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Subject: THIS GAME IS BROKEN rss

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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Arcata
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Until a few days ago, I had logged over 50 plays of this game; I felt it had just the right amount of luck, plenty of tough teeth-grinding screwage & fun choices, with games often playing out in different, interesting ways, perfect for when one guy shows up early on game night.

My experience has been that the first player seems to be at a minor disadvantage, but that's no problem; if you're having a good night, you put your opponent on notice by announcing "I'm going to go first and I'm going to win."

A few days ago, I introduced the game to the burrito boy, age 10. Naturally I went first, although I didn't expect that to fully mitigate the commanding advantage I would enjoy from my superior understanding of the subtleties of the game & the contents of the Tactics deck.

He won. Well, that's fine; beginner's luck and all that.

Second game, he won too. Hmmm. OK, no more goofing around--the third game, I was going to win.

He won again.

The next night, for our fourth game, I was determined to stomp him. He won.

Tonight we played our fifth game, and he won again.

So clearly, the only reasonable explanation is that this game is a total luck-fest, totally invalid as any sort of contest, and a poor excuse for a pastime. Frankly I think it's borderline criminal that this product would be marketed as entertainment. Normally I would throw it on the trade pile, but in a case this extreme, I believe I'm justified in demanding a refund from the publisher.

...

Here's how desperate I was to win that fifth game: at one point, he played Deserter, and said "so, one of those goes away," pointing to a 2-3-4 Wedge. I casually slid the 2 aside, instead of the obvious 3, because I was holding the 5 of that color in my hand. Dirty, low, shameful--but dammit, when you're down 4 games, you're obviously not qualified to offer advice to the other player. Even when they ask, which he keeps doing, eyes wide in mock wonder: "Gee, Dad, how come I keep beating you?" "Stuff it you little mrff'n frff brfrr..."

...

Coming down to the last couple plays of the game, I had Mud, which could keep him from winning the flag on which the game depended, and another card which I could use to claim a non-essential flag. The Troop card he needed in the middle of his 8-9-10 Wedge had already been played elsewhere; his only hope was to dump garbage into non-essential flags and draw Alexander or Darius.

Watching his face as he drew from the Tactics deck, I could see that he hadn't drawn what he needed. Well, no sense in playing Mud before it was absolutely necessary, enabling him to play two Tactics cards & possibly screw things up; on his next play, either he would play garbage into the critical flag, turning it into a pitiful Host which I would easily defeat with the Battalion in my hand, or he would drop a card into a non-essential flag and try again to draw Alexander or Darius, at which point I would play Mud, sealing his fate.

But there was no reason to tell him he was doomed; really it's best for kids to remain hopeful & optimistic as long as possible, don't you think? I tried to cheer him up as we discussed what he might do. "Look, son," I said finally, fanning out the Tactics deck, "there are only five cards left, so you've got a two in five chance of getting what you need. Those odds aren't too bad!" Heh, heh, heh.

"No," he said sadly, "it's less than that." Just as I furrowed my brow to explain why his grasp of probability was sadly deficient, he gave a small smile and laid down Alexander.

GAHHH!!! Nooooooooooo

I'm not sure what hurts more--that I was beaten again, by a child, or that the boy can bluff me, stone cold, for as long as he likes. I would be proud of him if I weren't so terrified.
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Filipe Cunha
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
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LOL!
You've been PUNK'D!
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Mazomanie
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I love it. I was quite prepared to taunt you for being wrong. Instead I'll taunt you for getting punk'd.
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Tanks Alot
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Fort Mill
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I love this game. The trick is to never play a kid! Kids always have the best dice rolls and all the luck.
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Todd Redden
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Manchester
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You should play with people your own age! Try playing SET if you want to get your ass kicked by a 10 year old. Battle Line is a great game, don't trade it.
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Bryan Maxwell
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Terrific post. Really well done. This is more entertaining than most session reports I read on here.
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Thomas Blaine
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I fully sympathize. If the game is at least somewhat strategic, I usually give my 7 year old a handicap. Bad idea. Recently he's trashed me (and I really mean trashed me) in Battue, Memoir '44 and others. The gloves are off now!

And no TV for a week!
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Jordan Stewart
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Grand Bay-Westfield
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Haha, those are some terrifyingly great bluffing skills.
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Plainwell
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Remember that family trade thread? You know the one. Perhaps we should re-open negotiations. Cold_fuzion has not let me win this game - which *I* kindly bought as a "fun 2 player" (I blame Sinister Dexter for insinuating such) - once. Not once. Nope.

Clearly the trade needs to be that BB and C_F end up in one state and you and I in the other. I'm pretty flexible on which state, but I must insist again, that you pay shipping. I reckon you have about a 100% chance at beating me, and I have a 100% chance of hoping to be able to win for a few games anyhow. Meanwhile BB and C_F beat up on each other and who knows what happens but I can only assume it will be good for both of them to learn some humility or maybe at least one of them will learn something. Hopefully just not more ways to beat us.

All in all, I say it is a win, win scenario. Ish.
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Joe Gola
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Redding
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I like the cut of his jib.
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Tim
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I'm a late comer to this party... but I saw a copy of this on the shelf at a local store recently, and I was thinking about picking up a copy. I've watched the video reviews and read just about everything there is to read about this game on BGG, but your post sealed the deal.

Thanks.
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Mike Stevens
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I will say that for a quick Filler this game is very addictive to people. I have had it for a few years and everyone I have taught it to has wanted to play one more game especially after being beat. A few nights ago, I taught it to my g/f and she loved it. I beat her, game after game, and she just wanted to keep playing. Finally after winning 5 in a row, I said "ENOUGH" and we played something else. Now every time we get ready for some gaming she says "hey, we have time for a few games of Battle Line, lets play". She still has not won a game but has come very close and how can you not love the fighting spirit that this game invokes.

NEVER trade it away!
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Craig B
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"The Troop card he needed in the middle of his 8-9-10 Wedge had already been played elsewhere; his only hope was to dump garbage into non-essential flags and draw Alexander or Darius."

You don't take into account Alexander or Darius when proving someone can't be beat. So you should have taken that flag BEFORE he could lay down Alexander or Darius. You dun goofed. Obviously your opponent was the better commander.

Exact Rules wording:

"If the opponent's side contains less than three cards, the claiming player must prove that the opponent will not be able to create a winning formation, regardless of what Troop cards the opponent might play. For this purpose, the player may use the open information from the layout to show that certain cards are no longer available. The player may not use any information from his own hand. Unplayed Tactics cannot prevent a Flag claim."
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