K. David Ladage
Army of Frogs
By: John Yianni
Published: Gen Four Two
A Brief History
I love Hive. I have Hive, the Mosquito, the Ladybug... I have played a lot of that game and have shown it to a lot of friends. So when I was in my game store and saw this game that was looking a little lonely, and noted that this was the same guy that made hive... I was sold.
Army of Frogs is a game in much the same mold... but with an identity and play style all its own. Let's take a look.
Army of Frogs comes with a nice bag to keep the pieces in; the bag also serves a function in the game. After the players (2 to 4) select their colors, all of the frogs of those colors are placed into the bag. Any colors not being used are set aside.
Players will then draw two random frogs from the bag; this is their supply. The frogs are on a hex-shaped base, which certainly gives the initial impression that this is going to be like Hive. Players will then, on their turn do three things in a specific order.
1. Move -- the player must (if possible) move one of their frogs on the island. A move is accomplished bu jumping over other frogs into an open spot (think Hive Grasshopper). However, the frog is not limited to one jump. It can continue to move as many jumps as it likes, as long as it never jumps into the initial spot the frog was in, or into any spot it has already jumped into this turn.
2. Multiply -- the player must (if possible) place one of the frogs in his supply onto the island. A few rules apply here:
-- the frog must be attached to the island.
-- if the frog is one that matches the player's color, then this new frog cannot be touching any other frog of the player's color when it is placed.
-- if the frog is not one that matches the player's color, then it can be placed anywhere on the island.
3. Draw -- the player must (if possible) draw a new frog from the bag and place it in their supply.
Aside from this, there is the one island rule (no placement or movement can, even temporarily, result i the island not being one solid mass), as well as the string rule (no placement or movement can result in a chain of frogs that includes three or more consecutive single links).
The winner is the player that can:
Get seven or more frogs on the island AND have all of their frogs connected into a single mass.
Army of Frogs is easy to learn, fun to play, and beautiful to look at. That said, I have to admit that I do not like Army of Frogs nearly as much as I like Hive. The strategies seem less deep (although I feel like I am missing something in the game, perhaps some subtle strategic element). Still, the game is fun and my young boys like to play it. Thus, I do play this quite often.
s m t
His heart was growing full of broken wings and artificial flowers
Thanks for the review. Love Hive but still think I will pass on this one.