Schotten Totten

RRP: £12.99

NOW £10.29
RRP £12.99

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Schotten Totten Scotten Totten is a masterful and small strategy card game from prolific designer Reiner Knizia. also released under the names Battle Line and The Fifth Column. The game is deceptively simple. You place out 9 stone tiles between you and the other players. Shuffle up all the clan cards and deal out 6 to each player cards come in a number of colours and run from number…
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Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-IEL51303 Availability Restock Expected
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Awards

great-for-two

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Quick and easy to learn
  • Very tactical – surprisingly sophisticated
  • Portable and pretty

Might Not Like

  • Tactics cards don’t quite work with early claim rules
  • Box contents rattle a bit
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Description

Schotten Totten

Scotten Totten is a masterful and small strategy card game from prolific designer Reiner Knizia. also released under the names Battle Line and The Fifth Column. The game is deceptively simple. You place out 9 stone tiles between you and the other players. Shuffle up all the clan cards and deal out 6 to each player cards come in a number of colours and run from numbers 1-9.

On a players turn they will play one card to one of the unclaimed stones. If there is already a card on your side you simply create a column. You are attempting to win either five stone locations or three adjacent stones. You cannot move cards once placed and may only play three cards to your side of each stone.

To win a stone you must play the best combo of cards. These range from the weakest three card set (sum of the cards), to a colour run (three sequential cards of the same colour), with other poker like sets in between. Because there is only one of each card number/colour combo situations can arise where you know that you can’t possibly lose a stone, if you can make the case to your opponent then you win the stone too.

Added to this is a set of tactic cards which experienced players can use to add more decisions and variety to the game. It is a cheap, fast, fun and satisfying game of playing the odds and making some logical leaps of deduction. It’s small portable size means it’s the perfect game for all collections.

Players: 2
Time: 20 mins
Age: 8+

Schotten Totten is a reskin of the Reiner Knizia two player card game Battle Lines. Classical armies have been replaced by Scottish clansmen and women fighting over the border between their two territories. Its fast, tactical and fun and is one of my favourite quick, portable two player games.

How to play

The border contest is fought over nine border stones placed in a line between the two players. Player will draw six cards from a deck of 54. The cards are numbered 1-9 in six different colours. Players will take it in turns to place a card in front of one of the stones, on their side of the border. The aim is to create the best possible three card combo in front of each stone. The combos are similar to poker, ranging from a colour run (best) to simply the sum of the three cards (worst). After placing a card, if they have won the stone they move it to their side of the table, and check for victory. They then draw back up to six cards in their hand. Checking for winning a stone is usually a case of seeing who has the best three card combo. However if you have placed three cards and you can prove your opponent can’t win that stone purely from the visible array on the table, you may claim the stone immediately. Overall victory is achieved by winning five stones from anywhere along the line of nine or three adjacent stones.

The latest reprint from Iello also comes with an optional tactics deck containing ten tactics cards, which are either ‘elite’ troops or create special effects. Hand size rises to seven and at the end of your go you choose whether to draw from the regular or tactics deck. Playing tactics cards happens in the normal manner but you are limited to being able to play a maximum of one more tactics card than your opponent. The cards themselves have a range of effects from increasing the card limit on an individual stone to forcing an opponent to discard a card from his array.

How does it play?

It's brisk, fun and surprisingly thinky. From the first hand you are gambling on what combos look likely and deciding where to play on the line. With two nines in hand, are you going for a strong push on one stone or are you going for two weaker but still respectable flushes or the possibility of a colour run. Maybe you have a low colour run in hand. Do you get it down straight away as a fairly likely win and to free space in your hand? Or do you just put the one card down and try to draw your opponent to start putting down a higher three of a kind which will ultimately lose? Where are the bits of the line you want to win and what are you happy to sacrifice? All the time you are parsing the options in front of you and also trying to get a read on your opponent or trick them into ill-advised action. And the more you play with the same opponent the greater the meta game of who does what in particular circumstances.

This plays in 15 minutes and is enormously satisfying. As soon as you have finished one game you will want another, and another. It’s exactly the sort of game to play on a train journey, on the beach or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s hugely accessible and easy to teach, but mastering it is another matter altogether. For me the base game is all I need. The tactics cards are fun, though slightly mess with the viability of the early claim rules. I drop them in for a couple of goes every so often and then tend to go back to the original.

Production values of the Iello print are really high – attractive comedic cards and thick card stock stones. The box is a little bit big, but if that’s the worst of it then you get a sense of how good this is.

I have a load of these head to head two player games, from Santorini to Tash Kalar. This sits with the best of them. It’s probably the cheapest and the most portable. Believe me, this is a worthy addition to your collection.

  • Zatu Review Summary
  • Zatu Score

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You might like

    • Quick and easy to learn
    • Very tactical surprisingly sophisticated
    • Portable and pretty

    Might not like

    • Tactics cards dont quite work with early claim rules
    • Box contents rattle a bit