Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Antony Proietti


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G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Six posts of differing heights and with various letters, number of pips, number of lines, animals and geometrical shapes are the core of ZOCH's newest quick and funny party game Vollpfosten. The German word Vollpfosten means to be a complete idiot, a sort of a dumbass. Well, a jackass probably would truly have problems with the game, but, of course, you don't have to be a college-man to be successful. You don't even have to know much about the world, the game is much more about quickness of the mind and a little bit about dexterity.

Each round of the game, the six posts are set upright in the middle of the table, accessible to all players. If you are playing with smaller children, it's a good idea to position the posts nearer to these children (with shorter arms), because in the next step you have to grab a post as quickly as you can. But before we do, we have to check which post is good for us: this is determined by the roll of 2-5 dice. One die (the white one) indicates which post is the most precious one for the round. Additionally they tell us if there are any handicaps you must regard while grabbing the post. You must check quickly, because all players, including the dice roller, are allowed to grab (and only one!) immediately after the roll. Of course, the player who is quickest has the best chance to grab the post of the round. Well, if there weren't the handicaps...

Before we have a closer look at the handicaps, let's quickly go through the six different faces of the white die, because this die is always in play and determines which post wins the round. It demands to grab one of the following features:

  • the tallest post
  • the one with the highest number of pips
  • the one that shows a letter that comes as closest to the A of the alphabet
  • the one with most corners of the geometrical shape
  • the one that shows the animal with the most legs

Six posts and six conditions. That's quite simple, even if it sometimes takes some time to count the corners of the geometrical shapes or to find the animal with most legs. Both of these features are the most difficult to deal with for most players. But remember, you must be fast and your opponents are looking for the best post too. And if you have found the best post and one of your opponent is faster, you have to look around again for the second best post. With four or more players, victory points (in form of different long sticks) are given to the three best players of the round, so it is sometimes better, to take a post that is perhaps not the very best, but surely among the three winners...

Now, let's go over to the handicaps that can gradually be introduced to the game. Up to five more dice determine what to pay attention to, while or before grabbing the post. By the way, all dice are big and out of foam. But they are still solid. The material not only feels comfortable, but it also prevents knocking down any of the upright standing posts. This is quite important in the frantic game phase that follows the roll. Five dice with six faces each, that means 7776 different combinations of what you must pay attention to. Now, you can imagine that grabbing the best post of the round, while at the same time looking after the requirements is not so easy as it seems to be.

And the requirements are manifold: it begins comparable easy with the orange dice that for example demand to grab the post with the other hand (you normally are only allowed to use your grabbing hand) or to take the post with just the ring finger and your pinky. If you don't bother and take the post the normal way, the post you grabbed is disqualified for the round. Of course, you end the round with no new victory points in that case. The blue dice demands to activate more of your senses before grabbing the post. On the one hand, the dark blue die requires movement like jumping up or standing up before grabbing the post. The light blue die on the other hand demands to make noise, for example calling out the names of the two persons next to you or barking like a dog.

And then there is the green die that requires to come in contact with your opponents, for example touching your neighbours' pinky with your pinky. All of that before grabbing the post again and additional to all other requirements of the other dice. You see that grabbing a post can get complicated, and so you sometimes might really feel like a jackass.

Vollpfosten is a quick reaction game, of course without the depth the one or other strategic gamer is looking for. It is much more a party game, a game that can be a big fun as a filler, especially with bigger groups (and maybe after the one or other beer). But it also plays well as a family game, especially if the children are not too old. There is not much game material in the box, but the quality of the wooden posts and sticks (for the victory points) as well as the foam dice is above average. In the end the game found a way to my game collection and will be used as the one or other filler at the end of a long gaming night. Take note that my overall evaluation refers to the game as a family and party game, if you take the game too serious, you might be disappointed. So, take it as it is, and chuckle at all the Vollpfosten who play the game with you.

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Copyright © 2018 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany