by Jonathan Leistiko
End the game with the most fruit.
Pick a set of pawns. Set the die and the seed, tree, and fruity tokens where everyone can reach them. Shuffle the season deck. Build the game board by laying out a 3×3 grid of cards in the center of the table with one card in each space. Deal two cards to each player.
Take the card from a corner and put one of your pawns there. That’s your home base. Add the card you just took to your hand. You can look at the cards in your hand and arrange them. You may show your cards to the other players if you want to.
Before the game starts, decide how many game-years the game will last for. A new game-year starts when the deck of cards runs out of cards and the discards are reshuffled to create a new draw deck. The first time the deck runs out of cards indicates the end of the first game-year.
Turn all cards on the board face-up. Select a player to go first.
Before your turn starts, check every space on the board:
One seed on each Summer space grows into a tree.
One tree on each Fall space becomes fruity.
One fruity on each Winter space becomes a tree.
One tree on each Spring space becomes two seeds.
Each Spring space with no seeds, trees, or fruitys gets a seed.
On your turn, you must play a card. You may take a free move action with each pawn you control. You may also take an additional action with each pawn you control. Each pawn may take a different action. You may play the card at any time during your turn.
Cards: You may play a card in an empty space, or in a space occupied by the season that precedes it. If you’re about to cover a card, move the covered card to the discard pile. After you play a card, draw a card to replace it. If you need to draw a card and no cards remain, shuffle the discarded cards to form a new draw pile and draw from that newly-created draw pile. Remember that this marks the end of one game-year. If you can not play a card, show your hand to the other players, discard a card and draw one to replace it.
The actions your pawns can take are:
Plant – Move a seed from your basket to the space you’re in.
Harvest – Take a fruit from a fruity in your space. Roll a die. If it comes up “4, 5, or 6”, the fruity tuns into a tree.
Gather – Pick up a seed in your space and put it in your basket.
Move – Move to an orthogonally adjacent space.
Grow – Remove two fruit from your basket, plus two fruit for every pawn you have in play. Put another pawn in your home base.
The game starts to end when there are no more cards left to draw and it’s the end of the last game-year. Instead of reshuffling to create a new draw deck, continue playing normally without drawing replacement cards. The game ends when a turn ends and no players have cards in hand.
If you have the most fruit in your basket at the end of the game, you win.
All players win if the total of all fruit gathered by all players at the end of the game is greater than X. X equals the total of all fruit gathered by all players at the end of the most recent game. If X equals 0, then X equals 20.
All players win if the average of all fruit gathered by all players at the end of the game is greater than Y. Y equals the average of all fruit gathered by all players at the end of the most recent game. If Y equals 0, then X equals 10.
All players win if all players gather at least Z fruit. Y equals the least fruit gathered by any one player at the end of the most recent game. If Z equals zero, then Z equals 7.
Poverty Hurts Everyone
No player can win if any player has less than half as much fruit as the player with the most fruit.
Each seed in your basket at the end of the game reduces your score by two points.
Pawns can take the following action:
Forestry – Pick up a tree or a friuty in your space and put it in your basket as a wood token.
The Grow action is changed to read:
Grow – Remove six fruit or two wood from your basket. Put another pawn in your home base.
This is derived from a game I made up / collaborated on with Brandon W. many months ago while playing around with his hexagonal season-based Tarot set. I was brainstorming card-based game ideas on November 10th, 2005 when this one bubbled back up to the surface.
If you don’t want to use the suggested seed, tree, and fruity tokens, you can use poker chips or Icehouse pieces (which work rather nicely).