Come bye lad, Come Bye!
FIELDS OF GREEN
Mark (mawihtec) Capell-Helm
Come-bye lad come-bye put the wellies on
Fields of Green Is set in the 1950’s-2000. Where the players are playing the part of a small farm holder trying to expand property and business. This is achieved by purchasing Fields, Livestock, Buildings and Construction cards and laying them in a tile laying format, thus each player creates their own custom farm. This in turn allows the player to build up an economic engine to gain the valuable VP’s needed for victory.
Each game is played out over 4 years (rounds) with the player drafting cards to add to their expanding farm. All the while ensuring that they will have enough food and water to feed livestock and water the fields during the harvest. The player has several methods of converting wealth to the required VP’s (victory points). OK I hear you say so what do I get and how do I get it?
33 field cards, 33 livestock cards, 33 construction cards, 33 building cards
20 water tower cards, 14 silo cards
4 player aid cards, 1 general aid card
30 equipment tiles
61 money tokens, 20 victory point tokens
44 wooden food tokens, 32 wooden water tokens
4 card stack label tiles, 1 first player token, 1 year track and of course the ubiquitous baggies.
All good so far then.
Game play is fairly straight forward with each player starting with a Water Tower and a Silo 15 coins 3 water and 1 food. All the basic requirements for the budding successful entrepreneurial farmer. You take it in turns to draw 6 cards each from Fields, Livestock, Buildings and Construction cards, ensuring a minimum of 3 decks drawn from. Fields focus on food production, livestock = money, constructions= special abilities and buildings are end game VP focused. Once you have your hand of 6 cards you move into the action phase where you can choose one card to play or discard to allow you to build more silos or water towers or even get some money if you’re running short (easy to do). All players do this action simultaneously (when playing with new players or younger players a good tip is each player selects a card and places it face down in front of them to allow more thinking time in how to progress). Once all players have completed this action you pass your hand to the left (yep I hear you say card drafting/sushi Go mechanics) you do this until all cards are used.
Following on you enter the Harvest phase where you activate the actions on the cards (this is where some thinking time could be useful for newer/younger players) as you get to choose the order you follow the actions (you could pay some water to card a to collect food to pay card b to collect coins to pay card c to gain VP’s) Some cards allow you to claim equipment tiles which given you extra abilities. Then you move forward to the next year and begin again After 4 years the farmer with the most VP is the greatest farmer of the 20th Century.
Summary in some ways there is very little to no player interaction other than the card pass but even so this is an enjoyable resource management game which blends mechanics and theme together very well.
Now to rating the game.
DISCLAIMER FIRST let me say I enjoy this type of game so my rating is based on that standpoint. Second Artipia have offered every review positive or negative some free promos. So there are a lot of positive reviews already out there. While I am posting this review to receive the promo cards I am not making it a positive one because of that point.
Mechanics While not being revolutionary the game mechanics are solid in the multiple plays up to my writing of this I have not come across any major issues. They all seem to work well together. Being a successor to Among the Stars it will be very familiar to many. This is not a bad thing They have improved the style of play since AtS came out (have not played judged on reviews of that game) The Water Tower puzzle that you encounter trying to make sure you can use each card/tile ability is a good think-y exercise making the draft decisions have much more bearing.
Replayability I would say this was definitely above average. This is due to the number of options available to each player and the different permutations of cards that can come up. This along with the decision of when to go for buildings means that no 2 games will play out in quite the same way and you will want to try different layouts to maximise point scoring.
Strategy Bit more difficult to quantify here as overall with virtually no player interaction this can be a bit multiplayer solitaire. That being said the fact that cards give different action options. Choosing where to draw cards from and forward planning on the farm layout. Does give a lighter weight strategy feel (not all games need to melt the brain)
Component quality. OH dear this is where the game really fell down for me. Let me list it down
Cards-These were and are excellent very happy,
Add-on premium sleeves bought again very happy,
Water tokens-OK a little smaller than ideal making them fiddly to pick up but nice shape
Food Tokens- Good nice shape and size for picking up
VP, Coins, Equipment tiles etc (basically all cardboard bits)-Very Poor the quality of the card used for the chits was well below what you would expect from a $50 game with off centre printing very poor punching leading to lots of damage to tokens on removal and in the copy I received the card actually felt a little damp and soft
ARTIPIA did respond quickly to me and supply replacement equipment tiles where needed
but this was not a one off incident the KS is littered with complaints about the quality of the tokens.
Box/ Insert/ Packaging-mixed.
Box is lovely very nice indeed nice art and good construction.
Insert Rubbish plain and simple virtually no one received their game with an intact insert totally unfit for purpose there (apparently similar issue happened with Above the Stars).
Packaging all held up nicely on my copy (others were not so lucky).
I do recommend this game but that is due to me enjoying the math-y think-y aspect of this style of game if you want player interaction or conflict look elsewhere. If you want a nice looking game that plays gently with some good think-y elements you could do a whole lot worse.