Review: Florenza The Card Game – Renaissance reborn
The Renaissance can be seen at every corner. It’s in the air we Florencians breathe, it lies on the groundon which we walk and especially in the hearts of the people, who live in our Italian city. It became recently swarmed with several new rich faces as they try to get to city by building majestic buildings. A lot of artists have been drawn by their offer. Let yourself be surprised, how Florence can look better, after all their job finish..
Actually, we do not have to wait, because we are going to participate in all this construction. Stefano Groppi invites us into his world called Florenza and we could be playing in it for some time already in shape of board game. Now he decided to take us into the same world again and his new game Florenza: The Card Game is the right mean to do it. It was clear to us, that instead of the game board, a major role will be played in there by a deck of cards. Game production company Placentia Games employed Valerio Gobbigi, Stefana Groppi, Paolo Vallerga, Ivan Zoni a Daniele Zurla to do illustration for it.
Whole creation can be found in a box, that indicates it is not just any ordinary game. It is quite large for a card game and reminds us with dimension more of tile games like Carcassonne. But it all has a reason, which you will find, when you peek under cover with portraits of prominent personalities. Inside, there is an impressive 330 cards in two different sizes.
You will first inspect bigger ones (220 pieces), that represent six different available materials (marble, wood, metal, fabric, gold and spices, a total of 86 cards) and buildings (houses, shops, churches, palaces and more, together 76 cards). Both species are easily identified apart by their rear side. In this large number, 27 monuments is a bit lost, just as 28 cards of bills (Fiorini in three values), two help cards and one captain of the people.
Smaller cards contain seventeen locations, three unnamed artist, but also four family cards for players themselves. Well, then you simply can not miss those master artists, whose works will be adorned by the entire Florence. You can expect total of 85 artists, among whom are sculptors, architects and painters. Along with one action card, you get to sum of 110 and also to the end of components hidden in a box.
Some cards are wearing symbols, that indicate they are used only in multiplayer game. The number of participants is the first filter, you have to pass at the very beginning of each game with deck of buildings and sort all the cards, that do not meet your numbers. If you’re playing in four, you can save this job and instead can directly divide buildings by Roman numerals in the lower left corner into three decks and shuffle each of them.
On the table, you then create area of twenty cards in two rows by ten, which consist of seventeen locations and three anonymous artists. On the sides should go categorized packages with money according to their value and also six raw materials. Last thing remains – to create initial artists offer looking for work (their number is determined by the number of players in game from six to ten) and seven random monuments, that have already been designed and can be built.
In the beginning, each of the families, who participates in combat, gets in addition to the card indicating its genus also 300 florins, one of each type of raw material and five random cards dealt from the deck with the Roman numeral one. The starting player becomes Captain of the people.
The whole game is divided into five rounds, each of which has four consecutive phases. At the beginning of each round (except the first), you always replace offer of artists and monuments with new ones. And before they can all go into the vortex of events, they must draw additional four cards from the active package. In the second round its two and for the third its Roman numeral three. After each round, you shuffle into the new deck also left overs from previous rounds.
Now, if you already have enough cards in hand, we can finally begin to fight for a place in the sun. From all eight actions in one round, you can use a maximum of four with possible improvement coming from cards, buildings and more. But always only one action per turn, then you have to let your opponents act, before you have access to second action. On the back of card Captain of the people, you can find a counter exactly for this purpose. It is used by the starting player to mark (using his action card) one square down for each action used, whenever he gets to his turn. So you have a clear view of how many actions have already been played.
The first player has option of first choice, followed by everyone else in action and their immediate implementation. The heart of the game is to play building cards from the hand. As soon as you put it on the table, you can take advantage of its benefits, such as increased income or drawing of more cards. But before you can enjoy your new building, you must first construct it for raw material costs by paying the correct amount.
Some buildings (such as Fountain) additionally require an artist to give his personality to the whole creation and specifies, which profession can it be. You can select one from the offer, but when are buying his service, you do not know his exact value in victory points, only the number range, where the number will be (along with the number of occurrences of each value). Only after getting a salary, he will reveal his identity allowing you to turn the card over.
Artist cards can be pre-booked. When they appear in the menu, you can take it for an action and without turning it over, put it in front of you. Whenever later in the game, you can hire him. But if you will not use him until the end of the game, you lose victory points corresponding to his value.
How do you get the necessary materials and money to be able to spread the glory of your family? You can send one worker to get it or go to the market, where you can buy, sell and trade resources. Another action is to draw single card.
Very important for the whole game are also cards in the middle of the table. You can use some of their actions instead of those specified. These action cost you nothing and can produce raw materials, money, or allow you to become Captain of the People for the next round. However, each card can be used only once per round. When you use it, you turn it over. Only at the beginning of the next round, all the cards will be available again.
You can also build monuments, that can be booked, just like an artist. Here again is a simple rule, you have to pay extra costs and still provide a sculptor, painter and architect needed by the structure.
Once everyone made four actions or even some more using buildings, the round ends. You throw away all unhired artists and introduce new ones. Offer of monuments also changes except for the two most expensive. You can also keep one card from those, you are holding in your hands for the next round. All other buildings must be discarded. Money and resources will remain. Players will once again receive income, choose new Captain of the People and game continues.
After playing the fifth round, everything ends, which is detected also by depleted stocks of monuments. It’s time to sum accumulated victory points for buildings, artists, but also a set of cards. Players with the most cards, money and materials get bonus points, as well as acting Captain of the People. Do not forget to deduct points for the unused artist and unfinished monuments, you reserved. If you have the most points after deduction, you are the winner.
Florenza: The Card Game is through its enthusiastic nature quite simple game, whre you build your district of the city and give it a unique look. What sets it apart from other similar games, are artists needed to play cards in addition to basic raw materials.
The mechanism, when menu cards gradually improve with age, is a classic in world of card and board games. But the idea to mix unused cards from previous rounds back in is very interesting. It makes player roles a little worse and offer depends a lot on luck.
Very interesting is also the method of action choice. In addition to basic free activities, that can be repeated again and again, offer is enriched by sites, that can always be used by one of the players in the round. These activities are beneficial and will be fought for from the start of the round until they are exhausted.
Number of actions and different options each turn make for quite complex choices. But in fact, you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and you just need to find a best way to get there. Gaining resources and money can be realized in several ways and it is up to you to choose. You have clear overview of them, because you have site cards lying on the table, but also due to briefing card, which players pass to each other during the round.
Most exciting part of the game is selecting artists, whose true identity is hidden. For each presence, you can see only different point available in this group of cards. You know, what your chances are and you know aproximately, what artist would want you to pay him for his work.
The game lacks a greater degree of conflict, that stems only from the fact, that players take cards and use actions. Otherwise, game is honestly strategic and only drawing cards depends on luck. This will happen five times during the game, so that eventually everything levels up and no one has feeling of injustice.
Games are quite similar, despite changing artists and monuments offer. But you always have other cards in your hand and because of that, the game is always going in a different direction.Nevertheless,we happen to find some games a little similar. Fortunately it still remains entertaining, especially due to the short playing time, which is up to one hour. With more players, you can get a little over sixty minutes. Unfortunately, game is also subject to analysis paralysis. In this case, you can in for a little waiting.
During the game, you hold quite a lot of cards in your hand, which could be confusing. Fortunately, all the buildings have their own raw material requirements in the left part of the card, so they always stay in your sight. Materials and money of course have numbers printed in the corners of cards. In the end, despite the greater number of cards, you do not have to go through them constantly.
What we need to praise is rulebook, which contain a number of useful examples and especially summarizes all the rules clearly. The game is easy to learn on the first reading. But at the same time, we must not forget to mention the beautiful illustrations on the cards, that perfectly suit theme of the game.
Florenza: The Card Game is a prime example of the strategic game, that can function in a card form. Experience and construction of buildings in Florence do not need a game board, you just use buildings, monuments and artists, who all add their touch to your work. It is a fair tactical game with a slight influence of chance, which is especially unique for its cartoon processing. Although it eventually starts to repeat itself a bit, gamers with a taste for thinking over all their actions are sure to be pleased and entertained.
Review: Florenza The Card Game – Renaissance reborn
Florenza: Card Game continues in tracks of its board game predecessor. Three years later, it presents you with chance to build city using cards, actions and artists. But to do it all, you need a firm hand and good strategy. Players have few action points at their disposal each round, which can be spent for building, hiring artists, desing of monuments or gathering materials. Everything fits together in a tactical mix, which will make your head spin round. Basic building stone of every new round are cards of locations, which can be always used only once – first come, first served. And then there are also simpler actions, which you have always available. But hiring artists is not as simple, because you never know their true identity and value. You have to pay the full price first and only then discover, who did you get for your team. Even across lots of options, game remains simple and intuitive, you only have to know your actions. As time progresses, you get access to better cards, but there are also unbought cards from previous rounds shuffled in. Although there is a lot of cards, games look much alike and watching of actions played is a little quirky. Florenza: Card Game is well-done tactical game, which will open you not only world of its beautiful illustrations, but also nice strategic options.
Reader Rating0 Votes
elaborated strategic card game
one-time location cards
partially covered artist cards
complex game, yet remains simple
even you hold many cards, you see their symbols well
unique way of shuffling weaker action cards to drawin deck in later rounds
more difficult tracking of actions (even with counting cards)