Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Purchase Decision - Cinque Terre

The game in question for this week’s entry is…

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre ( pronounced as chin-kweh-tar-air ) is designed by Chris Handy and has been described by some as the pick up & deliver version of Ticket to Ride. Or some have also said that it’s the slightly heavier / meatier version of Ticket to Ride.
Chris Handy’s other designs include Long Shot and Handy.

Game Info

Cinque Terre plays 2-5 players
Published playing time is 60mins
Mechanics – Pick Up & Deliver / Set Collection / Hidden Goal(s)

How it Might Play

The gameplay of Cinque Terre is very simple.
Players are trying to score points ( in terms of money – Lira ) by harvesting goods from 3 locations on the board and subsequently selling them to the 5 different villages.

Lira can be made by
1) Selling goods ( each good is worth differing amounts at the 5 villages )
2) Fulfilling Order Cards ( one starting card and multiple in game cards )
3) Being the first to sell 8 goods of any type at any of the 5 villages

The board is a small board which depicts the 3 harvesting areas and 5 villages.
The setup for each game is different each time as the goods are randomly distributed to the 3 harvesting areas, and the values & types of each good in demand in the villages are determined via dice color and value.
This ensures that every game will very likely play out differently each time. 

layout of the board

On a player’s turn, he/she has 3 actions to perform any of the 4 options below ( in any order )
1) Move their cart up to 4 Spaces Clockwise
2) Draw 1 Produce Card ( either 1 of 4 face up cards or blind from the top of the deck )
3) Harvest up to 4 Produce pieces by discarding the matching Produce card(s) ( at any one harvest space )
4) Sell up to 4 Produce pieces to any of the 5 Villages

After a player’s turn is over, there will be 2 things to check for.

If the player is able to satisfy the criteria for any of the face up produce order cards ( there will be 1 card per player face up on the table ), he/she may immediately take the card, score the amount of Lira, and place it face up in front of him/her.
The player will then draw another produce card from the deck, and either, keep it in his/her hand, or play it face up to replenish the card just taken. If he/she keeps the card, a new card must be drawn to replenish the previous card. If the player replenishes the face up draw pile first, he/she may choose to forgo taking a new order card.
This is the only way to obtain a produce order card that is personal and secret from everybody else ( besides your initial starting produce order card ).

If the player is the first to successfully ship 8 goods ( of any type ) to any of the 5 villages, he/she will take the “Most Popular Vendor” ( MPV ) token relating to that village. This will give them 10 Lira immediately.
Just a note, if any player had forgotten to claim the tile on their previous turn, it will not be retroactively given to them. They will have to hope that no one claims it before it is their turn again.

The game end is triggered when 5 produce orders and/or MPV tokens have been claimed, or when 2 or more produce pieces have been depleted.
Each player will get one last turn, and the player who triggered the end game will be the one to take the very last turn of the game.

When the game is over, players will reveal their starting produce order card and any secret order cards that they may have received during the game. Lira is paid out for successful completion of the cards. For orders that are uncompleted, the player is deducted 5 Lira for each missing produce on the order. The player with the most Lira is the winner !

player board and produce order cards

Just a note, there is a very handy player board for each player that helps you to keep track of the type and the amount of produce you have sold at each village. This helps you to monitor who is closest to obtaining the MPV for each village and also helps you to track your completion status for your produce order cards.

What I Like ( from reading the rules )

Simplicity of Play
Cinque Terra does sound very much like Ticket to Ride ( which I do enjoy ).
The gameplay is simple and seems to flow very well. It could be another game I can introduce as a light end of session game, or one that I can actually get my mother to play ( we only play Ticket to Ride together ).

Mission Oriented Cards and Hidden Goals
The produce order cards are something I like in games that I play. I don’t always enjoy being told how to play a game, but a small mission here and there is a big plus for me. It sets a minor goal that keeps you in a certain path, but how you get there is purely up to you. Also, hidden goals. Haha. I like that ( for some strange reason ).

Balancing of Produce Cards and MPV Tokens
I like how trying for the MVP token can really mess with your overall game plan.
Delivering 8 goods to a village first gives you 10 Lira sure, but it removes that village as an option for future deliveries and it removes an element of flexibility in the game. Nice touch.

What I Dislike ( from reading the rules )

Fighting over the same Produce Orders
This bugs me quite a bit. It seems like, if 2 players are going for the same produce order card, it could lead to a first player advantage, and also, the player who doesn’t accomplish the card in time may have to start from scratch to try to accomplish something else ( which another player may already be halfway to completing ).
I haven’t played yet so I don’t know if this is true, but that’s my impression of how this face up order cards seem to work

Inability to obtain more order cards
I am not certain why there was no option given to simply draw more order cards in the event that you are unable to ( or choose not to ) fulfill the face up order cards. It seems to restrict your way of play and I am not for that one bit.

Conclusion – Will Buy but only at the Right Price

Cinque Terre is a tough decision for me.
I like what it brings to the table, and my dislikes for it can be overcome with simple house rules. I think it’s just that my growing collection doesn’t justify me buying it at full price. And also because I am uncertain how often it can get to the table. I can see a group of friends that will enjoy it, but for how long, I am not sure.



basically the idea of "A Purchase Decision" is just to state out what i thought of while deliberating whether or not to buy a particular game.

i'm not sure how each of you decide on what game to purchase ( art, newness, designer, etc etc ), but for me, each purchase goes through a very vigorous and tough selection process, which usually also includes the reading through of the rule-set.
so i thought i would just list through my thoughts on how the game is going to play like and what i considered before i made ( or did not make ) the purchase

if you do read through it, i hope that whatever i had to say might help as well in your game purchasing decision ! :)

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