What is it?
Battles of Westeros is a miniatures game utilising the Battlelore mechanics to a large degree. Set in the lore of A Song of Fire and Ice, you command armies in set scenarios against other factions.
What do you get?
Battles of Westeros comes with a large amount of miniatures, dice, cards, boards and terrain.
How does it work?
The rule books and scenarios are crytal clear as you expect from any FFG game. Once again, they’ve excelled at producing a quality rulebook that creates very few headache playthroughs. Basically, it is a I go, you go type game but the command structure throws out standard convention in favour of card powers allowing specific type of troops react depending on what cards were played. Each faction’s generals play a massive part with a command range pushing groups of troops forward. Losing these characters can prove a fatal blow to your army as it fails to recover and uncertainty in the ranks mid-way through a fight is never a good thing.
Is it any good?
I really love Battles of Westeros. It’s a very neat game that demands you pay attention to the game at hand. Tactics and a little bit of luck will see you through. The scenarios tend to be well written and balanced. Having played through all the core scenarios and winning 50% of them it showed the game has a good understanding of balance.
As this directly used the rules from Battlelore, its easy to compare them both and I’ll be clear, I prefer this game by a wide margin which is odd because the troop choices are fundamentally more boring.
The big difference comes with the command range from characters. That didn’t exist in Battlelore as well as the scenario book which is very specific compared to having random objectives. Battles of Westeros just feels like a more lived in world moving from mission to mission.
As great a game as it is, I have to say I’m a little bored with the 1v1 mechanic it uses. There are no variants to increase players or to play solo. A solo variant would be really tricky to create and I imagine it would need to be reworked from the ground up. There is also a slight missed opportunity to punish or enhance armies between scenarios between missions. Its very fixed in its setup with no room to change anything. There is a formula to buying units and skirmish play so I don’t see why this couldn’t have played a minor role in the scenarios.
Battles of Westeros is a really good mental workout. There are a lot of options and generally your choices are what will win or lose you the fight rather than just being unlucky. The combat system is really simple, a little too simple perhaps but fitting for a game that is quite complex in other phases.
Battles of Westeros is a really nice venture into the world of George RR Martin and is quite underrated.