Two worms, not a bad start!
I only actually heard about Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck (aka Pickomino)a few weeks ago and it sounded just OK, but when I found a copy going very cheap I thought I might as well pick it up. It turns out that it’s a pretty decent “push your luck” type dice game with the bonus that the scoring is by collecting domino-like tiles which have a lovely touchy-feely-ness to them. The game is from the same range as “By Golly!”, which we played a while back, and the game artwork features the same Doris Matthaeus illustrated chickens (the “Zoch Chickens”).
So we’ve played the game a few times now and it works well as long as you don’t wait until all the tiles are claimed in order to end the game. That way madness lies. We have settled on to playing until ten tiles are gone, then everyone has one last go.
Updated (2012-08-26): Actually, it turns out that I misread the rules and you don’t have to play for all the high value tiles before the game can end, so this game is better than I thought. Apologies to Herr Knizia.
I like this game far more than I thought I would. Though I must admit that I am generally a sucker for Reiner Knizia games — they are often criticised for being very light on theme, but in most cases, the gameplay is so elegant that I really don’t care.
Miss B quickly got the hang of the game and started enjoying herself. Come to think of it, what’s not to like about rolling a fistful of eight dice? In the early games I was giving quite a few pointers on which dice are best to keep, but now that isn’t really needed. Miss B doesn’t know anything about probability, but she does have a pretty good feel for the game and has even won a couple of times.
I’m actually looking forward to using this one as a filler in an adult gaming session. I think it would work well in that context.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 5½): “I like the worms.”
The game: Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck (Zoch), 2 to 7 players aged 8+.