Feuer Schlucker – Game review

I was in Frankfurt and just walked into a local department store. Saw a small card game by Reiner Knizia for just 4€ and just picked it up. The pictures of the cards at the back also did not have any text and i thought it must be playable easily. Came back checked out the Geek and saw a pretty low rank. Downloaded the rules and played a couple of 2 player games and found a pretty simple, fast filler with limited strategic options, some interactibility and fun.

The game has 55 cards and 36 spectator tiles. The theme is that the cards represent attractions in a circus and the tiles are spectators watching them. Each player starts a discard pile for himself by playing cards with the top card only being visible. The cards played provide opportunities to pick up spectators and the one with the most spectators in the end is the winner. Each player has a hand of 5 cards and this gets refilled back to 5 everytime cards are played.

The different cards are numbered cards (2,3 & 4), cotton candy vendor card, clown card, human pyramid card and leo the lion. Numbered cards allow u to pick up the number of spectators mentioned. But if some one else has also played the same numbered card in front of them then u can pick the requisite no of spectators from the guy who played that card the last. Cotton candy card allows u to pick up 2 spectators from any player. Human pyramid allows u to pick the no of spectators as there are visible among all the piles in front of the players. The clowns are the instance where u can play multiple cards and pick up as many spectators as cards played. Leo the lion adds a nice twist to the game. Every one gives up the no of spectators as the last card played in front of them depicts. All the discard piles and the remaining draw deck in reshuffled and the game continues.

The game ends when all the spectators are exhausted. There may be a case with the draw deck being exhausted and players holding onto the lion cards with some spectators still remaining. In this case play just goes on without any drawing of cards.

The couple of games we played were very close and tight in the scoring. Not too much strategy can be employed especially as the hand is just limited to 5 cards. But there is a very nice rhythm and flow to the game and I have a feeling it could be very chaotic and fun with the full 5 players.

A couple of new games played last weekend

Last weekend I finally managed to open a couple of new games and get them played. The first was the highly ranked Railroad Tycoon. For a guy who’s only experience of train games have been the three TTRs and Transeuropa this was a good step up in terms of gameplay and complexity. The game board is beautiful and huge and the components like the share certificates and the money used are just great! We only played a couple of beginner games without the Western Link, Railroad operations or Railroad Tycoon cards. The game has a good flow and feel to it and with the cards included should be really engaging and exciting. I am looking forward to a good long game once I get back from my Europe trip next month.

The other new game I opened was Coda. I slightly more improved version of the old Mastermind, it is quick fast and interesting. We had 2 plays, one 2 player and one 3 player and both were different and interesting. Great filler for a game session.

Am off to Europe for the next month or so. Am definitely trying to catch atleast the first day in Essen. Unfortunately 21st is Deepavali – the Festival of Lights here in India. So I have to get back in time to be with the family. Atleast I am looking forward to getting a taste of Essen this year and hopefully I can make a full stay next year. So anybody sees an Indian on the first day at Essen, just feel free to ask ‘Are u you Sanjay?!?’

Back from Singapore

Just got back from Singapore yesterday. I managed to get a Mah Jong set for about 50 SGD. Also paid a visit to Paradigm Infinitum, the boardgames shop on Orchard road. They had a pretty decent selection and also a 10% off sale going. So I just got China Moon by Bruno Faidutti for about 16 SGD. Though I had taken some games with me to play we hardly found the time. So the games played will have to pick up again only this week now that I am back home. A pile of unplayed games still lying at home.

Games played August 06

Travel brought down the total number of plays to 38 games in the month. The top games were Lost Cities, San Juan & Ticket to Ride. Rediscovering San Juan was the highlight of the month’s gaming. Aarthi and me had played so many games and had forgotten it for almost 6 months or more. TTR was played in Australia only. I had given the game to Mohan and decided to get it back.

Buy Low Sell High and Mystery Rummy Jack the Ripper logged 4 plays each. BLSH is one of the new games of the month. Decent game but not ‘fun’ in that sense.
Ticket to Ride Marklin was teh new hit of the month.I got the game from a friend early in the month and I logged 3 plays before I was off on travel.

Hansa & Settlers had 2 plays each.

Alhambra, Cartagena, Elasund, Lowenherz and Settlers – the card game all logged 1 play each. Settlers the card game was opened only yesterday.

Overall a low play month I should say.