Date Played: October 12, 2019
Gist of the Game: Gain the most pastureland. The game begins with all 16 of your sheep in one stack on the perimeter of the pasture. On each turn, divide a stack of your sheep into smaller piles and move them as far as they can go in a straight line, usually until they reach another stack of sheep or the edge of the board. The player whose sheep inhabit the most hexes when no more sheep can move wins.
Color Commentary: As you can see from the pictures, M was a little over-enamored with his red sheep. As he points out in his defense, the artwork is pretty neat. The placement of the pasture tiles and the size of the piles to leave behind adds a fair amount of strategy to the game. Indeed, the simplicity of the mechanics belies the challenge in doing well. Variation in pasture configuration helps increase replay potential considerably. I won two rounds (including the last pasture, in the lower right-hand photo), M won one. In both our cases, an early miscalculation was difficult to recover from adequately later, making a loss inevitable. (After reading this over, M insists it was a late miscalculation that caused him to lose the last game, with the bonkers pasture). The tile-laying aspect was a nice bonus for me, and in a sense the pasture does become a puzzle, with the goal of spreading your sheep as widely as possible before they get boxed in.
M’s Thoughts on Strategy: This game has some interesting strategy issues, but I’m not quite certain how to exploit them. I like the game. I feel like maybe there’s some strategy hack that will make the game simple if your opponent isn’t playing with the same strategy, like tic-tac-toe, but I’m not sure.