Could the title be any longer? For this month's installment I thought I'd talk about one of the...odder selections in my board game collection. It's not actually a board game but a card game. A card game with loads of expansions. I'll get to that.
To start off, you draw a hand of seven and lay down two cards. These two cards function like a conveyer belt, and every turn you play the top card so you must plan your game two turns in advance. In order to win you must have the Magic Carrot. There are two carrot decks, one of which is shuffled and laid face down pre-game, the bottom card being the magic carrot. You can buy carrots during the game, or win and steal them. Players who don't have a lot of carrots still have a chance of winning through this draw, though you must have a bunny to win.
There are a variety of cards to play. Some are bunny cards, you need one to win and they tend to die rather quickly. With later expansions you find yourself with more resilient and powerful bunnies. Other cards are attack cards, which range from a level one spatula to a level twelve nuke. There are virus cards which spread, specials which let you gamble your property or steal your opponent's property, along with other shenanigans, monkeyshines, and high-jinks. Most of these cards require you to have a bunny in play so keep them alive!
The cards are rather silly. Attack cards range from a wire whisk (level 1) to nukes (level 12 and can destroy nearby bunnies) to even more ridiculous weapons. The artwork and cards frequently reference classic sci-fi franchises such as Red Dwarf and Star Trek. The creators have invented many, many horrible ways for your bunnies to die. The game certainly does not take itself seriously.
Gameplay is fairly simple in the beginning. The rules are easy to learn with the starter set. You're allowed to trade with other players which can lead to hilarious negotiations and impromptu alliances. Don't expect them to last though, they are frequently shattered when you are betrayed.
A large chunk of cards require you to have a bunny in play in order to use the card. If you don't start with a bunny it can be discouraging to not be able to do anything until one shows up. I played one game where a player didn't draw a single bunny for the whole game. I have also had times where I finally got a bunny out only to have it killed seconds later.
There are a large number of expansions for this game. They are individually cheap but to get all of them is a sizable investment. Each one adds a new level of complexity to the game which is fun for experienced players but it makes it near impossible to introduce the game to new players in this expanded state. You then have to sort out all your cards in order to teach a new player the game unless you want to explain a lot of stuff.
If I can use a 40k analogy, this game is not for the Competitive Gamer, but is the kind for the Fluffy Bunny. It's near impossible to set up a game winning strategy, a large chunk of the game is luck of the draw. Strategy mostly comes in your personal interactions; do you play it safe and be everyone's friend, or do you join in picking on the leader? A Competitive Gamer would get frustrated with the reduced amount of control while a Fluffy Bunny would enjoy the silly cards and situations, along with the personal interactions.
It also greatly depends on your group. I've played the game with lame groups and it was less fun, while with certain people the game is hilarious. I have fun with it- and I also enjoy high strategy games like Agricola and Dominion. This game really depends on your group. This is one of those "gateway games" that help introduce people to board games other than Monopoly.