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Subject: To many bulls - is this "take 3"? rss

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Nic Chilton
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorks
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I was visiting family and as my nephew likes board games, thought I'd take some, including 11 nimmt. They are casual gamers - will play family type games, though my nephew is willing to play more involved games.

After outlining the rules, we got straight to playing, any ambiguities could be ironed out during play. My nephew, Corey, started as the youngest player, and when it got round to me, I picked up the stack of 3 cards, took a bull card, and laid two new cards down. The game then carried on round, with Corey eager to try and get a bull and slightly peeved if I got to a 3 pile before he did.

This was a four player game and the tactics used by each player varied. Both Corey and myself had decided to get a few bull cards with the idea to be able to get out quickly once we did. Barrie decided to get one bull card and then use that to play out in clumps each turn, whilst Monica hoped to avoid using the bull cards and see if she could win that way.

The first round continued with me grabbing a 2nd and a 3rd bull card whilst Corey got two, and Barrie one, and Monica was down to 4 cards by now. We were now surely almost in the end stage of this round. I was hoping to be able to quickly lay cards, but ended up taking another pile and getting a fourth bull card. Monica was down to two cards, Corey picked a third bull card and I carried on putting down series of cards. As Monica got down to one card I almost got all my cards out, but had one card remaining, and managed to play it.
Scores of the first round:
Monica 0, Corey -8, Barrie -4, Nic -2. Eight bull cards had been in play.

Corey started the second round, as he was on -8, and the game progressed faster than the first round as everyone was up to speed on how the game played. This time I was hoping to manage with two bull cards, Corey got three bull cards, with both Monica and Barrie picking one, Monica not through choice. This round progressed and the end stage came fairly fast afterwards. I was down to four cards and managed to play three, only for Corey to get all his cards out whilst others still had a few cards left.
Scores this round were:
Corey 0, Monica -8, Barrie -7, Nic -1

So running totals were
Nic -3, Corey -8, Monica -8, Barrie -11

Third round and Barrie starts. I took the two card stack, denying Corey the first bull, in the hope they'll be three stack when it got round to me. It did work, but not really sure it was worth it, as its not as if its any point going on this way. I suppose if I did have the cards I could have then piled on a few onto two stacks. I got to three bulls, Corey and Barrie had two, and Monica one. Barrie was first out this round, and I had two cards left, Corey and Monica had four, unfortunately one of my cards was the "43".
Sores this round were:
Barrie 0, , Corey -4, Monica -4, Nic -6

Running totals:
Nic -9, Barrie -11, Corey -12, Monica -12

Final round and as the player with the largest negative starts, we had a tie, so each took a split from the deck to see who had the lowest number card. Monica started this time. Corey managed to get two bull cards quickly taking three-card stacks as they came up, Barrie got two bull cards as well though took meatier stacks. Monica had one bull card but took a second late on. I was unsure whether to go for a third bull, but as there was only one stack I could play on I did so. When the turn got back round to me I managed to get rid of the stack I'd picked up and play some more cards. Corey got out first this time when I only had one card remaining.
Scores this round were:
Corey 0, Barrie -4, Monica -4, Nic -1

Final totals:
Nic -10, Corey -12, Barrie -15, Monica -16

Thoughts:
Ten bull cards seems a lot for 4 players as we never got to take a bull from another player. The game is called 11 takes as if you have a difference of 11 you take, though as you know what the stack tops look like whilst choosing card(s) to play this doesn't get thought about as much as whether any stacks have just three cards in.

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Nic Chilton
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Played it again with 7 players this time. All ten bulls didn't come into play again, though nine did at one point.
 
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Timo Hsu
Germany
Delmenhorst
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Nice review Nic,
just got my copy of the game and hopefully get to play it soon, so I can also make a statement about the game.

How about as a variant try to cut the Bull cards maybe to 5 or 6 depending at how many players participate?
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Nic Chilton
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Yes, I think this would be good, because the ability to take a bull card off a player does seem a good tactic that doesn't come into play. It is just trying to judge how many to use. A basic formula might be "3 + number of players", though that might be too simplistic.

I suppose you could also have each player starting with one bull?
 
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Eric Martin
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Kitchener
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You guys should read the BullHead column. Someone asked if you get to keep the bull head cards from round to round. The answer was yes. This should fix your problem, I think. No one gives up their bull heads at the end of a round.
 
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