Tuesday, 20 April 2010

I'm NOT playing with YOU again

Adam and Rachel played Stoneage (played last week with Ben) with Cpt John and partner. It was enjoyed immensly and Rachel trimuphed. Wierdly they played it and finished it in around an hour, last week it took much longer......

Meanwhile Jimmy Led Pete, Luke and Ben in a game of Princes of Florence, with the new expansion. I loved princes of florence and until relatively recently when we had a puerto rico contest POF had been the only game with the honour of having been played on two tables simultaneously way back in week 2 or 3 of the official NBG (possibly amun re too). Since then more modern games have taken many of the concepts and tweeked them and POF can be critisised as being a fairly solo game with only minimal interactions. There are seven rounds, each round consisting of two phases, the first phase being an auction (the only real interaction) the second phase being two personally selected actions (limited resources could be seen as a slight interaction), this gives players only 14 actions in the entire game to play with so quiet a few people out there have crunched the game and experienced players know how to spend most of these limited actions.

The new expansions adds a third phase in the middle (after the auction and before the actions). There are 8 (?) different role cards which each have a bidding track around the outside and in turn order players choose to bid on a role, possibly outbidding other players who subsiquently re-bid on their turn, until all players have a different role. This of course adds further interaction but also adds significant depth to the game as many new tactics are worthwhile. I wont go into all the roles but they include, a bank awarding a set amount of money which increases if nobody took it last turn. One role allows you to not pay for your next first round auction (or take some vp should you prefer). There is a bonus to works being produced equal to the round so in round 5 you get a qualifying score of +5. One role gives alternative role scoring counting improvements as scoring +3 buildings and arcitects as +2 and workers as +1, allowing alternative building strategies. A take a free bonus or presige card role and finaly a role which gives you 3 rather than 2 actions. the bidding process is similar to Amun-Re and well understood by us so most of the time the stronger roles went for more money. on two occassions everybody wanted different roles and cards where cheap.

All in all I prefered the game with this expansion as it added significant levels of replayability to a game that had previously been played to death. Its not that it had been played alot more that it had been explored and been found out. This new expansion gives princes of florence a new life at NBG and Im sure it will be played again relatively soon.

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