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Subject: Great Valuation Game rss

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Robert Zaleski
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Wintersville
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I played Medici a few years ago and loved it. After getting my own copy last year, it has become a staple of our group. When I saw Medici v Strozzi, I was intrigued, but could not figure out how a great bidding game could translate to a 2 player version. Finally, I had a opportunity to purchase it that I could not pass up, and I'm glad I grabbed it.

Both Medici and Medici v Strozzi games score by balancing a total number on each tile with a number of goods in each color. Having the most tiles of a color gets the player 10 points with bonus paying an additional 10 or 20 for having a large number in a single category. In both, you bid victory points to gain victory points.

Medici v Strozzi changes the game by making 3 markets or ports that you can get bonuses and score for totals. This combines with having different size ships that you allocate, adding another layer of interest to the decision making process. Each color is only sell-able in 2 of the 3 markets, making certain 3 color combinations undesirable. Finally, 0 tiles count double for a tile, and two 5 gold tiles (instead of 1 10 gold) count for total score payouts only.

A turn consists with one person drawing a tile from the bag. They can then pull a second tile if they wish. And finally, an additional 3rd if they want. There is a risk-reward with pulling more tiles. On the one hand, additional tiles may have better value for you, or they may make a lot much less valuable.

After drawing the tile, the real brain burner of valuing the 1-3 tile lot comes in. You only get one chance to figure out what it's worth, and what the other player will accept or decline. You opponent then pays your bid, or declines leaving you to pay. The winner can either throw the lot out, usually because no ship they have can hold the whole lot, or places the lot on a ship.

The ship is then placed at a port, which generally corresponds to the colors of the tiles. In Medici v Strozzi, goods of the same color move a marker back and forth, which can leave a tie and no payout, or leads to the 10 and bonus payouts.

This goes on until the bag empties or a player fills their ship. This add an additional intrigue as players get to a point where not bidding can become a huge loss.

Overall, even though I've been creamed a few times in this game, I enjoy the back and forth of it. You're constantly trying to figure out what your opponent will pay, valuing what the goods are worth, and proposing a value bet or over bet to get the better of your opnent.

In the end, the best merchant wins

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Laszlo Molnar
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And how do you think it compares to Medici? I do think it's as good as a 2-player version of Medici can get; it's actually even a bit more ruthless, a bit heavier than the original. I really can't get their ratings difference (-0.59 points... I don't know why).
 
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Tim Seitz
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Glen Allen
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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lacxox wrote:
And how do you think it compares to Medici? I do think it's as good as a 2-player version of Medici can get; it's actually even a bit more ruthless, a bit heavier than the original.

I agree, but ever more emphatically. In Medici you can often play just to get whatever comes cheap in the first round, and then use money to buy up what you need in later rounds. You can (usually) safely ignore auctions that do not interest you.

Medici vs Strozzi is much heavier. In Medici vs Strozzi, EVERY SINGLE decision is critical: when to stop drawing, what to bid/whether to buy, and how to arrange on your ships. Even for lots that you absolutely cannot use, you have to ensure your opponent pays a fair price for them. It can be quite daunting, particularly to new players, and thus it can seem "not as much fun" as Medici.

In addition, the typical result of a game against good players, where they both end up with MUCH LESS money than what they started with, seems pretty strange on the surface and turns some players off.
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John Sizemore
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Richmond
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lacxox wrote:
And how do you think it compares to Medici? I do think it's as good as a 2-player version of Medici can get; it's actually even a bit more ruthless, a bit heavier than the original. I really can't get their ratings difference (-0.59 points... I don't know why).


Having played now with the OP, I can say that it is actually much better than Medici. In Medici, it's a viable strategy--often the best strategy--to just sit back and make it your goal to never pay more than one florin for a lot. After all, the worst thing that is likely to happen, unless the others are buying lots to toss them out, is that you'll end up with a random lot of goods. And random lots will still net you a decent score on average.

In MvS, as Tim says, every single decision is difficult and contributes to the final result. You have to correctly value everything, both for yourself and your opponent, place it in the right boat if you win, keep track of what's still in the bag, make sure you control the bag when you need it, judge your opponent's likely moves... it's about as brain-burny as they come.
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Tim Seitz
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Glen Allen
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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skipsizemore wrote:
lacxox wrote:
And how do you think it compares to Medici? I do think it's as good as a 2-player version of Medici can get; it's actually even a bit more ruthless, a bit heavier than the original. I really can't get their ratings difference (-0.59 points... I don't know why).


Having played now with the OP, I can say that it is actually much better than Medici.

You played with the OP or with me?
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