The object of the Battle Sheep is to be the player who occupies the most spaces in the pasture.
Building the Pasture and Initial Placement: Each player begins with 4 hexagon-shaped pasture tiles. The first player places one of their pasture tiles on the board. The other players place one of their pasture tiles in turn, with each new tile connecting to the existing pasture on at least one side. This continues until each player has placed all 4 of their pasture tiles.
Then, again starting with the first player, each player places their entire stack of 16 sheep on any unoccupied pasture along the OUTSIDE border.
- Strategy Tip: Games can be won and lost in this phase ! The first player tends to start with an advantage as they have first placement AND first move. You may build the board differently depending on whether you are the first player or one of the subsequent players. In considering initial placement, think about who will act before you and what their likely first move will be.
Playing the Game: On your turn, your move consists of splitting a stack of your own sheep into two parts, moving part of the stack in a straight line as far as it can go before hitting another sheep or the border (sheep cannot jump over other sheep or gaps).
Click on the stack you wish to split. Then, click on the desired destination pasture space. This will split your herd in two halves. Click on the original or destination space to adjust the amount of sheep you want in each herd. You MUST leave at least one sheep on the space on which the original stack was standing.
When you are happy with the split, click the 'Validate' option at the top of the game screen.
Play continues with each player splitting any one of their stacks. A stack is blocked when it is surrounded by opponents' pieces or the edge, and can no longer be split and moved.
- Strategy Tip: Watching out for your biggest herd is usually a sound strategy to start with. Watch out for chokepoints that can be easily closed off leaving you without enough room to spread the rest of your herd. Try not to block yourself in and count your sheep carefully !
Ending and Winning the Game: When all your sheep are blocked, you are eliminated from the game. The game ends when the last remaining player can no longer move.
The winner is the player who succeeds in controlling the most pasture spaces.
In the case of a tie, the winner is the player who has the largest number of contiguous pasture spaces occupied by their herd of sheep.