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2-4 players

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I spotted this game in a catalogue which came with ``Der Ausreisser'', and when Ken Tidwell offered to bring me back something from Essen I asked if he'd try to find this game purely on the basis of its cute components, i.e. the three 1.5" plastic devils for each player in suitable colours. It's a simple, quick game which is supposed to require about 45 minutes, though our one game to date ended more quickly because of our inexperience (better explanation below).

The idea is to deliver 10 points worth of food to the grill which is on the far side of the board from your starting area. Each player's pots are secretly assigned values of 5, 3, 1, plus one is the `milk' pot: deliver milk, and that devil is blasted out of the game. Because of the point distribution, you have to deliver at least one pot from some other player (and therefore of unknown value) in order to win.

Two special dice (1-1-2-2-3-wing) govern movement. The number of points rolled can be split between different devils as desired, and two wings allow one devil to move directly to another cooking area. Pots may be picked up and put down at will during normal movement. Normal movement is also blocked by other devils: when two meet, there is a duel, and the defeated devil either loses its hat and returns to the start or is removed from the game, while a winning attacker gains one extra movement point and may continue its move. Duels are conducted by trying to bring out the Oberteufel: the attacker presses the release button once, then the defender pushes twice, then the attacker three times, etc., until the Oberteufel appears. [The Oberteufel lives in a big (2.5") black pot similar to a jack-in-the-box but with a random-release mechanism.]

As for the actual gameplay, it's a matter of getting your own pots (particularly the high-value ones) to your grill while figuring out which opponents' pots are worth trying to mug another devil. Blocking tactics also work, as each starting area is right beside another player's finish. And it helps to be able to win duels.

I found two problems with the game. First, the devil-in-a-pot in my copy needed some attention: there's a wheel inside which governs the random release action, and it didn't rotate freely. But it's held together with small screws, and was fairly easily fixed. You could get the same effect by rolling a ``Die of Death'' (the ones with a skull instead of a 1) an increasing number of times, but it wouldn't be as much fun. Second, the game can be won by getting only two pots to the finish if they are both 5 point pots, i.e. a lucky grab gets you one of the other 5 point pots. This `sudden death' finish happened in our (first) game, but doesn't seem to be a serious flaw: we weren't doing much guarding at all, and there's also the possibility of raising the number of points required to win from ten to eleven, preventing even the possibility of this happening.

Anyway, I look forward to trying the game again now that I've got a better idea of what's going on. I'll be paying more attention to blocking, while not getting too upset about the possible loss of a devil. Maybe I'll even win a duel next time!

Tim Trant

next up previous
Next: SPRITFRESSER Up: Sumo 20 index Previous: BREAKING AWAY
Stuart Dagger