Gameday First Play – Viticulture

Posted on by Jesta

Wine making in Tuscany.

Where what time you get up in the morning is important.

In Viticulture, the players find themselves in the roles of people in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany who have inherited meagre vineyards. They have a few plots of land, an old crush-pad, a tiny cellar, and three workers. They each have a dream of being the first to call their winery a true success.

Boring theme and box cover, must be a Euro 🙂 Ah, yes it is, and a worker placement one at that.

The funny thing about this one is the components are good for a Euro, but they’re not Stonemaier Games good, right?

They’re nice. The money is metal which is cool and the bit’s are good… I assume I haven’t seen the Kickstarter exclusive edition with all the cool stuff maybe? (I would link to my review of the deluxe edition of Euphoria but apparently I didn’t write one! Despite owning it for ages and playing it quite a few times. In short, nice game, VERY pretty, I don’t like Euro games that race to a target.)

Viticulture Game Board

 

So wine making… how do you do it?

Firstly, you establish turn order by choosing what time you wake up with a neat Cockerel meeple.

The earlier you get up the worse reward you get. Go first? get nothing, go last? Get an extra guy. It’s worker placement, you need extra guys!

Then in turn order you place workers in the summer spaces on the left of the board. In a 5-6 player game (we had 5) the first player to a space can take the middle one for something extra.

These Summer spaces let you draw cards, gain money for giving tours on your Vineyard play cards from your hand, build buildings and plant grapes…

For this we’ll need to look at the player board where your Vineyard is set out.

Viticulture Player Board

Those green mini-cards at the top are planted grape cards. When you harvest (mostly in the upcoming winter phase) them you add the white/red totals for the harvested field onto your crush pad with a glass bead. (bottom left).

The little buildings increase other effects and allow you to have different types of grapes.

After Summer comes Fall, or Autumn as we know it here in England.

You draw a card here… that’s it. You can choose from a card that gives you an action in Summer or Winter. The spaces you activate to play cards get quite competitive so if you draw a nice card you may want to go VERY early in turn order next round.

Then comes winter…

Here you can harvest grapes, play and draw cards and pay to train workers… That’s how you can gain new Meeples.

You can also create grape tokens by moving the glass beads from your Crush Pads to the Cellar.

Also, you can fulfil win orders by removing wine in your Cellar to fulfil the requirements on the Wine Order card. Your main way of scoring.

After winter you age your grapes… Fnar

This continues until someone reaches a points total. Yeah, it’s a ‘race to the total’ game which I don’t like.

As far as worker placement game goes it’s quite good. Compared to Brew Crafters (the together drink based Euro I’ve played) it’s much better in my opinion. Very simple and nice.

But like Versailles, I’m not sure what I would do differently in future plays. I’ll do things better due to experience, but apart from collect grapes, harvest, make wine, fulfil orders quicker than everyone else I’m not sure where the game goes…

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