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Scoffton – the All You Can Eat Buffet board game! Kickstarter Review

Dear important patron,

Hello, my name is Manny and thank you for choosing to dine at Scoffton, a proud all-you-can-eat buffet that has been running since 1981!

In our lovely establishment, you can get your fill of all your favourites, such as prawns, ribs, chicken, steak, pork, chips or even lobster! All perfectly accompanied by some of our delicious, fresh bread. Mmm…

We cater to all tastes and have a wide range of salads and soups, to suit a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Our tantalising cakes, pies and fruit salad go wonderfully with unlimited ice-cream from our ice-cream machine!

At our restaurant, don’t be afraid to get creative. Can you figure out how to make our home-style affogato?

Bon Appétit!

Manny, the manager

Scoffton Setup

How to play

There are 3 phases in each round of Scoffton:

  1. Placement – Place your diners
  2. Management – Reveal a management card
  3. Activation – Activate your diners

In each phase, each player takes turns starting with first player.

Phase 1: Placement

Beginning with the starting player, take turns placing one diner at a time, in a clockwise fashion. Continue placing until all players have placed all of their diners. You may place your diner:

  • On the restaurant, floor to collect food at the buffet or a bar, take your chosen dish and place it underneath that diner leaving them at that corresponding position as marked on the floor with the icon. When at the soup station choose either bread or soup. When at the dessert or salad bar choose from either stack. You may not place on an occupied position or on a spill. You may not take a dish with an opponents’ sneeze on it.
  • On a Lost N Found card. Place your diner on your desired card. The card must be unoccupied.
  • At your table to perform table actions. Each diner will get to make two table actions when activating. There are only two positions available at your table.
  • At the claw machine to test your luck.
  • Reception to make a complaint.
  • In the restroom to make more room in your stomach.
  • Sneezing: Sneezing is a special action that prevents other diners from taking a particular food token. To sneeze, take a sneeze token and place on any revealed dish in the restaurant floor and place your diner on the sneeze token. When that diner would be activated during the activation phase, just return your diner to your hand with the sneeze remaining on the dish.

Phase 2: Management

Once all diners have been placed, turn over a new management card

Phase 3: Activation

To activate a diner, perform the action of the location the diner is on, then return it to your hand.

Beginning with the starting player, that player activates one of their diners. Then the next player activates a diner. This continues until all diners are returned to hand. Once all diners are in hand, place any used Lost N Found cards into a pile and replace them with new cards from the Lost N Found deck. Then begin the next round.

  • Activating at the buffet, soup station, salad or dessert bar: Place the dish that was under your diner on to your table. If no spaces on table remain, return the dish to bottom of the stack in the kitchen.
  • Activating at the drinks bar: Take one coffee token that was under your diner and place it on the saucer in the centre of the table on your Belly board
  • Activate at the soft serve machine: Add ice-cream that was under your diner to your table. Ice-cream may be added to any dessert already on the table. Ice-cream may also be added to a coffee token to make an affogato, at which point add your affogato to an available position on the table as it is now a dessert (not a drink).
  • Activating at the claw machine: Turn over one claw machine card to see if you win a prize. If you do, take VFM tokens equal to the value of the prize and shuffle all claw machine cards back into the deck. Free drink tokens must be exchanged for coffee immediately
  • Activating at the reception: Say one of the two phrases:

 – “The service here is TERRIBLE!” Next round you are the first player in the turn order.

OR

“This place is DISGUSTING!” The entire restaurant is cleaned, the whole floor restocked and replace any unoccupied Lost N Found cards with new cards from the deck. Then take a free coffee as a thank you for your feedback.

  • Activating at Lost N Found: Perform the action stated on the card, then place the card in the discard pile. You may choose not to use the action and just discard the card. At the end of the round, once all diners have been activated, replace any discarded Lost N Found cards.
  • Activating at the restroom: Remove any dish(es) of one incomplete stomach section and return them to the kitchen in their appropriate locations. Then take VFM tokens equalling to the total value of the dishes digested.

Activating at Table

A diner placed on your own table may perform TWO of any of the table actions when activated and is then returned to hand.

  • Eat: Place one dish from the table into a chosen section of the stomach. (NOTE: only desserts or bread may be placed in dessert stomach.)
  • Settle: Rearrange contents of incomplete stomach sections as desired. (NOTE: bread and ice-cream may not be added to a dish once eaten)
  • Call a waiter: Ask a waiter to remove any unwanted dishes from your table and return them to the kitchen.
  • Rearrange table: Rearrange dishes on the table. Eg bread may be placed in soup, ice-cream may be placed on a dessert.

Once a stomach section has been filled, remove the food tokens from the stomach section and return them to the bottom of their respective stacks in the kitchen. Replace dishes with VFM tokens matching their total value rounded down. If a completed stomach section matches an item from a menu card takes the topmost VFM token from that corresponding card. All VFM tokens to be placed face down on that section of the stomach and it is now considered full.

Ending the game

Once a player fills all their stomach sections, the game concludes at the end of that round.

Any player with a full stomach receives a bonus 3 VFM points. Any player that has incomplete stomach sections still receives VFM equal to the value of the dishes they have eaten. Uneaten dishes remaining on the table do not score. Each Coffee on your table is worth 1 VFM point.

The winner is the player with the most VFM points.

In the event of a draw, the player who is closest to first place in the turn order wins.

Scoffton

Finally, a game I have been training for since I was 5. As a chubby kid, buffets were always something special to me. But buffets aren’t just about eating, it is a lot more complicated than that. As even as a chubby kid, you need to plan, there is only so much you can fit in; you have to plan what to eat, stay away from things that will fill you up to much & avoid bottlenecks at stations. It is like a game of American Football, there is more strategy than most realise. Scoffton has managed to capture this whole process and turned it into a super fun and challenging game!

Vamoose have really done an amazing job with this game, as their eye for detail is insane. If I could take a picture of our local buffet I used to go to as a kid and teen, it would look almost exactly the same as this. It’s actually a little scary how accurate it is; like the Lost N Found and Claw Machine. It just screams the early 80s and 90s buffet, when they were all the rage.

This weekend I grab a few of my friends, ordered a feast of UberEats and decided to play Scoffton. Just an FYI, 4 people should never order more than $200 of UberEats and then play a game about eating!

After reading through the rules, setting it up we got down to scoffing! Scoffton has a medium level learning curve, but the rules are so in-depth that this is made a lot easier. I was surprised as there were very few if any, questions after the first half of the game. Vamoose should be applauded, as they have so much going on during a turn, but it just seems easy and flow because of how well they have explained everything.

I know Gavin, one of the designers of Scoffton, runs a playtesting group and has for several years and it shows. Like most games I play; I can normally pick issues or confusing mechanics that take a little bit of discussion or I have to ask a designer. But this wasn’t the case with Scoffton.

I actually played this with my childhood friends, as we used to go together as teens to the local buffet and I thought the nostalgia of the game would bring us back to yesteryear. We all loved the game, it felt like we were back at Sizzler, sitting at the table discussing who when to which station and grab for the table. It was with a military operation when we went to the buffet…. crazy thing was, playing this game all those skills came back.

Scoffton

I must say, I love the art of this game, it reminds me of those Adult Swim shows  or an early 90’s cartoon and I love it. Also, is it just me or does the Scoffton Building look a little like Moe’s tavern mixed with the Quickie Mart from the Simpsons?

I know of the 4 people I played it with, and 3 of loved the art and 1 was on the fence. Honestly, I feel like that is the only real fault with this game and I liked the old school 80’s look to the art; as it is meant to be set in the 80’s.

If this is Vamoose’s first game; you need to watch out for these guys. As they will only get better with experience and this first game is an extremely high bar they have set

If you have ever been to a buffet, especially one back in the 90’s, you need to play Scoffton. You can you pick up a copy of Kickstarter here.

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Derek 'Dez' Maggs

Board Game & Tech Reviewer / Podcast Host of Rapid Reviews on the Boomer Radio Network / Assistant Producer of Creaytors Series on YouTube / Coffee & Hug Addict

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