Takenoko is a board game for 2-4 players. This name is originally in Japanese which means bamboo shoot. The name sounds interesting. So do the game. In this article, I am going to tell you more about this game in detail.
- Rule booklet – 1
- Gardener -1
- Panda – 1
- Weather die – 1
- Individual boards – 4
- Action chips – 8
- Improvements – 9
- Irrigation channels – 20
- Pink bamboo sections – 24
- Plots – 28
- Yellow bamboo sections – 30
- Green bamboo sections – 36
- Objective cards – 46
Each player receives their game board on Takenoko. With that, they are given 2 action chips and one card from each category. Player boards are similar in Takenoko. The difference that we can identify is, there is a symbol on the back of the board. According to that symbol, the 2 action chips are given. Also, Players need to keep their cards hidden. Another fascinating thing in Takenoko is, the tallest player starts the game.
Players take turns in clockwise order. When it is your turn, you need to complete these two steps.
- Identify the weather conditions
- Perform actions to complete objectives
Takenoko is a communal bamboo garden. There are many different paths to take your turn. Your main target is to complete as many secret objectives as possible.
Takenoko has hexagonal land tiles. There is a tile as water with a ship on it. This tile must be placed in the center. It is also identified as ‘pond tile’. You need to place the gardener and the panda figure in this space.
Take the rest of the plot tiles and shuffle them. Place them face down.
Set up the irrigation channels and bamboo in the middle of the game area as everyone can access it. Long wooden blue pieces are the irrigation channels and bamboo are the long stands.
Next, you need to set up the improvement tiles. The small hex-shaped tiles are the improvement tiles in Takenoko. They are available in three types which can be identified by the color ring on the edge of the token. Separate them accordingly and arrange them in different piles.
Form three stacks of cards in the game communal area. There will be a single emperor card and keep it aside. separate the other cards according to their back color and stack them separately. These are the objective cards and given three for each player. Each player draws a card from each color. These cards should be hidden from the other players.
Game Play in Detail
Identify the weather conditions
This task comes into practice from the second round of play. Players roll the weather die and apply the weather effect that has come. The die is a 6-sided die. These are the weather that the die will give you.
- Sun – when the player gets this, he gains an additional action. This must differ from the 2 actions he already has.
- Rain – when it is rain, the player may place a bamboo on the irrigated plot as per his choice. There is a limit of four for each plot.
- Wind – the player may take two similar actions in this turn.
- Storm – here the player can place the panda on a plot he wishes. But as the animal is shy, he eats a part of bamboo.
- Clouds – when it is a cloud, the player can select an improvement chip from the reserve. It can be placed on a plot or stored. If there are no improvements available, the player can choose any other climatic options.
- Question mark (?) – if a player gets this, he may choose what conditions he wants to apply.
2. Perform actions to complete objectives
There are five options available for actions and a player must choose two different ones. These are the types of objectives in Takenoko.
- Plots – at the beginning a player chooses 3 plots. Then he selects one and places the other two on the deck face down. The selected plot will be used in the play. Plots can be placed adjacent to the pond tile or adjacent to two other tiles that are in-game. The plot tiles are blue.
- Gardener – a gardener can be moved in a straight line across any number of plots. He grows bamboo and if a plot has bamboo at a height of four sections, then no section can be added as four is the maximum. The gardener tiles are red.
- Panda – this token deals with the bamboo you have had as a panda. These tiles are purple.
Once the secret objectives are completed in Takenoko, the player keeps the card face up.
- If it is a 2-player game, it ends when the player completes the 9th objective.
- If it is a 3-player game, then the game ends when a player completes the 8th objective.
- If it is a 4-player game, then the game ends when a player completes the 7th objective.
Whoever starts the final round at first, gets the emperor card and gains 2 points extra.
Takenoko is a bamboo gardening game, which is a bit challenging at the beginning. Yet, it is very interesting.
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