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"...some 10 fold, some 30 fold and some 100 fold."
on February 12, 2010
I understand that scriptural phrase now. I spend thousands on my fruit trees, you spend the same thousands on yours and when it comes to harvest, you do significantly better than me, or maybe you miss and get nothing at all. Better luck next year. But let not your heart be troubled, next year starts right away!.
The game board look s a lot like monopoly, except in this game you compete against the law of the harvest, and the proverbial boardwalk (fruit trees) is available to anyone who wants to and can afford to take on the risk of the orchards.
For those of you who hate Monopoly because you can't stand taking someone's last red cent or their properties in kind, or are frustrated by how long it takes to get that cent and their property, take heart, these problems don't exist in this game.
The board represents a calendar year with rentable grazing ranges for heads of cattle here and there. You go around the board like in monopoly and borrow tens of thousands of dollars at a time to purchase acres of planted crops, or heads of cattle or orchards, as well as farm machinery. Here's how it works:
You kick the year off going through the buying season. When you land of harvest squares for the different type of good, if you've got some of that you roll to see the return on your investment and draw and expense card. Hopefully you don't go in the hole for the harvest. This is not devastating, but it is discouraging.
You continue doing this paying off debt and borrowing more till you build up enough income that you have some positive net value. Whoever gets to the net value of 250,000 first wins. You can set that bar wherever you like, I suppose.
I hate to tell you what to do because what do I know anyway?
It's a better Idea to have your debt paid off then to have tens of thousands in debt and tens of thousands on hand because sometimes you have to pay the piper, and he's pricey.
I'm partial to heads of cattle myself.
I do look forward to being able to harvest, and honestly, it has the same feel as harvesting in my own life, first come the strawberries, then the raspberries, then the apricots and so on down the line till the grapes. They don't all happen at the same time, but I'm telling you, while it's true I have off years with fruit trees, I'd never have an off year with the heads of cattle, but what do I know? I apparently get sucked in enough to have it rattle my chain.
It's curious that I like this game despite the luck element. Perhaps this is because While it's possible to miss a type of harvest by rolling by it, there are several harvest spaces that you can land on, so that mitigates the chance of missing. And when the die tells you how well your harvest is, that can be pretty frustrating when your neighbor is always rolling high and you are rolling low. It's also frustrating when no good buys are available to you, but there are plenty of opportunities for buys so that's mitigated some as well. All that to say, it might not be a very fair game, but it might be- maybe. The trick it to not invest your ego in a game of chance.
Interaction is medium to low. Very little you do affects others, you can feign or sincerely express empathy when someone else's bills are bigger than the take. Or you can offer unsolicited advice- always a favorite of in-laws and parents alike. And then my personal favorite: audible musings such as, "Curious, it never would have occurred to me to make a play like that."
Nil. It takes all of two minutes to explain and you are off and running.
Present- you've got to take turns, and with the rare exception of someone buying something that you would have liked to buy- a ranch for cattle, As I said, there's very little that anyone does that affects you. It would be a curious thing though, to try to take turn simultaneously. If any of you try this, let me know how it goes. I guess you'd need several sets of dice.
What's not to Like?
The luck factor- but I get the impression there is a lot of luck involved with farming.
It would be nice if the tractor had a larger role in the game. You can easily go through the game without purchasing any. Wouldn't it be nice if it acted as a modifier for your harvest? Maybe you get to reroll for harvests if you get a 1 or something like that. Then you could make the same rule for rolling a 2 if you have a harvester, too. I think I've come up with some good house rules.
My 2, 4, and 6 year old love putting all the little puzzle pieces together. It's called "the cows game" We haven't done anything with the actual board yet.