Scott A. Reed
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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The Basics

Wurfel Bohnanza (Dice Bohnanza) is a dice game that uses the familiar beans from Bohnanza in a multi-player game that uses push-your-luck and set collection elements.

Goal

The goal of the game is to be the first player with thirteen Bohnentaler (money).

Gameboard

The only "board" component of the game is a small board that features a graphic of a garden that is used as a place for the active player to "lock" dice.

Game components

Seven dice, three of one variety, and four of another; cards that show goals on one side and Bohnentalers on the reverse; reference cards for the players that show what faces are on the two die types (white and ivory) and a reminder of how many dice there are of each type in the game; and the garden board.

How to play

Play begins with each player receiving two goal-cards. These are arranged in front of the player with one behind the other, where the top-edge of the front card is used to indicate on the rear-card what goal is next to be accomplished, and the front-card is moved up to cover an accomplished goal to indicate what the current goal is. Both cards are face-up, as in game-play a player may choose to "cash-in" his current goal card and the front indicator card then replaces it and a new card is drawn from the deck to serve as a new indicator card.

The goals on the cards indicate certain dice combinations. Simpler goals are to merely get a certain set of die faces, e.g., "three Blue Beans", or "three Stink Beans". The goals escalate somewhat in complexity with goals like "get three total among these two (rarer) types", "get four Blue Beans or two Red Beans", "all seven dice with no Stink Beans", or "six different beans among all of the dice", plus more. The first three goals on a card have no associated value, but after completing the third goal, the indicator for the fourth goal has a Bohnentaler next to it. At this point a player may choose at any time to cash out the card to take the value, but there are still three goals on the card, each with more Bohnentalers (i.e., finish the fourth goal and the card is worth two Bohnentalers, finish the fifth and it is worth three, finish the sixth and the whole card is worth four Bohnentalers). Each goal also has a small number printed next to it which indicates the percentage odds of completing that goal, and the goals generally escalate in difficulty based on their position on the goal card.

The start player takes the seven dice and rolls them. On the result of the roll, each of the other players at the table look at the results to see if the combination of the dice fulfills the current goal on his card. If so, he moves the indicator card up to cover the completed goal and to indicate the next goal. Multiple goals may be fulfilled this way, so a player who fulfills multiple goals on one die roll can cover those goals; dice in the roll are not unique, and thus a Blue Bean needed for goal one is also usable on goal two. All players, except for the rolling player, can fulfill dice from this rolled pool. and all successful goal levels accomplished with the roll can be covered.

The rolling player looks among these dice and chooses one or more of them to "lock" in the garden field. The rolling player will only accomplish goals on his cards based on the dice that are in the garden field at the end of his turn. Through good dice management and attention to what die faces appear on certain types of dice, the rolling player can also work toward several goals at once. The dice that are locked in the field may only be used by the rolling player and they are no longer available to the other players to accomplish goals. After the rolling player has locked all dice or chosen not to roll further, the dice are passed to the next player and the rolling cycle begins anew.

Any time a player has a card that is worth a Bohnentaler value (i.e., at least three goals completed), that player may cash the card in to begin work on the first goal of his indicator card. When a player cashes in a card, he takes that goal card and turns it face-down in his score stack, and draws more cards from the deck to indicate the number of additional Bohnentalers beyond that first one that he earned by cashing in the card, also adding them to the scoring stack. Then a new indicator card is drawn to replace the card that is now the player's current goal-card.

When one player has thirteen Bohnentaler in his score stack, that player is the winner.

My opinion

This is a rather engaging dice game that eliminates some of the down-time that is traditionally associated with press-your-luck dice games. As each player other than the rolling player may accomplish goals on the rolling player's turn, there is a good amount of interaction where players check the dice of each roll to see if a goal from their card is met. The game is also designed with a good balance among the goals on the cards, and the first three goals of most cards can be completed within one die-roll set if all of the dice hit the correct combination for each goal. Since there is opportunity to fulfill goals on other players' rolling turns, there are also good decisions to be made for the "spectating" players to decide whether the time is ripe to cash in a card that has low value with the hope that the "easier" goals of the next card can be fulfilled passively while other players continue to roll.

This game also has good decisions for the rolling player, as the referece card lays out what die faces are on each of the dice, and some faces appear multiple times on one die-set, while some other die faces appear on each of the die sets (e.g., two Stink Bean faces on the white dice set, but none on the ivory; two Blue Bean faces on the ivory dice set, and one on the white dice set). This reference helps a player determine decisions about what dice to lock and the relative odds of being able to complete a certain goal within the dice remaining in the pool.

We played this as a filler game for three, 15-20 minutes of total play time including first rules introduction.
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Mike S.
Netherlands
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skelebone wrote:
The goal of the game is to be the first player with 12 Bohnentalers (money).


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Dan Massek
United States
Wisconsin
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Sounds like a fun new take on a dice game. Thanks for the detailed review.
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The Games Are About Glory
United States
Macedon
New York
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Can you elaborate a bit on the interaction between the rolling and other players? The impression I get is that it's in the rolling player's best interest to make a quick decision regarding which dice to keep and re-roll the rest before anyone else fills an order. It almost sounds like you can accomplish more when it's not your turn.
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Mike S.
Netherlands
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The way I read the rules is that there isn't something like quick decision making by the active player. All opponents just check the freshly rolled dice to see if they can use them.

edit: and with each dice roll, chances to fulfill orders become smaller and smaller for the inactive players. Only the freshly rolled dice can be used by the inactive players, NOT the dice on the beanfield. With each roll, the amount of dice to use decreases.
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