Zoff in Buffalo

Rules rendition Pete Dwyer June 1998

Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins


Once a year, Buffalo city goes beef crazy. Cowboys drive their cows here from all corners - to the biggest auction in the wild west. The players must attempt to find grazing for their cows on the limited pasture. However, corresponding to the motto: "One cow goes moo , many cows make more moos (troubles) ", it's not that simple! [This is a german pun which loses something [A lot? MS] in the translation!]

Which beef baron will most cleverly play his cards? ... etc...

The game ends after five swift rounds. Whoever has placed the most cows on pastures, wins!


Before the first game, press out all the cow chits carefully.


Put the pastures together as shown in the picture. (Pastures are laid out according to the number of players).

With 4 players, leave out the biggest pasture, Hang-Man-Mountains. With 3 players, leave out also the second biggest pasture, Dynamite-Mine. For 2 players, consult the special rules at the end.

Hint: The grazing is double sided. Players decide whether they want to use the structured but un-attractive side [and confirm yourself as A True Teutonic (MS)], or the more atmospheric side.

Each player receives: 48 cow cards; 11 pasture cards (rear without a cow); and 10 cow cards (rear with cow), in one colour. The player puts the cow chits before himself and takes the cards in hand.

When less than five players play, set aside the unused pasture cards. Thus 5 players use all 11 pastures, 4 players use 10 pastures and 3 players use 9 pastures.

The four cards with bracketed letters (ie blue 2 (N), blue 4 (M), pink 2(S) and pink 4(F) ) are discarded by the players of pink and blue. These cards are only used in the two player game.

Before the game commences, there is a preliminary round. One player's pasture cards are shuffled and evenly distributed amongst the players (any surplus cards are not distributed). Each player now places one of their own cows for each card on the pasture indicated. The pasture cards are then returned to the owning player.

With five players, there are now 10 cows grazing on 11 pastures; with 4 players 8 cows on 10 pastures; and with 3 players, 3 cows each (ie 9 cows in toto) on 9 pastures.


All players play simultaneously. Each player decides on two pastures where he would like to graze his cows.

Each player plays one pasture card face down in front of himself, and on top of this, puts a cow card face down. The player now does the same with a second pasture card and a second cow card. Two card pairs now lay face down in front of each player.

When all are ready, these pairs are revealed simultaneously and acted upon. The action proceeds as follows.

Always begin with the smallest pasture - Lone-Star-Valley. Check to see if one or more players has chosen this pasture. If yes, those players immediately place their cows (as described below). Then the next biggest pasture is checked - Powder Prairie - and so on until the biggest pasture is dealt with.

Each space on a pasture accommodates one cow. When there are no free spaces on a pasture no more cows may be placed there.

The small number on the pasture and on the pasture card shows the maximum number of cows which it can accommodate. When a pasture is filled, the players set aside their corresponding pasture card because it can no longer be used.

A player may place as many cows as his cow card shows (from 2 to 5). Players may also place fewer cows. Often players will do this.

It is recommended that players put their own cows together, in a herd, on a pasture to help present a clear overview.

The cows are always taken from the player's own reserve. Once placed on a pasture, cows remain there for the rest of the game and cannot be transferred to other pastures.

If two or more players in the same round reveal the same pasture card, these players must place their cows in strict adherence to the following rules:

1. First the player that up to now has the most cows on this pasture places his cows; then the player with second most cows places his, and so on, until players who have no cows on the pasture can then play as follows:

2. Of the players with no cows on the pasture, the player with the smallest number on their cow card plays first, then the next smallest and so on.

3. When the same number is played, the player whose letter occurs earliest in the alphabet plays first and so on.

At no time in the game can two players have the same size herd on a pasture at the end of a turn. For this reason, players late in the order of play may not be able to accommodate all of their cows.


On the Lucky Pickle pasture, (after 3 rounds), there are 3 violet, 2 blue and 1 green cow. Player orange wanted to play here and has played his Lucky Pickle pasture card with a 4 cows 'M' card. Pink has also decided to play here and has played a 4 cows 'G' card with his Lucky Pickle pasture card. Additionally, green wants to improve his position here and plays a 3 cows card with his Lucky Pickle pasture card. Violet and blue opt for different pasturage.
Green begins - he has more cows than orange and pink on this pasture - and places his 3 cows, making a total of 4 cows. Pink now follows (G comes before M). He cannot place 4 cows because green has 4 cows; nor 3 cows because violet has 3 cows; nor 2 cows because blue has 2 cows on the pasture. He places only one cow and loses the opportunity to place the remaining three.
Orange follows and for similar reasons cannot place any of his 4 cows. Hence, is valuable 4 cows card has been wholly ineffective. He should have decided ion a different pasture!

After all cards are actioned, each player takes his pasture cards back in hand. All players' cow cards are now set aside - they are out of the game (and players are not allowed to see them).

A new round begins. Again players choose two pairs of cards which are simultaneously revealed and actioned from the smallest pasture concerned to the largest, pasture by pasture.

The big numbers on the pastures show the bonuses which individual players can win. When the last field on a pasture is covered (surplus cows are lost), the game is interrupted and the bonus immediately distributed. The player with most cows on this pasture begins and immediately places a cow out of his reserve (equal to the first bonus number) on any different pasture. Now the player with the second biggest herd takes his turn. The second bonus number (1 or 2) shows how many cows from his reserve that player can place on any other pasture. If there is a third bonus number (on all pastures up from Fire Fields), the player with the third biggest herd places cows from his reserve (1, 2 or 3) on any other pasturage.

In the event of Hand-Man Mountains pasture, (0, 1 ,2 ,3), there is a big fourth place bonus. The player with the biggest herd loses out on this pasture!

Bonuses are lost if there are not enough herds to share them amongst.

Example: A lone player successfully covers the Dead-Bull-Desert pasture. He gets 1 bonus cow, the 2 cows bonus is lost.


The game finishes after five rounds. The last bonuses are distributed. The player with the most cows grazing wins!

A bonus of 2 or 3 cows can be used to place cows on different pastures. Also, in placing bonus cows, no identical size herds may be created on the same pasture. It is possible that a player may not be able to place bonus cows because he cannot avoid creating an identical size herd.

Through the placing of bonus cows, it is also possible that further bonuses may be earned. These are dealt with in the order explained above before the normal game sequence continues.

Example: The player with the biggest herd on the Fire Fields pasture places 1 cow, then the owner of the second biggest herd places 2 cows and finally, the third biggest herd player places 1 cow. Through placing these bonus cows, the Drunken-Creek pasture and later, the Coffee-Canyon pasture becomes covered so that now bonuses of 1-1-2 and 1-1 must be handled. And further grazing then becomes full and there is the corresponding bonus to allocate. Checking goes on with the next pasture.

The game ends after 5 rounds when all cow cards are played.

Any incomplete pastures now receive a special end bonus. In contrast to the normal bonus rules, bonus cows are placed on the pasture where the special bonus originates. As soon as such a pasture is completed, no further cows can be placed and unused bonuses are lost.

Furthermore, the tie rule is now invalid. Same size herds are allowed.

The winner is the player with most cows grazing on pastures (or, in reverse, the least cows left to place).

In case of a tie, before the end bonus, the winner is the player who has accommodated most cows on the biggest pasture.

Hint: The game finishes early if all fields on the pastures are covered or, if one player has successfully placed all 48 of his cows!


Seven pastures are laid out thus: 6, 8, 12, 16, 18, and 24.

One player receives the same 7 blue pasture cards and all 12 cow cards (including the bracketed letter ones) plus the blue and green cows chits. The other player takes the same pink cards and the red and orange cow chits.

Players put both colors of cows before themselves in separate piles.

Again, one set of pasture cards is shuffled and three dealt to each player . Each places three cows on the corresponding pastures. At least one of each of the four cow colors must be placed.

All rules for 3-5 players are valid with the following extensions.

Each player now possesses 12 cow cards and 6 rounds are played.

Players must bring both colour cows into the game. Hence, each player puts one card pair against each of his corresponding cow chit stocks.

A player's colours are treated as two different herds belonging to one player.

Should only one pasture remain with free spaces, exceptionally the players cows of both colours may be placed here; in this event, only one cow card is placed beside both cow chit piles.

The winner is the player who has accommodated the most cows in toto (ie counting colour).

In the case of a tie, the winner is the player who, before end bonuses, has accommodated the largest, single colourherd on the 24 field pasture.

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