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Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review - Pocket Battles: Celts and Romans rss

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Josiah B
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Pocket Battles: Celts v. Romans is a light, fun, and short war-game with simple rules and some interesting decisions.

The game is played with a set of card units deployed in different zones and ranks. Armies are created based on a set army point value. Combat is resolved by die roles and unit bonuses. The game ends when half of one army’’ points are lost.

This game shines in its simplicity. The rules are very short, for a war-game. The unit cards themselves contain most of the information you need to play. The games’ mechanics are also easy to learn.

This game is also fast. In some games you will only play out one turn. Most seem to last two or three. I have rarely had a game last more than ten minutes. Army selection and deployment may take longer than the battle itself.

Luck plays a huge factor in this game. You may watch you most expensive unit get wiped off the battlefield with one lucky die-roll. In contrast, my Gestatae (one of the more powerful infantry units) never kill anything at all, no matter who I pair them with.

The strategy lies largely in unit deployment and construction. Units with the “Fast” trait are great at hiding behind the front line and leaping into combat to finish off a depleted unit. Cataphracts with complimentary infantry are nearly unstoppable during a charge. Learning the units strengths and knowing where to deploy them is key to winning this game.

This game begs for expansions. The two armies included are large enough for a while, but unless you use a random army selection method (shuffle the units face-down and pick every third, for example), you will probably never see a game without cataphracts. I am very excited for the upcoming Orcs and Elves expansion.

For some reason (possibly due to my unlucky rolls with the Gestatae), the Romans seem to win most of the time. Often this is due to an Emperor issuing dual charges to two cataphract-led units, but Roman missile fire also has a slight edge over the Celts.

I recommend this game because it is fun, easy, interesting, and quick. This makes it perfect for me as I rarely have the time to play a game lasting more than half-an-hour. It’s also cheap (unless you have to pay and extra $10 in shipping). It’s hard to find a $15 well-designed war-game.
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Vinicius Yuiti Takaki
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Nice review.
I'm waiting for my copy, and yes, it's very cheap, even with $13 shipping =(
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