Battleground Fantasy Warfare

Armies of stalwart Men defend their homelands against the Undead tide. Battle tested strike forces of High Elves ambush the Orc horde. Regiments of indomitable Dwarves fend off Dark Elven raids. Marshal your forces and command them to victory, but take caution: you cannot be everywhere on the battlefield at once. Your troops will follow your orders completely, and the general who triumphs is the one not just with the best strategy but who can also adapt to changing circumstances.

Each faction comes with at least a dozen unique units, as well as a deck of command cards that represent stratagems, heroes, and magic on the battlefield. Factions also possess their own army abilities such as the Undead’s ability to Reanimate fallen corpses or the Dark Elves’ mastery of striking crippling blows with their Pain Touch. Almost everything you need to play comes in the faction decks. All you need is some dry erase markers and dice!

Battleground is a miniatures game — only without the miniatures! Units are represented by cards portraying the warriors and their characteristics. Battleground can be played on a kitchen table and each faction box includes a variety of units, more than can be fielded in any one game.

To play Battleground, you first build an army from your faction with an agreed-upon points limit. Most games are between 1,000-2,000 points in size. After deploying your units, you give each of them a standing order representing what you would like them to do on the Battlefield.

Your units will follow these orders until you change them or take control of them using command actions. Players get one command action for every 500 points available to build your army. This means players usually will have 3 or 4 command actions per turn. However most armies have between 6-12 units, each following the standing order you gave them at the start of the game. You must be shrewd in the use of your command actions, because you will never have enough.

And the player with the better plan, the one who does not have to change standing orders, can expend command actions to draw command cards or use the faction’s special abilities. These command cards and abilities can grant your units in-game advantages to prevail over enemy units in combat.

Quick to set up, easy to store, Battleground truly is an army in your pocket. And yet Battleground is a deeply tactical game, where maneuver and marshaling your limited command resources are the keys to victory.

Also Tom Vasel of Dice Tower rates this game as #9 on his list of best fantasy tabletop games. Check out his comments using the link.