Based on my first play, the game seems great, I enjoyed it even better than Vinhos. Gameplay feels more fluid and fast than Vinhos with the same kind of hard decisions to be made. Hope to play it more soon.
This is a very very good medium weight game. The theme works well, it is fun and challenging. I don't find the contracts unbalanced at all. And they are really important to the final points, so your strategies must follow its demands.
This is a great game. My last play with three players was won by only one point! There are some different ways to succeed and the path is never an obvious one. Specialists have a very important role. There is so little time to make everything one would like to do. Everything seems important, and timing is essential. The weather tiles make the game change a lot from one play to the other. One must be prepared to the bad years to come, but how?
I´ve had more than twenty plays. It ´s a great game. In my opinion, it gets even better with a variant or two on the rules.
The Pope´s library is the one that deserves a variant, otherwise it is not very important, since everyone manage to get a book (value of 2-4 points, maximum difference between players will be 2 points, ok, this is a close end game, but it is too much on the luck factor). Let a player keep up to two books with only one chance to take them (if a player gets to the point of #2 or more on the track). This makes the track more interesting (may give 4-8 points and reward the investiment on this track).