Preview: Battleground Orcs & Goblins
This will be our second installment of our limited series on Battleground Fantasy by Your Move Games. Today we are going to have a look at the upcoming release of the Orcs and Goblins faction. Along with that we will dive a little deeper into the inner workings of the system. Prepare yourself we are going to get a little deep here.
Stemming from the Latin orcus comes the word orc, which by definition means goblin. Goblin has been used as a catch all for all kinds of fey creatures starting back in mid-evil Europe. Fast forward a few years to the early 1880s and you have the first documented games with miniatures played by Robert Louis Stevenson the author of Treasure Island. HG Wells actually came up with one of the first published systems for tabletop war gaming "Little Wars"(1913). This brings back to orcs. In the mid 20th century the word orc came into our modern definitions by way of J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. Then all of this comes together by none other than one of the creators of Dungeons and Dragons Gary Gygax. Its said that at the first GenCon in 1968 Gary Gygax played "Siege of Bodenburg" and was then inspired to create his own war gaming system eventually called Chainmail and then he added a fantasy supplement there after. D&D is responsible giving us the modern day definitions of what goblins are and what they look like.
The Orcs and Goblins in Battleground Fantasy take on a familiar role that modern fantasy war gamer will recognize easily. You will find in this box some hard hitting orcs and some creative and some times crazed goblins. There are 12 different unit types in the box including the very large Goblin Bomb Chukkas (This is a double sized card). Also there are the Trolls a very formidable unit, also watch out for that troll vomit. As with the other army boxes there are 3 scenarios to get you going and familiar with your new purchase. As you would expect you have the Orcs facing off against the goblins in all three scenarios increasingly adding different units so by the end of all three you will have had all of the units on the battlefield. I really enjoyed how the three scenarios built up. It plays out like a mini campaign giving you different armies to field depending on what side won the last scenario.
You can use a dry erase as you will change it during the game and change it each time you play
Lets take a quick look at the blank circle on the bottom right of each card. That is where you put the standing orders for your unit. You can use a dry erase as you will change it during the game and change it each time you play. Standing orders are the default action your unit it takes during the game. The three Standing orders are close, range, and hold. Close is your basic move order this will have your unit moving towards the nearest enemy unit. The range order will have your unit shooting at the nearest enemy unit if it cannot see a unit it will move to get a unit in its sights. Hold the last standing order is as it sounds you are not moving this unit but you can shoot or fight if you are engaged. Some units get a bonus for a hold action.
If you for some reason don't find a reason to use a command action (you shouldn't do this) then you lose them
Lets talk Command Actions... Command actions are what drives the game. They represent the direct orders you are giving your army. Each turn you get 2 command actions to use. There are a few things you can do with them like change a standing order (erase and put a new order on a single unit). You can also take direct control over a unit and override the standing order for that turn. You can use a command action to draw a new card from your command deck. A command action can be used to rally a routed unit. And finally you can use one command action to mar hatred or lash on a unit. If you for some reason don't find a reason to use a command action (you shouldn't do this) then you lose them and you will have 2 next turn again.
Command actions are especially handy when it comes to the orcs and goblins. They are irregular troops and from need to be managed a little more, especially units like the crazed goblins who are tiny little glass cannons with a permanent standing order on the card of Close. The Command deck for the Orcs and Goblins has a lot of damage buffs and some fun things like "I Kill You Myself" where you can take one extra damage on a unit that is routing and prevent it from routing. Nothing like making an example out of someone in your own unit. I found playing with this faction to be quite fun and sometimes very random. I look forward to having a few more battles with these guys soon.
These are classic Orcs and Goblins with the hard hitting troops of the Orcs paired with the wild goblins and their battlefield ingenuity. If you want to get into Battleground Fantasy, Orcs and Goblins is a very fun and dynamic entry point. Its an exciting time when you place that double sized Goblin Bomb Chukka down next to your fearsome Trolls.
Year Published: 2022
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 60-120
A sample pre-production copy of Battleground Dwarves of Runegaurd was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes. Final products may vary from what is portrayed in this article.