The premise of Iglu Iglu is that each player is playing a different tribe of Inuits, who need to hunt food for survival. Food comes in the form of fish, foxes and polar bears. As the ice pack our intrepid Inuits live on breaks up, both opportunities and dangers will be revealed.
The board filled is a grid and is filled with tiles face down except for the 4 centre squares and the 4 corner squares. The corner squares are left empty, but the centre squares represents the sea through a hole in the ice, into these 4 squares a fish token is put. Players now put their 3 meeple onto tiles on the edge of the board. On a turn the player will select 1 unpopulated tile that is orthogonally adjacent to a sea space. He secretly looks at the tile, if it has a red border he takes this tile to his hand, if it does not have a red border then the tile must be actioned immediately. The standard tiles may provide fish, polar bears, packed ice or drifting. If a fish tile is revealed then a number of random fish tokens are placed face up into the square where the tile came from. Similarly a polar bear token is placed in the square vacated by the tile if that is revealed. A pack ice tile is returned face up to the same position on the board and a fox tile placed on it. If a drift tile is revealed the player discards the tile but is then allowed to move one tile orthogonally 1 space. This can be used to push a row of tiles, as long as there is a free space at the other end for the end tile to move into. If the space the tile is moving into contains an animal then the push is only allowed if the animal can move out of the way first.
After actioning or taking a tile the player then has 3 action points (AP) to spend. Moving a meeple 1 square orthogonally is 1 AP, moving a meeple across water costs 3 APs, building an Igloo costs 3 AP and hunting fish and foxes costs the number of APs indicted on the individual animal tokens. The only restrictions when moving on foot is that they are restricted to walking on tiles (face up or down) and to enter a square containing a polar bear tile they must have a Harpoon (one of the red bordered tiles) to kill the bear. When moving across water they spend 3 AP to move from any tile adjacent to water to any other tile adjacent to the same stretch of water, however they may not pass through a water tile containing a polar bear, may not hunt fish on route, and if the square they are landing on has a polar bear they must have a harpoon. Tiles containing igloos cannot be removed. To hunt foxes the player must be in the same square as a fox and must use as many APs as indicated to catch the fox. The token is taken by the player and scores VPs at the end of the game. Fish are dealt with similarly except with them being water bound the Inuit must be on an adjacent land tile to catch them.
During the action part of his turn players may place as many of the red bordered tiles as they wish with a restriction of only 1 of each type. These tile allow the player to move animals 3 spaces, kill an animal with a Harpoon, thaw a tile or have extra APs. When moving animals foxes and fish are restricted to land and water respectively, polar bears can travel into either. 3 movement points can be spread between 1-3 animals. If a polar bear is ever in the same tile as any other animals, the other animals are removed from the game, 2 polar bears are not allowed in the same square. If a polar bear is moved into a square containing Inuits, they must either kill the bear using a harpoon and taking the tile as VPs, hide in a an Igloo or flee to one of the corners of the board. The player can use (discard) a harpoon to hunt 1 fish or Fox token but be aware that there are 4 bears and only 4 harpoons. The thaw tile allows the player to remove any one face down tile that does not contain an igloo. This tile is removed from the game without being revealed any Inuits on the tile are moved to one of the 4 corners, any animals removed from the game.
The game ends when a player cannot select a tile to action. The players score VPs for each animal they have hunted, plus players score for the size of islands they are on at the end of the game. Most VPs win.
Tel was able to draw nothing but red bordered throughout the game, seeing just 2 drifts and 1 fish tile in the whole game. Whilst this meant he had plenty of tiles in his hand he was forced to literally go hunting for food. Andy on the other hand seemed to spend the first half of the game drawing nothing but fish. This being everyones first game, we wasted some of the useful tiles (in Tels case move animals) early on. The polar bears decided not to make an appearance until over half way through the game. Steve was obviously lacking a harpoon as he was keen to keep as much room as possible between himself and the bear. Tel still had a handful of cards, but couldn’t get near the bears. Eventually Steve moved one of the bears onto one of Andys meeple, but Andy had recently found a harpoon so happily snagged the 4 VPs. The game was finally coming to a close when Tel finally got a move animal card, allowing him to catch 2 polar bears over the last couple of turns. The game came to a close and Andy managed to just pip Tel to the victory by half a point, with Steve back in third.
This was bought untried at Essen, largely on the basis of it having Bruno Faidutti name on the box. This was designed by the 2 Brunos (Faidutti and Cathala) and as such didn’t feel like the usual Faidutti type of game, his games are usually more chaotic and funfilled. While this is still quite a light game it does require a bit more thought than some of his other offerings. The tile draw does add a healthy dose of luck into the proceedings as we saw in our game. Tel drawing plenty of the red bordered (power) cards, but Andy won as he had more easy access to the food, drawing plenty of fish. This one was definitely a hit and will certainly see more play once we get through the rest of the new Essen purchases.
Scores : Andy 33, Tel 32, Steve Cox 25
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 7, Steve Cox 8