Designed by Jeb Havens.
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD- SMALL PARTS. NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS.
Contents: a Mother Sheep, a Playing Area, 10 Sheep Pawns, 10 Sheep Tiles, 80 Fences, A Fence Bag, 18 My Sheep Cards and instructions in English, Spanish and French.
Each player is required to pen in 5 sheep but only has a limited supply of fences with which to do it. Every fence is uniquely colour coded and must be made to match other fences.
Be the first to pen in all of the sheep on your list. But pay close attention because in MOTHER SHEEP other players may need to pen in some of the same sheep as you.
Players must co-operate while competing with each other to fence in all of their sheep. Will you be the first to bring back your 5 sheep to Mother?
Supplied with English/Spanish/French instructions.
* visual perception
* encourages spatial thinking skills
* strategic planning
* social interaction play
Ages 8 to adult, 20 minutes playing time, suitable for 2 - 6 players.
Review by Ben Rainbird; Actor and Games entusiast:
Mother Sheep is a funny one, and it defeats my attempts to describe it as anything but a very odd strategy game. Seems rich coming from a strategy nerd who misspent his formative years deciding the fate of hordes of alien warriors with the throw of a few dice, but I never found myself having to rustle sheep in those games...
A game for 2 to 6 players, your principal concern in Mother Sheep is a race to be the first player to capture 5 of the adorable even-toed ungulates, using colour-coded fence tiles. The game contains Mother Sheep herself, 10 Sheep Tiles with various cute sheep names on them, 80 colour-coded Fence pieces in a bag, a Corral Board, 18 My Sheep cards, and best of all, 10 seriously cute plastic Sheep Pawn playing pieces.
To begin the game, Mother Sheep is placed in the centre of a fairly spacious spot on the table. The Corral board is placed off to one side and the Sheep Tiles are scattered face down around Mother Sheep, with a decent amount of space in between them. Once all the Sheep Tiles are placed, they’re flipped face-up to reveal the names printed on them, and a Sheep Pawn is placed on each one.
Now, the My Sheep cards are shuffled and each player takes one, and doesn’t show it to anyone else. On each My Sheep card you’ll find the names of five of the different sheep. These are the sheep you’ll be trying to capture later in the game. Each player draws three of the Fence tiles from the bag, which will be their own secret fences. Appropriately, the player wearing the most wool goes first, and draws another three Fence tiles from the bag. These are placed in full view of everyone as the “Community Fence”, and can be used by any player on their turns. When a player uses one of the tiles, it is replaced with another one from the bag so that there are always three on the table.
Now the players take it in turns to place fences down, in attempt to capture their particular sheep by completely encircling the tile they’re standing on. Sounds easy, but there are some rules for placing fences. The fence has to start with Mother Sheep herself and build outwards, and wherever the fences touch eachother, the colours must match. When a sheep is fenced in, he or she is removed from the tile and placed in the Corral, in the appropriate space with the sheep’s name. The first player to fence in all 5 of the sheep on their My Sheep card wins.
As simple as it sounds, Mother Sheep is certainly a strategy game. Strategy enters the proceedings when you consider the fact that you can place tiles to make it harder for other players to reach their sheep – however, if you do that you’re using up a turn in which you could be building a fence round your own sheep, so good judgement is required. It’s also worth noting that some players will be attempting to capture the same sheep as others, so if you notice another player making a bee-line for one of your sheep, you might do well to let them continue unhindered – afterall, as long as all 5 of the sheep on your card are captured, you win the game even if some of them were captured by other people! But then of course, if you make no attempt to stop them capturing that sheep, they may work out that you’re after that sheep as well, and leave him be for the time being. That considered, it may be worth placing a couple of fences to make it look like you’re trying to block them…
In larger games, things can get a bit intriguing, with much underhand subterfuge and temporary alliances being formed and broken. Really quite in-depth for a game which, at the end of the day, is essentially a tabletop version of One Man and His Dog.
I can see Mother Sheep playing well with children who like cute animals, not least any young fans of Shaun the Sheep. The rules, in English and Spanish, are very clearly presented and colourful diagrams help to explain the game very well. Very nice pieces, especially the Sheep pawns, which the aforementioned animal-loving children will fall in love with.
Lastly, it’s nice to see a child-friendly strategy game devoid of any military themes. Tanks, air raids and pitched artillery duels are fine in their own right, of course, but those games are ten a penny. Mother Sheep, on the other hand, presents an alternative option for adults who want to get children into strategy gameplay without all those bothersome explosions.
In short, it’s just good, clean, wooly fun.
Distributed exclusively in the United Kingdom and Ireland by David Westnedge Ltd.