|Players:||2 - 6|
In Viticulture, the players find themselves in the roles of people in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany who have inherited meager vineyards. They have a few plots of land, an old crushpad, a tiny cellar, and three workers. They each have a dream of being the first to call their winery a true success.
The players are in the position of determining how they want to allocate their workers throughout the year. Every season is different on a vineyard, so the workers have different tasks they can take care of in the summer and winter. There's competition over those tasks, and often the first worker to get to the job has an advantage over subsequent workers.
Fortunately for the players, people love to visit wineries, and it just so happens that many of those visitors are willing to help out around the vineyard when they visit as long as you assign a worker to take care of them. Their visits (in the form of cards) are brief but can be very helpful.
Using those workers and visitors, players can expand their vineyards by building structures, planting vines (vine cards), and filling wine orders (wine order cards). Players work towards the goal of running the most successful winery in Tuscany.
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This is such a lovely, relaxing game to play. It doesn't feel overly competitive, you are just focused on building up your own vineyard and cellars and selling your wine. The only time it might get heated is when someone takes the spot you want, but the Grande Worker helps with that.
I would also highly getting the Tuscany Essential Edition expansion as the bigger board gives you more placement options and makes the game last a little bit longer (when you've successfully built your beautiful winery, you just want to keep making wine!).
I picked Viticulture Essential Edition about a month or so ago after initially dismissing the game when I first heard about it. But after looking at it in a bit more detail and rewatching some reviews that hailed it as an excellent 2 player experience I took the plunge and purchased it.
This game is really enjoyable and I don’t see any chance of it leaving my collection :)
I really liked the game, the pieces are cute and the instructions are nice and clear. Only thing I battled a bit with is the recipes are not so easy to understand so I stored wine that I didn't need and made wines that weren't needed so I couldn't sell the order I was working on but I know for next time to be a bit more careful about what I need and to think about what wine I"m trying to make. The strategies are easy to understand and the game is interesting enough to want to play it again.
This is a great game at all player counts. Even my husband who screwed his nose up at the theme (he doesn’t even drink wine!) really enjoyed making wine in this game. Once you get the hang of fulfilling orders the game goes quickly and you find yourself wanting to keep on going just a bit longer! I love the big meeple who can go anywhere too - it really helps keep the spots open to help everyone get going. Great game!
The beautiful artwork and pieces in this game create an atmosphere which adds to the relaxed gameplay. Whilst you are still competing with the other players, the majority of the time you are focusing on your own pieces, lining up your wine production to make that perfect rose or ensuring that you have built a big enough cellar to let your wine age. It's only at the very end that you really start to cash in your labours for victory points which ultimately decides the winner. Complex enough to stay interesting but felt a lot less laborious to learn compared to many other games I've played recently. Only real downsides were a few elements of game design where you felt they could have aligned pieces differently to help you remember to claim your windmill victory points or to draw cards in the right season. These gripes are minor though and after a few playthroughs would be irrelevant.