WBG Score: 8/10
Player Count: 2–4
Published by Floodgate Games
Resplendent trees follow a formulaic yet fantastic journey across all four seasons. New shoots emerge in spring, basking proud in the summer warmth. Leaves tumble and cascade in autumn, carpeting the woodland floor come winter. It’s a story of two halves: of growth, followed by their preparation for winter dormancy.
What if we switched out the roots, trunks and foliage, and replaced it with 3D cardboard? Swapped brittle, browning leaves for bright, laser-cut wooden tokens? And what if we chucked a cheeky squirrel in for good measure? What you’re now imagining, my gaming friends, is Bosk, by Floodgate Games. This design comes with a tagline: “a game of majestic trees and falling leaves.”
The definition of the word ‘Bosk’, in case you’re wondering, means a wood comprising of small trees. (If you win a future pub quiz thanks to this answer, feel free to transfer me 10% of the prize.) Bosk is an abstract-strategy/area-majority game by Daryl Andrews and Erica Bouyouris. Andrews co-designed the colourful Sagrada, also by Floodgate Games. That’s where the similarities end, though. Let’s take a closer look…
Bosk In A Nutshell
There’s four rounds to Bosk, each being a separate season. In spring, everyone ‘plants’ (places) their trees on the board – a national park. In summer, everyone scores their trees, according to their locations. In autumn, everyone’s trees start to drop their leaves. These scatter and tumble due to the ever-changing wind. Last of all in winter, everyone scores their leaves, according to where they fell.
Four phases then, but two of them comprise of scoring, alone. The meat of the game occurs in ‘spring’ and ‘autumn’. This is where all your planning and calculating come into their own. Summer and winter take less than five minutes to add up the respective scores.
A Spring In Your Step
Each player has eight 3D trees in their own colour. Each has a number (1 – 4, twice). The board is a grid of squares that overlay the national park’s terrains. The first player places any one of their eight trees on a vacant intersection on the board. (As in, the point where two grid lines meet to form a +, so it can’t be on the board’s outer edge).
Players take turns, clockwise, placing one tree at time onto the board. You can place them in any numerical order. In a three-player game, for example, 24 trees end up on the board. But why place a tree in one spot over another? And why do your trees have numbers 1 – 4 on them?