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   Published by (TAG) TRIPLE ACE GAMES and obtainable for around £13.00 - £20.00 from game stores and online.

HALFLING FEAST by Naomi Styles & Robin Elliott is a fast food delicatessan in which 2-6 Halflings compete against each other to eat the most grub laid out in front of them.

There are six Halflings available for players to choose from, each with their own personal special abilities, one being a free to use skill and the other costing an Action card. Each Halfling has a Tummy Full Track (the Fullness Track) which has 12 spaces (think of having 12 compartments in your stomach). Of these 12 spaces only 10 are available unless the Halfling obtains "extended space" cards. There are three types of card with different coloured backs, Blue (Halfling), Yellow (Food Dishes) and Red (Action) each of which are kept separately, each of these card types also has a specific icon that relates to it for quick reference, such as a Fork for Food Dishes.There are 30 Action cards and 26 Food cards but only 2 Blue cards as these are Turn Sequence Reference Cards. 

  

There are Keywords under each card title. These are important during the game as they react with other cards as and when they come into play. There are four types of Action cards: Belly, Cheating, Condiment and Special. There are just two types of Food, Sweet and Savory. The card art is by brilliant artists Joe Shawcross, Justin Russell, Luka Arh and Francesca Baerald and my opinion is that the majority of the illustrations, especially the food, are scrumptious, the only problem (minor problem) I have with them is that what should be mouth watering illustrations of food are suppressed by a heavy, thick black, border on the cards and an dark gold inner framework. Couple this with the chosen background colours the food becomes less appealing, similarly the die-cut Tummy Full markers are also too dark for direct and immediate recognition.

If you are playing with Four, Five or Six players you should shuffle the Halfling cards and randomly deal them out, when playing with Two or Three players carefully select your Halflings as their Abilities can be very useful. These abilities/skills are described both on the Halfling card and in the Rules Booklet. This is a super fun, see-sawing game that plays especially well with Two players.

Each player is dealt Three Action cards at the beginning of the game and during play can obtain more cards; players can hold as many Action cards as they want but may only play one as their Turn Action, though Interrupt cards can be played out of turn and do not count as a card played. There are 5 Actions available to each player every turn but they may only do one of them, Consume a Dish (take a food card from the Feast (display) ), Play an Action card from your hand, Release 2 Belly spaces, Take an Action card from the top of the deck or Use the Abilities/skills on the Halfling card. There are often many times in the game when it is your turn and you wish to do more than just one Action, this is when making the right decision, or what you consider to be the best decision for you, is paramount.

  

Each Halfling begins with an empty stomach of 10 compartments (belly spaces) and therefore is hungry enough to eat a horse, unfortunately horse is not on the menu. There are four available Food Dishes on display on the Feast table at all times: there may be Elvish Waybread, Gundroast Muffins even Dragon Scale Pie amongst the savory foodstuffs and Halfling Honey Cake, Ice Crown Tartlet and Dragonfire Crumble amongst the sweets, but none of them is horse based. 

When a Halfling consumes a food from the Feast they move their Belly Marker as many spaces along its track as the value of the food eaten. As they only have 10 belly spaces they may not consume anything that would take them beyond those 10 spaces (unless they have cards that extend their bellies and then only to 12 spaces maximum). If Halflings decide to use the Action Release 2 Belly spaces then their Belly marker is moved back 2 spaces along the track. Each player collects the Food cards they have taken/eaten and at the end of the game the value of these cards counts as Victory Points and naturally the Halfling who has eaten the most (has highest number of VPs) wins the Halfling Feast Challenge. Action cards played are collected in a single discard stack and reshuffled when the draw pile expires.

  

The game is fast and fun and for the first few games, and of course when you introduce it to new players (which you will almost certainly feel the need to do) the card headers/titles are a good source of amusement. For instance if you have a full(ish) belly you can pop off to the Outhouse and release 10 Belly spaces (we take it that any card which allows you to Release a number of Belly spaces can be used as an "up to N" card, as in "Release (up to) 10 Belly Spaces on your Fullness track" so that if your marker is currently on the 8 Belly space you can still play the Outhouse card but of course the lost "2" spaces remain lost, you cannot hold onto them for later use or use them to reduce the number of spaces required on a Food card on the Display.

If I had designed this game the names of the Halflings would have some specific meaning to me or maybe they would be anagrams or unusual spellings of fun names. Therefore I have struggled with the names of the Halflings that Naomi has given them and perhaps they are just made-up names? though it would be a pity if they were though (as I like hidden Easter Eggs in games).

Here's what I have deciphered so far: 

Milo Grubb = Bilbo Grum
Hamfast Twofoot = Fat Sham Woof Tot
Berylla Galbasi - Basil Barge Ally
Bell Maggot = LG Mage Bolt
Lotho Fairpuddle  =  Hoolu Piddlefart
Ruby Silverstyle  =  Ely Silvery Burst

Okay, so maybe my theory about the names meaning something is incorrect, but I still had fun trying, perhaps you can do better?

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015