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Subject: And much carnage did ensue! rss

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Brandon Hill
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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Ah the third Saturday of the month. Game day. One of the most enjoyable Saturdays of the month.

This go around, we kicked the day off with my newly acquired copy of battle line. In short, I was impressed. We played several times and fun was had by all.

This is one of the games I had purchased blind after having heard it mentioned in several episodes of The Dice Tower. I should never listen to gaming pod casts. It gets expensive. Battle Line however was money well spent.

The first game was the requisite bumbling "lets figure this out" session as is to be seen with any game where none of the participants knows what exactly they are doing. Near the end we discovered that we really had needed to be taking more tactic cards through the coarse of the game. Two troop cards left and six or seven tactics is probably not optimum. It gets difficult to find places to put the tactics this late.

We also discovered that we needed to worry a little less about the color of the cards. It didn't quite register at first that three of the same value out weighed most of the other formation options. Color is important but not the end all.

By the second game however I'd say that we hit our stride. That in itself says a lot about the game. I would feel comfortable saying that it is a game that while you won't have all the subtleties of strategy figured out, you will have the mechanism solidly in hand by the second game. That is coming from a point of complete zero knowledge of the game for both players. It's an easy game to pick up.

In our second round we both started grabbing the occasional tactic card earlier on, balancing that against the number of troop cards held. We also started counting cards. Knowing how many cards of each color and denomination have been played and actually applying that information can be very important in deciding how you intend to or should play. This is especially true later in the game when the cards you may want/need are already in play.

We did miss one minor point however. Several hands before we noticed the fact, I had actually won the game, taking three consecutive flags. In the end I took the four flags on my opponents left flank for a narrow victory.

So I'm happy. My money was spent well and I have little doubt that Battle Line will see plenty more play in our group.
 
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Joe Stude
United States
Farmington Hills
Michigan
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Whether you play lots of tactics or not really depends on your playstyle. I actually prefer playing as few of them as possible and especially dislike being forced to play the first one based on the board situation. This happened to me the other day when I had a leader in my hand and my opponent had claimed the first two flags of the game, one flag apart, and was threatening to take the third one in the center and end the game really quick. I had to throw the leader just to break up the breakthrough.

In that type of situation, I've generally found that although playing the first tactics card often allows me to regain some momentum, the other player usually just takes momentum right back with his own tactics play(s).
Of course, either player can be hurt by needing to play tactics but not having the right ones in-hand to work with.
 
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