Beastlore is a tabletop miniatures wargame. The game is based around players (usually two) who own their own separate armies with which they do battle. Players choose an army like in most Tabletop games. Players then expand their army, with large armies exceeding 500 units. However, a basic game only requires about 20 models.
According to the Beastlore Team, the name 'Beastlore' is a name derived from the races involved in the game. The Orcs, who are beastly and vile, and the Elves/Dwarves who represent a more civil society, who would build themselves a history and record it through the ages. The Team says that, whilst this is a very abstract derivation, alternate names such as 'Warblood' and 'War of Mortality' seemed too cliche, and they wanted something that people could remember. A Team member has assured the community that the name was not derived from BattleLore, a fantasy boardgame.
A game of Beastlore can last from anywhere between fifteen minutes to two hours. Players can either play deathmatch style games, or create their own scenarios. Because of the small-miniature base of one battle, the rules for the game are designed to draw the game out and make defeating your opponent quite challenging.
The Beastlore Team first attempted to have the miniatures and other parts of the game set up in stores around the world (much like Games Workshop) but because of the lack of a large fan-base, the game didn't make it to stores. Since then, the Beastlore Team has sold the miniatures, rulebook, dice and other equipment from the official website.
Recently, the Website does not seem to have any sort of webpage and the Store had gone down. Some have said that Beastlore has closed and the company disbanded. The official report on the status of the game is yet to be released.
In the original Beastlore, the Lore was told in the manual that there was one eternal plane of existence. On this plane existed 'God-like' beings. After years of existing in harmony, disputes rose up particularly between the two leaders, who were brothers. One of them was Vagaron, the other Kay'Leth. Vagaron accused his brother of heresy and treason, and attacked him. The plane of existence was torn apart, and three realms were created: the Fortress of Eternity (ruled by Kay'Leth), the Bastions of Abaddon (ruled by Vagaron, now carrying the suffix 'The Destructor') and the third the Realm of Mortality.
After attempts to seize the Realm of Mortality on both sides, the leaders noticed that the warriors they sent into that realm died after a short period of time upon return. They had, of course, become mortal upon entering the realm. Eventually, Kay'Leth left 100 of his warriors on in the realm and they soon began to expand and grow, soon forgetting their godly heritage and losing their powers (becoming 'Primitive Apes' as Kay'leth called them). Eventually, these warriors cultivated an Empire, calling themselves Elves. The same occurred for Vagaron the Destructor, as he sent minions of his own into the realm. After many years, the Elves and the newly-born Orcs (the minions of Vagaron) began to war, and their Empires split into different factions who eventually transformed in their own right. Eventually, Vagaron the Destructor and Patriarch Kay'Leth entered the realm themselves and did battle, however their passageway into the Realm became unstable before either could be killed.
From that point on, the Elven and Orcish empires continued to split, with portions of the Elvish empire eventually declaring war on both the Orc AND the Elves. After further year, an army who called themselves 'The Abaddon' appeared, apparently the risen dead. From that point on, the World of Beastlore became a place of survival and of eternal war.
For the Entire Beastlore History, please visit the official website.
The current races of the Beastlore game are: Orcs, Dwarves, Wood Elves, Shadowforge Elves and The Abaddon.
When these armies were introduced, no addition to the Lore was immediately released, and the new armies were not as popular. Finally, the Beastlore Team released an addition to the Lore (seen above in the Lore section). This increased popularity of the armies.
Here is a brief overview of the five armies.
Orcs: Many players choose the Orcs as their first army because of their tough look, as well as their savage nature that makes new players believe they will be an overly strong army. However, whilst the Orcs do possess the highest Armor-rating of all the races, they do not have the hit-rating or the dodge-rating of other races to deal large enough damage in small groups. Therefore, Orc armies will need to be large and full of a variety of different units to survive on the battlefield. Orcs consist of mostly melee-foot units, as well as their Boar Chargers. They are unique in that also include Goblins in their ranks. As well as this, they have the destructive hero 'Croncalonk the One-Eyed', an enormous demon-like Cyclops.
Dwarves: Dwarves are a strong army, usually the choice for players who like to get into melee combat but still have a chance of survival. They have a fairly high armor-rating, as well as exceptional hit-rating. In addition, they have a fair selection of beasts in their ranks. Notably are their destructive Chimeras, which do not count as Leader choices and can therefore be used in large numbers (unless you are playing with a small resource limit). Their magic-casters are limited, with the only real casters being Healers - whilst this is an advantage, all-out melee cannot hope to accomplish the mass destruction sometimes brought on by heavy magic use without some degree of considerable skill.
Wood Elves: There is a considerable amount of confusion revolving the Wood Elves. As the Lore goes, the Elves were apparently a heavy magic-using society, and a prosperous Empire. However, the Lore added in 2007 states that for hundreds of years, the Elven Empire was ruled by High-Prince Hiecrass, and his descendants for almost a thousand years. However, during the Demon Wars High-Prince Aerdan was slain, and it was discovered that he had no heirs nor family members to take his place. This created chaos and confusion, and a huge number of Elves broke away from the Empire to become the Shadowforge Elves. With little defense or guidance, the remaining Elves fled into the Forests of Aiura and remained there. Today, the Elves are a strong army made up mostly of ranged units in the Core Units section. Also in their army are Ancients - trees carved by the ancestors of the Wood Elves, then imbued with the spirits of fierce warriors to come alive and protect the forests.
The Abaddon: The Abaddon are what most would call Undead. Their forces consist of a wide range of units, but mostly mounted-melee. They are well known among the Beastlore community for their Shadelords, who have a massive 14 inch movement range and ignore the 'Melee Range' rule when in combat. Their Skeletal Warriors suffer from a very low armor-rating, but their Chaos Kights are able to use both magic and melee, giving them an advantage of being able to rein death on the enemy by use of magic, until they have moved into melee range. When Vagaron the Destructor was torn from the Realm of Mortality, the Orcs stopped praising him as their god. When the Abaddon were mysteriously summoned from the grave, they began to praise the great Demon. On the 20th of February new models were introduced to The Abbadon army range; Vagaron the Destructor in a two different forms: a Dragon Form and in the form of a Scorpion with the upper torso of a man. The Destructor, although god of the Bastions of Abaddon, is not overly powerful. His scorpion form does have a 18 inch move, but must only move 8 inches if it wishes to attack.
Shadowforge Elves: In all tabletop games there is the 'army for the daring'. In Beastlore, Shadowforge Elves are it. Without doubt, Shadowforge elves can be the most powerful army in the game - they have good armor-rating, excellent hit-rating, a considerable dodge-chance and a strong magical side. However, the Shadowforge elves fail in one area - variety. Shadowforge Elves have two mounted units, two Leader Squads, some Pikemen, Swordsmen and Halberdiers. In addition, they have Warlocks which are the magical brunt. Their last units are their Bat Swarms, plus their Shadowforge Dragons. They have no named foot or mounted standard units - their named leaders are all primarily beasts. To combat this, SIX unique packs were released for the Shadowforge Elves army, all of which contain a hero plus some strong unique units. Some people see this is a pitfall, but actual players of the army say that they enjoy the challenge, and that it makes winning a battle even more rewarding.
Some people believe that the prices of some models may be slightly too high. The Beastlore Team has commented that the price is the decision of the model-supplier, and that they only raise the price enough to cover freight and make a slight profit. Most of the money made by the Beastlore Company is through their Rulebook and other tools, including terrain.
Depending on the army you collect depends on how many units you get in one pack, and what type of unit you are purchasing. Foot units usually come in packs of 15 or so. In addition, Horde Packs are available. These were introduced in early 2007 to compensate for people who wanted to buy 'en masse' and who had the cash. These Horde Packs come in varying sizes, with the largest usually containing about 48 foot units and 23 cavalry.
There is no limit on the size of a Beastlore army. Players can collect as many units as they wish, but many players halt collecting one army at the 300 unit mark (where resources for units increase) and begin collecting another army.
Here is a what a basic game runs like:
- Players decide on the number of resources given to each player. Players then use their Army Handbooks or Army Lists to decide on what units they will use. House rule variations are no resources; players merely use all their troops. Only advised if both players have equal amounts of units.
- Players then roll two D6 to see who goes first. Highest roll wins.
- The first turn begins. This is called the 'Orders Phase'. This is the equivalent of the common 'Moving Phase'. In this phase, you move any units you wish. Your opponent may not intervene during this phase.
- The next phase is the Magic Phase. In this phase, you may use any Caster troops you have on the table, but them ONLY. Be reminded that if you forget to use one of your Caster troops, you cannot use them until the next turn. Any casualties taken during this phase are taken off the board. Again, your enemy cannot intervene/fight back until it is his/her turn.
- The Next Phase is the Melee phase. In this phase, you may use any Melee Troops you on the table, but them ONLY. Just as in the Magic Phase, you cannot use Melee troops in the next phase if you forget to use them now. In this phase, your opponent may fight back with any Melee units you have openly attacked. During this time they can attack with no other units, nor can they move ANY units. If they choose to attack back during this phase, whatever units they attack with cannot move or attack when their turn rolls around.
- The next phase is the Ranged phase. You can now fire any ranged units you have on the table. Like in the Melee phase, any ranged units that you fire upon are allowed to fire back at the cost of losing their movement and firing capabilities during the players next turn.
- The next, and final phase, is the Healing phase. If your opponent chose to fire back, and wounded any of your units, you can now use any Healers you have on the board to attempt to restore them to health. Healers that successfully heal units cannot move next turn, and if fired on will have only 1 wound by default, regardless of the unit type.
- This goes on until either one player forfeits, one player is annihilated or scenario objectives are accomplished. Remember that this is only the way a battle runs - there are many more complications, which can be read in the rulebook.