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Subject: Bohnanza - with Girls & Babies! rss

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Håkan König
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The beans are back - and they brought their families with them this time.

The game is basically the same as the original Bohnanza, but here even within a single kind of bean, there is 3 different beans.
For anyone not having played Bohnanza, it works like this: Everybody gets a hand of 5 beans. In front of you, you have 2 beanfields where you can 'plant' (place) your beans that you play. Once you have a lot of beans on your beanfields, which can only contain one type of bean each, you harvest them for money, Bohnentaler, which is the back of the cards (clever mechanism #1). You get paid according to a table at the bottom of each card, so the Blue beans for instance requires 4/6/8/10 beans to generate 1/2/3/4 Bohntaler. Whereas the Garden bean pays 2/3 Bohnentaler for 2/3 beans. Each type of Bean is numbered so that you know how many of each bean there is when you start the game. As you get money in the form of bean cards it means that only some of the beans go back in the discard pile when you harvest, and is available for reuse when the deck is reshuffled. The game ends after 3 times through the deck, but as some cards are removed to become money, the deck is noticeable thinner the second and third time around. With 5 players it's entirely possible that all players do not get a turn after the last reshuffle.
Anyway, on your turn you first plant 1 or 2 beans on your beanfields. This must always be the first card of your hand, defined in Ladybohn: Manche mögen's heiss! as the card that you can see the whole face of in your hand. You may never rearrange your cards! (clever mechanism #2.) Then you turn over the top 2 cards of the deck and put them on the table in front of you. You may now either plant them yourself or sell (trade) them to other people who might need them for their beanfields. Anything you get from a trade may not be re-traded but must be planted on your fields. Once you have enough beans on one of your fields you may harvest it. You may also be forced to harvest a field if you have beans that needs to be planted, through trade or forced at the start of your turn. As indicated above, you take a number of beans equal to the amount of money you earn from the harvest, turn them over and put them in front of you. The remaining beans go back in the discard pile to be reused in the next round. If you have at least 3 Bohnentaler you may purchase a third beanfield. This is a separate cards wich says 'Third Beanfield' and from now on you have an extra option of where to plant your beans. This should usually be done quite early in the game if you want any return on this investment. It is also much more useful in a 3 or 4 player game. In a 5 player game I have never seen anyone win after purchasing a Third Beanfield.
The last thing you do on your turn is to draw 3 new cards and add them to the back of your hand.

So that is Bohnanza, what is the difference with Ladybohn: Manche mögen's heiss! then? Well, to start with there are a few more cards. Almost every type of bean has had 1 more card added to the mix. About 1 third of the cards are now Ladies. These have the very nice function of having a better payout table than the men, so the Garden bean can now give you 3/4/5 money for 2/3/4 beans and the Blue beans now pay 1/2/3/4 money for 3/5/7/8 beans. But this new improved payout is only applicable IF there is a Lady on top of the beanfield. So in order to make it easier to get Ladies on top we also have the Babies. Babies needs protection so when you plant a Baby, you may take a Lady previously planted on your field and move her two steps up in the beanfield. This makes it easier to get a Lady on top so you can make maximum harvest. The babies themselves does not have a payout table at all and if you have a Baby on top, you don't get any pay if you have to harvest that field, no matter how many beans you have on it.

In all, this makes for a nice change with a few more tactical choices than the regular game and it has quickly become our basic version to play.
 
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