To Wish or To Fish?
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If wishes were fishes, would someone create a game about it? Apparently so. If Wishes Were Fishes is an unusually-named strategy board game that takes more thought to play well than the title might lead you to believe.
If Wishes Were Fishes is basically a hand management card game, but it has some other interesting components as well. There are worms. There are (wooden) fish. There are meeples in 3 different sizes. There is a market board that includes a garbage dump and a money (scoring) track. And it all works together very nicely.
You start If Wishes Were Fishes with a supply of fish (in your chosen color), two boats (on one card), and 6 wiggly, gummy (inedible) worms. Four wish/fish cards are turned face up from the pile. Their order is important.
You can take the card in the shallow end (farthest from the pile) for free, but if you want any of the other 3 cards instead, it will cost you some of your worms. For example, if you wanted the card in the deep end (closest to the deck), you would place a worm on each of the first 3 cards and grab that deep-end card for playing with.
Most cards show both a fish and a wish. You can either put the card, as a fish, into one of your two boats (if they’re not already full), or you can use the wish it offers. Wishes generally allow you to score points or to manipulate game bits for future scoring opportunities.
One important way to score points is by selling your fish at one of the markets on the board. If there are one or more meeples in the market to which you are selling, you score additional points, depending on the size of the meeple. Special scoring is also done when markets are filled with fish. If Wishes Were Fishes ends either when 4 markets are filled or when the garbage dump is filled.
There is a lot of strategy to consider in the fun board game If Wishes Were Fishes. Deciding which wish/fish card to select is key. If you like card drafting mechanics like this, you might also like Le Havre. You can learn about it here.