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Doug Adams writes:
Designer: Klaus Teuber
Publisher: Hans Im Gluck
Drunter und Druber is an amusing game where the players represent the various townsfolk who are charged with rebuilding a town. The town has been burned to the ground by its inhabitants, who set fire to it to get rid of the dreaded mouse-dog (that is, a cat) that was holding it's occupants in terror.
The townsfolk have started the job of rebuilding, they've put up the main buildings and toilets, but have neglected a minor detail or two. There are no roads, walls or rivers, and it's the job of the players to build these rather essential items, while preserving as much of their on board interests as possible.
To start, a medium sized game board representing the town is laid in the centre of the table. This board has a grid of squares is printed over it. The buildings that the townsfolk have built are dotted around the board. These buildings come in 6 different types, and there are five of each type numbered from one to five. The artwork here is quite cute, and funny too - we see fire stations with large bellows on the roof, churches that consist of just one tower, and town halls that look rather like pink triangles. The high value buildings are clustered around the centre of the board, with the lower value buildings around the outside spaces of the grid. Dotted here and there are the toilet blocks, which are vitally important to this town, as we shall see.
The players are dealt a hand of tiles representing the roads, rivers and city walls, and there are lots of these. They come in 3 lengths; one, two and 3 squares long; and these fit onto the grided squares on the game board. There are twice as many city walls pieces than river or road pieces. Some of the 3 length pieces are bridges, which allow builds underneath them - this can be quite important as the game progresses.
Each player is given a set of voting cards which represent the votes they cast at town planning meetings. There are 8 of these:
In addition to the voting cards, each player is also given a card that will indicate which type of buildings they are trying to protect - this is kept secret until the end of the game.
The object of the game is quite simple - players are trying to build a network of roads, rivers and walls that flatten all but their own type of buildings. The game will end when no more pieces can be played and the winner will be the player with the most value of building points left on the board.
At the beginning of the game each player has an equal amount of tiles of each size - there are lots of small pieces, but not that many of the large '3' pieces which are a powerful weapon in the game. In each corner space of the board, a building gang is placed (a plastic token). Two of these gangs are wall builders, and the other two are a river and road gang.
Each turn a player will select a tile from his hand and lay it next to the end of the current path of that type - wall, river or road. The piece can be any of the 3 lengths but must be laid in a specific orientation. The building gang is then moved to the end of the newly placed piece, and that path can be continued from that new position of the building gang by any player some time in the future.
Tiles played can be placed over the top of buildings on the board, effectively removing them from the game and thus denying their value to another players score (remember, you don't know who is trying to protect what type of building, but you can start to guess as the game progresses). As the building gangs start to move towards the centre of the board, more and more valuable buildings come under threat and the game play gets quite tactical.
When a tile is laid out that covers a toilet, everything stops because building over a toilet is not something you can take lightly in this game! The build is put to a vote, and everybody can select as many vote cards from their hand as they please. For the build to be successful, there has to be equal or greater yes votes that no votes (remember that these vote cards could represent one, two or three votes themselves). All cards are revealed simultaneously and the votes tallied. If the yes votes beat the no votes, the tile remains on the board, otherwise it is removed back to that players hand. All votes played that weren't abstentions are removed from the game, so careful thought is required as you don't want to burn your votes up too quickly.
The game will continue until no more tiles can be placed. This usually means a path will get boxed in with no way out. Paths that end adjacent to a bridge on a wall piece can build again on the other side of that wall piece, and this offers a potential escape route to a path that is in danger of being boxed in.
Once the game is over, all the players reveal their special interest card and count up the point value of buildings that they have remaining on the board. The highest total wins.
There is also a variant included in the game. Instead of giving each player a building type card at the start of the game, they instead receive two cards from a deck of ten. In this deck are the original six building cards, plus four special mission cards. As soon as the first route reaches a dead end, the players may then decide which of their two missions they want to score at the end of the game. It's quite a nice addition to the game, and will give players a bit more to play for once their '5' and '4' buildings get squashed!
This is a light and amusing game that is easy to play with family and friends. It will come down off the game shelf every now and again and should prove a worthwhile addition to any collection.
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