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Subject: Fat Cats (English rules) rss

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Mark Jackson
United States
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Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Fat Cats
a whisker-licking game of speed & strategy
a board game for 3-6 players (note: best w/5-6)
ages 10 and up

It is very early in the morning and all the cats in the neighborhood have gathered in the haunted house for breakfast. They can't agree on who should get the most food or the softest cushion, so they decide to have a contest to see who will have the upper hand - or, paw. But a cat who meows too loudly and disturbs the ghost of the house could get into trouble!

1 game board
6 hungry cats
30 food cards
24 betting tokens
6 silver platters
game rules

The goal of the game
The cat who gets the most food advances the fastest all the way around the board to the big red comfy cusion and wins the game.

Setting up
Carefully punch out the cats & the silver platters. Place each cat in a stand.

Each player takes:
- 1 cat in a stand
- 4 betting tokens, marked A, B, C, & D, that match the color of their plastic cat-stand
- 1 silver platter

There are two different kinds of food cards:
- 9 have a blue background and no ghosts
- 21 have a white background, and some of these have a ghost on one side.

Separate the cards so that all the blue cards are in one stack and all the white cards are in another stack. (If there are 4 or 5 players, use only 5 of the blue cards & put the other blue cards back in the box.) (Note: there is no instructions in the rules about blue cards & 3 players... but I repeat: the game isn't very good with 3 players!)

Shuffle each stack well, making sure the ghosts are face down. Place the stack of blue cards on top of the stack of white cards so you have one stack of 30 cards. (A ghost is a penalty card. You do not want to begin the game with a penalty.) Place the stack face up on the table where every player can reach it.

Playing the game
Take the top 4 food cards from the stack and place one card on each of the board spaces marked A, B, C, & D. The cats are already licking their whiskers, getting ready for a big meal, so put them all on the green carpet in the corner of the board. Place your 4 betting tokens face down on the table in front of you.

Betting tokens
It's time to eat! Look at the 4 food cards on the board & decide which one you want the most: A, B, C, or D. Pick up your betting token that has the same letter as the food card you have chosen, but don't let the other players see it. Find a blue serving tray on the board thtat is close to you and place your betting token on it face down. All the players do the same with their own betting tokens.

When all the players have made their bets and placed their betting tokens face down on the board, everybody turns their tokens face up and places them on the matching food cards: token A on food card A, token B on food card B, and so on.

You win the food card you bet on - but only if you're the only one who bet on it! If two or more people bet on the same food card by choosing betting tokesn with the same letter, nobody wins that food card.

If you win a food card, remove it from the board and move your cat the same number of cushions as the number of goodies on the card (3 goodies = 3 cushions; 2 goodies = 2 cushions, etc.) Then take your betting token back so you can use it again.

When two or more players bet on the same food card, neither of them wins the card, and they also may not move their cats. Their betting tokens must remain where they are on the food cards.

Moving the cats
A cat that wins a food card moves forward on the board in the direction of the arrow. In the first round, it doesn't matter which cat moves first, but in later rounds, the cat who is farthest behind moves first, the next farthest behind moves second, and so on. (Note: we make the oldest player move first on the first round...)

Cats don't like to share their cushions, so if there's a cat on the cushion in front of you as you move, that cushion doesn't count. Just jump right over it and continue counting with the next cushion.

When all the winning cats have finished advancing, the used food cards should be placed to one side in a discard pile.

The next round
Begin the next round by filling the empty food card spaces on the board with new cards from the stack. Players who did not win a food card in the first round had to leave their tokens on the board, so these players now only have 3 betting tokens.

As before, each player picks a food card to bet on, chooses a matching betting token, and places it face down on one of the empty blue serving trays on the board. Once all the bets have been made, players who did not win in the first round may now take back the betting tokens they used in that round.

In all the following rounds, play continues as in the first rounds:

1. Place betting token face down on empty serving tray.
2. Take back your betting token (if any) from the last round.
3. Turn over betting token on serving tray.
4. If you win, take back your token & pick up the food card you have won.
5. Advance your cat the proper number of cushions, passing over any cushion that already has a cat on it.
6. Place new food cards on the empty spaces.

Oh no, the ghost!
Every haunted house has a ghost. In this house, the ghost is found on some of the white food cards, and shows up at the most surprising times! If you win a food card that has a ghost on one side, you must move your cat backward, not forward, the same number of cushions as goodies on the card. As usual, jump over any cushions that are occupied.

But if your cat is really comfortable where he is, you don't have to move - if you have a silver platter, you can pass the ghost to another player. Here's how...

The silver platter
Place the ghost card on your silver platter and hand it to any one of the other players (maybe the one who is farthest ahead!) That player's cat must now move backward instead of yours!

The ghost card is then placed on the discard pile, but the player you gave it to keeps your silver platter. That player now has two silver platters, and you have none. This can make a big difference later in the game, because if you don't have a silver platter the next time you get a ghost, you won't be able to pass it to someone else.

More food, please!
If all the food cards are use up before the game is over, take the white cards (not the blue ones) from the discard pile, shuffle them with the ghosts face down, and use the cards as before. The blue cards will not be used for the rest of the game.

Top Cat
As soon as the first cat reaches the comfy red cushion, the game is over and that cat is the winner. It is not necessary to reach that cushion by exact count.

If you like, the other cats can continue to play to see who comes in second, third, and so on.

copyright 1993 by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg
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