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Game: Bean Trader (Rio Grande Games)
Submitted By: name withheld
Date: 5/5/2003 9:03:00 PM
?The players take the roles of bean traders and are members of the famous Bohn Hanse, the union of northern European cities and merchants involved in the bean trade in the middle ages. The players travel from Hanse city to Hanse city in wagons filled with valuable beans to deliver bean orders and to buy more beans...?
This past weekend -- May 2-4, 2003 -- I had the pleasure of running demos of Bean Trader at the Games Club of Maryland's "Games Day 2003." After seven demos, a few things were obvious...
1. A vast majority of players considered it a fun game and would certainly sit down and play it again. Several players left the table stating that they were definitely going to buy the game soon.
2. The younger players held their own against the more mature players. I think that makes Bean Trader a very good candidate as a family game.
3. Although it shares three similarities ? the beans themselves, the trading aspect and not being allowed to change the order of cards in your hand ? this game is NOT like Bohnanza. Several players who were not fond of that game enjoyed Bean Trader just fine.
4. In about two rounds, all players were pretty much breezing through the various turn phases and steps without having to consult their cheater cards. By the end of the game, it was only occasionally necessary to remind them of certain rules or recommended strategies.
5. Although there is a significant random element, being lucky -- or even very lucky -- did not always win that player the game. You must plan your moves ahead carefully; otherwise, you?ll move across the board too much, spend too much on tolls and maybe even lose an order or two along the way.
6. Unless you have filled several more orders than the other players, as the game nears its end, it is a MUST to buy beans as cheap as possible and have your wagon full. If you don?t, you are losing out on a good source of income. A cart full of cheaply bought expensive beans can net you as much as filling another two moderately-valued orders.
All in all, this is a good, fun game for players of most all ages.