Saturday, July 6, 2013

Firenze : Come build some blocks with me

All these nice building blocks!
When I saw the art and of course the multitude of building blocks, I was intrigued and hooked. Luckily there was the paste-ups available for the cards which allowed me to pull the trigger and get myself the german copy. The english version was not yet released when I bought the game so I settled for the only german copy available. After setup and all, we were ready for our first game!

Firenze is a light-medium weight euro-style game where players are trying to collect bricks and build up the towers in their own construction sites before discarding them to fulfil building contracts and thus scoring points. There is a certain number of contract seals per player (depending on the number of players) in the game and once a player has finished up all the seals, that will trigger the game end and then players count up the points and whomever has the most points will win the game.
At the start this game reminded me of Asara, another game where you are building the longest, i mean Tallest tower :P. Essentially there are 3 main highlights of the game: Card selection, building and the scoring bonuses. The cards provide quite a good replayability factor because they give different abilities and some force you to skip them because they penalise players. Some cards allow you to steal blocks from other players or make it cheaper to construct, some just penalize you and some give you end game points. The card selection is such that if you do not choose the first card, then you have to pay a block for each card you skip over. Thus negative cards could get accumulated with a lot of blocks enough to make them lucrative.
Building is interesting because towers that are not worked on in your construction yard during your turn get torn down! So it forces you to make sure you have enough blocks to ensure the towers are worked upon. So for the taller towers you need to plan ahead.
Scoring bonuses are where you will try to aim for to get those huge bouts of scoring. If you ended the game first, you get extra 5 points. If you are the first to fulfil 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th level contracts, you score extra points. There are cards which provide extra points whenever someone fulfils a certain level. So they provide the competition and increases interaction in the game.
Components wise its quite good. Art is really nice and the many many building blocks are awesome especially because they can stack so nicely. The bag I had broke after 1 game though but I managed to get a replacement quite swiftly after I sent them an email.
Btw, you can play the game online now at Yucata.de and I highly recommend going there to try it first to see if its your style of game. Furthermore, the english translations there are much more concise and easier to understand than the paste ups. I mean they could have iconized the game and made it even more friendlier and easier to understand. Not sure why they did not.
So its a Try before you buy for me. Its not a bad game but I am not sure if its something that I will like it enough to keep it around.

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