Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Got my first play of Telebohn (the Bohnanza variant/expansion from Lookout Games) last night. We played with four, one of whom had never played Bohnanza, and two others who had... and, well, me.
- it's VERY tactical. You can do some planning, but you are at the mercy of the other players.
- it's got some neat ideas... not the least of which is the way you can combine a series of actions to make some very nifty plays.
- the theme makes NO sense... and the action cards don't help. They're kind of a hodge-podge of Uwe Rosenberg games (there's pizzas, and then there's mutant beans, and then there are agressive pirates). And all of this is "held together" (and I use that phrase guardedly) by a theme of hostile takeovers. Don't EVEN ask me why the game is called "Telephone/Telebohn".
How's it different from Bohnanza:
- no trading... you can force people to trade beanfields with you (called "hostile takeovers" in the game) but no actual trading between players
- action cards... 18 of 'em with a variety of uses AND the added bonus of being worth Pfennigs (1/10 of a Taler) if you hold 'em to the end of the game
- new bean type... Schnittbohns (Cut Beans), which pay off in action cards & cash
- a variety of actions you can take on any turn
- only one harvest per turn
On your turn, you can
- play cards from your hand (one type to one field)
- unite fields (same bean types)
- fill fields (plant beans into empty fields from draw deck)
- harvest one field (this is the only action you can only do once per turn... all the others are unlimited)
- hostile takeover (trade fields in the same position with another player - must have more cards in your field or be tied & have a lower Handy-Cap number*)
* Handy-Cap number = the number of cards in the deck
Every action you take as the active player may be copied by one player (3-4 player games) or 2 players (5 player games) in clockwise order around the table. So there's a lot of "I can do this, but it'll help him more than it'll help me" to the game.
Of course, there's more to it than that, but that's a quickie "Hey, I don't want to go download the rules" description.
- I liked it... it's not amazing, but it does some interesting things with the Bohnanza mechanisms that don't feel particularly Bohnanza-ish. I'm looking forward to trying it with 5 players AND with 2 players - it looks to be a pretty decent variant for 2.
Just a Bill
No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Re:First Play Reaction - Telebohn
I'm right smack in the middle of a translation effort on this game, so I'll chime in with a few random observations:
... all of this is "held together" (and I use that phrase guardedly) by a theme of hostile takeovers. Don't EVEN ask me why the game is called "Telephone/Telebohn".
The rules make reference to the infamously controversial 1999 takeover of the German company Mannesmann by the British telecomm giant Vodafone. (Hence the comment that the game was originally, or perhaps "ought to have been", called Vodabohn.)
action cards... 18 of 'em with a variety of uses AND the added bonus of being worth Pfennigs (1/10 of a Taler)
Nitpicky clarification: a Pfennig (penny) is 1/100 of a Taler; each text card is worth 10 Pfennigs and thus the card is worth 1/10 of a Taler.
new bean type... Schnittbohns
I recommend "Snip Beans" in English; it's closer in sound and orthography, and fits the picture on the card.
Given the business theme of the game, I'm calling this "merging" fields.
"Handy" is German slang for "cell phone" or "mobile phone". Thus, the tagline that looks like it says "A Bohnanza expansion in handy format" probably really means something more along the lines of "A Bohnanza expansion in cell-phone size".