Hedgehogs in a Hurry (Igel Argern)

Designed by Frank Nestel
Published by Doris and Frank
Copyright Doris and Frank

This game is a sort of racing game for 2-6 players (best 4), aged about 8 and older. One single game lasts about 20-50 minutes. Its a game of chance, a die plays a major role within the game, but it allows certain maneuvers to be recognized and used, quite similar to Backgammon, maybe.

The material consists of a board, with 6 numbered tracks, each 9 columns long, and 24 pieces in 6 colors, the "hedgehogs".

Each player selects a color and takes the four pieces of his color. The object of the game is to be the first to bring three of one's own pieces from the "Start" column to the "Ziel" (goal) column. It makes no difference on which track they reach the goal column.

The Beginning

In the beginning, the players put their pieces in the start column, in a clockwise manner, one piece per turn. The pieces must be put on the board such that the resulting stacks remain as low as possible, i.e. empty fields in the start column have to be used first then the first level has to be filled and so on. Thus, there are stacks of nearly equal heigh on every field of the start column.

There is one exception from the rule of putting in a piece as low as possible: you are not forced to block yourself, that is, you may put your piece on any stack, if all the lowest stacks already contain one of your own pieces.

The Movement

When all pieces are stacked in the start column, the normal game begins. The players make a move clockwise until one becomes the winner and ends the game.

A move of a player consists of three parts, which have to be played in the following order:

A) The player has to roll the die. The rolled number tells the player on which track he has to move forward at the end of his turn. That is, the rolled number has no direct consequence at the beginning, but can be taken into account during part B of the move.

B) The player may (he is not forced to) do a sidestep: that is, he is allowed to take one of his own pieces, which is laying at the top of any stack (all pieces below the top of the stack are blocked) and move it one track to the left or right. This can be done in any column, with any piece belonging to the player, regardless of the height or position of the stack.

C) Finally, the player has to make one step forward. He must move a free (i.e. on top of a stack) piece in the track with the number of the die rolled in part A The movement is one column in direction of the goal, not changing the track. If there in none of his own pieces free in this track, the player is forced to move a piece of another player. If there are more pieces free in the track, that is, if there are more stacks in the track, then the player is allowed to move any piece he wants. Especially if there are both his and opposing pieces, the player is not forced to move his own pieces forward.

Some remarks:

The Black Fields

On each track, there is a barrier: the black fields. All pieces on a black field have to wait, until there are no pieces behind them on any track (e.g. a piece on the black field on track 1 has to wait until the start and the two following columns are both completely empty. The effect of the black field there fore increases the close it is to the goal. Since your opponents may move your pieces forward (if they roll the appropriate number with the die) it is risky to put oneself in front of such a black field. Once all pieces have passed the column of a black field, it becomes a normal field.

The End

With the first player achieving the goal and getting 3 pieces in the goal column (regardless of which track), the game ends immediately. The further ranking of players is determined by the number of pieces they have in the goal at this time.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell