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- For 2 players
- Takes 20-30 minutes to play
- 60 Troop cards, 10 Tactics cards, 9 red Plastic 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
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.
Dice Tower has a very easy to follow review on youtube so I won't go into how to play the game.
Some feedback. . .
1. Non-gamers can pick this up fast. We had a guest last night as a matter of fact that really sucks at games. She just doesn't get it. But she picked this up and won a round.
2. Yes, technically you can play with a simple deck of cards and some tokens that represent the flags, but get the actual set if you can. I got mine on Amazon for around $15 and it was well worth it.
3. Quality of the cards are nice and laminated and not too thin.
4. We choose to NOT play with the tactic cards. There is still so much going on with the base game that we don't need the added layer, plus I agree with Dice Tower that the tactic cards it comes with don't change the game that much. What they do provide is a little bit of variety.
5. Most of our games get down to the last hand and an empty draw pile. This is great and means we are loving the level of strategy.
6. LUCK is light as there is a randomness to which cards you draw. But since it's only a two player game, each player has a great chance of getting at least three winning hands and if you can win in a row, that's all you need!
Our entire family of kids and adults (six of us ranging from ages 10+) love this game as a great skirmish battle.
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!