Spotlight on Games > Translations
English Translation
Fri Nov 21 06:39:47 UTC 2008
Herr der Ziegen
[Goat Master]

by Günter Burkhardt
Players: 2-5          Age: 8 and up           Duration: c. 30-40 minutes


121 cards:


The goats are loose! In this lively game of goats earn points by collecting majorities of as many different types of goats as possible. For each type of goat there are 5 goat cards each with a different value in the range 1-5. The player having the majority in a type of goat wins the pasture as well as the rest of the goats of this type. Double points can be earned by driving goats to one's own stable with a dog. The player collecting the most goat milk scores bonus points at the end of play. The player with the most points wins.


First, depending on the number of players several cards are removed from play and placed back in the box:

All remaining cards are well shuffled and placed face up on the table as a 7 x 7 meadow (only 6 x 6 in a two-player game). The stables will be placed on the edges of the meadow with the corresponding goats next to them on the outside. The remaining cards form a face down draw pile.

Each player chooses a stable and places with it the appropriate goat figure on the pasture (see the illustration). Depending on the number of players, there are various different free sites for the stables. Each player takes the 10 small wooden goats of his color and places them in his stable. The large wooden goat is placed next to the stable as shown.

Now each player draws 2 goat cards from the pile and hides them in hand. Any dogs cards may be returned and a new card drawn to replace each. The dogs cards are then shuffled back into the deck.


The youngest player starts and play continues in clockwise order from there. A turn consists of four phases:

  1. Play a card from the hand.
  2. Move the figure.
  3. Take a goat card in hand.
  4. Score (if possible).
  1. Play a card from the hand.

    The active player must reveal one of his two hand cards. Thus there will be more and more face up cards before all of the players. Each player's cards must be grouped according to the types of goats held.

  2. Move the figure.

    The player must then move his large goat a number of spaces equal to the number on the card just played in the clockwise direction. The large goat moves around the outside of the pasture, not on the cards. If a dog is played, the large goat does not move.

    Example: Red plays a "5" goat card and moves his large goat 5 spaces.

  3. Take a goat card in hand.

    The player must take in hand one card from the row which is alongside his large goat.

    Note: In the course of play small goats may be residing on goat cards. These goat cards may not be taken in hand.

    In the above example, Red can thus take in hand one of the five cards marked with a check.

    The top card of the draw pile is immediately placed face up in the gap created by taking the card. If the deck is exhausted, the space remains empty.

  4. Score (if possible).

    Play of certain cards in phase 1 can trigger scoring. There are two ways that this can happen:

      A) The player has, because of play of the latest card, 8 or more points in one type of goat.

      Example: Red has already played a value 5 "pool goat" and now plays the 3 of this same type.

      Since there are only 5 cards of each type of goat (with values 1-5, or 15 points total), a player holding 8 points clearly has the majority in this type of goat. He now uses his small goats to mark all goat cards of this type which are currently visible in the pasture. The player will receive the values of these pasture cards at the end of the game as victory points.

      Should not all this type of goat be in the pasture (because some are in the deck), as a reminder he can place the necessary surplus goats near the matching cards in his display. When the goats later appear, he immediately places a small goat.

      Should an opponent have a goat card of this type in front of him, it is now worthless and he may put it back in the box.

      B) The card is the fourth goat card of its type.

      Whoever has the largest sum [in this type], takes ownership of the remaining fifth goat card [of this type]. In case of a tie, the player having more cards of the type wins (in this example, Red). Should it still be a tie, the winning player is the one who has triggered the scoring.

      Example: Red has "Elvis 2"; Yellow has "Elvis 5" and Blue has "Elvis 4". Now Red plays "Elvis 3" so it is to him that ownership of "Elvis 1" goes.

      As before, after scoring the already played cards of the same type belonging to opponents who have not won the majority are worthless and can be placed back in the box. The winner of the scoring places a small goat on the fifth card if it is in the pasture. If it is not yet there, again a small goat can be used as a reminder.

      Special case: It is possible that at scoring time the fifth goat card of a type is in a player's hand. This player must then reveal the the card (but keeps it in hand). This is bad luck for the winner of the scoring. He has won the scoring, but is unable to take possession of the card and therefore scores no extra points for this type.

Special dog card

A dog card may be laid out in phase 1. However, dogs do not bring points for majorities. Instead, they drive cards on which the owning player's goats are present to their own stable. The player of a dog card does not move his large goat. He removes a card from the row along side his large goat. Then the player must move one goat card of his choice in the pasture, which is marked with one of his small goats. For this movement the following rules apply:

  1. The goat card and a neutral card (a goat card not yet claimed by any player) swap places within a row.
  2. This swap may also occur with a goat card marked with an opponent's small goat. However, in this case the opponent must agree to the swap.
  3. If there are empty spaces in the pasture (this is possible toward the end of play), the player can move the card to the empty space.
At the end of the game, cards containing one's own small goat which are next to one's stable (or in direct connection with it), earn double points.

Example: Red has played a dog and exchanged the card with his own small goat with a neutral card (gray). Now the card with his small goat is next to his stable and brings Red twice the usual score.

Special Milk Cocktail Card

Players placing Milk cards in the first phase collect them together in their display. They move their large goat according to the number on the card (1 or 2 spaces) and take a new card from the pasture [as usual]. The player having the most most milk cocktails at the end of the game receives this sum as points. The player having the second most milk cocktails receives half of his points as (rounded up).


The game ends when the last card in any row [or column] has been taken. It also ends if a player can no longer take a card because all the otherwise available cards in that row are occupied by small goats.


Each player totals up his points by the values of his goats in the pasture marked by his small goats. Such cards in the pasture are worth double value if adjacent to his stable or in direct connection to it (not diagonally). Cards in the display or in hand are worthless.
The player having the most most milk cocktails receives this sum as points. The player having the second most milk cocktails receives half of his points as (rounded up). In case of a tie, each receives his share of the corresponding points.

Whoever has the most points wins the game.

For example final reckoning for Red:
Goats at the stable (double points): 1 + 1 + 4 = 6 x 2 = 12
Other goats (simple points): 1 + 2 + 4 = 7
In addition, Red has collected the most milk cocktails: 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8
Total: 12 + 7 + 8 = 27 Points