Let me welcome you to another article in the series where I am describing my path into wargaming and my favorite positions. I went through different titles based on their complexity and solitaire games suitability. I was refraining from publishing this last text due to virus – however, with some restrictions being lifted in Europe I decided it is time to do it. What would be the subject? Small in size Wargames suitable for travel!
Other articles in the series: Light / entry Wargames – my 3 favorite Medium complexity wargames – my 3 favorite Complex / advanced wargames - my 3 favorite Solitaire Wargames - my 3 favorite Wargames for travel - my 3 favorite Most anticipated wargames of 2020 - my top 3
A small card game created by the boardgames veteran Reiner Knizia. Two players face off across a ‘battle line’ and attempt to win the engagement by taking 5 of 9 flags or 3 adjacent flags. Flags are decided by placing cards into 3 card poker-type hands on either side of the flag (similar to straight flush, 3 of a kind, straight, flush, etc). The side with the highest ‘formation’ of cards wins the flag.
In 2019 we got the re-implementation of the game. This new re-themed version of Battle Line is a two-player strategy card game built around the theme of Medieval warfare. This re-themed version of Battle Line features 60 beautiful new cards by illustrator Roland MacDonald, as well as 10 full-color tactics “wildcards” that give players extra flexibility and choices and help make each new battle wildly different from the last.
The game is very easy to pack, requires limited space and takes no more then 30 minutes to play. Still, it provides really interesting game play and you need to really plan well to win. As I love that title I was not able to resist temptation and got both version – the Ancient one and the Medieval one. There are just minor differences between them and I play those titles interchangeably.
More about game:
A good, interesting and addictive game in a pencil-case? Yes, it is possible. What I mean and refer to is Tetrarchy, great cooperative title form Nestorgames. Not many wargamers know that game so I would like to provide more info then usually in those articles.
So, this beautiful game by Miguel Marqués is a simplified story of the Roman fight for survival under emperor Diocletian. This is cooperative game, with four co-emperors working in conjunction on internal rebellions as well as external incursions. Secure 6 borders to win the game – which is not an easy thing, taking into account that you would also work on enemy armies converging on Rome and ever present rebellions.
The game can be played form 1 to 4 players and there are 4 different parameters allowing for gradual increase of the game difficulty:
- Number of control tokens (like garrisons or armies) each of the 4 emperors can place (more tokens makes it easier for you). Value: 3, 4 or 5
- Number of fleets allowing emperors move across water (more fleets makes it easier for you). Value: 1, 2 or 3
- Number of extra rebellions placed during setup (fewer rebellions makes it easier for you). Value: 0, 1 or 2
- Number of barbarian invading armies during setup (fewer makes it easier for you). Value: 0, 1 or 2
Thanks to flexible set-up of barbarians there is a great re-playability in this position. Soon after publishing the game a set of additional scenarios was created which prolongs longevity of the game even more. Coordination between players is a must and the defeat is a common outcome. It should take no more than 1 hour to play and requires only small space.
More about game:
I love the games from the smaller publishers and Hollandspiele is one of my favorite. Browsing one day through their webpage I found and interesting, small and quick position called Table Battles. I fell in love with it immediately! And when I saw that there is and Expansion about most interesting period to me – Table Battles: The Age of Alexander – I knew I will get it.
So what is this game about? Players roll and allocate dice to Formation cards, with each card accepting specific die results or dice combinations (see below on photo). On a later turn, those dice are removed to activate the formation, attacking a specific enemy unit, with hits resolved by removing wooden pieces assigned to each formation.
But the enemy may be able to screen the attack (cancelling it), counterattack (inflicting extra losses on the attacker), or absorb the losses via a strategic reserve. In fact, in most cases, if the enemy can react, they must react, preventing them from using those dice to launch an attack of their own, and depriving them of their action on their next turn. A simple rule which very well reflects the dynamics of the battlefield – if you have initiative, you dictate what happens. We have really tense game here in which players maintain a bitter deadlock until it’s to their advantage to break it.
I really like how the games plays – it is exciting, with much tension and the luck factor is not so significant. It also takes only small amount of space and can be easily played in 30-60 minutes. Highly recommended!
More about game:
These are only three from many Wargames I take for trips or journeys. They all allow for pretty decent experience (taking into account limited space, limited amount of components and time they are played in). I just hope I will be able to use them much more with virus epidemic receding with each day. Fingers crossed!
PS. For all willing to express their feeling about choices a short poll below – feel free to express your opinion! Thank you!