In Viticulture, the players find themselves in the roles of people in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany who have inherited meager vineyards. They have a few plots of land, an old crushpad, a tiny cellar, and three workers. They each have a dream of being the first to call their winery a true success.
The players are in the position of determining how they want to allocate their workers throughout the year. Every season is different on a vineyard, so the workers have different tasks they can take care of in the summer and winter. There's competition over those tasks, and often the first worker to get to the job has an advantage over subsequent workers.
Fortunately for the players, people love to visit wineries, and it just so happens that many of those visitors are willing to help out around the vineyard when they visit as long as you assign a worker to take care of them. Their visits (in the form of cards) are brief but can be very helpful.
Using those workers and visitors, players can expand their vineyards by building structures, planting vines (vine cards), and filling wine orders (wine order cards). Players work towards the goal of running the most successful winery in Tuscany.
Essential Edition: The Essential Edition of Viticulture includes several expansion modules from Tuscany, along with some other changes, and so has its own entry in the BGG database. It's essentially the same game and doesn't actually need its own entry. As of this edition, there are two rule changes: There is no longer a points maximum, and you only gain a bonus from the tasting room if you have at least 1 wine token in the cellar. Also, the "and" on the Promoter visitor card changed to "or."
Unique Aspects of Viticulture: (NB: written by the game's designer, Jamey Stegmaier)
Balances, no checks: In Viticulture, you're always moving forward, and your job is to manage all of that forward momentum. Someone might choose an action that you were hoping for, but in doing so, you still have other options to choose, and if you're the first player to choose those options, you get a bonus. I want players to walk away from the game feeling elated, not frustrated.
Scalability: I wanted Viticulture to be almost the same game with any number of players. With Viticulture, the worker slots available scale based on the number of players. The UI for the scaling system is simple and intuitive--you can understand it with a quick glance. It's almost exactly the same game with 2 players as it is with 6, and even a 6 player game shouldn't take longer than 90 minutes. I think the 6-player threshold is key so that three couples can play the game on a game night.
Replayability: Viticulture has tons of paths to victory, most by choice, but some are affected by luck and the choices other players make.
Production: In Viticulture, you're strategically choosing exactly what types of vines you're going to grow (there are tons of combinations), when to harvest those vines, when to crush your grapes to turn them into wine, and what type of wine you want to turn them into. You're truly producing something. We've honed the process so it's intuitive, but it's enough so that you get to feel like you've put yourself into each barrel of wine you produce.
Turn order: We borrowed our favorite mechanism from Fresco and put it in our game: Determining what time your workers wake up compared to other workers to determine who goes first. This ensures that player order is a choice, not determined by rotation.
Duration: I think the ideal board game is one in which you get to build something new and incredible in 45-90 minutes, several times in the same night.
Counting Victory Points vs. Ending the Game at a Certain Threshold: As gamers, I think we’ve gotten used to the inevitable “counting of victory points” stage at the end of the game. We don’t even consider it a chore by this point. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I prefer the Settlers method of “everyone is in the game until someone reaches a certain number of victory points” level, so Viticulture uses that to trigger the end of the game.
Im PDF sind zwei Listen enthalten jeweils mit alphabetisch sortierten Sommer- und Winterbesuchern. Die ersten beiden Seiten listen die Karten der 2. Auflage mit den Advanced Karten, die sich auch im Grundspiel als Ersatz der einfacheren Originalkarten anbieten. Die übrigen vier Seiten enthalten zusätzlich die neuen Besucherkarten aus der Tuscany-Erweiterung. Das Format ist so gehalten, dass man die Listen doppelseitig einlaminieren kann und diese noch mit in die Spieleschachtel passen.
Danke an Jamey Stegmaier für die Genehmigung.