Stephanie was out of town with Ainsley, so I invited Jason Maxwell, Dion Garner, and Matthew Frederick over to get in some two player games. Of course, the first game we played wasn't a two-player. Jason had picked me up a copy of Front Porch Classics' Stretch Run. I wanted this simply for the brass horse figures. Jason wanted it because he knew the person who had done all the art for the game. At any rate, Stretch run is a fairly simple horse racing game. We decided to simply run a single race to see how the game played. It pretty basic and of course, totally random. There are more advanced rules to handicap the horse and for betting, but we didn't bother getting into that so that we could play the games we really wanted to get in.
I had BattleLore, the new Richard Borg Command and Colors game. We drew for who got to play, and the partners. Dion and Matthew got to start playing BattleLore, so Jason and I opted to try out the other game in the system that we hadn't played - Command and Colors:Ancients. Being simpler than BattleLore and a bit easier to setup, Jason and I were able to get through the first scenario pretty quickly, with Jason winning 5-3. There was no terrain to worry about, so it was just a straight clash of the armies. We looked over and saw that Dion had half the points he needed and Matthew had none, so we decided that we could get another scenario in while they finished. We setup the next scenario which put me in the poor position of having to ford a river to get to Jason's armies. This allowed Jason time to get in position to wipe me out as I crossed. He won easily 5-2. We had all finished up, so Jason and I took over BattleLore while Dion and Matthew pulled out Twilight Struggle.
Though I had only played one basic game prior to this and Jason had not played at all, Jason wanted to jump right into the advanced game (adding lore cards and a War Council). I too was interested in trying it all out, so I picked the most basic of the "advanced" scenarios and we got setup. Basically, the War Council allow you to customize which lore skills you are adept at. I skipped the Cleric skills (healing and some attacks) and went pretty evenly on the others. Jason skipped the wizard (spell attacks) and spread out over the others. What we found was that the lore added a bit of chaos to the game. The cards let you increase attacks, escape, screw up the other player's orders etc. It also lets in another source of randomness, so if you want very little randomness and more strategy/tactics in a Command and Colors game, you probably want to skip BattleLore and stick with C&C:Ancients. Jason and I though, had a good time and I was able to use some decent lore at the end to quickly comeback and crush Jason out of left field for the 5-3 win. Matthew and Dion were (not unexpectedly) still playing TS, so we setup another scenario with a ton of armies. Again, pretty chaotic, but I had a pretty good run of cards. I managed to inflict a lot of damage, but very few kills. Finally, I got a couple decent lore cards and disrupted Jason's plans long enough to kill some of his armies and ended the game with a 6-4 win. Overall a fun night, winning 2 and losing 2 games.