Herbaceous is a game of plant-growing where your fingers don’t get dirty, but your tactics might.
Each player has a set of four pots that they can collect herbs into. The pots want particular types of sets: all the same herbs/all different/pairs of herbs/three of any type of herb. As the game progresses everybody’s private garden will fill up with herbs, along with a shared community garden.
On your turn you have the option of potting herbs: moving them from your private garden and/or the community garden into a pot. Then you must always plant herbs: flip over two cards from the deck and adding them – one to the community garden, and one to your own garden.
The game plays out until the deck is exhausted (everyone has a final chance to pot) then pots are scored. As well as the basic hard cards (7 types) there are also some special herbs that score points – these can only be potted in the three of any type pot. If anyone manages to pot a value 1, 2 and 3 herb into this pot, there’s a bonus for doing so.
So the game is very simple in terms of rules, but the crux of it is the decision-making on when to pot – now, or push for a little bit more, and hope nobody else takes the herbs you want? Once a pot has herbs in it, you can’t use it again!
A simple game with a little more depth than first appears. It is a little one-note, but short and sweet with it.
Negligible. The worst that can happen is someone taking cards you want from the community garden. Nobody can steal from your private garden or pots.
Very low - the only real decision is when to pot.
Cards ensure some randomness, but the game's strength is in its simplicity.