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Princes of the Renaissance» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

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Jonathan Degann
United States
United States
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My first playing. This does not seem as rich as either Age of Steam or Liberte, and is more chaotic. However, the lightness of the game system makes it a more social game than the other two, especially Age of Steam.

In a way, it is a stock market game in disguise. Rather than literally bid for "shares", you are bidding for characters in any of 5 colors, and the value of these characters will fluctuate during the game until they finally pay off victory points at the end. To manipulate the share values, you will have opportunities to create "wars" between two cities, which correspond to the color of the characters. Typically, the color corresponding to the winner of the war will go up in value and the loser will go down. The heart of the game is bidding for these characters and then manipulating the wars - and the people who champion either side - so that colors you have the greatest stake in advance and the others decline. Often, "treachery cards" will also enable you to influence the outcome.

In addition, there are special artist cards you can bid on which will give you revenue or VP's, or enable you to control color values.

While the game is reasonably simple, there was still a sense that the system was an overly elaborate dance designed to manipulate share prices, and that even this was too chaotic. On the other hand, I could clearly see mistakes I made in the beginning which injected an undue share of chaos, which I can at least try to avoid next time. For example, you need to put up characters for auction that will ensure you are not the sole person with a stake in that color - and potentially allow other people to literally fight your battles for you.

The game is distinctly English, by which I mean it inhabits a certain world in between modern German games and fiddly Avalon Hill games. Whether that appeals to you depends on whether you like a game with lots of "stuff" in it: treachery cards, and other cards with special powers, etc.

Winton just blew us away. I'm sure he surprised himself - which is not a good thing. When a player ends up with twice the points of anyone else, and didn't quite know how it happened, (I do give him too little credit) that may be a sign of a problem. Let's see if he can get away with that again.
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