Igels was the first nontraditional game I bought. I bought it at very nearly the beginning of February but I haven't gotten around to play it until now.I had heard Tom Vasel's review of the game and bought the game despite it. I would have done well to take heed.
This was my first game dealing with multiple decks that worked to modify each other through the game. You have four decks of 8 cards each to represent the 4 armies. You have 32 food cards (victory points) and 104 support cards (modify animal cards).My particular game was a 2 player, although the game officially supports 3-4 I don't see a lot of potential for change with more players other than getting a greater variety of support cards.
Each round you draw two cards in any combination from the support cards or your army cards. You assign an army leader and any hangers on.. The leader gets to use their special ability to modify battle further, usually resulting in an extra victory card at the end. After army cards are played, support cards are played. The final result is a tally from all cards of a number, Small Animal Power (SAP),the person with the highest SAP gets two cards from the food cards.
That's it, repeat. You will do this between 5 and 20 times depending on your cards.
As I mentioned, this is the first game of this nature that I have ever played and my wife was equally virtuous in that quality. I had familiarized myself with the rules and gameplay before hand so I could act as instructor. The first couple rounds were simply teaching round, all the cards where played face up and I offered guidance.
Once that period ended we both found ourselves saying things like, "I guess I'll just use them all" and "and now we repeat".Very early on patterns of animals to be played develop. Really the only variable is whatever support cards you have pulled. Some of the support cards are flexible and useful, some of them can be real game breakers with the right army at your side, most of them just directly to you SAP.
I've kind of already mentioned this but the game is very cyclical, boring perhaps even. There is some strategy available but good stratey appears to lose quickly to good cards.
To be completely fair to this game, I bought it for the theme, against recommendations. Igel means hedgehog and my wife and I had one as a pet for a long time and still have a special place in our hearts for hedgehogs. For us this game failed to deliver on the hedgehogs (there are 8 so why the game is name for them I don't know). It also failed to deliver as a fun game to play.
this game will almost certainly be collecting dust soon.
Sounds a lot like Munchkin- if it is, then it is only fun to play with more than 2 players, not with 2- the strategy comes in by what player to assist and which to hinder, which you can't do with only 2 players.