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Orchard challenges

Can you be as fruity as other farmers?

Download a page with sixteen challenges on it ► ► ►
You can have them to hand without going online.

Each month, designer Mark Tuck sets a challenge at BoardGameGeek.
Players from all over the place submit their scores, along with pictures of the final arrays of trees for the two games, which Mark can then appraise.

The ‘rule’ is that players should only submit their very first attempt … which is adhered to religiously no doubt …. 😃

The published league table shows only the combined scores from the two games, but that’s plenty to enable others to either try their luck against the Geekers, or to use the same setups to try, try, and try again – or to play sort-of competitive games with family & friends.

The first number is the total score achieved, and it’s that which establishes top fruitie. If there’s a draw, the number of rotten fruit (second number) decides which wins, and if even that is a draw, the total number of cards used sorts the wheat from the chaff …. as happened to the two 68 scorers in February 2020.

Notice that Mark lists only the top ten after February 2020, but he often says what the lowest score was, so don’t get too worried if you’re not yet up there with the top tree-people.

Please don’t be concerned that this page starts with old examples first
– that doesn’t make them any less of a challenge !

More detailed and bang up to date data can be found at BoardGameGeek itself, which is here. That lets you see how well players did in each of the two games.

Even from what’s below, you can see that somebody known as “tucky60” isn’t always in the top ten 😢


1 – February 2020

Game A
Starting tile 5 – first two in hand 7,2 – then, in order 3, 13, 9, 16, 18, 11

Game B
Starting tile 12 – first two in hand 4,14 – then, in order 8, 15, 1, 17, 6, 10


2 – March 2020

Game A
Starting tile 12 – first two in hand 10, 16 – then, in order 1, 18, 2, 13, 3, 7

Game B
Starting tile 15 – first two in hand 11, 5 – then, in order 14, 8, 4, 6, 17, 9


3 – April 2020

Game A
Starting tile 9 – first two in hand 2, 18 – then, in order 17, 5, 11, 12, 10, 1

Game B
Starting tile 16 – first two in hand 4, 6 – then, in order 13, 3, 7, 15, 14, 8


4 – May 2020

Game A
Starting tile 14 – first two in hand 6, 11 – then, in order 10, 15, 8, 17, 16, 12

Game B
Starting tile 7 – first two in hand 4, 13 – then, in order 5, 9, 18, 2, 3, 1


5 – June 2020

Game A
Starting tile 9 – first two in hand 17, 6 – then, in order 10-7-15-8-4-18
Game B
Starting tile 14 – first two in hand 13, 5 – then, in order 16-1-12-2-11-3

6 – July 2020

Lowest score was 60 😃

Game A
Starting tile 11 – first two in hand 1-4 – then, in order 5-2-9-15-3-13
Game B
Starting tile 8 – first two in hand 18-12 – then, in order 7-16-8-17-10-14


7 – August 2020

The lowest I could see was 53 – several were in the low sixties.

Game A
Starting tile 13 – first two in hand 5-15 – then, in order 14-17-16-4-11-12
Game B
Starting tile 2 – first two in hand 3-9 – then, in order 6-18-7-8-1-10


8 – September 2020

One poor fruit farmer scored just 39, but within the 50-63 region happened a few times.
Game A
Starting tile 2 – first two in hand 15-7 – then, in order 4-6-1-5-9-17
Game B
Starting tile 10 – first two in hand 16-3 – then, in order 8-18-12-13-14-11


9 – October 2020

The lowest three that I could see were 66, 52, and one sad lad with 36.
Game A
Starting tile 18 – first two in hand 12-1 – then, in order 10-2-16-8-9-13
Game B
Starting tile 7 – first two in hand 15-6 – then, in order 5-14-11-3-17-4

10 – November 2020

One who got 54 wrote “even though I’m bad at this game, I do really enjoy it!” There were 62, 68, and 72 also.

Game A
Starting tile 1 – first two in hand 11-8 – then, in order 10-15-17-12-14-6
Game B
Starting tile 5 – first two in hand 13-7 – then, in order 16-18-3-2-4-9

11 – December 2020

There were several in the low 70’s, and the 60’s.
One who got 58 wrote “although I’m far away to become Newton yet, I had a lot of fun and was very satisfied with my scoring (after 7 plays altogether for now).

Game A
Starting tile 9 – first two in hand 2-4 – then, in order 17-6-3-11-5-13
Game B
Starting tile 7 – first two in hand 1-15 – then, in order 18-12-10-14-8-16

Mark Tuck’s BGG challenges page

Another solo from Sideroom Games is Maquis

Buy here

In a nutshell …

  • takes mere seconds to set up each time
  • the guide makes all very clear
  • luck is involved, but decisions matter mightily
  • replayable
  • quiet and calm under the trees
  • WOW! click here to play the same game as others every month and compare your scores