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Subject: Baaaaad or Not Baaaaad rss

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Peter Giles
Australia
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Shear Panic just appeared one day on the shelves of my local shop. I picked it up on a whim (I was looking for a fix, drooling addict that I am). A few factors appealed to me. Cool bits, Theme, Can be played with 2 players, and it can be played in under an hour.

Play occurs as a flock of sheep is unloaded from a delivery truck and herded through 4 paddocks, each of which scores in its own unique way. The flock’s progress is accounted for with a flock maker on a board that also acts as a score board. When the flock stops on a Red spot it’s time for a lamb slam which give the current player a further chance manipulate the flock. Brown spots mean it’s time to score.
In the Team Tag Field try to get your sheep together and your will score. In Roger’s Field get closest to Rodger for the highest points. To get your score up in the Black Sheep Tag Field hug the black sheep and finally in the Shear Panic Field get away from the shearer or…snickity snak, no more wool, and no extra points.

At the start of the game you are given a finite amount of moves you can do over the course of the game. You must use these to manipulate your sheep so they are in the best scoring position for each scoring round. Everyone in trying to do the same thing so…CHAOS!

I liked the way theme has been applied. If you have ever herded a lot of sheep for shearing you would recognize the crazy way they jump over each other and move around but all stay together going in the one direction. This game captures that very well and everyone I have played this one with has taken to the theme very positively…the girls just adore the cute little sheep too (very wife friendly).
The decisions I had to make. On the surface you would think that it was a silly little game but it soon shows some depth as you realize you arsenal of movement is ever diminishing and you try and manipulate the flock so you get the lamb slams. You want to save your pogo or ewe turn for the last paddock to.
I do like the pace of the game. While thinking about what you are doing is important no decision should slow the game down.

I didn’t like the 2 player game as much as the 3 or 4 player game. But 2 the player game is a good way to teach it. I did find teach 3 new people in a four player game a little frustrating be the player aids are designed for a universal market and I had to explain the symbols a lot (even though they are pretty self explanatory). Also it can be a bummer if someone is playing sub-optimally because they don’t score anything and you can’t plan your moves (to mitigate the chaos).

Does it get the thumbs up?
Yep. For me and my friends it does. It is a good offering in that gateway kind of groove. It doesn’t take much to get people to play and the chaos does gives everyone a fair chance to get a competitive score going as someone will always do something to cut down the tall poppy if one person is looking like a having runaway win.

Not Baaaad at all.
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Dennis Ugolini
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Interesting. I only like the 2-player game, because our group has seen such pure kingmaking decisions with more players.
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Peter Giles
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Uethym wrote:
Interesting. I only like the 2-player game, because our group has seen such pure kingmaking decisions with more players.


Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the 2 player game (its a good game for my non-gamer wife) but I find laying the smack-down on the kind of player who would choose to play this game (a gateway player) a bit of a pyrrhic victory. It just feels nasty...Oh! and the puppy dog looks you get from beginners when you shear their entire flock. Their bottom lip starts to tremble and the tears start welling up while they stammer "bbbut my sheep"

The king-making...It is a problem for this game I guess this ties into the whole sub-optimal move thing I mentioned too. I have been lucky that the people I play with accept defeat graciously and won't cut down one tall poppy to fertilise another. But for me, if it happened regularly, king-making would quickly take this game off the table.


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