We love Veggies. Especially strawberries……get your lovely strawberries…..
Okay, so strawberries aren’t a vegetable and I’m not a produce market stall trader. But Devir have published a super-fast playing small box card game in an effort to give you your 5 per day.
Before playing our first game of Veggies, I should mention that I did a little digging around and found out that it’s actually a remake of an older 2 player only game called “Magazynier” (meaning “Warehouse”). With a new skin and some scoring tweaks, it’s now for 2-4 players and has a packed a little more crunch into its carrots!
So in Veggies, you’re trying to build out the best market stall using just 8 cards. Every card has 6 symbols on it, and these comprise a random selection of fruits, vegetables, empty crates and mice.
You start the game with one card flipped over in front of you – that is the beginnings of your market stall. Then, each turn, you place either the card from your hand or one card from the market of 3 face up cards onto your stall.
When placing your new card, you can overlap or place adjacent to existing cards. But your fruit and veggie crates must line up.
If you took placed a card from the market on your turn, you’ll replace it with one from the deck. If you played a card from your hand, you draft a new one from the deck.
When every player has placed their 8th card, the game ends and it’s scoring time.
NB; there is a team rule for 4 players – everybody still builds out their own market stall, but the 2 player teams add their scores together.
A Banana A Day Keeps Other Players At Bay
Scoring is where this game sets itself slightly apart from other quick, small box patching card games.
You will score points for the largest orthogonally connected group of a single fruit or veggie appearing in your stall. For example, if you have a group of 6 bananas, that’s 6 points. But if you have other groups of bananas elsewhere in your stall, these act as a multiplier. So 2 additional groups of bananas would make 18 points (6 points x 3 groups). As such, you want to collect one large group of a specific good together with smaller groups of that same fruit or veg if you can.
But your opponents will also score for that good as it appears in their own market. So if your opponent has 2 groups of 3 bananas, they will score 6 points (3 x 2). Of course it also works the same way. Your opponents will score their largest group (multiplied by any smaller groups of the same good), and if you have any groups of that fruit or veg, you’ll score them too!
Note that if one player has already scored a particular good as their largest group, it can’t be scored again as another player’s biggest group. That player will have to look at their second largest for scoring.
Empty crates are simply wasted opportunities but any mice on show at the end are worth -1 point per pesky cheese-stealer!
Note that if you play two player, your two largest groups score as per the rules above.
Veggies is a super quick patching card game that is trying to add some crunchiness by making your scores dependent on what others are doing. I quite like that apart from the fact that the final player has a big advantage. By being able to place the last card, they can work out what everybody else is going to be scoring. A glance over at each market stall will reveal their respective largest groups.
So if the final player has a card that could add a relevant fruit or veggie to their own collection or keep it away to stop you scoring more points based on their own groupings then they are likely to do so. Granted math skills will need to be quite fast, but it’s possible. We have adopted a simple fix though – when we play, everybody simultaneously places the last card in their hand so that there is no last player advantage. And we have found this works well – the market stall table can turn at the very last moment leading to some more unpredictable scoring.
Thematically, patching the cards together to make it feel like you’re building out your market stall works well. And I like the simple, subtle illustrations on the shiny cards. Beware, though; the mice in the buckets have sweet little faces that hide their negative effects!
Overall, Veggies is a simple, fast playing, set collecting patching card game with a scoring mechanic that is different to the usual area majority/set collection fayre. It just needs a tweak to remove the last player advantage.