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The Princes of Florence» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Crown Jewel from Alea Big Boxes! rss

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Madhujith Venkatakrishna
India
Bangalore
Karnataka
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I've been meaning to share my thoughts about this game for quite sometime now, but somehow not managed to do so. Anyways, now I've decided to write a review on this. As is with my other reviews, this is not going to talk in detail about the game play or the components, but more on my feelings about this game.

To start with:

Components:

Top notch components from Rio Grande, no complaints. Simple art work, but rarely does my group pay attention to the artwork on this game. Very neatly organized game board, with lots of information available during the game play. Very efficient use of available space on the individual player mats.

Game Play:


What makes this game very unique is the feel you get when you play this game. It almost appears like there are 2 games in one, which gets linked with clever connection. Let me elaborate what I mean here.

The Auction Phase and the Action Phase are integral part of this game, but are 2 very different mechanics and work so differently that you have to think very differently in each of this phases>

The Auction Phase: You almost wear a hat of an bidder, like powergrid going round turn after turn. There is no real price for a commodity on this side of the game play. The items you auction here are so different to the items you can pay a fixed price during the action phase, but both are integral. I guess the separation of items into these 2 phases is the key to make this game a success.

You can buy the landscapes, builder, jester, recruitment cards or the prestige cards on this side during the auction phase. Every item here is so important that nothing can be ignored!

The Action Phase:

Here there is a fixed price for every item and certain items's price (buildings) is dependent on the number of builders which is available in the previous phase!

A point about the buildings here. The buildings come in many different shapes and sizes and gives you a jig-saw feel when you place them on your player mat. This tied to the number of builders makes such a fascinating mechanic!

Apart from this, the central part of the game, which is the profession card is a part of this phase, as is the bonus cards, freedoms.

The game goes on for 7 rounds with each round consisting of a Auction and 2 Action phases.

Thoughts about the Game


The following aspects make PoF most interesting:

- The inter relatedness between Auction and Action phases in that the number of items required to close the card to maximize points
- Limited number of rounds make this extremely cutthroat and maximize every action of yours
- Tactical a little bit, but extremely strategic with so may paths to victory- Jester route, Leader+Building Route, Profession Cards route etc.
- You can model the game based on the prestige card or vice versa
- Small amount of luck in the draw of cards, but minimized with the option to draw 5 cards during a draw
- Income only after closing a profession card and hence very tight competition
- Extra VP's for closing with the highest work value!
- Bonus for prestige cards, Builders, Buildings etc. etc
- The Work Value increasing every turn making the goals harder to achieve and asking players to constantly be on their toes

There is so much going for this game and hence whenever I played this with a variety of groups, people have absolutely loved it. I do accept that sometimes (very rarely though) that the card draw might be all bad and may hinder a person, but I say that the chances are remote because of the possibilities and choices he/she gets.

If there is a negative element that I have to talk about it is with new players, who find it a little difficult in their initial games to get the interlinkages worked out properly and might bid sometimes far
higher than the requirement and get stuck without having enough to close the card. I've seen this happen often, where people literally get struck and some of us have to help them out to get back on track. But this by no means is bad, as after 1-2 plays people get the game and start enjoying this great game.

I almost feel like running a sprint when we play PoF, because of the pace and tension that this creates. Very close games, intense competition makes this one of the group's favorite.

Final Verdict:

By now you know I love this game. Theme or no theme, just for the mechanics alone I'll play this anytime. So many disparate things brought together gives you a very unique feeling of having played many different games as each element of the game requires you to think differently, but does not drain you nor give you a brain burn. Well this is one game which is so subtle, yet highly confrontational at the same time and personally compares to none.

Anyone loving Euro Strategy Games that plays under 90 min, SHOULD HAVE THIS!

In fact these days having played this a lot, we manage to finish a game between 50-70 min tops (5 players)

A perfect 10 for me!
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Shane Larsen
United States
Pleasant View
UT
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Unfortunately this game has collected dust on my shelf because I tend to give attention to the hotness. I need to give it a go and it's a review like this one that I needed to give me that extra push to do it. You probably just decided the game for our group tonight.

Thanks!
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Chris Bailey
United States
Broomfield
Colorado
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My favorite of the Alea line.
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Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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This is one of three games that I think are an optimal playing experience with five players. The other two are Power Grid and El Grande. Thanks for the review.
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Dvonn Yinsh
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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PoF is my top game. Our group will only play with 5 players.

And MUST play with "The Princess and the Muse" expansion. We won't play vanilla PoF.
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Nick West
Scotland
Colinton
Edinburgh
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Can you link to that expansion? I cannot find it on a BGG search.
 
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Adam Smiles
United States
Dedham
Massachusetts
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The ratio of people to cake is too big.
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Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler...
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notquitekarpov wrote:
Can you link to that expansion? I cannot find it on a BGG search.


Treasure Chest is a collection of several expansions. Princess and Muse is one of them.

 
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Bruce Linsey
United States
East Greenbush
New York
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I agree 100% with this review, and thank you for expressing it so eloquently. The Princes of Florence is everything I look for in a game -- a perfect 10 for me, and the very best Euro game ever designed!
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