Merchants Cove: Master Craft sneak peek at The Mushroom Farmer

Final Frontier Games was kind enough to send us — committed Merchants Cove fans! — a sneak peek at the new content coming out soon on crowdfunding called the Master Craft expansion. We started our tour in part one with a ‘deep dive’ at The Treasure Diver, the younger brother of The Captain from the original Merchants Cove. Today let’s look at the next character we played, The Mushroom Farmer known as Amanita Moghed, which we recently streamed live on our ‘Twitch Tuesdays’ show.

Jerod surveyed the three characters after I grabbed The Treasure Diver, and picked out Amanita Moghed.

The Mushroom Farmer is a unique character in the fact that it does not have a single standee but instead uses four different insects to move around a hex style board. The hex board represents your Mushroom farm as you move insects around the farm they will cultivate and harvest mushroom spores which over time will grow into mushrooms. Find the right time to collect and harvest those spores into mushrooms is going to be key in your victory.

Actions are initiated much more differently than other characters. Players use a hand of five actions tiles that are played one at a time Concordia style. Once you play a tile, and take the action, you cannot play it again until you decide to forgo playing any action tile to instead retrieve all of your plate tiles. Stalling that decision as long as you can limits your choices, but it gives you access to bonus actions and even upgrades.

Each of the action tiles are a little different, but they all begin with moving your four possible insects on your farm. This could be movement of two or three spaces in any direction, or as many spaces as you want but in a straight line, or even switching the place of two different insects. You must be specific about who you want to move since each insect has its own special power that they will perform as they move around the farm.

The worm will take fresh dirt and turn it into mushroom spores. The moth moves across your board and collects grown spores wherever it lands. The snail is useful for taking your harvested spaces and cultivating them back into fresh dirt. Lastly, the firefly will activate a growth action which is how you take your collected spores and turn them into sellable mushrooms. As a bonus, the firefly also generates wild spores that will allow you to rid your self of those annoying corruption cards you may gather as you go thru the game.

Jerod said he had a blast playing The Mushroom Farmer. He said that he found it a pleasantly surprising puzzle trying to math out which insects to use and when to use the recall action to get the bonuses and avoid the corruption that can happen if you pull back too early.

I can’t wait to try this one myself. Jerod grew a pretty good farm his first try, but it’s a bar I think I can reach. We’re going to explore more of the Master Craft expansion and report back with the results. Until next time, Laissez les bon temps rouler!

If you want more content about Merchants Cove from the Gumbo, here’s just a sample:

Bradly opens up everything in the big Kickstarter edition of Merchants Cove
Jerod & BJ teach The Jay Bell how to play Merchants Cove!

— BJ and Jerod from Board Game Gumbo

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