I am interested in feedback from players who have already played the Princess & Muse expansion with 5 players. Based on your experience, please answer the following questions:
1. How would you generally rank the 6 special characters?
2. How would you rank the 6 special characters during Round 1?
3. How would you rank the 6 special characters during Round 7?
I am also interested in how the Princess & Muse expansion impacts the relative value of the original auction items. Please feel free to make comments that either answer or do not directly answer my questions.
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on this expansion as it is relatively new to me, but I've found that it's the only way to play the game now that I've been exposed to it, and I have tried it several times now, although not too many with 5 players.
The 6 characters:
1)the Princess- good to amazing throughout the game if you're pursuing a builder strategy and/or a landscape strategy which is now viable.
2)the Bishop- good throughout the game, especially nice when used in conjunction with a builder strategy or a massive card playing strategy.
3)the Muse- starts out quite weak and not selected much in the early part of the game, but from about mid-game to endgame, goes from very good to amazing, and is highly contested- I've seen this one go for max value in the last round several times.
4)the Professor- always gets used throughout the course of the game, as he allows for a viable path to victory (tons of prestige cards). Again, I personally don't use him that much, but he's always an option.
5)the Merchant- good for the early to mid game for the most part or if you're back in the scoring track.
6)the Banker- always useful throughout the course of the game, and can be especially good during the last round due to his ability at that time to convert money into points. That said, I rarely use him, but he always gets regularly used in my games.
Here's the biggest thing I've noticed with this expansion (other than it improves upon an already amazing game): Builders are the new Jesters and then some. Jesters have been devalued (they're still good, just not $1200+ good, more like $700-800 good) and Builders often go for more than Jesters would in the base game. A builder strategy was already possible in the base game (if not a bit more difficult), but now with the actions of the Princess and the Bishop, watch out! Also buying multiple landscapes is quite viable (the extra 3 point bonus, combined with the prestige cards [see also Professor] and the Princess).
While the expansion makes the game a bit longer, I'd say it makes it more fun/interesting as there are more paths, and oddly enough it's a bit more accessible or at least forgiving than the base game without reducing the strategy at all.
- Last edited Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:17 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:13 pm
I play PoF with 4Corners and he is a very tough competitor!
I personally will only play PoF with 5 players and from my experience:
They don't call this the Princess and the Muse for nothing. The ladies are indeed the most powerful of the 6 characters.
A general ranking of the 6 characters by endgame (rounds 6 & 7):
1) The Princess: she is very powerful. Her virtual work means that you don't have to fight for a profession card and matching up buildings, landscapes or freedoms. Having builders, all buildings and duplicate landscapes can easily create a Princess work with a workvalue in the 20's.
2) The Muse. She adds work values equal to the round number, so that is a WV of 6 or 7 in the later rounds. This often translates to the best work 3 point bonus. She is best used in a round in which 2 works are being done.
3) Professor. Extra Prestige Cards are nice. This is the only path to getting extra actions during the A1 auction phase. If one chooses the Bonus Card option, it's like getting the Cardinal but better since you don't have to pay again for the Bonus Card.
4) Banker. Good for the 7th round, since you can cash in all your money for VPs.
5) Merchant. Only good if you are at the last in score so that you can get 5 VPs. If you use the Merchant for a free purchase the next A1, then you're probably in trouble.
6) Cardinal. IMHO, he is weak at end game. Using him to buy an extra Bonus Card is not good. One would have to pay for the Cardinal and the Bonus Card. Most people don't need him to do extra works since most of the time, there aren't extra profession cards in hand. I have seen the Cardinal be used in the end game to build 3 buildings, especially if the player has 3 builders.
The above rankings are different at the beginning of the game:
1) Professor/Merchant/Princess/Banker: these are all contested for at the beginning of the game. The professor allows you to get a free prestige card right away. The merchant is a decent way to guarantee the item that you want in the following A1 (which is usually a Builder now, as jesters can go for cheap.). The Princess gets you some extra works but they are small works. The Banker's money is handy at the beginning of the game when money is tight since there is an extra auction round.
5) Cardinal: he is okay for the extra action: allows one to buy a freedom, build a building, and create a work all in one round.
6) Muse: useless in the first few rounds, virtually never fought for in the early game.
I agree with 4corners that Jesters are devalued. Having one is nice. Having 3 is a disaster. I tried that once and got hammered by the Princess and the Muse. Jesters now go for 200-800 florins. If you are paying 1100+ then it's too much.
The expansion adds a bit more time but it's well worth it. I don't think I can ever play vanilla PoF again. For anyone who hasn't played the expansion, I encourage them to give it a go.
- Last edited Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:14 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:11 am
How would you rank the 6 special characters during Round 1?
1.) Merchant: In my experience, the Merchant has been the highest bid character during Round 1. Being able to ensure a Round 2 Jester or Builder trumps any other special character.
2.) Professor: This is perhaps the best Round to win the Professor. If you select a Prestige Card, you still have 6 more Rounds to accomplish your objective.
3.) Bishop: The player who wins the Round 1 Builder benefits the most from this character. This is the best Round to win this character for the bidding will be much lower since the other players lack Builders.
4.) Banker: Odds are that the payout will be less than 600 Florin.
5.) No Bid: Yes, I believe that it is actually better to drop out of the bidding if the Merchant/Professor/Bishop/Banker is no longer available at a good price.
6.) Princess: If a player has a Landscape, he or she can reach the minimum 7WV by purchasing a Round 1 Profession card and performing a Princess work. The benefit of doing so is that the player nets 400 Florin and 3 Prestige Points for best work. However, I believe that this is not an optimal move!
How would you generally rank the special characters?
1.) Princess: The Princess quickly rises in the ranks. As stated by Candoo and 4Corners, the Princess is simply amazing.
2.) Muse: Rivals the Princess in the late game.
3.) Merchant: My vote for the best special character at the beginning of the game. Perhaps the Merchant is the highest bid for character in Rounds 1 through 4. Bidding cools rapidly in the later Rounds.
4.) Bishop: His popularity spikes in the middle Rounds once 2 or 3 players have Builders. However, bidding never reaches the same levels as an early Merchant, nor a late game Princess or Muse.
5.) Professor: A free Prestige Card or Bonus card is definitely worth acquiring, but I have rarely seen the Professor as the highest bid character.
6.) Banker: Useful, but more like a Plan C or Plan D.
How would you rank the 7 original auction items?
I happen to think that Builders and Jesters are now equal in value. Recruiting Cards are a close 3rd, since an extra work can potentially reach +7WV with the Muse and also because more Bonus Cards are being acquired. Landscapes have improved, but bidding still seems to be around 200 Florin. The biggest drop in terms of value has been for Prestige Cards. The Professor has basically devalued Prestige Cards so that they are now equal to Landscapes during the original auction.