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Yort Watson
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A nice game, that seems to usually end with the players being very close in the end (barring any major blunders). I believe this comes from the modified random card drawings in the game (Draw 5 cards and pick one). Otherwise, in the back of my mind, I wonder how much skill has to do with winning this one. I think they could have done a little more with the interaction factor as well. I am still hunting for a real strategy, besides "Don't screw-up". All this said, I like the game.
 
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Scott Russell
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Clarkston
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Re:Quick Comments
I tend to agree with the luck factor being high, but I haven't been able to put my finger on why. My first game (five player), I had it won until I made a mistake on the last turn bidding. (If I had bought a lake which no one wanted instead of the jester, I could have played two instead of one work and would have won easily) Instead the other player who had never played won against three competent experienced players. I did win the second game. So based on relative newbies doing really well, it seems that there must be some luck involved, but again, I haven't seen where it is. I really like the draw five keep one mechanic as a way to reduce the luck, so maybe the grognards were having a bad night.
 
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Larry Levy
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Re:Quick Comments
I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree, guys. I think Princes has a very low luck factor. Much of what luck there is comes in the opening draw, but even here a bad draw only makes it tougher to win, not impossible. As Scott says, the "draw five keep one" system greatly reduces the luck when receiving new cards. As for the rest of the game, the only other luck comes when another player winds up bidding through the roof for an item you assumed you could buy cheaply at an auction. But even then, usually if you are observant you can anticipate this and try to make other plans.

I can think of a couple of possible reasons for the success of the newbies Scott mentions. First, the veterans may have all tried for the same strategy, causing them to butt heads and leave the beginners alone. This would be even more likely if they are used to playing against each other and have similar thoughts about winning strategies. Three players concentrating on, say, Jesters, Personalities, and Recruiters might be loath to bid too high on Architects and let another player grab three. This could let that last player implement the Building strategy, which can be very powerful. (I've actually seen something like this happen, and the Builder won going away.)

Another possibility is that bidding levels depend a lot upon groupthink. If the veterans have different ideas about what winning bids "should" be than the newbies, that could throw their game off. Again, I've seen this happen. Two experienced PoFers sat in with three of our regulars one game. The outsiders were used to games in which many items routinely went for 1000-1200 Florins. Our group rarely bids over 700 for anything. The two outsiders wound up bidding each other up for stuff, while we sat back, marveling at their exhorbitant ways, and bought things at our usual miserly prices. Of course, neither one of the outsiders did well. This isn't to say their valuation is faulty, but that it was doomed to failure in that particular situation (ironically, if only one of them had been in attendance, he might have done VERY well).

Princes is a great game and I feel one reason for this greatness is the very low reliance on luck.

Larry
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Columbia
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Re:Quick Comments
qzhdad (#3563),
Scott, stop buying all the damn games on eBay that I bid on--but aside from that, I vote for your grognards' bad night. You don't specify whether the newbie was a relatively intelligent person who grasped the mechanics of the game; you admit that you made a fairly serious blunder that cost you the lead, and you don't deny the possibility of the other experienced players making similar plays. So somebody wins their first game of something? Beginner's luck is not always about a game not rewarding optimal play--sometimes it's just about a beginner playing with experienced players when they're collectively off their game.
 
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Clinton Paris
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Re:Quick Comments
I would have to disagree strongly with any statement inferring that Princes of Florence is a "high luck" game.

There are three places where luck can come into play: drawing of personality cards, drawing of bonus cards, and drawing of prestige cards. The luck factor of drawing "just the right card" is mitigated by the fact that a player is able to draw five at a time. while it is possible that one may not draw the card that they are looking for, one's chances for failure are far less than, say, if the cards were drawn one at a time.

Princes of Florence is more of a game of having your long term plan for winning and then making adjustments to that plan based on various influences along the way. There is a pinch of luck thrown in, yes, but it is hardly a crap shoot.

If you want to point at a place where the game tends to be won and lost, look to the auction phase. I find that luck-free, human influence elements of games are far more unforgiving than a small element of luck would ever be; strong bidders know when and what to choose for auction and how to force a player to make a game-changing decision on its purchase.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Lynnwood
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Re:Quick Comments
I feel I also have to cast my support for the "low-luck" camp. The luck elements in this game are quite small. Mainly, they deal with drawing cards. But since you get to draw 5 cards and keep the one you want, there is a very good chance you will give one or even several which are good for you. And even then, the difference between a good and a poor draw is probably only a couple points.

As long as one does not make any large mistakes, and uses their actions efficiently, then the game is won or lost in the auction phase....primarily by overbidding for stuff, or by not leaving enough flexibility in your plans so that you become forced to buy a certain thing in the auction, or else your plan falls apart...and then if others bid you up, its very bad.

This is player interaction and planning, not luck.

This game has minimal luck and is highly skill based.

As further proof, this game is playable on brettspielwelt (www.brettspielwelt.de), and you can look at player win percentages there. If a game is highly luck based, then you wont find players with percentages much over or under what they would be for the average player. (i.e. over time luck averages out)

However, Princes has very small luck. I have played it around 20 times and only won a couple times, (there are some very strong players online there...) Whereas some others have win percentages upwards of 60 percent, and that over the course of 100 or more games! Clearly, that is a sign that the game is highly skill based.
 
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jbrier
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Aventura
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Re:Quick Comments
one of the beautiful things about princes of florence is that there are several rungs of understanding to this game. alot of people think they already have their head completely around it when in actuality the players that really have progressed to that next level of thinking will leave them in the dust consistently. i used to think i was a good princes of florence player. since then i have improved a whole order or magnitude and come to understand more about how to play a successful game. i'm proud to say that joined the ranks of the elite PoF players on brettspielwelt, although it hasn't quite shown on my record yet because i've only recently reached this level of mastery ???
 
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jbrier
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Re:Quick Comments
ok more thoughts instead of anecdotes... the key to this game is continually evaluating opportunity costs. i guess you could say that about any game, but with princes of florence where there are some pretty formulaic strategies that most people adhere to (which leads to people attributing less depth to this game than there really is), understanding the concept of opportunity cost and using your actions most efficiently leads to the thinking outside of the box that can lead a player to win no matter what "luck of the draw" they get.
 
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