Monday, September 29, 2008

#60: Ab die Post

Ab die Post
  • designer: Hermann & Helga Huber
  • publisher: Goldsieber
  • date: 1996
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 4302/5.2
  • age: 8+
  • # of players: 3-6
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: 19.50 Euros (BoardGameGeek Marketplace - used copy in Germany - approx. $30)
Climb in your biplane, load up the mail, and head over the mountains... of course, you get "paid" by beating the other mail planes (or even possibly by picking up a passenger), so you'd better hurry. Watch out for storms, though - they can damage your plane & even force you to land!

OK, that's the Mark Jackson version of the box back blurb - let me put it in "gamer" terms. This is a freaky cross of Blackjack & a race game. You can spend your turn taking on "parts" (cards numbered 1, 2 or 3 in value) or you can shake the Cloud (a plastic goodie with colored beads inside) and find out how far you can move - or IF you can move.

If you shake a black bead into the clear plastic window, then an "Orkan" (storm) has happened and each player must pay parts to stay aloft - 8 if you're on the inside, 4 if you're in the middle lane & 2 if you're going to the outside.

The game is all about pushing your luck - will you take more parts cards or risk losing all your "3's" because you drew a 3rd engine? Will you fly with a minimal amount of spare parts and chance crashing? Will you go to the inside to get ahead of the pack, hoping no storms will sideline you?

The low ratings on the Geek are due to "Big Box Expectations" - this came in the Lowenherz/Goldland-sized Goldsieber box - when it easily could have fit in a box 1/2 this size. The other factor in lowering the rating is that this is, at it's heart, a game for adults & kids together. There are decisions to make - though they're not very big decisions & you are still subject to the randomness of the Cloud.

I personally like how well it plays with 5-6 players... and am happy to play it with adults, as long as they can still get in touch with their childlike side. Overly serious people need not apply.

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