Renegade Game Studio | Arboretum | Card Game | Ages 8+ | 2-4 Players | 30 Minutes Playing Time
About this deal
If you hold a high card, you can nullify someone else's scoring, but you still score what you have of that type (usually 0). It would have been nice for the sheet to list both the tree name as well as the color text used on the card to ensure that there are no mistakes in the scoring. By the time you know just how valuable a card will be, it’s usually too far gone to be worth the excavation. If I already have a garbage card in my hand, then I might draw two from the deck just to get rid of it. The game generally moves pretty fast, although you might run into some AP-related slowdown if you’re playing with AP prone players.
I have found that I am spending a fairly good deal of time between my turns examining what my opponents have played (and hopefully remembering what they have drawn) so that I can try to mentally figure out which colors they are shooting for and what sort of total they have left in their hand. In an unexpected turn of the rules, eights are rendered worthless in the hand when the one is held by the opposing player.
The example from the article (playing out a 1-6 of Cassias and keeping a 7 in hand) seems to be an example of poor play. So you not only have to win the game of building the best paths, you also have to win the game-within-a-game of keeping back enough points to be able to score your creation. Once friendships and family ties have been strained by the uncovering of secret sins, the points are tallied and a winner is declared.
As the game progresses you have to ask yourself: Do I want to go for a path of just one color, or do I want to try to string together as many cards as I can? You want to do all things, but you can't, and you always have to decide what's the best path (pun intended) to choose.
It’s like… I’m not saying this is a Splotter game, but this is one of those games where I feel like I’ve lost the game on turn one. Player turns are simple, but each decision holds a wealth of strategy: 1) Draw two cards, either from the face-down pile or the accumulating face-up discard piles from each player. All of this is well and good, but the devious twist of the endgame is not on the table; it’s in the hand. If your chain is four cards or more and it’s all of the same species, then they’re all worth two points!
You know one of your opponents is collecting Oak cards, but you don’t want to get rid of anything else because that could hurt you! A delightful walk through a carefully cultivated garden, Arboretum nearly caused me to let down my guard as I fell captive to its beauty. The aim is to lay your cards in rows or columns so that they create numerical runs from low to high.It’s filled with tough choices, and I was engaged from start to finish in puzzling out what I needed to keep, and what I could safely get rid of. they have almost the exact same hand pressure of holding cards your opponent needs until you are forced to discard them in furtherance of your own goals. If a player doesn't have the most value for a color, she score zero points for a path that begins and ends with that color. Which brings us to Arboretum, a new game from Z-Man Games that gives you a little taste of spring in a box – and it’s pollen free!
The tree types don’t have to be identical, but the first and last tree in a ‘path’ must be the same. So I only played this at two kind of intentionally; it’s got a reputation for being an incredibly mean (but fun) game, and that kind of intensity at higher player counts isn’t really for me. For each color/tree, the player who has the highest sum for that color in their hand wins the right to score their path matching that color. You’re going to be left, at the end of the game, with a hand of cards that represent wasted possibilities – those cards usually aren’t just what’s left over. Because of this you'll often find yourself caught between wanting and not wanting to throw a card away, as you know your opponent needs it.You have to really think hard about what you want to do, and what you don’t want your opponents to do. As the game nears its conclusion, the knowledge of the cards in play increases while players wrestle through the agony of deciding which consequential cards to hold and which to send out into the wild. You can get one point through the positive action of planting a tree, or if you save the right card you can remove 5 from your opponent. Of course, everyone must be concerned with scoring their own trees, but with seven cards in hand, there is seemingly always a slot available for holding a card that can prevent another player from scoring their mighty grove.