New acquisitions for February 2016 + 2 family games you MUST have in your collection

This month I am looking at two vintage games. Both are family games and I have been playing them in my household for around 40 YEARS! And they still get asked for every year so that makes them two of the most popular games I have ever owned. Let’s look at them……

KÄNGURUH was designed by Alex Randolph in 1974 and published by Ravensburger. It has an elegant simplicity and is easily taught. The board has a ring of 21 spaces. A start line acts as the finish-line as well. Crossing that line as the pieces move around and around the path is important. There is also a deck of tiles which are shuffled and placed face-down in the centre of the board. The top one is revealed (it will show a number between 1 and 7 inclusive). This is the point award for the first piece to cross the finish-line.

Everyone starts on the first space. Movement is by three dice but with a twist. A player throws the dice one at a time.  After the throw of a die a player may accept that and move the same number of spaces. However, a player could roll a 2nd die. This is added to the first die and provided that the total is 7 or less, the player may stop throwing these. Not only will he move that total but because it involves 2 dice, the total is doubled. Example; he rolls a two. The second throw is a 4, making a total of 6. This is doubled so the player moves 12 spaces. The same mechanic applies to the third die if he wants to use it. Example; 1st die = 2, 2nd die = 3, 3rd die = 1, total is 6 which is tripled resulting in a move of 18 spaces. Your maximum move is 21 spaces (which happens to be a complete circulation of the board back to the space you are standing on when the move is complete). This movement mechanic results in a nice tension between the players. You can expect lots of cries of “Oh, NO!!!” or “Come on, a 1 or a 2, PLEASE!!!” and so on. If you roll an extra die and the total of the dice adds up to more than 7 then the player does not move at all.

If a player’s piece goes over the finish-line, that player takes the exposed tile from the stack and thus revealing a new tile. The game continues until the last tile is taken. Players add up the total of their tiles and the highest player wins the game.

The playing pieces (in 6 colours) can stack on to each other which is an important feature of the game. If you end your move on another piece or pieces then you control the stack. When it comes to another player’s turn and that player’s piece is under one or more pieces, the player on the top of the stack tells that player if a further die is to be rolled. If the stack can move and crosses the finish-line the player on top of a stack takes the tile. Thus the controlling player can decide what happens. As the points on offer on the exposed tile can be from 1 to 7 and, for example, if it was a 1, a player might want to wait for a better tile and so a deliberate ‘bust’ might be desirable.

I should mention an error that occurred when Ravensburger issued a second edition called Die Heisse Schlacht am Kalten Buffet. The English translation carried a mistake and only gave a player the decision to roll 1 to 3 dice but at the same time!! This took out all the tension and choice and put so many people off the game. That was a shame. You can still see reviews of the game explaining the game with the erroneous throwing rules.  That is sad because such reviews must have put people off from playing or even buying the game. It deserved a better fate.

HOL’S DER GEIER was also published by Ravensburger in 1988 and it is also by Alex Randolph. This is a card game and it plays furious and fast. Each player starts with a hand of 15 cards in their colour. The cards are numbered from 1 to 15. There are a set of 15 other cards which are shuffled and placed in the centre of the board. These cards are numbered from -5 to + 10. The first is revealed. Players now choose a card from their hand and places it face-down in front of him or her. When all the players have chosen, the cards are turned over. The highest card played takes the card in the middle. Should that card be a minus card then the lowest card played takes it. If two or more cards are the same value, those cards cancel each other out and the cards don’t count when it comes to deciding the outcome of the highest or lowest card. After resolving where the card in the middle goes, all played cards go out of the game and the next card in the middle is played for and so on. Thus a round lasts for 15 turns at the end of which players add up the total of the cards they won and the won with the highest title wins. The game though is played over a number rounds and the winner is the player with the highest overall total wins.

On the face of it this does not sound like the most skilful of games, perhaps the only skill is remembering which cards have been played, especially the high ones but skill doesn’t matter. It is fun that matters and this game has boat-loads of fun. Several differently named editions have been made over the year, Teacher’s Pet in the UK by Waddingtons and Raj by Winning Moves are in our collection plus a more recent Ravensburger edition.

 

 

Treat yourself to both games, you won’t regret it. Now on to the new acquisitions this month. Not so many as usual due to low funds, you know how it is sometimes ………

Arsenal 2013/2014

Winning Moves

2013

Das Haus Anubis

Studio100

2009

TV Legends

Winning Moves

2010

Disney Heroes

Winning Moves

2004

Milky Way Trivial Pursuit

Hasbro

2005

Fighting Units of the British Army

Winning Moves

2008

The Best of Jacqueline Wilson

Winning Moves

2006

De Reis van Pick en Nick

Era-Blueband

1930

High School Musical

Winning Moves

2007

Horror

Winning Moves

2005

Patchwork

Lookout Games

2014

Top Gear: Cool Cars

Winning Moves

2007

The Dog Artlist

Winning Moves

2005

Trains Snakes & Ladders

Unknown

1930

Bratz

Winning Moves

2003

Manchester United 2008

Winning Moves

2007

Regatten

Piccolo

1930

England Football Stars

Winning Moves

2009

One Direction

Winning Moves

2014

Atlantis

Amigo

2009

SkyScrapers

Winning Moves

2005

Baby Animals

Winning Moves

2000

Bezique

W D & H O Wills

1935

Phineas and Ferb

Winning Moves

2010

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Winning Moves

2008

Winnie the Pooh Schwarzer Peter

Ravensburger

1999

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Two Towers

Winning Moves

2002

 

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive

Winning Moves

2006

Warships

Winning Moves

2003

The Simpsons Classic Collection: Volume One

Winning Moves

2005

 

Star Wars: Clone Wars

Winning Moves

2007

 

 

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