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Subject: Not a filler! rss

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Sarah Langer
Austria
Vienna
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I am suprised to see that there are no reviews for this game on the geek, so I'll try and give a quick overview. I bought this game at a common store that sells toys and games, but also kitchenware, perfumes and makeup and so on. So I consider it a mass market game. I was looking for a filler, granted, the one hour on the box is not very filler-ish, but still short enough to play when there isn't a lot of time or you want to play while waiting for guests arriving later.

How to play:

It's an auction game, with some neat mechanics. First: You try to get sets. You only get points if you have the complete set of four animals. That would be nearly impossible, if there wasn't the possibility of buying cards from your fellow players, which adds another interessting part to the game. In addition to the sets you can get bonus cards, that add points to a specific set. And then there are the rats, a set that makes one of your sets worthless, if you are stuck with them in the end.

The bidding itself works as you all know it, except for the rats. With the rats everybody puts down cards (money), but you don't know the amount. Every player has the choice: lay down a card or take all the cards already played. Oh, and the bonus cards are auctioned off in a different way too: the auction master (changes every round) counts down from ten, and according to the number of money cards you are willing to pay (the amount doesn't matter), you shout when the number is called out.

That was the bidding. Then there is the buying. Let's say it's your turn: you challenge a person for an animal. You put down a secret bid in front of your fellow player, who then has to decide whether to but down a bid too, or to simply take your bid. Let's say he puts down a bid too: you each take the other's bid and count the money, if you bid more, you get the animal, if you bid less, it stays with its owner. With rats it's exactely the other way around. Notice: Both players keep the other player's money.

In the end you all sell and buy until all the sets are complete. Then there's a rather complecated way to calculate each players points, and the player with the most points wins.

My opinion:

It's quite a strategic game, because it matters a lot when you try to buy stuff from other players. If they just got a lot of money from another sell, you stand little chance, except for maybe when they don't care about that animal as much, and try to save up for another buying-attempt. So you really have to consider what your opponent may plan, you may want to bluff about your plans to trick people into paying a lot, and you have to think ahead: if I give them a lot of money now, will the simply buy the animal back without me being able to do anything about it? And so on.

What stood out to me the most: It takes WAY longer than an hour. It's more like 2-4 hours, depending on the number of players and the length of the auctions. So it's definitly not a filler, and outstays it's welcome quite a bit. It has some neat machanisms, and you really have to think and plan ahead, trying to predict what other players are going to do, but I still wouldn't recommend this game, because it really drags out. For me at least. If you don't mind the time, and you like bidding with some strategy, then go ahead - I'll certainly spend my time with other games ;-)
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Max Pfennighaus
United States
Croton-On-Hudson
New York
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Nice review. Yes, I think this game played with the original rules is really far too long for what it is. The best way to play is cut the time in half by bidding on two cards at once, a variant that was ultimately baked into Kuhhandel Master's predecessor, You're Bluffing!.

You can speed it up even further by giving each player a few cards to start the game with...though if you enjoy strategic play, this variant will only really work with a 4 player game.

The trick with the double card auction in Kuhhandel Master is the Pedigree and Rat cards. They auction under different rules, so they need a special exception. We play like this:

1. The auctioneer draws two cards.
2. If both cards are animal cards, the auction is for both cards and play proceeds normally.
3. If either (or both) cards drawn are Pedigree or Rat cards, auction each card separately according to the appropriate rules.
4. If both cards were Rat cards, the auctioning player gets another turn. Othersie, play proceeds clockwise.

These rules keep the game moving quickly, and bring the time for a 4 or 5 player game down to a little over an hour.
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Thijs Lauwbierkoffie
Netherlands
Amersfoort
Utrecht
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I think you have a rule wrong: you can only buy (kuhhandel) when you have the same type of animal, when you are the challenger and you pay less: YOU loose your animal to the person you challenged. When you have two of the same type and you chalenge an other person who has the other two cards of that type, you will kuhhandel for both cards at the same time. I think this rule mistake makes your game drag on, because in your way of playing it makes the forming of the complete set take more turns.

Kuhhandel is defintly not a filler but a game of more than 2 hours is rediculous. It takes around 90 minutes if players try to read other players, and keep track of where the money is.

I love this game
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Simon Lavender
United Kingdom
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Agreed with Thijs
 
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