This is a review of the German board game Schrille Stille (in english, Schrille Silence) by Peter Wichmann. The overview of the game is that you, as a player, are the owner of a music company and you attempt to influence and predict the popularity of various musical acts on the "billboard" charts. You do this through secret votes...and the outcome of all votes influence awarded points to the players.
How to Play
Let's first review the rules/how to play.
Schrille Stille plays 3-6 players and takes approximately 90 minutes for a game. Setup of the game takes a little effort, but overall not too bad. The board goes in the middle of the table (duh). The wooden chits are all placed in the sack. Shuffle the 42 band cards.
At the very beginning of the game, one appointed player takes the deck of band cards and calls out the name of the band and its label company (color at the bottom of the band card). It is placed on the slot labeled 14. This player keeps turning up the band cards, announcing each one until the chart (playing board) is filled from 14, 13, 12 .......1. During this time, any of the players can call out a label color/name, and then takes the appropriate color CD case, score marker, and tip/betting chips.
Each player's score marker is placed on the scoring track at 0. Chips numbered 1 through 14 are placed on the bands corresponding to their current position. That is, the #1 band gets the #1 chip, etc. Now the game begins.
Going in player order, each player reaches into the bag and takes 7 influence chips; 2 of these he sets aside using 5 influence chips to place votes or influence points for each act/band via the holes in the CD. Only 1 chip can go in each hole in the CD. Each betting chip is also placed in the CD. Once all the influence chips and betting chips are placed in the CD, it is given to the moderator to load the CD.
Once all CDs have been loaded by the moderator, he/she reads the CD player starting with #14 and going to #1. The net results of the chips determines the band's position change; if the result is a negative number the band drops that many spaces and if the result is a positive number the band moves up that many spaces, and if the results is 0, the band does not move.
Now the score is determined for each player. Whoever label(s) has the Top 6 bands receive points according to its position. So the #1 band's label receives 6 points, #2 receives 5 points, #3 receives 4 points and so on through #6. If anyone's betting chip with the dot is on the new #1 band, they receive 5 bonus points and if that chip is not on the new #1, there is no penalty. If anyone's betting chip without the dot is on the band that moved up or down the most from its previous position, receives plus or minus points, depending on if it went up or down. If a player had a band that fell off the charts, they receive -2 points.
Reset the place markers on each band so that the place markers are in order corresponding to the band position. Put all influence chips back into the bag and players recover their betting chips and CDs. Now the players are ready to begin a new round.
One thing to remember, when the leader passes 30 or 50 points for the first time, the top 3 bands are removed from the chart and the remaining bands are moved up. New bands are placed in the #12-#14 spots.
During the game, a player may spend 5 points and swap their label for an unclaimed label (going from one color to another).
Any player scoring 70 or more points, the game ends and the highest score wins.
What is in the box? Here is a list of items:
Rulebook (in German)
1 CD Player
6 CD labels (red, purple, green,yellow, orange, blue)
42 band cards
48 influence markers
2 x 6 betting chips (one with a dot, one without a dot in each color)
14 place marker chips
1 game board
The components of Schille Stille are probably the coolest components I have seen in a game. The CD Player is a big piece of wood that gets assembled together with a wheel. The wheel has holes in it that the influence chips collect in. Then the wheel gets turned dumping the chips outs for that position.
The CD labels are also pretty innovative. The are thick cardboard that fold over to form a CD case. The player places their CD inside and then places their influence and betting chips on the CD.
The components are all excellent...thick cardboard, wooden influence chips, sturdy game board. And on top of this, they are cool in terms of their functionality.
The Game Itself
I really enjoy this game. Is it a heavy brain burning of a game? No. Is it nothing but a game of luck? No. There is luck involved in the game, but there is also some strategy as well. It is a light game that is enjoyable...enjoyable as the components are fun to use, the band names are funny (eg Moe Zart, Guns n Noses, etc)., and it is an overall fun game. Who would I recommend it to? Maybe not to gamers who enjoy nothing but heavy games, unless they wanted something with a smattering of luck and something nice and light. But I would recommend to gamers who enjoy lighter games and don't mind some luck. I would also recommend to family gamers, although there are a couple of bands whose names aren't family friendly. Overall, I really enjoy this game and is one of my favorites. This game is hard to find as it is a German import; but if you do find it, the rules come in German, and the English rules can be found at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/.