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Three Sisters...The companion planting trifecta

Three Sisters is a roll and write game of gardening. Themed around a technique practised by indigenous people for centuries, you'll use the theory of companion planting to grow a trio of crops known as the three sisters: corn, beans and squash, in your garden alongside perrenials and fruit trees as well as maintaining a beehive for pollination success.

Three Sisters board game components

I've not long since discovered the joy of roll and writes and when we saw Three Sisters, Alex knew it was one I would enjoy and I knew he would also enjoy it due to the theme. We were really excited to get a copy of this and try it out.

First Impressions

The box is really eye catching and this bright, colourful artwork continues upon opening the box with the components of the game. The game sheets have a lot to them which was a little daunting initially, especially when you find out you need 2 sheets per player to play the game! It was quickly apparent that this was going to be a heavier weight roll and write compared to many of the ones I'd played previously.

Game Play Overview

The game is played over 8 rounds, with each round made up of 3 phases. Each round begins with the planning phase where the first players rolls the dice and places them out onto the action rondel. You'll then move onto the gardening phase whereby each player takes it in turns to choose one of the available dice, plant or water in the garden zone matching the die number and then carry out the action from the rondel space the die was removed from. Rondel actions include a second plant/water action, upgrading items in your shed, harvesting goods and increasing your compost pile, tending the apiary or the orchard and selling goods at the farmers market. Every action taken will have players marking off spaces on their garden sheets to earn more victory points at the end of the game or bonus abilities during the game. Once all players have taken their die and resolved their actions, all players will get to simultaneously resolve the lowest value die remaining by carrying out both the plant/water action in the garden zone and also the rondel action under the die. The final phase is the event phase whereby all players will get a helping hand. This may be a bonus upgrade to a tool in your shed, a chance to sell at the farmers market, or it may be that it rains, watering all your planted crops and helping them grow. Once the event has been resolved, the first player pumpkin is passed to the left, the round marker advanced and a new round can begin. At the end of round eight, final scoring takes place and is calculated using the handy table on 1 of your garden sheets; and the player with the highest score is the winner.

Three sisters board game final score

Pros and Cons

Three sisters, packs alot into such a small game, there's plenty of strategy to be had, the choices you make can have quite a significant impact on your gameplay and it definitely has a heavier weight to it than many roll and writes. If you enjoy roll and write games for their simplicity and lightness, then three sisters is probably not the game for you, however on the flipside, if you don't normally enjoy roll and writes because they are often a lighterweight game, then this could be the game that changes your opinion of the mechanic! There is a lot going on and it can be tricky (especially in your first game) to get your head around how all the elements interact, however once you do, the game really gets you thinking about all the possible combinations you can create to get the best score. The production of Three Sisters is really nice, the paper quality is really good, the dice have a nice weight to them and the 2 tokens it comes with are wooden. However it does not come with it's own pencils, which for some people won't be an issue as I know alot of people like to laminate their roll and writes and use whiteboard markers on them instead, but for some this may be a rather large negative.

Final Verdict

Overall, we loved this game, it was a really interesting take on the theme and mechanic, something we weren't quite expecting but were pleasantly surprised by. We are keen to get this game out at any opportunity we can and can't wait to play it with others!

In conclusion, we would rate this game a 9/10


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