Hog Tied Board Game

Ever since I was a young retro rambler, board games have been one of my favorite types of toys. While not a “toy” in a traditional sense, board games still made up a large part of my playtime through the years. I’ve written before about several of my favorites, but I’ve yet to talk about Hog Tied, the game of chase and chance. Let’s remedy that travesty here today.

To start with, let me tell you a little bit about the game. It was produced by Selchow and Righter. You may recognize the name as the one behind classic games Parcheesi, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. They would eventually be bought out by Coleco in 1986, who in turn went bankrupt and had their assets purchased by Hasbro. But in 1981, they released Hog Tied.

Hog Tied is a two-player game, where the object is to capture all of the opposing player’s pigs and/or hogs. Each player has five pigs and five hogs, but only the pigs are in the game at the beginning. The five pigs start the game on the starting row, and advance their way across the board, trying to reach the opposing player’s starting row. If they reach the starting row, a pig becomes a hog. Pigs can only be captured by hogs, so getting your pigs to the other side of the board is the first goal of the game. Once you have hogs, you can then start capturing your opponent’s pigs. Hogs can move in any direction, backward and forwards, while pigs can only advance in a forward direction.

Moves of your five pigs or five hogs are determined by dice rolls. Each player has five dice. Each pig and hog is branded with a number, 1-5, and which pigs/hogs you move are determined by the dice. For each number that turns up on the dice, you move that pig/hog one space. For example. You roll a 1, a 2, a 3, another 3, and a 5. Pig #1 moves one space, pig number two moves one space, and pig number five moves one space. Pig number three, on the other hand, moves two spaces, since its number came up twice. It’s an interesting concept.

The dice also feature a pig symbol as its sixth side. When rolling for pigs, this has no effect. But when you have a hog and want to go “hog wild”, then those pig symbols become very important. Let’s get to that.

So I mentioned safe spaces on the board. Those are spaces that are elevated above the other spaces on the board. If you land a hog on one of those spaces, then on your next turn you have the option to go hog wild. When going hog wild, you roll all five dice hoping to get the pig symbol. If you roll no pigs, your hog is removed from the game. But for each pig symbol you roll, that is how many spaces your hog gets to move. Now, the choice the player has to make at this point is to take those moves and be happy with that number, or risk them all, and roll again. Every additional pig symbol rolled gets added to the original total to expand that player’s move total. The player can risk their moves over and over again to keep adding to that total if they like, but all the time they’re running the risk of rolling no pig symbols, thus losing all the moves and their hog in the process. When the player decides they’ve accumulated enough moves, they can go “hog Wild” and start making those moves. A cunning player can finish taking all of his opponent’s pigs and hogs in one fell swoop if they accumulated enough moves on the hog wild rolls.

The game breaks down into two basic principles. The simple strategy of which pigs to move when, aka the chase, and then the chance part of the strategy on how much to risk your hogs in the hog wild scenario. It really is a game easy enough to understand that all members of the family can play. If someone can play checkers, then they can play Hog Tied.

I became a big fan of the game around 1984 or 1985. My cousin Tim got it, and from the first time we played it, I was constantly asking to play it again every time we were at his house. He would usually oblige, and we played it on again and off again for a long time. Right up until Tim introduced me to Nintendo.

I still love the game today. I love it so much, that I bought a copy of it from eBay about two years ago and taught my daughter to play. She and I still play it for an hour or so at least once a month. Those gaming sessions take me back to my youth, and it’s given her another board game that she enjoys. Finding old games like this one and playing them again is a great way to turn back the clock and experience part of your childhood again.

Other participating in this week’s Show & Tell blog challenge

One thought on “Hog Tied Board Game

  1. Sad to say I had never heard of this game before, but seems like fun. Definitely agree that board games are a way to feel a little bit like a child again depending on the game.

Leave a comment and share a memory!