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Neil Robinson
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My first review, this time not in the rules section.blush

Trieste
Introduction

Trieste is a three player only card game, in which the City Watch, Thieves Guild and Merchants fight for supremacy in Renaissance Trieste. Each game takes around 30 minutes.



Components
In the box you get three unique decks representing the different factions, a shared deck of treasure, some victory condition cards and hero cards for the advanced game. The game comes in a sleeved box, there is no insert to keep the decks organised so making an insert or bagging is probably worthwhile.



What am I Trying to do in this Game?
Well, this depends entirely on which faction you are playing as. The City Watch are trying to lock up 7 Thieves, the Thieves are trying to gain infamy as a result of their deeds while the Merchants are trying to reach a moving treasure target (based on thieves imprisoned).

How Do I Play?
Each player deck contains character, action and treasure cards. You start with two copper cards and the top two cards from your shuffled deck.

Each turn is made up of a number of phases:
Draw 2 cards from either your own deck or the treasure deck
Select a card and place it face down.
Reveal card and pay for it
Take the action on the card
Each player checks for a win.

For the most part play takes place simultaneously. In the action phase cards are resolved in the order: City Watch, Merchants and Thieves. If more than one faction achieves their victory conditions in the same turn the same order is used to work out who wins, so in the event of a tie Law and Order comes out on top (Hurray!).



The cards in your deck are going to be mainly character cards or action cards, they have a cost and a level. The cards are themed around your faction and add to the basic rule set in a similar way to the cards in Dominion. So the City Watch may send out a Patrol Officer who can catch low level Thieves or play an action card like Security Tax which increases the costs for the other players. The Merchants cards are all about the money, pulling in extra treasure cards or interfering with the thieves. Finally the thieves are going all out for ,erm, thieving, depending on their skill they are going to be able to pick a random card from the other player’s hand or take their pick from an open hand. The Thieves actions include the chance to break an imprisoned ally from jail. Many of the cards offer the chance to draw extra cards from your deck dependent on what happens when you resolve your chosen card.


Why Would I Play?
Because its a little bit different. The designer has put a nice article on the forum about the asymmetrical design of the game, and its this that shines through. When we played our first two games I misread the rules about how thieves gain infamy, as a result the thief was failing to get anywhere allowing the merchant to walk away with the win. Once we had worked that out (and I was punished for yet another rules based failure) the gears of the game suddenly synched and the games became nicely balanced. Each player is trying to tread the line between winning while holding the others back and its this three legged race to the finishing line which makes the game fun. There is also a certain pleasure in banging up a villain or robbing the merchant.

We have played five games so far, and I think it has taken us that long to get a basic handle on the differing decks. The cards have a fair amount of text on them so need a read and a think on initial viewing, I see this as a point in the games favour as it means it is going to take a while to get the full benefit of each deck.

The other things that please are the game playing in 30 minutes and being so compact in play, you could even play on an aeroplane (if you get three seats together).

And There’s More
The advanced setup introduces heroes. Each faction has three heroes and the players select one for use in the game. Each one has a special power that could be a one off or perpetual effect. They are kept secret until you choose to deploy them. These cards don’t appear to have game breaking powers, I expect them to add to its longevity.

Conclusion
The way the different factions play and interact is great. When you finish a game you want to try the other factions or try something different with the one you just played with. As we are a family of three I can see us playing this often and taking it with us on trips to play while having a coffee.
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Matt Ma
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Thank you for the wonderful review. I appreciate the support for the game. The pictures were also nicely placed.
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sunday silence
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Do these cards interact with one another when they are played? I am having a hard time understanding how this game works based on reading the review. Is this card resolution mechanic something new or something that has been done before? Is it like Revolution, or Nobody Here But Us Chickens, or Raj or what exactly?
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Neil Robinson
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It really depends how you mean by interacting, and I haven't played the games you mentioned, so I can't compare.

Drawn down to its simplest level: Each player plays a card from their hand and those three cards interact with each of the other ones as dictated by what the card does. If the City Watch play a character who can capture a thief, and a thief is played then he will be captured. If the City watch do something else on that turn, this gives the thief a chance to steal from the Merchants. Generally the merchants will be trying to collect money.

Perhaps you need the Dice Tower's review which does the game justice?

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