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Subject: Curious About Auf Der Walz? Read This! rss

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Max Green
United States
Woodstock
IL
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A Brief Overview of Auf Der Walz
This is a brief overview of Auf Der Walz for people who are curious about the game. I will not cover every single rule nor will I cover every single component. I just wanted to give everyone a general idea of how the game plays.

The Premise
Players are traditional, journeying craftsmen exploring Germany during the 19th century. As they travel through the German countryside they will score victory points by socializing at hostels and inns, honing their craft by working for small-timers and/or foremen, and by enjoying the leisure of drawing, writing, and/or making music. At the end of three years and one day, the craftsman with the most victory points wins the game. When they set out on their quest, traditional, journeying craftsmen were said to be “Auf Der Walz,” or “on the road.”

General Round Structure

The game consists of four rounds. During rounds one through three, players take turns spending six cards from their hands -one at a time- to generate action points. The action points are then spent to pursue different options. Scoring occurs at the end of rounds one through three. During the fourth round, all players play the same card once and spend the corresponding amount of action points. Final scoring occurs at the end of round four.

General Turn Structure
At the beginning of the game, players shuffle all of their Foot It cards. Six are drawn from the top of the stack forming a hand. The hand is visible to the player, but not the opponents. The rest of the Foot It cards are placed face down in a pile on the player board. On a player’s turn, a single Foot It card is chosen from the hand of six and played. The Foot It card has a number on it and that number represents the number of action points that player has available to spend during that turn. After a player has spent all of the action points awarded by the card (or fewer if the player engages in a turn ending move) then play moves to the next player who then plays a single Foot It card and spends the awarded number of action points. Players take turns until each player has played six Foot It cards. Scoring occurs after the last player has finished spending their action points for their sixth Foot It card.

Available Actions That Cost Action Points
Players can spend action points in one of two ways:

1. Footing It
2. Scouting Out

For each action point spent Footing It, players move one space along an outlined path. For example, if a player spends three action points that player may then move their pawn three spaces along an outlined path.

For one action point, a player can Scout Out if that player is on an edge of a tile. A player can choose to either connect a Landscape tile (a single hexagon) or a City Board tile (three connected hexagons) to the board on which the player’s pawn currently stands. City Board tiles must be placed at a minimum distance of two landscape tiles from all other cities and to the center homeland.

Available Actions That Do NOT Cost Action Points

Stopping at an Inn – A player goes into the Inn and receives news. Receiving news earns them a reward and reveals a person(s) in the form of a card that this player may or may not interact with depending on the card’s description. That player also challenges all other players to a dice game, regardless of their positions on the board. If a player has remaining action points, that player can continue making more moves.

Staying the night at a Hostel – At the hostel, a player meets a travel companion. If the player can pay the cost required by the travel companion, that travel companion joins the player and can potentially provide a bonus the rest of the game. A player can only have one journeyman at a time. If a player acquires a new journeyman later in the game, that player must get rid of the first journeyman by following a short process of decision making. Staying the night at a Hostel does not end a player’s turn if that player has more action points to spend.

Working at a Wayside – Players go to Waysides to earn money and victory points. Some Waysides provide fixed income and some Waysides require players to roll a die to determine the income. Players score victory points by placing special markers on Waysides known as Scheniegelei. These markers are scored at the end of rounds. Entering a Wayside ends a player’s turn even if that player still has action points to spend.

Leisure – There are special locations throughout the boards that are designated as Leisure spaces. On a leisure space, a player draws a card that represents writing, drawing, or making music. These cards are worth victory points at the end of the game. A player can stay at each leisure space only once. Entering a Leisure Space ends a player’s turn even if that player still has action points to spend.

Riding a Carriage
– If a player wants to travel a distance that would require more action points than that player has available, that player can enter a Carriage Space. If there is another Carriage Space on the board, that player can pay one Thaler (money) per space traveled to go from one Carriage Space to another. Entering a Carriage Space ends a player’s turn even if that player still has action points to spend.

Miscellaneous

An important and unique aspect of Auf Der Walz is the tally stick. Throughout the game players take actions that gain them Scantlings which are thin, colored bars that players place on their tally stick. The tally stick is a separate board placed next to the player board. The acquisition of Scantlings plays a significant role in the end of round scoring and the final round scoring. It also adds to the thematic nature of the game as real life journeying craftsmen would have had a walking stick adorned with tokens that represented their accomplishments.

Final Thoughts
1. Auf Der Walz is NOT a heavy game. Spielworxx has an established reputation for creating heavier games, but this is not one of them. Auf Der Walz is surprisingly simple. This might be a bit of a stretch, but it sort of reminds me of Xia: Legends of a Drift System. Xia has regions that players can explore that get added to the main board. Xia also provides players with a variety of ways to procure victory points. Auf Der Walz does both of these things well. However, Auf Der Walz doesn’t have nearly as many options as Xia for scoring points. At its heart, Auf Der Walz is a game about traveling around, meeting new people, sharing stories, and improving one’s reputation. It truly is a game that values the journey and not the destination. Pun intended.

2. Auf Der Walz is highly thematic. The designers of this game took great care to incorporate the history of journeying German craftsmen during the 19th century. Many game components have long German names (that I cannot pronounce) that represent real life people, places, and things. The decisions players make as action points are spent truly represent the same kinds of decisions that journeying craftsmen would have made several centuries ago. HOWEVER, there is one minor, albeit glaring issue: the dice game. While the dice game can be fun, it really feels tacked on and ruins the thematic equity that the game has built up to this point. How can one player challenge all the other players if they are all over the countryside while that one player is the only player at an Inn? While the dice game represents an event that likely happened at inns during this time period, the actual mechanism in the game doesn’t make thematic sense. It’s also unfortunate that ALL players have to participate in the dice game EVERY time a player enters an Inn. By no means does this ruin the game for me, but I felt I it stood out so much in an otherwise solidly streamlined and thematic game.

Thanks for reading and I hope this provided a snapshot of the game that can help you decide if you are interested in trying it out.

Auf wiedersehen!


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Claude Sirois
Canada
Quebec City
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Thanks Max for taking time to write that overview. Reading the rules I thought as well that it could be a Spielworxx totally playable with the family. I like the unusual theme and the artwork. I'm quite tempted! devil

K
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Max Green
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Klode wrote:
Thanks Max for taking time to write that overview. Reading the rules I thought as well that it could be a Spielworxx totally playable with the family. I like the unusual theme and the artwork. I'm quite tempted! devil

K


Absolutely, Claude! I believe this game could certainly be played with a family that has teenagers.
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