Battle Sheep is a cute, fun, slight “take that” type of game. It’s not a difficult game to teach or learn. Some might be fooled by the simplicity of the game but there is still a little room for some strategy and tactics. It’s not a gamer’s game, but rather a game for people who don’t want to be involved with much heavy thinking; and could possibly be a breath of fresh air from playing your typical big store board games.
Every player is given four pasture tiles, each taking turns placing it down till all pasture tiles are placed creating a random shaped board. Then every player takes their stack of 16 sheep tokens and places it wherever they see fit on an edge of the board (this part can also be strategic because you don’t want to place it where it can lead you to be trapped easily and therefore, you won’t be able to spread the rest of your trapped sheep to other pastures). The rules state players to place their stack onto their own pasture tile, but I think that would be a little confusing. Some won’t even remember where every one of their own tiles are once everything is put together. Maybe in a two player it would be less confusing. I think it’s better to just place it anywhere on the outside perimeter of the tiles. Players each take turns choosing ONE of their stack of sheep tokens (taking at least one OR more; AND leaving at least one OR more behind) and moving it directionally through one of the sides of the hexagon pasture and moving it straight till it hits another stack of sheep or the edge of board (no jumping on any sheep). This goes on till no more sheep tokens can be moved; then everyone determines who has the most sheep occupying the most pastures.
The mechanics to this game are very simple and easy to teach or learn. It can be a great filler game. Even though it’s a short game, there is still some thought that can be put onto each move making it an enjoyable game for some people. Not only is it simple and fun, but also the components are awesome and very durable. The tile boards are thick and the tokens certainly don’t feel cheap. They’re quite solid, and when I opened the box I assumed all sheep printed on them would be the same, but to my surprise… all sixteen are different! The sheep graphics are cute and comical. The package comes with an insert that fits everything perfectly. The rule book is a small leaflet (about the size of an average hand) and it’s easy and quick to read through.
There is no luck in this game but there’s also not a whole lot of deep thinking. Some people might be put off by the front cover and childish theme of the game. It looks like a children’s game, which it may well be a game for kids. However, adults can enjoy the game as well, but this is not a game for serious gamers.
I personally enjoy this game just for the fun of playing and I’ll play it with anyone who wants to play, but it’s not a game I would take out all the time to play with others. I would probably just take it out for new or non-gamers, or when my kids are old enough to play it with me. There’s not a whole lot of variety except in tile placement and where you place your stacks in the beginning. This game can also be compared to “Hey, That’s my Fish” since it has a similar feel just less set up time; and instead of taking tiles away in “Hey, That’s my Fish”, you’re trying to spread your sheep around the tiles in Battle Sheep. So if you like “Hey, That’s my Fish”, you might like this too, and if you don’t, then you might just want to pass up on Battle Sheep… however, if you’re a crazy component geek you might just want to buy the game for its tokens!!!