What're you looking at!
Take Off is an auction game in which you bid on short (green), medium (red), and long (blue) airline routes with appropriately coloured airplanes. You try to get as many routes as you can, and as many matching cities as you can to win.
What makes this an interesting game is that you cannot refresh your hand of seven cards until all players have four or fewer cards. This mechanic makes the game quite tactical and interesting, even with only two players.
We took a tip from SOS1 and removed three of the tickets from the game, which we found makes for a more intense two-player game. I divided my session report into rounds based on the auctions between refreshing our hands.
In my intial hand, I had only two low value planes that could fly the green routes, yet had two green tickets, so I played with one of my three tickets. Luckily that one ticket was a long route and I had lots of blue value planes.
I also managed to up the bid enough to get my wife to give up more cards than me, and I had five cards to her three. Another interesting point about the bidding in this game is that you are limited by the values on the cards, ie. no change is given. So for example, if all I have is a 7 and a 6 of blue, then I will either have to pay 6, 7 or 13 for the route, although I could bid any number between 1 and thirteen.
The bids didn't get much higher than 10 in this round, and with 9 different cities on the tickets, no definite collections were apparent.
After refreshing our hand though, it was clear that I was collecting London, and my wife bid 15 to prevent me getting a ticket with London as one of the three destinations. She also took the next ticket.
I now had 7 cards to her 2, so I was able to pick up three tickets at pretty reasonable rates before she was able to refresh her hand. I still had the problem of very few short route planes, but had 5 tickets to my wife's four.
The roles were reversed in this round. I got the tickets I wanted in the first couple of auctions, and now had four tickets with London as a destination, but had only two cards to my wife's 5.
Soon we were out of tickets, and with having taken three out at the beginning of the game, you are always in doubt about which cities to collect.
The scoring is based on getting points for acquiring the ticket, and on how many of a city you have: 2=5, 3=10, 4=20, 5/6=30.
Points 37 38
Delhi 10 5
Kairo 0 10
Kapstadt 20 5
London 20 5
L. A. 5 10
Moscau 5 5
New York 5 5
Sydney 20 0
Tokio 5 20
Total 127 103
This game reminds me a little of Vom Kap Bis Kairo with its clever bidding mechanism, and of Richelieu with its goal of getting majorities. Being a card game it is very portable and took it with us back packing. Its a cool little game.