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Deliver Mille Fiori with Reiner Knizia and Schmidt Spiele

W. Eric Martin
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• The latest handful of games added to BGG's SPIEL '21 Preview come from German publisher Schmidt Spiele, with the splashiest title being the big-box design Mille Fiori from designer Reiner Knizia.

Board Game: Mille Fiori

This game, due out in October 2021, is for 2-4 players and bears a 60-90 minute playing time, which is longer than most modern Knizia designs (although 2021's The Siege of Runedar from Spanish publisher Ludonova has that same listed timespan). In any case, here's an overview of the game based on my understanding of the German rules (PDF):
Quote:
In Mille Fiori, you take the role of glass manufacturers and traders who want to profit as much as they can from their role in the production of glass art.

The game board features different aspects of the glass production cycle: workshops where the glass is created, houses where it's installed, people who support your work, trade shops where it's sold, and the harbor where ships bring glass to faraway locations. You want to be present in all of these areas, preferably at just the right time to maximize your earnings. The game board features 110 spaces, with one card in the deck for each of those spaces.

At the start of a round, each player receives a hand of five cards; additionally, place as many cards as the number of players face up next to the game board. Each player chooses a card from hand, then passes the remaining cards to the next player, then each player plays their card in turn, beginning with the round's start player and typically placing a diamond-shaped token of your color in the location depicted on that card:

—In the workshops, you score 1 point for each of your tokens in a connected group with the newly placed token, doubling that score if you played on a pigment field.
—In the line of houses, you score the listed number of points, and if your token is preceded in the line by one or more tokens of your color, you score those previously played tokens again.
—In the people pyramids, you score 1, 3 or 6 points based on the height of your token, but you can place at higher levels only if the lower spaces are filled. Double your points if the card symbol matches the space your filled. Supporting tokens score again as higher tokens are placed.
—In the trade shops, four types of goods are present, and when you place a token, each token on that goods type scores for its owner points equal to the number of goods of that type now covered.
—In the harbor, you move your ship equal to the number on the played card, scoring points based on the space where you land, then place a token in one of the five rows. When that row is filled with three ships, each token in that row scores for its owner 1/3/6/10 points depending on the number of trade goods in that row.

Alternatively, you can play a card for ship movement points and not place a token on the game board.

Board Game: Mille Fiori

Each player plays four cards in a round (or only three cards in a two-player game), then places the remaining card(s) in hand beside the game board, then the start player marker rotates and you begin a new round.

For each of the five areas, you can meet a certain condition that allows you to play a bonus card from those on the side of the game board, e.g., in the workshops when you place the third card that surrounds a bonus card symbol and in the trade shops when you score a goods type that gives someone else more points than you. When you play a bonus card, you might trigger another bonus card...and then another!

Additionally, you have five opportunities to score 20/15/10/5 bonus points, e.g., in houses when you have placed tokens on houses of four different values and in the people pyramids when you have placed tokens on all three types in a pyramid. You can score each such bonus only once, and you score the highest available bonus at the time you achieve it.

When you can't deal a hand of five cards to each player or when someone has placed their final token, the game ends, then players add their bonus points to their current score to see who wins.
Board Game: Voll verplant
Board Game: Metro X
Board Game: Metro X
Voll verplant, which translates as "Fully scheduled", is a new edition of Hisashi Hayashi's MetroX, which debuted from his own OKAZU Brand in 2018 before being picked up by U.S. publisher Gamewright in 2020.

From what I can tell, the gameplay of Voll verplant is identical to what existed in MetroX, so perhaps these game listings will be combined earlier, but for now they stand alone. In case you're not familiar with the earlier game, here's how to play:
Quote:
In Voll verplant, players create subway networks by filling in the station spaces on their individual game sheets. Using the numbers revealed by the cards, all players fill up their subway map with Xs in the station spaces. However, the number of times they can add stations to each line is limited, so they have to make tough choices. Players can score many points by getting their star bonuses in stations with many intersecting routes. Players also get bonuses by being the first to complete routes. Try to fill in all your stations to minimize the penalties and achieve a high score!

In more detail, each player has their own sheet of paper, with the game including subway maps for Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid, with the first two being recommended for new players. Each sheet shows an interwoven subway system, with the system consisting of many subway lines; each line has a name, a number of indicator boxes, a number of empty station boxes on the subway route, and two bonuses. On a turn, a player reveals the top indicator card from the deck of fourteen cards, then each player individually and simultaneously chooses a subway line, then does something depending on which type of card is revealed:

—If a number is revealed, the player writes the number in one of that line's indicator boxes, then draws a X in each box in the line starting with the closest empty box, stopping when they've reached the end of the line, reached an already filled-in space, or drawn the indicated number of Xs.
—If a circled number is revealed, the player does what is described above, but they can skip over already filled-in spaces instead of stopping.
—If a star is revealed, the player draws a star in one of that line's indicator boxes, then in the closest empty space on that line they write a number equal to double the number of lines that pass through that station box.
—If a circle is revealed, the player writes nothing in an indicator box and draws a X in any empty station box.

Board Game: Voll verplant

At the end of a turn, if a player has finished a subway line by reaching the final space, they announce this to all players, then score the larger of the two bonuses for this line; all other players cross out the large bonus and can score the small bonus for themselves if they complete this line later. Multiple players can score a line's bonus on the same turn. If the indicator card has a shuffle icon on it, shuffle all of the indicator cards together before the next turn.

Once all the indicator boxes are filled, the game ends. Players tally their points scored for completing lines and for writing numbers in boxes, then lose points based on the number of empty spaces that remain on their sheet. Whoever has the highest score wins!
Board Game: Clever hoch Drei: Challenge I
• Other titles coming from Schmidt Spiele in late 2021 include Wolfgang Warsch's Clever hoch Drei: Challenge Block, which allows you to play the roll-and-write game Clever hoch Drei with a somewhat different player sheet, which will likely force you to adopt different approaches to gameplay.

Another Schmidt release is a tenth anniversary edition of Susan McKinley Ross' Qwirkle to celebrate the game's Spiel des Jahres win in 2011. This edition will contain rules in German, French, and Italian and feature acrylic tiles instead of the wooden tiles normally present in the game.

Board Game: Qwirkle
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