Fields of Green and a Gaggle of the Best Golden Geese
Escape the hustle and bustle for a simple farming life in the country where livestock and fields thrive in Fields of Green.
Although it’s been ages since I last had Fields of Green on my table, the combination of its theme and gameplay has always stayed with me. It exudes a relaxing sort of atmosphere while still providing some very difficult challenges. And the animals! You can barely keep me from getting swamped in Calico Critters. Off to the idyllic countryside of tables!
Game Name: Fields of Green
Publication Year: 2016
Designer: Vangelis Bagiartakis
Artists: G. Bobrowski, T. Jedruszek, and N. Robinson
Publisher: Artipia Games
Solo Mode: Included in Fields of Green: Grand Fair
What originally drew me in was the absolutely delightful artwork. The backsides of the expansion attractions include the full, uninterrupted images. Now there’s a fair worthy of visiting! Being able to create a cheerful farm with minimal stress has always been a joy for me.
January 27, 2019
January 30, 2021
34" x 28"
Although this isn’t a component-heavy game, there’s still a need to keep everything neatly lined up. I had a little help from my UberTrayz to sort all of the tokens!
Note the stacks of cards in the distance… Talk about variety! There are 3 identical copies of every card, but this plays into the strategy of choosing what to build.
I also had my 3 solo goals laid out before me. Interesting! I needed lots of vegetables, fruits, and harvest abilities.
This was going to be a challenge, though I also wanted to see how a couple of attractions might guide my choices.
A Humble Plot of Land
Farming doesn’t necessarily look glamorous from the start, and this was no different! I started off with a fair number of coins and a couple of basic buildings.
Water is always needed to harvest fields, and occasionally to pay for new additions. Yet this supply quickly runs out!
I decided to go through the attractions again to figure out which ones I liked the most for solo. Since it had been so long, I forgot which ones were more useful than others.
So there I was: Farmer Jessica! Ready to build upon this sprawling, empty tabletop to create a worthwhile farm.
As the game is played over the course of just 4 years, that initial year requires a lot of forethought. Indeed, this setup might look somewhat strange at a glance…
I spent a lot of coins stocking up on water towers, even though I didn’t need the water. Ah, but there was a plan!
With a need for fields and harvest abilities, I knew a lot of water would be used up in later years. Better to be prepared than struggle to add water towers later on.
There was another strategy in place, though, which I’ll highlight a little later on! Water yielded me lots of coins…
All of those coins came in handy during year 2. Fields took root and the harvest was very prosperous. Notice how the water towers were nearly emptied. All according to plan!
The choices during the card draft always present unique opportunities. It’s important to meet the solo goals, yet some cards offer extremely useful benefits.
I was running into a problem with storage… The harvest was almost too good, and some food went to waste.
This made me change my strategy a little bit as I shifted to look for more livestock who would devour some food!
To the Horizon
When year 3 ended, I had myself a wonderful farm that stretched to the horizon. Maybe not that enormous, but this was a far cry from a single water tower and silo!
The play area can evolve unexpectedly, although I’ve never had to do more than reorganize the cards a little bit.
It’s also important to consider the full engine. Fields usually convert water to food, and livestock converts food to coins or victory points. But what of the other types?
Constructions provide unique benefits, while buildings grant end-game victory points. So many fun choices!
After the Last Harvest
Just like that, my farm was complete and I had a chance to gauge my success. It was difficult to meet all of the solo goals, though I picked up a final vegetable field at the end!
The water towers were pretty tricky at the end. I built some for nearby fields but got lucky with a couple of wells that refilled just enough. A perfect amount, actually!
It’s always hard to capture what this card layout looks like in-person. These photos don’t do the artwork justice.
The attractions were also useful over the course of play, but I lost points for having them in play. Not so great.
The Golden Geese
There they were: My golden geese! If you take a closer look at what I did during year 1, you’ll see how I ended up earning 8 coins during every harvest. That’s a lot!
Never before did I do much with the geese. This time, though, it made sense to build plenty of water towers.
Effectively, I could afford to expand my farm and amass extra coins for victory points at the very end.
I managed to score quite well! This gaggle of geese was the star of the farm. I even avoided building a slaughterhouse that was worth more points. Not my GEESE! Ha ha!
A Plucky Pumpkin Patch
Never forget about the other highlights of this farm: The pumpkins! Maybe this was how the geese did so well. There might have been a magic pumpkin or two out there.
I had a little laugh over the guest house, located north of the pumpkins. This yielded plenty of victory points.
However, imagine what someone would actually see on the farm. “Oh, look at that water tower!” “Now, now, don’t ignore the water tower over THERE!” What fun!
These little stories and tiny images of farm life make the experience so wonderful, delightful, and relaxing.
To the Market
Of course, another major element of play involved the pair of attractions. The agricultural market was about as simple as possible to operate, with more choices.
It was a matter of paying extra coins to exchange cards. In effect, I had more options at a slightly higher cost.
Although it came in handy, I didn’t necessarily find it useful enough to warrant the -5 victory points. Definitely not complex, though, so I imagine I’ll try it out again.
The benefits might be more situational, too, so I don’t plan to rule this one out. Not a bad option at all!
A Remarkable Festival
The beer festival provided an intriguing set of options. Each time an action other than the build action took place, my trusty tractor moved up the track for more points.
When full, there were also bonuses to be taken that involved coins and victory points. I cleaned it all out!
The 10 victory points in the end countered the -10 points for using 2 attractions… But I didn’t find that this added a lot to the gameplay. I just got a bonus now and then.
I imagine this will always help with victory points, yet I didn’t see much strategic benefit in the solo mode.
Play Number: 14 and 15
Expansion 1: Fields of Green: Grand Fair
Expansion 2: Grand Fair: Kickstarter Promo Cards
Expansion 3: Fields of Green: Crop Circle
Expansion 4: Fields of Green: Kickstarter Promo Cards
Solo Mode: Included in Fields of Green: Grand Fair
Play Details: Agricultural Market and Beer Festival
Outcome: 61 and 64 (2 Losses)
Just shy of my threshold for victory, but this was a very nice outing to get back into the farming life! Simple fun with plenty of decisions made for an excellent session.
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Every piece of artwork is lovely, often depicting small scenes of farm life with people walking through fields.
- Creating an engine through the cards takes time but can be done in a variety of ways with so many options.
- Little stories often evolve over time so that each play feels like more than just maximizing victory points.
- The solo card draft works nicely with a simple process that still requires careful decisions about what to build.
- Being able to watch the farm grow from nothing into a sprawling enterprise is very satisfying and rewarding.
- Although overall gameplay is very relaxing, scoring well takes practice and a lot of deliberate planning.
– Cons (Negatives)
- The play area can spread out in unexpected directions, thereby requiring adjustments to continue playing.
- Later years require knowledge of every card in play and their effects, which can add time onto each turn.
- Some combinations of solo goal cards are more difficult to complete than others due to different requirements.
- Although there are plenty of choices with the card draft, some luck is needed to get the right sorts of cards.
Score 70+ Points
- Overall Goal Progress 67% 67%
Goals and Milestones
Score at least 70 points.
Score at least 80 points.
Score at least 90 points.
Continue the Conversation
What do you like about Fields of Green? Is there a card or attraction you enjoy playing with the most? I plan to dig into the content some more to see what other sorts of farms I can create! There are plenty of attractions to try out and I’m looking forward to seeing what fits in with my play style. Expect to hear more about my tabletop farming adventures!