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The Battle for Hill 218» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Grimstuffed 7: A Must-Have Card Game rss

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David Grim
United States
Ukiah
California
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Lots of positive reviews for this game, and for good reason. It offers the perfect amount of entertainment for what it is; it doesn't drag on like a lot of other card games, nor is it very predictable.

Learning the game

I've played this maybe 15 times with different opponents, who were all non-gamers. I never had a hard time explaining the rules. The only part where you might have to give a few examples is the concept of existing cards only being able to support the attacks of cards being played. Even then, explaining the rules to someone might take 5 minutes.

The game flow is simple. You draw two cards, play two cards, then the other player does the same. Back and forth, until someone has an opportunity to place a card on your "base," or till both desks are exhausted and the player with the most cards in play wins.

There are a handfull of different types of cards that you must use to work your way around "hill 218"--the card in the middle, and to beat back the advances of your opponent. At times, the game will feel like a stalemate, where you are just trading losses turn after turn. But this shouldn't go on too long. If the whole game goes like that, neither of you are using your cards skillfully or thinking ahead. You must think at least a turn or two ahead, as in Chess. The game even has a "checkmate" mechanism, where if you destroy your opponent's base, he must first place a card to back-fill his base, with exceptions. This can keep him on the defensive until he is able to interrupt your supply lines. Paratroopers complicate this, however, since they do not require supply to be placed, and if they have support for an attack, they can tip the battle in your favor.

The heart of the game

The game is fairly abstract, of course, as most card games are. As I said, it resembles Chess in some respects. Mostly having to do with the supply placement restrictions and support abilities of each card. This creates a grid where some cards support attacks orthogonally, some diagonally, and some in all directions. This is the heart of the game, in my opinion. There are enough combinations of placement to hold your attention throughout the game and give you a lot of satisfaction when you make a good play.

On theme

I don't think you have to care about the wargame theme to play the game. Like I said, it's fairly abstract. But for those who go like wargames, like me, the pictures on the cards convey some good atmosphere.

A portable filler

This is a perfect card game to take on trips and play away from home, great for coffee shops. It's just a pack of cards. It's also the perfect filler. Just the other day we played this between plays of A Few Acres of Snow. It's light enough to be refreshing but with enough tension to keep you engaged. It never feels like multi-player solitaire.

Time

It should only take you about 20 minutes to play a game, maybe even less with opponents who play together often.

Why you need it

There are lots of good card games out there, but this one hits a sweet spot. Many card games last beyond their entertainment value (Biblios). Sometimes they are basically solitaire math exercises (Lost Cities). And sometimes they're simply too big to be very portable (Dominion). But Battle for Hill 218 holds your attention all the way through, never feels like solitaire, and is over quickly. The strategy is substantial. It feels like a "natural" game, with mechanics that make sense according to it's theme.

In conclusion, just buy this game. You'll find yourself playing it often.




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Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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but I'm not the only one
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My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own
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Thanks for the review. thumbsup

I recently got this game and am looking forward to playing it.
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Charlie Johnston
United States
Chino Hills
California
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You can download a free java version of the game to try it out before you buy it. This is what sold me on the game. [geekurl=http://www.honte.org/Hill_218/Hill.html]battle for hill 218 download[/geekurl] This really is a great game especially for only $10.
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David
New Zealand
Auckland
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May the Great Spirit Bless all who read this.
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Thanks for the review and bringing it to my attention. At the price I will pick it up, it's all I can afford at the moment
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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For me it also has the advantage of being one of the few war-themed games my wife enjoys playing.
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