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Subject: Battle Sheep: A Hilarious Area Control Game rss

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Peter Barringer
United States
Evansville
Indiana
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This review series is dedicated to reviewing games I’ve received from publishers in exchange for an unbiased review. I play each of these games multiple times before reviewing them. Subscribe to this Geeklist to be notified when I publish a review: Z10N X Reviews. Please Geekmail me if you're interested in having me review your game!

Introduction: Battle Sheep is the first modern board game I played back in 2012 or 2013. Until recently, I hadn’t played it since. When Blue Orange Games asked me to review Queendomino with my high school’s board game club and sent a review copy of Battle Sheep with it, I was excited to see if Battle Sheep lived up to my nostalgic memories. Did this game pull the wool over my eyes? Did I feel sheepish after teaching it to my high school students? Was it good or baaaaad? Did I find myself sad or shearful after playing? Maybe ewe have your own ideas. Stay tuned to find out if I’m going laud or lambast this game!

How to Play: In Battle Sheep, players build a play board using modular pasture tiles, then select starting spots around the edge of the board. Players then take one of their stacks of sheep (pictured on chunky poker chips) and split them however they went. They move the sheep in a straight line, dropping at least one sheep on every tile. Players try to stay mobile as long as possible before being fenced in by the other players.



What this game does well:
1. It promises and delivers zany fun. This isn’t some highly strategic war game. If it were, the game wouldn’t be about sheep. I’ve seen people make comments about this game being too mean or not requiring enough strategy. I think those critics are missing the point; it’s a fun, crazy game…about sheep!
2. The components are well made. The modular board’s pieces are solid. I was very impressed by the thick, quality chips used for the sheep, too.
3. Having a modular board keeps the game fresh. If this game utilized a regular board or even a dual-sided board, people would quickly figure out perfect strategies. As long as someone doesn’t make a big mistake during the design phase, each game can feel a bit different.



Potential issues with this game:
1. It lacks depth. The box is very large for a fifteen-minute filler; it looks like it would be a weightier game than it actually is. I’m fine devoting the shelf space to it, especially in my closet at school for the Board Game Club, but some people might find the balance between box size and game depth problematic.
2. Sometimes the outcome seems set after 1-2 moves. Especially at lower player counts, you can feel boxed in. When this happens, it doesn’t seem like you have much of a choice regarding what to do on your turn. It’s best with the larger player counts.

Rating:

The Bottom Line: Battle Sheep is a perfect example of a 7-rated game for me; it’s good but not great or groundbreaking, and I’d gladly play it most days. This game fills fifteen minutes quite well, especially with three or four players. Don’t expect a highly strategic war game, and you’ll enjoy the simplicity. Like I said above, I’ve heard some people say this game gets mean, and I disagree with that assessment. The theme is so ridiculous that none of my students or adult friends took it too seriously. By saying they didn’t take it too seriously, I don’t mean they didn’t try, but rather that they didn’t become upset if the game went poorly for them. If you’re okay with the large box size (or willing to relocate the components to a smaller box), Battle Sheep is a solid addition to any gamer’s collection. Sit down with two or three other people, and you can expect fifteen minutes of light fun every time you play.
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john newman
United States
Lafayette
Louisiana
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Re: 5X Reviews #5 - Battle Sheep: A Hilarious Area Control Game
A great game, especially with the family. A solid notch above "Hey That's My Fish." I also give Battle Sheep a seven, meaning we agree, meaning your review is brilliant.
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Peter Barringer
United States
Evansville
Indiana
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Re: 5X Reviews #5 - Battle Sheep: A Hilarious Area Control Game
johnpnewman wrote:
A great game, especially with the family. A solid notch above "Hey That's My Fish." I also give Battle Sheep a seven, meaning we agree, meaning your review is brilliant.


Haha, very good! Thanks, John. I always appreciate your thoughts.
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