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The Princes of Florence» Forums » General

Subject: Five Player Seating Position and Those Pesky Profession Cards rss

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For a long time, fans of this game have been slugging it out over seating order preferences in a five-player scenario. The contention seems to funnel down to this: There are only six profession cards to purchase, and we "know" that good players will always want them as soon as possible, and therefore we "know" that Player 2 has an advantage of an extra profession card.

I am not too bothered by most of this. Why not just play with four? Why not put the newbie in position 2? Why not add the expansion to shake things up? Why not instead devote our worry cells to how crappy it feels to be player #5 (whether or not it's justified, and it may not be)? Why not just gang up on Player 2? Why not be comfortable with the possibility that any player might or might not get an attractive or unattractive opening deal?

Many things I feel are over-analyzed and other things are under-analyzed (no one seems to care that the final Profession card would be bought without enjoying a selection of choices, e.g.). Many of the suggested changes either feel like "patches", or feel unnecessary, or--worst of all--just outright seem to "admit" that profession cards, among cutthroat players, are just never going to be much of a factor beyond Round One, so let's just depressingly "make it official" and say they're not. Someone else suggested making the cards cost more. I'm not so sure about defying a price printed on your player board, and besides, money is very tight in a 5-player game.

WE'RE NOT SPEAKING PLAINLY ENOUGH
(that's a caption, not a shout)

The *real* inelegance of a five-player game is that there are only six Profession cards for purchase, and the rule is you get to look at five of them. More luxurious selection for the first two or three buyers than the last two or three buyers, certainly. Why not just say AS AN ACTION, YOU ONLY GET TO CHOOSE FROM THREE PROFESSION CARDS, NOT FIVE, WHEN PLAYING MAX # OF PLAYERS?

Isn't that sorta elegant? Might it not make the Profession cards a *teeny* bit less attractive? If you still want to get what Profession cards you can before everyone else nabs them, go ahead. It just might not be as easy to get something fantastic. Even if you don't think that's enough, can you honestly say that would be a step in the wrong direction? I suppose if you're worried about uniformity, we could discuss whether the "draw three" idea could be applied to all the other types of cards, but I am not sure how I feel about that yet.

If, like me, you're too sensitive to argue these points to death, then play NEW AMSTERDAM. That game also consists of a bid phase followed by an action phase--but you bid for actions, and the player order itself is affected by the bid. So you're never in a predetermined sequence.
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David Gibbs
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I think position matters, but I'm not sure this is the most important issue for seat position. I think how often you get to be last player (and second-last player) to have control of do/don't do a work in attempting to get the best-work 3-pt bonus may, actually, be more valuable than the fight over the 6th profession. Also, sitting last in the final round or two makes a recruiting card a lot more powerful than it is if you're sitting earlier in those rounds -- you'll have a lot more choice of who to recruit.
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