Tanuki in the Garden

Tanuki of the Gardens
Tanuki in the Garden
Development Period: March 2015-July 2016
Status: Playtesting
Artwork: George Jaros and Julie Zaborac

2-8 players
30-45 minutes
Ages 8+
Unpub Links: View Game | Feedback

Tanuki in the Garden is played in a manner very similar to several other popular tile laying path games, but with some significant changes. Players draw tiles with paths on them and try to avoid crashing and running off the board, however there is no player elimination. Paths that lead off the board will circle back around and players continue moving. The goal in Tanuki in the Garden is to collect as many Shiitake as possible.

In Tanuki in the Garden, players take on the role of Monks strolling through a Kaiyū-shiki-teien Garden, collecting Shiitake Mushrooms for use in the evening’s dinner. The first player to acquire enough Shiitake is the winner. Each of the 4 paths on each tile will have a symbol on the path. Symbols can be Shiitake, Tanuki Dens, or Ashi-magaris. As players move along paths they collect Shiitake that they come across, or are harmed by obstacles they encounter. There are also Tanuki that prowl around the garden trying to steal Shiitake from players. If players encounter a Tanuki Den they will lose Shiitake and encountering Ashi-magaris slow players down.

Garden Masters Expansion:
The Garden Master expansion contains a deck of cards and several tokens that allow players to perform additional actions during their turn.  These cards give abilities like moving the Tanuki, ignoring Tanuki Dens and Ashi-magari, stealing Shiitake from opponents, rearranging tiles, setting Tanuki traps, and more.

PnP rules can be found here (7/12/2015):
http://georgejaros.com/Files/Tanuki in the Garden - Rules.pdf

  • 6/25/2016 updates: The game has played great every time I've had it out, but one minor outlying case came up the other day.  So now a Rock Garden can be cleared at any time by any adjacent player by spending a whole turn.
  • 2/10/2016 updates: I made a pretty big change to the game that's helping it run a lot faster.  It also adds some more goals/strategy, so I think that it's working out great.  Whenever a player is forced to lose Shiitake, they drop them on the tile they lost them on.  These Shiitake can then be picked up by any player that enters that tile (including the player that lost them, as long as they leave and come back).  If a Tanuki causes the tile to be removed, then the Shiitake are also removed.  This keeps more Shiitake in the game and can potentially result in some big payoffs, making for a faster game.
  • 11/2/2015 updates: I finally figured out a solution to the one thing that bugged me about the game.  Ashi-magari always felt confusing and inelegant compared to everything else and also resulted in players basically losing a turn.  I've changed Ashi-magari so now crossing them makes you unable to draw tiles at the end of your turn (or cause you to discard if you are forced over them by another player).  This means they aren't something to avoid at all costs.  Players can weigh their options and may choose to sacrifice drawing a tile in order to string together a set of Shiitake.  I think that'll make the gameplay smoother, collecting Shiitake a bit easier/quicker, and add another important decision and choice for the players.  The rules have been updated to reflect this change.  There are no component changes.
  • 7/12/2015 updates: Adjusted the number of target Shiitake needed to end the game (results in a bit quicker games, especially when using the Garden Masters expansion).  Also removed a few spots that I found left over from older ules versions, fixed a few typos, clarified a few spots, and fixed some grammar mistakes.  I also updated the tiles to move the Ashi-magari so they are all at the middle of their paths on the tiles.  This isn't a critical change, so you don't need to print new tiles if you already printed them, but it'll make gameplay a little smoother.
  • 6/20/2015 updates: Added a new Garden Masters expansion.  This expansion includes cards that can be purchased during the game and used at just the right time to change the game!  Also clarified a few spots and added a quick reference page.
  • 5/8/2015 updates: Finally had inspiration for a good way to handle Loops and Crashes and updated those sections.
  • 4/28/2015 updates: Adjustments to how many Shiitake the Tanuki steal.  Typos fixed.  Added clarification for consecutive Ashi-magari, Loops, and Crashes.
  • 4/14/2015 updates: Name change, fixed typos, fixed misprinted tile.
  • 3/28/2015 updates: Typos fixed, clarified Tanuki movements. Consecutive Ashi-magari count as one.
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Game design by: George Jaros
Special Thanks: Julie Zaborac, Mike Jaros, Sam Jaros

Copyright © 2015

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

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