Princes 20of 20Florence

The Princes of Florence

The big idea is that you play a prince in Renaissance Italy, founding a city-state that will attract great artists, and funding their great works of art. The greater the works of art your artists produce, the more prestige it brings your city, and therefore you. The winner is the prince with the most prestige at the end of the game.

There are seven rounds in the game, and each has an Auction Phase and an Action Phase. In the Auction Phase, you bid on important resources. Sometimes you try to get your opponents to waste money on them in a bid war. (Didn't Renaissance Italy have auction-sniping software?) In the Action Phase, you can build buildings, establish freedoms (Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of Travel), landscape your grounds (artists produce better if they have studios, libraries, universities, freedom of speech, forests in which they can walk and think, and so on). You can also attempt to "milk" one of your stable of artists, to produce a great work of art that will bring you boffo box office and bucketfuls of bucks, er, Florins.

One of the more interesting parts of this game for me is that the buildings and chunks of landscape you place on your board come in the shape of various polyominoes -- they look sort of like pieces in Tetris (which uses tetrominoes, or polyominoes made of four squares). If you build and landscape often, or are simply careless, you may find yourself running out of room on your board, so spatial ability and skill with polyomino puzzles can come in handy.


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