Verdant is a board game for 1-5 players, created by Alderac and Flatout Games. The game’s objective is to gain the most victory points by achieving each plant’s verdancy and potting plants and placing plants next to rooms of the same type. The game is designed by Beth Sobel, who also worked on Wingspan. Let’s find out how to play!
In Verdant, players compete for victory points at the end of the game. The primary way to gain points is to achieve each plant’s verdancy (leaf value printed on the card). Points can also be achieved through potting plants and placing plants next to rooms of the same type. You can even double your points if you put items of the same color in those rooms!
There are over 60 unique plant cards designed by Beth Sobel (who also assisted in the design of Wingspan. In addition there are 60 room cards each in one of five colored patterns. These rooms also show you the time of light they receive, full, partial sun or no sunlight.
There are also 90 item tokens, 45 are unique items and should you match the color of the room background. The other 45 tokens are “nurture” tokens, such as fertilizer which can add verdancy to a plant. These all get placed in a cloth bag with “Verdant” embroidered on it!
The game comes with 36 pot tokens used when the plant’s verdant number is reached. All of these except for the Terra Cotta pots grant additional victory points at the end of the game.
Finally, the game has 36 green thumb tokens that are used at the beginning of the round by players to adjust the market or add verdancy; the amount of verdancy on each plant is measured by the number of verdancy leaf tokens placed on the card.
The game is set up by placing all 90-item tokens in a bag and shuffling the plant and room cards separately. The players then create the “Market” by dealing off four plant cards face up and choosing four item tokens from the bag to place under the plant cards. Four room cards are then drawn and placed under the item tokens. The other tokens are placed into piles that are easy to reach.
The gameplay is straightforward, where players take turns selecting a card (plant or room) and the item token above or below it. They then place the card into their home, consisting of a 5×3 grid, where plants must alternate with rooms and be placed to receive the correct type of sunlight. Players gain verdancy tokens when a plant is placed correctly and gain item tokens when selecting cards.
As with the start of the game, you want to choose and place your plants and rooms so that everything gets the correct sunlight type. If you place your card correctly, you could simultaneously gain verdancy on multiple plants. You don’t need to place a plant or room where it produces the correct sunlight, but you don’t gain anything when you do that.
The game includes goal cards that players can use to increase the difficulty and add extra challenges to the game. The game also allows players to gain double points when they place an item of the same background color as the room, which is an important strategy to consider when placing cards. Players can also gain nurture tokens that can be used to add verdancy tokens to different plants. The game features green thumb tokens that players can use to adjust the market or add verdancy at the beginning of each round.
The game ends when all players have made a 5×3 grid. That’s when scoring begins!
Players score in 7 different ways throughout the game.
For each completed plant, they get the number of victory points under the verdancy requirement.
For each incomplete plant, they add up all verdancy in their home and divide that by 2 and round down.
For each completed plant, they gain the number of victory points printed on the pot token.
Then the players add up the Room bonuses, looking for plants adjacent to a room with the same suit. they gain 1 point for each found. If they also have an item in the room that matches the color, they get 2 points for each match.
Then for each different furniture or pet type in the room, players gain points on a sliding scale
Players then gain 3 points if they have all five plant types in their home or 3 points if they have rooms with all 5 suit types in the home.
Additional points are granted for the goal cards if they are being used in the game.
Overall, Verdant is a fun and engaging game incorporating strategy, planning, and a love of plants. The game’s components are of high quality, and the illustrations by Beth Sobel are beautiful and detailed. The game’s mechanics are straightforward, yet the game offers enough complexity to keep players engaged and interested in multiple plays. The game can be played solo or with up to five players, making it an excellent choice for both small and larger gaming groups.
While we don’t sell this in our store, we think its a great game and something any green thumb would be interested in playing!