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How To Play Paint The Roses

Paint The Roses (1)

If you have ever spent an afternoon in a rose garden, you may have stopped to think about what the gardeners who put so much time into these flowers. The long hours in the sun. The constant threat of bees. The Queen of Hearts cutting off your head. You know, the usual. In Paint the Roses, you are playing as the gardeners in the Queen of Hearts’ Garden, trying to fulfil her whims. This is a co-operative puzzle deduction game where you are trying to fill the garden before the queen gets you. Do this, and you win but if she catches you, game over! Sounds intriguing, right? Let me tell you how to play.

Set Up

Place the Paint the Roses board on the table, then place the Gardeners figure on the 0 space, the White Rabbit figure on the first Rabbit space (between the 9 and the 10 space), and the Queen figure on the heart space (44 on the score track). Each player gets six Clue tokens of their chosen colour and place the four Flower tokens off to the side. You will need these later. Take the starting Shrub tiles (the ones with a border and red backs) on the hexes which match their numbers.

Shuffle the three Whim decks and each player draws one from the deck of their choosing, either Easy, Medium, or Hard. Each player can only have one Whim at a time and only one player can have an Easy Whim. Keep these Whim hidden. Draw four random Shrubs form the bag and place them face up in the Greenhouse. Whomever last watered a plant is the first player, so give them the Greenhouse to get them started.

A Little More Detail

Let’s talk about the two main components of this game: the Shrub tiles and the Whim cards. The Shrub tiles have two parts to them: a suit (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs) and a colour (pink, red, yellow and purple.) The Whim cards will have two parts to them, depending on the difficulty, and a number in the bottom right which represents the number of points it is worth.

An Easy Whim will show a colour-to-colour match in a hexomino fashion, in one of ten combinations worth 1 or 2 points.. A Medium Whim has either a colour-to-colour match or a shape-to-shape match and is worth 2 to 3 points. Finally a Hard Whim will have either a colour-to-colour match, a shape-to-shape match or a colour-to-shape match, worth 4 to 5 points.

Paint The Roses: Taking A Turn

Taking a turn will consist of five phases.

1. Place a tile. The player with the Greenhouse will place a Shrub tile onto the board.

2. Place Clue tokens. Every player checks their Whim card and places a clue token on the newly placed Shrub depending on how many times it satisfies their Whim card.

3. Guess a Whim card. As a team, you must take at least one guess about what is on any player’s Whim card. This does NOT have to be the player who just played the Shrub tile.

  • If you guess correctly, move the Gardeners mini forward a number of spaces equal to the number on the Whim card. If you pass a white dotted line, move the White Rabbit forward and add a Flower token to the Queen. You may guess another card or pass.
  • If you guess incorrectly, the phase ends immediately with no information revealed.

4. Move the Queen. The Queen moves along the track according to her speed, which is 1 + the number of flower tokens underneath the Queen. If you guessed incorrectly in Phase 3, the queen moves twice as fast. She’s real mad that you got things wrong.

5. Replenish. If the garden is full, you have won the game. If it’s not, well…

  • Everyone draws a new Whim card if they need one. Don’t forget, only ONE player can have an Easy Whim card at any one time.
  • Pass the Greenhouse round to the next player on the left.
  • Add a new Shrub tile to the Greenhouse.

The Queen will speed up as you progress so make sure you stay ahead of her, for if she ever catches you, you lose. Like any good co-operative game, it is tricky to win but it is very satisfying when you do. Good luck, gardeners! I hope “Off with their heads” aren’t the last words you hear in Paint the Roses