Thursday, November 10, 2005

#29: Battle Line/Schotten Totten

Dr. Knizia strikes again with this popular 2 player game - deciding when to"go for it" and when to "wait & see" provides amazing tension. Produced in two different editions: the German Schotten Totten (themed around comical Scottish gentlemen fighting over border stones) and the American Battle Line (with a Greek theme and additional Tactics cards).

Brian Leet: "My favorite essentially abstract game. Pure simplicity with tons of fun."

Pat Korner: "My favourite 2-player game. The variant that lets you only claim markers at the start of your turn takes a moderately fun and very luck-based game (Schotten Totten) and turns it into a gem. Tense and highly enjoyable but still playable in a half hour."

Aaron Fuegi: "Quick two player with lots of strategy. The Tactics cards area great improvement on the already good Schotten-Totten, unlike the changes GMT made to their other Knizia games."

Dave Arnott: "Two-player game of choice. Tension, skill, some bluff, just enough luck to make it interesting, but not so much that you have to play multiple games to even things out. Vastly superior to the unnecessary-chrome-filled Battle Line."

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6 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

I want to note that my comments don't pertain to Battle Line so much. While it is ok, I find that the tactics cards detract from the beautiful simple elegance of the original.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous josh miller said...

I'm with Brian. It looks like two of the original blurbs come out strongly for Schotten Totten, and two come out strongly for Battle Line. Let the Schotten Totten vs. Battle Line war begin!

8:25 AM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

I'll make it three. Schotten Totten is a brilliantly simple game, but it's not just my love of its elegance that leads me to prefer it to Battle Line. The essence of ST is the reasoning that "this column is won if I can draw that, because these cards are out". The Tactics cards in BL destroy that and make the game far less interesting to me. Despite its simplicity, I think ST is considerably better than Lost Cities. In fact, there's a third game in Knizia's "I don't want to play these cards yet!" trilogy, Tabula Rasa, which I also prefer to LC.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous josh miller said...

Anyone who likes Schotten Totten should probably check out Knizia's new game Head-to-Head Poker. Less than $10 at your local Wal-Mart if you live in the U.S. Knizia is not credited on the box, but you'll know it's him once you play it (or look at the fine print at the end of the rules). It's an interesting game containing several variants, many of which can be used in different rounds of the same match. The "draw 3" rules in particular are very Schottenish and Tottenish.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Aaron D. Fuegi said...

I think that the Tactics Cards greatly increase the skill factor in this game. I am absolutely certain that I have a better chance of beating a novice in BL than I do in ST. ST is too much about just drawing really good cards. Used correctly a single Tactics card can make the difference on two flags in some cases and regardless, using them correctly is a hugely important skill.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Aaron D. Fuegi said...

Oh, I should also say that I agree with Pat about the flag claiming rule. I will ONLY play this game if flags can only be claimed at the start of the turn. Players MUST have a chance to respond to a Tactics Card play and not have you just instantly grab the flag.

9:18 AM  

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