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Can You Win Over Florence as the Best Prince...or Princess?

W. Eric Martin
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Board Game: The Princes of Florence
At SPIEL '22 in October, publisher Korea Boardgames plans to release a new version of the classic board game The Princes of Florence from Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich.

For those not familiar with the title, which debuted in 2000 as title #4 in alea's "big box" series of games, here's a succinct overview:
Quote:
In The Princes of Florence, players attract artists and scholars to their palace while trying to become the most prestigious family in Florence.

Board Game: The Princes of Florence
Promotional image from Korea Boardgames

Over seven rounds, players attempt to score points in various ways, with most points being earned by playing profession cards to generate "work points", which can be exchanged for money or prestige points. The game includes a variety of professions, such astronomers, organists, and architects; each profession is attracted to a particular combination of building, landscape feature, and social freedom, and players acquire these items via auctions. The more that a player can match these preferences, the more work points they earn — but the minimum requirement of work points increases each round, and you must meet that threshold in order to convert the work points.
KBG notes that its new edition of the game will feature art from Lukas Siegmon, with players being represented by a princess or prince as they choose thanks to double-sided game boards.

Board Game: The Princes of Florence

In a nod to what is undoubtedly the most common player request these days, this version of The Princes of Florence will have solo rules — which is an odd thing to ponder given that the heart of the game is the auction system in which players fiercely compete to get exactly what they need.

Board Game: The Princes of Florence
To explain, each round starts with an auction. During the auction, each player can win at most one item, and a particular item can be put up for auction only once per round. The starting bid must be 200 Florin, and your only option in an auction is to raise a bid by 100 Florin or pass. A ton of gamesmanship takes place every auction because if you need a forest but have only 500 Florin and the lead, then you want to put something else up for bid to clear out competition and not give others the chance to run up the price to something you can't afford — yet if everyone else passes on that item, then you're stuck with it, so you're always trying to figure out who needs what and how desperate they might be.

Buildings in this version will be color-coded in addition to being a particular polyomino to make them easier to track, and the profession cards will have their requirements on their left edge so that you can more easily see who needs what across your entire hand — which is important since you usually want to play out professions in the "right" order so that you can satisfy more requirements and ramp up work points over the course of the game.
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