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Solstice - A Table-Top Farm Game! - Looking for reviewers :)

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DavidBradbury's picture
Joined: 07/22/2009

"Solstice is a table-top board game for two to four players. Each player plays the role of a farmer, each with a plot of land to do as they please with the ultimate goal of bringing in the most amount of money over the course of 5 years. At the end of the 5th year, each player sells off everything they have and the farmer with the most amount of money wins!"

New to this forum, but not new to making games. I'm working on producing my first board game, and was wondering if anyone would like to read over the rules and see if anyone has any input. Is it clear? Should there be any more images explaining the process? Any confusion on what should happen given a special circumstance? Thanks! :)

I've attached the file to this post :)

DavidBradbury's picture
Joined: 07/22/2009
Some changes thanks to the

Some changes thanks to the guys on IRC:

Rotating GM
Limited Crops/Trees
Minor grammar issues

Joined: 07/08/2009


I'd just tell them to cut out the pieces before playing. If they play a lot of games, they'll be doing it anyway. If they haven't, it will be a huge drag for their first time, cutting things out as they go along.

"Border" not "boarder."


"Not to be confused with game master" will confuse anyone who continues to read the rules and can't figure out what the game master they aren't supposed to be confusing 'game manager' with is.

If this is supposed to be cute, cut it (your cuteness works in the other places: "run outside screaming"). If you're worried about infringing on someone's property (is "GM" owned by Hasbro?) it might be safer to just go with "farm manager," or something. I'm not sure what your intent is with this bit, but it will be confusing to a newcomer to games.


"Each season's event cards should be sorted by season and shuffled before this point." Okay, tell them to do it before this point.

It says I can buy both in-season animals and non-seasonal animals, but the only restriction I can find later about animal buying is on pigs and cows, and this rule says I can buy them out of season and the pig rule says I can't. Definitely some confusion here. Okay, I get what's going on. It's saying I can buy pigs or cows as long as it's spring, and I can also buy chickens and sheep. But chicken and sheep are never called non-seasonal in their descriptions. I would say that players can "Buy animals" and the pig and cow sub-sections will tell them they may only buy those if it's spring.


You need to define "overlap" and you need to define "stand with . . . crops." Can the markers be piled on top of each other?

"A maximum of two sections worth of the same plant can be planted" should probably be something like "The same crop may only be in two sections at once." That's what the example after it seems to imply, but the way it's originally worded makes it seem like I can have half a sections worth in four different sections.

"The grid restricts from there being more than 4 plants in one section, but it is good to mention that maximum in case there is any confusion." There is confusion. I am looking at a diagram near the beginning of the rulebook of four grids with fifty spaces each on them. From what I can figure out, that picture may be wrong, and the grids actually have four spaces on them, and like resources are stacked in piles. This makes the "overlap" make more sense. Right now, it is not clear to me, though.

"Crops may not be planted over animals." Again, define what prepositions mean in your game. Are they covering them up? Do animals have to be used first? Are they allowed to be in a grid that's above another grid?"

Also, a minor thing is to make sure you use either numerals or written numbers, but not both: "The grid restricts from there being more than 4 plants in one section" doesn't look very professional.


I think the correct term for harvesting wool is "shear." It's a little awkward to tell your kids it's time to shave their sheep.

"Pigs, while they do not produce goods each month, in fact, they cost money each month, they are good for making a larger sum of money at the end of each year" Is not a very good sentence. "Pigs cost money each month but are sold for a lot at the end of the year" or something like that communicates the same information.

"May (must):" Heh. Choose one. (I believe it's "must.")


"After setting their bet, each player must announce how much they bet," may not be required, since you already said that a player has to show me his ledger whenever I want, or be kicked out of the game. (About the ledger rule . . . I like it, but maybe it should just be required that the game master (since he has experience) may check it whenever they want, to prevent too much bickering/ time wasting. Then the bet announcement could probably stay in.)

"If there are no WS cards left, any SS cards picked up do nothing and vice versa." Is vice versa possible? This should probably be explained. The way I am imagining it is there are a couple of each of these cards in each season's deck, so if a winter one get's drawn with no summer in play, they just make some money. So, I feel like if it's possible for a winter one to be drawn, with all the summer ones gone, and this in fact means players get no money (the vice versa) then it means there can be two summer cards in play before a winter one is drawn. That eventuality needs to be covered too, if it's possible. Do we get two bets? Do we make a new bet? Does nothing happen when the new one is drawn?


"Money per each season" could be less redundant as "Money per season."

Also, it says prior to this that pigs cost money each "month". Probably should say which it is.

Also, I can't find what happens if you can't pay for a pig.

"Sale" should probably be "Sell" if it's supposed to be the same as the others.


"Maturity:" I can not find anything in the rule book that explains when a crop is mature. Even if I am somehow missing it (I doubt it) it's definitely not easy enough to find.


If "Maturity" became "Fruit," that might make a little more sense. I am assuming that they get fruit during their "season" which is also when you buy them, so they don't make money for a year, but make it every year thereafter. (This is a curiosity thing, but do pears really get picked in the winter?)


Sounds like a fun game. I have never played Agricola, but have read a little about it, and since it is the number one ranked game on BGG, I imagine you have asked the question, and been asked "why play Solstice instead?" I'd be curious to hear the answers.

The game certainly sounds fun. It sounds like it's be pretty easy to pick up for most ages. Sounds like it would be a refreshing upgrade from monopoly for people who have never played a non-walmart game, and a relaxed alternative for someone who plays a different style of game (I love hooking magic players on new games!)

I worry when I see only two names under the play testers. Has anyone really tried to break this? I haven't looked closely at the numbers, or seen the effects of the events, but I'd hate for it to have not been tested enough, and easy to solve or something (not an accusation or assumption, just a musing!)

Anyway, I hope some of this was helpful!


DavidBradbury's picture
Joined: 07/22/2009
Awesome help all around. Made

Awesome help all around. Made many fixes there regarding everything you said. I actually had never heard of Agricola before making this. I was talking with some people on IRC and they mentioned it when I asked them to read the rules.

Personally, I'd recommend Solstice partially because it is very accessible and approachable. With a game like Agricola, it seems to be something you wouldn't want to bring to a family gathering. Solstice introduces a lot of table-top elements to people who would normally never play a table-top styled game. Once you have the rules down, a game can be finished in under an hour, but can also be extended if need be. After the first time playing it, set-up only takes a couple seconds if you're organized, and a couple minutes if you're not. This won't be the game for more hard-core players, but as a fun and creative game to play with friends, it plays quite well.

I do agree that I need some more aggressive players to really try to break the game, and I'm hoping that as more becomes available, people who are interested could add their own input into what the game could have. I believe this set up has a ton of potential, and as more people look at it, the game will only become better and better.

Huge thanks for the help, I've uploaded an updated PDF with the new changes in the first post :)

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