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Subject: Sow and harvest - a game about life on a farm rss

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Karl Benisch
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Bondespelet is Swedish for "The Farm game" and it's a simple family game with an educational approach.

At the beginning of the game, each player starts with his own small croft (a small farm) with three fields. As the game goes by, the player will be able buy a farm and eventually a mansion. The game ends when one of the players buys the castle.

At the beginning of the game, each player choses a croft. The first player is decided by the roll of a die. The game depends on a roll-and-move mechanism as well as a series of event cards. The players pawns move along the edges of the board. Each board edge covers one quarter of the year and the game begins in January, Q1.

Q1 is mostly used as a way to avoid too much downtime between seasons. You move towards Q2 (april-june) and think about what crops that you'll be sowing this year. Some of the steps along the way are marked with read, meaning that a ramdom event card must be drawn. There are seperate event cards for each quarter and they can be both good and bad.

Once you get to Q2 you'll want to start sowing, but you can't do that unless you manages to move your pawn to a space marked with green. If you end up on a green space you'll be allowed to roll a six sided dice with three 1:s, two 2:s and a 3 on its side. The roll of the dice determines the amount of crops that you'll be allowed to buy.

At the beginning of the game when you have your croft, you'll be able to sow three different types of crops on your three fields at a cost of $1000 per crop marker. It is wise to sow different types of crops since you migh otherwise lose too much at once when an event card is drawn (most event cards are bad, but not all of them).

During Q2 and Q3 you try to sow as much as possible before you decide to bring in the harvest. You decleare that you want to harvest at the beginning of your turn before you roll the dice. You are only allowed to harvest once per year and if you move your pawn to Q4 before you have had a chance to harvest, then you'll lose all your crops.

Q4 is filled with red marked event areas but most of the time the winter events are good.

When the first player have moved through the Q4 section of the board, he waits for the other to catch up. This is necessary since many of the event cards only affect the players that have their pawns on the quarter section that the event card belongs to. When all players have finished it's time for investments.

Several investments can be made in the game. Long term investments can be made by buying forests an starting forestry. Forests are good investmens and often provide some extra income during Q1 and Q4 (espacially during Q4 when people want to buy christmas trees). If able, you should try to buy a farm. Rember that you'll need money to buy crops with as well as buying the farm.

Crops are the best type of investment in the game and the give the players three times their money during harvest. The price for crops vary depending on the size of your farm:

Croft - $1.000 /marker
Farm - $3.000 /marker
Mansion - $10.000 /marker

So if a player with a farm have bought ten crops markers for a total of $30.000 , he will recieve $90.000 when he harvests.

The mansions are special in two ways.
1. They have five fields instead of the normal three, allowing the player two sow two additional types of crops.
2. There are only two mansions, so all players won't be able to buy one for themself.

The game continues year after untill some one can afford to buy the castle. In case of a tie it's the player with the most money that wins (investmenst included).
 
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