|The armies muster for battle...|
Once upon a time Games Workshop actually made an effort to focus on the games aspect of their name as well as the workshop aspect and focused on developing new games all the time, Their stores and mail order even provided a small, yet diverse selection of games for casual board gamers to tip their toe into realms of GW. Over the years this has waned tremendously so, with their main focus being Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40.000 and their tertiary support pretty much devoted too Lord of the Rings support (with a mystery box tossed onto the market every two years). But I digress. It seems some time in the late Ansel period of GW, they had a partnership with MB (Milton Bradly, maker of many games for kids of all ages) to produce and distribute games that were for the most part gateway drugs to the highly addictive plastic (and lead or pewter) crack that is WHRB and WH40K). For many people in the late '80 and early '90s these games were often the introduction to wargaming and the GW cosmologies. These games were Heroquest, Space Crusade and finally the big blow out of Battlemasters. They were decently priced (by board game standards) and easy to find. The ability to get your parents to find a copy of Heroquest at the local Toys R Us as opposed to sending them to a complicated and potentially awkward gaming store was something of a win. Why GW doesn't do something like this now still eludes me....! The above scenario is how by brother ended up with Space Crusade, Heroquest and Battlemasters for either Christmas or a birthday over the course of a few years.
|Sally forth! The empire knights storm across the field!|
Battlemasters is a massive set! Just huge! To date, GW has yet so make a boxed set with this many figures in it! Scoring one of these sets today would give you an instant Empire army, and a damn fine start on Orcs & Goblins and Chaos.
The game itself is quick to learn, easy to play, yet still reliant upon the player having a sense of strategy and a lucky instinct.
|The calvary units clash!|
There are two really wonky units: the Great Cannon and the Ogre. Each has a unique system for performing actions. The cannon is used by placing a target circle on the unit you wish to destroy, and you then shuffle additional cannon ball cards and lay them down between the cannon and the target. You flip them over an apply the effects to which ever unit ends up under an explosion or bouncing cannon ball.
|BOOM! A unit of wolfriders is blasted to little green and fuzzy bits|
The ogre has a really crazy deck of cards of his own, which determines what he does. You get as many cards as he has wounds, which allows him to launch into the field and hopefully pound your foes to death!
|The Ogre and Knights fight to the death!|
I haven't played this game in about 17 years, and we had a blast! It also helped that I now have a table big enough to play it on, as before we had to play on the floor and some models are damaged from those days. We had the whole game wrapped up in just a few hours, and I am sure now that everyone knows how to play it we will get more games in down the road.
I hope you enjoyed!