Battlefields of Olympus is a quick turn based strategy game with some hand management. The numerous tactical choices, combined with a limited military force and the unexpected appearance of Ares on the battlefield, give the game its strategic component. The relatively simple game mechanics make it easy to learn and play, even if you aren't a tactical genius.
"In the kingdom of immortals, the restless gods decree that mortal man will fight one another to prove their loyalty. By order of Zeus, The war god Ares leaves his throne to inform man of this noble contest. To the victors go the spoils of war and eternal gratitude from the gods.
As the general of battle hardened archers, infantry, and other units, you have been commissioned by the high priests to lead your people to victory. When the sisters of fate look favorably upon you, your armies will find strategic advantage on the battlefield. Ambush, flank and surround your opponent's forces in an effort to gain the upper hand. If the battle looks bleak, call on your mercenary forces to turn the tide."
The idea behind Battlefields of Olympus is to secure a number of Land Trophy cards through battle using Warrior cards and Action cards. The one with the most valuable lands by the end of the game is victor. Battlefields of Olympus is a tug of war, where each player must decide when to use his forces to fight and when it is better to retreat and gather strength for later battles.
There is also an element of press your luck as the appearance of Ares and the order that land turns up during the game is randomly predetermined. On the other hand, when there is a stack of face-up Land Trophy cards, strategic planning is paramount, as players must decide when it is better to concede a battle in favor of a more valuable Land Trophy card farther down in the stack.
Each player commands a legion of up to 4 Warrior cards, but there is often a reserve pile of Warrior cards to draw from at the end of battle. Players need to decide when it is better to keep more powerful Warriors in hand and when it is better to retire the weaker ones from their reserve pile. The limit of 4 Action cards in hand forces players to manage what actions they need most.
The optional fortify and sacrifice rules create more tension as players have additional tough decisions to make. Using the Fortify action will protect your land, but at the risk of temporarily weakening the size of your military force in hand. Do you sacrifice a piece of hard-fought land in favor of your opponent's more valuable property, or do you wait until a valuable Land Trophy card turns up on the land pile.