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How To Play Verdant

How To Play Verdant

With Verdant, getting green fingers has never been more fun (top tip: just don’t listen to any kiddo under 8 as their obsession with noses will have you thinking otherwise!)

So I’m here to help you get Verdant to the table quicker than bamboo growing in your garden!

The objective of the game is to get your plants growing as well as they can so that you can gain points at end game. Points are earned in different ways;

  1. Matching Plants with their ideal lighting conditions to earn the required verdancy;
  2. Bonus pot tokens;
  3. Unused verdancy on Plant cards;
  4. Matching Room and Plant colours;
  5. Unique Furniture/Pet token bonus;
  6. Unique Room card colour bonus (i.e. all 5 present in your home);
  7. Unique Plant card colour bonus (i.e. all 5 present in your home);
  8. Matching tokens and Room colours (multiplier effect on Matching Room and Plant card colours); and
  9. Achieving advanced goals (if in play)

Setting Up

Set up is simple and pretty much the same for all player counts.

Pop all the item and nurture tokens (90 in total) in the bag. These are divided into 45 furniture/pet Item tokens (for end game scoring) and 45 nurture tokens (for special in-game abilities).

Then remove all the pot tokens and cards from the box. Set the score pad, goal cards, storage cards, reference cards, verdancy tokens, and green thumbs to one side for now.

After shuffling both Plant and Room card decks and placing them face-down, you lay out 4 face-up Plant cards. Underneath each one you place a face-up Room card with a randomly picked token from the bag face-up in between every pair. This is the market from where you will draft on your turn.

Give everybody a storage card, a reference card, and the required number of green thumbs (1st player gets 0, last player gets 2, and everybody else gets 1). Also give everybody a starting Plant card and Room card drawn from the top of each deck.

Lastly, pop the verdancy tokens, extra green thumbs, and bonus pot/terracotta tokens within reach. Depending on player count, you’ll have a certain number of each bonus pot type (but every player count has all the terracotta pots in play).

{NB: if you are playing the advanced mode, you’ll also randomly draw one goal card from each of the Plants, Items, and Rooms Goal decks and place these within sight of everyone – these are public goals which will award extra points at end game. ]

Turn Time

When the prep is done, it’s time for everybody to place their starting cards into their home area. By the end of the game, your home will be a 3 x 5 tableau of alternating Plant and Room cards – a checkerboard of gorgeous greenery and colourful rooms! Just remember that you can never place two Plant cards or two Room cards next to each other!

Taking a turn is easy. But the decisions with which you will be faced are going to be crunchier than autumn leaves!

When it’s your go, you will:

  1. Choose one pair of cards and take either the Room card or the Plant card plus the token between them. If there are any green thumbs on the card then take those too.
  2. Place a green thumb from the supply onto the card you did not select from the pair.
  3. Place the card into your home (obeying the placement rule and once placed it cannot be relocated).
  4. Add 1 verdancy token to each Plant card that now has a matching Room card lighting condition adjacent to it;
  5. Place the token onto a token space in one of the Rooms in your home or place it on the storage space on your storage card (if there is a free space);
  6. Use a nurture token if you have one and want to use it – these one-time abilities let you add 3 verdancy to one plant (Fertilizer), 1 verdancy to 3 individual plants (Hand Trowel), or add 1 verdancy to all Plants surrounding one Room (Watering Can) – remember to discard it from the game after use!;
  7. Pot any plants that have achieved verdancy by placing the highest bonus token available on each one you pot that turn (or a terracotta pot if none) and return all used verdancy tokens back to the supply;
  8. Discard down to 5 green thumbs (returning the excess to the supply); and finally
  9. Refill the Market

NB: BEFORE you select a card and token from the market, you can mix things up a little if you have at least two green thumbs in storage (you can only ever have 5 in total at the end of your turn). And by that I mean you can:

  1. Remove and replace as many tokens as you want;
  2. Replace as many Cards as you want (so long as they don’t have green thumbs on them)
  3. Pick and mix i.e. take any combination of card and token; or
  4. Add 1 verdancy to any single Plant card in your home

Now you don’t have to match lighting conditions or coloured Rooms to Plants but you won’t get many points if you don’t! Similarly, you can place an item token on any Room with a free space. But you’ll want to target the bonus multiplier if you can match the colours! So use your storage slot wisely!

Plus if you are playing with the Advanced Goals, your picks are going to want to factor in those available bonuses!

As I expect you are quickly realising, the placement optimisation in Verdant is no easy task! Deciding which Plants to try and grow, which tools to use, which bonuses to try to gain, and which Goals to strive for, are going to affect every one of your 13 turns!

Scorching Scores

After all players have completed their home tableau of 3 x 5 cards, it’s time to score! And remember that list at the top of this guide? It’s time to get adding up! But luckily there’s a handy scorepad to take you through each one in turn!

The winner is the home horticulturist with the highest total! They are the Monty “Don” haha!

Although I can’t help you win, I hope this guide has smoothed the way for your first game of Verdant! Enjoy perfectly potting plants.