|Back yard setting for Battle Line|
I really like this game. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Battle Line is my favorite Knizia game. It's perhaps the most knife-edge card game I know. You really never want to waste a move in this game, never want to make an unnecessary commitment of a card to a slot. It's playing the odds, it's card luck, but mostly, it's calculated risk-taking. Not exactly a push-your-luck game, BL is really a strategic game of options and opportunity cost.
In the early stages, the cards you play are like laying the initial cornerstones of the foundation of your line. Late in the mid-game, you get to the point where you realize that some of the cards in your hand are just going to stay there taking up space for the rest of the game. When there are only four unclaimed flags and you have seven cards in your hand, you really have to think carefully about what's left, what you can do, and what you just have to relinquish.
|My breakthrough on the left - a light wedge of skirmishers, peltasts, and javelins (green), another wedge|
supported by the Companion Cavalry, and between them elephants and chariots in a formation-negating fog
My wife and I have both got pretty good at this game, at least against each other. Today the cards went my way, but not before she made some pretty solid early plays on central flags. After the game, as I was cleaning up, I happened to look at the cards she had left in her hand, and she really had terrible cards left - almost all low-value, almost none in any kind of pattern relative to what was already in play. She had really played out the potential of the cards she had. It was really a tense game for both of us. A really great way to spend half an hour in the back yard.