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Subject: Stuck with the last remaining Cocoa Bean rss

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Jeff Wofford
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The most peculiar, patch-like rule in the game is that you cannot harvest a field that has only a single bean in it (unless all fields have a single bean). This rule is pretty clearly necessary, as otherwise players would have too little commitment to their beans and spurious harvesting would happen constantly. But it's an odd rule, because it makes a very strong exception for an apparently innocuous case. After all, is having two beans in a field really all that different from having just one? And yet a single bean locks down a field in a way that no other number of beans does. Smells like a "patch" rule to me.

Anyway, commentary aside, this peculiar rule does cause one truly troubling situation. It happens most obviously with Cocoa Beans but can actually happen with anything.

There are only four Cocoa Beans in the deck. Now consider the situation when you are on the last play-through of the draw deck (the game will end when this deck is exhausted), and three Cocoa Beans have already been harvested. Now a Cocoa Bean comes up. What do you do with it?

A single Cocoa Bean is worth nothing. Once planted, it cannot be harvested (unless the player's other field(s) also has exactly one bean). Because there are only four Cocoa Beans, it's easy to count them, so everyone is likely to know that this Cocoa Bean is worthless, and so it becomes untradable.

So the general problem is that when only one bean of a given variety remains--and especially when this fact is well-known--that bean becomes an albatross to hang around the neck of whoever draws it. The accident of drawing this albatross does severe harm to that player's game and greatly hurts their enjoyment.

What should we do in this situation?

What we have been doing is immediately throwing away albatrosses--cards that are clearly in this situation. But this seems a bit hacky and cheaty. Is there a more coherent way to resolve the problem?
 
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Josh Powell
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Agreed - you have to plant the cocoa bean then tear up the field. This likely means selling a field of beans you're not ready to sell yet.

It's challenging, yes. That's what makes the game fun.

Reminds me of my favorite rule from Cosmic Wimpout: "You may not want to, but you must."
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Randall Bart
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There's no crying in Bohnanza
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Dan Blum
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Barticus88 wrote:
There's no crying in Bohnanza


Often a lot of whining, though.
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Mrs Smith
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This is my chance to convey something meaningful! Darn. Wasted it.
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This is one of the best things about playing with the high-value, low-abundance beans! The beans change value drastically and those who aren't keeping a close eye on the game might miss it!

One of my favourite scenarios is when someone already has three cocoa beans planted, I have the fourth and I'm barganing with them in the hope that they won't realise there's no way I want to keep the bean myself! When they do realise they're all like "hey, hang on, it's worth nothing to you, you should be paying me to take it off your hands!" and I'm all like, "dude, I got no love for my half finished pile of blue beans here, I'll just plant the cocoa and dig up both fields, I don't care...it's worth a gold coin to you though...whatcha gonna give me for it". Meanwhile, I have four blue beans in my hand and inside I'm thinking "Please don't call my bluff! I wanna plant these blue babies and get the full harvest for it! I don't wanna be stuck with the crappy last cocoa bean, but I don't wanna give it to you for nothing either!"

Another good one is when you get the cocoa bean, the other three have been planted and harvested, and you're like "I dunno, didn't I only harvest two cocoa beans? Wait, no, that's it, I think I might have used the cocoa beans to buy my third bean field, either way, I'm pretty sure there's more in the deck...so yeah, I'll give it to you for that chilli ...I really want that chili...even though this cocoa's so valuable... Doesn't always work...but sometimes it does devil
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Alvin C
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OldPeculier wrote:
A single Cocoa Bean is worth nothing. Once planted, it cannot be harvested (unless the player's other field(s) also has exactly one bean).

You can also harvest if your other fields are empty (i.e. 1 or fewer beans)

Myself, I think it adds an interesting dynamic. Sometimes people will sweeten a deal by offering to take a dud cocoa/garden bean, or I will offer beans to people for free if they also take the cocoa/garden bean.
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Danny O'Donnell
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Tyndal wrote:
OldPeculier wrote:
A single Cocoa Bean is worth nothing. Once planted, it cannot be harvested (unless the player's other field(s) also has exactly one bean).

You can also harvest if your other fields are empty (i.e. 1 or fewer beans)

Myself, I think it adds an interesting dynamic. Sometimes people will sweeten a deal by offering to take a dud cocoa/garden bean, or I will offer beans to people for free if they also take the cocoa/garden bean.


If everyone at the table realizes that it's worthless, this is what you need to do. In a decently sized game, there should be someone who's ripping up fields anyway between the time you draw a dud bean and when you'd have to play it. Give them them something to trash it for you.
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Trevor Schadt
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OldPeculier wrote:
What should we do in this situation?
Suck it up, buttercup. Welcome to the cut-throat world of bean farming. Sometimes you're the bean, sometimes you're the gas.

OldPeculier wrote:
What we have been doing is immediately throwing away albatrosses--cards that are clearly in this situation. But this seems a bit hacky and cheaty. Is there a more coherent way to resolve the problem?
It's a houserule, and you're welcome to play it that way. But that's not the rules as they're printed, and the way to solve the problem -- inasmuch as it's a problem, which it's really not, it's an opportunity for strategic thinking -- is this: either you make a "gentlepeople's agreement" not to harvest 3 Cocoa Beans (or one set of 2 and one set of 3 Garden Beans, or any other combination of n-1 of the n-population bean type) or you have to plan around the fact that someone's going to get stuck with it.
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Dave Slaven
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Tyndal wrote:
OldPeculier wrote:
A single Cocoa Bean is worth nothing. Once planted, it cannot be harvested (unless the player's other field(s) also has exactly one bean).

You can also harvest if your other fields are empty (i.e. 1 or fewer beans)

I've seen this argued both ways. The exact wording of the English rules is "A player may not sell beans from a bean field with a single card unless all his bean fields have just one card." The question is, does "all his bean fields" include empty ones, or just fields with beans.

I happen to think that the intent was that if you have a field with one bean and your other field is empty, then you can go ahead and harvest. But others have disagreed and claim that you have to have a single bean in both fields (or all three if you've purchased a third) in order to harvest a singleton. I think I read once that the German version of the rules supports the interpretation that I favor, but I'm not sure about that.

--Dave
 
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Martin Jackson
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louper wrote:
slaven41 wrote:
I've seen this argued both ways. The exact wording of the English rules is "A player may not sell beans from a bean field with a single card unless all his bean fields have just one card." The question is, does "all his bean fields" include empty ones, or just fields with beans.


What difference does it make? Suppose you have 1 useless Cocoa bean in 1 field and your only other field is empty. Since you can tear up beans at any time, as soon as you plant 1 bean in your other field, tear up the Cocoa bean. There's really no reason I can see to tear it up when your other field is empty, anyway.


With 3 fields it can make a difference.
E.g:
You have a dud final cocoa in one field, and the other two empty.
You have 2 beans of the same type that you've just received via a trade, and need to plant.
To follow the rule to the letter, you'd not be able to get rid of the cocoa yet.

I always play that you can harvest a single bean when your other fields have one or zero beans, as it seems unfair that people who've paid for a 3rd field may come across a problem that people with 2 fields wouldn't.
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Randall Bart
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The rules wrote:
When a player sells beans from a bean field, he may choose any bean
field with two or more bean cards. A player may not sell beans from
a bean field with a single card unless all his bean fields hav e just one
card. In this case, he may choose which single car d to sell.

This can be read two ways. A strict reading says you can't harvest a single bean when you have an empty field, but that does not appear to be the intent. As noted already, since you can harvest any time, you could harvest your single cocoa bean immediately after planting one bean in the other field, even if you are planting two (or more) at once. So the difference to the player only applies with three fields, and even then it's contrived.

But it matters when the deck is about to be shuffled! If all I have is one bean in one field, can I harvest it before the shuffle? I say yes.
 
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