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Subject: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-Tot? rss

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Sascha Hoppe
Germany
Braunschweig / City of Lions
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Hello everybody,

I ordered Battle Line from GMT games recently and I wonder
how I should play my first games. I see three different ways
right now, to play the game.

First, you can play like Reiner Knizia intended it for Schotten-Totten:
-Don't play with the elephants, so the maximum number is "9"
-Play with a hand of 6 cards instead of 7
-Claim flags before you lay a card

Second, you can play with the elephant cards, a hand of 7, and you
claim flags after you lay your card for the round.

And finally you can play with the tactic cards or without like in the
standard game of Schotten-Totten.

How do you play it? I'm wondering because usually I find Reiner's games really
tense and I think he is a master of creating tension with simple mechanics.
So I can't really believe, that the new rules could be better an more tense.
But I read here on the geek, that the new rules create more turn angst for some
players.

Your advice is appreciated.

PS: I forgot the fourth way to play the game!
-Play with elephants and a hand of 7
-Play without tactic cards
-Claim flags before you lay your card.

I don't know if anyone plays it this way.
 
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Jeff Coon
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
I haven't played any way except for the normal rules. These sound interesting. I doubt I would play without the tactics cards. Knowing when to draw and play them adds a nice tactical twist.

A smaller hand size would make things tougher, but might make for less interesting decisions. And I'm not sure what playing without the 10s would do...

If you're really set on making the game tougher, the best rule seems to be claiming flags before card play. That gives your opponent the chance to react to one of your card plays. This seems like the most unobtrusive and elegant way to make the game more tense. I might try it that way next time, even though I think the game is perfectly fine with the rules as-is.
 
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
France
Caen
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
First games or not, play it the best way: hand of 7, all cards (10 too), claim flags at the end of your turn. Maybe begin without the Tactics cards (I never use them with my wife, she finds them "confusing"), but try to use them as soon as possible!!!
 
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Elliott Reynolds
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
I've played with both set of rules and greatly prefer the original Schotten Totten rules. The main reason is probably having to claim prior to playing a card. My advice is to play both ways a few times and figure out what suits you best.
 
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Peter Vrabel
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
The most tense way is to play it play it while suspended above a pool of boiling lava. Then, as each person loses, they're dumped into the lava, to suffer a horrible firery death. Eventually, only one person is left, and then they're dropped into the lava as well.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
Peter, I haven't looked into that variant yet.

We prefer to play where when you lose a flag your opponent cuts off a piece of your finger. I've been playing it a lot lately and it let me tell you it is really intense.








This message took me 4 hours.
 
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Allen Jones
United States
Mercer Island
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Funny,

We use the "suspended over a pool" variant as well. But we have introduced a variable ending to spice things up. Sometimes, its a fiery lava death, sometimes its sharks with frickin' laser beams. If you're really unlucky there's no water in the pool; instead its full of all the board games you ever wanted--sealed in impenetrable shrink wrap...the screaming is horrible.

Allen
 
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Sascha Hoppe
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
UserX wrote:
Funny,

We use the "suspended over a pool" variant as well. But we have introduced a variable ending to spice things up. Sometimes, its a fiery lava death, sometimes its sharks with frickin' laser beams. If you're really unlucky there's no water in the pool; instead its full of all the board games you ever wanted--sealed in impenetrable shrink wrap...the screaming is horrible.

Allen


You guys are just kiddin'? Or ain't 'ya?

Anyway, thanks for your comments so far. I never played the game so far, but I can imagine, that maybe to claim the Flag before you play a card will add some tension, because of the possibility for the other player to discard a useless card.
 
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J
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I haven't tried anything but the standard Battle Line rules, but under item 34 on my recent GeekList Alan Kaiser strongly recommends the Schotten Totten rules, specifically mentioning the great tension they provide.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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Andrew Borgelin
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I am one of the few who appears to play your 4th version...

Play with elephants and a hand of 7
-Play without tactic cards
-Claim flags before you lay your card.

I have played with tactics cards and they are fine but, I feel the tension of a 'pure' hand where no tactics cards can get you off the hook on a bad position is by far the most tense way to play the game.

However tension can be increased if you do play the with Tactics cards and following the play of just one card your opponent flatly refuses to play Any tactics cards whatsoever...especially nasty if you have stocked your hand with now all but useless cards!!

Which ever way you play it’s a fine game that warrants replay after replay!
 
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Sascha Hoppe
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
Hatricvs wrote:
I am one of the few who appears to play your 4th version...

Play with elephants and a hand of 7
-Play without tactic cards
-Claim flags before you lay your card.


Thanks for your comment!
Have you tried to play with 6 cards and values up to 9?
What would you say is better when playing with 10s and 7 cards?
 
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Scott Russell
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Without tactics cards, how does it change claiming before or after your turn?

If you have an unbeatable three card combo down at the end of your turn, what could change before your next turn?
 
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Jean-François Lassonde
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
^^ Tactic cards could change something...
 
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Alan Kaiser
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schmoove_de wrote:

Have you tried to play with 6 cards and values up to 9?
What would you say is better when playing with 10s and 7 cards?


I've played this with both the standard Battleline rules with tactics cards and up to 10 in each suite. I've also played with the standard Schotten Totten rules as well (no tactics cards and only up to 9). I'm not sure about when to pick up the stones, I forget which I played with in each version now. Anyway, I much prefer the standard Schotten Totten rules if you want a tense game. The tactics cards in particular are too random and allow a player to play a card without providing any information to the opponent. The tension in this game is all about limiting the information you provide to your opponent each turn. With the tactics cards you can get around that. Sure they do some neat things but it makes for a very different game.
 
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Dennis Ku
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
I play this game much like I play any game with my family.
With Battle Line, every time you claim a flag, you tell a variation of The Aristocrats joke, and your opponent must act out every word of it.
 
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James Cheevers
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
Personally I refuse to play unless I can wager my first-born. Unfortunately I've won each time and still have him. devil

James
 
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Bill Herbst
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Battle Line has a very devoted following among my friends at work. I have played this game about 100 times and they have played it significantly more than I have. We played most of last year using the 7 cards, values 1-10, tactics cards and claim after card play standard Battle Line rules. This year they read the "advanced rules" variant in the Battle Line ruleset and now exclusively play that variant in which there are 7 cards, values 1-10, tactics cards and claims are made before a card is played. I don't have a preference but my friends greatly prefer the new version. It significantly alters the value of the tactics cards as Deserter and Traitor become more powerful when one can only capture a flag after their opponents' move.

Whatever version you choose should provide you with some excellent hours of gaming. Enjoy!
 
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Sascha Hoppe
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Re: What is the most tense way to play Battle Line/Schotten-
Hatricvs wrote:
I am one of the few who appears to play your 4th version...

Play with elephants and a hand of 7
-Play without tactic cards
-Claim flags before you lay your card.

I have played with tactics cards and they are fine but, I feel the tension of a 'pure' hand where no tactics cards can get you off the hook on a bad position is by far the most tense way to play the game.


I've played some games the same way and also some games with 6 cards and numbers only
up to 9. I'm still not sure, if keeping the 10's in the game changes something. It's
still tense, but sometimes the game seems slower to me as when only values up to 9 are in the game. Claiming the flag before you lay your card is the way I like better,
because it gives your opponent the chance to alter his play a bit by discarding an
unwanted card. Sometimes when you are very lucky with the card draw the game would end too soon, if I could already claim it after I laid my card. It is indeed a fun and very clever game. Explained the game to my girlfriend last night and she is already beating me. 4 games played, lost 3 cry
 
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