Spiel 2013 Preview: Citrus

Posted by James (admin) on October 15th, 2013

Citrus box

Citrus is a new game by Jeffrey D Allers who has created some great games such as Alea Iacta Est and Sahne (Piece o’Cake), as well as the forthcoming Artifact which is being released this Spiel too.

Citrus is a eurogame where players are growing fruit plantations.  In the middle of the table is the main board showing farming land (grid) with several building sites and fincas.  During the game, players place plantations of different fruits (tiles) onto the board to grow their own groups of matching tiles.

Each turn, a player can either Build or Harvest.  When a player builds, they buy plantation tiles from the market (which is an odd-shaped grid) and pays 1 coin per tile; however, they must buy all the tiles in a single row on the market grid and they must be able to place all the tiles they buy onto the board too.  Players can not hold onto tiles in between turns.

Players can places plantation tiles onto the board to expand a group of matching tiles they already own, or they can start a new group of tiles by placing one next to an available finca.  The four starting points next to each finca must contain a different type of fruit.  Placing tiles on some specific locations gain the player a landscape tile which give extra points or special actions.

When a finca is completely surrounded, it is scored.  The players with the most, and second-most, plantation tiles in the groups that surround the finca score the points shown on the finca.  New fincas get added (and the market refilled with tiles) each time the market gets down to 3 or fewer tiles.

Citrus market

The market looking a bit sparse with only 5 tiles currently remaining. The arrows show some of the possible purchase choices.

A player that harvests can harvest as many of the groups they own as they want.  When harvesting, the player gains 1 point for each tile (2 if they have a well on them) and remove their worker; however, the tiles remain and are now neutral so they can now be joined onto a matching group by placing a tile (so long as the neutral group isn’t bigger than the group it’s being joined to).

The more workers a player has on their board to show they won a group, the more income they receive each turn which seems like a nice balance.  When all plantation tiles have been built, remaining fincas are scored, plantations are harvested and bonus points added for landscape tiles.

Citrus looks like a solid and colourful-looking eurogame with simple rules but plenty of tricky decisions and tactics.  Definitely one where you can annoy another players by buying tiles they were hoping to, or placing tiles where they ere going to go and blocking them.

You can read the rules and see the details of the game on dlp’s web site: bga.me/citrus


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