Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Schlacht Am Buffet: This is a Martin Wallace game?!?

Yes its a 2011 Martin Wallace game, no joke!
When Roy brought out this game which had pictures of cartoon rats and lots of food, I had though this was some kids or family game. When he mentioned its from Martin Wallace I did a double take and lo and behold, on the box it did indeed show that this game was designed by him! Wha....? Its also published in 2011! I had not heard about the game and I was eager to see what this game is about, hoping that its not a Dud like Dr Who the card game.

Players are Mice in this game and we are trying to arrange ourselves, given the 9 cards in our hands, to play them simultaneously so as to place ourselves strategically and score the best food tray amongst the 5 that are available each round.
At the start of a round, 5 plates of food are placed on the table and arranged in ascending order of points. There are foods with -1 points on them. Now all players will choose 1 card which has a number ranging from -1 to 9 and simultaneously, players will show the cards. They will then move their mice the number of spaces indicated on the card. If there is a last player by himself, he/she will take the 1st food available and is out for the round. However since you are the first player kicked out you get a special privilege of discarding any number of cards and draw back up to 9.
The other players continue in this way of selecting a card and revealing and moving their mice until there are only 2 mice left. Then they will play 1 more card and if the leader is by himself, he/she will score the best food and the runner up gets NOTHING.
This goes on for several rounds until there are not enough foods to fill up the table again. Take note that when players receive a food plate, if they already have the same food tray in their play area, they will have to stack it over the existing food plate. Once the game is over, players count the top points for each food plate and whoever has the most points will win the game.
Now its an interesting game in that players often have to decide which plate they want to go for. Because there is the element of stacking onto your existing plates, you can strategically plan such that if previously you had a -1 plate, you can try to aim for the new plate so that you can cover over the -1 points. But be careful as this may backfire if you obtain a lower scoring plate for you to cover your higher scoring plate OR worse, you are the runner up and get nothing.
So in summary, this is a light-medium euro style game with rather good components, interesting art and a surprising game play with just that little bit of depth to make it worth a play. Try before you buy!

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