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Subject: The Bunny Bunny Moose Moose Made-Easy variant rss

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Ender Wiggins
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The complexity of Bunny Bunny Moose Moose is the one thing the prevents this game from being more successful and accessible than it currently is. The last page of the rulebook does include some suggestions for an easier game, but we didn't find this to be entirely satisfactory, and it still made our brain melt. And rather than go from six to four piles, a better option is to reduce the complexity of the cards in the game. So we came up with a simpler variant, that makes the game much easier to learn, and puts it within reach of a wider audience, and even enables it to be taught to new players in about 5 minutes.

The Bunny Bunny Moose Moose Made-Easy variant

What to remove

Take the following cards out of the game:
• 5 Hunter cards
• all 44 Scoring cards with ambiguous antlers/ears
• all 3 Score reversal cards


Cards to remove for the Made-Easy variant

How it works

That's all you need to do - the rest of the game remains the same! In our experience, the hardest thing for new players to wrap their minds around in Bunny Bunny Moose Moose are the cards picturing ambiguous antlers/ears. At least with the other cards the idea is obvious: make the action corresponding to what's on the cards. But the game is hard enough with this alone, let alone adding to the challenge by throwing in antlers/ears which could be one of multiple possibilities! These can be difficult to figure out at leisure when scoring, let alone under the time pressure of an actual game.

So our simple solution is: remove the cards with ambiguous antlers/ears. And since there's approximately 1 Hunter for every 8 other cards in the deck, you remove 5 of the 12 Hunters as well. You can leave the three Score Reversal cards in the game if you really want, but since the biggest percentage of cards with minus points are the cards with the ambiguous antlers/ears (about half of these are minus point cards), removing the ambiguous cards means there's arguably not really enough minus point cards left in the game for the Score Reversal cards to work effectively. The Score Reversal cards also add complexity, which is another good reason to remove them (although you can certainly add the score reversal cards in later if you wish to try playing that way).

The Bunny Bunny Moose Moose Made-Even-Easier variant

What to remove

Want to make the game even easier still? In addition to the above mentioned cards, also remove the following:
• 2 Hunter cards
• all 8 Bunny cards and Moose cards (where poking out your tongue changes your identity)
• all 4 Tongue cards


Additional cards to remove for the Made-Even-Easier variant

How it works

The 8 additional cards that removed in the Made-Even-Easier variant are the ones where a rabbit thinks its a moose and a moose thinks its a rabbit by sticking its tongue out. It's hardly worth keeping in the 4 Tongue cards without them, since they really work best in tandem, so these might as well be removed as well. Two extra Hunters also have to be removed to keep the balance of Hunter cards in the remaining deck accurate.

What remains

So what's left in the deck at this point?
• 5 Hunter cards
• 40 Scoring cards with regular antlers/ears


Cards remaining for the Made-Even-Easier variant

At this point all the remaining cards are straight forward, some cards will have one antler/ear while others have two, but it's easy for people to grasp all of these concepts because you simply make the actions pictured on the cards.

Using this card set is probably the best way to learn the game. From here when you're ready to take on a new challenge you can add in the cards for the Made-Easy variant, although you'll probably find that they don't increase the complexity that much. The Made-Even-Easier variant does have less minus cards in the deck, so it does become easier to advance your score with this variant, and that's another reason why you should move up to the Made-Easy variant when you can.

Recommendation

You can customize the cards in the game according to your own preference, e.g. by adding in the Score Reversal cards. I think you'll find that by removing the cards with ambiguous ears/antlers, the game becomes far more accessible, and from there it is much easier to have fun with it in almost any group!

So if you are finding that this game just isn't working because the complexity is too big a barrier, try the Made-Even-Easier variant, and then step up to the Made-Easy variant, and see what you think! Or if you're already familiar with the core ideas of the game and finding it a bit much, go straight to the Made-Easy variant. It's worked wonders for us!
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Claus Hetzer
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This will be wonderful for playing the game with my kids. Thanks!
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Dylan Thurston
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I just picked up a copy at GenCon, and it goes partway there: many of the cards you picked out to remove are marked as "advanced", and not suggested for the first game. Presumably this is a new edition.
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Bob Johnson
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We played our first game without any of the "advanced" rules and found that it was not at all fun. It was way too simple and everyone just makes the same stuff because it's obvious what the best path is, and there is nothing to throw you off of it. The game needs all the advanced cards in order to function properly. Would be fine for playing with small children I guess.
 
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Gil Winters
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I bought this game to play with young kids - thanks to these variant rules, now I can.
 
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