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By now I’m sure you all know. I hate player elimination games. Yes, there have been a few exceptions such as Fisticuffs, but most of the time–It’s just a bad time for the players who are knocked out. Unless, you are playing Battlegoats. I was so happy to be given the chance to try this game at the San Jose Protospiel hosted at Game Kastle last weekend. Battlegoats is a 2- 4 player battling card game that has you and your opponents face off in the least merciful, yet most adorable way ever. Live on Kickstarter, Cardlords introduces us to a world of goats, mines, cannons, pigs, and pig launchers. Battlegoats takes minutes to learn and proves simple to play with zany graphics and accessible action text. Rumour has it, this game has been playtested on players ranging from 6+ to 73–So yeah, it’s definitely a game everyone can own (which should be the outcome of this kickstarter; my grandmother is getting a game of her own forsure).
It’s very simple to set up and play. With eight cards and one hero, you will lay out a 3×3 grid of your cards face down memorizing your character locations (definitely no penalty to lifting up the cards and peaking when necessary). Rotating clockwise, each player will face up one of their characters and select an opposing characters card to attack. Flip these cards face up and calculate the modifying action text (characters can have +2 attack points per cards in front of their card, some may attack more than one card, etc.) and finalize the fight defeating whatever character(s) have less points than the other. Last player standing wins!
I had the chance to play with both of the developers and I had an absolute blast. I’ll admit, I had a tough time remembering where my cards were located, but I found that it didn’t slow progression nor did it affect my experience. Being memorization is a huge mechanic in this game I was more determined to keep in mind where my opponents top tier characters were located (I never succeeded in remembering, but I tried?). I set up my characters in a way to battlegoatsensure that I would take full advantage of their abilities. For example, Tomb Raider Goat (gains power based on opponent’s discard) was a great late play card–I had to make sure that he goes unnoticed until toward the latter half of our experience, that way I can have him super buffed for attacking. I also wanted to make sure I had my Cowboy Goat (+3 for every card in front of him) in the very back row to make sure I have a nice +6 to his power.
As the game progressed, I watched as my characters abilities weakened and my morale fell faster the my cards fell into my discard pile. One of my opponents had this Lizard that could explode dealing a +2 to their attack, another opponent’s hero ALWAYS won their first battle. Glass cannon, Oh glass cannon how you can attack an entire row of characters–you can see my little grid of cards had ways to go. In the end, I managed to win. Managed being the keyword I think I have beginners luck because my opponents were very challenging and very impressive. While I never had a chance to combo, I loved the way some of the cards could bounce off each other to create massive destruction like: Dragon and Dragon baby or Pig and Pig Launcher. I did love seeing everyone’s different interpretation of strategy because each time we played I could see our focus take a complete 180 based on the cards we were dealt.
Battelgoats truly creates an immersive battle field. Whether your game lasts 5 minutes or 20 minutes you’ll always want more. I played twice in a row and then I left so someone else could have a try–but I wanted more! The artwork draws you in, the gameplay is so simple to learn and so easy to get down, the battling is fun, and it’s capable of holding up to six players! Getting knocked out isn’t the end of the world because most of the time it means you’ll have minutes to wait before you are setting up your next game. nine out of ten because it’s array of strategies, it’s cycling of abilities, it’s a unique experience, and it’s just an all around great game for anyone.
You will like this game if you’re looking for a quick to play take that card game with cute goats and great design. This will be slightly strategic with a lot of luck value involved.
You will not like this game if you’re looking for something with a bit more depth and length. This is a very light-hearted and zany experience. Instead of one great long battle, you may play a couple of short battles.