Michel Boutin’s

Bataille astrale

pieces can rotate and shield themselves from attack

Batalo board game

A Ship slides in the direction of the arrow. It may change orientation by rotating on the spot, or immediately after the move. The Vulnerable steps only one square in all directions. Both Ship and Vulnerable capture by displacement. The goal is to capture the Vulnerable.

The Ships have different armament. They are protected by black shields facing different directions. The strongest Ship is protected against attacks from five angles. The weakest has only one protective shield. The Vulnerable lacks protection.

A Ship can maintain its orientation after it has moved, but may also alter its angle of attack. Instead of moving, it may change orientation where it stands. This costs a move. In the main variant, a Ship may only change orientation 30 degrees, to the left or right.

The game requires aggressive play. Don’t be afraid of temporarily losing material, as long as you can keep the attack going. In a bad position, there is ample opportunity for counter-attack. If you can’t win, an important defensive property is to give perpetual check to the enemy Vulnerable. Beware of exposing the Vulnerable by moving the centre Ships too early. It is probably safer to move the flank Ships in the opening.

Bataille astrale was invented by Michel Boutin. The game was published by Ceméa in 1990. There are different versions of rotation rules. In an alternative variant, a stationary Ship may rotate to any other position. To facilitate play, the maximum slide distance of a Ship may be restricted to three cells. Piece graphics is taken from Boutin’s article. Sounds (“Chamber Decompressing” and “Bottle Rocket”) by Mike Koenig, Soundbible.com, here.


Boutin, M. ‘La Bataille astrale – notes sur les pions’. Escale à Jeux. (here)

‘Michel Boutin (auteur de jeux)’. Wikipedia article. (here)

‘Bataille astrale’. BoardGameGeek. (here)

☛  You can download my free Bataille astrale program here (updated 2020-09-24), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it. (I recommend the download version.)

© M. Winther, 2018 September