Battle Sheep Overview
Battle Sheep is an abstract, area control strategy game for 2-4 players which plays in 10-15 minutes. It was designed by Francesco Rotta, and released in 2014. In Battle Sheep players start by constructing a “pasture” by laying down tiles, each made up of 4 hexes. When the pasture is finished, players place their sheep in a single stack of 16 tokens, then compete to own the most sections of the gaming area by moving parts stacks (their sheep) from space to space. The winner of the game is the player who has the most occupied spaces.
Play moves clockwise beginning with the start player. A turn consists of a player selecting one of their stacks of sheep and moving between 1 and all of the sheep in that stack (always leaving a single sheep to occupy your place). To move, you take the selected number of sheep and move them in a straight line, until you can go no further.
What I Like About Battle Sheep
The components are top notch quality, from the dense, heavy discs (seriously, these things are awesome), to the hilariously marvelous illustrations of sheep belching, or showing their posteriors, or winking salaciously. Each tile is identically shaped, but comprised of differently illustrated hexes, and constructed of thick, sturdy cardboard. The insert holds all of the pieces together quite well, without much shifting.
What I Dislike About Battle Sheep
The only thing negative I can offer about this game is that the pieces don’t lock together. The tokens are high density plastic which means they’re very smooth. This means when you’re trying to move, or pick up, a stack of them, there’s always the chance they’ll fall over. If only the designers would have tried some means for the pieces to lock together, perhaps a thin ridge around the top, and a recess on the bottom. But that’s a minor quibble and shouldn’t prevent you from picking up this gem of a game.
Final Thoughts on Battle Sheep
Battle Sheep holds an interesting place in gaming. It’s a short, strategic game, with a ludicrously awesome theme. Sheep are peaceful, beautiful, calm creatures whose sole goal is to eat as much grass as possible. Not the sheep in THIS game. They’re mean, ornery and will block you in as soon as they possibly can, making sure they keep the tastiest grass for themselves.
Ignore, or embrace, the theme of this game and proceed straight to the excellent gameplay. Laugh over the cries of your opponent when you block in an entire stack of their sheep. Revel in the amusing illustrations of sheep as you dominate the pasture. Whatever it takes for you to buy this game.