Clash of Chaos and Confetti #43: Bohnanza

The Premise and Standings

Each week we’ll face off in a best of three series playing a different board game from our collection.  The winner claims the moniker of C&C Clash Champ for the week.  The loser feels less like a magical fruit and more like a toot. The lesser player also gets to choose the game for the next week.

We will maintain a record of wins and losses throughout the year to see who finishes 2022 as the ultimate board game champ in our household.

Our current C&C Champion is Chaos after winning last week’s Ultimate Uno battle.

Pre-Clash Current Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 19 Chaos – 23 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 60 Chaos – 58 Confetti

After losing last week, Confetti has chosen Bohnanza.

The Game – Bohnanza

Bohnanza will have players planting and harvesting beans in order to earn the most coins.  With limited fields to plant beans in, and with rules around harvesting, players will have to work to build up large crops of individual beans while also avoiding the planting of unwanted beans.

While Bohnanza can hold up to seven players, there is also a two-player dual variant, which we used for this clash.  Those will also be the rules reviewed here.  

During setup, all of the beans (minus the green beans and cocoa beans) will be shuffled.  Then, players will be given a placemat with three fields and dealt five cards.  It is important that players never shuffle or mix up their hands.  The top most card, the one that is fully revealed, is the card that must be planted during a player’s turn.

Every turn will follow the same phases and structure.  First, a player will discard or plant any beans left to them from the previous player’s turn (this does not happen during the first turn of the game).  Next, the active player must plant the top most card in their hand.  They may also plant the second card afterward, but are not required to do so.  Once planting is done, they may discard a card from anywhere in their hand into the communal discard pile.

The next step is flipping over the top three cards of the draw deck.  If the top of the discard deck matches any of the three flipped over cards, it gets added to that pile.  Cards will be pulled from the discard pile as long as any match any of the piles.  Once the piles are firmly established, the active player may plant any of the available piles.  Any cards that are not taken will be left for the next player to decide on at the beginning of their turn.

Once the fate of those beans have been determined, the active player draws two cards, placing them at the back of their hand, and the turn is passed to the next person.  

When planting beans, a player first chooses which field will take the beans.  If the field is empty or already has matching beans in it,, the new beans will simply be added to the field.  If the field currently has a different type of bean, then the previous beans will be harvested to make room for the new beans.  

Harvesting beans is how players earn points towards victory.  Each type of bean will have a guide at the bottom that explains how many must be turned into earn coins and how many coins different amounts will earn.  If the criteria for coins is met, the harvesting players will turn the correct number of the harvested beans over, revealing a coin, and place them in their own personal victory pile.  The rest of the beans will go face up in the communal discard pile.

Beans can be harvested anytime during a player’s turn, but they can only be harvested if there are at least two beans planted, or all three fields have one or less beans planted.

The turns will continue back and forth with players planting beans, harvesting crops, and determining what to keep and pass on.  The game will end at the end of the turn where the deck runs out.  Once the turn is over, all of each player’s fields will be automatically harvested.  The player with the most coins wins!  If there is a tie, then the non-starting player wins!

It’s a battle of beans and top crops!  

Chaos’ Pre-Clash Thoughts:

It’s been good to pick up a few wins again, but I need to keep the good times rolling.  I need to bring my a-game every week if I want to finish this year on top.  Confetti has had a great middle of the year, but I’m looking to make her a has-bean!

Confetti’s Pre-Clash Thoughts:

We’ve never played Bohnanza at two players, so I”m looking forward to trying it. Chaos has been on a bit of a winning streak, but I’m too concerned. I’ve built up quite a lead, so it won’t take much to cement my victory for the year. 

Game 1 –

With the simple turn order, it did not take long for Chaos and Confetti to get into the game’s rhythm.  They worked to plant crops and gain favorable beans, while also badly wanting to keep preferable beans for their opponent.

The game mostly has players working with their available resources, without much take-that, only slight denials.  Bohnanaza’s real challenge is figuring out what to invest and when it’s time to sell.  There’s a little luck of the draw involved, but strategy will be about balancing some push your luck (planting/discarding with the hope that the right cards show up) and cautiousness (selling to make room for new investments).

The first game saw Chaos and Confetti targeting different beans, so they both had a lot of room to breathe and move.  It also helped that the cards were coming out as they needed.

The game seemed to fly by as they finally ran out of cards.  A quick counting of cards revealed just how close the contest had been.  In the end, Confetti pulled out the first win!

Game 1 Winner: Chaos

Game 1 Score: 22 Chaos – 21 Confetti

Game 2 – 

Game two’s biggest difference was having more overlap in cards both players wanted.  The direct combat is so noticeable and a lot of strategy still depends on making the most of the resources that become available during your turn, but still Chaos and Confetti tried to deny the other beans when possible.

Coffee and wax beans were hot commodities, but each bean had its time to shine.  Coins slowly rolled in, but at other times big winfalls came in, such as Confetti getting to pretty much double harvest her blue beans or when she turned in three Garden Beans for just as many coins.  

This outing saw few returns on investments for both players, but Confetti still enjoyed the outcome because she pulled out a three point lead to tie up this week’s clash.

Game 2 Winner: Confetti

GAme 2 Score: 15 Chaos – 18 Confetti

Game 3 – 

The final game was for all the beans.  This one played a bit more similarly to the second game with a lot of overlap on what players wanted.

Confetti started off slow and steady, turning in beans for minimal reward, but still amassing a decent coin pile.  Chaos on the other hand, started in struggle-ville.  He couldn’t seem to get a string of matching beans at all and kept having to sell for losses.  

As the game progressed, Chaos finally saw a bit of luck as he began to pick up some of what he needed.  On the other end of the spectrum, Confetti’s luck started to slow down.  She saw a few profitless harvests, but otherwise continued to grab only a coin or two.

Chaos started to rake in some late game coins in larger numbers.  

As the final count occurred, the game felt like it could go either way.  In the end, Chaos’ big goal of being a comeback kid played out on the small stage, as he eked out just enough coins to win.  This sealed this game and this week’s clash for the Chaotic one!

Game 3 Winner: Chaos

Game 3 Score: 11 Chaos – 10 Confetti

Your Winner and STILL C&C Clash Champion: Chaos!!!

Chaos’ Post-Clash Thoughts:

I pulled off the win, but it was definitely stressful.  It can be hard to tell how well I’m doing and I especially thought Confetti had my number during the final game.  With scores that close, there wasn’t a lot of room for errors.  For now though, let the good times keep rolling.  Onward and upward with the Comeback of Chaos!

Confetti’s Post-Clash Thoughts:

Disappointed that the last game didn’t go my way, but I’m still on top of the scoreboard. Looking forward to regaining my championship next week. 

New Standings:

Post-Clash Standings:

  • Weekly Winner: 20 Chaos – 23 Confetti
  • Individual game wins: 62 Chaos – 59 Confetti

Next Week: Costume Party Assassins

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