Designed by Uwe Rosberg
Published by Amigo Spiel
Translation by Eamon Bloomfield - April 4, 1997
NOTE: This is not a translation, merely a record of how to play based on one game late at night after a Chinese meal - but it is probably correct...
3 to 5 players.
Each player is a bean farmer and must wheel and deal to earn points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
There are 8 types of beans. These are illustrated differently, and each card has a number on it. This is the number of beans in that 'set'. i.e. There are 20 Blue Bean cards (Blaue Bohnen), but only 8 Red Bean cards (Rote Bohnen).
At the bottom of each card it tells you how many cards you need in a field to be able to cash it in for points. You can score from 1 to 4 points on most types of beans.
There are also '3rd Field' cards. These are bought during the game by spending points already earned. The timing of buying these fields is crucial as to whether they pay off for you or not.
Before the start, put the '3rd Field' cards to one side. Shuffle all the Bean cards thoroughly and deal 5 cards to each player. IMPORTANT: These cards must be kept in the order dealt at all times (with new cards you pick up during the game being placed in order behind the ones in your hand as you get them. This is VERY important).
Place the remaining cards in a face-down Draw pile and leave room for a discard pile next to it.
Each player must imagine they have two vacant Bean Fields in front of them in which to plant their beans.
There are various parts to a turn. Some you MUST do, some you may do.
1. The player MUST lay down the first card in his hand (remember, they are kept in the order given to you) in one of his two fields. He may, if he wishes, place a second card (the next one in his hand) in the same field (but only one type of bean can grow in any one field, although once a field has been 'sold' then a new type of bean could replace it) or in the second field. Whilst these fields are empty it is easier to make a decision, but if they were not empty and you had to play a bean card that did not match either field, then the existing crop would have to be 'sold' for points if there is enough cards in it to earn points, or just discarded for nil points if not. You can choose which crop goes EXCEPT if you have a single card in one of the fields then that field cannot be chosen. If both are single cards, you can choose. If both fields are two or more cards then you can choose as well.
2. After playing one or two cards from your hand, you turn over the top two cards from the face-down pile. You now trade, using the cards in your hand and/or the cards on the table. Any deal is possible. Any player can deal with you (but note that players cannot deal with each other at this stage, only with you (the person whose turn it is). You are dealing because if there are any cards left on the table at the end of this phase then they MUST be added to your fields. Obviously this could be very bad news. So, you might offer to give them away for example, but you will often find others willing to trade for them with cards from their hand. Although the order of the cards in their hand cannot change, players can trade with ANY of the cards. Obviously it helps to get rid of cards sometimes so that you do not have to play them at the start of your turn. All cards traded for are placed immediately to the side of the Bean Fields of the person who received cards (often both of you) and at the end of this phase (or at any time during it) they must be added to the fields of that player. They cannot be used in a trade twice. They cannot sit in a reserve beyond the end of the phase.
3. After trading has ended, if any of the two cards that were turned over remain untraded, they MUST be added to that player's field(s). This may mean the closing down of one or both crops already there.
All players now add their traded cards to their fields (if they haven't already done so). Note that this adding to fields, closing down fields, etc. can be done in any order the player wishes. He may add a Rote Bohne to a Rote Bohnen field for example, then close it down to add the new Blaue Bohne to that empty slot. Or he could close down the Rote Bohnen field by playing the Blaue Bohne card (the Rote Bohnen field might be on maximum points for example), then play the Rote Bohne card to kill off the just-started Blaue Bohnen field.
4. The player must now draw three cards from the face-down deck, remembering to add them to the back of his current hand in the order he takes the cards.
When a field is closed down, check the bottom of the cards for the value of that field. The number of silver coins tells you what points that field is worth if it has at least the number next to it in quantity. Turn over the cards and place in front of you one face-down card for every point you earn. Place the remainder on the discard pile. These face-down cards represent your point total.
At any time that you have at least 3 points in your points total, you may buy a 3rd Field Card. This will enable you to have three Bean Fields at any time. But be warned, generally if you do not buy this quite early, it rarely pays off. However it can clearly be very useful in preserving your existing fields whilst they achieve maximum growth.
When the last card has been taken from the face-down pack, you should shuffle the discards and place them face-down again. When this pack is exhausted, repeat for another time and then the game ends when the third deck is exhausted.
Note that when a discard pile is about to be shuffled, each player should check if they want to close a field at that stage so that the cards not used for points are shuffled into the deck. Why? Because, for example, if you had a Rote Bohnen field worth some points and Rote Bohne cards at the back of your hand, it might suit you to have Rote Bohnen cards in the new face-down deck. Likewise it might suit you to make sure there were NO Rote Bohnen cards in the new deck, so you can delay the closure of the field until after the deck has been shuffled.
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Eamon Bloomfield