Helga & Hermann Huber

Publisher: Goldsieber 1996

Awards: none



"Ab die Post" is a game about an Airplane-Race of Mail-pilots, driving old-age flying machines through the sky. Following the thesis - "The Mail must get through" - the pilots board their machines and start their race, knowing that the area of their possible course has a bad weather-forecast. Most certainly a storm will release itīs force against the fragile machines.

Three to five players may participate in the race, and all of them start the game at the same airfield. Taking turns, the players may decide to draw replacements parts from a random pile or they may decide to leave the airfield and begin the race. Replacement parts are available with values 1, 2 and 3. They will be needed if a plane is hit by the storm during the race. If a player decides to draw a replacement-part, he places the drawn card openly next to him. He may do this as often as he whishes, with the restriction that - if he should draw a third value "3" card - he has to discard all his value "3" cards.

If a player should decide to start the race he takes up the so-called "Storm-Spender" and shakes it. Then he turns it head-over and a coloured ball will show in a window at the downside of the Spender. (The ball-mix in the Spender depends on how many players take part in the game). If the Spender shows a coloured ball, the player may move forwards a number of spaces depending on the colour of the ball. He may move on three different routes - short, medium and long. He may also decide to change freely between the routes.

Problems will arise if a black ball is shown by the Spender. This means that a storm comes up and hits all players in the air with all of its force. Now the players have to discard replacement parts depending on the route they are currently flying. A player on the shortest route must pay parts with a total value of "8", a player on the middle route must discard a value of "4", whereas a player on the longest route only needs to discard parts with a value of "2". If a player runs out of replacement-parts during flight, he makes a crash landing and must start again at the airfield. Here he must try again to collect enough replacement-parts and he must also hope for additional storms which will wreck the other players as well. Because of the storms itīs actually wise for a player to keep watch over the replacement parts the other players have acquired. So if a player on the Airfield has drawn some good parts, he may try to fly early since the other player may not follow him with their insufficient parts. This in turn will give the "Earlybird" an advantage in the air, since there is a much less chance that he will be hit by a storm. On the other hand, a player who has crashed down may take of again fast in order to try to cause storms, possibly wrecking the other players, too.

The first player who reaches the second airfield wins the game and scores a number of Victory-Points. The other players score points according to the positions they have reached during the race. Additional points may be scored by picking up a passenger. After the points have been distributed, a second races takes place, and this goes on until on player reaches a certain number of victory points and will be declared as the winner.

"Ab die Post" is actually a fun and fast game, and itīs played best with 4 or 5 players. A whole game with two to four races only takes a duration of about 15 to 20 minutes, and for this reason itīs useable for a delighting interlude in any gaming session. The game certainly has an high luck factor, but this only strengthens the fun, and nothing is more delighting as seeing a big storm forcing the opponents to restart while still sitting at the home-airfield.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany