Author: Ralf Burkert

Publisher: QUEEN GAMES 2005

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game :

In Mac Robber the players try to win their clans fame and glory. The pittoresque background for the game are the Scottish highlands some centuries ago. Next to a mighty fortress the clans need cattle, warriors and monks to become the most influential clan in the game. The cattle are best stolen from a neighbour. This can only be prevented by a strong army. And last but not least the bagpipe must not absent in a game that is settled in Scotland….

At the beginning of the game every clan gets a table where his court and his lands are marked during the game. The player starts with two lands, four warriors (yellow stones) and two players of the bagpipe (blue stones). All of the rest of the coloured stones are to be put in a black bag. The stones can represent different functions during the game, depending on which field of the clan table they are placed.

The players turns are divided into three phases. First a player draws six stones out of the bag. In the next phase he may use one or two actions with these stones to increase his number of lands and his courts. There are three limitations:

  • Only four out of the six stones may be used;
  • a player can only use an action once in his turn;
  • the action "bard" may only be used as a single action.

Cattle (one red stone), castles (two blue stones) and monasteries (three green stones) are placed on a free land. Warriors (one yellow stone) is stored in the court. For every warrior the player gets one card on his hand. Players of the bagpipe (one blue stone) and monks (green stones) also are part of the court. With the action bard (a blue stone) the player may remove two stones with different colours from the court of a neighbour.

Finally with one yellow and one red stone or with one yellow and two green stones the player may take a new land up to a limit of six.

After this phase the player may attack another clan. The attack lasts three rounds. Each round the attacker and the defender play a card with a specific battle value out of their hands. The battle value can be increased by a (only one) monk from the court of the player. Then the cards are revealed and the player with the highest battle value wins this round. The winner of the fight is the player with the most won rounds. If the winner is the attacker, he gains one victory point and may steal cattle or remove a castle or a monastery from the neighbour. If, however, the defender is the winner, he gains two victory points and the attacker looses one. At the end of a fight the cards are filled up to the limit (given by the number of warriors) by both players.

When every player has done his turn a scoring takes place (this may seem a bit confusing at the beginning). There are victory points for the player with the most green, red and blue stones. The number of victory points depends on some other effects like the number of stones of the same colour of another player. The player with the most yellow stones gets the card "biggest followers" that enables him to draw stones at the beginning of his turn a second time. The next player becomes the new starting player and begins the next round.

The game ends if a player's victory points have reached 30 victory points and if a land marker, which is drawn at the end of the round after the scoring shows a number that is equal or less than the victory points of the leading player. The game also ends if there are not enough stones in the bag at the beginning of one's turn.

Mac Robber is a nice game with a confusing scoring mechanism. It will need some time until you will understand the effects of your actions completely. Apart from the scoring, the game can easily be understood and it takes only some minutes to explain the rules. Nevertheless I am not really convinced that the game will become a very successful game. It misses the extra that gives a game the very special touch. There is nothing really new and for me it palled after the third or fourth time of playing. I will give it a "7" in evaluation anyway. If you don't play it too often (let's say twice in a year or so) it is still an attractive game, especially if you have guests who don't like complicated rules and want to play a short game. Families with children can also be a target group, so if you are interested to buy Mac Robber you should have a try at a game convention.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany