Good fences make good neighbours

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

‘Get Off My Land!’ board game review

By Ed Appleby, Illustrator


Speaking as someone who was raised on a farm in the armpit of British Columbia…

Get Off My Land! (2017) is a thematic tile-placement game with market mechanics for two to four players, designed by Gord, Liam, and Steph at First Fish Games. In the game, players take on the role of farmers, plant crops and raise livestock according to the rhythms of the seasons. However, all is not peaceful on the farm, as your neighbours steal your crops and knock down your fences in hopes of expanding their own farmlands.

This game has a lot of potential strategies, from creating isolationist monopolies based on ducks and potatoes, to investing in machines and oil by clear-cutting acreage, to aggressive land grabs by the less salacious types. The game boasts a fencing mechanic somewhat inspired by Settler of Catan’s road building, but with more nuance than you can find in most farming-style games. Get Off My Land! also boasts a market system, a season-based turn-marker system, hidden goals, and even the small element of worker placement that adds more strategy and enjoyment to the game.

Despite the complexity of the game, it was really easy to pick up. There was very little resistance; once the first couple of turns were completed, everything ran very well, and the final scores were closer than I had anticipated. I personally felt that the worker-placement aspect was under-utilized, and I would have liked to see it either expanded or simply done away with. However, the balance of the game is so good I wouldn’t want to mess with it.

I found the game enjoyable, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a novel game with some good psychology and replay value. First Fish Games’ Get Off My Land! is funded on Kickstarter where you can contribute until May 11.