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Haru Ichiban

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Number of Players 2
Playtime 20 Min
Suggested Ages 8+
Designer(s) Bruno Cathala
Publisher Surfin' Meeple China

In Haru Ichiban, or "The Wind of Spring", two gardener apprentices compete to use this wind to their advantage to create harmonious patterns of their blossoms upon the lily pads.

Each gardener has eight flower buds numbered 1-8, with three of those buds being in hand at the beginning of a round. Sixteen lily pads are placed in the 5x5 pond, with one turned to its dark side.

Each gardener simultaneously chooses a bud to reveal, with the player with the lower number becoming the Little Gardener and the other becoming the Grand Gardener. In order:

  • The Little Gardener places one of their colored blossoms on the dark lily pad.
  • The Grand Gardener places one of their colored blossoms on the lily pad of their choice.
  • The Little Gardener choses one lily pad to move to an adjacent space, possibly moving other lily pads at the same time.
  • The Grand Gardener turns one unoccupied lily pad to its dark side.
  • All gardener takes a new bud.
  • As soon as a gardener creates a specific pattern with blossoms of their color, they scores points: 1 point for a 2x2 square, 2 points for a horizontal or vertical row of four blossoms, 3 points for a diagonal row of four blossoms, and 5 points for a row of five blossoms. If a gardener has fewer than five points, the gardeners reset the board and begin a new round with three buds of their eight; if a gardener has five or more points, the game ends and they wins!
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