One perk of being on Timberdoodle’s blog team is that we get first glimpse at any new products Timberdoodle acquires for its curriculum kits each summer. That’s how my family got a free review copy of Battle Sheep last month.
I ordered Battle Sheep on a whim. With 15 grandchildren ranging in age from 1 to 13, I figured if the game were too juvenile for my own children, I could teach the grandkids to play and let them help me review it. The game looks like something that would appeal to a younger crowd, don’t you think?
Well, I needn’t have worried about finding interested players. My grandkids love playing Battle Sheep, to be sure, but they’d be hard-pressed to outmatch my own children’s enthusiasm for the game — or my own! We’ve played every single day since the package arrived on our front porch.
Our only complaint is that there’s no expansion set available (yet!), so more than four people could play at once. As it is, we have to take turns. And we normally have a line of folks waiting to play. We’re a competitive lot, so we let the winner stay in for another round while losers do the winner’s chores.
The rules of play are super simple: Each player begins with a stack colored sheep and proceeds to claim as much pasture land as they can. Sheep can only move in straight lines, must move as far as they can in their chosen direction, and can’t jump over other sheep.
Each round takes 10-15 minutes to play. Unless you’re playing with a master-strategist (like Daniel, pictured below), in which case you should double that time estimate. ?
The goal is to spread your stack of sheep out so that they all have a section of pasture to graze on, while simultaneously attempting to hem your opponents in to keep them from encroaching upon your land.
You must think ahead to avoid getting trapped. Whoever has the most sheep grazing at the end of the game wins. In the event of a tie, the victory goes to whoever has the largest flock (ie, the most sheep of one color grazing on connected tiles).
Every game begins with each player alternately placing four pasture tiles on the board. As the board changes, so must the strategy. This serves to keep the game fresh everyt ime you play.
Our guys taught their older brothers (and sisters-in-law) how to play, so now they’re addicted, too. But the game is still fun and just as challenging with only two players.
Want to give Battle Sheep a try at your house? You can purchase it through Timberdoodle as a stand-alone strategy game or as a part of their 3rd grade curriculum kit. Order yours today. And don’t forget to sign up for Timberdoodle’s Doodle Dollar program while you’re there, to enjoy future savings.