A Battle Through History Review

05 November 2022
Metal Through The Ages

When it comes to Swedish metal, my tastes align more with the dark, progressive melancholy of Opeth rather than the country’s many iterations of power metal, but given their unique spin on the genre, Sabaton are a band worthy of their worldwide acclaim. Sabaton’s niche for composing searing songs inspired by historical wars, battles, and heroes has cemented them as one of Sweden’s most successful rock bands, and now, with A Battle Through History, they’re unleashing their unique brand to the tabletop hobby.

Published by Pegasus Spiele in collaboration with Italian company Scribabs, A Battle Through History is the newest addition to the ‘Heavy Metal Boardgame Collection’, following on from 2019’s Armata Strigoi featuring German band Powerwolf. In this deck-building game players will be assuming the roles of ‘Sabatons’, who are – in the context of the game - time-travelling storytellers. Over the course of six to eight rounds these Sabatons will be meddling with the ‘Gears of History’, dropping into various eras, and battling iconic heroes and vehicles from the vast annals of warfare to recruit into their decks. At the end of the game, whoever has amassed the most points through their recruited units and discovered relics will be the one to triumphantly sing of their heroic deeds.

More than merely being involved in the game’s development, Sabaton’s members are in fact in it – immortalised in plastic miniature form (albeit not to the extent of those masters of metal merchandise, KISS). Each turn will see players placing their miniature into one of the four eras - their choice dictated by the two options on the currently ‘active’ Time-Travel Tile – before battling one of the available three units or another Sabaton in the same era. Players can insert one to three of these Time-Travel Tiles with the hopes of not only travelling to the desired era but also aligning the gear’s cogs with their preferred pair of actions, and securing one of the three Warfare tokens. Actions will generally allow players to draw up more cards and occasionally jettison units to optimise their deck, whilst Warfare tokens can be placed on units during a battle to grant special powers.

Battle itself revolves around adding up the values of three Lines of Combat – Long-Range, Medium Range, and Close Combat – and adding modifiers from a die roll. These are resolved sequentially with units being destroyed in the order they have been placed. A fair amount of tactics come into play here concerning how best to arrange units and which Warfare tokens to place, alongside deeper strategies involving ‘Linking’ particular pairs for added defence. Of course, these considerations can be taken into account when deciding how to build your deck too, making for a pretty competitive game once players are experienced enough. Experience should also dampen some of the game’s luck elements, which ranges from players simply getting lucky with their Relic card set-collecting or being unprepared for the blind draws of any units boasting the Reinforcements ability.

Component and art quality overall is impressive, with linen finish cards, decent sized miniatures, and sturdy boards and tokens. Notably, the central ‘Gear of History’ forgoes the usual plastic push-fit plug used in other games with rotating components, in favour of a steel bolt and screw. And honestly, what could be more metal than that!?



There’s nothing dramatically game-changing here, but in the field of simple-to-intermediate deck-building games there should be enough solid mechanics to satisfy those looking for something a bit different.


Fans of deck building and military history should find something to enjoy here.

Read the full review here

Buy a copy here

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Designer: Erik Burigo, Marco Valtriani, Par Sundstrom

Publisher: Pegasus Spiele

Time: 60-120 minutes

Players: 2-5

Ages: 14+

Price: £35

What’s in the box?

  • 5 Sabaton miniatures
  • 4 Main board quadrants
  • Gears of history board
  • 2 Dice
  • 8 Damage counters
  • 20 Link counters
  • 8 Honour of the arms tokens
  • 12 Time-travelling tiles
  • 20 Prowess in battle tokens
  • Round track and counter
  • 20 Warfare tokens
  • Headquarters standee
  • 5 Attacker boards
  • Defender board
  • 108 Unit cards
  • 32 Relic cards
  • Historical booklet


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