Barrage Battle: Two Player Elimination Review

 Game: Barrage Battle  Players: 2
 Publisher: Mk Games  Age 12+
 Time: 50 minutes  Replayability: 7/10

Barrage Battle

Barrage Battle card gameWhen it comes to war games for two players you may consider such games like Memoir 44, Summoner Wars, and Magic The Gathering as some obvious picks. They are great choices; they consider balance and design as solid pieces to a good game. Stratego is a classic launching over dozens of different prints. Magic The Gathering is probably one of the most influential card games of the past few decades. Battle Barrage is an up and coming that may be one of those considered when looking for a new two player strategy board game to try out. Barrage Battle pits you and an opponent against each other on two sides of a grid. Armed with just a castle, a king, a wizard, and a consistent ten card hand begin building sieges, training soldiers or archers, and defeating your enemy. One your turn you will decide whether you are passive, at war, or in between (this will grant you either more coin or more actions). After your choice is made you can buy new card types and deploy them in the field. You will then start your movement followed by taking your actions. First player to defeat their opponent’s king wins.

Barrage Battle board gameMy Experience

Barrage Battle board gameMy brother (novice) and I set up our sides pretty similar to each other. We had a castle and king next to each other in the 7th row (8th row is unspawnable) with our wizard a few slots aside them. I took the first turn because I had a better understanding of how the game was going to play. I collected my 3 coins and my one mana (per round as long as the wizard is still alive) and purchased/deployed two archers and a javelineer. I moved them in a way to spread them apart a bit (they must initially spawn next to a structure card). I chose to play peaceful to get a full five coins from the bank (which means I get zero actions) in order to begin building his defenses. My strategy was to play peaceful to gather the resources I need to build a steady army. I continued to order my troops to spread out across the board. My brothers strategy was to play engaging, which grants him three coins+ three action. He purchased a few troops and sent the archers my way, physically throwing his dice toward my side of the board in order to knock out my king.

Obviously, that gave away his plan–I quickly bought a siege and placed it before my king (it’s protected behind it). I built more javelineers and deployed some knights as well, they have a great range of movement. My brother progressed a few dames he built the round before and used them to fortify his upper area. Before I knew it we were engaged in an all out war. Dexterity being tested, each throw at a time. Archers demanded D4’s while Javelineers used D6’s. Dames needed to roll a number in between 2- 4 in order to throw a successful attack and my wizard was able to acquire enough mana to toss a fireball. In the end, my brother used a teleport to move her dame near my king. I was exposed and destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Final Thoughts

Barrage Battle is definitely a spicy experience of war and elimination between two players. The level of direct interaction is off the charts. You are constantly measuring your decisions up against theirs. However, the level of fun you may have can definitely be related to the show of interest in your opponent. I found the board game to be easy to learn but full of text–it definitely took me a few days to get it to the table. Mostly out of exhausting my attention (personal problem).

I love the component design and while I was playing a prototype version of the title, I’m sure the final results will reflect the quality they are going for. I enjoyed the way that dexterity was involved in this game. I felt it was a nice change of pace from your typical two player battle game. I would say you may find this similar to Memoir 44–but just a little bit. My only concern is that with one type of deck (both players share one deck), I found the experience to get a bit repetitive. I was hoping there would be different races involved that we can choose from introducing new experiences and strategies with each gameplay. I also found that I was hoping for a little more magic opportunity. I’d love to spawn something or find more of a use for my wizard.

Barrage Battle board gameYou will like this game if you want a good, strategic, and steady board game for two players. This title expects you to enjoy heavy and long battles with minimal distraction. You may also love the dexterity component mixed in.

You will not like this game if you enjoy design flavor. You want something a little lighter and not feeling engaged in something for 30+ minutes. While the game was fun, I think you wouldn’t care for this game if you like to play with more than two players.

Kickstarter

 

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.