Saturday, September 20, 2008

#61: Willy Waschbär

Willy Waschbär
  • designer: Heinz Meister
  • publisher: Goldsieber
  • date: 2001
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/6.05
  • age: 6+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: $17.00 (Games Surplus - they do not have it in stock but they are still willing to try & find a copy)
The raccoons are busily gathering food... by playing some kind of whacked-out game that's a cross between soccer, billiards & sumo wrestling. Yes, campers, it's another blissfully odd game from the genius that is Heinz Meister.

The soccer part is provided by the players as they flick any raccoon disc they wish, attempting to knock off other raccoons or food. The billiards part is making wise decisions about how the wooden discs will carrom off the board. The sumo wrestling part? We'll get to that in a minute.

First, I need to rewind a bit & explain that the game starts with all of the raccoons (3 each in four colors) and all of the food (14 of 'em) are scattered across the board. Each player is secretly given 3 cardboard chits which match three of the raccoons - and those are "his team" for the round.

On your turn, you flick any raccoon (regardless of whether you "own" it) and attempt to knock discs off the board:
  • if you knock off only food, you get to keep all the food
  • if you knock off only raccoons, those raccoons are eliminated from the round (there's the sumo wrestling part)
  • if you knock off a mixture, he can either take all the food or eliminate all the raccoons, but not both
There are a couple of limitations - knocking the shooter raccoon off the board means everything goes back on the board. Also, you can't knock pieces outside the rope line - they are also returned to the board.

The round ends when either all of the food is gone or one player has all his raccoons eliminated. Players score 1 point for each food (unless they were eliminated, in which case they score zero). The best score over four rounds wins.

It's a fast-moving flicking game with a nice bluffing element... esp. in the later rounds when a clear leader emerges & you need to target him. 6 year olds can play the game... but it takes a little more age to develop the requisite sneakiness.

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