Date: 12th November 2004
Game played: Leapfrog ( Fragor Games ) BGG Id: 13359

There were four of us this week but Nige was a bit delayed so, while we were waiting, I introduced Mark K and John to Leapfrog, a new game by Scottish company Fragor Games. I picked this up at Essen and enjoyed spending a few minutes chatting to Fraser and Gordon Lamont about the game and their first Essen experience.

The game is about racing frogs and the idea is to gain as many points as possible over three races. Two races are fast races which give more points to those at the front, whereas the middle race is a slow race and rewards those at the back. The third race also has a slight twist in that the person finishing in second place actually gets thrown into a frying pan for lunch and automatically finishes the game in last place. The other element to the scoring is that tadpoles are awarded to the frogs doing least well in each race and these give a bonus of 1,5 or 10 points at the end if you’ve managed to collect 1, 2 or 3 tadpoles.

The way the races work is that each player has tokens from 1 to 6 and they play one token each turn face down on their frog. The tokens are revealed and frogs moved according to the result. If a frog has a higher token on it than the one in front, it will overtake it except that a frog cannot gain or lose more places in the race than the number on the token played. So, if the front frog had a 1 token played on it, the second placed frog could overtake it, but third place could not. This can give rise to lots of cursing if you waste your valuable 6 tokens trying to overtake a frog that cannot fall back any further. Once everyone has each played all 6 tokens, the race ends and points are awarded.

We found this to be great fun with some decision-making as to whether to go for the high points or the tadpole bonuses. With three players, there are three neutral frogs and their tokens are played randomly adding to the uncertainty of the result. Indeed in the first race all three neutrals beat the player frogs. The slow race was won by me and the final won by Mark K. Luckily none of us ended up in the frying pan, but Mark K grabbed the win by a single point. I think this would be even more fun with a full complement of 6 players and I hope to play it this way soon.

Mark K

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