Quick Look: Battle Line
Designer: Reiner Knizia
Artists: Roland MacDonald
Publisher: GMT Games
Year Published: 2000/2017
No. of Players: 2
Playing Time: 30 minutes.
From the Publisher:
Two opponents face off across a ‘battle line’ and attempt to win the battle by taking 5 of 9 flags or 3 adjacent flags. Flags are decided by placing cards into 3 card poker-type hands on either side of the flag (similar to straight flush, 3 of a kind, straight, flush, etc). The side with the highest ‘formation’ of cards wins the flag.
This is a rethemed version of Schotten Totten with different graphics and wooden flag bits in place of the boundary stone cards. Game play is identical, except the cards run from 1 to 10 (not 9), you hold seven cards in your hand (not 6), and the rule that stones may only be claimed at the start of your turn is presented as an “advanced variant”. Also the tactics cards were introduced by Battle Line; these cards were only added to later editions of Schotten-Totten.
Some have reported that the production quality of the cards is inferior to the Schotten Totten cards, however, for most readers Battle Line will be much easier to find in stores. In the second edition of GMT’s Battle Line the card quality is higher.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided the copy of Battle Line. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own. Note: IMAGES within Tal The Wolf Card Guy and his High School Board Game Club’s reviews are taken from BGG and/or the publisher’s websites’ as it is against the privacy of the high school and the students to include them herein.
Simple enough to learn for a new gamer, however after a few play-throughs, it started to become repetitive for my more experienced play group.
I appreciate the nod to history with the leader cards and types of battle formations, but there was no “battle.” per se.
This game reminded us very much of Phase 10 and Set in that you are just trying to get the best card combinations for a run, flush, three of a kind etc.
I would suggest possibly making the number itself bigger font wise and/or making the “color” of the card dynamically different and noticeable against the artwork and background. We have a vision impaired player in our group and they were constantly asking what the card played was. In the end we resorted to just calling out “blue 3” or “orange 7” when we played a card and not the name of the troop or formation we were going for.
Overall this is a great game for introducing new gamers to tabletop/board gaming, but more experienced gamers may prefer a heavier game.
After reading Tal the Wolf Card Guy and his High School Board Game Club’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Battle Line is available for purchase. Check it out and get yours HERE.
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Tal the Wolf Card Guy – Reviewer
Tal is a Student Success Specialist at a high school in Michigan. He runs a very popular after school game club there. Tal grew up playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (2nd Edition) and started playing Magic: The Gathering in 1995. Tal has an eclectic taste in games. He lists his current favorites as including Magic (he has a local tournament winning Werewolf and Token decks), Munchkin, Fluxx, Scrabble (he is VERY good at this Math game. It is not a spelling game), Catan, and Pit. He also likes social deduction games and heavier story driven games as well. “Playing games is a universal language and a great way to connect with people. Even if you are not ‘talking,’ you are still communicating and connecting. Sometimes that is all people and students need!”
See Tal’s reviews HERE.
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