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Game Alone (or Not) with Florence, Gate, and Votes for Women

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Votes for Women
Draft cover
• In June 2020, I wrote about Tory Brown's Votes for Women, which is being published by Fort Circle Games. That title is being Kickstarted (link) through September 24, 2020 ahead of a scheduled release in Q2 2021, and as a refresher, here's an overview of this 1-4 player game:
Votes for Women is a card-driven game covering the American women's suffrage movement from 1848-1920, culminating with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The game provides competitive, co-operative and solitaire play. Players can play cards for their events, discard cards to campaign in states, or discard cards to organize for suffrage.

The game plays out over six turns: two turns in 1848-1890, two turns in 1890-1919, and two turns in 1919-1920 (during the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment). The Support player must get 36 U.S. states (out of 48) to ratify the Amendment before the Opposition player (or the Oppo-bot in the solitaire game) gets 13 states to reject the Nineteenth Amendment. Two players may also play co-operatively against the Oppo-bot.
From gallery of W Eric Martin
Gate is a solitaire, tower defense game from Jason Glover and Grey Gnome Games in which you must protect your small medieval town from a swarm of vile creatures. In more detail:
You have to manage the health of your town's gate, the tower, and the local farm. In addition, this attack is causing fear levels to rise. If you cannot keep your gate standing or if the fear of the townspeople gets too high, you lose the game. If, however, you can hold off the swarm of enemies long enough, you will be victorious!

Board Game: Gate

Gate uses deck-building as the driving mechanism in the game. You start with three starting cards, but as the game progresses you can recruit new people from your town to help your cause. Each character has unique abilities, and some even have special powers. The enemies in the game get increasingly more difficult with each new wave, so you have to make good choices as to when to spend resources on fighting off your foes, upgrading your command, and repairing your town.
Board Game: Ragusa
Board Game: Venice
• Following Ragusa in 2019 and Venice in 2020, UK publisher Braincrack Games is closing out its "Eurocity" trilogy with Florence, a 1-5 player game from Dean Morris (with a solo mode from Dávid Turczi) that will be Kickstarted ahead of a 2021 retail release.

Here's an overview of the game:
Set in the titular city, Florence tasks players with elevating the status of their family and navigating the city on the night of a grand Carnevale to set up meetings with the ruling Medici figureheads: Cosimo, Giovanni, and Contessina.

Florence is a Euro-style area control game in which the regions you want to hold change each round as the Medici move around the city attending various functions. Over nine rounds, each player dispatches family members to attend parties, give gifts, brag about their achievements, engage in spurious gossip, and muscle their way through crowds to get some valuable face-time with the Medici. The chief resource in Florence is time: As the Carnevale moves into full swing and the streets fill with revelers, they will become harder to navigate, and you will need to be cautious of which actions you ask your various scions to complete.

Board Game: Florence

But by ensuring that your family is at the front of each queue and the most talked about (by meeting conditions of various "brag" cards), you gain valuable points to elevate your family's status. Each Medici is impressed only by a specific approach, and as the night goes on, they become harder to impress — which scores you more points for increasingly harder objectives should you do so.
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