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Recommended Card Games
It was the first outing post-Essen for this game and as Steve was new to the game we used the same board setup from our one Essen play (which incidentally turned out not to be the recommended introductory setup). The game depicts a log-riding lumberjack race through log-infested rapids as player's try to get their team of 'jacks' across the finishing line first. Think Mississippi Queen, The Black Rose on steroids meets Ave Caesar (easy mode) and you’d have a fair impression of what this game is about because players play cards from a hand of 3 drawn from a replenishable movement deck to paddle their 'jacks' down-stream. Each 'jack' can push up to two adjacent logs/players with a single movement point which means that it's entirely possible to push another player into some nasty fast-moving water thereby forcing them to regain lost ground to win the game.
This was especially apparent in the second narrow board which had a fast flowing current running most of it's length in the opposite direction to the way you wanted to go, and of course being Piddinghoe Gamers we all took great delight in sending each other crashing back this way at every opportunity. Steve was especially adept at this, padding his logs backwards to shove people into the currents rather than getting them across the line!
In this second game we saw far less piggy-backing of 'jacks' (i.e. where you use one of your team to push the other downstream to double up on movement) and this was perhaps because we had cottoned onto this tactic from our first play and could counter with spoiler moves. Steve "the git" eventually got bored with shoving people the wrong way and won the game by getting his two 'jacks' across the finish line first.
This is an excellent light-weight game, easy to play and learn with what appears to be a fair bit of variety in the initial setup (i.e .modular boards). If you want something new that is a bit heavier and a bit more calculable then I’d recommend Snow tails which was one of Tel's 2008 Essen purchases but I think that between these two games we might now see Mississippi Queen hit the table less often in our group as in my view both of these are better games.
Comment by Paul
I haven't decided yet if Flussfieber or Snow Tails are "full" games or just fillers. We've only played simple, short games of them so far. It will be interesting to see how they shape up with longer courses.
But I'd take Mississippi Queen over those two right now.