- 1 game board:
- 4 two-sided palace gardens
- 81 garden tiles
- 72 playing cards
- 4 points cards
- 9 mission cards
- 5 replacement cards
- 4 two-sided expansion boards
- 36 noblemen
- 4 counting stones
Object of the Game
Who can create the most majestic garden? Improve your garden by adding beautiful pavilions, impressive statues, fragrant herb plots, colorful rose arches, and more.
Move the admiring noblemen through your garden; the further they move along your completed garden beds, the more points you receive. At the end of the 18 rounds, score bonus points for completed rows and columns in your garden, and for your secret mission cards.
The player with the most points at the end of the game (after 18 rounds) is the winner.
Place the game board in the middle of the table.
Each player chooses a color and receives:
Any of the four palace garden game boards, placed in front of him with either side face up.
The counting stone of his color placed on the first square of the score track (0/50) of the game board.
18 cards of his color, which he shuffles and lays face down in front of him on the table. He then draws the top two cards.
The points card of his color, which he lays down in front of him.
The 9 noblemen of his color, placed on the terrace of his palace garden, one in each column.
The 9 mission cards (lilac) are shuffled and 2 cards are dealt to each player, who looks at them and lays them face down in front of him.
These cards are not used during the game, but are worth bonus points at the game's end (see section: End of Game). Mission cards that are not needed are put back into the box without being looked at.
The 81 garden tiles are sorted according to the number on the back of the tile (i.e. Roman numeral II, III or IV). The number of tiles needed for the game depends on the number of players:
2 players: the 45 tiles with this gardener (and the Roman numeral II) on the back:
3 players: the 63 tiles with these gardeners (and the Roman numerals II and III) on the back:
4 players: all 81 tiles (Roman numerals II, III and IV):
For 2- and 3-player games, return unused tiles to the box.
Shuffle the garden tiles, and place them face down (gardener side showing) in 8 piles on the green squares of the game board (it doesn't matter how many tiles are in each pile).
Take 10 tiles from any of the piles, and place the tiles face up (garden symbol showing) on each of the 10 colored squares on the game board.
The expansion boards are only needed for the advanced version of the game.
The oldest player begins, and play continues in a clockwise direction. On your turn:
Lay down one of the two cards from your hand, pick up a corresponding garden tile from the game board, and place the tile on the matching space in your garden.
Optional: move one of your 9 noblemen, and use your counting stone to score the resulting number of points along the score track.
Turn over a new garden tile from any of the piles on the game board and place it face up on the color square from which you took the garden tile (so that all 10 color squares again contain garden tiles).
Pick the top card from your draw pile, so that you again have 2 cards in your hand.
Your turn is over and the next player can begin his turn. Play continues in this order until all players have completed 18 rounds.
1. Play a card and place a tile in your garden
On your turn, play one of the two cards from your hand by laying it face up on a discard pile next to your face down draw pile. There are three types of cards: a) combination of two colors, b) garden symbol, and c) wild card. The type of card you play determines which tile you choose from the game board, as follows:
Combination of two colors: If the card played has a combination of 2 colors on it (each player has 8 of these cards), you must take one of the 4 tiles from the corresponding color squares (2 tiles x 2 color squares) of the game board and place it in your garden.
Susan plays the "grey/turquoise" card.
She takes one of the 4 tiles (one of the 2 grey or 2 turquoise squares) from the center of the game board and places it in her garden.
Garden symbol: If the card played shows a garden symbol (each player has 9 of these cards), you must take a tile from the same category on the game board and place it in your garden.
If there is no tile with the same garden symbol among the 10 color squares at the center of the board, you can use this card as a wild card, and take any of the 10 garden tiles and place it in your garden.
Tip: Try to use these bonus wild cards whenever you can!
Michael plays the "pavilion" card. There are 3 pavilions to choose from on the board.
He decides on the tile from the white square and places it in his garden.
Amanda plays the "stairway" card, but there are no stairway garden tiles showing on the board.
She can take any garden tile of her choice from the color squares (just as though she played the wild card, see below) and place it in her garden.
Wild card: If the card played is a wild card (each player has 1 of these cards), take any one of the 10 garden tiles from the color squares and place it in your garden.
You must always place garden tiles on the corresponding square in your garden!
For each tile taken from the game board, there is always only one single corresponding square in your garden where you can place it. The garden tile must be placed in the column of your garden marked by the symbol and in the row marked by the color that corresponds to those of the garden tile.
There are no further rules for placing your garden tiles in your garden. For example, you can place a tile on a square in your garden even if the surrounding squares are not yet occupied with a garden tile.
If the square in your garden that corresponds to the garden tile taken from the board is already occupied, turn over the tile so that the gardener side is face up.
Place the gardener on any free square in either the same row or column as the occupied square.
Notes: All gardeners have the same function, even if they differ in appearance.
If there are no free squares in either the same row or column, you may place the gardener on any free square in your garden.
Example: After already playing a few rounds, Amanda plays a wild card and picks up a pavilion tile from one of the turquoise squares on the game board.
Since the corresponding square in her garden is already occupied, she turns the garden tile over to the gardener side and may now place her chosen tile on one of the 7 highlighted free squares.
She strategically places it on the fuchsia pavilion square.
2. Move a Nobleman
You can choose to move any one of your noblemen in your garden. Noblemen can be moved as follows:
A nobleman can only be moved over connected garden tiles (paths containing garden symbol tiles and/or gardener tiles). He can pass over as many tiles as he likes, but never over empty squares (see examples on next page).
A nobleman must always finish his move in the same column, at least one row further down from where he started.
Thus, you can move your nobleman back towards the palace, if you need to, or even laterally across different columns, as long as at the end of the move he comes to rest in his original column, at least one row further down than where he started.
A nobleman can pass over a tile occupied by another nobleman or a gardener tile, but he may never finish his move on a gardener tile! (Be careful not to forget this!)
A nobleman can be moved only once per round and ideally he will reach row 6 before the end of the game.
If you can't, or choose not to, move one of your noblemen, simply pass on the second part of your turn.
Moving your nobleman doesn't necessarily have to involve the garden tile that you have just placed in your garden, but it can.
Noblemen may be moved onto or over the preprinted squares.
After moving a nobleman, you receive the number of points indicated on either side of the row to which the nobleman has moved. How far the nobleman moved doesn't matter.
Keep track of the points you receive by moving your counting stone along the score track. If your stone passes the "0/50" square, lay your points card with the "50" showing next to the square to indicate your score.
If you move past the 50 square a second time, turn the points card over so that the "100" is showing.
Julian moves his nobleman from the terrace to the pavilion in the grey row: he receives 3 points. He can never move his nobleman back to either the white or beige row; he can move the nobleman over these squares again, as long as the nobleman doesn't stop there.
Julian moves his nobleman from the fountain of the beige row to the fountain of the grey row: he receives 3 points.
Julian moves his nobleman from the grapevine of the beige row to the grapevine of the turquoise row: he receives 6 points. He can't move a nobleman to the grapevine of the orange row since there is no path to that square.
Julian moves his nobleman from the stairway of the white row to the stairway of the fuchsia row: he receives 5 points. He now has the chance to move his nobleman to the stairway of the turquoise row in a later round and collect 6 additional points.
3. Replace the Garden Tile
Pick up the top garden tile from any one of the draw piles on the game board and place it face up on the vacant color square from which you took a garden tile, so that there are again 10 garden tiles on the color squares at the center of the board for the next player.
Note: You may count the cards left in your draw pile at any time to see how many rounds are left, but you may not look at the cards!
4. Replenish your Hand
To finish your turn, pick the top card from your draw pile, so that you again have 2 cards in your hand.
Note, in the round before the last (the 17th round), there are no cards left to draw. When the last card is played (i.e. in the 18th round), the game is over.
End of the Game
The game is over once every player has completed his 18th turn and has no cards left in his draw pile. Now the points are scored, as follows:
For each completed horizontal row (excluding the first row), receive 10 points minus the value of the row (2-6). (It doesn't matter if the row contains gardeners).
For each completed vertical column, receive 5 points. (It doesn't matter if the column contains gardeners).
For each of your two mission cards, score the number of points indicated by the row that contains the corresponding nobleman.
The player with the most points wins.
In the event of a tie, the player whose garden contains the most gardener tiles wins. If the gardens have the same number of gardeners, the game remains tied.
Julian receives 10 - 3 = 7 points for the completed grey row, and 5 points each for the two completed columns (rose arches and stairways).
His two mission cards count for an additional 8points (3 for the nobleman in the labyrinth column and 5 for the nobleman in the pavilion column). In total, he receives an additional 7 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 5 = 25 points.
All of the game rules remain the same, with the following exceptions: At the start of the game, each player receives a random expansion board to go along with his garden.
Before placing the expansion board on top of your garden, look at your mission cards and decide which side of the expansion board you want face up.
Place the expansion board on the garden so that the top of the board covers the grey stairway square. 12 of the 16 squares of the expansion boards are marked. The following rules apply to the marked squares:
Add points for squares with symbols: If you place a garden symbol tile on one of these squares, you immediately receive the corresponding number of points (1, 2, or 3). If you place a gardener tile on one of these squares, nothing happens.
Add points for squares with a gardener: If you place a gardener tile on one of these squares, you immediately receive 3 points. If you place a garden symbol tile on one of these squares, nothing happens.
Subtract points for symbols or gardeners (red border): If you place any garden tile (symbol or gardener) on one of these squares, you immediately lose the corresponding number of points (-2, or -3).
All other rules, including bonus points for completed rows and columns, apply. (Remember that noblemen can also only move onto squares of the expansion board that are covered by garden tiles).