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Subject: First Play of French Edition rss

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Mark Edwards
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Medici: Jeremy, Gary, Bob C, Bob S, Bruce and Mark

I had to own the new (not quite so new, but new to me) French version of Medici, not for the new artwork and production, but rather for the new cards introduced. I know a portion of you are screaming "Why mess with a classic?!?". Well as the French say, "Why not?" (only they say it in French). I'm an inveterate rules tweaker myself so I have no problem with the idea of mucking with just about any game (I've even messed with Acquire! I can feel Dave B wincing from here).

There are 4 new cards that are shuffled into the deck and auctioned off just like the standard cards. There's a wild 5-value card which can be any good you wish. It goes without saying that it's a very cool card. Then there's the extra ship capacity card, which allows you to carry up to 6 cards on your ship. (Note: of the special cards only the wild 5 counts against your ship's capacity). This extra ship capacity card keeps thing interesting even for the players that have 5 goods in the ships as if it comes up for auction alone, or with a single other card it can be bid on by them. Also very cool and a neat twist. Next is the "captain" card which if you possess breaks all ties in your favor (for ship total value and on the goods ladders). It doesn't sound very interesting but it actually was quite handy and made a much bigger difference than you'd think. Finally there's the Bruno card (Bruno Faidutti contributed to the this version of the game). I don't know if Bruno actually had anything to do with this card, but it seems like his handiwork. It's a re-auction card. When you win it you can immediately choose any card in any player's boat to be re-auctioned. The original owner is not allowed to bid on the card but can match any winning bid to keep it. So guess what, you paid 20 for that 10 gold card? Well pay for it again.

I may be a variant lover but I disliked the idea of that card so much I immediately pulled it out of the deck. I didn't even want to see how it worked in action. I just couldn't imagine how it would add anything but chaos to the game. I rethought this position after the game and it's probably worth trying at least once and I'll endeavor to do so soon. In short, I should've at least given it a shot. One tweak I came up with that might make that card more palatable for me (and perhaps others) is that you can only re-auction one of your own cards and you get to keep the winnings of that auction. So it could be a way to rid yourself of a '0' card or perhaps you might want to go for a little profit and auction off a card that you know other players would find enticing (they need to break a tie on a goods ladder, get into bonus points, etc.)

Okay, there's the special cards, but those crazy French weren't done tweaking so they decided to change some of the existing rules too. The auction's are bid until you drop instead of once around and the dealer cannot flip more cards than *he* is capable of carrying (instead of any player). Unfortunately we didn't get to try these changes out as I had missed them when I looked up the rules (I figured they had just added the cards).

All in all I really enjoyed the new cards! They added some neat new twists and kept folks on their toes due to the new possibilities (bidding when your ship is full being the most apparent). I'm willing to try the new rules changes too and look forward to our next play.

Now to the bad part of this edition. Basically I hated the production values. Gone are the wooden bits replaced by cardboard counters (when has that EVER been a good idea?). To add insult to injury they used colors like orange and red, purple and blue and the colors of the scoring markers don't match up with the colors on the goods markers. Thanks for thinking of us color blind folks! That's it from now on I'm calling em "Freedom Fries". I liked the new artwork on the cards themselves and it matched up well with the board. They could've made a bit more real estate available though. Overall a big thumbs down on the production (especially given the price). Maybe I can bastardize my Rio Grande version and make a decent Franco-US version with the new cards, etc. I'll call it the "Lafayette Edition".

Also of note is FNG Bruce's behavior in this game. In the last round he outbid my 3-bid(!!) for a '0' good coupled with the extra ship capacity card just to prevent me from getting into the 10 bonus space on that good's ladder. Mind you I was in last place, he had no interest in the good (he was solidly stuck in third) and obviously the '0' added no value to his ship. Thanks Bruce. Did I mention you're not invited back? ;-)

Young Bob ran away with the win.
 
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Sight Reader
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DangerMouse wrote:
When you win it you can immediately choose any card in any player's boat to be re-auctioned. The original owner is not allowed to bid on the card but can match any winning bid to keep it. So guess what, you paid 20 for that 10 gold card? Well pay for it again.


I guess my French is not that good, but I thought you had to auction one of your OWN cards, not someone else's... is that correct? It would totally suck if you could just snatch one of your enemy's cards and put it up for re-auction! I think its best use is to get rid of that zero value card eating up space on your boat...
 
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Mark Edwards
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sightreader wrote:

I guess my French is not that good, but I thought you had to auction one of your OWN cards, not someone else's... is that correct? It would totally suck if you could just snatch one of your enemy's cards and put it up for re-auction! I think its best use is to get rid of that zero value card eating up space on your boat...


Hmmm, according to Andy's translation here on the Geek you can auction any card, yours or another players...

Andy Parsons wrote:
This card permits its owner to return to auction a card that has already been bought, either by themselves or by another player. Special cards may be re-auctioned in this way.

The new bid card must be used as soon as it is acquired. The owner of the card that is put up for auction may not bid for it, but when the auction is over they may buy back the card by matching the highest bid. If there is no bid for the card, its owner may keep or discard it.

 
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Jay Borden
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Our group has always played with the "can only flip what you have room for" variant. It may have just been a rule blunder way back in the day, but I couldn't see playing without it now.

The once-around style auction is what really makes Medici. There wouldn't be nearly as much to chosing a bid if you could just start at 1 and work your way up. It may not be bad, but I don't think it would play anything like the original game.

I know this session was posted a while ago, have you been able to play again with any of the other new rules?
 
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Mark Edwards
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Quote:
Our group has always played with the "can only flip what you have room for" variant. It may have just been a rule blunder way back in the day, but I couldn't see playing without it now.


I think it works either way, but I'll have to play a few more times with the variant to know which I like better.

Quote:
The once-around style auction is what really makes Medici. There wouldn't be nearly as much to chosing a bid if you could just start at 1 and work your way up. It may not be bad, but I don't think it would play anything like the original game.


Agreed.

Quote:
I know this session was posted a while ago, have you been able to play again with any of the other new rules?


We've played a couple of times, although we have yet to play it completely as written with the French rules. We've played that you can put one of your OWN cards up for auction and that you get the profits (it's a way to rid yourself of an unwanted card and get some profits). One of these days we'll try it straight by the French rules. Maybe. ;-)
 
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Jasen Robillard
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I played a 5er with all the new French cards last night. I agree with your original assessment regarding the "finger" card. It made things overtly too nasty for my tastes. It came in all 3 rounds: once targeting a 10, the next time targeting a boat, and the last round targeting a 1 one the second lot of the round.

The targeting of the boat brought up a rule deficiency as the previous owner of the boat had acquired 6 goods and then lost the boat. What happens in that case? We played it such that they had to discard a card of their choice to bring themselves back down to 5 cards - decidedly nasty.

After the game, my wife and I both decided it would be best to play without the finger card to avoid situations like the one above. I must admit though that I like the idea of using the finger to divest yourself of a card and make some profits. I think we'll try it with this variant. The question about the boat still remains though...
 
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Sight Reader
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Baldboy_1 wrote:
I must admit though that I like the idea of using the finger to divest yourself of a card and make some profits. I think we'll try it with this variant. The question about the boat still remains though...


Not knowing any better, this is the only way we played the finger card and it works very well, although you have to be careful to not lose track of whose turn it is after the mini-auction.
 
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