I hear Jessie running back from the meadow. Barking on all sides. At this moment, it is clear to me, that rabbits escaped from the corral again. I’ll quickly grab some carrots, a set of dice and go for it. Hunting for rabbits begins!
And luring these quickly hopping creatures back into their pen is not easy. We will get the proper explanation briskly from boardgame Ranglin Rabbits, which was prepared by GameWright. This company took under its wing a pair designers Evan Eaton Rowland and Thomas J. Rabideau, along with illustrator Brian White, and together created new small dice game for 2016.
Slightly larger box with bewildered bunnies is shaking as eleven dice wants to claim their freedom. All of them are really colorful and ten represents hares. Second compartment is stacked with cardboard fences – four of them with orange stands. It is from these four pieces, how players create pen for rabbits in the middle of the table. And then, this entire playing area will be rumbled by rabbits running for freedom – one of players lets them fall from palm of his hand from about ten centimeters, aiming for inside the fence. Its walls will be pushed by tumbling dice to the side and bunnies will scatter differently around the game area. All dice, that show picture of ears sticking out from a burrow after stopping are set aside. These rabbits managed to hide before players got there and started catching.
Since then, players will take turns in control of one main dice. Active player takes it and rolls, hoping for a favorable outcome. Die can show three different symbols – fence, carrot or explosion. The most important figure is white fence on a black background. This figure allows player to choose one of the rabbits, who is asleep or awake (red or green bunny picture on die).
Easiest task for capturing is seemingly with a sleepy hare. If active player chooses such die, he simply takes it and moves it anywhere he likes. Players may even debate over it, because pen at that moment is not put back together and its walls are scattered all over the place. Along the way, players try to choose the most advantageous position to place that rabbit. However, such bunny simultaneously wakes up, so his dice is turned over from red dormant to green awakened side.
Instead of a sleepy bunny, players can choose to move any active green one (perhaps in a situation, where ther are no sleeping ones). Such a bunny cannot be taken into hand. Players may only move it by sliding or flicking with one finger. Again, they are trying to move it to a more advantageous position, closer to the pen. Dice may also roll over and show another side. This would apply in any case, so bunny can go to sleep or eve hide beyond players reach (each icon).
Then, as a bonus action for moving a hare, players have opportunity to move one of four fence pieces and set it anywhere on the table. The aim is to create pen back to its original form and catch as many runaways as possible.
But there are two more icons on the action dice – carrots will allow players to lure back to the meadow one of the hidden rabbits. Last to metion is green side with a white explosion – bad news for the players. It means, that all awakened bunnies were spooked by something. Players must take one after the other in the hand, drop it from twelve centimeters over place, where they were. This means, that dice may roll elsewhere and above all, it can show an entirely different symbol. Players have to obey its rules.
Efforts of players continues, chasing dice and trying to surround them. Hunting for bunnies ends at the moment, when all remaining hares are hiding outside the playing area or surrounded by all four fences.
This round is not over yet, because players can try their luck one more time with enticing bonus round. They’ll take all those dice set aside as hiding and roll them one after another. If their roll asleep or active bunny, they can add it to their enclosure. This effort ends immediately, when first hiding bunny is rolled. Everyone else followed his example and ran back somewhere beyond reach. Players simply add up number of their catches and hunting continues to the next round. Sum of points from total of three rounds shows, how successful players were.
Ranglin Rabbits are crazy cooperative action game, in which everything is about gambling. It tells story of skill, timing and luck. And you know what? Despite all of this, we really enjoyed chasing rabbits! But in the end, this is not so much about us, as it gets down to those small children, who are the main target audience for this cooperative game.
Players can not choose their action and instead, its randomly determined by roll of the dice. But a large portion of the impact on result is brought by finesse. Players need accurate fingers, but also good timing and tactics to choose the right dice. Some bars and fences can be moved according to their wishes and thus greatly affect the chance for catching rabbits.
Hunt for hares is beautifully crazy. From time to time, everything shuffles randomly and that consequently could condemn players in their quest. But this luck is for once fun, it works well and children will not mind it. On the contrary, it is precisely because of this chance, that game is interesting and exciting from beginning to end. Players do not play for some rescue mission or greater plan, but only for points. Basic entertainment and fun are predominantly based on dice and handling.
With the prescribed number of three rounds, players spend in the game apropriate time. Each round lasts arout five minutes and by doing simple math, you get length around fifteen minutes for the entire game. And because it always starts from the beginning, it keeps kids entertained.
Ranglin Rabbits is a game, where you continue to rattle the dice. They fall from a height and with them also different problems for players. Its ideal to use a pad or cloth before play, because otherwise both dice and table will suffer some injuries. With a tablecloth comes a change in the behavior of dice, that do not slide, but they rolls and thereby always change previous outcome of the dice. Ranglin Rabbits are result of this whole randomness and they serve as a great and amusing game.
+ flicking and panning
+ all this in cooperation
+ quick three rounds
+ emphasis on skill and tactics
- too little control for older players