Men, for some reason, have this thing about pretending to be soldiers or warriors of some kind. They do it in a variety of ways—sport hunting, video gaming, paintballing, watching action movies, fistfighting, etc. Battle Line offers a bit more sane (and less violent) outlet for these impulses by pitting two players against each other in mock Classical Greek combat.
A row of nine "flags" (just little red-painted wooden tokens) is set up between the two facing players. The goal is to capture five flags, or three adjacent flags. Players lay down hands on their side of the battle line, capturing a flag if their hand is superior to the corresponding hand of their opponent. Hands resemble poker sets, like the straight flush, three of a kind, straight, flush, etc.
Specialty cards give players an advantage in certain circumstances or when completing a specific action. Flags are not captured in order, and players lay cards down one at a time so you'll have to watch the entire front at once. Focusing on a weakness in your opponents lineup is sometimes necessary, but will usually result in missing his sneak attack.
Because it's so easy to set up and doesn't take too much room, Battle Line is a great choice for mobile play (in a coffee shop or bus station, or wherever you find yourself, maybe on the roof of a music producing company). Replay value is high, and since games are typically short you can usually fit in more than one. Oh, and women like this game just as much as men in our experience.