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Subject: Not Your Typical Toilet Game rss

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chris carleton
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bon accord
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When I realized that there was a game about pay toilets--let alone pay toilets in Ancient Rome--well I just had to have it. I knew it would be a hit--what is more universal than our bodily functions?

Well, the people we have introduced this game to have cetainly enjoyed it, and it provokes so many jokes and puns that it makes the whole table laugh. It is by no means deep, but is good light game, and a great ice-breaker and game that allows you to socialize while playing.

Bits:

The game comes with 60 markers to indicate how long your customers will be spending on the latrine. Appropriately enough, they are dark brown and long, but rectangular--ouch! For money, cardboard disks are used to represent gold in denominations of 1 and 5.

The game comes with 110 cards, 70 of which represent your customers. There are four types of customers: slaves, senators, burghers, and women. Each customer card depicts two numbers: the brown one being the number of turns the customer will spend on the latrine, and the yellow being the amount of gold they will pay.

The artwork is cartoonish but amusing, with customers in various postures of need. You also get 40 action cards, the text of which is in German. These depict line drawings, and for the most part are clear, and you can get a translation of the rules here on the Geek.

Finally, you get six, three-seater latrines--talk about deluxe.

Set Up:

Each player gets a latrine, two action cards, and five customer cards. The customer cards are to be put in line in the order in which they were dealt. Then each player advances the front two customers in their line to the far seats on their latrines, and places the appropriate number of markers on each customer.

Play/Rules:

The object of the game is to get the best customers coming to your latrine, and to make sure that your opponents get the worst cstomers. You win by accumulating a predetermined amount of gold.

On your turn, you begin by removing a marker from each of your customers who are on the latrine. If any of your customers then have no markers left on them, their work is finished and you can collect their fee.

You can then move customers from your queue on to your latrines. You have to take them in order, keeping in mind that a senator will not sit beside a slave. This rule can mean that you have to leave a seat empty. Women, however, can go two to a seat. I guess they even went to the bathroom together in Ancient Rome, and they didn't have stalls in the public latrines, so I guess it wouldn't be so crowded.

Any new customers who are now on the latrine, have the appropriate number of markers put on their card.

At any time during your turn you can play one or more action cards, and these cards can really mess things up for your opponents, or help you out. I will use the English translations for the cards:

Fish Poisoning: This allows you to place two additional markers on another customer.

Special Tax: All players must pay one gold for each of the type of customer on the latrine (one card each for slave, senator, and burgher).

Move to the back: You can move one of your customers or an opponent's to the back of the queue.

Move to the front: You or your opponent's customer can be moved to the front of the queue.

Toilet Gossip: Applies only to a seat with two women on it. Even out the number of markers to the higher number.

Regular Customer: Take the top card of the discard and place it at the end of your or an opponent's queue.

Outhouse: Place this your card next to your latrine. It acts as an extra seat, which is not subject to the senator/slave restriction.

Big Hurry: Remove two markers from a customer.

Switch Latrines: This card allows you to move a customer from one queue to another, maintaining their relative positions.

Break at the Colosseum: Take the top three cards from the draw pile and place them at the end of your or your opponent's queue(s).

Markets/Forums/Assemblies: There is a single card for each type of customer. When played, that person's customers of that type, both on the seats and in the queue, must leave, without paying.

You end your turn by picking up an acton card.

Players contine taking turns until someone accumulates the appropriate amount of gold: 30 for two players; 25 for three players; 20 for four to six players.

Strategy/Tactics:

There's not a whole lot of either in this game--after all it's a game about going to the bathroom. Mainly, you want to sabotage the leader if your not leading, and improve your position if you are.

Action cards are the means of improving your position, and sometimes its better to collect a few before playing. That is, playing two or three in succession can improve your queue, or mess up someone else's more.

Keep your eye open for the really good and really bad customers. Some take five turns and pay only one gold, while others pay three gold for only one turn. Move the bad customers to the competition and retain the good ones.

The assembly cards are very powerful for setting the leader back. If you notice someone has two or three of a certain type, let them stay until they are almost done, then make them do a poop and scoot. That causes them the maximum damage.

Anyone with an outhouse is at an advantage, but also becomes a target.

That's about it.

Conclusion:

If you're looking for a deep game, this is not it. It is, however, a very fun game. The subject matter is treated in a way which lends itself to humour.

As a junior high teacher, I see kids immediately crack up about these bodily funtions, and pretty much see the same reaction with adults.

The games plays fast and is easy to teach. We had very little problem with the action cards being in German, with the help of a printed translation.

We have played it with 2, 3, 5, and 6 players. It is good with only two, but improves substantially with more.

I give this game a 7.



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Nick Fisk
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Stoke on Trent
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Quote:
Anyone with an outhouse is at an advantage, but also becomes a target.


Going from memory, but I think you'll find that the rules here are slightly incorrect on this point.

If I remember correctly from when I translated the rules, an outhouse only works for one customer ... Once it's used, it's discarded.

I'm pretty sure there was another minor error ... but I can't remember it at the moment.

I'll check when I get the chance.


N.


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chris carleton
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bon accord
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Thanks. We very well may have been playing incorrectly. While the translation didn't mention anything about the outhouse only being used for a single use, it does mention that played action cards are placed in the discard pile. That could be taken to mean that a single customer constitutes the card being played.

Keeping it in use has seemed to balance out as the advantage tends to be offset by becoming a target. We will definitely try it as a single use card.

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Remo Rehder
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I too, think the translations has missed the important note of discarding the outhouse after use by one guest. We figured it out by "studying" the german small text at the bottom of the actual card.
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