KARNICKEL LOOKOUT SPIELE / MAYFAIR GAMES Designed by Brett J Gilbert RABBIT
This is a family strategy game for 2-4 players aged 6 and up. The components include 6 Rabbit pieces so that players
can choose which piece they want to control. There are 5 plastic stands, 4 for the Rabbits chosen and 1 for the Train.
The Black stand is noted for the Train but there is no reason that any player who prefers to play black in games cannot
swap this stand for another, it is after all just a means to make the 2D Train (and Rabbits) into 3D pieces.
Just a quick note here about the dice. They come in the box as blanks with a set of stickers for each die. Before the first
game you have to put the stickers onto the dice. There is no set order in the way that a regular D6 has opposite sides that
add up to 7, so we decided to put the Train Movement icons (the black > and >> symbols) on opposing sides just for effect.
This is sort of based on a (dangerous) kids game called Chicken. Normally this would be played on roads, though some
kids do play on train lines, either way it is a stupid and silly thing for children to do. Therefore it is a great joy to have a
number of dumb bunnies ready to make the silly play for you.
The board is made up of 8 train rail pieces that show railway sleepers, carrots, bridges and train illustrations. The Train
begins on one of the train pictures, the player's pieces begin on the carrot spaces - players can put their Rabbits on any of
the spaces with carrots, even spaces already occupied.
With 3 or 4 players each player controls one Rabbit, with two players they have 2 rabbits each. There are colour ID counters
for each player which sit in front of them so others know which colour to pick on. The idea is to collect the most carrots and
you do this by having your Rabbit on a carrot space (carrot spaces have 1, 2 or 3 carrots or a squished carrot which is a minus)
when the train moves.
If the train moves over a rabbit that poor little bunny is removed from the round; the round ends when there is one or no Rabbits
remaining on the track. After the train moves the Rabbits on the track score the number of carrots on the space they are sitting
on. The game mechanic has each player rolling the dice, setting aside any black movement dice, and then selecting ONE of the
colours shown on the remaining dice and moving the Rabbit of that colour the number of spaces around the track equal to the
number of the dice showing that colour. You get to move any ONE Rabbit, not necessarily your own - this is the main strategy,
attempting to put the other player's bunnies in front of the train.
Then the next player rolls the remaining dice and the game continues until all 7 dice are set aside showing train movement. Now
the dice are all rolled once more and all the movement (dice show 1 or 2 chevrons) are added up and the train moves round the
track, bumping and squishing bunnies as it goes. (actually the bunnies are only scared away not squished - but it's more fun to
squish them. There are however 2 safe spaces, the bridges, where the train (theoretically) goes under the bridge and any Rabbits
on them are above the track. One of the bridges has a single carrot, the other has a squished carrot. If your Rabbit is on here you
lose a carrot from your stash.
If ALL the Rabbits are scared off so there are none left on the tracks the player who moved the train collects one carrot from each
player, then all players return their Rabbits to the track, selecting where they wish them to start. The rules aren't too clear as to whether
the game continues until ALL Rabbits have been scared away, thus meaning that if there is only one Rabbit on the track does it stay
there until the train moves over it. Also, if this is the case, then do all players continue to roll the dice or is the player whose solo Rabbit
is still in play the only one to roll. If the last Rabbit manages to keep landing their Rabbit on a bridge the game can continue like this for
long enough to discourage the other players from caring.
We added our own house rule here. If there is only one rabbit on the track ALL players continue to roll the dice as usual. When there are
7 movement dice showing they are rolled again (also as usual) but if on this roll (to move the train) no movement symbols are rolled then
all the Rabbits are returned to the track and the game restarts. Naturally this only comes into play if none of the dice show the chevrons but
as this happened a few times to us it did prevent a fair amount of downtime.
Despite the cute bunnies, the illustrations for the player pieces are superb (but sadly most of this artwork is lost as the stands are too large),
our general thoughts are that maybe 6 years old is a mite too young. 8 years and up would be better as they can understand the nuances of
the strategies a little better. Overall this is a great 4F (fine fun friendly family) game that gives up to 15-20 minutes of quality time for 2-4