Hedgehogs in a Hurry (Igel Argern) variants

Designed by Frank Nestel and Doris Matthaus
Published by Doris & Frank
Copyright 1996, Doris & Frank
Translated by Kurt Adam (mage@uu.net)

2nd Edition

Hedgehogs in a Hurry is a simple little game. It is so simple, that it has prompted many people to experiment with variations. Many people have offered their variants to us and we have found them to be good or at least interesting. Once we had gotten a lot of them, it made the rules too long to include them in the original rule set.

Since then, though, we've gotten so many that we're up to our ears in variants. We decided to compile them so that everyone could have them.

One big apology for the copyrights: a lot of the variants were told to us at game events and the originators names weren't known to us. We also heard the same variant from many different people. Also, since the first edition of this expansion appeared, we've received many more variants from some of the first originators. Altogether we now have 40 different variants in this booklet. Variants that have been received since the last edition of the booklet are marked with an asterisk.

Thank you to everyone!

First, for reasons of completeness:

The Basic Game (no variation)

The dice at the margin (in the German rules) specify the number of players for the variation. The numbers that are in parentheses denote less optimal numbers of players. Therefore, we feel that the basic game works best with three to five players, although these numbers naturally depend on the players. Feel free to try any of the variations with any number you like.

Material: Naturally, no additional material is required for basic game. For some variations, however, you will need materials not included with the game.

At the end of this booklet, all the variants are summarized in a table.

1. 5 Column Hedgehogs (The back of the new board)

Material: On the back of the regular board from the newest edition is a board with only 5 columns.

The play is as usual with the exception of when a 6 is rolled. In this case, a hedgehog can be moved forward in any column aside from the hedgehog that was moved sideways in the first part of the turn. Combine this variant with number 9, meaning that the 1 and 5 columns become adjacent and hedgehogs may move sideways between them.

2. Hedgehog Spies

This variant brings an entirely new set of bluffing and cooperation possibilities. It is also particularly good when you're using one of the point scoring mechanisms.

Material: The four pieces of each color must be distinguishable. In the new edition, the four distinct designs on the pieces are for example: the Sleeper, the Jitterer, the Creeper and Talon. If you're using an old edition, you'll need to mark the pieces to distinguish them.

At the beginning of the game, each player lists one of the four designs secretly on a piece of paper. During the game, the pieces are placed so that the designs can be seen. At the end of the game, each player scores one point for each of their own pieces that has finished as well as an additional point for each piece that has the design that they chose at the beginning of the game. Thus, the player's piece that has their selected design is worth two points. The player with the most points wins.

Example: Anne finishes the game by placing her third piece into the goal. She has listed the Sleeper. There are two Sleepers in the goal, so she scores 5 points, 3 for her pieces and 2 for the Sleepers. Beate has two pieces in the goal. She wrote the Jitterer on her paper and there are 4 Jitterers in the goal. Beate, therefore, has 2 + 4 = 6 points and wins the game!

3. Doping Variant

This variation we found very strange and funny.

The first piece that reaches the goal is disqualified because of obvious doping. It is taken out of the game, doesn't count and the unfortunate owner must play the rest of the game with only three pieces.

4. Fizzy Lifting Hedgehogs

If a player has no pieces that can be moved sideways on their turn (i.e. all are covered by other pieces), then instead they have the following option: in a stack that he has pieces, he can move the lowest of his pieces to the top of the stack. Example (see illustration in German rules): black has no free pieces on his turn.

5. Turbo Hedgehogs #1

This variant is particularly good for 5 & 6 players. The game play becomes more fluid, and each player can do more. Recommended!

Material: An additional die is required.

On a players turn, he rolls two dice, rather than one. He then moves pieces: sideways, forward, sideways and forward. He must use both dice for forward movement, but can use the dice in either order. A similar variant is #30.

6. Memory Dice

This is a basic idea, which could be used to make many other dice games more strategic. Try it sometime.

Material: For each player an additional die is required. Thus, one more die than players is needed.

At the beginning of the game, prior to the initial placement of pieces, each player rolls his die. On a player's turn, they then receive the extra die and roll it. Either die can be selected for their turn. Whichever die was not used is kept by the player for his next turn and the other die is passed to the next player as his new additional die. Each player, then, always has a choice between two numbers. Some players may not then risk putting themselves in front of a black space if one of the other players has that particular number already in front of himself.

7. Card Dice

Another idea to tone down the chance element. This time with a memory component.

Material: 7 cards with the values from 1 (ace) to 6 and a joker, all cards should have the same back; or 13 cards comprising two of each value except for the joker.

The cards are shuffled and placed on the side of the board. A player announces on his turn, whether they will use the first or second card for their move. The appropriate number of cards are turned and the number is used like the die roll in the original game. The cards turned are then placed on the bottom of the stack, so that the order is always the same. If a joker is drawn, the player can either make a move forward on any column or shuffle the deck and take another turn.

8. The Sandwich Variant

If a player has two pieces in a stack with one on the top, he may move the entire set of pieces (no matter who owns them) that are between his own two pieces as one unit. The set can be moved sideways and/or forward. Alternately, the top piece can be moved as usual.

Example (see illustration in German rules): The stack is (from bottom to top) Blue-Red-Green-Blue-Red. Red therefore can move either the upper piece or the stack of Red-Green-Blue-Red. If Red moves the upper piece separately, then Blue could move the entire stack of Blue-Red-Green-Blue.

If a player has 3 or more pieces of his color in a stack, he may not move a stack such that more than two of his own pieces are moved.

9. The Tube

Visualize the board rolled into a tube and taped together. In this way, columns 1 and 6 would then be adjacent.

A board of this shape would be impractical, but one can play as if columns 1 and 6 are adjacent. Thus a sideways move can go from column 1 to column 6 and vice versa.

10. Urhedgehog

This is the original version of Hedgehogs in a Hurry.

The black spaces are treated like normal spaces, meaning a player can just move through them without being stopped.

11. Anarchohedgehog

This variation has been extremely popular with some student groups. You become very mad, because all of your pieces are trapped. To vent your anger, use the following:

The restriction that only pieces of a player's own color may be moved sideways is removed. Any piece may be moved sideways. The black spaces naturally become a space that no one wants to be near.

12. Flying Start

With many players, you should definitely try a flying start. First a round of placing the pieces in the start (as in the normal game sequence) is done. Pieces must be spread out as much as possible, as usual. The player who places the last piece begins the normal game. The die is rolled and a sideways move can be done. Instead of a forward move, another piece can be brought onto the board. The piece must be placed in the Start row in the column that is rolled on the die. A new piece must be brought onto the board if a forward move is not done with another piece. A piece on a black space only has to wait for pieces that are on the board to reach it before it can leave the black space. It does not have to wait for all pieces to be brought on.

Try using this along with the Doping Variant (#3)!

13. Jostles (Klaus Bubert)

When a piece is moved forward, it doesn't stack on top of the piece immediately in front; instead it shoves the hedgehog forward one space. A whole row of adjacent hedgehogs could be shoved in this way. Pieces can not be shoved through the black spaces, though, rather the usual stacking should occur in these spaces. The black spaces are the main reason to use jostling instead of the usual stacking.

This variant could be made even more extreme if sideways jostling was allowed (as well as the Tube variant (#9)). Sideways shoving is not allowed in the Start row. Likewise, sideways shoving is not allowed when all 6 columns in a row are occupied (to prevent endless loops).

14. Apple Races (Uwe L. Heilmann)

Suggested by a photo of a hedgehog with an apple on one of his quills, that he wishes to carry along with him, the following nice variant:

Each player at the beginning of the game marks one of his hedgehogs as the apple carrier. A small marker can be placed on the hedgehog, or the other pieces could be turned face down (if they're marked). The apple carrier must be placed as the last piece during the initial setup. Apple carriers can stack on top of other pieces, but can never have other pieces stacked on top of them. The player who wins must not only have 3 pieces in the Goal, but one of those pieces must be his apple carrier.

If you combine this variant with the Doping variant (#3) then note: an apple carrier is never doped (he is simply very quick from his healthy apple diet). Thus, the first non-apple carrier is the rotten apple in the bunch.

15. Lazy Hedgehogs (Felicitas and Benjamin Novotny)

In this variant, the first player to get one hedgehog in the Goal and all others in black spaces is the winner.

A harder version of this: the player who is last to have only two hedgehogs racing (i.e. all the other players have three pieces in the Goal), wins.

16. Dice Selection

Another way to vary standard dicing. This variant could be combined with #6 and #7 to create a different game.

Material: A die for each player is required.

The first player rolls all of the dice and selects the die that he wants from the set. The next player chooses from the remaining dice and so on until the last player gets the last die. To balance out the penalty for not having a choice, the last player becomes the first player in the next round to roll all the dice and choose.

17. New Black Spaces

Material: 6 yellow and 6 black tiles are needed to cover the spaces on the board. (Philistines might want to ruin their board!) The newest editions include a sheet in the variant booklet which can be cut into the appropriate tiles.

Before the game, the players should agree how the board will be altered. Players could take turns replacing spaces (yellow tiles covering black tiles and black tiles covering yellow) until all the tiles are used. Maybe the spaces could be changed while the game is in progress? Try it and let us know how it worked!

Point Scoring

Hedgehogs in a Hurry could be played in a number of rounds consecutively, and points accumulated to determine an overall winner. Hedgehog Spies (variant #2) has a point system already. Here are a couple of alternatives:

18. Point Scoring #1, Harmless

The winner of a game receives one point. Any players that have less than two pieces in the Goal receive minus one point. All other players get no points. Play continues for an agreed upon number of rounds or (better) a designated point total (for example, two points).

19. Point Scoring #2, Intense

The winner gets one point. All other players score a penalty of the difference between the number of hedgehogs the winner has in the Goal and the number that they have in the Goal (i.e. if a player has two hedgehogs in the Goal and the winner has three, the winner scores 1 and the other player -1). The game continues until one player has -5 points.

20. Tournament Scoring

For Hedgehogs in a Hurry tournaments, where different people play together in different rounds, the following scoring is the most expedient: Each player scores one point for each piece that he has in the Goal at theend of the game. Thus a second place finish can still be worthwhile in the overall tournament.

Hedgehogs in a Hurry for few players

21. The Big Family

Many people gave us this variant: Each player gets two sets of pieces (of differing colors), so that there are more pieces on the board and thus more chances for blocking and interaction. The first person to get three pieces of the same color into the Goal wins.

22. Points Scoring with Doubling Dice for Two

We like this variant for two players, inspired by backgammon, a lot.

Material: A doubler die (from a backgammon set) is required.

This game is played with the scoring from variant #19. At the beginning, the doubling die is placed to the side and doesn't have an effect on the game. As soon as the first two rows (the Start row and the next row) are clear of all hedgehogs the players now have the option of requesting to double the value of the game before their move. If a doubling is requested, there are two possibilities:

1. The opponent declines. In this case, the player requesting the double wins immediately and receives the current value of the game. The other player receives a penalty of the current value for declining.

2. The opponent accepts. In this case, the game continues. To denote the increased value of the game, the doubling cube is placed with the 2 on top.

After an offer, the game can again be doubled, but not by the player who proposed the last doubling.

Example: Anton offers Berta a doubling. Berta accepts. Later in the game, Berta is doing better and offers Anton a further doubling. Anton refuses and gets -2 points and Berta receives 2 points. If Anton accepts and loses the game with two pieces less in the goal, then Berta would get 4 points and Anton -8 points?

The game is played until a predetermined number of points is reached.

23. Rolling for the Start (Ulrike Gohlke and Jens Lange)

For small numbers, and especially two players. To create more diverse starting positions, a player can always roll for the column where he places his pieces at the beginning.

24. The White Hedgehog (Ulrike Gohlke and Jens Lange)

Tennis is referred to as the white sport. The following rules are borrowed from tennis.

Each game becomes part of a set and players try to win two sets or a "Grand Slam" of 3 sets. The overall winner is the player who wins the corresponding number of games. Maybe in the event that a fifth set is necessary the players could agree to add another variant to make it even more dramatic.

25. Point Scoring with Doubling Dice, for more than two

An interesting variant, but greatly increases the length of play. Thus, it's probably not very good for larger groups.

Material: Naturally a doubling die is needed.

This variant builds on variant 22. In this case, all players must decide on whether to agree to a doubling or not. If a player declines, he is out of the game, but his pieces stay on the board. The pieces are moved and can block other pieces as usual. A doubling only counts if all players involved agree. If anyone is knocked out, the current value of the game is kept. Also, no player can make consecutive doubling requests.

Hedgehogs in a Hurry for many players

For large numbers of players, we also recommend variants 2, 4, 5, and 12.

26. Faster Game #1

The game length could be shortened if the number of pieces needed to win was lowered to 2 instead of 3.

27. Hedgehogs Pushing (Uwe L. Heilmann)

A quite strange variation, but very funny.

If a player can not do any forward move, then there is a big movement in protest: All free hedgehogs not in the row immediately before the Goal move forward one space. Wow! From this overview, it's clear that you want to always have hedgehogs in every column.

In combination with the Sandwich variant (#8), even the sandwiches can become pulled apart.

28. Faster Game #2

Players could play with only 3 pieces each. However, the winning conditions should be changed so that there are more pieces for each player than are needed to win, i.e. if using only 3 pieces than to win a player would need to get 2 to the goal.

29. Mega Hedgehogs

Can you believe it? I have seen Hedgehogs in a Hurry played with 8 players! The length of the game naturally grows with this many players.

Material: A set of four flat pieces are needed for each player in unique colors (e.g. carrom stones).

The rules need not be changed.

The can also be sped up by using variants 10, 35 and 37.

More ideas:

30. Turbo Hedgehogs #2

A twist on variant 5:

In addition to using two dice, the order of movement could be changed: For example: sideways, sideways, forward, forward or (more restricted) sideways, forwards, forwards.

31. Roll, forward, sideways

Many people seem to like this variant, although many of the tactics are lost.

The usual sequence of a move: roll, sideways, forward becomes roll, forward, sideways instead, which often forces some tricky maneuvers.

Many people also play that the forward and sideways move can be done in either order at the player's discretion. This seems too simple, but give it a try! This variant is especially good when combined with Anarchohedgehog (variant #11).

32. Backwards

The players could run the race from the Goal to the Start.

33. Marathon

The legendary race between the hare and hedgehog is well known in Germany. Here it is known as hare and tortoise. Rather than a simple one way race, it was instead a race to a specified point and back.

Material: The Hedgehog pieces need to be marked on one side. Newer editions have this marking already.

The idea is that the pieces go first from the Start to the Goal and then go back to the Start again. When a piece enters the Goal, flip it over in order to distinguish it from the pieces that are going the other direction. This variant is especially interesting when a stack is created with pieces that are going in both directions. Naturally, no piece can be moved in the opposite direction from which it is traveling.

34. Criss-Cross

The players play criss-crossing: half of the players run the race from the Start to the Goal and the other half go from the Goal to the Start. Pieces which are marked on one side as in variant 33 are not required, but would be very useful!

35. Super Turbo Hedgehogs

The black spaces are now trampolines: Any piece that enters a black space immediately moves forward an additional space in the same column.

36. Pits

With this variant, the black spaces become only one piece deep.

The black spaces are treated as pits. Only the first piece that falls into a black hole, is trapped. All others can move freely across the space over the first piece. Once all of the pieces enter the row, the piece may climb out of the pit.

37. Concrete Block

The black spaces become a different obstacle, concrete blocks. Hedgehogs can no longer enter these spaces. You can't be caught in them any longer, but they are still a hindrance.

38. Slide (Ulrike Gohlke and Jens Lange)

A funny modification of the black spaces:

Any piece that lands on a black space, slides back to the start space in the same column and begins the race again! Alternately, the start column which the piece is put in could be rolled on the die.

39. The Black Hole (Ulrike Gohlke and Jens Lange)

The ultimate variant of the black spaces:

The black spaces become black holes, any pieces that move into them are removed from the game. The winner then becomes whoever gets the first hedgehog into the finish or whoever has the last surviving hedgehog.

The wooden pieces that come with Hedgehogs in a Hurry can also be used for completely different purposes:

40. Hedgehog Carrom (Michaela Bauer and Christof Tisch)

Last but not least! Actually, not a variant, but the first rules change that was sent to us. Some people claim that the curvature of the board from the first edition added an additional element of excitement.

The back side of the board is used. Players in turn place their pieces on the board and use them to snap the other pieces (in a Carrom-like manner) off the board. Any hedgehogs that go off the board are out. Any that hang off the board, but don't touch the table are considered still in play. Whoever has the last hedgehog(s) on the board wins.

Summary & Combinations

It has already been noted that many of the variants can be combined.

For example, we like to play the combination of Hedgehog Spies (#2) and Doping (#3).

As it stands, there are over 100 possible combinations! Uwe L. Heilmann uses a die to decide which combinations he will use. So if he rolled, for example, 1 and 2 he would play variant one and roll again to get a second variant. However, some of the variants are mutually exclusive. Maybe it's possible to be a bit more methodical?!

To help experimenters we've provided the following table of the variants sorted by the parts of the game that they change. The duration column signifies whether the game is made longer (+) or shorter (-) by using the variant. So Point Scoring has a ++ since it takes at least twice as long. The tactics column denotes whether the variant has more (+) or less (-) tactical possibilities. Parentheses denote that the variant provides only a small change in the corresponding direction.

Point Scoring
Hedgehog Spies2(3) 4 5 60+Some bluffing
Point Scoring #1182 3 4 5 6+++
Point Scoring #2192 3 4 (5 6)+++Fills an evening
Tournament Scoring204 5 (6)+++
Doubling for Two222+++Frank's favorite
Doubling for more253 (4)++
The White Hedgehog242++
Alternate Dice
Memory Dice62 3 4 5 6-+Try it!
Card Dice72 3 4 5 6-+Memory!
Dice Selection162 3 4 5 60+
Alternate Movement Rules
Fizzy Lifting Hedgehogs42 3 4 5 60+Recommended
Turbo Hedgehogs #15(2 3) 4 5 6-+Recommended
The Sandwich Variant8(3) 4 5 6(-)(+)
Anarchohedgehog112 3 4 5 6+0Unscrupulous
Jostles13(2) 3 4-+
Flying Start12(2) 3 4 5 6-+
Turbo Hedgehogs #230(2 3) 4 5 6-+
Roll, forward, sideways31(2 3 4 5 6)+--
Hedgehogs Pushing27(2) 3 4 5 6--
Rolling for the Start232 3 (4 5 6)00
Alternate Black Space Function
Urhedgehog10(2 3 4 5 6)--
Super Turbo Hedgehogs352 3 4 5 6--
Pits362 3 4 5 6-0
Concrete Block372 3 4 5 6--
Slide382 3 4 5 6+-
The Black Hole392 3 (4 5 6)+-
Alternate Board Setup
5 Column Hedgehogs1(2) 3 4 5 (6)-0
The Tube92 3 4 5 60(+)
New Black Spaces172 3 4 6(+)0
Backwards322 3 4 5 600
Marathon332 3 4 5 6++0
Criss-Cross342 4 600
Alternate Playing Pieces
The Big Family212++Good for 2
Faster Game #126(2 3 4) 5 6--
Faster Game #228(2 3 4) 5 6--
Major Changes
Doping Variant3(2) 3 4 5 6(+)(+)Funny
Apple Races142 3 4 (5)0+
Lazy Hedgehogs15(2) 3 4 5 6-0
Mega Hedgehogs297 8 9+-Chaos
Hedgehog Carrom402 3 4 5 6---Very funny

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