Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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As GM for the The Princes of Florence tournament at the recently-concluded World Boardgaming Championships, I made a detailed record of the final game (I've been doing this for several years; you can read the earlier reports at the following links.)

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/336950

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/432675

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/553168

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/686628

The 2012 final was a 5-player game. The players were Rod Spade, Jason Levine, Tom Johnston, John Corrado and Bruce DuBoff. I'm posting this report to provide an example you may play through and perhaps learn something about the game. I encourage any finalists who are BoardGameGeek members to post additional thoughts about the final game below. I'll use dollar signs in my write-up, even though money comes in florins.

Because of the perception that some seats (especially Seat 2 in a 5-player game) are better than others, I use bidding to determine seating order in the semi-finals and finals. Rod bid $300 for Seat 2, John bid $100 for Seat 1, and each of the other players took a seat at no cost. We rearranged the seating order accordingly and each player paid his bid to the bank.

Seat Cash
-----------------
1 John 3400
2 Rod 3200
3 Jason 3500
4 Tom 3500
5 Bruce 3500


Round 1 --- Auction

As 1st player, John started by auctioning a Builder that Jason bought for $900. John then auctioned a Jester and bought it for $1200. Rod auctioned a Recruiter, which Tom bought for $800. Rod then bought a Park for $200. Bruce now took a Prestige Card for $200.

Round 1 --- Actions

1. John bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Travel for $300
2. Rod bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Religion for $300
3. Jason built a University for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #2 Theologian for 7 WV, taking $700 + 0 PP
4. Tom bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Opinion for $300
5. Bruce bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Travel for $300

Jason earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 1600 0
2 Rod 2400 0
3 Jason 3000 6
4 Tom 2100 0
5 Bruce 2700 0


Round 2 --- Auction

Rod auctioned a Recruiter and bought it for $600. Jason then auctioned a Jester, which Bruce bought for $1000. Jason then auctioned a Builder and bought it for $500, gaining 3 PP for a second Builder. Tom then bought a Lake for $200, and John bought a Forest for $200.

Round 2 --- Actions

1. Rod bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Opinion for $300
2. Jason bought Freedom of Religion for $300 and a Bonus Card for $300
3. Tom bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Travel for $300
4. Bruce bought Freedom of Opinion for $300 and a Bonus Card for $300
5. John played #17 Physician for 12 WV, taking $1200 + 0 PP, and bought Freedom of Religion for $300

John earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 2300 3
2 Rod 1200 0
3 Jason 1900 9
4 Tom 1300 0
5 Bruce 1100 0


Round 3 --- Auction

Jason auctioned a Recruiter and Rod bought it for $500. Jason auctioned a Jester to John for $900, and then auctioned a Builder, which he bought for $700, gaining 3 PP for a third Builder. Tom auctioned a Prestige Card and took it for $400. Bruce took a Forest for $200.

Round 3 --- Actions

1. Jason built a Library for $0 (gaining 3 PP) and built an Opera for $0 (gaining 3 PP)
2. Tom bought Freedom of Religion for $300 and played #5 Alchemist for 12 WV, taking $1200 + 0 PP
3. Bruce played #3 Philosopher for 12 WV, taking $1200 + 0 PP, and bought a Bonus Card for $300
4. John played #6 Physicist for 14 WV, taking $400 + 5 PP, and bought a Bonus Card for $300
5. Rod built a Theatre for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #18 Dramatist for 17 WV, taking $1700 + 0 PP

Rod earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 1500 8
2 Rod 1700 6
3 Jason 1200 18
4 Tom 1800 0
5 Bruce 1800 0


Round 4 --- Auction

Tom put a Builder up for auction and Bruce bought it for $500. He then auctioned a Recruiter to John for $700. He auctioned a Jester to Rod for $1100. Tom then bought a Forest for $200. This allowed Jason to take a Prestige Card for $200.

Round 4 --- Actions

1. Tom built a Studio for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #14 Sculptor for 16 WV, taking $1000 + 3 PP
2. Bruce built a Tower for $300 (gaining 3 PP) played #20 Astronomer for 16 WV using the Prestige + Freedom Bonus, taking $600 + 5 PP
3. John built a Workship for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #6 Bell Maker for 19 WV, taking $900 + 5 PP
4. Rod bought Freedom of Travel for $300 and played #19 Poet for 16 WV, taking $1200 + 2 PP
5. Jason built a Tower for $0 (gaining 3 PP) and built a Hospital for $0 (gaining 3 PP)

John earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 1000 19
2 Rod 1500 8
3 Jason 1000 24
4 Tom 1900 6
5 Bruce 1600 8


Round 5 --- Auction

Bruce auctioned a Recruiter, which he bought himself for $800. John auctioned a Jester to Rod for $1200. John then bought a Builder for $200. Jason bought a Lake for $200. This allowed Tom to take a Prestige Card for $200.

Round 5 --- Actions

1. Bruce recruited #17 Physician from John, built an Opera for $300 (gaining 3 PP), and played #12 Choreographer for 17 WV, taking $700 + 5 PP
2. John recruited #20 Astronomer from Bruce, built a Tower for $300 (gaining 3 PP), and played #20 Astronomer for 19 WV, taking $1100 + 4 PP
3. Rod recruited #6 Physicist from John, played #16 Pharmacist for 17 WV, taking $900 + 4 PP, and built a Laboratory for $700 (gaining 3 PP)
4. Jason built a Studio for $0 (gaining 3 PP) and played #10 Cartographer for 15 WV using the Each Lake Bonus, taking $100 + 7 PP
5. Tom recruited #9 Bell Maker from John, built a Chapel for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #21 Organ Maker for 16 WV, taking $800 + 4 PP

John earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 1600 29
2 Rod 500 15
3 Jason 900 34
4 Tom 1800 13
5 Bruce 1200 16


Round 6 --- Auction

John put a Jester up for auction and Tom bought it for $600. Next he auctioned a Prestige Card that Jason bought for $800. Then he auctioned a Lake that went to Bruce for $500. Finally he bought a Builder for $200, gaining 3 PP for a second Builder. This allowed Rod to buy a Forest for $200.

Round 6 --- Actions

1. John built a University for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and built a Library for $300 (gaining 3 PP)
2. Rod played #4 Botanist for 21 WV, taking $100 + 10 PP, and played #11 Jurist for 17 WV, taking $100 + 8 PP
3. Jason gave up 2 PP for $200, bought a Bonus Card for $300, and built a Chapel for $0 (gaining 3 PP)
4. Tom built a Workshop for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #15 Painter for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP
5. Bruce built a Hospital for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #17 Physician for 17 WV, taking $100 + 8 PP

Rod earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 800 38
2 Rod 500 36
3 Jason 0 35
4 Tom 500 25
5 Bruce 500 27


Round 7 --- Auction

Rod put a Forest up for auction and bought it for $200, gaining 3 PP for a second forest. Jason then put a Prestige Card up for auction and Bruce bought it for $300. He then put a Jester up for auction and bought it himself for $200, giving up 2 PP for $200 he needed to pay for it. John bought a Lake for $200, and this allowed Tom to take a Park for $200.

Round 7 --- Actions

1. Rod played #6 Physicist for 21 WV, taking $100 + 10 PP, recruited #20 Astronomer from John, and played #20 Astronomer for 17 WV, taking $100 + 8 PP
2. Jason built a Theater for $0 (gaining 3 PP) and played #1 Mathematician for 18 WV using the Small Building + Landscape Bonus, taking $0 + 9 PP
3. Tom played #8 Goldsmith for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP, and played #9 Bell Maker for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP
4. Bruce gave up 1 PP for $100, bought a Chapel for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #13 Composer for 21 WV using a Bonus I did not record, taking $100 + 10 PP
5. John built a Theater for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #7 Watch Maker for 19WV, taking $100 + 9 PP, and #13 Composer for 24 WV using the Each Profession on the Table Bonus, taking $0 + 12 PP

John earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 John 300 56
2 Rod 500 57
3 Jason 0 45
4 Tom 300 43
5 Bruce 100 39


It was time to reveal Prestige Cards to determine the winner.

John had no Prestige Cards
Rod had no Prestige Cards

Jason earned 6 PP for Most Builders and 8 PP for Fewest Empty Spaces
Tom earned 8 PP for All 3 Freedoms and 3 PP for Most Lakes (which was tied)
Bruce earned 7 PP 1 Builder, 1 Jester and 2 Landscapes, but did not earn any PP for Most Landscapes

Final Scores

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
3 Jason 0 59
2 Rod 500 57
1 John 300 56
4 Tom 300 54
5 Bruce 100 46


Jason won the tournament using a “pure Builder” strategy. This strategy has been used in the WBC Finals before, but never successfully. Here is a picture of his Principality at the end of the game:


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Mark M
United States
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Very impressive and congratulations to Jason and everyone else for a close game. I am a rank amateur at PoF and have not played in a few years, but glad to see someone carrying the torch. I have had someone do the builder strategy to me on BSW - pretty cool.
 
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Rod Spade
United States
Elizabethtown
Pennsylvania
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A player in my heat almost (and would have, if not for a 7th-round mistake) beat me with a builder strategy, and then Jason goes and (deservedly) wins the final with it! I'm either going to have to start playing the builder strategy or figure out how to reliably trounce it. meeple
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
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Jason paid $2100 for his three Builders, too. People often talk as though a successful Builder strategy game requires cheap Builders, but I wouldn't call an average of $700 per Builder cheap.
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Mike K
United States
Fairless Hills
Pennsylvania
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Pardon me for asking this, but how did Jason get to a WV of 15 in Round 5?
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
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Coyotek4 wrote:
Pardon me for asking this, but how did Jason get to a WV of 15 in Round 5?


I don't know, Mike. I'll have to check my records again.
 
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Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
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Uh oh.
 
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Eric Brosius
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The Princes of Florence » Forums » Sessions
Re: Princes of Florence WBC 2012 Final Game -- Detailed Sesson Report
Eric Brosius wrote:
I'll have to check my records again.


I believe I've found the problem. I reported a WV that was too low for Jason on Round 7 and one that was too high on Round 5. I must have incorrectly recorded his "Small Building + Landscape" Bonus in Round 7 when it should have been in Round 5.

I'll correct the report.

Thank you!
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Mike K
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Fairless Hills
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Is the Builder Bonus card +2 for each builder or +1? If the former, his last WV was for 21, not 18. (It would make no difference to the final result. Anyway, maybe his Bonus was "Builder + ______" instead.)
 
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Jason Levine
United States
Cooper City
Florida
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In round 5: I played the 2 per lake bonus card (which added 2 to the 13 I had as my base...giving me 15).

In round 7: I played the 1 per small building/landscape (which added 3 to the 15 I had as my base...giving me the 18).

Just an FYI...because I hadn't built my 2 small buildings the turn before (which would have guaranteed me 16 on turn 6 as I would have played it as a work then)...and because I drew a terrible bonus card (none with builders or building alone which would have given me at least the 4 WV points I needed to play it in either turn 6 or turn 7)...if I didn't get the jester in round 7 (and pay the 2 point hit to take it) then I would not have been able to make my 3rd work and would have been way behind in final scoring)...if I had a better bonus card then I would not have bid on anything in round 7 and just saved myself the 2 point hit...of course the other players at the table did not know that I needed those WV points from the jester...so I lucked out in that regard with the jester.

Note: any of these bonus cards would not have put me in the situation of relying of getting lucky with a jester in turn 7...

Each prestige card for 2: 4 WV
Each builder for 2: 6 WV
Each building for 1: 8 WV
Each builder and lake for 1: 4 WV
Each building size for 2: 6 WV
Each category for 1: 4 WV
Each medium building and forest for 1: 5 WV

So basically I had a lot of chances to get a card worth 4 or more WV and got 5 cards where the best one was small buildings/landscapes and that only gave me 3 WV points.

Oh...and when I mentioned this to Eric (about needing the jester) after the game...he said he totally saw my facial expression when I drew the bonus cards in round 6 and knew I didn't have enough to play it then or I would have played my work in round 6...(since I hadn't played the chapel yet and only would have gotten 2 points from the card in round 6 giving me 15 and not enough).
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