Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival Board Game. This is a set collection game where you are putting together strategic groupings of cards that you acquire via tile placement to get honor points that will hopefully add up to the most points to bring your victory. It is a fairly light title that has you prioritizing strategic tile placements and blocking your opponents anywhere you can since they also might benefit from the moves you make. The game is for 2 – 4 players at ages 8+. The rules for how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival are incredibly easy and should have you up in running in no time.

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You get a hand of tiles depicting various color arrangements of floating lanterns, as well as an inventory of colored lantern cards of specific colors. When you place a tile, all players receive a lantern card corresponding to the color on the side of the tile facing them. Place carefully to earn cards and other bonuses for yourself, while also looking to deny your opponents. Players gain honor by dedicating sets of lantern cards — three pairs, for example, or all seven colors.


Time Needed: Approximately 30 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival the popular set collection board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Seating Arrangement is Important
To kick off how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival, players need to have spots around their table that form a perfect square. When tiles are revealed, they have four sides and each side will correspond to the player it is pointing it. Make sure these sides are clear.

2. SETUP | Place Starting Lake Tile
Find the starting lake tile, which is the one with a rowboat in the middle. Flip it over and make sure the red lanterns side is facing a player (to make sure your square seating orientation has all players matched to a side. This will be key throughout the game.

3. SETUP | Create The Supply Of Lanterns Cards
There are seven different types of lantern cards. You need to make stacks of these each with a quantity that is based on the number of players. In a 2 player game, each stack should have 5 cards, 3 players is 7 cards and 4 players is 8 cards in each stack.

4. SETUP | Create The Supply of Lake Tiles
Deal 3 lake tiles face down to each player. Then make a final, face-down, stack to be accessed that is based on player count. For 2 | 3 | 4 players the amounts would be 22 | 27 | 32 respectively.

5. SETUP | Put Out Favor Tokens
The circular tokens that are red in the center are the favor tokens. Put these in an accessible stack nearby.

6. SETUP | Put Out Dedication Tokens
The tiles with the numbers will ultimately be what gives you points. Separate all these by the type which is shown by the lantern symbols at the bottom of the tile. There are three different types – a group of four, a different looking group of six and a colorful group of seven. Then remove some based on how many people are playing. Some will have 3 red dots on the right side and some will have 4. This is for player reference. If you are playing with 3 players, remove all the tiles with 4 dots. If you are playing with 2 players, remove all the tiles with 3 or 4 dots. Then put the three stacks in descending order (highest on top). Finally, take the three generic dedication tokens and put them at the bottom of each deck.

7. SETUP | Give Out Initial Lantern Cards
The last step of how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival before getting into gameplay is to give out the initial Lanterns Cards. Each player gets one of these and they match the color on the starting tile that player faces. Whoever was facing the red lantern side and got that card will also be the starting player. That player gets the starting player token.

8. GAMEPLAY | Turn Structure
One player takes a turn at a time. This continues clockwise around the circle until the game ends. There are three actions you can take on a turn, the first two are optional, while the third is mandatory. Lantern cards are taken from the communal center. If a stack of a particular lantern card is ever empty and someone is supposed to get one from that stack, they instead get nothing.

9. GAMEPLAY | Action Step 1 | Exchange A Card
The active player may spend two of their acquired favor tokens and one of their lantern cards to immediately acquire a different lantern card of their choice from the supply.

10. GAMEPLAY | Action Step 2 | Make A Dedication
You can turn in a set of lantern cards equal to the symbols shown on one of the three dedication stacks. The first is four of a kind, the second is three pairs and the third is seven unique. If you turn in the corresponding set, you take the top most token from the stack in question and place it in front of them. The player at the end with the highest total of these is who will win.

11. GAMEPLAY | Action Step 3 | Place A Lake Card
This is the only mandatory action. A player takes any water tile from their hand and connects it to any existing open side in the middle tile area. The active player gets a lantern card for the color on the side facing them, but then they also get a lantern card for any two colors that match between existing tiles and the newly placed tiles. Nonactive players get the lantern card of the color facing them. If there is a platform (square with image) in the middle of their placed tile, they gain one favor token. Finally, the active player draws a new water tile from the stack and ends their turn.

12. GAME ENDS | All Tiles Placed
After there have been enough turns for all the water tiles to be placed, there is one final round where players get a chance to exchange and/or make a dedication. After that final opportunity for players, the game is over and you move on to scoring.

13. WINNING | High Score Wins
Players add up all the totals on the dedication tokens (honor points) they received throughout the game. If a stack was ever depleted and someone still turned in a set for that stack, they get a generic 4 points for that set and can do as many of those as they are able. Whoever has the highest grand total is the winner. In a tie, whoever has the most favor tokens wins followed by who has the most leftover lanterns cards.



For Lantern Cards:

  • 4 Players: 8 cards
  • 3 Players: 7 cards
  • 2 Players: 5 cards

For Lake Tiles:

  • 4 Players: 32 tiles
  • 3 Players: 27 tiles
  • 2 Players: 22 tiles

For Dedication Tokens:

  • 4 Players: use all tokens
  • 3 Players: remove tokens with 4 dots
  • 2 Players: remove tokens with 3 or 4 dots


  • 56x Lanterns Cards
  • 30x Dedication Tiles
  • 36x Lake Tiles
  • 20x Favor Tokens
  • 1x Start Player Marker
  • 1x Rulebook


We hope you can now say you know how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival. This set collection game is very light in what you need to know and very deep in strategy. The game very seamlessly blends tile laying as a means to generate resources for everyone and putting together the right sets to get the right points. There is great freedom and many paths to victory in this serene title about setting up lights for the sacred ancient festival. Learning how to play Lanterns The Harvest Festival is very easy, but mastering the gameplay will take you a while.