Bohnanza - Review
(Originally posted on BoardGame-Reviews.com)
Bohnanza is a card game designed by Uwe Rosenberg. Mr. Rosenberg’s other popular game about farming is called Agricola and is several notches in complexity above this game.
This game uses an odd card order mechanism where players are not allowed to change the order of cards in their hand. This leads to some very interesting situations when playing the game!
* Designed by: Uwe Rosenberg
* Published by: Rio Grande Games
* Number of players: 2-7
* Playing time: 30 minutes
* Player ages: 8+
There are several versions of this game published by a number of different companies. The version that I own is the Amigo Spiele version which comes in a nifty tin container. The Amigo Spiele version only supports 3-5 players while the North American, Rio Grande Games, version supports 2-7 players.
A Quick Overview
This game is affectionately known in several gamer circles as "The Bean Game". The game is a card game where players collect sets of bean cards by drawing from the deck or trading with other players.
In order to prosper, players have to negotiate effectively with other players to get the proper bean cards in order to sell them at a healthy profit.
The winner of the game is the one who has made the most money planting and selling beans.
Before the game begins, the deck is shuffled thoroughly and each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards.
Each player has two imaginary fields on the table. At the beginning of a player’s turn, that player must plant the first bean card in hand onto one of the two fields.
The oddest feature of this game is that players cannot change the order of the cards in hand.
The player may choose to plant the second bean card in hand onto a field.
Once a field is planted, for example with Wax Beans, no other bean types may be planted on that field unless all the Wax Beans are harvested and sold.
A player may purchase a third bean field at anytime by paying 3 coins.
After planting beans, the player then reveals two cards from the top of the deck. This then forms the heart of the game: the trading/negotiation phase.
The player may choose to take both revealed cards. If the player does not wish to do so, then she may make offers to other players to buy/sell/trade the revealed cards. She may also elect to trade any other cards she may have in her hand.
Any cards traded during this phase must be planted.
The trading phase is key to the game because it is only during this phase that cards can be moved out of normal hand order.
Once trading is finished, the active player then draws three more cards and adds it to the back of her hand. Then the next player begins their turn.
Each type of bean is worth a different amount of coins depending on how rare it is. For instance, there are 20 Blue Bean cards in the deck. That means, that a player requires at least 4 Blue Bean cards in play to sell for 1 coin.
The game is over when the deck has been exhausted for the third time. The player with the most coins is the winner.
Bohnanza is, at its heart, a negotiation game. The game is about skillfully making trades with other players in order to benefit from the trades.
I have played this game with younger gamers (7 years) to older gamers (50 years) and both groups absolutely love it.
Sometimes there is a "take that" attitude during the trading phase of the game but that is what gives this card game the spark!
If some players are uncomfortable with trading, or insist on long negotiations, then the game may slow down. In most cases, however, it plays very quickly and can easily finish well within an hour.
Excellent summary. This is the most-played game in our collection, almost always with 6 players, sometimes 5, and sometimes 7, and it works well for all those numbers. I have played the 2-player version and found it very entertaining, also.
As you said, negotiation is the key to enjoying the game. Our trading sounds like an old commodities market trading floor. We are loud, funny, and (at the same time) serious traders. It's a great game.
I agree with gamesgrandpa a very good review and again this is also the most played in our games collection. The difference is it is always as a two player game. My wife absolutely loves it. Shortened name is 'Bean'. We have 3 of the expansions but it's the standard bean that get's the plays. There are times when I have been absolutely 'beaned out', but it is a good way to get her to play another game i.e let's play bean and then San Juan or something. Thanks for the review.
Thanks for your kind comments, folks! Very much appreciated. Yes, you are right, it is easy to get "beaned" out but sometimes it's worth it to get a significant other or even your relatives back into the "gaming" mode!
Have a great weekend!