The fresh country air, romantic sunsets, a picnic on a meadow - many people are fascinated by life in the country. A feeling of home is in the air. However, there is more to the life of a farmer than just the genial country life - it also requires many hours of hard work to bring in a rich harvest.
In Eine Frage der Ahre, players take on the roles of these settlers, developing their land and building farms. Each cultivated field yields victory points; however, each round players may decide to forego these points and save up for their farms instead, which also provide victory points.
All the while, you need to keep an eye on your opponents, so that they do not grow too large and expand at your expense.
- Game Board
- 5 Small Land Tiles
- 60 Large Land Tiles
- 5 Victory Point Markers
- 15 Livestock Tiles
- 10 Farms +
- 1 Black Starting Player Farm
- 1 "6+1" tile
- 1 end-of-game tile
- 5 player tiles
- 25 farm cubes
Place the game board in such a way that each player can access it easily. Choose a color and place this color's player tile in front of you, with the 100 face-down.
Place the victory point markers of all players on the 0 space on the victory point track. Put 1 farm cube of each player color on the 5 lowest spaces of the barn tracks (right below the arrows).
Shuffle the 5 chicken tiles and place 1 each face-down into the barn, one for each type of crop. The illustrations in the upper left of the barn show you in which row the tiles should be placed, depending on the number of players.
Then shuffle the 5 pig tiles and place 1 each face-down on each chicken tile. Finally, shuffle the 5 cow tiles and place 1 each face-down on each pig tile. There should now be 5 stacks of three livestock tiles each (from top to bottom: cow/pig/chicken).
Note: With 2 players, you don't need the chicken tiles. Place only the pig and cow tiles on the first barn row.
Place 1 farm of each player color on each of the two spaces in the barn, whose farm symbols correspond to the number of players.
Shuffle all 60 large land tiles and place them face-down next to the game board in several stacks.
Note: With 3 players, remove 10 large land tiles from the game and put them back into the box without looking at them; with 2 players, remove 20 large land tiles.
Draw 6 large land tiles and shuffle them together with the end-of-game tile, and put them to one side as a face-down stack. Place the "6+1" tile on top. You are not going to need this stack until almost the end of the game.
Each player draws a hand of 3 large land tiles without showing them to the other players.
Each player receives 5 small land tiles, 1 of each type of crop, and places them face-up in front of her as her reserve.
The player who has most recently set foot on a farm places the black starting player farm in front of him and begins the game.
Beginning with the starting player, players take turns in a clockwise direction. The starting player keeps the black starting player farm until the end of the game.
A game turn consists of the following actions:
- Place land tile
- Score points
- Assess farm
- Draw large land tile
All actions only affect the active player.
1. Place Land Tile
Take a large land tile from your hand or take a small land tile from your reserve and put it face-up onto the crop area of the game board. Keep in mind the crop rotation rule: You may not cover any type of crop with the same type of crop.
Example: You want to place a large land tile of wheat/ rapeseed. You may not place the tile in a way that the rapeseed covers another rapeseed field. You may, however, place it in a way that the wheat covers a rapeseed field and the rapeseed covers a potato field.
You may place a land tile in a way that you cover land tiles placed earlier. To do so, you need to place a large land tile in a way that both fields are on the same level.
Example: You may not place your land tile in a way that it covers fields of different heights. You need to place it in a way that it covers fields of equal heights.
However, you may use a small land tile from your reserve to even out a difference in height. (This means that the small land tiles have two different functions).
To do so, place a small land tile of your choice face-down onto the game board to increase the level. Then immediately place a large land tile from your hand in such a way that it covers the face-down small tile.
With regard to the crop rotation rule, treat the face-down small land tile as if it weren't there at all.
Example: You place a small land tile of your choice face- down onto the left wheat field to get to the same height as the previously played land tile. Th en, you place your large land tile onto it.
You may place any one of your remaining small tiles face- down to even out the difference in height, even your small wheat tile or beets tile, since you aren't using it for the crops.
With regard to crop rotation, you are placing beets on wheat so that your action is legal.
You may use no more than 1 small land tile per game turn. Thus, you may not level out height differences of more than one level. Neither may you place a small land tile face-down and then put another small land tile on top of it.
2. Score Points
There are two types of points: victory points and farm points. You decide for each of your fields individually which type of points you want to score: either victory points or farm points.
You may never score both types of points for the same field. However, you may score different types of points for each of the two fields on the same large land tile. You may only score points for the fields of a land tile you have placed during this turn.
Example: You have placed a large land tile of wheat/ rapeseed. You may now score either victory points or farm points for both fields. Or you may decide to score victory points for the wheat field and farm points for the rapeseed field, or vice versa.
Each group of fields of the same type of crop that are either horizontally or vertically adjacent to one another, regardless of level, count as a region. Diagonally adjacent fields are not considered part of a region.
Both the fields printed on the game board and the fields on land tiles placed on the board count in determining a region.
The number of fields the region comprises after placing a tile equals the number of victory points you score for that region. If no field of the same type of crop is adjacent to a field you have just played, you score 1 victory point - the region consists of this single field.
Move your victory point marker forward the number of spaces corresponding to the victory points you have scored. Should you exceed the value of 99 while doing so, turn the player tile in front of you face-up, revealing the number 100, and start again on the 0 space on the victory point track.
Example: You have placed a large land tile of wheat/rapeseed and decide to score victory points for both fields. The wheat field nets you 3 victory points since the region comprises 3 wheat fields.
The rapeseed field nets you 2 victory points since the region comprises 2 rapeseed fields. Thus, you score a total of 5 victory points.
If you have played a large land tile with 2 identical types of crops, you may decide to score victory points for both of these fields as normal. Since both fields are part of the same region, you get the same amount of victory points twice, as per the size of the region.
Example: You have placed a large land tile of wheat/wheat. This results in a wheat region of 4 fields in size. If you choose victory points for both fields on your tile, you score two times 4 victory points, for a total of 8.
Of course, you may still decide to score victory points for only one of these fields, and score farm points for the other. (You should not take farm points for both fields since one of the fields is going to score you 0 farm points; see Farm points).
The corners of the fields on each tile usually show 1-2 barn symbols. The number of these barn symbols equals the number of farm points you score for that field.
Please note that only the barn symbols printed on the field to be scored count as farm points, and not any other barn symbols in the same region! Regions only have significance when calculating victory points.
Move your corresponding farm cube in the matching crop as many spaces in the direction of the arrow as the farm points you have scored.
Example: You have placed a large land tile of wheat/rapeseed and decide to score farm points for both fields. You score 1 farm point for the wheat field since it shows 1 barn symbol.
You score 2 farm points for the rapeseed field since it shows 2 barn symbols. Move your wheat cube one square ahead, and your rapeseed cube 2 squares.
Once all of your 5 farm cubes have reached or exceeded a row to the left of which is one of your farms, you immediately build this farm. Take your farm and place it onto a field of your choice in one region of the game board.
However, you may not place it onto a field in a region that already contains another farm. The region where you have placed your farm now belongs to you.
(In the highly unlikely case that there are already farms in all existing regions, you cannot build your farm. Try again on your next turn, after you have scored points. This means that you have to build the farm as soon as it becomes possible).
Example: In the example above, all of your 5 cubes have reached or exceeded the row where one of your two farms stands. Thus, you immediately build this farm.
You may not place the farm onto a field of the wheat region since this region already belongs to the green farm. So you decide to place your farm onto a beet field. The beet region now belongs to you.
From now on, some special rules apply to this region:
It is no longer possible to place a land tile onto the field on which the farm stands.
No player scores any victory points for placing a field adjacent to this region. This even applies to the owner of the farm. However, players may still score farm points for placing a field adjacent to this region.
You may place a land tile in such a way that you reduce another player's region in size, or cut it up into several separate, smaller regions. Only the region where their farm stands remain in the possession of that player.
You are not allowed to link two regions of the same type of crop if there is already a farm in each of these two regions.
If one of your farm cubes reaches or passes a field on which there is at least one livestock tile, you take the topmost of these tiles and put it face-down in front of you.
At the end of the game, you score as many victory points for this tile as are printed on its front. From now on, you may look at the front side of the tile at any time, but may not show it to the other
Remove the appropriate farm cube from the game. Should you place another land tile with this type of crop at a later stage of the game, you can no longer score any farm points for it, but have to score victory points instead.
Example: If you place a land tile containing a wheat field in this situation and score 1 or 2 farm points for it, your cube reaches or even passes the field with the livestock tile on the wheat track. The cow tile has already gone to another player.
Thus, you take the pig tile which is now on top, and put it face-down in front of you. If you want to, you may look at the tile to see how many victory points (between 6 and 10) you are going to receive for it at the end of the game. You remove your wheat cube from the game.
Then again, maybe you would rather win the cow tile on the potato track - after all, it is going to be worth at least 11 victory points, perhaps even 15. Unfortunately, you don't hold a large land tile with a potato field and 2 barn symbols in your hand.
To prevent yellow and red from preempting you, you place the small potato tile from your reserve onto the board. This provides you with the two necessary farm points on the potato track and you acquire the cow tile. You remove your potato cube from the game.
3. Assess Farm
Note: Skip this action if you have not yet built a farm.
You now score victory points for each farm you have built. The number of fields the region of your farm comprises equals the number of victory points you score.
The field with your farm on it counts towards these points. Move your victory point marker forward accordingly on the victory point track.
You score these points regardless of whether or not you have enlarged your farm region during this turn. You also score points for a farm on the same turn you have built that farm.
Example: In the example above (build farm, page 6/7), you have built your farm onto a beet region with a size of 4 fields. This now nets you 4 victory points.
4. Draw Large Land Tile
If you have placed a large land tile during this game turn, you now draw a new large land tile from one of the stacks to bring your hand up to 3 tiles again. Do not draw from the stack with the "6+1" tile as long as any other large land tiles are still available (see Ending the Game).
If you have placed a small land tile face-up, skip this action since you still have 3 large land tiles in your hand. You do not get a replacement for the small land tile you have placed; you are limited to your 5 initial small land tiles for the entire game.
End of the Game
As soon as a player has drawn the last large land tile from the stacks, bring the stack with the "6+1" tile into play. Remove the "6+1" tile from play. From now on, every player draws from this stack.
Once a player has drawn the end-of-game tile, play continues until the player to the right of the starting player has finished his or her turn.
This guarantees all players the same amount of game turns. If the player to the right of the starting player draws the end-of-game tile, the game ends immediately.
All players now turn their livestock tiles face-up and move their victory point markers forward as indicated by the points on these tiles.
The player with the most points wins the game. In case of a draw, the player whose farm regions total the largest number of fields wins.