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Table Battles

Watermarked PDF

Game design: Tom Russell
Hex number: 18
Duration: 20 minutes
Players: 2
Solitaire Suitability: High
Theme: All of human history

Table Battles cards have been upated to 2nd Edition with two new scenarios. (8-24-2020)

Here is something new and exciting, something completely unlike any other game on your table. Table Battles is a thinky filler, a light dice game that nevertheless will have you scratching your chin and agonizing over your decisions. It reduces armed conflict to its essentials, to the absolute universal truths behind all battles: the threat of force and its application. It's about leverage, about feints and counterfeints, threats and counterthreats, about creating openings and then going for the jugular, about leaving openings and springing a trap.

Players roll and allocate dice to Formation cards, with each card accepting specific die results or dice combinations. On a later turn, those dice are removed to activate the formation, attacking a specific enemy formation, with hits resolved by removing wooden pieces assigned to each formation. But the enemy may be able to screen the attack (cancelling it), counterattack (inflicting extra losses on the attacker), or absorb the losses via a strategic reserve. In fact, in most cases, if the enemy can react, they must react, preventing them from using those dice to launch an attack of their own, and depriving them of their action on their next turn. The result is a tense cat-and-mouse game in which players maintain a bitter deadlock until it's to their advantage to break it, or until the other guy blinks.

This base set contains eight battles from across four centuries of conflict. The Battle of Bosworth, Richard III's last battle, might be decided by the intervention of the Stanleys. The Battle of Ivry secured Henri IV's power over France thanks in large part to the unreliability of the enemy's mercenaries. The Battle of White Mountain saw a superior defensive position squandered by bad generals squaring off against great ones. In the Battle of Marston Moor, Cromwell's well-disciplined cavalry proved to be the key to victory. The Battle of the Dunes was a brilliant victory by Turenne that saw infantry, cavalry, artillery, and even navy working in concert. The Battle of Malplaquet saw so many losses on the side of the victors that the vanquished French general Villars told his king that another such defeat would win them the war. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham was a minor skirmish with outsized consequences, usually considered "ungameable", but here becomes a tense contest. Finally, the Battle of Brooklyn Heights sees the overwhelmed American rebels outflanked and outnumbered, but desperate to give as good as they got.

Each of these battles is recreated in broad strokes that still allow for the essential situation, and even a little chrome, to come shining through. And each of these battles could go either way in any given play session. Table Battles is an ideal filler game for grognards with fifteen or twenty minutes to spare between games, and also a great way to get your toes wet if you're not sure about this whole "hex-and-counter" thing. Future expansions are already in development, and will give you hours upon hours of enjoyment.

  • 50 double-sided cards
  • 1 four-page rulebook
  • You will also need 90 wooden pieces
  • You will also need 12 dice
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Reviews (1)
Discussions (15)
Customer avatar
David L July 16, 2021 10:38 pm UTC
Hi - How do you print the cards for the pdf version? I looked at DriveThru Cards and they are not listed.

Do you just print these out on cardstock to make your own?

Customer avatar
Mary H July 27, 2021 1:14 pm UTC
You just print them on the cardstock and cut them out, nine cards to a page.
Customer avatar
Dennis S August 01, 2020 10:15 pm UTC
Has this already been updated to the 2nd edition?
Customer avatar
Bruno S June 26, 2020 6:48 pm UTC
Hello again!
I am getting the more and more interested in Table Battles, so please allow me to congratulate with you.
As I am going to develop some personal historical scenarios, I would like to get hold of the statistics relating to your dicing system, referring to the probability to get doubles, triples straights etc. when throwing 6 or less dice.
I think this is absolutely a requirement, in order to assign each specific historical force (i.e. card) the appropriate dice combination.
Could you please help me to find some simple online software, or at least some ready-made tables?
Thank you so much again.

All the best,
Customer avatar
Bruno S June 19, 2020 8:15 pm UTC
All right, thank you so much!
I look forward to receiving that notification, then.
Customer avatar
Mary H June 14, 2020 6:01 pm UTC
Dinosaurs Bruno, and others asking about TB, as of June 2020 it is still 1st edition. It will be updated and you should get a notification when that happens.
Customer avatar
Bruno S June 14, 2020 3:13 pm UTC
Hello, just to make sure: the Print and Play version is still the first edition? I bought it, but there are not the two additional scenarios (Pharsalus and Inkerman). I would also know if the pdf rules are first or second edition.
By the way, I really like the game!
Best regards,
Customer avatar
Simon W May 22, 2020 4:39 pm UTC
Hello i have just bought the Christmas at White Mountain to get a sample feel for the game mechanics. I think I understand the rules but am not clear what "Per action (1) self,Per die (1) Enemy" means on some of the cards. Any help much appreciated!


Customer avatar
Happy W March 06, 2020 4:53 am UTC
Hi Tom,

Is this the second edition game as per the Hollandspiele product page link ??


Customer avatar
Mary H March 11, 2020 3:06 pm UTC
Table Battles will eventually be updated with the Second Edition cards. Those folks who have already purchased TB will receive a notification. The text on this page will also be updated with the two new scenarios once they have been uploaded.
Customer avatar
Happy W March 11, 2020 8:42 pm UTC
Thanks Tom,

Much appreciated.


Happy Wanderer
Customer avatar
Chris B May 31, 2019 8:28 pm UTC
Tom, this system looks superb! I am thinking about using it in my Western Civ I class concurrent with a discussion on the Military Revolution of the 16th century. Would it be a helpful teaching tool? Would the Alexander expansion? How long does each scenario take approximately?
Customer avatar
David Michael H September 17, 2018 5:55 pm UTC
Really enjoy this game. However, if the Hessians are vile, then the Colonialists are simply revolting!!
Customer avatar
David Michael H September 08, 2018 5:07 pm UTC
Just one problem, the Vassal module seems to be a bit clunky, I have problems with removing a card that has routed. This means playing on with the card still present,
Customer avatar
Mary H December 29, 2017 7:22 pm UTC
Hi Erik, Northumberland runs off regardless.
Customer avatar
Erik W December 29, 2017 10:52 pm UTC
Oh wow, that's rough. Thanks for the clarification!
Customer avatar
Erik W December 29, 2017 5:35 am UTC
Hey Tom, question on The Battle of Bosworth Field: when The Stanleys come out of reserve, do they only route Northumberland IF that formation is also out of reserve? Or does Northumberland run off regardless of where it currently is? I figured it was the former, however the battle was over before the reserves even came into play.
Customer avatar
ben W October 13, 2017 12:24 pm UTC
Still to get round to trying White Mountain so have delayed picking this up. Glad you are one of the few publishers to make your games available to people like me in the UK who are not well served by transport costs etc. in getting US produced games for affordable prices. I would jump on For-Ex but really unsure I can get any of my friends to play it but can certainly get people to play table battles. I was kind of expecting the PNP version to just be more like 8 A4 pages like White mountain as the easiest PNP build imaginable but this is still not hard at all.
Customer avatar
John K October 11, 2017 9:25 pm UTC
I'd give it a try - but not for $12.
Customer avatar
Tom R October 11, 2017 9:55 pm UTC
That's your call, of course - you got to do what works for you - but it's all the files for a complete, commercially-available board game that retails for $35 plus shipping. If you want to just try the system out, there's "Christmas at White Mountain" also available here on WGV for only two or three bucks.
Customer avatar
Erik W November 22, 2017 3:49 am UTC
It's a fun and clever game, definitely worth the $12.
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