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Mouse Chaos» Forums » Variants

Subject: Rewritten/Streamlined/Alternate rules rss

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Geert Vinaskov
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Mouse Chaos is a game about small mice stealing cheese, and finding their way back to their mother. The game has hidden colors and memory mechanisms, is for two to four players, and takes about an 45 to 60 minutes (standard rules) or 20 to 30 minutes (these rules).

The original rules of the games were often unclear and cumbersome. Though the goal of this rewrite of the rules is to keep the gameplay of the game the same, rules are modified to remove unnecessary complexity and make the game a lot faster. It won't suddenly become BGG top 1000 material, but I believe this can be an "okay" filler or children's game.

The most important change are the cheeseholders. Previously they acted both as some sort of die roll, they moved across the board, and they revealed information about the colors of the mice. Now their sole purposes is acting as a die roll. The movement of the cheeseholders is gone, and the reveal aspect is now delegated to the pieces of cheese.

1. Setup.

Setup remains largely the same as with the regular rules (see the picture in the manual), except that four of the pieces of cheese are placed on the board. These four will have a function in the game. The remaining two can be placed on the table as decoration or put back into the gamebox, they have no function in the game.

N=Nest with mother mouse, C=Chair with Cat on it, M= Small Mouse, T= Table with six cheese holders, K= Cheese (Käse)


The playing field consists of 84 squares or spaces (note that the table has four spaces underneath it).
A square only has room for a single figure (mouse, cat, cheese, chair or table) and figures cannot end their move on a space with another figure.
Exceptions to this last rule are:
- a mouse underneath a chair
- a mouse underneath a table
- a cat on top of a chair
- a cat catching a mouse

The orientation of cats, mice and cheese doesn't matter in this game. The orientation of chairs does. During setup, the chairs face inwards, as shown in the manual. (> and < show the direction the chairs face.)

Each mouse belongs to one of the four colors. While setting up the board, remember that you cannot look at the colors underneath the small mice and the mother mice. You also cannot look at the numbers (1,2,3,3,4,4) underneath the cheese holders.

Each nest contains a mother mouse. Place it in the corner. Don't look at the color of the mother mouse.

The nests are only accessible to mice. Mice can move from the board to the nests via the mouseholes. Each nest is connected with it's two closest mouseholes. Once a mouse is in the nest, it can never go back to the board. There are 4 spaces in each nest, but these do not count as squares for any game purposes.

After setup, each player is assigned a corner (nest) of the board. Each player is also assigned a color and takes the card of that color and places it visibly in front of him or her.

In a three player game, one nest is assigned to an unassigned color (non-player color).
In a two player game, two nests are assigned to non-player colors. These nest should sit diagonally across eachother, and the two nests of the real players should also sit diagonally across eachother.
Non-player colors do not take turns, but they can win the game. In that case, all players lose.

Randomly decide who's the starting player.

2. Turn sequence

Starting with the starting player, players take turns in clockwise order.
Each turn consists of three steps, that must be executed in the following order:
- Turning over a cheese holder
- Moving a mouse or cat
- Moving a piece of cheese or chair

The first step is obligatory, the second and third are optional.

2.1. Turning over a cheese holder.

The cheeseholder acts as a die. At the beginning of each player's turn, if there are two or more cheeseholders left, he takes one, looks underneath it, and declares what number it says. Then he places the cheeseholder in front of himself.

If there's only one cheeseholder left on the table, don't take one, but gather all six cheeseholders, shuffle them and place them on the table again. Afterwards, draw one as described above, leaving five for the next player.

2.2. Moving a mouse or a cat

During the second step of your turn, you move either a mouse ór a cat of your choice. The mouse or cat moves up to a number of steps equal to the number on the revealed cheeseholder. For instance, if the cheeseholder said "3", you can move 0, 1, 2 or 3 spaces. You cannot move diagonally.

2.2.a. Moving a mouse

- If a mouse crosses a space with cheese, you may look at the color of that mouse. (The moment the mouse moves into the cheese, you look at it's color, and continue using the remaining moves of that mouse after you've looked.) Remember that you cannot end your movement on a piece of cheese.

- Mice cannot cross horizontal beams between the legs of the chairs.
- Mice cannot cross spaces with cats
- Mice can end their movement underneath a chair or table, and will be protected from cats if they do so.

- Mice can enter a nest via a mousehole, but lose any remaining movement when doing so. Place the mouse in the mousenest closest to the mousehole, and if there are four mice in that nest check their colors (see "3. Filled nest").

2.2.b. Moving a cat

- A cat can end it's move on top of a chair. It cannot end it's move on top of the table.

- If a cat ends it's move on a space with a mouse, the mouse is caught. You look at the color of the mouse, and place the mouse underneath the table afterwards. If the four squares underneath the table are occupied, move it to on of the 12 mouse starting spaces. If all these sqaures are occupied also, choose a sqaure as close as possible to the table (count squares starting from underneath the table, do not count diagonally for this purpose).
- Cats cannot catch a mouse underneath a chair or table.
- If a cat merely crosses a space with a mouse, the mouse isn't caught.

2.3. Moving a chair or a (piece of) cheese

During the third step of your turn, you move either a chair ór a cheese of your choice. This represents humans moving chairs around the room, and spilling cheese on the floor. You can pick up any chair or cheese in the room, and place it wherever you like (you can even return it to the same square).

2.3.a. Moving a chair

- You cannot move a chair that has a cat on it.
- You can place a chair on top of a mouse, to protect it from cats.
- A chair always must be place upright, standing on it's four legs.
- The orientation of a chair matters. Mice cannot cross the horizontal beams between the legs of a chair.

2.3.b. Moving a cheese

- It's a good idea to place cheese close to mice. If a mouse moves across a cheese, the player moving that mouse may look at the color of that mouse.
- Remember that you cannot place cheese underneath a chair or table.

3. Filled nest

Once a nest has four mice in it, it is filled. The player that owns that nest, turns over the mice in his nest one by one. If a player turns over a mouse of his color (the color on his card), everything is alright, and he continues by turning over the next mouse. If the four mice are of his color, that player wins the game.

If he turns over a mouse of another player's color, he puts the three other mice in his next again on their feet, so that the colors don't show anymore. He then gives the mouse with the wrong color to the player whom it belongs to, and that player places the mouse in his nest. If this causes that player to have four mice in his nest, he also starts turning over mice, as described above. It is possible that all players turn over mice during this step.

If no player ends up with four mice of the same color, the game continues. The player whose turn it was, continues with Step 2.3. (Move a chair or cheese)

In a two or three player game, some nest aren't controlled by any player, but it wil still have a color assigned to it. If at any point during the game an uncontrolled nest has four mice in it, the player whose turn it is reveals those mice, comparing the color of these mice with the assigned color of that corner. If a non-pleyer color wins, all players lose.
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