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Designer Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola, Caverna, Bohnanza, etc) has helped us combine the second edition of Viticulture with a few elements from Tuscany: Mama & Papas, Fields (Properties), various Visitor cards, & Automa (solo variant).
This is basically a more robust version of Viticulture without adding the complexity of some of the “heavier” Tuscany expansions. Mamas & Papas gives players different starting resources. Field cards let you sell fields you’re not using for an influx of money. A larger set of visitor cards offer a lot more variety, and we’ve selected only the most balanced cards so there’s never a bad draw.
These are the expansions we always play with–they no longer feel like expansions. So they’re now included in the core game of Viticulture.
Aesthetically, the box art is slightly different and the rulebook is more detailed. Otherwise everything is the same as the second edition (tons of custom wooden components and glass beads).
The game board is slightly different in that the “Buy/Sell Grapes” action now reads “Sell at Least One Grape or Buy/Sell One Field.” It also has English on one side and and German on the other (we shared a print run with German publisher Feuerland). The vineyard mat is similarly double sided in English/German. Otherwise the game is in English.
In terms of components, the Essential Edition includes 36 Mama & Papa cards (these determine your starting resources–you no longer start with anything else by default), 18 Field cards (previously known as “Properties”), and 24 Automa cards (solo variant).
The 76 visitor cards replace the original, advanced, and new visitors found in Viticulture and Tuscany. The Promoter card has a slight word change (“and” changed to “or”), as does the Homesteader card ($3 discount instead of $1).
There are two rule changes that accompany the Essential Edition (these are
official rule changes for all versions of Viticulture):
You may only gain the 1 VP bonus from the tasting room if you have at least 1 wine token in your cellar. You don’t lose the token–it just has to be there so your guests have wine to taste. If you want to update your vineyard mats with this notation, here are printable stickers.
◦There is no maximum score (previously, 25 VP was the maximum in the core game).
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