In Petrichor, players are clouds where they must manipulate the weather to grow their crops. Its a deliciously mean but thoroughly enjoyable area majority game. Petrichor: Cows only adds to the fun.
How To Play
Petrichor: Cows is a small but mighty expansion. The expansion includes adorable cow standees, a new “Graze” action, a climate board and four climate sensitive tree tiles.
Cows: The cows and fertilizer tokens (which are added during the Graze action) are additional harvest bonuses. In Petrichor, the harvest phase is where players score the various tiles. Throughout the game there is a fair amount of jockeying for position to get these extra points.
Graze: The Graze action allows players to move the cows, produce manure, manipulate methane crystals and effect the world’s climate.
Methane is the heart of this expansion. It is similar to rain drops in that it affects cloud size, but they never drop to the field. Methane can also be collected to a player’s personal reserve so they can become the climate leader; or it can be spent to perform special feats, including raining two extra water drops during the Rain action. But most importantly, if a player would spend multiple cards to take a single action, that player may instead spend two methane in place of the required card. This greatly mitigates the luck of the card draw of Petrichor. If a player is unhappy with their hand of cards, they can collect and spend methane as a wildcard.
Climate Board: The addition of the climate board adds a new phase to the game, the Climate Phase. This phase occurs between the Action Phase and the Weather Phase. The climate board tracks the climate and related events. During this phase, the number of methane present in the clouds on the board are added up and accordingly, the climate marker is moved. The player with the most methane in their personal reserve is named the climate leader and resolves the corresponding climate event on the board.
Tree Tiles: Finally, the new tiles are climate sensitive trees that require specific climates to score points. In fact, if a tree has started growing and the climate changes to one they cannot tolerate, the tree dies off and has to be grown all over again!
Is It For Me?
Petrichor: Cows is very much in line with its base game and thematically ties into the world of Petrichor. While I would not add this expansion if teaching new players since base Petrichor already has a lot going on, this is a perfect expansion for someone who has played the game many times.
I found the tug of war between spending methane to do extra actions or leaving it on the board to score climate sensitive trees engaging. As well as jostling for the position of climate leader versus leaving the methane on the board to eventually score the climate sensitive trees. The tree tiles themselves add fresh new variety to your modular board.
With the addition of methane, I noticed the decrease in attention to winning the weather vote, which has accounted for huge discrepancies in scores in past games. Instead, players must decide what is more important to their overall strategy.
My only quibble with this expansion is that it seems almost impossible to reach “Scorching” on the climate board track. Instead, it was a race to get more methane to use its special powers that the amount needed to reach the Scorching climate never happened in the games I played. Therefore, when the Baobab tree tile was in play, which requires the Scorching climate to score, it became an essentially useless tile to everyone.
Here are what some of my friends had to say about the game:
- “It’s cool that they added climate change stuff.”
- “I want to play it again.”
- “It adds enough.”