Mini Review - Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Also known as Hick Hack for short or Pick Picknic: 2 to 6 players, Ages 8+, 30 Minute Playing time 
Hick Hack in Gackelwack - The box artwork

This is a fun little game, designed by Stephan Dorra and published in Germany by Zoch GmbH., where players balance the alternative of trying to get as much feed for their poultry as possible or send in the foxes and try and eat the other player’s poultry! It may look a little childlike but like so many of the Zoch games it’s good fun whatever your age. Our Social Games groups have had a huge amount of fun playing this game over the last year.

Game Components
There are 6 types of poultry in the game: chicken, game hens, pheasants, ducks, geese, and turkeys (these types matter little but might add more interest when playing with younger children).
Hick Hack in Gackelwack - Three of the boards
What is important is that each breed will only feed in their own yard, represented by a 12cm square “yard tile” on which the colour and images match the colour and images on the 60 cards. There are 10 cards of each colour; 7 of which show various sized birds of the same breed and 3 of which show foxes who will each only eat one breed of poultry - obviously raised to be picky eaters!
Hick Hack in Gackelwack - The yellow birds and foxes
There are 78 mall wooden cubes representing the corn that the birds will eat throughout the game, different colours have different nutritional values – Green - 1, Blue - 2 Yellow - 3.

1 Die

Setting Up The Game
Place the 6 coloured Yard tiles in the centre of the table.
Hick Hack in Gackelwack - Three of the boards
6 cubes are randomly selected and distributed each turn to the 6 poultry yard tiles.

The deck of cards is shuffled and each player is dealt 5 cards. Each poultry card has a number either between 3 and 6 or -2 (the “fleet fowl”), whilst the foxes have a number between 4 and 6. The numbers reflect the relative size / strength of the bird or fox. These numbers become very relevant when more than one bird or fox turns up to feed at the same tile.

Playing The Game
Each player decides which poultry Yard (tile) they intend to visit this turn by placing one card (either fox or poultry) of that breed/colour face down in front of them. Once revealed:

1. Players who have played a unique poultry card i.e. a card of a colour that nobody else has played get to eat all the feed present on the corresponding tile.

2. Where more than one player has played a card of the same colour depicting a bird, the players can negotiate the division of feed between them, or in our experience more typically fight over who gets the feed. The poultry fight by rolling a die and adding the die number to the number on each bird’s card - the highest combination wins. However if your bird had a -2 then you get a piece of Green feed before the other birds fight over the remaining feed.

3. Once the birds have eaten their cards are put on the discard pile.

4. As the game progresses not all the feed gets eaten each turn and so there can be a build up of feed. This obviously attracts the attention of other player’s poultry as well as those damned foxes described in more detail below.

5. Players who placed cards with foxes eat any poultry of the same colour as the fox card (i.e. the collect those poultry cards), if any turned up to feed or rue the fact that they went after the wrong type of poultry.

In one of our games, my foxes went hungry on three occasions whilst on three separate occasions Malcolm sat chuckling away as his foxes munched on my poultry - oh the injustice.

6. If more than one fox turns up then their fight (they never negotiate) is resolved in the same way as described for the poultry with the pultry card going to the winner.

7. Any player who sent a ‘fleet fowl’ i.e. a poultry card with a -2 on the card gets one Green feed before they are then gobbled up by the fox. The fox gets the poultry card with the -2 towards their overall score at the end of the game.
Hick Hack in Gackelwack - The feed
So the game consist of birds eating corn and foxes eating birds and the winner being the player who has managed to use his cards to eat the most - the sum of the corn cubes and poultry cards eaten by their foxes.

This was a game picked up at Essen 2010 (for a mere for a mere 7 Euros) which like Straw and Saboteur has become a regular at our games evenings. It is very light but has that mischievous element that my group love, we would strongly recommend it as an amusing game that in our experience works well whatever your age and whether you are a gamer or non-gamer.

If you liked this review then other games I have reviewed can be seen here

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