Preview: Get Off My Land!

As so many of you know and those that live within a 100 mile radius of the ranch also know, I like to sing in the shower. I sing all all types of tunes, from old standards to really new stuff.  One of my favorites, and apparently the cows to is “Hey you, get offa my cloud”. (edit: the cows do gather when he sings, but they’re notoriously tone deaf and are probably trying to put whatever is making that sound out of it’s misery) Now I can change cloud to land, and really, now the song makes a bit more sense… (edit: no, it doesn’t) And in case you’re curious, Get Off My Land has nothing to do with an older man sitting in a chair, yelling at the neighborhood kids. Although that would be a fair assumption.

Basically, it’s farming without all the hard work.

Actually, since it’s now time to actually talk about the game, Get Off My Land is a farming game where the goal is to become a rich farmer. I’m positive that a HUGE number of backers will be from the farming states, all of them with the exact same goal. I’m not sure this game is a “How to…”, but maybe that’s a matter of perspective. Looking at the game closer, they did a really good job of bringing the farm experience to the table. I can almost smell the pigs. (edit: actually, we have pigs at the ranch, so he really is smelling pigs) It’s so real! And real to me means you can design what goes where, the layout of the game is based on the number of players.  And then of course, there’s Olympic fencing. I mean, farm fencing. Building fences around cattle keeps them contained in that tile.  The down side is that when an opposing future rich farmer (edit: ha!), destroys a fence, the cows can run wild all over your crops or they just eat them like one big salad bar.

Basically, it’s farming without all the hard work.

You start the game surrounded by forests, first you need to clear them, then buy crops at the market. Of course time waits for no farmer, even rich ones, (edit: ha!), and as time marches on through the month your crops mature and they need to be harvested.  The fun parts are of course when things go wrong at the hands of the other players, like when they move on to your farm and grab the bonus from that tile.  The game takes place over a year, with month turns. Each player takes a turn, and then play moves to the next.  One complete circle and the month is over.  Easy enough.

The goal of Get Off My Land, is not to get off someone’s land, it’s to generate the most income in a year. There are some cute wrinkles with the ability to build a Petting Zoo and to discover oil on your farm. Ah yes, the dreams of every kid who grew up watching Beverly Hillbillies.  (edit: if you were a teen boy when that show was on, that was NOT your dream)

Basically, it’s farming without all the hard work.

You can always scare away a neighbor by shooting at them. This game suddenly went from a farm setting to downtown Detroit. The fence cards have 3 possible uses.  They can be used as a scare tactic card, 3 bullets means the attacker loses, you can use it to build a fence around your property, or take a special option that is unique to that card. The cards are where all the wrinkles of strategy come in.  The layout is a fixed area of farming, so you need to expand your far strategically, not randomly.

Basically, it’s farming without all the hard work.

The art work is great. It has a whimsical style that fits well together. There are some art oddities, these are simple rich farmers (edit: ha!) , so maybe it can be excused.  If you look at the cover art for this post, you’ll see a big empty spot in the middle, with the center of the game, the farm house, off to the side and partially obscured by the title.  Huh? (edit: double huh?) The tiles look great, they are double sides from the immature to the mature side. Mature means you can get the cash for it by harvesting the crops, if that wasn’t clear to you city folk. Much like Settlers of Catan, the game is not complex at the outset, but with layers of strategy that are sometimes random, card selection, but with a simple goal in mind. Remember, the winner of settlers is the player who reaches just 10 points. Here, it’s the most money.

Basically, it’s farming without all the hard work.

Of course there are stretch goals, even some social ones.  Which is ironic since in most of the game layouts, it changes based on the number of players, the farm houses are on opposite corners of the board. (edit: side note, a stoudy showed that the reason farmers went nuts was because they built their houses far from the neighbors.  The murder rate plummeted when they moves the houses to adjacent corners) Right now they’re all locked, and hour backing can change that. Of course we could always hold a show in the farm and if everyone kicks in a few bucks, quick, call Andy Hardy! (edit: such an obscure movie reference, I hate to even call it out… but apparently I did)

Basically, it’s farming without all the hard work.

And for kids, the game is great. If a child is tired oh Shuts& Ladders and craves something more meaty, instead of Monopoly, try Get Off My Land. It has the same basic goal with some thinking required. Thinking, CRITICAL THINKING. We like that skill around the ranch.

But really… basically, it’s farming without all the hard work. And we like that.

Back this game or you to will wonder where that pig smell comes from.