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The Battle for Hill 218» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Brief, Glowing Review of the Battle for Hill 218 rss

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Mike Fox
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I bought this game because I noticed some very experienced gamers rated it very highly and generally raved about how smoothly it plays. Plus I wanted an affordable game (student's budget) that I can play with my son (read: quick enough to play on a school night). I bought a new copy here at BGG and it just might be, nickel for nickel, the best 8 bucks I've ever spent.

Components
The cards are thick, glossy, and of a very high quality. The game box is more than acceptable.

Aesthetics
The game looks terrific in part because it's not overdone. It's simple. The box looks cool, card backs look cool, and the military pics on the cards are simple and help create an ambiance for this game. Perhaps the black and white pics won't work for everybody, but I really dig them.

Gameplay
There are basically two decks (green and blue) and a start card representing Hill 218, the hill that both sides are trying to control in order to get the upper hand in the war. Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that the 2 players take turns drawing and playing cards. You each have a base to protect. The cards you play have different attacks. The Artillery card, for example, attacks opponent cards that are far away, while Infantry cards attack cards only one card away. You have to keep a supply line going back to your base, so you usually play cards in some sort of chain of cards that touches your base, though the Paratroopers are a cool exception. The object of the game is to occupy your opponent's base, which immediately brings victory. If that never happens, the player with the most units (cards) left at the end of the game wins. It is possible to end in a draw.

Overall
This game rocks. It plays very, very smoothly. I love that you can set it up in a minute or less and then play a game in 5-30 minutes. It's VERY easy to learn, yet it gets deeper and deeper the more you play as you start figuring out how all the different cards work best together. As far as depth, it's somewhere between Chess and Checkers, probably slightly closer to the Chess side of the continuum.

Do yourself a favor and BUY this game. It's cheap. It's very doable, even when you're pressed for time. When you have just two players, and you're looking through your games, you'll smile every time you lay your eyes on it.

I give it 9/10. I want to give it a 10, but 9 just feels right.

EDIT/UPDATE:
After dozens, perhaps hundreds (but probably just dozens) of plays, I've settled on a new rating: 8. I could almost bump it up to an 8.25 or 8.5, but I think 8 is the right call. This game is still terrific. You get a TON of strategy in a little game. That's certainly my cup of tea.
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lee freeman
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Agree 100%. This is a fantastic game -- and the more skilled player will win the majority of games. There is a computer version of this game as well, and it's quite difficult to beat on the hard level.
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Chris Hough
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Word.

We keep this and Hive in my bag at all times. We haven't eaten in a restaurant in years where one of the two didn't hit the table.
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Mike Fox
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leefreeman wrote:
Agree 100%. This is a fantastic game -- and the more skilled player will win the majority of games. There is a computer version of this game as well, and it's quite difficult to beat on the hard level.


yes, skill is HUGE in this game. i like that it has both luck/randomness (drawing cards) AND skill, yet skill still ends up being the most important factor. every move matters in the end.
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Mike Fox
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Teamgoatchris wrote:
Word.

We keep this and Hive in my bag at all times. We haven't eaten in a restaurant in years where one of the two didn't hit the table.


awesome! and i really want to try hive. can hardly wait until i'm no longer a student and can actually just go out and buy a game i want to try!
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Almarr Ormarsson
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foxfan wrote:

awesome! and i really want to try hive. can hardly wait until i'm no longer a student and can actually just go out and buy a game i want to try!


I feel you, I like being a student but my wallet doesn't.
Nice review and I agree with you on the game, really a gem.
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Mike Fox
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grautur wrote:
foxfan wrote:

awesome! and i really want to try hive. can hardly wait until i'm no longer a student and can actually just go out and buy a game i want to try!


I feel you, I like being a student but my wallet doesn't.
Nice review and I agree with you on the game, really a gem.


cool, thanks for the kind words.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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Teamgoatchris wrote:
Word.

We keep this and Hive in my bag at all times. We haven't eaten in a restaurant in years where one of the two didn't hit the table.
Good idea. I would add two tense, cheap and highly-portable games: Court of the Medici (same format as Battle for Hill 218) and Schotten Totten (or Battle Line).
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Rick Weckermann
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Powell River
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Totally agree, so glad i got it before it becomes too difficult to get.
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Jason Sherlock
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foxfan wrote:
leefreeman wrote:
Agree 100%. This is a fantastic game -- and the more skilled player will win the majority of games. There is a computer version of this game as well, and it's quite difficult to beat on the hard level.


yes, skill is HUGE in this game. i like that it has both luck/randomness (drawing cards) AND skill, yet skill still ends up being the most important factor. every move matters in the end.


This is a very unforgiving game. One sub-optimal move, and you are lost. Luckily, games take less than 10 minutes to play, and, hopefully, you learn from your mistakes.

I love this game.
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Mike Fox
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jackalope wrote:
foxfan wrote:
leefreeman wrote:
Agree 100%. This is a fantastic game -- and the more skilled player will win the majority of games. There is a computer version of this game as well, and it's quite difficult to beat on the hard level.


yes, skill is HUGE in this game. i like that it has both luck/randomness (drawing cards) AND skill, yet skill still ends up being the most important factor. every move matters in the end.


This is a very unforgiving game. One sub-optimal move, and you are lost. Luckily, games take less than 10 minutes to play, and, hopefully, you learn from your mistakes.

I love this game.


indeed, i've had a lot of games where a single move doomed me! great game
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Mike Fox
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This game is still going strong for us. Usually take 5-15 minutes, not sure WHY ON EARTH I put 5-30 in the review. That was too long ago to remember, but I don't think it ever took 30 once we got the rules down.

Again, still going strong
 
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