Ever fancied making wine but didn’t fancy the feel of grape skin between your toes? Plus, who wants to go to all that effort to make a bottle of wine? La Viña lets you skip through the fields, picking grapes in order to make a barrel of wine!
The local vineyard owner has passed away, leaving his property available to be fought over by all the local grape pickers. Rather than split the property, a competition will be held and the person producing the best wine over the season will gain control of the vineyard for years to come!
In the box you get:
- 1 Playing board
- 72 Grape Cards
- 10 Starting Basket Cards
- 6 Basket Cards
- 5 Grape Picker Cards (1 in each player colour)
- 7 Grape Pickers (in 5 colours)
- 16 Winery Cards
- 1 Winemaking Co-operative Card
- 30 Barrel Counters
- 8 Wildcard Grape Tokens
- 12 Tool Tokens (4 Billhooks, 4 Boots and 4 Shears)
- 67 Prestige Tokens
Set the board up in the middle of the table with the appropriate number of spaces (five for 2 or 4P, four for 3P and six for 5P) The board represents the main thoroughfare of the vineyard and is where players will travel along, collecting grapes as they go. Shuffle the grape cards and place two cards face up, on each side of every space. One card should be on top of the other so the grape variety and number can be seen on the bottom card but nothing else. Any tools available on the bottom card will only be visible when a player takes the top card.
Place the rest of the deck nearby with room for a discard pile.
Each player takes a grape picker card and places the matching worker on the entrance o the vineyard (in a 2P game, each player gets two workers) Randomly choose a starting player and place their worker at the back of the queue, place the others workers in turn order so the last player has their meeple closest to the vineyard entrance.
Each player takes their starting baskets, a small basket that can hold two grape cards and a medium one that can hold three. Players place these next to their grape picker card. Any spare starting baskets are placed back in the box, all other baskets are placed on the table and will be available for players to buy, though you can only ever have two baskets. Barrels are given out according to player count (seven in 2P, six in 3 or 4P and 5 in a 5P game) Place a wildcard grape token and the winemaking co-operative card at the end of the board.
Shuffle up the winery cards and place face up the appropriate number for the player count (five for 2P, six for 3P, seven for 4P and eight for 5P) and place the rest back in the box. Place the tool counters and prestige points out and you are ready to play!
Players will take turns moving their grape picker down the track, choosing which grapes they want to pick and put in their basket. When they come out of the aisle at the bottom, they can deliver the grapes from their basket to a winery so long as they have what that particular winery wants, receiving a reward for doing so. When a player carries out their last deliver, the game ends and points are counted up.
The game is played over a number of rounds, a round ends when all grape pickers have reached the end of the aisle and delivered their grapes.
The player whose picker is at the back of the line is always the next player to move. It is quite possible for the same player to have multiple turns in a row. In their turn, a player must move their grape picker forward. You can move any number of spaces. Each space on the board has two boxes, you may move into either if space is available. Before or after moving the player can take one of the available grape cards from either side on the space. You may choose to discard the card, however, if you keep it you must place it into one of the baskets. Each basket can hold a number of grape cards are shown on it. You may also mix varieties of grapes in a basket (though that may affect your ability to sell them!)
If the card taken shows a tool icon, take the respective tool token and place it on your grape picker card, you may only have a maximum of two tools at any time. There are three types of tools available to players:
Boots - The player may take any card from the space behind them.
Shears - the player may take two cards from the space their grape picker is on.
Billhook - The player may take any card from the space they are on, even if it is uncovered.
Once a tool is used, it goes back into the general supply. Players may combine tools, for example using the boots and shears to take two cards from the space behind them.
There are cards that show empty vines that give you nothing, but you may need to remove them to get to the tasty grapes underneath. If you draw one of these, just discard it. At any point in your turn, you may also ‘dump’ the contents of a basket. Either by discarding them or by putting them into another basket, however, you may only do this if the other basket has room for all the grapes.
When a player reaches the end of the aisle they must sell their grapes. If they are the first player to reach the exit, they take the wildcard grape counter. They may use it in this round or any future rounds by adding it to their delivery as a grape of whatever variety they want.
They must then make a delivery or two if they wish. Each delivery is carried out separately from another, even if it is to the same winery. It is not possible to combine grapes from both baskets or only use some of the grapes in one basket.
Each winery has a minimum delivery value needed for the order to be met. There are two types of wine that will be requested. Monovarietal - these must be all grapes of the requested variety or Coupages - this can be made up of different types of wine, though the majority must be the one shown, this must make up at least half the value of grapes in the delivery. A player may always exceed the requested quota, though they may not receive any extra prestige for it.
The winemaking co-operative is a special winery that will accept any variety or quantity of grapes, however, it only offers a flat x 0.5 multiplier. So if you dropped off a total of ten mixed grapes here, it would give you five prestige.
To make a delivery, the player must place one of their barrel counters on the next empty delivery slot on the winery card. If the card is full, no more deliveries may be made here. Discard the cards from your basket and receive the prestige points indicated. When the last slot is taken by a player, they receive any prestige tokens on the card.
The player may then choose to spend prestige points to upgrade a basket. Trade an empty basket in and pay the difference in cost between the old and new one. Remember you can only ever have two baskets at any time. Once all sales and upgrades are done, the worker moves back to the start of the board. Place the grape picker at the back as the first one in will be the first one to play once everyone else has finished their round.
After all players have exited the aisle, refill the grape cards. Draw cards and add them to the vineyard spaces until there are two on each space again. New cards are placed on top of cards still left from the last round. Then place a prestige token on all wineries that still have at least one empty delivery slot.
Play continues until the end of the round where one player uses their last barrel token. Prestige points are added up and the player with the most is the winner!
There are quite a few winemaking games on the market these days, most of which tend towards the heavier side of things. La Viña is a refreshing white wine that slips down rather than hefty red! You can play it in under 20 minutes. The movement of your workers is reminiscent of Tokaido (player at the back goes first and can move into any available slot ahead of them), which can mean some of your choices are made for you, which is slightly mitigated by the tools you come across. There's enough strategy to keep you thinking while at the same time being a nice simple card game you can enjoy with a glass of wine on the side.
Review copy kindly provided by Devir