Botanik is a 2-player steampunk themed tiled laying game with an interesting mechanic for getting the tiles you want. The goal is to score the most points by constructing a machine of connecting pipes. Groups of tiles score if there are at least three tiles of the same color connected together by pipes. In addition, there are some tiles that feature flowers on them. Flowers on pipe tiles that are connected to your starting tile score one point. Flowers on plant and vegetable tiles score three points if that tile is connected via a pipe to a tile of the same color Sounds easy enough, except you can never directly take the tile you want. – – 2-player – – 30 minutes
The game consists of tiles in five colors with each color having four types of configured pipes, a plant, a vegetable, and a meca-botanist. The central game board (the registry) has three rows of five spaces each for placing tiles. – one row facing each player and a middle common row. Each player has a starting source tile from which they will construct their machine. The round begins with the active player revealing 3 tiles from the draw pile selecting one to place on the registry board. They must place it either on an empty space on their side of the board, meeting placement rules or on any space in the middle common row which has no restrictions. Placing a tile in the middle row may cause tiles to be released on either or both players’ sides. All released tiles must immediately be placed in the respective player’s machine meeting placement rules. Releasing tiles is the only way to get tiles to construct your machine. A released meca-botanist tile does not get placed in a player’s machine. Instead, the player swaps it with a tile taken from the middle common row placing the chosen tile in their machine.
The next player draws one of the two remaining tiles and places it in the same manner on the registry board. Any released tiles are placed into a players’ machine. The start player draws the third tile and follows the same procedure. This ends the round. Round two switches to the next player being the active player who draws and reveals three tiles – choosing and placing the first and third tile. Rounds continue in this manner until all tiles have been played. Game ends and scoring takes place. Remove any tiles from your machine that are not connected by a pipe path back to your starting source tile – these will not score. Tally the points for your groups of three or more in like colors and any flowers that are connected to the appropriate tile. The player with the most points is the winner.
Botanik is very tactical. The key is to get the right tiles set up on your side of the board so they can get released when you need them to get the connections, the colors and the flowers you will need to construct the best scoring machine.
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