The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Bohnanza — Does anyone ever win buying a 3rd field?

That thought crossed my mind when we pulled out the old classic last night. We played a deck setup I wasn’t familiar with (Wax Beans-22, included; but only twice through the deck; five players. Was that a mistake?) I decided (after a terrible string of luck) to shoot out the 3rd field and try for the wax and blue beans. I got smoked. (In any case, I was losing before that), so no big deal.

But has anyone ever won with the 3rd field? If not, then shouldn’t we house rule the 3rd field to only cost 2 gold? (For all I know that has been changed in the newer versions, I have a very old copy of this, and have never read the newer rules).

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Written by taogaming

March 17, 2009 at 10:30 am

Posted in Strategy

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16 Responses

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  1. In general, I think you’re right, it’s a losing play. At work we played several games before I even introduced the rule, because I think it’s such a loser. We’re playing 4 and 5 player games.

    But I’ve played with some people, who always played two- or three-player Bohnanza, and they _insisted_ that everyone _always_ buys a third bean field.

    I think it must be a different thing with a two or three player game, because final scores are so much higher. 3 gold is a smaller bite out of your total score, and the game is longer, so it makes more sense.

    On a side note, in my last game, we threw out the “expansion” cards (Coffee, Wax, and Cocoa), and felt the game was better for it because it was shorter. You can only play 5 players that way, but I much preferred it being a 45 minute game than an hour or more with all the extra cards.

    Matt

    March 17, 2009 at 11:40 am

  2. 3rd bean fields are for low #players games because you get a lot more turns, so the investment can actually pay off. With more players if you want them to be used you could reduce the cost.

    However, the better solution is just to not play Bohnanza 😛

    Alexfrog

    March 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

  3. I think that how good the third bean field is also depends heavily on your group. I know some groups play the game with practically no trading going on whereas others give plenty of cards away for free. Of course if there is almost no trading going on, the extra field is more valuable.

    Touko

    March 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm

  4. If the group isnt trading, you can generally win by defecting and trading a lot, even if you give each opponent a bit more than you get, as long as you spread it around. Bohnanza is all about being involved in as many deals as possible.

    Alexfrog

    March 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

  5. I agree. In a 3-player game, a 3rd field is necessary. In larger games, it’s not even worth 2 gold. I’d buy one for 1 gold, though; I’m sure I’d be able to make my money back somehow.

    JeffG

    March 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  6. Whoa, I thought the third field was supposed to only cost two gold. Even then, it’s a bit risky and usually only one person tries it. The added flexibility makes some people jealous and one more player might try it too late, but who am I to stop them? They have more fun playing with a third field and losing. But the player who originally buys the third – it definitely helps, but doesn’t guarantee the win. Therefore, I say it works out fairly at a cost of two gold. At three, more luck is required to make it work.

    jacob

    March 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  7. Whoa, I thought the third field was supposed to only cost two gold. Even then, it’s a bit risky and usually only one person tries it. The added flexibility makes some people jealous and one more player might try it too late, but who am I to stop them? They have more fun playing with a third field and losing. But the player who originally buys the third – it definitely helps, but doesn’t guarantee the win. Therefore, I say it works out fairly at a cost of two gold. At three, more luck is required to make it work.

    jacob

    March 17, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  8. I’ll pile on — the third beanfield should only be employed during a three-player game (if then).

    I will add the proviso that Bohnanza shouldn’t really be played if you only have three though. (I say this even though it is [probably] my all-time favourite game.)

    I generally don’t even include the third beanfield rule when teaching the game. Not only because purchasing it will almost certainly guarantee a loss (in a 4- or 5-person game at least), but because it reduces the amount of trading in the game. Not a good thing for a game whose soul is trading.

    Greg Aleknevicus

    March 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  9. Well, that explains it. I don’t think I’ve ever played with 3.

    Brian

    March 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

  10. I’ve never played with 3 either, nor would it occur to me to do so.

    I have seen a third field win, probably in a 5 player game, for the 3 coin price. If you can buy it early enough, I think it can be profitable. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever bought one myself. A 2 coin price in a normally sized game seems like a reasonable switch.

    Larry Levy

    March 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm

  11. I’ve never played with 3 either, nor would it occur to me to do so.

    I have seen a third field win, probably in a 5 player game, for the 3 coin price. If you can buy it early enough, I think it can be profitable. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever bought one myself. A 2 coin price in a normally sized game seems like a reasonable switch.

    Larry Levy

    March 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm

  12. The first expansion changed the price of the third beanfield to 2 gold with 6 or 7 players only.

    JeffG

    March 18, 2009 at 10:10 am

  13. Interesting – I’ve played with three players quite a bit, and definitely enjoy the game that way. Not buying the 3rd beanfield becomes the challenge there; I’ve seen it work, but more often than not the winner has three fields.

    Joe Huber

    March 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm

  14. With less players:

    1) You get more turns, thus increasing the amount of time to have your beanfield investment pay off.
    2) There are less opponents collecting various types of beans, meaning that there are less people willing to take a bean off your hands or trade you for it, when you have somethng that would screw you. This increases the importance of having the beanfield to avoid getting screwed.

    Alexfrog

    March 18, 2009 at 6:59 pm

  15. With less players:

    1) You get more turns, thus increasing the amount of time to have your beanfield investment pay off.
    2) There are less opponents collecting various types of beans, meaning that there are less people willing to take a bean off your hands or trade you for it, when you have somethng that would screw you. This increases the importance of having the beanfield to avoid getting screwed.

    Alexfrog

    March 18, 2009 at 6:59 pm

  16. I’m surprised not to find this mentiond earlier, but the Rio Grande rules state that with three players, everyone starts with a third beanfield in play and cannot buy another one. Thus, you can’t argue whether it helps or hurts with three players because all players are on equal ground and will remain so throughout the game.

    I’ve played 3p Bohnanza 10-15 times and think it works fine. You have fewer opportunities to get dreck out of your hand, so you might need to cycle two fields somewhat frequently than you’d like in order to max out the third.

    W. Eric Martin

    March 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm


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