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Herbaceous - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2017
15 4 4

In Herbaceous, herb collectors compete to grow and store the most valuable medley of herbs. Everyone starts with four containers, each of which allows a different grouping action.

At the start of your turn, you can decide to use a container. If so, you assemble cards from personal and communal spaces, group them, then turn them all over. You have then "collected" those and can't use the container again.

At the end of the game, collectors determine the best collection as a combination of value from their collection, matching herbs, and herb sets.

User Reviews (1)

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8 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“Didn’t work for my group”

In Herbaceous you are trying to make the best collection of potted herbs and plants. This is a set collection game with drafting and push your luck elements.

You start with a series of pots in front of you, a community garden area that anyone can use and a private garden area than only you may use. On your turn you decide if you want to plant any herbs, then draw 1 card and decide if you want to place it in your private garden or the public garden. You then draw another card and must place it in the area you did not use for the first card. So if the first card went into your private garden the following card must go in the public garden. Then your turn ends and the next person starts.

As you acquire cards in your garden and the public garden grows, you must determine when the right time to pot your herbs is. Potting is taking any number of cards from your private garden and the public garden to create a set for that pot. The cards that are pitted can then not be used again. Some pots want different types of herbs, some want special herbs, some want pairs or all of one kind. You get points for the number of herbs you plant in that pot. The more herbs you plant matching the requirements, the more you score. However, you can only use a pot once then can’t take the “potting” action again. This is a basic rundown leaving out a few components.

You continue this way till all pots are filled or players can’t pot anymore herbs. The person with the most points is the winner.

I like:
-Fast turns
-wonderful art
-easy to teach
-Calming game
-other players turns are important for you to watch, so constantly engaged

-very simple decisions
-some player interaction with pushing your luck and drafting in team games

I didn’t like:
-Felt like turn order determines winner especially in 2 players but also in 3-4.

I love playing cribbage. I thought that this game looked like a classic card game like cribbage or rummy and I was excited to give it a try. One that you would play several hands of and keep a running score all while socializing. However this game is an example of how one negative can pretty much ruin the game for me.

So often, especially in 2 player, during a turn there was a very obvious best thing to do, with card drafting and potting. Certain games someone would get all of the high point special herbs or hold them from others in their private garden. But since everyone always pulls two cards, the cards you get are determined as soon as you stop shuffling and start the game. So in a few games it felt like no one made smart moves, they just happened to draw the cards that they did, potted when it made obvious sense, and then the game ended. It felt as though no real decisions were made. The push your luck element gets better in 3-4 player games but even then it felt like turn order and when other people potted controlled the game. If someone keeps potting right before your turn you are in for a rough game. The team version seems like it’s more fun but I haven’t played it so I can’t comment.

I was a kickstarter backer and really disappointed with the purchase after the 4 or 5th play. I kept trying with different groups and strategies but it did not find a home with my family or gaming group. I think this COULD be a good game for some casual and family gamers. There is a lot going for it and I thought it was going to be a keeper. However, the feel of lack of choice or lack of decisions, and feeling like the game was determined before you picked up the first card really hurt our enjoyment. I would play this game but would never suggest it.


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