For those that don’t know, Battle Lines (which re-implements Schotten Totten) is a game were two players face off against each other, taking turns playing cards. There is a row of nine face-offs. The object of the game is to be the first player to win five total face-offs or three adjacent face-offs. Since the play system is not too different from Condottiere, I was curious to take the Battle Lines/Schotten Totten game and re-implement it using the cards and battle mechanic from Condottiere. This is what I came up with. Let me know what you think and if you have and suggestions.
Pieces: All of the cards and the wooden cubes from Condottiere. No other components are needed.
Setup: Players sit across from each other and place nine of the wooden cubes in row between them (as in Battle Lines/Schotten Totten). Each of these cubes represents a face-off. The cards are shuffled and each player is dealt ten cards.
Turn: On their turn, a player first plays a card next to one of the nine wooden cubes, on their side. After doing so, the player draws back up to ten cards + the number of face offs they have won so far. Play passes back and fourth between the two players.
Face offs: For the most part, face offs are handled the same as in Condottiere, with a few modifications. Think of the face-offs as a series two player Condottiere battles happening at the same time. Unless otherwise stated, a card’s effects will only impact a single face-off.
• When scoring a face off, as in Condottiere, the winner is the side with the largest army strength.
• Mercenary, Bishop, Drummer, Heroine, Scarecrow, and Surrender cards are the same and affect only the two sides of the face-off they are played to.
• The Spring/Winter cards have the same ability. However, they affect the face-off that they are played against as well as any adjacent face-offs. They are played in the middle of the face-off, next to the face-off cube and stay in play after that face off is scored. Use markers to denote the order of play. The first Spring/Winter card will have no wooden cubes on it. The second will have one, third two, etc. This is to see which card is in effect if, for example, a face off is between two face offs that have a season card on them. The cubes placed on top of the Spring/Winter cards are just to denote play order and are unrelated to the face-off cubes.
• Courtesan cards still have a value of one and are unaffected by Winter, Spring, Bishop, Drummer, and Scarecrow cards. However, since there is no Condottiere token, their ability is dropped. Instead, if at any time, a face-off has a total of three Courtesan cards among both sides of the face-off, it is scored as if a Surrender card had been played.
Scoring a Face-off: If a Surrender card or third Courtesan card is played into a face off, that face-off is scored immediately. Scoring is handled the same as Condottiere. After scoring, both sides flip there non Spring/Winter cards face down in place. The winning side places the wooden face-off cube on top of their pile to show that they have won it. If it is a tie, the marker stays in the middle and cannot be won by either player.
Ending the Game: If during play any player wins five face-offs in total or three consecutive face offs (win one face off as well as both of its adjacent face-offs), they win immediately. If a player attempts to draw a card and there are not enough cards remaining to do so, game play is over. At this time, all unscored face-offs are scored. The player who won the most face-offs wins. If there is a tie, players play a single face-off against each other using only the cards remaining in their hands at the end of the game. If this too is a tie, calculate the total battle strength of all nine armies played in the main game (remember to include and re-calculate Winter/Spring cards) for each player. The larger army wins. If that's a tie, then the game is a tie.