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Posted by admin On June - 28 - 2011

“Ancient battles were fought in organized formations. The leaders of both sides directed their forces along the battle line to gain tactical advantage in order to overwhelm their opponent in the center, breakthrough one of the flanks, or hold their position until the time came for decisive move. How will you muster your battle line? Your objective is to create powerful formations on your side of the flags in order to beat the formations on your opponents’s side of the respective Flags. The first player to win three adjacent Flags (a Breakthrough) or any five Flags (an Envelopment) achieves victory.

Length: 20-35mins (depending on how tactical you are or how quickly your opponent kicks your arse!)
Age: Regular Game 10+, Advanced Game 12+
Players: 2

Cards are war, in disguise of a sport.  - Charles Lamb. Ah… this reminds me of playing WAR with all my little friends growing up. Remember when you’d come about a tie and pray for a high card at the end of “I – de – clare – WAR!” only to be disappointed that a measly “2” popped up, so your opponent collected all the cards. And as you flipped them over to see what they got, of course at least one of them was your Ace! Ugh!

But then as you got older, you realized just how lame WAR was so you moved onto other card games and of course tried poker because that was what all the older cool kids were playing.

Now as an adult, so they say, I still dabble in Poker from time to time. However, the more and more I play board games, the less and less I play poker. And I mostly blame this on Reiner Knizia. He’s made a game that gives me my poker fill and board game fill simultaneously, in the clever 2 player card game called “Battleline.”


Object & Shortening of the Manual:

You win if you are the first player to either 1.) claim 3 adjacent flags or 2.) claim any 5 flags.

There is an advanced version and a non-advanced version. The non-advanced version is not really worth playing because the advanced version is the good stuff. Therefore, I shall only indulge you in the good stuff. Dealter deals 7 cards to each player. Non-dealer goes first. On each players turn, you play ether one troop card or tactics card from your hand. At the end of your turn, replenish your hand from either the troop or tactics deck.

There are 3 empty slots on each side of the flag where you place your formations. The formations are valued as follows from highest to lowest. Order is irrelevant.

**when comparing two formations in the same category, the formation with the higher sum of all three cards, wins. In the event of a tie, it’s whoever got the formation first.

At the beginning of a players turn he may claim any flags. The claiming player must be able to prove that the opponent will not be able to beat their formation regardless of any unplayed tactics cards. The player may not use any information from his hand.

Ex (refer to photo below): Player One with 10/9/8(tactic card), may claim this flag because Player Two with  8/7 would not be able to make a formation to beat it. For one, the red 6 has already been played, and even so, 10/ 9/8 would beat out 8/7/6.

Now Player Two not only has lost a flag but he can not fill that third slot on his side either.

As you play more and more, you’ll develop strategies and learn the tactic cards, but it’s really a game you have to just play to really understand and learn well.

Final Thoughts:
This is probably in my top 5 games right now, especially because my husband and I have been looking for a really good two player game. However, if you are a serious gamer I would only suggest this game with the advance rules mainly because it really ups the strategy. In the Beginner rules you may claim a flag before the end of your turn, whereas with the advance rules, you may not claim a flag until the beginning of your next turn. This allows your opponent the opportunity to try and modify the situation, if they can, before you claim your victory.

The only frustation, is sometimes you may be dealt a bad hand, or consistently draw things you don’t need. But thats the luck part and it happens, plus you can use my favorite poker quote “I must complain the cards are ill shuffled till I have a good hand.”  – Jonathan Swift

Final Final Thoughts:
Quality: 4/5 (I didn’t give it a 5 because I saw the Asian version on BGG and got a lil’ jealous of their artwork so that version gets 5/5! *smile*)
Fun: 5/5
Substance: 5/5
Re-playability: 5/5


** Some were wondering it the Asian version was legit, sounds like it. I’ve already told my hubby I want it for my Birthday!