Confession time – I hate summer. It’s too hot. So I’m always eagerly anticipating fall, and it has nothing to do with pumpkin spice – it just means summer is finally over. Today, we’re talking about a game about the seasons, with an emphasis on autumn, called
Bosk (A Game of Majestic Trees and Falling Leaves) is a new game from designers Daryl Andrews and Erica Bouyouris, recently published by Floodgate Games. It’s a 2-4 player game where you grow your trees, then try to cover as much ground as you can with the falling leaves.
The game is set in a national park, represented by the game board. Each player will be playing with a species of tree, and the matching leaf tiles/tokens. Also, you get a squirrel. Set up, the game looks something like this:
A game over Bosk takes place over a year, and that year is divided into four seasons. Each season has a different way to play that contributes to the narrative of the game. In Spring, you’ll grow your trees. In Summer, visitors will enjoy the trees. In Autumn, leaves will fall. In Winter, you’ll score for covering the most ground.
SPRING is the season for growing trees. Players take turns placing trees at the unoccupied intersection of two trails on the board. You can’t place on the edges of the map, and once a tree is placed, it cannot be moved. Once everyone has placed all eight of their trees, the season ends.
SUMMER is the season for visitors to come to your park. You’ll score each row and each column separately, adding up the values of each player’s trees to find out who is in first and second place. First place can gets two points, second gets one (unless there are ties). After this scoring is completed, the player with the fewest points becomes the start player for the next season.
AUTUMN is when the leaves fall, and this is really the meat of the game. First, the start player determines the direction of the wind. This is done by placing a wind board on the side of the board, which will determine how the wind blows for the rest of the game. After this, each player will choose a tree in turn, and then play a leaf tile. This will tell how many leaves blow. The first leaf is placed at the base of the tree, and subsequent leaves blow out from there. You can’t go off the edge of the map, and reaching the edge ends your turn. You can cover opponent’s leaves, though this will cost you some of your supply. You could also use a squirrel to cover a leaf pile. Once you’re done with your turn, remove the tree the leaves blew out from.
When everyone has played a leaf tile, the wind changes direction, and the player who played the lowest value leaf tile is the next start player. The season continues until each player has had eight turns and removed all their trees from the board.
WINTER is the time for scoring the ground cover. The player who controls the most of each region scores 5 points, with second place scoring 3 points. The player with the highest score after this wins the game.
The most interesting thing to me about this game is that it’s basically two games in one. The first part of the year is about trying to position your trees in such a way that you can score points, and the second part is about trying to position your leaves so you can score points. Both games are area control, but one is in rows and columns, while the other is in regions. the game is lovely to look at (good job Kwanchai Moriya), and seems like it’s simple enough for anyone to pick it up while still providing some meaningful decisions. This is definitely one I want to check out.
That’s it for today – thanks for reading!