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Game Play and Walk Through

Game Play and Walk Through
Over the next few weeks I will be filling out this page with some basic, but important game play info, and showing a small walk through of how the game works utilizing a small demo board.
I will cover the following.
Orders and Order Counters
Formations
Unit Types 
Troop Experience
Game Phases & Mechanics using Demo
Magic
Future Plans for Expansion

Be Sure to check back regularly for updates!

PLEASE NOTE; this is intended to give you "a feel" for the rules and is in no way reflective of the entire rules set.

Orders and Order Counters
Battle Valor Fantasy is first and foremost a game of fighting armies against one another. While there are Generals, Characters, and Magic in the game, these will rarely win a game for you. They add buffs to units, and provide command and influence to better enable your units to perform.
This is a game of stragtegy and maneuvre, of which two of the key elements are giving your troops Orders and Formations. Careful use of Orders and well placed Fornations will carry the day.
There are 10 different types of Orders in the game, and these are covered more deeply in the rules themselves.
For now, here is a quick look at each.

Orders
FATE; Each side only ever places one of these counters in the order phase, and it can provide a huge tactical advantage. Once, and only once during the Game, it may be used to move either your own or the enemy General 10 inches in any direction. In any other Game Turn it can be replaced with any other order when activated allowing you to see what the enemy is doing before choosing your course of action.

FLEE; You place this on any unit you want to perform a withdrawal either from combat or from its current position on the field. There is no moral in BVF. You troops will only retreat if you tell them to, but this can be risky and have severe consequences.

FIRE & FLEE; You place this on any unit you want to get a volley of shots off before it withdraws.

REFORM; You place this on any unit you want to either change its formation or change its facing.

FIRE; You place this on any unit you want to fire its missile weapons in either the first or second shooting phase.

CHARGE; You place this on any unit you want to peform a Charge against an enemy unit.

ATTACK; You place this on any unit still engaged in combat from a previous turn to initiate a round of combat.

ADVANCE; You place this on any unit you want to make a normal move.

SPELL; You place this on any Spell Casting unit that you want to cast a Spell.

BRACE; You place this on any unit that you want to receive a bonus in Defense in an upcoming round of combat.

All Orders are issued before the game turn starts. Players take turns in activating Orders during each Game Turn Phase.
For instance, if it is the 1st Fire Phase, the player with the initiative this game turn would Activate one of his Fire Order Counters. Once he has completed his firing, his opponent then Activates one of his Fire Order Counters. The players take turns until all Fire Order Counters have been activated.
This more accurately portrays the ebb and flow of battle, compared to one player doing all of his firing, and then his opponent doing all of their firing.

Order Counters
Battle Valor makes Order Counters for the game (pictured below).
Order Counters are placed by both players FACE DOWN, one on each of their units on the table, before the Initiative is determined for the Game Turn. This commits the players to a course of action before they know if they have the Initiative for the Turn. This makes you think a little harder about what you are going to do!
After Initiative for the Game Turn has been decided, the players reveal all of their orders by simply turning their Order Counters over.
Once an Order Counter has been Activated it is removed from the gaming surface.




Formations
Formations are another key component of the game play and the tactics required to win games.
There are 8 Formations in the game, each of which has its own unique rules. 
Here is a brief look at each Formation.

SKIRMISH; This represents troops in loose order. Stands in the unit have to be within 1" of at least one other stand in the unit. Most units can adopt skirmish formation, some are always in skirmish formation. Linebreaker and Flier units for instance.
Troops in skirmish formation have no facing, and thus can see, fire, move, and charge in any direction.
Due to the "loose" organization enemy missile fire is at -1 Success to hit them.  
This formation also makes it a lot easier for them to move, so units in Skirmish Formation add +2 inches to their movement rate (MR).
Friendly units can fire and move through Skirmishing Units. Enemy units can only fire through them, at a penalty to Success.
The picture below shows a unit in Skirmish Formation



LINE; To be considered to be in Line Formation a unit has to be in a single line, every base touching side by side. The unit can also be formed in 2 Ranks instead of just one. The Command Satnd, if the unit has one, must be as close to the center as possible of the front rank. Although most units may be deployed in Line, the main advantage from this formation is for missile troops. All troops in a missile unit that is in line formation, either 1 or 2 ranks deep, can fire at the same target as long as one miniature in the unit has unobstructed line of sight to the target. As this is an "actual" line of sight game, this gives missile troops in Line Formation a huge advantage over those that are not. That being said, Lines are very vulnerbale to enemy Charges.
Both units pictured below would be considered to be in Line Formation.


MOVEMENT COLUMN; To be in a Movement Column Formation, the stands in a unit must be deployed 1 stand behind another in single line, with the Command Stand at the Front. 
Units in Movement Column may Double their Movement Rate (MR) when they are on Roads, Tracks, Paths, or are on Flat Open Ground.
Troops in Movement Column may NOT charge.
The unit pictured below is in a Movement Column Formation.



ATTACK COLUMN; To be in an Attack Column a unit must deployed so that it is more Stands deep than it is wide. The Command Stand is placed as close as possible to the center of the front rank.
A unit in Attack Column gets +1 Success in Combat, and an addiotnal +2 Success in Combat against a Line Formation.
A unit in Attack Column also causes Impact Hits when it charges equal to the number of stands deep that the unit is. So, a unit that is 3 stands wide, and 4 stands deep, would cause 4 impact hits.
On the downside, due to the fact that the troops are closely packed together, the unit is at -1 Success when defending against enemy missile fire.
The unit pictured below is in Attack Column.



SQUARE; Any Infantry or Cavalry Unit may form Square. A unit must have at least 4 Stands to be able to be in Square Formation. To deploy in Square a unit must be placed forming a Square or Rectangle with an equal number of Stands on each side. The Command Stand can be placed on any side of the players choice. Any excess stands are placed of to the side, or in the center of the Square if there is space.
For example, a unit consisting of 9 stands would have 2 stands per side, with the extra stand in the center of the formation.
A unit in Square Formation is considered to have no facing, and therefore cannot be attacked in the flank or rear.
Any Cavalry unit attacking a Square Formation has its number of attacks halved.
On the downside, due to the fact that the troops are closely packed together, the unit is at -1 Success when defending against enemy missile fire.
Also, when fighting in combat, troops may only fight enemies attacking their side of the Square.
The pictures below show units in an acceptable Square Formation.


SNAKE; The Snake Formation may only be adopted by Cavalry Units. To be in a Snake Formation, the stands in a unit must be deployed one behind the other in a single line, with at least one corner of the each stand touching a corner of a stand in front of it. The Command Stand must be at the front.
Cavalry in Snake Formation may add 6 inches to their MR. This Formation allows Cavalry units to move quickly, as well as making them flexible enough to "weave" in and around friendly and enemy units.
A Cavalry unit in Snake Formation may NOT charge.
The picture below shows a unit in Snake Formation.



WEDGE; The Wedge Formation can be adopted by any Infantry or Cavalry unit consisting of at least 6 stands. The unit is deployed in a pyramid formation with the Command Stand at the front. Two stands are placed behind the command stand creating the second rank, then 3 stands are placed behind the 2nd rank to form the 3rd rank, and so on.
A Charging Wedge causes Impact Hits equal to the number of stands in the unit.
If a unit in Wedge Formation wins combat, it splits the enemy unit in half and immediatly makes another charge move, possibly bringing it into contact with another enemy unit.
On the downside, due to the fact that the troops are closely packed together, the unit is at -1 Success when defending against enemy missile fire.
The unit pictured below is considered to be in Wedge Formation.



SHIELD WALL; Any Infantry Unit equipped with Shields may form a Shieldwall, unless they are in Skirmish Formation. This represents the troops locking their shields together to gain a better defense against enemy attacks and misisle fire. Note that this only works against attacks from the front of the unit. 
Whilst the Shieldwall exists, the unit gains +2 Success when defending against attacks and missile fire from the front.
The unit may move and keep its shieldwall intact at half of its normal MR.