Michael Nosiara was anxious to play several of the new Essen releases, but seemed most keen on Princes of the Renaissance. I, too, was interested in introducing the game to our group, as it was my favorite new release at the Spiele Faire. I had just played it again the previous weekend with four players, and was anxious to explore it further. Michael and I were joined by Bob, Keith, Jason and Spouey.
The previous two releases from Martin Wallace and the Warfrog crew – Libertè and Age of Steam – have been smashing successes for me and are among my favorite games. So far, Princes of the Renaissance has me intrigued and seems to be another winner.
The game itself is fascinating and filled with tough choices and important decisions. Players participate in bids to acquire various characters and personalities who are citizens of one of five major cities in renaissance Italy. Cities go to war, which can result in their prestige being raised or lowered. Money is earned from these wars and players ultimately gain victory points based on the status of the cities in which they control personalities.
The game is very rich, with so many intertwined mechanisms and interacting features that it seems it will take a long, long time to master. It is a journey I am looking forward to undertaking!
I will have a full review appearing in the next issue of the Gamer’s Alliance Report, so won’t go into further detail here. I will say that this game took a vastly different path, with everyone purchasing the troop counters at breathtaking speed. In spite of playing with the rule wherein a player can only own one of each type of troop counter, the troops were completed depleted by the early stages of the second round. I didn’t realize the troops would go that fast, so I was on the short end of the military stick, only possessing two counters. For me, winning battles and gaining laurels would not be the path to pursue.
Bob and Jason were the strongest military powers and Bob put his to good use. He won two battles by the conclusion of the second round and was able to win two more in the final round. Had we been wise, the rest of us would have pooled our influence counters in order to prevent him from becoming the condotierre during the final round. As is, he earned ten victory points from his battlefield prowess, which was enough to carry him past Michael for the victory.
Spouey Bob Michael Greg Jason Keith
City Status 13 18 24 24 17 9
Artists 4 5 1 5 2
Gold 3 6
Laurels 10 1 1 3 1
Ratings: Michael 9, Jason 9, Greg 8, Spouey 8, Bob 8, Keith 7.5