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Battle Sheep Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Francesco Rotta
Artist: Andrea Femerstrand
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Year Published: 2010
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 7+
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
The object of Battle Sheep is to use your sheep to claim the most pasture spaces while keeping your opponents from doing the same. The player who can do this will NOT be the Black Sheep of the gaming group.

To set up Battle Sheep each player takes 16 sheep tokens of the same color along with 4 pasture boards. Taking turns each player will place a pasture board in the center of the table creating the playing field. Then each player, in turn order (youngest to oldest), places all of her sheep tokens into a single stack on one of the outer perimeter spaces.

Two player set up.

Two player game ready to go.

On a player's turn he will do the following two actions:
1) Divide one of his sheep stacks into two stacks. The only rule here is both stacks must contain at least one sheep.

2) Leave one stack where it is and move the other stack in a straight line until it reaches another sheep stack or cannot go any further (IE hitting the edge of the playing field). Note: you can not combine or jump over other sheep stacks.

A player is finished when he can no longer move any of his sheep. Once all players are finished the final score is tallied by adding up the number of spaces (pastures) your sheep occupy. The player with the most pastures wins!

Black wins 14 to 12.


Battle Sheep is a game I have been eyeing for quit some time now, so when Blue Orange approached me to do a review for it I jumped at the chance. Not only did the cover art intrigue me I was also very interested to see how it played knowing a little bit about it.

As you can see from the above run down Battle Sheep is very simple to set up and play. In fact the rule book is a single sheet of paper about 5" by 5" folded in half. I was able to learn to play and teach my kids with in a matter of a few minutes. They easily picked up on it and were ready to go without any additional instructions.

Although Battle Sheep is easy to learn and the turn sequence is simple to do, mastering the game is another matter. Much like Chess and Go, Battle Sheep is 100% strategic so your opponents know exactly what you have and what you can do at all times. You better bring your "A" game, luck won't save you in this one. Player interaction is high as you are watching your opponents' moves and guessing what they will do next, so there is no time for texting at the table. Take you eye off the game for too long and you will find yourself trapped and unable to claim any further pastures.

The variable set up, with players placing tiles at random can, creates a little different play from game to game. The number of players also can alter how the game feels as you are tracking more than one opponent's moves and options.

The artwork is fun and playful which is what I have come to expect from Blue Orange Games. I was somewhat surprised to see the level of attention given to it considering the abstract nature of the game. Each set of sheep contains sixteen different sheep illustrations! The artwork also really ties the theme in with the mechanics of moving sheep around pastures trying to claim space. Even though just about any other theme would work here, I really enjoy this one.

What comes in the box.

Looks at all these adorable sheep!

Battle Sheep is super fast to play so you can easily get several plays in at one time or use it as a filler game during a big gaming night. It is also very accessible to players of all ages, the rules say 7+ which I think works well here.

I really enjoyed playing this one with my kids and can see it hitting the table often with them especially if we are trying to play a bunch of shorter games. It will be interesting to see how it fairs over time, I am hoping that the different set ups can keep the game fresh. If not I did notice there are also some user variants on Board Game Geek which can spice things up.

Players who like strategic games like Chess, Go, Yinsh, Blokus, and Onitama will love Battle Sheep.

I am giving Battle Sheep 7.5 out of 10 super meeples.

7.5 10

We are giving away two copies of Battle Sheep between February 23, 2017 and March 9, 2017. Enter HERE.

Check out Battle Sheep on:


About the Author:

My name is Dane Trimble I am the Advertising Manager for a national magazine by day and a husband, father of four, and board gamer by night (and mornings). I have a passion for board games as I believe board games help bring families closer together while providing kids a unique way to learn many diverse skills. And they are down right fun!!!
Battle Sheep Review Battle Sheep Review Reviewed by Dane Trimble on February 22, 2017 Rating: 5


  1. I like the fact that it looks like it would be an easy to start playing game, unlike some that take an hour of setting up and going over rules before you can actually play. It looks like a fun family game.

  2. I've been looking at this one awhile. For sheep related reasons.

  3. I like that it is a game I can play with my kids and adults

  4. I like the variable board set up. I am just a sucker for anything farm or farm animal related. The strategy appears simple enough for kids but deep enough for adults.

  5. I like the variable game board. I also like that I can teach it to my 7 yo and he would get it. Plus my 4 yo can start to learn it as well.

  6. I love the strategic aspect of this game while being simple to learn and play.

  7. I like the fact that it's a great abstract strategy game with simple rules but lots of replayability.

  8. Love the idea of a quick and simple game that has some huge tactical depth.

  9. At first glance, Battle Sheep looks simple. However, the dynamic board construction and the strategy involved with each new configuration make it immensely replayable. And the sheep are pretty darn cute, too.

  10. I really think my daughter would enjoy this with me.

  11. Looks like a great game to enjoy with our whole family.

  12. I like that Battle Sheep is strategy game. My family loves strategy games. I love the artwork too.

  13. Great game. Great strategy for such simple mechanics.

  14. I like the variable board set up and the fact that it's easy to learn and hard to master.

  15. Looks fun, and I like the art. I think my daughters would enjoy it :)

  16. The components look great and I like the emergent game strategies.

  17. Looks like a good alternative to Hey That's My Fish

  18. As a family who enjoys BOG's selection of games, this looks great. A Family friend has already recommended it and we look forward to playing it!

  19. The game play is super easy to grasp. My father-in-law hates games. Will not play games. But he likes Battle Sheep because he "gets it" right away.

  20. It is great since I really enjoy area control games!

  21. All ages aspect appeals to me

  22. I like the artwork, even though it's an abstract game

  23. I can't wait to play this game! I'm drawn in by the easy learnability and playability of this game, not to mention the quirky artwork and premise. I like that Battle Sheep is unlike most games I've ever played before, but still similar enough to fit into any gaming library.

  24. Looks like a great game to play with the kids.

  25. I just love the sheep. They make me laugh.

  26. I like the art. I think my kids and I will enjoy this game!

  27. I played this game once and loved it! It's very cute, easy to learn and has enough depth to keep pretty much anyone interested. I think we spent almost as much time looking at all the sheep poses as we did actually moving them!

  28. Love the sheep graphics. This game looks like great fun!

  29. 7.5 out of 10 meeples!


  30. I like that it is not only visually appealing but also the mechanics and gameplay seem to be very inviting for people of all ages. This is the ideal game for family game night.

  31. The perfect family game night game. Visually appealing but also mechanically appealing as it seems to be a game that a hard core gamer can still enjoy.