Errata: Takenoko Strategy Tips
I’ve been getting a few questions related to specific games. I didn’t know my Puerto Rico tips would be so influential. Keep the strategy questions coming. Love ‘em!
Takenoko Player asked, “I’ve read your review and played the game a few times with my wife. But the game just seems so random. Is there really a strategy to it because it seems like whoever happens to draw the best cards wins.”
Takenoko is a lighter game to be sure, but it is absolutely amenable to strategy and I would not say it is luck driven in the least. But the absolute key is knowing when to draw cards and which pile to select from.
It’s easy for new players to focus on their starting cards and try to get the accomplished. And, while that is a good goal, that can be far too limiting. The trouble is, maybe you get down to one card. And it’s something that you can’t accomplish on your turn. Well, you can feel stuck, like your turn is going to be wasted. So that’s why you need to have cards in hand. If you had drawn cards on previous turns, you would have more options. The more cards you have in hand, the more scoring opportunities you have. Don’t get down to too few cards.
Second, you need to look at the board to decide which card stack to draw from. Early game, the tile cards can be good – especially two player. Late game, not so much. Also, when the bamboo has grown high, it’s time to take a panda card. In just two moves, you can grab yourself three to five points easily. If bamboo is scarcer, then maybe the gardener cards would be better.
Despite the relative lightness of the game, Takenoko definitely tests your hand management skills. Also, if you want to remove more luck, play with the advanced rules. That gets rid of the luckiest draws.
Got questions about strategy, specific games, or the hobby in general? Post them in the comments here, email me at geekinsight at gfbrobot dot com, or send them to @GeekInsight on Twitter and check back next week for answers!