Following a feast on the leftovers from our Christmas Party, the early arrivers Jerry Maus, Stephen Maus, Lenny Leo and I launched into the nifty new card game Take Off. This is part of the Adlung Spiele line of card games and is a light, yet fun auction game.
Each turn, players alternate placing routes up for auction. These route cards depict several bits of information, including three different cities, a basic point value and whether it is a short, medium or long route. Players use auction cards, which depict various types of airplanes and have various point values, to bid on these routes. The auction cards are also color coded to match the length of the routes, so care must be exercised in that auction cards bid must match the type of route currently being offered for auction.
Players each begin with three route cards which they will place up for bid, and seven auction cards. Care must be exercised in how many cards one bids, however, as you cannot refill your hand of auction cards until ALL players have 4 or fewer remaining in their hands. Thus, if you bid too many cards too quickly, you may not have many cards remaining to participate in further bids.
Once all route cards are auctioned, points are tallied. Points are scored for the basic points listed on all route cards collected. Further, bonus points are awarded if a player has collected routes which
allow him to visit cities frequently. Bonus points are:
2 visits to a city: 5 points
3 visits to a city: 10 points
4 visits to a city: 20 points
5 or 6 visits to a city: 30 points
The player with the highest total wins.
Each player does have a chart which depicts all of the route cards and the city combinations on each card. Thus, one can properly time his bids, conserving his cards for the routes he desires. However, the luck of the draw has a huge impact on this game, as it is quite possible to receive few or perhaps even no auction cards of a particular length. One must adapt his strategy accordingly.
In spite of this luck of the draw problem, the game is still quite fun. I am usually abysmal in auction games, but I managed to collect route cards allowing me to visit New York four times, earning a whopping 20 point bonus. This was just enough to beat out Lenny:
Greg 68, Lenny 62, Jerry 47, Stephen 33