Fields of Green is a 2-4 player tile placement, card drafting game from designer Vangelis Bagiartakis (Among the Stars, Dice City and Kitchen Rush). Players are creating and expanding their ever-growing farm by adding fields, livestock, buildings and facilities in attempt to build the most successful farm.
Fields of Green has been dubbed as Among the Stars with a farming theme and it is obvious where the inspiration comes from. The game is played over four rounds (or years) where players will draft cards and add them to their farm. At the end of the year players must water their fields, feed their livestock and pay maintenance costs to provide them with various resources to further help expand their farm for the next years.
Fields of Green has a fairly simple set-up. All cards (Field, Livestock, Facility, Building, Water Tower and Silo) are shuffled and placed in separate piles on the table. Each player receives 15 coins, a Water Tower and a Silo and places these two cards in front of them.
Three Water Tokens are placed on the Water Tower and one food on the Silo. The rest of the Money, Victory Points, Water Tokens and Food Tokens are placed off to the side. The Equipment Tokens are shuffled and placed in a pile.
Fields of Green is played over four rounds with each round consisting of the three phases:
The Turn Order Marker is turned to show which direction the cards are passed during the action phase. Each player receives one Food, two Water and three Coins. The Food must be placed in a Silo and each Silo can typically hold four Food. The Water must be placed in a Water Tower and each Tower can typically hold three Water. Any additional resources that can’t be stored is lost.
Each player then draws six cards from the Fields, Livestock, Facility and Buildings pile in any combination as long as cards are taken from three of the four piles. There is a recommended number of cards to take from each pile for introductory games.
During the Action Phase each player simultaneously selects a card from their hand and places it face down in front of them and passes the remaining cards to the next player. Everyone reveals the card and can perform one of the following actions
- Build Location – The card revealed can be added to the player's farm. The cards must be placed adjacent to an existing card. The cost (money, food, water) to build displayed on the card must be paid. The requirement for Water must be removed from a Water Tower that is two spaces from the location being built. Food must be paid from the Silo but there is no distance requirement
- Build Water Tower – The card revealed is discarded and a Water Tower is built, paying its cost (two coins). The Water Tower must be build adjacent to an existing location and comes with three Water Tokens. Water Towers can provide Water to other locations that are within two locations so careful placement and planning is required.
- Build Silo – Similar action to Build Water Towers. The cost of building is the Silo is free but it comes empty. Players store Food in their Silos that is produced during the Harvest Phase.
- Go To Market – Players can use this action to sell one or more of their Food. The revealed card is discarded and the player receives two coins plus two additional coins for any Food discarded, up to a maximum of two Food.
Play continues this way until the players are left with no cards in their hand.
Players must pay the cost of all locations with the “Harvest” ability to activate the location. If a player cannot afford or us unwilling to pay the cost the location is turned face down and is considered an Open Area. These Open Areas stay face down for the rest of the game and future locations cannot be placed on top of them.
Any Harvest abilities that are paid for generate the displayed resources (typically Money or Food). Any requirements for Water must be paid for from a Water Tower that is within two locations of the Harvest Ability. Food is paid for from a Silo but has no limitations on distance and can only store a maximum of four Food.
Fields of Green ends after the Harvest Phase in the fourth round. Victory points are calculated as follows:
- Points displayed on the location cards.
- Any additional points collected throughout the game.
- One point for every three Coins.
- One points for every two Food.
- One point for every empty Water Tower.
- Points from locations with “Game End” abilities.
The player with the most Victory Points is the winner.
During the game players may receive Equipment Tokens. A player will draw two tokens and chooses one to add to a location on their Farm as depicted by the Equipment Token. These Equipment Tokens can be one time specific uses, which are activated as detailed on the Token or ongoing abilities.
Final Thoughts on Fields of Green
I really like Fields of Green. There are many subtle aspects to the game that might not be obvious to begin with. The puzzle of where to place locations with respect to your Water towers is interesting and challenging. Poor placement will result in requiring you to fill your Farm with Water Towers, reducing the amount of other point scoring buildings you will have. There can be an element of hate drafting by taking a card that would benefit your opponent, but this is not an essential part of the game.
Efficiency is key, just having the correct amount of Water in the right location and the correct amount of Food storage helps to maximise point scoring/resource generating cards. Satisfying the Harvest ability cards during the Harvest Phase is a must to avoid having Open Areas in your farm.
There is another spatial aspect with some of the end game scoring cards which require other locations to be either adjacent or within a set distance of a location to score. The gameplay states 45 minutes but I have found that it is usually in excess of this, however, the game doesn’t feel like it out stays its welcome. Maybe we are just slow players.
The two-player variant is also works well and doesn't affect the gameplay a great deal. All in all Fields of Green is a really good game. If you like the theme and want a good card drafting/placement game then be sure to check out Fields of Green.