Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Ziegen Kriegen» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Got goats? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
flag msg tools
admin
designer
May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
badge
Mostly offline, but trying.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
With Peter just back from Hamburg, game night was enlivened by our first "Essen game" of 2007. I confess to some excitement at getting the first report in for a game that is being released on the other side of the world

The goal of Ziegen kriegen is evident in its name - get goats. More specifically, fill your island with goats - but beware of overpopulation. There is a climate change message there for us all, even if it does come in the guise of goat number 46 who is definitely wearing Too Much Lipstick.

So how do you get goats, I hear you ask, over the musical strains of "High on a hill was a lonely goat-herd".

Ziegen kriegen is a trick-taking game. Each player is dealt 8 cards, and the youngest player plays first. The person who plays the highest valued goat (they are numbered 1-50) wins the trick and leads to the next trick. It's simple.

But there's a problem.

As we said, one small bump of land can only support a certain number of goats. How many, we won't know until halfway through the game. For the first four rounds, the player who plays the lowest valued goat draws and places an "island card."

Island cards have two quarter-islands. Typically, one has a big number (can feed lots of goats) and the other a low number (um, rocky and infertile?). The first player to take an island card places it in the centre of the table, then places the adorable little wooden goat on one or other of the two partial islands. This is the island where our goats will live, love and learn. In the next three rounds, the player placing the island chooses whether to add the high or low number to the feeding grounds. This can be a critical decision.

At the end of the fourth round, the island has been decided.

Players play the full 8 rounds, with the player who plays the highest card taking all cards played for the round. Each card has a number of goat symbols on it (think ox heads in 6 nimmt). At the end of the game, the total number of goat heads in your 'won tricks' pile must be less than or equal to the total of the 4 numbers on the island. Most goats are worth 1 or 2, I think I saw a 3, and the "0 numbers" (10, 20, 30, 40) are worth 5 each.

The game plays much like any trick-taking game. The wide range of numbers (1 to 50) on the cards gives some randomness, as does the fact that not all the cards are in play (we played with 5 players, using 40 cards). The person leading to a trick typically has less control than the person who plays last.

Critical, though, is a quirk of the scoring. I mentioned earlier that the numbers on the island spaces represent the maximum number of goats that can be on the island. If your score is higher than the island total, you lose. So the aim of the game is to get the highest score (number of goat heads) EQUAL TO OR LESS THAN the numbers on the island. Another rule? Once you have won a trick and placed the cards in front of you (face down), you may not look at them again until the end of the game.

But those are strategic issues that a competent card player will keep in mind.

For theme, I give Ziegen Kriegen a 1/10. Goats? On an Island? With collectible heads?
For gameplay, much better. We enjoy playing cards, so this was just another way to do that. There's some randomness, but there is also skill in knowing when to play and when to duck. One downside is a possible kick-the-leader approach - if all or most of the players work together.

For now, Ziegen Kriegen stands at a solid 7.5 for me. It's enjoyable, fast (we averaged 10 minutes a hand) and if you really get stuck you can look at the pictures and giggle.
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gerald McDaniel
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the great review. Sounds like a good game for our family.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guy Riessen
United States
Sebastopol
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I was going to write a review for this one, but you pretty much covered it all, including some of the strategic thoughts we had. Good review!

I rated it a 8--for pure gameplay, your 7.5 is probably a little more accurate, but the speed of play bumps it up a tad...and this one is particularly well-suited (yeah okay pun was intended devil )for our usual lunch-game group. We tend to be on the vicious side and take particular delight in taking down the leader. The ability to snatch the early trick loss to set up a low counting island is always fun--sometimes backfires, but isn't revenge always that way?

I would especially like to point out that wonderful 10 card which has 5 goat heads on it--that one is a perfect stick-it-to-ya card because if it's in your hand you'll almost always be able to give it to whoever you like!

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guy Riessen
United States
Sebastopol
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I don't understand why the need to include a rule to not look at the tricks you've taken. Especially in such a simple (rules-wise) game, all it will do is make the more experienced card-player/counter win more often. They're your tricks, you should be able to look at them--we found it makes the strategy much more tight as even if you usually play by instinct, you can plan to take or (try!) not to take a trick. The issue is probably worse with fewer players because you'll be trying usually to take a few tricks--whereas with 6, you probably can only take one since you'll get all 6 cards (another strike against playing with max players!)

It's a rule we ignore

Play it with 3 or 4, it's really really good at that number!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
flag msg tools
admin
designer
May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
badge
Mostly offline, but trying.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sprydle wrote:
I don't understand why the need to include a rule to not look at the tricks you've taken. Especially in such a simple (rules-wise) game, all it will do is make the more experienced card-player/counter win more often. They're your tricks, you should be able to look at them--we found it makes the strategy much more tight as even if you usually play by instinct, you can plan to take or (try!) not to take a trick. The issue is probably worse with fewer players because you'll be trying usually to take a few tricks--whereas with 6, you probably can only take one since you'll get all 6 cards (another strike against playing with max players!)

It's a rule we ignore

Play it with 3 or 4, it's really really good at that number!


I tend to agree with that. Especially as I am usually the host for game night and busy doing other things as well as playing!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.