Princes of the Renaissance, Flaschenteufel, Logistico

Matt came by to pick up his portion of the Adam Spielt order, and we played a couple of the new games while we were at it:

Princes of the Renaissance is the new Martin Wallace/Warfrog release. I’ve got decidedly mixed feelings towards Warfrog (and Martin Wallace games in general), as far too often it seems that the first play seems interesting, but then subsequent plays reveal serious fundamental imbalances in the game (Way out West was far too biased towards shoot-outs, in Empires of the Ancient World the sea areas are far too important, in Tyros the last turns are meaningless and there are few actual play options once you understand the game, The White Lotus was neat but far to repetitive, Liberte had far too little control for the intellectual work … and so it goes. Although I should say I have not played Age of Steam, largely because Volldampf did not move me, but I think Volldampf was OK gamewise, just not my thing). Anyway, Princes of the Renaissance is an Auction/Special Powers game, perhaps in the mold of Magellan, but more high-end. You buy chits (usually people) from the various cities which work almost like shares – each city will have an endgame status value, which will translate into VPs for each chit you own from that city. That status will be affected by wars, as players can provoke conflict between the cities which will likely increase and decrease somebody’s status. You also try to amass chits with complimentary special powers.

Anyway, I thought this was a neat game, as did Kim and Matt. I definitely would like to play again. Bearing in mind my previous history with Martin Wallace, I am unwilling to purchase it just yet, but hopefully Matt will bring down his copy again sometime.

Flaschenteufel – Well, not much more to say on this one. It was fun. I haven’t yet gotten past the learning phase, so I can’t say yet whether it will be a long-term thing.

Logistico – This was a game I thought Kim would like, as she is a big Roads & Boats and Crayon Rails fan. Turns out, she wasn’t that impressed, although Matt liked it a bit. I think my opinion is now settled, it’s a game that is interesting enough in the play and route-finding, but I don’t think it works overall as a game. There is too much randomness in the setup, and the game is too skewed towards delivery in the endgame. I still think it’s a fun game to play (although you can’t play with anyone who will get too bogged down in the analysis), but in the end it’s just not quite there.

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