The dew kisses the grass and sun slowly rises over the Swiss Alps. The fresh air is so pure that every breath makes you feel more alive. How could life get any better? You don’t have a care in the world. You can hear the bleating of sheep tucked away safely in the pen and your trusty hound is snoozing away at your feet. Nothing will happen to any sheep with this old girl by your side. Suddenly, the distant howl of a wolf makes you not quite as certain about that last thought.
Set up for Wolf and Hound is very easy: Put the four pasture cards around the center board facing each player, then put together the pen fences and place them onto your pasture cards. Then comes the hard bit, take three sheep tokens attached to the stands for each player and place them in the pens. This is the hardest bit of the set up as you will find yourself overcome with the cuteness of said sheep.
In the base game, you’re trying to use the wolf to scare off your opponent’s sheep while using the hound to retrieve your own lost sheep. If at any point one team has lost all of their sheep, that team loses.
Your turn proceeds as follows:
- Activate Animal Cards. You should use the effect of any and all animal cards in front of you. They activate in the following order: pink, black, white. This means on the first player’s turn with Wolf and Hound 01, they will lose a sheep to the wolf and immediately gain a sheep back via the hound.
- Check for end of game. If any player has 0 Sheep Tokens in their pasture, that team loses.
- Play a Number Card. Play a number card from your hand. Generally, black cards move the wolf and white cards move the hound. The sheep cards (pink cards) are generally moved by both black and white cards. These are only general rules — see Advanced Play for exceptions.
- Draw a Number Card. Draw a card from the center deck and add it to your hand. If any player is out of cards, the game ends on Step 2 of Player 1’s turn.
- Your turn ends.
If you do not have four players, you can have a dummy player or players. You deal four cards to each player, including four to the dummy player/players. But instead of playing from the dummy player’s hand, you simply flip the top card of the deck on their ‘turn’. You do this unless there are no cards left in the center deck. If that happens, flip the top card of the dummy hand. If you do not like the card that’s flipped, you can do an Exchange Call to add it to the bottom of the dummy deck and flip the top card of the dummy deck. That is now the card that will affect movement. You can only do this once per turn.
There is also an advanced game play mode that adds additional sheep, hounds and wolf cards with special abilities.
OMG this game is cuteness overload. This game is quite possibly the cutest game I have ever played. The cardboard cutout sheep in their little pens. The anime style art. This truly is an amazingly cute game, which kids will love.
Let’s start with the art first, because this is the true wow factor to this game. The art is stunning, and I believe a major draw card of this game. The art of the Swiss Alps, Little Swiss kids and the sheep are done in an anime style art. If you had told me that before seeing this game I would have though this couldn’t work. It seems like two totally different parts of the world that shouldn’t work together, but wow does it work. The box art is so eye catching, and then you open it up and the pens and sheep take the look of this game to the next level.
I played this game while babysitting three little “angels” (12, 9 & 7) on Thursday night. They saw the game in my pile of games to review, and the 9 year old girl had to play it. I wasn’t sure how this would go to be honest, as I hadn’t even opened the box. Yet by the time they had picked their characters, sides and named their sheep, I had learnt all the rules. Half way through the first game, so did the “angels.” But they had a ball; we actually played it for several hours and made the night fly by.
I found myself really enjoying Wolf and Hound. As you can see from the rules above, it is a simple game and there isn’t a lot to it mechanic wise. But there is a simple beauty to it, and reminds me of playing family games as a kid. The joy on the little “angels” faces made me realise how much board games meant to me as a kid and why I still enjoy them to this day. I think that is what this game does – takes you back to your childhood and allows you to feel like a kid again.
My only real complaint with this game is the advanced rules. They are good, but the additional cards with addition rules just seem like a bit too much. The board seems to get swamped with cards. Turns can also be a little dragged out with all the additional rules and card movement.
With Christmas right around the corner, this would be an amazing game to get for your kids or have Santa put in their stocking. It truly is an amazingly fun game that the whole family can play together. If you would like a copy you can get it direct from Ninja Star Games here and for an extra three bucks you can also get the Wolf and Hound Standee set, which I have already ordered. It is a set of additional cardboard cutouts of the four player tokens, the wolf, the hound, and two sheep special cards. You don’t need these to play the game, but it’s more adorable cardboard cutouts – how could you go wrong?