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Playing The Card Game Bohnanza
This highly original card game challenges the players with buying, planting, and selling beans. The planting space is limited, so players are constantly being forced to make room for new crops. The rules are simple to learn, but the game itself will keep you challenged for hours. Along the way, you'll also engage in politics and time travel thanks to some very creative supplements. 2 to 6 players are the norm, and an average game can be completed within an hour. A game which can be enjoyed by the whole family, Bohnanza also encourages cooperation and interaction with opponents.
History of Bohnanza
The game was designed by Uwe Rosenberg and released in 1997 by Amigo Spiele in Germany and Rio Grande Games in English. The title of the game is a pun on the words "bonanza" and "bohne" (German for bean).
Rules of the Bohnanza Game
Bohnanza uses a special deck of cards featuring stylized illustrations of eight different types of beans. Later supplements add even more cards for the players to enjoy.
The game begins with a hand of cards being dealt to each player. Depending on the number of people playing and the rules being used, hand size can vary from game to game. The most common number of cards to be dealt, however, is 5. As a player receives his or her cards, they must keep them in the order that they received them at all times.
Cards in the player's hand are kept hidden at all times, although cards in the fields and trading areas are visible to all players. Cards not dealt to the players at the beginning are placed face-down in the middle of the table to form the draw pile. The top card from this pile is turned face-up and placed next to the draw pile. This forms the discard pile. Players may not examine the cards in either pile.
Each player starts the game with two invisible fields in which to plant beans. A third field may be obtained at any point during the course of the game by paying 3 coins. The more fields you have then the more beans that can be planted and the more money you can make by harvesting the beans.
Each field can contain any number of bean cards, but the bean cards must all be the same type of bean.
During their turn, a player has several tasks that he can or must perform. These include:
1. A player must play the first card in their hand into a field. By doing so, this may also require the player to harvest beans.
2. After having played the first card in their hand into a field, a player now has the option to play their next card into a field.
3. The player must take the top two cards from the discard pile and place them face-up in their trading area.
4. After these steps have been completed, the trading phase begins. Players may then make offers and trade cards from their hands and from the cards in their trading area. And traded cards will come to reside in the player's trading area. Cards cannot be traded from fields, and only a player whose turn it is may be traded with by other players. Once a bean has been traded, it must be planted in the field of the person who traded for it. Trading ends whenever the player whose turn it is declares it over. At this point, all beans in a player's trading area must be planted into a field.
5. When trading has been completed, the player ends their turn by drawing cards from the deck to replace the cards in their hand which have been played. These new cards are placed in the back of a player's hand in the order in which they were drawn.
Each bean card contains information on how many cards of that type are needed in order to collect a certain number of coins when a field is harvested. To harvest a field, the player counts the beans and works out how many coins that he or she may obtain from it. If, for example, 3 coins can be harvested from the field, then the player removes the cards from the field. On the back of each card is the image of a coin. 3 cards (representing 3 coins) would be placed in the player's treasury. The remaining cards would be placed face-up on top of the discard pile.
When the deck runs out, the discard pile is reshuffled into it. This means that the deck gets smaller with each reshuffle, and the first time you do this you are actually halfway through the game. The game is over the moment that the deck runs out for a third time.
When the game ends, all players discard all cards not in a field and harvest all beans in a field. The coins in the treasuries are then added up. The player with the most coins wins.
For scoring purposes, there are blue beans and the less common garden beans. They are worth the following values:
1-3 Blue Beans = 0 coins
Uwe Rosenberg and Hanno Girke have designed a number of expansion sets of Bohnanza. These games have been released by Lookout Games.
This expansion adds three more types of beans and allows up to 7 people to play. The English edition of Bohnanza includes this expansion.
2. La Isla Bohnita
Two more bean types are added, as well as trading ships and pirate ships. This supplement was Rosenberg's answer to the popular board game, Seafarers of Catan.
3. High Bohn
A Wild West expansion, players can now purchase building when they cash in a field. The game has also been expanded by Rio Grande Games and released as High Bohn Plus.
Players may now mutate beans to plant multiple types of beans in the same field.
Female beans are added to the game.
Players can harvest beans to help finance a military campaign to conquer the fictional Bohnreich.
7. Dschingis Bohn
A military expansion where Mongols attack the Bohnreich.
Bean trading is replaced by hostile takeovers.
9. The Bohnentaler
Special playing pieces now allow a player to draw four cards instead of three.
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