Oh My Sheep!

Game Overview: Being released to Kickstarter on October 5, 2016, you control a race of Orcs, Goblins, or Cyclops as they attempt to hunt and earn the most sheep at the end of the game.  Each race is represented by a deck of 25 cards which consist of creature cards that will attempt to capture the sheep, skill cards allowing you to increase your odds in capturing them, and trap cards that you can play against your opponent to make it more difficult for them.

Box Contents: The prototype version that was provided to us, includes four decks of cards, playing mats, and the rules manual.  Each deck has their own box to store them in, which is very useful.  They art on the cards is outstanding.  There are some grammatical errors on the cards when they were translated to English, but doesn't impact the game play.  We were a little concerned with the playing mats as they are thin and if they would lay flat or continue to curl after coming out of the box, which we initially saw.  We were surprised that it didn't take too long to get them to lay flat.  You may need to roll them up in the reverse direction each time to discourage them from curling when you get the game out to play it.  The mats are helpful but are not required to play the game.

Clarity of Rules: There isn't much to the rule book as there are only seven pages to it.  Actual game play is covered on just two of the pages.  When the rules were translated to English, it was done very poorly as multiple grammatical errors are found throughout the rules manual.  When you run into this, you may have to read it multiple times to understand what is meant.  The rules also include a detailed list of each card for all creature races including the Imp's which are part of the Kickstarter campaign.

Game Play:  To begin the game, you choose one of the character races. Each race has a unique and different capability.  You initially draw five cards into your hand.  You will find a symbol on each card that tells you if it has a skill ability, trap ability, or is considered a monster card.  Some cards have multiple symbols on them.  Each round of the game has three phases.  The 1st phase is drawing two cards into your hand from your character deck.  When a creature card is played, they enter the game in a traveling position.  This means the card is played sideways.  The 2nd phase of the game is to turn any cards that are sideways and traveling and position them up right.  This means that they are ready to hunt for sheep.  The 3rd phase allows you to play up to 3 cards.  When playing these cards, you have three types of cards that you can play.

1.  Play a Skill Card.  One of the symbols on the cards represents a skill ability.  These cards can only be played on your turn and must be activated immediately.  Some of the abilities may include drawing extra cards, adding to your dice roll, removing cards in play from your opponent, or taking cards directly from the sheep flock.

2.  Set a Trap Card.  If you have a card that has a trap symbol on it, you can play it face down in front of you.  You can have a maximum number of three traps in play.  Traps can be played at any time and typically will prevent another player from doing an action that would normally benefit them.

3.  Summon a Monster.  When you summon a monster, you play them sideways in front of you.  This means that they are traveling towards the flock of sheep.  On your next turn, you will turn them up right so they can hunt.  An important part of the monster card is in the upper left hand corner of the card.  This represents the number of creatures that are included in that pack.  If you see a three there, you will attempt to capture sheep three different times during the hunting action.

At any point after the phase 2 action of readying your creatures for hunting, you can attempt to hunt and capture sheep from the flock.  When hunting, you roll a die to determine if you are successful or not for each card.  If you roll a 1 to 3, you have failed.  If you roll a 4 to 6, then you have succeeded and you will take a card from the sheep flock deck.  You will roll the die again for each creature in the pack.  Whether you are successful or if you fail, your creature card is discarded.

As an alternative, you can have a special hunt.  When choosing this action, you are targeting another players flock.  Each player rolls a die.  If the hunters result is higher than the defender, they take one random card from the players flock.

When you capture sheep, the cards will show the number of sheep that you have captured.  You will find zero, one, two, three, or a bomb sheep.  When the bomb sheep is found, it is kept in your own flock and counts as zero sheep.  It immediately kills the creature that found it and if they had captured any other sheep they are all removed from the game.  Except for the bomb sheep, you will want to keep the cards you find in the flock to yourself as the other players may have the ability to steal cards directly from your flock.

Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 10+.  We thinking someone younger than this can easily understand the game and how to play it.  Even though the theme of the game is the taking of sheep so they can be eaten by the creatures, this really doesn't come out this way in the game.  For the younger kids, be aware that there is some "take that" actions.  However, they are not required, if you don't want to play the game that way.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: The major complaint that we have is the rule book and the translation that was done.  Once you get past this, this is really a gem of a game and has really surprised us.  The art on the cards is really outstanding and is enjoyable to see the different ways that the art represents the card actions. We really enjoy the strategy of setting up your cards so that you can combo them and give you the maximum number of sheep, with being able to only play three cards.  One thing to note is that with the three creature races that are included with the base game, they may have some balance issues.  We have played with the Goblins seven times with different strategies and different people playing them, and they have lost every single time. 

   * A prototype review copy was provided to us.  The contents of the game or rules may change with future releases.  Our review is based upon the game that we received and also take into consideration changes that the game designer noted to us that were not present in the review copy.