First up was Ex & Hopp. Why it is called that I have no idea whatsoever. On using one of the translation services on the web, I learned that when you take the German “Ex & Hopp” and translate it into English, what you get is “Ex & Hopp”. So I’m no wiser....
This particular game was with 6 players - Deana, Yahu, Keith, Sean, Patrick, and myself.
The game is very light, and how you do depends HEAVILY on the luck of the draw. And with 6 players, you have VERY little control over how well you do.
Each player has his own colour. And for each player, there is a set of cards in the matching colour from 1 to 12. All these cards are shuffled together, and then you get dealt a hand of 4 cards. The only way to (sort of) influence your own destiny is to be lucky enough to get dealt cards of your own colour. So if you’re blue, and you get dealt a red, a yellow, an orange, and a green card, at that point you have zero ability to help yourself.
So in that case (which case seems to occur extremely frequently during the game), being unable to help yourself, all you can really do is try to hose your fellow players. So it becomes a game of hose everybody else. And if you do happen to get a good card of your own colour, then try to use it when you have a chance to actually win some points.
During the game, a set of 4 little tiles are turned up. These look like die-faces. Most are 6’s and 5’s and 4’s, but there is even a 3 and a 2. Most are black, which means positive points. But a few are red, which means negative points (and major hosage!)
Each player during his turn plays one card beside one of the die-face tiles, and then draws a new card. Somewhat reminiscent of 6 Nimmt!, as soon as the number of cards reaches the number on the die-face tile (if it’s a 6 on the die-face tile, and someone has just placed the 6th card), that row of cards is finished. Whoever has the highest total of cards in their colour in that row wins the die-face tile as his points. And a new die-face tile is then turned up.
In case of a tie, no one wins. All cards are discarded, and the die-face tile remains where it is, to be tried for again. The game ends when all the die-face tiles are used up. High score then wins.
There is a provision to offer to trade a colour card for another colour card, denomination unknown. This proved rather useless, and after the first couple of attempts at it, no one tried it anymore.
So the game is driven by luck. Extremely so. At least with 6 players, it is. It would probably work better with just 2 or 3 players, though. You’d have a lot more control and influence then. Another one of those games where the more players there are, the more random the result is.
Perhaps a rule could be added (***warning warning: possible Dan variant alert***) that whenever a row was completed, a round of MANDATORY trading take place. Each person in turn would ask for his colour. Proceeding clockwise, as soon as both players had each other’s colour, they would HAVE to trade. This would help the game a bit, because as the game goes on, you should start getting more cards of your OWN colour than just sheer luck provideds. There would still be a lot of luck of course, but at least with more of your own colour cards, you’d have a little better chance of affecting the rows in the way you want, as opposed to being totally at the mercy of the draw of the cards.
Not to take anything away from Sean’s victory of course, but I don’t think skill played a particularly large part in his win........
Sean - 9 - (winner)
Yahu - 6
Keith - 5
Patrick - 2
Dan - 1
Deana - 0