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- For 2 players
- Takes 20-30 minutes to play
- 60 Troop cards, 10 Tactics cards, 9 red wooden pawns, Rulebook
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Battle Line is a card game of capture the flags using an ancient battle formation theme. It plays like rummy or poker is easy to learn and has strategy and the ability to provide surprises to your opponent. The leaders of both sides direct forces along the battle line to gain tactical advantages. The first player to win three adjacent Flags or any five Flags is the winner. Based on Reiner Knizia's original design published in Germany as Schotten-Totten Battle Line enhances and expands the game with more options and fun.
Top Customer Reviews
We always play with TEN cards in our hand, which tilts the balance from luck to skill. You still need luck, but it's not as blind.
We removed a few of the special cards that we found somewhat useless compared to others: Mud, Redeploy and Scout.
Pick up the game, you'll love it. BTW, it was recently reprinted so you should be able to find it cheaper than I see listed here.
Battle Line is a blends some poker and rummy with capture the flag. You need need to create formations on one side of the flag that will overpower your opponents formation on the other. Claim three adjacent or five total flags, and you win. The rules are simple and easy to learn. Tactic cards are available and can throw an unexpected spin a turn but I find that they aren't necessary to win but nor do they ruin the overall experience.
The game can move rather quickly though there are moments of analysis paralysis when a player agonizes over the decision of when and where to place a troop card and if you're opponent has a clue on what your strategy is and is purposely withholding information from you.
I wasn't totally sold on the theme at first, but it fits pretty well (you feel like a general assigning incoming troops to different parts of a battlefield), If ancient battallion formations do not interest you, the theme can be ignored and we typically use usual vocabulary like "straight flush" rather than a "Wedge". The game, at 70 cards and 9 red pawn markers travels pretty well. We sleeved our set and store them in an Ultra Pro Deck Box (probably not necessary for most). The pawn markers stay home and we usually use coins, bits of paper or even sugar packets as flags when we play at cafes or restaurants.
Highly recommended for two-player gamers!
The game also features "Tactics" cards which put a great spin on the base game. Some tactic cards provide wild-cards while others manipulate the victory condition for a single set of cards. Such as wiping out all victory conditions on that flag except for the total number of card face points or requiring the flag to use 4 cards instead of 3. This can throw a monkey wrench into your opponents plans and make for a fun twist on the game. At any time you can only play up to 1 more than your opponent so it keeps it fair.
The theme of the game definitely feels thrown on, it makes a bit of sense but is just there to add flavor. It feels much more like a regular card game than a Greek/Egyptian euro board game. It doesn't hinder the game at all. It's not really a knock on the game you will just know that you are playing a card game that kind of reminds you of hands of Poker. Really enjoy playing this and it's also one of my girlfriends favorite games, can't really go wrong with this one.
Knizia's games get short shrift (often justifiably) for their pasted on themes. One coulld argue that this is the case, but I would argue against such a conclusion. And, in fact, I will: now.
Battle Line is a brilliant two player card game. It calls upon strategic thinking in a way which may not be apparent from a review of the rules. It has a complexity and depth which requires daring and careful forethought at the same time.
Is the theme pasted on? Yes and no. For my family, the fact that the artwork is very noticeably done by the same gent who did "Commands and Colors: Ancients" brings us right to that same frame. Would it do the same for you? Perhaps, but the the theme is not relevant to the enjyment one can get from the game, and that enjoyment, in my family at least, is significant.
tl:dr Deep tactical thinking, theme questionable but potentially positive. Buy now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are so many objectives and strategies, this is the ultimate two player game.Read more