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Battle Line

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • revised version of Schotten-Totten
  • Age range: 10 and up / Number of players: 2 / Play time: 20 to 30 minutes
  • Manufacturer: GMT
  • 60 Troop cards, 10 Tactics cards, 9 red wooden pawns, Rulebook
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Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight272 g
Product Dimensions23.2 x 15.5 x 3.8 cm
Manufacturer recommended age:10 years and up
Item model numberGMT 0012
Number of Game Players2
Assembly RequiredNo
Batteries Required?No
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 188,829 in Toys & Games (See top 100)
Shipping Weight272 g
Delivery Destinations:Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
Date First Available18 Oct 2007

Product Description

Battle Line is a card game of "capture the flags" using an ancient battle formation theme. It plays like rummy or poker, is easy to learn, and has strategy and the ability to provide surprises to your opponent. The leaders of both sides direct forces along the battle line to gain tactical advantages. The first player to win three adjacent Flags or any five Flags is the winner. Based on Reiner Knizia's original design published in Germany as Schotten-Totten, Battle Line enhances and expands the game with more options and fun.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 49 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Great, two-player strategy card game. 25 Oct 2008
By Charlie Chaplin - Published on
Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
One of the best two-player card games available. You need to like thinking strategically and thinking ahead. Do you play a special card or not? Do you commit yourself to a certain plan at one location in order to break up your opponent's line of wins across from you, even though it is unlikely you'll get the card you need? Do you risk starting at a spot where your opponent hasn't yet committed a card set? Are you going to get trapped into your plan? How can I prove that I win that match without messing up a card sequence I already have going? You'll understand all these questions once you get the game and start playing. You have a set number of pegs at which you can lay your cards. Your opponent lays his set of cards across from you at the same pegs. Each peg represents a battle between your set of cards at that peg and his set of cards at that peg. Certain formations of cards win over others, and you can't always tell right away which formation your opponent is going for at a given peg. The special cards can be used to really mess with your opponent's plans and swing a battle in your favor. The catch with the special cards is that once you play one, you cannot play another until your opponent plays one. If he never does, then you have to live with the regular cards you have in your hand! Good luck!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Military Strategy? Dressed-Up Poker? Both, It Turns Out. 1 Oct 2012
By Timothy Weeks - Published on
Here's a game that offers serious strategic play with a simple set of rules, and some nice "wild card" action thrown in for variety. Players start with a row of pegs (called flags) between them. They then take turns placing cards on their side of the flags. They can place any card by any flag, never more than 3 cards at any one flag. All cards are played face up.

Players capture a flag by having a combination of 3 cards on their side that beats the opponent's combination on the other side. There are different kinds of combinations -- 3 of a color, assortment of 3 random cards, 3 of a rank, etc.

Certain kinds of combinations will always beat other kinds of combinations. Between the same kind of combination, a win is decided by rank or arithmetically. A win means you capture that flag.If a player captures 3 adjacent flags, or any 5 flags, he wins.

If you've made it this far, you'll see that the game is rather like Poker with multiple hands and face-up play.

Add to the mix Tactics cards. These include leaders like Darius and Alexander which are wild cards -- they can be played as any rank, any color. Other Tactics include Deserter (your opponent loses any card of your choice) or Traitor (you can steal any of your opponent's cards).

Gameplay is straightforward. But strategically you need to exercise a lot of foresight. You can't simply drop cards into your formation without thinking about your opponent's (hidden) hand. You also have to take into account the strategic importance of each flag. Remember, capturing 3 adjacent flags means victory. So there are "lines of force" in the game that aren't immediately apparent.

The Tactics cards mix up play somewhat, but their effect isn't extreme. They don't radically shift the game, but they can often help to mitigate an awful hand or to add a slight advantage.

Highly recommended for card game lovers. Those who enjoy military strategy games will probably enjoy this as well -- the flags certainly create the sense of a strategic front. But players looking for hardcore military action may be disappointed. Really, this is an excellent card game with military trappings.

Also check out Glory to Rome. If you like strategic word-game play, you might enjoy THE Book of Word Games: Parlett's Guide to 150 Great and Quick-to-Learn Word Games.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A deep two player card game 30 May 2011
By C. Sham - Published on
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
I knew what I was buying before I got this, so it came as no surprise to me that Battle Line was as deep and strategic of a two-player card game that I have ever played. Combining the classic poker elements of bluffing and gambling with some simple 'game' mechanics, this is an easy game to teach that quickly proves itself to be quite the thinker.

The concept is to get three-card hands - sequential, suited, three of a kind etc. The familiarity to poker is immediate, and the special leader cards provide for the game mechanics to add flavor to this game and make it a bit deeper than taking the ruleset and running with a standard Bicycle playing deck. You're also playing heads up against your opponent, and so the turn-by-turn play where you alternate and build up hands against one another makes for a good, chatty discussion with plenty of strategic depth.

It's unfortunate that the thematic setting is so niche. The historical context of the Macedonian phalanx is used to great effect and both the standard cards and the special cards really lend the theme a good flavor, but it also makes the game unreachable to less 'board gamey' crowds. This is also a fairly lengthy game, easily taking 30-45 minutes for two players to resolve.

All in all, a serious game for two serious players. Hope you find a good opponent!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great two-player game, surprisingly deep, good for fans of Lost Cities 11 Jan 2013
By Josh H-G - Published on
Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
My wife and I put a lot of time into Lost Cities. This game feels quite a bit like that at times.

But it has a little more going on. It's not the same game, but it's the same designer, and has a similar feel when you sit down to play two-player card battles like this.

The gameplay on Battle Line, is that there are 9 skirmishes on a battlefield (just 9 slots where you play cards) and the two players take turns laying cards to control points on the battle line (3 adjacent, or 5 total). It comes down to the same give-and-take of Lost Cities, where each card you play or pick up is a gamble against what you can do now, what you may be able to do in the next turn, and what your opponent may be planning.

It's more tense than Lost Cities, because the competition is more direct. There are also some special abilities that can be used which allow you to sabotage your opponent, or help yourself.

It's all-in-all one of my favorite two-player games. It's relatively quick (20-35 minutes per round for us usually) and pretty easy to learn, teach, set up, and play.

A very good choice if your gaming group has gotten smaller over time, or if you just want something small and easy without being too simple, or too repetitive.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great 2 player fun! 7 Feb 2011
By Guido van Helvoort - Published on
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
My husband and I really love playing games (we're early 30s), but we wouldn't call ourselves "gamers," like those you would see on (so a bit more than a casual gamer, but not hard-core). If you like a game that combines strategy with a little luck (but not too much), this if for you. Of our 30+ games, this is one of our top 5! It's portable, easy to learn and addictive. I especially enjoy that it's a competitive game, but when the game ends, there are no sore losers -- you usually end up discussing what you could've done, what you should've done... If you're looking to add a great 2 player game to your closet, this is highly recommended!
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