5 October 2009

Sheep Thrills

Our newest staff favorite, Black Sheep!

So far you have raced to escape the dragon's maw, built up an empire in a futuristic world, and accompanied Frodo on his journey to dispose of the One Ring. Now we take a break from the high adventure to relax down on the farm. I had a chance to sit down with Rick Nauertz, sales associate. “What I really like about Black Sheep is how accessible it is for non-gamers. It is a great gateway game for me to play with family and friends who are not gamers. I also like that once the basic game is understood, that you can add another layer of complexity by using the Task Card Variant. I like trying to figure out what hidden task cards the other players have, and either block them, or try and get points from that card as well. And if you have the Black Sheep Task Card, do you ‘shoot the moon’ and try and get all the black sheep, or do you just get one so that no one else can win that way?”

Black Sheep is one of the games found in FFG’s Toy line, and features the lovable artwork of Ursula Vernon (check out her website for more examples of her awesome artwork). Designed to be a great game for families to get together and play, these games are also challenging for all ages.

Black Sheep pits two to four farmers against one another as they attempt to build up the best stable of animals. Players take turns playing cards from their hand to make the best possible combination of animals. Horses are ranked the highest, followed by cows, then pigs, then sheep, roosters and the black sheep takes up the rear.

The possible combinations are listed below.

As there are two critters in each field, players can only add three cards to each side. Each critter is worth different amounts of points. They have a random number on the bottom that players won’t find out what they until the end of the game. It will take some skill to get a hang off what cards to play, and when to play them. As each animal has a different number of points on the bottom of them, the goal is to gather up as many of the critters as possible to maximize your points.

Bluffing is a big part of the game. Making your opponents play a lower level animal to a field will allow you to swoop in with a much stronger hand. Just make sure to avoid the black sheep, each one of these mischievous creatures is worth negative points.

Black Sheep is a game that sees table time in a number of homes, and is a great game to teach matching and strategy. Make sure to check it out, ewe will surely love it. For more info on Black Sheep, check out the description page. For fun new ways to play, check out The Black Sheep is up to New Tricks.

Black Sheep is a trick taking game for the whole family. Players take turns playing cards to the fields, and collecting the animals for having the best combination.

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