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Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

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Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

(Note: This Challenge has been completed.)

Game Design Showdown
June 2006 Challenge - "Growing Season"

Theme: Farming (crops and/or animals)
Genre: Territory Control

Mechanics Limitations:

  • Land Use & Crop Rotation - The use of land is a very important issue with farmers. Game entries should somehow represent how land is being used, including the concept of "crop rotation" (the periodic changing of what a specific piece of land is being used for).
  • Messing With Your Neighbor - Players should have a means to interfere with or make adjustments to other players' plans and/or progress.
Start Date: 8-Jun-2006
End Date: 15-Jun-2006, Noon EST (approximately)
Voting: 15-Jun-2006 through 22-Jun-2006

This Challenge has been completed.

The voting results are posted after the list of entries, on page 2 of this thread.

To post critiques about the entries, use this thread:


For an Overview on the monthly Game Design Showdown and how it works, check out this thread:

Questions and comments about this specific Challenge, were in this thread:



Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #1 - Fierce Farmers Fight For Farmland
by seo

(2-4 players)

Crop Rotation helps controlling diseases in the crops and building up the organic matter and soil nutrients that certain plants use. By following the Root-Legume-Leaf cycle, you’ll get the best performance from each gardening bed, spending a minimum on Nitrogen and Fertilizers. Ideally, every year (turn) the crops rotate in the same direction, helping to keep your soil makeup balanced. The concept is very simple!
But rival farmers are out there, looking for a chance to infest your crops, get an advantage, and hopefully steal some land from you.

Game end and winner
Game ends when the End of Game counter is drawn from the bag. Player controlling most gardening beds wins. Ties are solved based on amount of Water-reservoirs, then Gold.

6x6 square grid board
144 player token (36x4 colors)
144 Water (dark blue) token
144 Nitrogen (white) token
144 Fertilizer (black) token
Crop counters (Root, Legume, Leaf)
Bag with assorted set of counters (Vegetable requests, Crop seeds, Nitrogen and Fertilizer offerings, Water-reservoirs, Plagues, Pesticides, one End-of-Game)
Rain-deciding cards (one set with values –1, 0, 1 per player)

Crop Rotation
Each crop has different needs, and leave or take nutrients on the bed it is grown, as shown bellow:

If the ideal cycle is followed, no extra nutrients are required, only water.

Water, Nitrogen and Fertilizer markers are distributed on the board, according to the values on each gardening bed (cell).
Each player takes 10 gold, 1 Water-reservoir (value 10), and 5 random counters (to determine his starting crops, nutrients, pesticides, plagues; water-reservoirs and vegetable requests are returned to the bag).
Each reserves 5 beds (placing player markers): 4 for sow, 1 for the Water-reservoir.
End-of-Game counter is kept out of the bag for the first two years (turns).

Game Play
Turns represent one-year cycles, with several seasons:

1) Sowing
Each player seeds his beds placing one crop counter. Bed nutrients must match Crop needs. Nutrients can be added to the bed to achieve this. Player counters are removed from unsown beds. Players can then seed any free beds they have seeds for. Sown beds can be protected from plagues by placing Pesticides counters on them.

2) Growing
Players play their Plague counters against any rival crop matching the plague. The crop is lost.
Each player selects one Rain-deciding card to play, face down. All cards are played at a time, and values added to determine the amount of rain or draught (same for all beds). Water counters are then added or removed from each bed. Players can then irrigate the beds around their Water-reservoirs. Water-reservoirs produce as many Water tokens per turn as stated on the counter.

3) Harvesting
Sown beds: Crops in beds with the right amounts of nutrients and water are harvested and kept by the players for commerce, the rest is returned to the reserve and considered a failed crop. On both cases the nutrient and water tokens on the bed are left as indicated by the type of crop. Excess of water ruins the crop as much as lack of it.
Unsown beds: One counter of Nitrogen, Fertilizer and Water is added or removed per turn, until there are 2 of each (thus unused beds will tend to be ideal for root-crops).

4) Commerce
Each player receives 5 random counters from the bag (direct business), and 5 are drawn and placed face up on the table for the auction.

There are different counters:

    Vegetable requests – State an amount of certain requested crop (4 leaf, 2 root, etc.) Offerings (Crop-seeds, Nitrogen, Fertilizer, Plagues, Pesticides) – State an amount of a offered product (3 root seeds, 2 units of Nitrogen, 1 unit of Pesticide for Legumes, etc.)
    Water-reservoirs – State the amount of water units the reservoir can provide per turn
    End-of-Game – Determines the immediate end of the game
Direct Business
Vegetable requests can be fully or partially fulfilled, at 1 gold per crop sold. Counters are returned to the bag.
Offerings can be partially or fully accepted, at 1 gold per item acquired. The player receives the corresponding crop or nutrient tokens and return the counters to the bag. Plague and Pesticide counters are kept to be played during future sowing and growing seasons.
Water-reservoirs can be bought for 1 gold per unit water on reservoir. The reservoir is placed on any of the player’s current beds, and remains there until game-end.

Vegetable requests: players bid to fully fulfil the requests. Lower bidder delivers the vegetables and receives the gold from the bank. Toss a coin to decide ties.
Offerings and Water-reservoirs: players bid to buy offerings in full. Higher bidder pays gold to the bank and receives the corresponding tokens or counters.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

by OutsideLime

Players are wizards attempting to connect their two towers at opposite sides of the octagonal island. The island has towers around the perimeter, and the centre is a web of fields. Players will need to be the first to make an unbroken (orthagonal) chain of occupied fields between their two towers in order to win the game.

Each wizard commands a number of servants. The servants are called Lunks. Lunks do all the dirty work of planting and harvesting spell components (herbs) for the wizards, and a Lunk’s presence in a field means that the field is occupied by that wizard. A wizard’s tower is always considered occupied by that player. Each wizard controls three Lunks at the game start. Each player chooses at which tower the Lunks begin, and which type of Lunks. (more on Lunk types later).

The wizards need the spell components in order to cast spells, which will facilitate the effort to connect the towers. Each spell has a different recipe.

Play goes turn for turn. On a wizard’s turn, he may (in any order):

1. Cast spells if he has the correct spell components to do so.
2. Move each Lunk ONCE to an adjacent field.
3. Use each Lunk ONCE to either Plant a single herb in or Harvest a single herb from the field the Lunk occupies.

A herb cannot be planted and harvested in the same turn.

There are three types of Lunks. Rock Lunks, Water Lunks, and Fire Lunks. Rock overpowers Water, Water overpowers Fire, Fire overpowers Rock. If a Lunk moves into a field with an enemy Lunk of the type it overpowers, the overpowered Lunk must be moved (by its controlling wizard) into an adjacent field or tower that he occupies. Lunks cannot move into a field if there is an enemy Lunk there that would overpower them. Lunks of the SAME type can coexist in a field. Lunks of all types of the same team can coexist as well.


There are 4 different Nutrients. Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow. Nutrients take the form of tiny cubes in their colour.

Each field is marked with which nutrients it starts the game with, and during setup you place those nutrients into the field. Each field also gets 2 additional random nutrients to start with. The remaining nutrient cubes are kept in a communal supply.

There are four different Herbs, represented by a number of tokens. Each herb absorbs a certain nutrient when it is planted, and leaves behind (deposits) certain nutrients when it is harvested. Herb tokens display on them which nutrients they absorb and deposit.

Fireweed – Absords 2 Red nutrients. Deposits 1 Blue, 1 Yellow.
Mandrake – Absorbs 2 Blue nutrients. Deposits 1 Yellow, 1 Green.
Cloudthorn – Absorbs 2 Yellow nutrients, Deposits 1 Green, 1 Red.
ArrowRoot – Absorbs 2 Green nutrients, Deposits 1 Red, 1 Blue.

When a player has a Lunk plant a herb, he must place that herb token (taken from the supply) in the field, and immediately remove the correct nutrients from the field. Any number of herbs can be planted in a field.

When a player has a Lunk harvest a herb, he takes the herb token and adds it to his stockpile, and takes the correct nutrient cubes and deposits them into the field.


There is a shared Spellbook chart that all wizard can see the spell recipes on. Players can cast any spells they want on their turn IF they have those herbs, and must discard the herb tokens into the supply when they do.

Fireweed + Mandrake
Breed Lunk. Place a new Lunk at a tower.

Fireweed + Cloudthorn
Transform Lunk. Change a Lunk from one type into the type that would normally overpower it. Eg Rock can change into Fire, but not into Water.

Fireweed + Arrowroot
Fertilize. Deposit 3 nutrients of your choice in a field adjacent to one you occupy.

Mandrake + Cloudthorn
Deplete. Remove 2 nutrients of your choice from a field adjacent to one you occupy.

Mandrake + Arrowroot
Blight. Remove all planted herb from a field adjacent to one you occupy.

Cloudthorn + Arrowroot
Bumper Crop. Collect three of one herb the next time in this turn you harvest.

Players may trade herbs among themselves if they wish.

The first player able to trace an unbroken chain of occupied fields between their two towers wins the game!

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #3 - Seeds of War
by Ska_barron

(2-4 players / 45-75 minutes)

Even the monster hoards of Lobar need a balanced diet to fight. But the Farmer Overlords have used the hellish minerals in the soil to twist their crops into fighting terrors. Yes, an unholy agrarian war has broken out and it’s up to each player to assert their crop’s dominance!

1 Gameboard (hex squares divided into 4 fields, each with Barn bases at corner)

40 mineral tokens each:
Blue (Sulfur)
Red (Magma)
Green (Full Moon Zinc)
Black (Carrion)
Clear (Nitrogen)

25 crop troop tokens each:
Blue (Garlicgoyles)
Red (Cave Trollmatoes)
Green Weremelons)
Black (Zombie Zucchini)

30 Action cards
30 Almanac Prediction cards

35 VP tokens

Bidding: To determine which major crop a player gets, they bid minerals out of their starting pool of 20 major minerals. The Starting Player places a bid on any crop and the other players follow. Each bid must be placed on a different crop unless their bid is higher. After all have placed, if a player has been outbid he must chose a different crop to bid on. This continues until all players have selected a major crop. (Think Amun-Re)
Ex: Player 1 wants to control Weremelons (who wouldn’t, really?) and bids 5 minerals. No one bids against him. He is now the Weremelon player. This does’t mean that he cannot grow other crop troops, only that his MAJOR crop is Weremelons, while the other 3 are his MINOR crops.

Minerals: Each player’s field starts with 20 (minus your bid) of whatever crop you bid on. This is your major crop. Additionally, each player starts with 5 minor mineral tokens.

Placement: Each player gets 3 Lieutenants which are placed 1 at a time (starting with lowest bidder and going clockwise) until all are placed. They must be placed at least 1 hex from an opponent’s field. Then place 3 major crop troops and 1 of each minor crop troop in any distribution on the same hex as a Lieutenant.

All units have special powers that may be used once per battle per hex by spending 1 of any mineral.

Garlicgoyles – 1 Attack, 1 Defense, 2 Movement, 1 HP, Power: +1 Movement
Cave Trollmatoes – 1 Attack, 1 Defense, 1 Movement, 2 HP, Power: Regenerate 1 HP
Weremelons – 2 Attack, 1 Defense, 1 Movement, 1 HP, Power: +1 Attack
Zombie Zucchini – 1 Attack, 2 Defense, 1 Movement, 1 HP, Power: When killed, resurrect at your Barn base.
Lieutenant Farmers – 0 Attack, 0 Defense, 1 Movement, 1 HP, Power: Allow you to place troops onto the board. If killed, you cannot replace.

1- SPROUT – Crop troops start out face down, indicating they are sprouts. Sprouts have 0 Attack, Defense, and Movement, and 1 HP. These are crop troops that you planted last turn during the Plant phase.

2- PLANT – To grow a new crop troop you must expend 2 minerals of the same color as the troop for a major crop troop, and 3 for a minor (Ex: The Trollmatoe player could pay 2 Magma for a Trollmatoe or 3 Sulfur for a Garlicgoyle). When spending, you take the minerals from your field’s pool of available minerals and give 1 mineral to each player in a clockwise fashion (skipping yourself) until all are doled out. If your farmer is moved into another player’s field then you reduce that player’s minerals accordingly and redistributing them in the same way (without skipping yourself). You may not grow more troops in this way than the number of farmers you currently control. Nitrogen (clear) is can be used as a wild to substitute any mineral.

3- MOVE – Each crop troop can move up to it’s maximum Movement across hexes.

4- ATTACK – Player must move troops into a hex with opposing troops to attack. Attacking player totals his Attack values and the defending player totals his Defense values. Play any Action cards, starting with defender until both pass. Compare totals. Smaller number loses the difference in HP. Unless the attacker kills all opposing troops, attacker must return to the hex from which it attacked.

5- RESOURSE – for every 3 hexes you control, gain 1 major mineral.

6- DRAW –may discard 1 Action/Almanac Prediction card; draw back up to 3 each (total in hand: 6)

Cards like Drought, Pesticides, Mineral Deposits, and Stunted Growth add attacking bonuses, surprise troops, and additional minerals at crucial moments.

Fulfilling almanac predictions will yield you VP throughout the game.
Ex: Win a battle where 3 Weremelon die – 1 VP
Have the highest count in two minerals. Reveal only if this would be your final VP – 1 VP

First with 8 VP wins.
5 VP for entering an opponent’s Barn base (moving onto it with no opposing troops)

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #4 - MANURE!
by Gogolski
Please Note: Word Count = 913


Each player is a farmer that keeps animals and works his land and irrigates it.
Irrigating is good when you're working the land, it makes the crops rich and plenty.
Animals produce manure. Manure is great when you're working the land, it makes the crops rich and plenty.
And so, the farmers prosper and their farms get bigger and bigger.
Too much manure of course is bad...


- Season-timer-hex (with a timer-track of 20 folowing seasons)
- Timer-pawn
- Land-hexes (with 1 to 3 sides depicting canals)
- Land-markers in the players colors
- Manure-chits
- Cows and bulls
- Crop-cards (each card states in which season it must be planted and when it must be reaped)
- Gold
- VP-tokens
- Canal-pieces

Set up:

- Each player gets:
* 1 land-hex which he places in front of him.
* A cow and a bull which he places on his land-hex.
* 6 gold
* The landmarkers of his color.
- Place the season-timer-hex in the middle of the table, put the timerpawn on the first season and put a canal piece on each of the six sides.
- Put the rest of the land-hexes in a stack at the side of the table and turn over two tiles.
- Put the rest of the money, bulls, cows, canal-pieces and all the manure-chits and VP-tokens at the side of the table (= the bank).
- Shuffle the crop-card-deck and put it at the side of the table.


- The game is played in 20 seasons.
- Randomly determine the start-player. Play proceeds clockwise. The last player in a season is the first player next season.
- Each season, has 7 to 11 phases.

Phases in a season:

1] Buy land-hexes
2] Buy cows/move cows
3] Breed cows
4] Produce manure
5] Sell cows/move cows
6] Manure land-hexes
7] Draw a crop-card and trade crop-cards
8] Plant crops
9] Move 1 canal and dig 1 canal
10] Sell crops
11] Get rid of excess dung
Phase 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 of spring-season.
Phase 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 of spring-season.
Phase 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 of spring-season.

Buy land-hexes:
Payers may buy one or both of the open land-hexes, the land-hex is replaced with the top tile from the tile-stack.
A land-hex costs 2 gold + 1 gold/canal depected on it. The player also draws one crop-card + one crop-card/canal on the tile from the crop-deck.
The player puts the land-hex in the middle of the table bordering on at least 1 other hex and puts a landmarker on it and canal pieces on every canal depected on the land-hex.
A player can also buy one empty land-hex from an oponent (that was not bought this season). The oponent can not refuse this. This tile costs 2 gold + 1 gold/canal-piece on it.

Buy cows/move cows:
Players can buy cows or bulls for 3 money apiece.
Players may redistribute their cows and bulls over their land-hexes. A land-hex (including the one in front of the player) can hold a maximum of 5 animals.

Breed cows:
Put one cow on each tile that contained a bull and a cow at the beginning of this season. A cow and bull on the land-hex in front of the player produces no offspring.

Produce manure:
Each animal produces manure. Put 1 manure-chit / animal on the tile containing the animal. This goes for the land-hex in front of the player too.

Sell cows/move cows:
Players may sell animals for 3 gold apiece to the bank.

Manure land-hexes:
Players may take manure from the land-hex in front of them and put it on a land-hex they own.

Draw a crop-card and trade crop-cards :
Players draw a crop-card and may trade crop-cards. Players can add gold and manure to these bargains.

Plant crops:
Players may plant crops on a empty land-hexes (no bulls, cows or crop-cards) they own by putting crop-cards on it.

Move 1 canal and dig 1 canal:
Players may move a canal from the border of a land-hex they own onto that land-hex for 1 gold. The moved canal goes from the middle of the land-hex to one of the points it originally started/ended. This might be a canal on another players' land-hex, bordering on the active players' hex.
Players may then dig a canal at the border of a land-hex they owns for 1 gold.
The moved canal and the digged canal must be on different land-hexes.

Sell crops:
Players may sell the crops that must be reaped in the current season.
Remove the crop-card and one manure-chit for every canal bordering on the land-hex (these might be canals on other players' land-hexes) and on the land-hex.The rest of the manure stays on the land-hex.
For each removed manure-token a player gets 1 VP and 1 gold.

Get rid of excess dung:
Each player can pay 1 gold/manure-token he wants to remove from any land-hex he owns, including the starting land-hex in front of him.

Game end:
The game ends after the 20th season.
Players get 10 VP / land-hex they control.
Players must hand in 1 VP for every manure-chit they have on any tile they control. (This goes for the land-hex in front of the player too.)
Players add the VPs they earned by selling crops.

The player with most VPs wins the game.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #5 - Plant, you bastard!
by filwi

In Plant, you bastard! players take the role of rival tenant farmers vying for their landlords favor, by planting and harvesting the most crops.

The game takes place on a rectangular grid, such as a chessboard. For two players the grid is 5 x 5 squares, for three players 6 x 6 squares and for four players 7 x 7 squares.
Each player draws markers to represent his house and six types of fields. These are:

<br />
Type	Abbreviation	Number<br />
                                 per player<br />
Farm		F		 1<br />
Corn		C		 3<br />
Wheat		W		3<br />
Rye 		 R		 3<br />
Beets	 	 B		 3<br />
Potatoes	B		3<br />
Sheep 		S		2<br />
(fallow field)<br />

The game begins with each player, in counterclockwise order, placing his farm on an empty grid square. (In a two player game no farm may be placed on the middle grid square.) Then play begins with the last player to lay out his farm and continues in a clockwise order so that the player who placed farm first starts placing fields last.

During his turn each player must place a single field on a legal grid square. Players may not pass their turns.

The game ends once a player can not place a field.

Field placement:
Fields may be placed on any square on the board with the following restrictions:
• Large fields made up of the same crop are vulnerable to pests. Therefore fields of the same type may not be placed adjacent to each other. For example: a wheat field may not be placed in any of the eight grid squares surrounding an already placed wheat field.
• Large fields made up of similar crops (tubers, that is beets and potatoes or grains, that is wheat and rye) are slightly vulnerable to pests. Therefore fields of similar types may not be placed so they share a side, but may touch at corners. For example: A beet field may be placed in squares A,B,C or D but not in squares 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Admin NOTE: An image will be added here once I get a version of the image that I can view.

• For higher yields crops are rotated. Therefore fields may be placed on top of other fields, own or belonging to an opposing player, as long as they follow the following rotation scheme:
o Tubers (beets and potatoes) may replace corn.
o Grains (wheat and rye) may replace tubers.
o Corn may replace grains.
• Sheep are hardy animals that thrive all over the world. Therefore sheep fields may be placed anywhere on the board with no restrictions, including adjacent to or replacing other sheep fields.
• Obviously no field may replace a farm.

Scoring points
Only fields which can trace a route through orthogonally adjacent own or empty grids to the player's farmhouse at the end of the game score any points. Routes are traced across sides, fields that touch each other corner to corner do not count as adjacent for scoring purposes.

Only crop fields score points, with root vegetables and grains scoring one point while corn scores two points.
Sheep taste funny. Thus they are worthless on the open market and score no points, but they still count for tracing or blocking routes.

The player with the most points wins. In the case of a tie the player with the most corn on the board wins. If that is still a tie the player with fewest sheep on the board wins. If it is still a tie then the game is tied and all farmers get to stay on for another generation of disgruntled peons.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

by yogurt

Settlers clear the forests in a fragile new land. An individual’s recklessness could ruin them all, so they rely on law to preserve their farms over generations.

Loosely based on Iceland’s farmers, who have survived for a thousand years, this game is about planning, negotiation, gambling and defection.


Players choose where and what to farm. Their individual and collective choices change the land and determine how rich the land will be for their descendants.

Some dilemmas players face:

  • Free land can be carved from the forest, but erosion endangers crops.
  • Your neighbour's sheep may spoil the barley you need to survive.
  • Nature provides wild game, but greed will exhaust it.

Players may propose laws to control development. Defectors can use strongmen to ignore laws they don’t like.


The board consists of tiles with a forest track on one side. Some territories have bonuses.

A separate tile represents a shared mountain pasture.


Players place a homestead on any tile.



Settlers must adjust to unexpected challenges.

Two new tribulations are randomly picked from three cards turned over last round. (The unpicked card was a false alarm.)


  • Vulnerable saplings. Remove a forest from any tile with 4+ cattle.
  • Runoff. Ignore water bonuses on tiles with sheep.
  • Long winter. Cattle contribute no food.
  • Blight. All barley crops are reduced to one token.
  • Skraelings. Players must jointly discard 3 strongmen or everyone loses a homestead. Discard strongmen before learning whether this is a false alarm.

Most tribulations last one round, but some persist.


Draw three tribulations for next round.

3. COLLECT THREE WORKERS for each homestead you have.


Actions cost a worker.

Many actions also require a field. If none are available, you can replace one of your existing crops or you can clear land for free -- simply reduce any forest track touching your tile.

Keep taking actions until everyone passes.

Actions: build farms

Start a new crop or herd. Add a barley, turnip, cattle or sheep to a tile where you have a homestead. Requires land.

Expand a crop or herd. Add to an existing crop. Requires land, but no worker. This efficiency encourages risky monocrops.

Improve a crop. Replace a crop with a larger token. (Mulching!)

Move a herd. Requires land on the new tile.

Actions: harvest free food

Bounty. Draw three cards from the Wild deck, which contains walruses, flightless birds, etc.

Pasture. Place up to three livestock from your supply on the shared pasture.

Action: strongmen

Take a strongman from the supply.

Seize land. Discard three strongmen to take over a rival homestead and crops. Your victim can spend strongmen to resist. Other players can contribute to the defense.

Action: law

Propose a law. Laws are preprinted on cards. You set the blank value.


  • Place no more than __ livestock in the pasture.
  • Reduce no forest below __ trees.

Support. Place a strongman on a law.

Resist. Declare yourself above a law by placing a strongman on it. If your strongmen outnumber all supporting strongmen, ignore the law.


The Soil deck is a mix of safe blank cards and dangerous erosion cards.

Deal a line of Soil cards to determine how many cleared forest spaces will trigger erosion. Keep the cards secret until needed.

Erosion penalties progress from cancelled tile bonuses, to reduced harvest, to crop and forest destruction.


Reveal one Soil card per animal in the pasture. If three erosion cards appear, the pasture contributes no food this round.

If you reveal more than three erosions, remove a blank card from the deck for each one. The pasture is permanently weakened.


Collect 2 food for each crop or herd, plus improvements and bonuses on the tiles. Pay 4 food for each homestead.

Wild food cards show a random food amount. Collect the food, then discard the highest value card(s). Shuffle the rest back in. (Thus, large game grows rare.)


Use food to buy and place new homesteads, replacing forest or cropland if necessary.

If you have negative food, lose a homestead and 3 points for every shortfall.


Scoring rewards players with the most homesteads and most cattle, regardless of the environmental impact. Such is life. Unused workers are worth points for leisure.

In the last round, scoring rewards forests too.

Highest score after ten rounds wins.


  • Grow big fast. Starve when conditions change and hope you come out ahead.
  • Grow sustainably and use laws to stop neighbours from wrecking the land.
  • Rely on wild food. When it runs out, build strongmen and push others off their land.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #7 - The Wheat and the Weeds
by Horoku
Please Note: Word Count - 1024

(for 4 players)

1 game board with 180 hexagonal spaces
70 hex tiles for each crop (wheat, oats, corn and soy)
1 deck action cards
1 weed patch (3 hexes together)
20 weed tiles
4 crop description cards (one 4 each crop)

The Crops
The Crops are played the same way but have different characteristics. These are Seeds, Growth, Resistance and Score.

Seeds are the only way to start growing your crop. Tiles of your crop must be connected; directly or through adjacent tiles to a seed of your crop. The collection of tiles connected to your seeds is called your Field.

Growth defines how many of your crop's tiles you may place on your turn. For example, soy has a growth of 3, so on your turn, if you grow, you may place up to 3 soy tiles on the board.

Resistance defines how difficult it is for tiles to be "overgrown" (see Overgrowth section).

Score defines the points you score for each tile at the end of each round. There is also a bonus for surpassing a certain threshold of tiles on the board. For example, a +1 bonus means you score 1 additional point for each tile.

Seeds 1
Growth 3
Resistance 2
Score 2
Bonus- place 50 tiles = +1
- place 60 tiles = +2
- all tiles = +3

Seeds 2
Growth 2
Resistance 2
Score 3
Bonus- place 40 tiles = +1
- place 50 tiles = +2
- place 60 tiles = +3

Seeds 3
Growth 1
Resistance 3
Score 4
Bonus- place 35 tiles = +1
- place 45 tiles = +2
- place 55 tiles = +3

Seeds 3
Growth 1
Resistance 4
Score 5
Bonus - place 25 tiles = +1
- place 30 tiles = +2
- place 35 tiles = +3

The game begins with each player selecting one of the 4 crops. They are: Wheat, Oats, Corn and Soy. The owner of the game picks first, followed by the player to his left...etc. After crops are selected, the first player to select a crop begins by taking ONE of the following actions:
1) Place seed/crop tiles
2) Take action card
3) Play action card
A seed must always be the first tile placed(once placing tiles has been chosen), the first seed must be placed in the corner nearest the player. After an action is taken, the player to the left then does the same, and so on. This continues until the board is filled, at which point each player in turn gets a final chance to play a card, and the round ends. Players score their fields, adding any bonuses. Now crops rotate. Each player removes his tiles from the board and passes them and the info card to the left. The next round then begins with the player who ended the previous round. Rounds are played until every player has played one round with each type of crop. The highest total score from all rounds wins the game. In case of a tie, congrats to the winners!
The main way to obtain territory already occupied is to "overgrow" your opponent's tiles. This is done by surrounding the tile with other tiles of your own crop. In order to overgrow a tile, you must place enough tiles to match or exceed the defending crop's resistance. Example: If wheat player wants to overgrow a soy tile, the wheat player must have at least 2 tiles adjacent to the soy tile. As soon as the tile that matches/exceeds the soy resistance is placed, the wheat player immediately places a wheat tile on top of the soy tile.The soy player does not recieve the tile back, neither can he count the tile for anything at the end of the round.

Note: Overgrowth is ACTIVE, meaning that it only takes place when something happens, like a tile being placed. Overgrowth does NOT take place if a tile is surrounded by a majority of the same type tile. Example: If the soy tile had been surrounded by 4 other soy tiles, and 2 wheat tiles, no overgrowth would take place. Three tiles only counts as a majority if more than one type of tile surrounds a tile. Example: If the soy tile had 3 soy tiles and 2 wheat tiles around it, it would be overgrown. If, however, it was surrrounded by 2 wheat, 3 soy and 1 corn, it would not be overgrown. A tile may never be placed into a spot where it could be instantly overgrown. Example: A corn tile could never be placed adjacent to 2 wheat tiles, unless bordered by 3 or more corn tiles.

The Weed Patch
The weed patch moves via cards in the action deck. It is a patch of three hexes placed anywhere on the board where it would not be instantly overgrown. Part of the weed patch MAY be placed on top another player's tile(s) as an instant overgrowth provided that it is not surrounded. The weed patch has the following stats:
Growth 1
Resistance Special
Score Negative Multiplier
When the player who placed the weed patch takes his turn, he may opt to grow a weed tile INSTEAD of his own crop. Weed tiles don't have the ability to cover other tiles. The weed patch may only be overgrown when it is COMPLETELY SURROUNDED by tiles. Once overgrown, the patch is removed from the board, AND also all tiles that were underneath it. If not surrounded or removed until the end of a round, negative scoring takes place. The weed patch scores -3 per space multiplied by the number of different players that it is covering. Example: If wheat and corn are covered at the end of a round, they each lose 6 points per space of theirs that the weed patch covered.
Cards are varied including but not limited to:
"Place_the_weed_patch"- self explanatory
"Dope_dealer"- weed has no negative affect on your score this round
"Fertilizer"- grow an extra tile this turn
"Sabotage"- remove another player's tile this turn, you cannot grow next turn

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

by Nestalawe

It's the year 2310 and the Earth has been savaged by the foolishness of man and his hunger for war. Players take the roles of farmers struggling to grow enough H.O.P.E. to emigrate to the Metropolis. Fortunately, the wastelands hold nutrients for unusual produce…


- 8 Mapboards. Shows the wastelands divided into Empty Plots (hexes). Each board has one Homestead Plot.
- 52 Plot Tiles. Four sets of 3 Zombie, 2 Bunny, 3 Brains, 3 RadBerries and 2 H.O.P.E. tiles. Each tile shows a Fallow Plot on its reverse.
- 48 Zombie Workers. 4 sets of 12 Zombies.
- 8 Mutant Bunny Markers.
- 24 Brains Markers.
- 24 RadBerries. (A common post-apocalyptic currency)
- Zombie, Bunny, Brains, RadBerries and H.O.P.E. ‘Seeds’.
- 40 H.O.P.E. Markers. (‘Hallucinogenic Overgrown Penguin Eggs’ A rare delicacy of immense value)

Game Set-up

Choose 2 random boards per player. Players work together to configure the boards into a fun set-up then choose a Homestead as their own. Each player places two Fallow Plots adjacent to their Homestead, with one Zombie on each.

Each player takes the rest of their Plot Tiles, Zombie and Bunny Markers, 2 RadBerries Seeds, 2 Brains Seeds, 2 Zombie Seeds and 2 RadBerries.


Play is split into Turns. Each Turn is made up of the following Rounds –

1 – Plant Plots
2 – Move Zombies
3 – Move Bunnies
4 – Harvest Crops
5 – Buy Seeds
6 – Check Victory

Players take turns performing each Phase, beginning with the player with the most Plots, then continuing clockwise.

Plant Crops

Any Plot that contains at least 1 Zombie may be planted (exchanged for a new Plot). To be planted, the player must discard 1 Seed of the correct type. Fallow Plots may be planted with Zombie, Bunny or Brains Seeds. Zombie or Bunny Plots may be planted with Brains Seeds. Brains Plots may be planted with H.O.P.E. or RadBerries Seeds. Any unplanted Plots must turn to Fallow.

Move Zombies

Players may place a Brains marker onto any Plot they own, or that is adjacent to any Plot they own, except Homesteads (even if unowned). If a player has less Brains than another player, they may choose to pass their turn at placing Brains.

Beginning with the player placing the Brains and continuing clockwise, any player with Zombies adjacent to the Plot with the Brains marker may move up to all of these Zombies into the Plot. Any Zombies that are moved must end their movement with at least one friendly Zombie in an adjacent Plot.

If more than one player ends up with Zombies in the Plot, they must each remove one Zombie at a time, until there are no Zombies, or only one player has Zombies left. If a player now has Zombies in a Plot owned by another player, they may replace the current Crop with one of their own of the same type by discarding one of their occupying Zombies, otherwise the Crop returns to Fallow. Moving Zombies has no effect on Bunnies. If Zombies are moved into an Empty Plot, their owning player may place a Fallow Plot into the Plot.

Players may keep placing Brains and moving in turn until no player wants to place any more Brains. There is no limit to the number of Zombies able to be placed in a Plot. After all players have moved, half (rounded down) of each player’s leftover Brains must be discarded.

Move Bunnies

Each player MUST move all their Bunnies. Bunnies may be moved up to three Plots. Bunnies may not move through enemy Zombies or Bunnies. If their destination Plot contains a Bunny and/or Zombies, then the enemy Bunny and all Zombies are eaten (returned to owning player’s hand). If there were no Zombies or Bunnies in the Plot, then the Plot (even if Fallow) is removed and returned to its owning player. The Bunny is also removed after moving.

Harvest Crops

All Plots that have Zombies in them harvest their Crops –

Zombie...............2 Zombies
Mutant Bunny......1 Bunny
Brains.................2 Brains
RadBerries..........3 RadBerries
H.O.P.E...............1 H.O.P.E.

Zombies and Bunnies are placed on the Plot where they were harvested. Players take Brains, RadBerries and H.O.P.E. from the stockpile.

Buy Seeds

Each player may buy Zombie, Bunny, Brains, RadBerries and H.O.P.E. Seeds from the Metropolis. Each Seed costs 1 RadBerries.

Players may also exchange either 2 Zombies from anywhere on the board, or any 2 Seeds for 1 RadBerries to spend immediately.

Check Victory

If a player has gained 12 H.O.P.E. they win the game! If more than one player reaches 12 H.O.P.E. on the same turn, the player with the most Plots (including Fallow Plots) wins.

The winning player is able to close up shop and bribe their way into the Metropolis!

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #9 - You Reap What You(and others) Sow
by DanogNellows

A game for 5 players. Each player is a grower of a particular type of crop.
In this region of the world crop rotation is a must. After a crop has been harvested,
a different type of crop must take it's place. The agricultural board has determined
which crops perform best after certain crops are grown, so they have set guidelines
that must be abided by. Players score by harvesting crops and by having the most
crops at the end of the game.

50 beans of each color of crop. (i.e. red beans = tomatoes,etc)
5 black beans(beetle larva)
10 each colored cups matching the variety of beans.
1 BIG bag to hold all the beans.
1 5x5 grid board.

Setup: Players take all the cups in their crops color. Players then randomly place
5 cups each on the farming area. There is no advantage to any position.
Place multicolored bean off to side for now.
Randomly select 5 beans from bag and set them in front of bag. Randomly
select one player to go first.

Crop Rotation Chart:

For example. After the player that controls the blueberry crops harvests one of his crops, the only two possible crops to plant there next are: tomatoes and collards.

Gameplay: On a player's turn he may do one of the following actions:
1.collect 2 beans- he either may take 2 beans from the visible beans or
2 randomly from the bag. Or a combination of the two.
2.Plant beans- Player may plant any number of beans in any number of cups.
The cups can belong to any player (including himself).
3.Harvest- Player may harvest one of his crops. (see harvesting)

Harvesting- Player chooses a cup to be harvested. Player dumps contents out in front
of him. Scores harvest accordingly. Determine next crop to be planted. Do this
based on 1) The majority of one of the two beans(crops) that are eligible to
be planted next or 2) if a tie or no qualifying beans, the harvester chooses between
the two eligible crops.
The owner of the chosen crop places one of his cups on that spot.
Place harvested beans and also the qualifying beans(if any present) off to side. The two
other types of beans(if any present) go into the incoming crop owner's cup.

Beetle Larva- Can be placed like normal bean. When harvested though the crops are ruined!
Score nothing for those crops. Player affected puts black bean as part of his beans
that may be played later. If 2 black beans are in one harvest that plot of land is
infested and unusable for rest of game. Remove player's cup and remove black beans
from game.

Multicolored Bean- When drawn game ends immediately. Once the bag has been exhausted of all beans, place all beans that have been set aside(harvested) into the bag, this time also putting the multicolored bean in the bag also.

Scoring: Must have at least 5 beans of any type in cup to score. Score is based on purity of crops.
Current crop beans > than other type beans score 2 pts.
Current crop beans <= other type beans score 1 pt.
Current crop beans double the total of other type beans score 4pts.
If no other type beans present at all score 10pts!

Winning: Once the multicolored bean has been drawn. Add scores up. Farmer who has
the most farms on the board gets a 25 pt bonus. If there are ties divide evenly
rounding down. Player with most points wins.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #10 - Irrigation Aggravation
by LSJ

A game of farming and water rights for two.

Object: have the greatest value of harvested crops at the end of the game.


  • Board: a 5x5 grid. Each square can hold a card and several tokens. Squares are adjacent if they share an edge (that is, diagonal doesn’t count as adjacent). Two corners are the “homestead” spaces for each player. The spaces connecting the other two corners are the river. Control of these spaces allows a player to better control water flow to his or her crops. Each other space is field (farmable land).
  • First Player marker.
  • Tokens: Water tokens, Soil tokens in five different types (A-E), and control tokens in two colors (one set for each player).
  • Cards: A deck of cards showing crops and what soil and/or water token(s) they require and how much the crop is worth when harvested. Some of the crop cards are Fallow cards and have no requirements (and no value, since they are never harvested). A Fallow card marks a field as being specially handled (not simply untended). Example crop:

Deal five cards to each player. Each player puts a control marker in the two squares adjacent to his or her homestead. Each field starts with one of each soil token, and each river space starts with two water tokens. Choose a player to go first. That player receives the First Player marker.

Each turn consists of four seasons: Spring (claiming land and planting), Summer (river and field management), Fall (harvesting), and Winter (preparing for the next turn).

Spring is the action phase. Players each take a total of five actions, ordered as follows:
Player 1: 1 action
Player 2: 2 actions
Player 1: 2 actions
Player 2: 2 actions
Player 1: 2 actions
Player 2: 1 action

The types of actions are:

  • Draw: Draw a card. If the last card is drawn, the game ends at Winter this turn.
  • Claim: Place a control marker in an unclaimed square adjacent to a square you already control.
  • Plant: Play a crop card in one of your fields that has no card.
  • Water: Place a water token in any field (regardless of control).

In Summer, players improve the soil in unplanted fields and fields which lie fallow. Then players handle runoff and redirection of the river water (irrigation) and check for flooding.

Improve soil: Each unplanted field receives a soil token of any type, as chosen by the owner (unclaimed fields do not improve). Each field with a Fallow card on it receives three soil tokens instead, of the same or of different types (and the Fallow card is discarded).

Runoff: Beginning with the first player, players alternate moving water tokens from either unplanted fields (on either side of the river) or unclaimed river spaces to adjacent fields (planted or unplanted). Each water token can only be moved once in this phase, and they can only be moved away from the river, not toward it.

Irrigation: For each claimed river square, the player who claimed it moves the two water tokens from that river space to any field or fields.

Flooding: Any field with four (or more) water tokens at this point is flooded. Any crop card there is discarded (all tokens remain).

Each crop is harvested (scored) or fails.
For each crop card planted, fill as many of the requirement boxes on the card as possible with tokens from the field. Then check to see if the crop has all of the required soil and water tokens.

Harvest: If it has all the requirements, the owner places the crop card in his score pile. Discard the soil and water tokens used.

Failed Crop: If not, discard the crop card and any tokens on it, and remove the control token from that field. If the opponent controls space adjacent to that failed crop, he or she may place a control token in that field.

In either case, the owner (if any, at this point) adds one new soil token of any type that was not required by the crop.

If the deck still has cards remaining, prepare for the next turn:

  • Any player holding more than five cards discards down to five.
  • Place two water tokens on each river.
  • For each field that has more than one water token, remove all but one.
  • Move the “First Player” marker to the other player.

Game End
If the last card has been drawn, the game ends. The player with the largest value of crop cards in his or her score pile wins. Ties are broken by number of crop cards scored, then by number of fields owned.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #11 - Farm Feud
by Gamebot

2 Players

Two frontiersmen come across the same stretch of terrain and both want to claim it as their own. They race to fence off and cultivate their land while trying to make each other’s life more difficult.

Object of the Game
The object of the game is to prevent your opponent from being able to move by claiming and taking over land.

• 1 Game Board (7x7 Tiled)
• 48 Double-sided Land Tiles (Player 1, Player 2)
• 48 Double-sided Ditch Tiles (Empty, Water-filled)
• 48 Barren Tiles
• 192 Tomato Cubes
• 144 Corn Cubes
• 96 Lettuce Cubes
• 2 Farmer Pawns
• 2 Horse Pawns
• 2 Barn Tokens
• 2 Windmill Tokens
• 10 Rifle Tokens
• 10 Shovel Tokens
• 30 Movement Cards (Numbered 1-5)
• 30 Coins

1. Put each player’s farmer on the center space of the board.
2. Shuffle the movement cards and deal three to each player.
3. Randomly determine the starting player.

Turn Summary
Each turn the active player may do any or all the following in any order:
• The active player may make one movement.
• The active player may purchase items or buildings.
• The active player may use a shovel or rifle.

To move, the active player plays one movement card and moves his farmer that many spaces. He then draws a new card.

Movement works as follows:
• The farmer can only be moved to adjacent land.
• Backtracking is not allowed.
• The farmer can only be moved through unsettled land or land that the active player owns.
• The farmer can never be moved through land with a ditch or land that the opponent owns.

After the movement is complete, one of the following happens:
• If the farmer ends up on an unsettled land, he claims it by placing a tile matching his color on the land.
• If the farmer ends up on a land that the active player already owns (and is not barren), he plants a crop on the land.

Planting Crops
• If there is no crop being grown, add a cube of any type to the land.
• If a crop is already being grown, add a cube of that type to the land.
• When the second lettuce cube is added, collect 1 coin. The lettuce is done being grown. The cubes remain and no more lettuce cubes can be added to that land.
• When the third corn cube is added, collect 2 coins. The corn is done being grown. The cubes remain and no more corn cubes can be added to that land.
• When the fourth tomato cube is added, collect 3 coins. The tomato is done being grown. The cubes remain and no more tomato cubes can be added to that land.
• When a land can no longer take cubes, remove all cubes and add a barren tile to it.

Purchasing Items and Buildings
The following items and buildings may be purchased for 5 coins each:
Barn – A barn can only be purchased when the player’s farmer is on his barren land and he does not already own a barn. The barn allows the player to purchase a horse. If a player loses his barn, he loses his horse.
Windmill – A windmill can only be purchased when the player’s farmer is on his barren land and he does not already own a windmill. The windmill allows the player to flip all of his ditch tokens to the water-filled side. Water-filled ditches double the number of cubes added on all eight land surrounding it, and removes any barren tokens from them. If a player loses his windmill, then all ditches are reverted back to the empty ditch side.
Horse – A horse can only be purchased if the player owns a barn. The horse allows a player to move diagonally.
Rifle – The rifle allows the player to gain control of any land owned by an opponent adjacent to your player’s farmer. If the land contains a barn or windmill, instead of taking control, the barn or windmill is removed.
Shovel - The shovel allows the player to place or remove a ditch token on any land adjacent to his farmer. You cannot place a ditch on a land with a player, barn, or windmill.

Game End
The game ends when one of the following happens:
• When a player cannot play a movement card and move the required spaces, he loses.
• When a player uses a rifle on a land with his opponent’s farmer, he wins.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #12 - Hoe! Hoe! Hoe! Migrant Green Giant!
by doho123

Each Round has four different phases:

With FarmBucks (the local currency), players may buy new PARCELS OF LAND and/or pay to SWITCH TO A DIFFERENT PLANTING CROP from the previous Round. Each Round, the price to do either increases.

There are four different Crops (Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, and Rice). There is no charge to plant the same Crop as last Round. Players only have 1 Planting Crop per Round.

Parcels are land areas on the board; some have a RIVER running through them, others do not. Each Parcel can potentially produce 2 different Crops (however, only one may be produced per Round). Each Parcel shows a CROP TRACK of the amount of a particular Crop that will be produced on the parcel, if that Planting Crop is selected. Parcels also show a VP amount (the larger the VP, the smaller the values on the Crop Track).

When a new parcel is purchased, a player places a BARN of his color on the center space of the Crop Track. The cost to buy a new Parcel next to a previously owned Parcel is reduced slightly.

Players draw RAIN cards from the RAIN DECK equal to the amount of Parcels they own. Players play Rain cards from their hands at will (or may keep them for further Rounds) until no one wishes to play another Rain card. Rain cards show values from -3 to +3. Playing Rain lets a player move the CLOUD TOKEN (as indicated by the Rain card played) on the RAIN TRACK. The Rain Track runs from 0 to 20, indicating how much rain “the county” receives this year. When everyone stops playing Rain cards, if the Cloud is on space 5 or less, there is a DROUGHT, and only Parcels with Rivers will produce Crops this year. If the Cloud is on space 15 or above, there is a FLOOD, and only Parcels without Rivers will produce Crops this year.

Roll (number of players+1)d6 to determine how many MIGRANT GREEN GIANTS come to town this year to work the fields. Players secretly write down how many Giants they want to hire. Players may discuss before deciding on their hire amount. Players then reveal their amounts. An additional 1d6 is rolled and added to the dice total. If the total amount of Giants all players want to hire is less than (or equal to) the total amount of the dice roll, then all players take their amount desired of GIANT FIGURES. If the total amount of desired hires is more than then dice roll, then the player (or players tied) with the most desired hires gets none (Giants abhor being forced to work for demanding land owners!). Players may discuss, barter, or trade money, Parcels, Giants, future Crops, Rain Cards, etc. at any point.

Players place 1 Giant on each Parcel they wish to be harvested. Parcels affected by Flood/Drought will not produce Crops regardless if Giants are working those Parcels.

Players tally up their harvest. On each Parcel a player owns that has a Giant and is not affected by Flood/Drought, check the Crop Track, and if a Crop matches the player’s Planted Crop, then the players earns the amount shown in FarmBucks. Move the player’s barn one space on the track TOWARDS large Crop icon that matches the selected Crop.

Parcels which do not have the player’s selected Crop on their Crop Track do not produce anything in this Round. However, the Barn on such Parcels is moved, if need be, one space towards the center space on the Parcel’s Crop Track. Do not move the Barn on flooded or Drought-ed Parcels.

Remove all Giants from the board.

Winning the game:
After 6 cycles through the Rain deck, the game is over. The player who has the most total VP shown on they Parcels they own wins.


Red (with his barn) owns the Parcel above.
To produce 1 FarmBuck from Corn, Red must have Corn as his selected Crop, place a Giant on this Parcel to harvest it, and not have the Rain Track show Flood, due to the river.
Then the barn move one space over to the left. This land has been “farmed out” of Corn for now (but will produce lots of soybeans!).

To produce 3 FarmBucks from Soybeans, Red must have Soybeans as his selected Crop, place a Giant on this Parcel to harvest it, and not have the Rain Track show Flood, due to the river.
Then the barn move one space over to the right.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #13 - Hick’onomics
by clapjaws

For 3-5 players

In the hill country folks strive to make ends meet any way they can. Some try the lucrative, but risky, venture of moonshining, using local ‘crops’.


Land Grids: player-boards with a grid and a background showing hills and woods. Each board has a grid of 4 rows x 3 columns (12 plots), and a place for controlled market tokens.

Jugs of shine –a common pool of tokens

Market tokens - each market is represented by a small city token, which shows the value of that market.

Crop cards: There are 7 different crops, but you may only play 1 type of plant per row. Once planted, crops cannot be moved (until the Harvest). The first number indicates the value in the Spring, the second value is for Summer/Fall. Crops are: Peppergrass (1/1); Chicory (2/1); Rhubarb (2/0); Sassafras (2/1); Persimmon (1/2); Red Mulberry (0/3); Elderberry (0/2).

Bumper Crop cards: These increase the value of your crops.
“Extra Fertilizer (don’t ask)” – cards in row are +1;
“Decent Rain” – adjacent crop cards (not diagonal) are +1.

Messin’ cards: played on other folks’ land.
“Free!” (depicts a sign posted in a field) - At Harvest time, 1 crop card adjacent to a Free! Card must be discarded, as passersby have helped themselves*
“Hey, who moved that stump??” – one night you decided to “adjust” the property line with your neighbor. Any cards above or below this one come to you when Harvested.
“Sour Grapes” – puts a rotten plant in someone’s fields, decreasing the Harvest value by 2.
“Varmits” – critters eat the crop card above or below this card*

*The owner of the plot gets to decide which to discard at harvest time.

Busted! Cards – “Whatcha got there??” This card must be placed face up in front of you when drawn. At Distilling time, players must pay the amount shown in jugs to the local ‘authorities’, in order to stay in business. Once paid, such cards are discarded.

Game Sequence

The starting player is the one that looks most like a hillbilly (known as the “Hillbilly”). Shuffle the cards and deal out 5 to each player. The rest becomes the draw pile.

Spring Season:

Plant crops: Starting with the Hillbilly, and going in clockwise order, each player must plant, facedown, 1, 2, or 3 cards in their own plots, OR 1 card in a neighbor’s lands. In games with 4 or more players, you cannot plant cards in land that does not border yours – you just aint that sneaky. Repeat this until each player plants 4 times.

Harvest: Each player flips over their crops cards, and resolves any Messin’ cards that are in their lands. Use the first value on the crop cards when figuring this Harvest’s value. All planted cards must be Harvested.

Distill the Swill: For every 3 Harvest points, you get 1 jug token. All harvested cards are then discarded, whether or not they were used to collect a jug.

Markets: The Hillbilly selects one of the market tokens to bid on. All players determine their bid by placing a number of jugs in their closed hand. When all are ready, reveal them simultaneously. The player with the most jugs in hand gains control of the market token for that town, and places it on their player-board. That player then selects the next token for bid. Continue until all market tokens have been bid on once. When there is a tie for highest bid, the market stays unclaimed.

Players can control more than one market. Players do not have to bid at all on any particular market, but are encouraged to at least bluff.

Swap Meet
The Hillbilly starts off the Swap Meet by offering up a trade, if they desire. Players can freely wheel and deal as many times as they wish. Trades can include leftover jugs and/or crop cards. No Messin’ or Busted cards allowed!

Trades that have been accepted should be conducted on the table, with cards turned up, before any cards are placed in their new owner’s hand. Finish any current trade before starting a new one. Players are not required to trade, and are not required to reveal their cards if not involved. Once all trades are completed, the Hillbilly declares the Swap Meet closed, and begins the next season.

Summer/Fall Season: Follow the same steps as Spring Season above, but plant 6 times each. Remember to use the second number on the crop cards as the Harvest value. Market tokens currently owned by a player count as +2 to their bid in the second season. There is no Swap Meet after this season.

Final Scoring: Players tally up their Market share points. If there is a tie, the tied player with the most leftover jugs is the winner.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #14 - Kaiso
by Jpwoo

The tiny bay of Kaiso Wan has always been fertile ground for edible seaweed, or kaiso. The villagers here have for years built catch fences and planted seaweed that they harvested and pressed into Nori. The players control these farming families as they attempt to become the most prosperous in all of Kaiso Wan.

Players: 2-4

Type: Middle weight German


Board:Depicts the family homes of the players. Squares in the bay represent potential Kaiso fields. A market circle at the top of the board shows current prices, a year track, and an area for event cards. Two player games use only the top half of the board, fold out the other two quarters to accommodate more players.

Dice: The dice look like sushi rolls, white dice with a green band of nori wrapped around them. These come in light green, green, and black-green.

Infrastructure cards: Boats, Nori presses, house upgrades. Have capacity and cost printed on them.

Fences: Sets of color coded markers. Players must build fences to grow Kaiso. Cost 1 Ryo.


Harvest/Nori tokens: Three colors of tokens to correspond to the three types of seaweed. These represent both planted seaweed and the final product of pressed Nori.

Ryo: Money tokens

Event cards

Baby tokens


Players score one point for the following.
1. Having the most Kaiso fields
2. Having the most Ryo
3. Having the biggest family
4. Having the most Favor
Ties are broken by who has the most infrastructure on their farm.

Set up:

Each player has two meeples, an aged father and son or daughter. They also have three fences set up in front of their home. Players are given a boat and a press, As well as 2 Ryo.


There are five phases per year.

Spring:Building, buying, planting. In this season players may build fences, upgrade their homes, buy presses or boats. Fences may be placed adjacent to another fence that the player owns. A player must spend 1 favor to build a fence in the red middle fields.

Players may plant new kaiso beds on their fences, by putting a harvest token on the field.

Summer:Harvesting. The dice start on fields with a green side up, indicating that they are fertile. The player may roll as many dice as they have available, but they are not required to roll them all. Each die that comes up green may produce a harvest token of the same color, limited by boat and press capacity. A meeple must be available to man a boat, and another to work the presses. If additional boats or presses are purchased additional meeples are needed to work them.

If the die comes up blank, the field has run out, and is discarded.

Fall: Selling and Donation. Players decide which Nori they are selling to the merchant, and which they are donating to the war effort. Prices are determined by the market. In the first round everything sells for one ryo. The sold nori are stacked by type beside the market. In future Fall turns nori will sell for 1,2, or 3 ryo, from top selling to bottom selling.

Harvest tokens may be donated to the governor for favor. This is done at a rate of 1:1.

Winter:The winter phase players take one action.

1. Night Fishing: a player may destroy one of another players fences.
2. Night Farming: a player may roll a die from another players fence and produce a harvest. This automatically depletes the field.
3. Courting: player rolls a die, if they get a blank they may take another meeple.
4. Family building: If they player has courted they may roll a die, if they get a green face, they put a baby token on the year track. In the spring phase five years after the token is placed the player may take another meeple.
5. Petition: The player may petition the local magistrate for the right to go first in future rounds. If multiple players petition, they may pay Favor to outbid one another.
6. Send son to war: if there is a war card in play, the player may trade a meeple in for 5 favor. This meeple is put on the year track 6 years ahead of the current year. If any death events occur meeples “at war” are killed first.

New years:Players must pay 1 gold for every two meeples at home (feeding and taxes). The year counter is moved, babies mature, and sons come back from war. Seeded fields are turned into dice.

An even card is drawn. Most cards are blank. Others invoke special events, such as high taxes, earthquakes that destroy fences, price booms, death cards that kill meeples, war cards that provide more favor when donating nori.

The game ends at the end of the year track, or when someone builds an “estate” card.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Entry #15 - Yugoslavia
by DavemanUK

The year is 1919 and the Yugoslavian farming system undergoes a land reform of nearly 2 million hectares. Players manage Peasant Work Cooperatives in efforts to consolidate their land holdings and generate profits through selling their crops.

- 25 land tiles (distribution as: 7 Poor soil, 9 Average soil, 9 Rich soil)
- 25 crop counters (distribution as: 9 Wheat, 9 Potatoes, 7 Sugar-Beet)
- Player colour markers
- Cash

To have the most cash at the end of the game.

Arrange all the land tiles face down into a 5x5 grid then turn them all face up.
Put all the crop counters into a face down central pool and mix them up.
Give each player all their player colour markers and 10 cash (cash amounts are kept secret by each player until the end of the game).
Randomly decide the first active player.

Each Round of Play has three phases: Auctions, Plant Crops, and Income & Farming Fees.

Phase 1 - Auctions
The active player turns face up any two face down crop counters in the central pool.
The active player then secretly looks at 3 of the unclaimed land tiles that form a continuous orthogonal chain. He then chooses two of those tiles to be auctioned (resolving one after the other). Each auction is a ‘once around’ auction starting with the active player and moving clockwise. Each player may bid higher then the previous bidder or pass. Players may only bid with the cash they have available. If all players pass then the active player wins the auction for 0 cash. The highest bidding player in each of the auctions pays their bid to the bank, turns over the land tile they won and places one of their colour markers on it. The players who did not win either auction this round take one of the face up crop counters from the central pool and places it in front of them (priority goes to the player nearest clockwise from the active player for this round).

Phase 2 - Plant Crops
Starting from the active player, each player may place their crop counters face up onto land tiles they own with the following restrictions:

- Potatoes require Average or Rich soil land tiles
- Sugar-Beet requires Rich soil land tiles
- A crop counter may not be planted on a land tile that has a face down crop counter on it.

Each player then retrieves their face down crop counters, if any, from the land tiles and turns them face up again.

Phase 3 - Income & Farming Fees
Each player receives cash from the bank for each of their face up crop counters on land tiles as follows:

- Wheat = 2 cash
- Potatoes = 3 cash
- Sugar-Beet = 4 cash

Each player then pays back to the bank cash equal to the number of contiguous areas that they own (an area may be made up of any number of orthogonal adjacent land tiles that player owns). If a player does not have enough cash to pay these farming fees then they must sell their crop counters at 1 cash each until the fees are paid. A player may not go below 0 cash even after selling their crop counters.
Each player then turns their crop tiles face down on the land tiles.

End of Round
If there are at least 3 unclaimed land tiles that form a continuous orthogonal chain then the next player clockwise from the active player becomes the new active player and the next round begins. Otherwise, it is the end of the game and the player with the most cash in hand wins (ties broken on the number of crop counters owned).

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game Design Showdown June 2006: "Growing Season"

Challenge Results

Based upon the votes I received, we have the following results ...

First Place (24 points on 9 votes) -- HEDGE WIZARDRY by OutsideLime (Entry #2)

Second Place -- A TIE:

  • (20 points on 9 votes) -- Plant, you bastard! by filwi (Entry #5)
  • (20 points on 8 votes) -- Irrigation Aggravation by LSJ (Entry #10)
The rest of the scoring went as follows ...
  • Hoe! Hoe! Hoe! Migrant Green Giant! by doho (Entry #12) -- 15 points on 7 votes
  • Farm Feud by Gamebot (Entry #11) -- 12 points on 5 votes
  • You Reap What You (and others) Sow by DanogNellows (Entry #9) -- 10 points on 5 votes
  • APOCALYPSE FAMRERS by Nestalawe (Entry #8) -- 8 points on 4 votes
  • THE LAND PASSES DOWN by yougurt (Entry #6) -- 6 points on 4 votes
  • Hick'onomics by clapjaws (Entry #13) -- 6 points on 3 votes
  • Kaiso by Jpwoo (Entry #14) -- 6 points on 3 votes
  • The Wheat and the Weeds by Horoku (Entry #7) -- 6 points on 2 votes
  • Yugoslavia by DavemanUK (Entry #15) -- 3 points on 2 votes
  • MANURE! by Gogolski (Entry #4) -- 3 points on 1 votes
  • Fierce Farmers Fight For Farmland by seo (Entry #1) -- 1 point on 1 vote
  • Seeds of War by Ska_barron (Entry #3) -- received no votes
Feel free to continue the critiquing of the entries here:

Thanks again to everyone!! The July Challenge will be posted in a couple of weeks.


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