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Herbaceous Sprouts – New to Kickstarter

Herbaceous Sprouts - New to Kickstarter

The term ‘filler’ is a bit of a misdemeanour. Some see it as a game that isn’t worth their time, more of a gateway game for new or lighter gamers. Certainly when I consider my collection, I tend to add heavier games far more these days than when I started out. Yet the appeal of a game that plays quickly and has a bit of meat on the bones is strong. Herbaceous was a set collection card game from Pencil First Games that, for me, managed this exquisitely.

Yes the game was relatively simple, but because of this and the straightforward but difficult, almost push your luck choices on your turn it was surprisingly engaging. If you were not aware of what the other players were up too, and what sets they were aiming for, you could end up regretting your ignorance. Herbaceous Sprouts looks to do the same but with the addition of Dice Drafting.


In Herbaceous Sprouts you will be drafting dice and tools to plant as many of your herb ‘Sprouts’ in the garden as possible. However this is not straight area control, as plots within the garden are given different point values depending on how hard they are to achieve.

Rather than a collect sets of cards as in Herbaceous, in Sprouts you will be drafting dice. You are looking for dice of the same herb, dice of all different herbs, or pairs of herbs. The more of each of the sets you turn in, the higher point scoring plot you can take. So three matching herbs will get you four points whereas six matching herbs gets you 12 points.

At the start of the round dice are drawn and rolled, before being placed on relevant tool cards. On your turn you will select a tool with 0-3 dice and place the dice in your wheel barrow before using (or not) and discarding the tool. Then if you have some combinations you can plant.

Herbaceous Sprouts - Thoughts

Herbaceous Sprouts is all about short term gains verse long game pay offs. Do you want to go for the safe small point plots and get lots of them? Or risk it by saving your dice over a few turns for that big payoff? Of course, you can pay close attention to your opponents, but in a 2-3 player game there is another threat, a rogue gardener. You see, one more card is placed out than players and every card has a plot named on the bottom. The rogue gardener plants in that plot every round if they can.

This means that while you are battling at least two others for precious plots, you can also factor this in to your drafting decisions. Choosing from the best balance between dice, tool and evil gardener. This turns this light 'filler' into something a shade or two more thoughtful.

If it isn't clear by now, I was quite taken by Herbaceous Sprouts. In fact, so far it is easily my favourite of the small box games from Pencil First Games. The prototype was of great quality and the final dice are going to be 'Star Wars Destiny' style dice that should look gorgeous. If you liked Herbaceous, dice drafting, or just really nice games then you need to go back this!

At the time of writing, Herbaceous Sprouts sits just over £10,000 thanks to over 250 backers. The goal for this game is £14, 902 ($20,000), and there are 27 days to go!

Nick can also be found at Board, Deck & Dice.