- Designer: Zong-hua Wang (Bob)
- Publisher: Good Game Studio
- Players: 2-6
- Age: 6+
- Time: 10-15 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by publisher and Taiwan Boardgame Design
Vegetable Stock is a game originally released in 2019, which comes to SPIEL 2022 with all new art. In this game: Grow the vegetables, raise the sale price, and make a fortune!
Small Farmer is a simple card game about vegetable economics. The game revolves around the 45 Vegetable cards. Each card has 3 vegetable icons on it (a combination of 1 to 5 types of vegetables). There is also a price card for each type of vegetable which shows the current price for each variety. Randomize the vegetables so that each has a different starting value from 0 to 4.
The game is played over 6 rounds. In each round, a number of cards (player number + 1) will be displayed on the table. Players take turns to choose one of the cards to put into their harvest pile facedown. The last card that was not chosen will determine which vegetables’ prices will go up. For each icon shown on the last card, move the price of the corresponding vegetable up by one. However, if the price goes over 6, it will drop down to 1 and cycle up again.
After 6 rounds, you will count your scores by multiplying the quantity of each vegetable you have harvested with the final price of that vegetable. The player with the highest score wins! There is no tiebreaker.
My thoughts on the game
This is a cute, brutally short, economic speculation game which has proven to be more challenging than I thought it would be from my initial reading of the rules. The system of drafting cards into your own area but then leaving the last card behind which is the one that alters the market – is really tough to master. It does give the most power to the player last in turn order; though that is definitely offset by the fact that the last player has the worst choice of cards.
I find that I have to approach the vegetables differently based on their starting price. The most expensive vegetable from the start is almost surely going to hit the limit and go back to the bottom of the price scale; however, that’s also the one most likely to get enough movement to provide a decent price by the end of the game. The ones which start near the bottom of the chart will most likely max out; but, a bad draw in the final round could push it over the edge, leaving you with nothing.
There are only 6 turns in the game, and as you would expect, this means the total game length is often 5 minutes or less. Yet, despite the quick play time, there’s a lot of choice to make. You have to try to predict what vegetables will do well; you need to watch your opponents and possibly try to draft away from them (or maybe hate draft even).
This is an ideal filler for me; easy to teach and play, doesn’t take long to play but yet gives you a fair amount to think about. I’m looking forward to playing this more during the winter.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y
- Not for me…