Friday, July 24, 2009

#2: Hallo Dachs

Hallo Dachs!
  • designer: Klaus Teuber
  • publisher: Goldsieber
  • date: 1996
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 3076/6.33
  • age: 6+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: approx. 5 Euros (there are 6 copies on for a variety of prices)

First, he took most of the known gaming world by storm with his Settlers of Catan, then Klaus Teuber darn near drowned us in expansions & variations (I literally own 25 different Catan-related games & expansions myself). But in the middle of all of that, he took some time to design some really nifty kid games - and Hallo Dachs is my favorite. (For a few years, it would have topped this list.)

"Hallo, Dachs" translates to "Hello, Badger" - and so 2-4 badgers/players begin digging around the board, trying to find the most satisfying meal of flowers & bugs. Successfully root up the right number of badger snacks & you get the token - which is worth points. The first player to reach the winning threshold (15 points for 4 players, 20 points for 3 players, 25 points for 2 players) wins. (Which seems obvious when I call it "the winning threshold", doesn't it?)

Digging up the badger version of comfort food ("yumm - beetle bugs & strawberries!") is where your memory must kick into gear. There are six types of food (3 flowers & 3 bugs) that are keyed to the roll of a die. Each badger token has a number on the top that indicates how many times you have to roll the die. For each roll, you must turn over one correct bit of food from the tableau of face-down food tiles that surround the board.

Already some of you are figuring out that this could be very difficult - say, if you rolled the same number 3 times & therefore needed three DIFFERENT purple berries. And you'd be right - that's part of the fun. Of course, there are also garbage dumps in the face down tiles that cost you points & end your attempt to fulfill the tile.

An aside: the English translation evidently is wrong for dealing w/garbage dumps. You don't lose a point, you lose a TILE (which could be worse, as most tiles are worth 2-4 points). You still can skip a turn to flip a tile back over, so it doesn't end your game but it certainly slows you down.

A great game mechanic, right? Well, Herr Teuber wasn't finished. He added a nice board play element to the game. On your turn, before you begin digging for snacks, you may move one space along the trails. This not only allows you to find easier pickings (the badger chips are distributed randomly before the game) but also to go in front of other players to eat up the chips they were looking to take for themselves.

So, you've got a nifty memory game that has actual board play tactics with a cute theme. It's playable with kids as young as 4 (who will need help with the board play element) and enjoyable for all ages. It's really a shame that it isn't in print.

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