Player-Made Battleboard Spotlight!

Ambush! Survive ten rounds! I talk constantly about the battleboard possibilities in Pirate101, but I don't typically get much input from others. So I was thrilled when everyone else had so many great designs and possibilities for battleboards with the release of the latest feature here at Swordroll's Blog: the Battleboard Builder. Check it out using the gray button under the main navigation bar!

Ready, Aim, FIRE!

Arlen Dawneyes created a board full of fiery barrels. He described the goal as being similar to English Bill's - put out the fires and escape to the dock. There are a couple of reasons that this design is particularly interesting. It's the strategy aspect and the many ways you could handle it. If it were me, for example, I'd start clearing out a secondary path along the top. I'd leave at least one barrel between the enemies and I the entire way, however, until the five had neared my team and I on the other side. At that point, I'd break through and escape to the dock, having left the dogs chasing in a circle without the chance to do any damage at all. And that's just one possibility.

One of the reasons that props are the first item that's not just a tile is this - you might want to use a LOT of them, which is something we don't see much of outside a few specific battles like the Stormzilla and the Earth Temple.

Fun With Shapes

The beauty of the Battleboard Builder is that it includes a blank tile - not a clear or blue one, but no tile at all. Alric Ravensinger utilized this in creating his battleboards here. (Feel free to click to enlarge them.)

The first is a Pokeball challenge, and the second is a KI Battleboard Challenge. The goal here is simple - defeat the enemies. It's the boar setup that makes it interesting. The Pokeball utilizes something that I'm a huge fan of and that we see rarely in-game: choke points. If the enemies outnumbered me, I might move one unit up to the top part of my battle section, and one to the bottom. Then, no enemy could pass or surround me, making it a one-on-one regardless of the actual ratio. The concept is similar with the KI board.

Defeating Specific Targets

It's not entirely unheard of to have a battleboard with a few choke points. Or one with multiple specific enemies to defeat. Or even one with enemies that greatly outnumber you and with specific goals. What's cool is that Clever Cole Crow combined all of those concepts into one battleboard. The goal is, as he put it, to "achieve a Pentakil- I mean, defeat all five hatted dogs!"

Up For a Challenge?

I talk constantly about how Ratbeard has to balance the game at later stages for players who might not necessarily use all the same companions and epics or their best companions and epics. (After all, nothing is done right unless done while looking good.) That's why the experienced players who are so concentrated on perfecting their unique play style are looking forward to the Nefarious Tower.

What's cool about these battles created by Seth ("Flash33") is that they might be a little tougher than usual (particularly El Toro there), and would provide the perfect challenge for experienced players. Imagine a max level El Toro again Cool-Ranch-level Salamander armies. Can't be too bad, right? ... Right?

Beauty in Simplicity

Ian Stormstaff proves once again with his design that it doesn't take a crazy battle setup to make something cool. (And also that everyone seems to love the Marleybone board.) His does something, however, that's a little different. El Toro starts in a slightly different position from the pirate, and with the enemies in close quarters, that might make a little bit of a difference.

Because of the ability to remove tiles, this battle has the enemies crowding you on one side of the board, while they essentially guard the other half. Not a welcome site for lovers of traps and time to buff. Fun stuff.

Defying the Rules

"Jace Daniels" has a few interesting concepts here. And part of the reason that I'm a huge fan of these is because they don't follow the starting rules of combat. That's part of the beauty of the builder. You're not bound by those restrictions.

On the left, you see not only the use of choke points in a labyrinth (my favorite) setting, but also the pirate separated from the companions. What's so very awesome about this board is that everyone has to try something new. Some of us play offensively. Some of us like a defensive setup. Here, your pirate has to be on defense with all of the enemies nearby, while your companions need to be speeding over and destroying statues to accept the enemy territory, where their role in defending the pirate will be vital.

The battleboard on the right isn't entirely what it looks like. Imagine for a moment that the "enemies" in the middle are allies, or civilians, with your goal being to protect them and defeat the enemies. The enemies outnumber you five to three here, but you do have the help of the civilians. I know there are more, but I can only think of three "protect" goals in Pirate off the top of my head, so battles like this are a great idea and not at all unrealistic in these worlds plagued by discord and unwelcome guests.

Most Valuable Unit

If Pirate battles are a chess game, the pirate is most certainly the queen. It's the most valuable piece with its diverse attacks and plethora of power options to execute the perfect strategy. So what happens when you take that away? Jason Goldenshield shares an idea - suppose you have you free your pirate using only your companions.

Suddenly, selection of companions becomes much more important. Whether or not you get to control the pirate as well until you complete the goal of freeing him isn't for me to decide (poke Jason on Twitter!), but this is an interesting battle either way.

Got a unique battleboard design? Send it to me! Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!


  1. Extremely well thought out and some brilliant yet beyond nefarious designs here. These are definitely some brain stretchers here. Well done to the designers and to the very wise commentator. Brilliant in every way.

  2. Very cool. Something you should integrate into the Battleboard Builder is "blocked tiles," tiles that you not only cannot step on, but also block the line of sight for ranged attacks. In the game space, these are represented by immobile obstacles such as tables, holes in the deck, etc.


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