Pencil First Games Herbaceous Game
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- For 1-4 players
- 15-20 minute playing time
- Herb collectors compete to grow and store the most valuable medley of herbs
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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In herbaceous, herb collectors compete to grow and store the most valuable medley of herbs. Everyone starts with four containers
Legal DisclaimerHerbaceous 1-4 players, ages 8+, 15-20 minutes By Pencil First Games, LLC
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Two Lanterns Games||LearningHerbs||Amazon.com||MRA Trading||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||5.5 x 1.5 x 7.5 in||8 x 1.2 x 8 in||10.39 x 10.39 x 2.09 in||1.8 x 6 x 7.9 in||1.44 x 4.95 x 6.9 in||1.75 x 6.25 x 9.25 in|
|Item Weight||0.7 lb||0.7 lb||1.9 lbs||0.97 lb||0.75 lb||1 lb|
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SETUP: For multiplayer, shuffle the deck comprised of 9 different herbs (7 of each), plus the 3 special herbs (3 each). This gives a total of 72 cards. For 2-3 players, remove the appropriate number of cards (24 in 2-player, 12 in 3-player). Place this deck in the center of playing area. Then distribute one color-coded garden player token to each player, and give each player the corresponding 4 pot cards (same amongst players). Give each player a player aid card if desired. Place the bonus biscuit in next to herb deck.
For solo play, follow the above with garden token and pot cards, except after shuffling all 72 cards together, divide the herb deck in half. This creates two 36 card decks. Play with one, and then the other if desired.
Multiplayer - The gameplay is deceptively simple, and yet there is still a dash of strategy that makes playing Herbaceous both enjoyable and worthwhile. On your turn, you will draw two cards, one at a time, and decide where to place each card. One card must go into the communal garden, while the other goes into your private garden. Sound simple? That's because it is. However, at the beginning of each of your turns you also have the option of "potting" a collection of herbs. Each of the 4 pot cards that players start with have a differing requirement to place cards in them. This is what scores you points at the end game. The more cards you have in each pot, the more points you will score. However, you are only allowed to pot once per turn, and you may only place herbs into each pot once. This is where things get interesting. Since you may take any number of herbs from both the communal and/or your private garden, there are decisions to be made as to when and which pot to 'pot'.
The 4 different pots:
1) herbs of the same kind (up to 7)
2) herbs of different kinds (up to 9)
3) Pairs of different herbs (up to 9 pairs)
4) Any 3 herbs (special herbs add bonus score)
There is also a 5 point bonus biscuit, which the first player to pot each of the 3 different special herbs acquires. Game continues until the deck is exhausted, and all players have finished potting or are unable to. Add up the total points for each pot (based on number of cards in each - scores are listed on each pot card), plus any herbs remaining in your private garden, and possibly the 5 point bonus biscuit. Whoever has the most wins! (In event of a tie, whoever has the best glass jar pot, the one with any 3 herbs, wins).
Solo Variant - Similar to the above, except on each turn you draw three cards one at a time, instead of two. One will still go into your private garden, and one into the 'community' garden. But there is an additional placing of one card into a discard pile. These cards are essentially removed from the game, and you will not be able to play them. Also, once the community garden hits 5 cards, you must discard any remaining cards in the community garden. So you have to choose wisely and pot at the appropriate times to maximize your score. After playing with one half of the deck, you can then play with the other. Either way, you are trying to make/break your personal best score.
ARTWORK & QUALITY: The artwork is both stunning and relaxing at the same time. Each card is flooded with color (my personal favorite is Saffron), and it is just a visual delight to play this game. The card quality is good - they are a linen finish, and the cards have a decent thickness to them. Some of the edges you can notice the cut marks, but overall they are good quality. The player tokens are a thick cardstock (probably 2mm) - great quality there. The box is also good quality, and has nice appealing art and color on it. Inside, there is a well designed storage tray, that holds the cards and tokens nicely. My only qualm is that the box does seem a little big for what you get (ie - it could have been smaller), but still it doesn't take up too much space.
Overall, good quality on everything.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Herbaceous is just a simple delight to play. What's really nice (other than the artwork) is that it really can be played by almost anyone. Gamers and non-gamers alike will enjoy this game. I'd say only two groups of people may not be suited for this game: the younger children (like under 6) and the hardcore gamers. The young may not quite grasp the strategy (though they could probably still play with a little guidance), while the hardcore gamers might find it a little too light and/or boring. But other than that, well done on making a game for all levels of gamers!
If you're looking for something light and relaxing, with a bonus solo option, then consider making Herbaceous part of your collection. I'm glad I did :)
I like a variety of games, including Jaipur, Lost Cities, Patchwork, Cottage Garden, Loot, Ticket to Ride, 10 Days in Africa, Tikal, Karuba.... if you're anything like me, you might like Herbaceous too!
This game would be a good “warm up” game for a night of boardgaming, moving from simple to complex games throughout the night. It would also be a good game for two, a “go to” family game, or something you could play with Grandma!
The box is also fairly small so it would be a good travel game. It’s about the size of a thick paperback book.
I’m very happy with my purchase and interested in other games from this company. They seem pretty new (I have no idea) but it looks like they have a promising future.
Oh anyways. Herbaceous is a set collection game with great art and simple mechanics. Each player has a variety of containers to plant with various herbs. Each container has a requirement to plant (all of one kind of herb, pairs of herbs, all different etc.) players can first decide to plant herbs into a container (each pot may only be potted once) by taking any combination of Herbs from their personal gardens and the public garden. (For the first round there is no potting herbs) Then they may draw a card from the central pile and decide whether to place it in your personal garden or to place it in the public garden. After the first draw, the player draws again and places the second card into the other garden.(I.E. If your first draw goes into the community garden the second draw goes into your personal garden) Game end is triggered by the first person to plant all of their pots or the center pile to run dry then players each have an opportunity to plant any If players are the first one to plant the three special herbs into the glass jar they receive the Herb biscuit and five extra points at the end of the game.
We love this little game. Beth Sobel's art is fantastic.
Worth it just for the hilarious conversations that arise about herbs