You're walking along the street one day when, out of nowhere, the ghost of Alexander the Great springs up with a copy of Battle Line. "Um, hi. I'm Alexander the Great, and, uh, I'd like to play a card game with you." Ignoring his usage of English, the likelihood of a such a prominent world leader showing up in your home town, and the fact that you are indeed talking to a ghost, you reply...
A) Is this an actual war game? If it's not, I don't want to play it. I require combat to be truly simulated and I have no interest in playing an abstract card game (with Alexander the Great or anyone else.) Go to #2.
B) Why not? Go to #1.
#1 "Do you enjoy two player games?" the ghost inquires.
A) I do, as they often offer a lot of strategy without "jump on the leader" mechanics. Go to #4.
B) I normally only play multiplayer games, but I can be talked into them. Go to #3.
C) Two player games are not for me. If you invite the ghost of Hannibal we can talk. Go to #2.
#2 Sorry, but this isn't for you. This is an abstract, two player card game that has rather little to do with actual fighting. If this bothers you, this game is not for you, regardless of how solid its mechanics are. Now please leave the sight of the ghost of Alexander before he does some weird ghost thing to you.
#3 "Are you interested in a good filler game that plays in well under an hour?"
A) One can never have too many good fillers, especially while waiting on the other players to show up. Go to #4.
B) I tend to not enjoy fillers, as longer games are much more fun. Anything less than an hour just won't do it for me. Go to #2.
#4 "Do you like abstract games?"
A) Was this made by Knizia? If so, I feel a need to crack a joke about "pasted on themes" and pass on this one. Go to #2.
B) Theme is crucial, but I'll give it a try. Go to #5.
C) Mechanics can be more than enough to make up for a missing theme. Go to #6.
#5 Try it before you buy it. This game is not for everyone, as its clearly abstract nature doesn't always suck in people expecting a true war theme. I've yet to play it with someone that didn't enjoy it, but this may not be a purchase for you. So be nice and try Alexander's copy, but don't win or he may kill you.
#6 This is an affordable classic that fills a key niche in many collections: the short but strategic filler. I have played this game several times in a row as a main course or killed some time with it while waiting for a longer multiplayer game. There is a lot to the strategy of the game, but the rules are simple enough to introduce a new player in minutes. It is a surprisingly deep game, with many of the games feeling unique. Go out and buy this game, but Alexander probably won't sell his as money isn't worth a lot to ghosts.
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Very groovy review format!