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Subject: Oh My Sheep review: baaaa! rss

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Jack Darwid
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Oh My Sheep

Players: 2-3, 4 if with expansion.
Gametime: around 10 minutes per Player
Mechanic: light take that card game with dice rolls
Theme: Orcs, Goblins and Cyclops (and Imps in the expansion) are hungry and they are fighting each other to capture the most sheep.

Components
There are 4 small decks of cards: Orcs, Goblins, Cyclops then the Sheeps. If you buy the deluxe version you will get the Imps deck (I don't have it) and the playmats (I have them).
I recommend the playmats because they will make the game clean and tidy, and easier to teach new players because you can just point where to place the cards.

Setup
Setup is very quick: each Player chooses one race, shuffle the deck then draw 5 cards. Shuffle the sheep cards, put in the middle of the Players as the Main Flock deck.

Gameplay
Each turn do these in order:
1. Draw 2 cards.
2. ‘Ready’ (untap for M:tg players out there) your Creature card
3. Play up to 3 cards

There are 3 types of cards you can play:
a. Skill cards, usable only in your turn. Follow the text then discard it.
b. Trap cards: put the card face down, max 3 face down Trap cards in play. You can resolve Trap cards on any Player’s turn.
c. Creature cards: comes to play in ‘travelling’ (tapped) position, means can ‘hunt’ next turn.

What is a HUNT?
You may hunt during your turn, you choose when. If you hunt, all your ‘ready’ creatures must hunt. For each creature card roll a die X times where X is the number on the top left of the Creature card. If you roll 4-6 you get 1 Sheep card, fails if 1-3. Each Sheep card has 0-3 sheep and some are special sheep with effect.
You may ‘hunt’ your opponent’s sheep too. It’s a dice duel, each Player rolls a die, hunter’s roll must be higher than defender’s roll to take a random sheep card from the defender. Other result means the hunt fails.
After a hunt, discard all hunting Creature cards whatever the results are.

Game Ending
When the Main Flock deck is exhausted, the game is over. Count the number of sheep you have, highest wins.

COMMENTS
I’ve played the game five times with 3 players then once with 2 players, and I prefer to play with 3 players. This is a family game and keep in mind that the game is light. Yes there are some combos and tactics but the use of dice to resolve the hunt makes the game quite random, means children will have the chance to beat you! (yes, I was defeated again and again by my kids! Baaaa!)

POTENTIAL MINUSES
Why potential? Because I received a prototype of the game, and since the game is in Kickstarter right now, I’m sure they have time to fix these, right guys?
- The rulebook seems short but I think it’s better to put more explanation. Example: Can a player check the content of other player’s flock cards? What is a ‘sacrife’? (I was a M:tG player so I know this but a new board game player may scratch his head) . What happens when a deck is empty, shuffle it again immadiately? In our second game, me (Goblins) and my daughter (Cyclops) have 13 sheep, who wins, or is it a tie?
- Other than the rulebook, I think some cards need clearer explanation. The rulebook explains the cards more but it will be easier if the text on the cards are clearer, example: Cyclops Big Catch, Goblins’s Detour (this card has different explanation on the card and on the rulebook).
- Some typos, example: Cyclops Big Catch is called Brutal in the Glossary in the Rulebook, one of the Sheep is named Ovejas(?).
- It will be easier to read if the text on the cards are a bit bigger.

SLIGHTLY ANNOYING THINGS
- Since we put max 3 Traps in play face down, we constantly forget what’s our traps are, that’s why we constantly checking and rechecking the traps. If you have a sharp mind, well, then it's our fault
- Some of the traps are reaction cards, like Cancel (like Counterspell in M:tG) and can create timing issues, example: I play an Orc Assassin to kill a Cyclops then you reveal a Trap, Cyclops Big Swing (return all enemies' creatures to owner's hand). FIFO (First In First Out) or LIFO (Last In First Out)?. And because of those cards, whenever a Player do things: ‘WAIT!’, then other Players check their face down Traps, the result is usually ‘oh, I have nothing to stop you’ or ‘haha! Cancel THAT!’. It’s no problem if you play friendly and for fun (house rules!), but I can see the potential problem if you play with a serious gamer who is very strict about rules and timing.

PLUSES
- Cute artwork! I prefer brighter color though so the artwork can pop more, but maybe that’s just me.
- Easy to learn, light to play.
- Each race feels different: Goblins have speed and have the most tricks. The Cyclops is the slowest but has the most direct hunt. The Orcs is somewhere in the middle. My kids love to try new races because they feel different.
- The game doesn’t overstay its welcome. The Main flock deck looks thick but suddenly it’s empty and the game is over.
- Cute artwork! (again?) My kids love it. Baaa!

OTHER THINGS
Oh My Sheep has take that, but it’s not that heart breaking since creatures are easily come and go. My kids can handle this game well and has no problem with the take that part. (A few cries because of Survive!, but not this one).
Oh My Sheep has some interaction and combo but not too much so children can play easily and understand them. I play with my 9 and 11 years old.

CONCLUSION?
If you want a light family game to play with your family and friends, to play and to have fun together, you can support Oh My Sheep on Kickstarter right now.

Note: Board game is on the rise in Indonesia since the last few years. Yay! We have more and more board game designers/publishers/communities in Indonesia, and Canvas Studio is one of the active publisher supporting the hobby since 2011.

Baaaa!

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