OH GNOME YOU DON'T !
According to the box this is a game for players who are 13 years old and above. There are five Gnome characters
which makes it a game for 2 - 5 players. The second sentence I agree with, there are 5 Gnomes and 2-5 people can
play, but the first statement about having to be aged 13+ just doesn't cut it - our 9 year old grand-daughter picked up
the rules really easily and then went and won on her own merit, no assistance from us - we never play like that.
The Gnomes are named: Oz, Barney, Dave, Wayne, Gnoah and Jud. I'll get to the reason there are 6 names in a minute.
The first thing to say about the names is that they are printed on the base area of characters - the part that slots into the
plastic pinch-bases - and that's an error because once you slot the Gnomes into their identification bases you cannot see
their names and they simply become, Red, Orange, Blue, Green, Brown and Yellow. Miley Cyrus owes her dance moves
to these Gnome figures as two of them can clearly be seen twirking way before she "invented" it.
The game is a race from start to finish - literally the spaces are marked "Start" and "Finish". In-between there are the Grub
and Grog Pub, Gnome Dept and the Toadstool Cafe where your Gnomes can visit, be safe from other Gnomes and sell the
Foods they have collected - each Food has 2 sales values. One of these values is the price you can get from selling at any of
the Businesses and then there is a higher value which you can get from the specified Business. EG. Sell at a business for 4
or Toadstool Cafe for 6.
The Fruit cards are mixed into the Draw Pile with Event cards and Defensive cards - the cards are colour coded, Green for
Foods, Purple for Events, Red for Defence. The Gem Mine holds four colours of Gems with each colour having a different
value - Blacks = 1 Blues = 3 Red = 5 and Yellow = 10. When collecting Gems from the Mine the Gnomes have to collect
them in a way that gives them the least Gems. i.e. if a Gnome wants 10 value in gems they must take a Yellow Gem, not two
Reds (unless of course there are no Yellows remaining, which is highly unlikely). When Gnomes are in a business they can
swap Gems up, as in hand in 5 Blacks for 1 Red etc. This manner of collecting is not meant to be used as a tactic, as would
be by gamers, but just a way to ensure that there are always Gems for the Gnomes to collect - you can always play the tactic
way if you want to spice things up a little, but in general there are enough Gems for all situations.
In turn, the players roll the die and move their Gnomes along the flagstones - players always roll and move before doing anything
else. Then they may play a card (only one) from their hand. Green cards are tabled (played in front of them ready to be sold when
the Gnome enters a Business), Purple cards are played according to the text on them and Red cards are played to interrupt a card
played on your Gnome to deflect an attack or cancel a card - the Oh Gnome You Don't Card is always your Ace in the Hole. You
always draw a card at the end of your turn, even if you haven't played a card, unless you are in a Business - there your cannot play
any cards (except the ones you are selling of course) and you never draw any cards.
There are a couple of spaces on the board that can speed up your movement - the SLUG SLIME if you land directly on it, allows
you to miss out a wide corner as does the Troll Bridge. You do not have to have an exact die roll to land on the TROLL BRIDGE,
instead you can pause there and decide if you are going to cross it - a cost of 5 gems - and then continue with any movement left
from your die roll. Otherwise you cango round the longer way which is fraught with danger - each space has an effect and they're
not very good for you. This is, in my opinion, a no-brainer because the designer hasn't given you much of a chance on this track.
To be safe you need to roll a 2 onto the FREE space and then a 5 or 6 on your next roll - quite unlikely - for landing on any other
space will more than likely cost you more than the 5 the Troll charges.
A Gnome can enter a Business if their die roll is enough (or more) to move them along the path and in through the door. There is
one other Business on the board, the Tinker's Cart which has one different rule to the other Businesses. In here you can exchange
tables items (cards) by putting the card up for exchange and then rolling the die, you get the value you rolled.When you get to the
Finish line you sell any cards you have in front of you for half their value - based on the Business value not the specific Business
value. You can only sell cards you have on the Table, not any remaining in your hand. So entering the Tinker's Cart is your best
bet of earning a few extra Gems. For example, if you have a card valued at 3 you are only going to get 1 for it at the Finish line, so
you cannot lose by going to the Tinker. If your card is valued at 6 then it is worth 3 at the end giving odds of 60-40 of not losing.
A 3, 4, 5 or 6 means you are either the same or better off for selling the card, only a 1 or 2 is a loss for you.
Being the first to the Finish line has an advantage - you are given a bonus of 8 gems. Second place gets 5 Gems Third place gets 2
Gems and then fourth and fifth place pay in 2 and 4 Gems respectively. We have found that unless you have a good lead of Gems it
is better not to get to the winning post first or at least too fast. This is because once you are there you are effectively out of the game,
The other players then have the chance of collecting more cards along the way and selling them - remember that everyone can enter
the Tinker's Cart for that last sell-up. Sitting watching the others play is not good in any Family game, it sort of puts a damper on the
game that has previously flowed nicely.
There are a couple of Advanced or Optional rules. Each Gnome has a set of Brawl cards numbered 1 - 10. When you land on the same
space as another Gnome (but not in a Business) you can challenge that Gnome to a Brawl - or he can challenge you. of course you can
just spend time together on the same space chatting and drinking and being hospitable like Gnomes enjoy to be. However it is possible
for another Gnome to come along and invite you both (or all if more than 2) to a fight in which case a real Brawl occurs between all
parties. Brawls are resolved by selecting a card from your personal deck and playing it face dwn until all Gnomes have chosen a card.
Then all cards are revealed at the same time and the highest value card wins the Brawl - ties that occur when 3 or more Gnomes fight
are resolved with roll-off, the winner of that takig the prize. That prize is the difference in card values between the winning Gnome and
the other Gnomes. EG: You play a 10 your opponent plays a 5 they have to pay you 5 Gems. All Brawl cards are discarded once played.
If you have no Brawl cards and are challenged to a Brawl your card value is zero. Gulp! That can be expensive.
My overall view of OH GNOME YOU DON'T is that it is a fun family game. It has nothing new about it by way of game mechanics, roll
a die and move is perhaps the way the majority of English games were played until the introduction of European titles from Spiel in Essen.
It is a bright and colourful game with lovely graphics and it keeps players from at least 9 years old happy and interested for 45-60 minutes.
The 6th Gnome is an expansion to add another player to the game - thus 2-6 players - and it comes with its own set of cards.