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Subject: Are games of Fresco always like this? rss

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Andy Phillips
England
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We've played two games of Fresco now, once with 3 and once with 4 players. Both times we threw in all the expansions.

Both games followed a very similar format. One player (lets call him player A) gets some paints and renoates some of the fresco in either the first or 2nd turn scoring some points. From that point on they always go last in the picking of what time to get up and so can't ever buy any more paint. The remaining players sit on zero points taking it in turns to get up at 6am and buy a load of paint. Any other apprentices grab money via the studio or maybe do a bit of mixing.

Meanwhile, in addition to getting no paint, player A never gets a chance to get any of the interesting painting cards and all they can do is keep playing 3 apprentices on the studio for 9x coin and collect income from the fresco repairs that they completed. Even if they had grabbed one of the bishops reward cards, all they would be doing is stockpiling a single colour so still no help.

When the game is a couple of turns before the end (i.e. there are just 4 or maybe 6 painting cards remaining, but still the fresco nearly untouched) the players with zero points go on the mother of all restoration sprees, scoring masses of points. At this point player A can grab a bit of paint, but its too little too late.

Now, I realise that player A has been raking in the money (9x coins from the studio and a couple from income equate to around 5.5 points per turn), but in neither game did player A win. Furthermore, it is really dull for that person as they will always play their apprentices in the same place all the time.

It just seems to me that there is absoloutely no incentive to ever score any points in this game until the last couple of turns. You are always better off hording paint and sitting on zero points until the massive spending spree. I know games like power grid punish the leading player and there it works well because the other players do need to catch up to take steps toward victory themselves, but it just seems to me in Fresco that the punishment is too great (or maybe it would be better to say that the bonus for being at the back is so great).

I've had an idea of how to modify the game a little to make it more balanced , but I thought I'd ask here whether our experiences were universal?
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brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
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I haven't played with the expansions, but why can't Player A get paint? There should always by enough markets for each player. Unless I am missing an expansion rule.
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KAS
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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I think you may be playing wrong. Every player will have a chance to buy some paint.
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Dan C
United States
Florida
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Indeed - perhaps you are not doing the market correctly (a common misunderstanding here if your read the rules forum).

Each player can only buy paint from one chosen stall each turn. Some think that you can buy from multiple, but the designers have cleared that up.

Maybe you got it right, but everyone should be able to buy some paint each turn.
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United Kingdom
Great Barford, Bedford
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This site needs a forum where we can put the faux offended so we can ignore them.
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Humm, does sound like some rules mangleing.

Ok, 4 player game, board shows 4 market stalls (I, II, III and IV) and all players have placed apprentices on the market section of their player board:

The player who got up earliest picks ONE of these market stalls and chooses a number of Paint tiles equal to the number of apprentices he placed in the market section of his player board, takes the paint cubes shown and then all paint tiles on the market stall are removed.

The player who got up next now has a choice of the 3 remaining market stalls to buy paint from.

The next player has 2 market stalls remaining to choose from

Until we reach the player who got up latest who only has 1 market stall left to buy paint from, It may not be the paint he wants,but, everybody gets a chance to buy some paint from ONE market stall.
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-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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Agree with the other posters here. In a 4 player game, you use the 4-player side of the board which has 4 market stalls - one has 2 different paint tiles, one has 3 paint tiles and the other 2 have 4 paint tiles available.

The first in turn order often buys from a stall with 4 paint tiles available, usually using 1 or 2 apprentices to get the tiles with more paints on them, or premixed paints such as Green or Orange (since they are typically paying a higher price). Each apprentice placed means they can each buy ONE tile's worth of paint cubes. However, ALL apprentices sent by that person must ALL buy from the same stall. Any remaining tiles from that same stall are removed from the board. Then, when player 2 goes, they have 3 stalls remaining to choose from. Player 2 has 2 stalls to choose from and the final player will have the remaining stall to choose from, usually the 2 tile stall.

I would recommend checking out this video to see this in action:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/video/2195

If you don't want to watch the entire video, jump to 6:20 (about 1/3 through the review)
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Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
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What the others have said. Also...

AndyP123 wrote:
It just seems to me that there is absoloutely no incentive to ever score any points in this game until the last couple of turns.

I think the extra coins and mixed paints that a player gets every turn are more than enough incentive to restore the fresco as fast as possible, not to mention the race for the best tiles.
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Andy Phillips
England
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Right, that makes sense now. We were playing it wrong. We had someone visiting the market choosing a different stall with each of their apprentices and buying one paint tile. This meant that if the first person in a 4 player game had put 3 apprentices in and the 2nd player had one, then the whole market was closed.

Thanks for clearing that up!
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