The Quiet, Lazy Days of Summer Farming with Fields of Green
Live a quiet life tending to a farm with all sorts of fields and livestock as the years lazily flow by in Fields of Green.
Relaxing solo board games are some of my favorites, particularly when they manage to convey the simplicity of life. Fields of Green certainly fits that description! It’s all about building a farm filled with simple, calm scenes from the countryside. The challenge is to score well, yet it’s easy to enjoy the calm atmosphere and appreciate the lazy days!
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
Over the course of 4 years, cards are drafted to build out a farm with buildings, constructions, fields, and livestock. Solo goals provide the requirements to score, while there are plenty of decisions to make! In the end, the layout of cards matters and creates a beautiful landscape.
January 27, 2019
September 22, 2023
34" x 28"
The Chaos Struggle
My only big complaint is how difficult it is to keep all of the components neatly organized! The cards are a custom size, so I don’t have a nice tray to slot them into.
I often play with the attractions, although I forgot that it typically works best to play with 1-2 in solo. More on those later, yet they often distract from the main game a lot.
Still, what a lovely way to return to this one! It’s been a couple of years since I last played… Back to farming!
The card drafting is interesting and provides some degree of control over the general assortment that comes out.
Starting Out Small
Most of the time, I try to capture the start of a farm to illustrate just how large it gets. This is it… Just a silo and water tower mark the large area that will be developed.
Keep in mind that this one looks deceptively compact until the building begins! Some cards encourage spreading out in a single direction as much as possible… Watch out!
Still, I haven’t found this to get completely out of control. After all, a lot of cards do better clustered together.
Wooden components make the food and water pop on top of the cards so they’re very easy to see from afar.
Admiring the Farm
Not surprisingly, I was completely invested in my choices and didn’t stop to pause between rounds. This was the result of my efforts with my final farm. So pretty!
The attractions weren’t a particularly great addition for me, and I managed to forget what I was doing a few times.
Focusing on the farm itself should remain the goal, and I had a few really neat turns. Some of the solo objectives were a little tricky, yet I still completed them all!
Note, too, that despite this stretching off into the distance, I didn’t need to reach across the table that much.
Who Let the Dogs Out?
This one lends itself to admiring the card artwork in the end. I often pick out my favorite spot, and with this play, it was clearly with the watchdogs. They worked hard!
Using the immediate effect provided me with extra coins when I was running a little low. Effectively, that converted a coin and food into more coins and a victory point.
It can be a little hard to see how all of the cards interact, but I never mind scoring poorly… Look at the doggies!
There is a sort of vintage feel to this one, too, as the artwork doesn’t look too modern. Simple, and awesome.
Preparing for the Greatest Time of the Year
One of the reasons why I’m returning to play some of my favorites from years past is that it’s nearly the time of year that solo players get so excited about… Voting for The People’s Choice Top 200 Solo Games 2023 is coming up very soon! This is an annual event where favorite games are submitted and the data provides an aggregate list of the votes.
Huge thanks go to Kevin for his tireless devotion to the work involved in this process! Everyone who votes makes the list even better. I’ve gone back through to start ranking my solo games, and this one was another casualty of being forgotten amidst all of my new arrivals. It’s been fun to start this yearly process again, and I’ll have a full list to submit!
Working through this process, I’m confident that I have around 100 solo games I strongly like or even love. So although I can only vote for my top 20, I’ll be releasing a list with all of those lower ranks, too! I love seeing lots of popular solo games make it on the list, yet some of the lesser-known titles can be awesome to discover. Keep an eye out!
A Land of Calm
Although there are certainly tense moments when the right cards don’t seem to be coming out, there is a very relaxed feel to this experience. Just… Go with the flow!
Drafting involves choosing 6 cards from at least 3 different stacks, then adding in 2 cards from every stack.
Each round, 3 cards are laid out. One is chosen to take an action with, one is discarded, and the last remains for the next round. Essentially, this means 24 total rounds.
Not every card will be placed on the farm with some other options, yet the end result is filled with lots of cards!
I love the idea behind the different attractions, which represent a local fair with all sorts of activities. The art is lovely, and there are a lot of mechanics to choose from.
My mistake was in using the maximum of 3 attractions… Each means a loss of 5 victory points at the end.
More than that, though, I found myself distracted. I had to pause in the middle of many rounds to check out the attractions, my plans, and even some of the rules.
I’ll cover the details a little further down, but I enjoyed the mini-expansions much more than the attractions.
Apple Harvest Break
One of my favorite things to do at the end of a play is to look carefully at every card. Not all of them feature people, but it sometimes turns into a fun Where’s Waldo? game!
Near the apple trees, for example, a pair of harvesters can be found sitting on the ground. So nice! I can just picture them enjoying a sunny day, biting into crisp apples.
Gameplay is still tricky, though, like how the apples require a lot of water and need nearby water towers.
Building a farm acts like a spatial puzzle at times, yet the end always allows for a few moments of reflection.
I’ve had all of the content for years, but surprisingly, the pair of mini-expansions have gone completely untouched!
Early planning is a simple way of providing an early bonus for building on top of the card. However, that card can be left on the farm to help with scoring. Very neat!
Events offer random changes to each year that might be helpful or harmful. I was a little hesitant here since I wondered if these might interrupt the flow of gameplay.
However, I discovered that their impacts were easy to resolve, and multiple events created a sort of storyline.
A Slight Change
With my early planning card, the starting farm looked a little different. This was a very simple addition that added the right amount of decisions about how to use the card.
I leaned in the direction of a discount each time, but in the future, I can see how leaving this out could be useful.
This is exactly what I expect from a mini-expansion: A very minimal set of rules and components, but a reasonably new decision point. Definitely awesome!
Most importantly, this kept the focus on my farm and didn’t distract me like the attractions tended to.
I actually loved the events, good and bad! These usually only come out during 3 of 4 years, but I used the variant to draw one at the start, re-drawing to get a valid one.
These changed things up a little bit, but nearly everything happened immediately. Unlike attractions, I didn’t have to constantly think about something else. Just once!
Additionally, I had a few laughs about the sequence. First, advanced machinery arrived… Then malfunctioned. Ha!
Irrigation was a great option, yet apparently led to a bad crop. Such a great little storyline that flowed nicely!
Play Number: 27-32
Main Expansion: Fields of Green: Grand Fair
Other Expansions: Many (4)
Solo Mode: Included in Fields of Green: Grand Fair
Play Details: 3 Attractions and Mini-Expansions
Outcome: 55, 73, 67, 57, 63, 79 (2 Wins & 4 Losses)
I found a bunch of other neat elements here, especially how to focus on equipment in a few plays. Even though I technically lost a lot, this was a very enjoyable experience! Definitely hope to play this one some more, focusing on the use of the mini-expansions going forward.
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- All of the artwork is very detailed with relaxing scenes of farming life practically devoid of any conflict.
- Mini-expansions enhance gameplay a lot without adding much rules overhead, improving without distracting.
- There are all sorts of strategies to try out, and only a small subset of the cards will ever be seen during a play.
- Although there are duplicates, a lot of cards play off of each other or reward identical locations in different ways.
- Play time moves along pretty quickly with a clear sequence of events laid out on a few very helpful summary cards.
- Card layouts are clear and after a couple of plays, it takes little effort to scan and understand all of the locations.
– Cons (Negatives)
- The play area can spread out quite a bit with the way the cards must be placed, sometimes far away from a target.
- Attractions offer some excellent artwork and mechanics, but typically distract from the main part of the game.
- Even the most diversified plans can go awry with the card draft, which is rather unpredictable and random.
- It can take some effort to track the ongoing effects towards the end when discounts or bonuses might be missed.
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 are your thoughts about Fields of Green? Are there any other solo games that provide a relaxing environment? I know the farming genre is quite saturated, yet this one continues to be a great experience for me! Being able to try out all of the content at last simply makes it even better. Just need to improve my skills to reach the highest scoring tiers!