gaming through the Ages 
Publisher: Strategic Elite
by patrick d. [Verified Purchaser]  Date Added: 06/01/2012 18:58:20 
 
 What a fantastic set of rules! I've been collecting miniatures for nearly 20 years from various periods of time and genres. Brink of Battle allows me to play intense, comprehensive games with any of my miniatures without having to hunt down and learn new rules for each era. So far I've knocked out games with Chechens fighting Russian MVD, Fallschirmjager against American Infantry and 30 years war stuff. The rules allow you to 'scale' the size of your games and the competency of the forces involved, so you can have a 'horde' vs. an 'elite' force. The 'Edge' and the 'Break' are nice mechanics that allow both players to be involved throughout the game, turn by turn, and opposed dice rolls keep both players involved rather than sitting there waiting for the other guy to finish up their turn. Very nice. And with the rules for fantasy and sci-fi on the way, I'm planning on dusting off my Mordheim and Necromunda forces. It's like Sauron's ring, one ruleset to rule them all.
 
Rating:    [5 of 5 Stars!]
 
As many of you know, I am a harsh critic of rule sets. You can ask Paul Minson about the unvarnished criticism I provided for his excellent effort "Fistful of TOWs III." In this case, I actually feel like the author has produced a rule set that elegantly provides a skirmish rule set that can be played from Ancient/Classical Warfare through Modern...quite a feat! I got to speak at length with the game designer, Robert Faust, and his design philosophy was music to my ears. I almost felt like giving him a big hug, but instead I decided I would buy him a beer or three (after purchasing his rules and then asking to become the first game store in New Mexico to stock them! He signed my copy...I feel like I have Gary Gygax's signature on the first D&D Product!).

You can see details on the system at the links I provided above; however, the system works great for one off games, campaigns, and tournaments. It is very flexible and...imagine this...MAKES SENSE! It provided tactical depth without getting bogged down in overly complex game mechanics.

It is essentially similar to Mordheim or Necromunda, only better! Speaking of which, Robert is working on Fantasy and Sci-Fi versions of the game as well as a vehicle supplement for the initial rules. He also has plans for a set of scenario/campaign books.

Honestly, I think Robert will be in contention for many design awards.

The thing I LOVE about this system is it's ideal as a demo system while Ares Wargames deepens our partnerships with Albuquerque Public Schools, Charter Schools, and UNM by providing guest speakers on military history, science/engineering, writing, art (modeling/painting) along with demos of various game systems/creative activities related to the seminar/lecture.

Ares Wargames will be the first store in New Mexico to stock the rules (we will be ordering a dozen copies this week). You can order them on-line, of course, but supporting your local game stores helps us to provide you with game space and exciting events to participate in as centers of the local gaming community!

SO SAY WE ALL!

Sean Scott
Former owner of Ares Games in Arizona
 
 Epic Heroes review by Anatoli's Game Room

http://anatolisgameroom.blogspot.com/search/label/Brink%20of%20Battle


Offline eilif

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1907
    • Chicago Skirmish Wargames
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 09:40:12 PM »
Thanks for those. I admit I am intrigued by the rules now.  
However, as a player of fantasy and sci-fi with rulesets that the club already enjoys it's just quite a leap to drop $45 on a ruleset even if it is technically 2 products.   Sorry that it boils down to something as banal as money, but I comment not so much as criticism, but as suggestion for future releases.

I think I can speak for my self and possibly a good portion of the club that it's really hard to drop more than $20 on a PDF ruleset.  As for printed rules for a complete game, I'd say that most of us would be willing to drop around $35 , but that would be for a full-color, complete game, probably a hardback.  Tomorrow's War or Kings of War comes to mind as comparable products that I know several members of the club have purchased.

I don't pretend to know if it's possible or profitable for you or not, but a print version standalone fantasy game in that range is something that would be very tempting.  Further,  it's a different size and scope, but smaller full-color, soft-cover releases such as Of Gods and Mortals or In Her Majesty's name that come in under $20 are an easy pill to take -very nearly an impulse buy- and one that many of us have swallowed repeatedly.

Anywho, I'm sure you have your own facts and figures, I just thought I'd put out there some of the price ranges ranges and product types that tend to appeal to us, in the chance you might find it helpful.  

Congratulations on the Origins nomination and best of luck with the new release!

« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 09:45:23 PM by eilif »

Offline pixelgeek

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2026
    • Zac's Gaming Blog
Re: Brink of Battle: Epic heroes fantasy rules review
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 01:19:22 PM »
I have to agree regarding the price. $44 for a set of slirmish rules makes this a non-starter for me as well. The fact that it is two products is actually a turn off as well since it means I need to work through two books to play.

 

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