GENERAL THOUGHTS The game itself reminds of several other games but the feel is different and justifies to own it. The theme reminds of "Princes of Florence", the mechanic of placing workers/apprentices reminds of "Caylus" but you need majorities to get what you want for free, therefore there is a little bit of "El Grande" as well. The rules are not bad, thei're complete but could have been better structured.
THE GAME To my surprise it was rather difficult to succeed. With five players all locations to get resources are fighted heavily so that it was quite frantic to get what you need. May be that the best number of players is only 4.
It was a "first game" for all players and we chose the asymmetric starting positions as described in the rules. Therefore the players did not focus on the same resources in the first rounds. A rules interpretation question did cost us minimun ten minutes debating on how to play (including slight insults like "the ability to read helps undertstanding the rules" until "shut your mouth"... but we still continued as I was able to cool down rised tempers ). Getting more apprentices and robots was inevitable as the boost the production and are supporting getting majorities. Then all players went into production and conflicts for completed works were likely. The auctions did cost a lot because everyone wanted that bonus for different works at the end of the game. Once again you had to calculate very carefully how high your bet ought to be to win but still being prolific. In the midgame we all needed more or less the same things so that it was cutthroat. In round six and seven the players focused on getting resources as in round eight and nine (last round) the players were only allowed to produce works in their labors but not buying resources anymore.
The final results were P1: 68 Gulden P2: 49 Gulden P3 + P4: each 44 Gulden P5: 21 Gulden
CONCLUSION This game is not an instant hit like Puerto Rico or Caylus but still one of the better games of this year. I like to play again as this game seems even more demanding as Caylus even there are only 4 phases. But that majorities mechanism and progressive costs to get resources when you're not the one with most meeples makes it very difficult making your plans succeed. In addition the appearance of works cards is pretty imponderable. However this just another challenge that rises motivation to try again.
Last edited Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:31 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)