This little game is about producing goods, building buildings and hiring workers. There are a couple of interesting game elements in Oh My Goods! and it is best described by going through a single round.
Every player start with a char burner, seven charcoal in the form of seven cards face down on the char burner card and a worker card. Charcoal is worth one coin per card, so you basically start with seven coins. During the game you will produce other types of goods that are worth more coins per good.
At the start of a round every player is dealt two new cards. On a card you find a building which you can build for some amount of coins and this building is worth some victory points. Most buildings produce goods, but some of them have special abilities. You also find a symbol of a good on the left of the card. During the game you can also use a building card as a good card.
Next, your workers wake up, the sunrise phase, and the active player looks what the day will bring by drawing cards and placing them face up on the table until there are two cards on the table with a sun icon (yes, some cards have that icon too).
Then the players will assign their worker to one of their buildings. To produce, a building requires some goods. Those goods must be on the table, or you can pay for them by playing cards with that symbol from your hand. Now comes the fun bit. A worker can be sloppy or neat. When you decide that she works neat in a building, all required goods have to be on the table or in your hand. If that’s the case the building produces two goods. A building where a sloppy worker works requires one good less, but also produces only one good.
So, it’s a bit of a gamble. Do you think the required goods will turn up, or can you pay them from your hand? Because during the next phase, the sundown phase, another set of cards will be drawn until there are two more sun icons on the table. So, the goods you need might be drawn then.
This is a nice element of the game. Your pushing your luck. However it probably always will pay out to just keep your workers work neatly, especially if the goods that a building produces are worth four or five coins per good. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose.
So, let’s say that your building produces two goods. You can now active the chain. On every card with a production building you find one or more goods, in the lower right corner, that you can use to convert them into the good of that building if that building produces. You have to use cards from your hand to do so.
The char burner, for instance, has wood as a chain icon. So, you can place wood cards from your hand onto your char burner. They became charcoal and are worth one coin.
Activating a chain is probably more useful if the good you are converting your cards into is worth more than one coin. It’s your decision, turn cards into coins or keep them so you can use these hand cards to pay for the goods that are not on the table if you want a building to produce. This hand management element is pretty nice.
Other goods, from other buildings are worth more than coal and you can use this money to build building from your hand.
Buildings belong to different groups with different colours and at the end of your turn you can hire (and pay for) one more worker from the supply if you fulfil a certain condition, like owning two red buildings. These worker only produce one good, can only work neatly, but they are also worth points in the end. The interesting bit is that once you’ve hired them you have to assign them to a building. A building only offers work for one worker and every time you want to move a worker you’ve hired during the game you have to pay two coins. This means that you really have to think about where you are going to place a hired worker. As long as that worker is working there a building will never produce more than one good.
The game end is triggered when someone has built eight buildings. You then get points for buildings, workers and every five coins you have.
Oh my Goods is a fine game, but it doesn’t give me a ‘Oh my!’ feeling. I rarely saw buildings really interact. There’s this potential of a production chain, but during the game you’ll find out that waiting for the whole chain to work won’t win you the game and most of the time you just start building the buildings that you can afford and maybe, looking at the requirements, can help you hire another worker.
The creation of a production chain doesn’t work because you only have one worker and when he or she, because an unlucky draw, doesn’t do its job, you’re screwed.
Secondly, ideally you first need Good A and then convert it into Good B. But the goods you need to activate building A don’t have to be on the table. This turn Building C will probably produce. So, you’ll be crazy to risk busting by sticking to your plan to let Building A produce. And that’s how the whole game goes, you just go with the flow until you, by the luck of the draw, get enough cards into you hand so that you can deviate from what’s on the table.
It’s not that this is a bad game, but when I saw that this little game had cards that are used as money, goods and buildings I got excited and expected a more strategic game. The things you can do depend too much on what’s been drawn in the sunset and sunrise phase. A decent exercise, but I doubt it will get played a lot.
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