Fields of Green

Don’t you ever feel like you want to leave everything behind, find a quiet piece of land and just start your own farm? That is what Fields of Green is all about. With all the busy plans and obligations you are compelled to hold onto these days, Fields of Green might be the perfect themed game to escape reality for a little. All you have to do is create the most practical farm you can in any way you want. I was very excited when we got this game and was determind to have a farm with only animals to gather milks, eggs, etc. Tomasz however wanted to go for as many big buildings and machines possible. This should be interesting.

How to Play.

The setup is quick and easy. Make sure all the cards are separated according to their type, then shuffle the four main piles. Place them facedown on the table and place the indicator tile that responds for each pile under it. Place the water towers and silos face up somewhere close by and give each player 15 coins, a water tower and a silo. Then place three water tokens on each water tower and one food token on each silo. Place all the remaining components close by to form a supply. In the rulebook there is also a clear picture of the set up. Now you are ready to create your farm.

The game is played in three phases starting with the upkeep phase. First, move the year token to the current year on the year track tile. Then gain new resources for the round, one food token, two water tokens and three coins (skip this step for the first round). The water tokens can be placed on your water towers. Each water tower can hold up to three water tokens (unless you found an upgrade for your water tower). The food token can be placed in your silos, which can store up to four food tokens. If you have no space for water or food tokens when you receive them, they will be lost. After receiving your resources in the upkeep phase, you will take cards in turns for the round. Starting with the first player and then going clockwise, draws six cards out of the four main piles, livestock – fields – constructions – buildings. You can draw in any combination as you like, as long as at least one card from three out of four piles is drawn. This will be your hand for the round.

After the upkeep phase, comes the action phase. On your turn, choose a card from your hand and place it facedown in front of you. Then pass the remaining cards to the next player. Simoultaniously reveal your selected card and choose an action to perform. You can build a location by simply placing a card adjacent to other location cards. Then pay the cost indicated in the upper left corner. This is mostly coins, but it could also be water or food tokens. When you place a card asking for a water token, you must pay it with a water tower within two tiles from the location. With food tokens, there is no distance requirement. If you can’t pay the cost, you cannot build the location and must select another action. You can also build a water tower to create less distance for a location for example. To do this, discard the card you had selected and pay two coins. Then take a water tower and place it in your farm. Also place three water tokens on it. Silos can also be build. They don’t cost anything, but they come to your farm without any food tokens. Silos just provide additional storage space for food. You can build a silo in the same way as a water token. If you run out of space for food tokens, you can visit the market. With this action, you discard the selected card and gain two coins, then you may sell up to two of your food to gain two coins per food token. Lastly, you can restore a location. If in the harvest phase, you can’t meet the needed requirements for some locations, the locations will be turned face down. You can restore them by discarding your selected card and by paying one coin.

When all players have performed their final action, the harvest phase begins. Now you can use all the placed locations that have harvest abilities in order to gain extra resources for the next round, like food water or coins. In order to use a location ability, you have to pay the cost found in the bottom left corner. You might have to pay one food in order to gain two coins for example. You can perform each harvest in any order you want. If you need food before coin, make sure you use the right locations first. Note that water has to be paid from a water tower within range.
The game will end when this cycle is repeated for four times and the fourth round has ended after the harvest phase. To count your score, count the victory points written on the cards in your farm, together with the equipment tiles. You also gain one point for each three coins you end the game with, one point for each two food tokens and one point for each empty water tower in your farm at the end of the game. The player with the most points, wins the game and has built the best farm.

There is also a two player variant that is played slightly different. During the upkeep phase after each player have drawn their six cards, shuffle them and reveal the top six cards. Then during the action phase, instead of playing simultaneously, you take turns. On your turn, choose a card and perform an action like normal. When two cards are taken, reveal two more cards. If there are no cards left, proceed to the harvest phase.

Playthrough of the game.

I quickly found out that my farm couldn’t function the most optimal if I would only place animals, so I had to change my quest to creating a farm with mainly animals and buildings to support the animals. With many animals in the game, I needed a lot of water and food to support them. So my new strategy was taking tiles which provided me with more food during the harvest phase. Tomasz his vision was to generate as much coins as possible to score the most points at the end of the game. His entire farm was a money producing gold mine. It maybe looked chaotic, but this man had a plan. When the final round was done and I looked up, I saw his face with a bright smile behind a pretty huge pile of coins. Turned out, having many animals maybe doesn’t make you rich and win the game, but my farm definitely made me happy.

In Fields of Green there are many ways to win and your farm will be different each game since the tiles will be different to. What we like a lot is that you get to decide from what pile you will take tiles each round and every player including you will have to play with that decision. If you take a lot of fields and less constructions for example, you might produce more during the harvest phase, so it’s a good strategy to take a lot of fields in the beginning. The buildings on the other hand will give you more victory points if you provide what they need at the end of the game, so my preference was to take those at the end of the game. Tomasz on the other hand, likes to take buildings already in the second round of the game. It’s all up to the players and that’s why this game gets more interesting with more players especially if they have different playstyles. The two player mode is also really well designed. It’s certainly different, but it’s definitely worth it to play this game with two player with only a few clever rule changes.

Final Thoughts.

Fields of Green is a strategic tile placement game where you have to build the most practical farm in order to win the game. There are many ways to win and with each game your farm will be different since each player can choose different kind of tiles each round. The game is easy to learn but it has a lot of depth. In order to use all of the tiles the best way, you have to think what other tiles will work the best for you, where the best placement is (also for future tiles), if you can pay the cost in the harvest phase and what that tile will bring you at the end of the game. The game was designed to play with three players or more and with more people, the game is definitely more challenging. But we found Fields of Green also has an awesome two player mode that we tried out multiple times already, each time building a different kind of farm.

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