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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 did this in 2008 and 2009 also; you can read those reports at the following links.)

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

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

The 2010 final was a 4-player game, since attendance was down and only 19 players showed up for the semifinals. The players were Eric Freeman, Aran Warszawski, Rod Spade and Rob Flowers. In general, the players were less experienced dealing with 4-player games at the highest level of competition, though each of them had just finished winning a 4-player semifinal after qualifying by winning a heat (Rob Flowers won both of his heats.) I'm posting this report to provide an example you may play through and perhaps learn something about the game. Here's how it went:

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. Of course, the values are probably different (and I think seating order matters less) in a 4-player game, so we might have expected lower bids. Eric was first to bid, and he bid $200 to play Seat 3. Aran bid $100 to play Seat 1. Rod then bid $0 to play Seat 2, and Rob accepted Seat 4 at no cost. We rearranged the seating order accordingly and each player paid his bid to the bank.

Seat Cash
-----------------
1 Aran 3400
2 Rod 3500
3 Eric 3300
4 Rob 3500


Round 1 --- Auction
As 1st player, Aran started by auctioning a Jester that Eric bought for $1400. Aran then auctioned a Builder that Rob bought for $600. He auctioned a Recruiter, which he was able to buy for $400. As the last one in the auction, Rod took a Lake for $200.

Round 1 --- Actions

1. Aran bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Religion for $300
2. Rod bought Freedom of Travel for $300 and played #19 Poet for 9 WV, taking $900 + 0 PP
3. Eric bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Opinion for $300
4. Rob bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Religion for $300

Rod earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 2400 0
2 Rod 3900 3
3 Eric 1300 0
4 Rob 2300 0


Round 2 --- Auction
Rod auctioned a Jester and Aran bought it for $1300. He then auctioned a Builder and bought it himself for $400. Eric auctioned a Recruiter and bought it for $600. This allowed Rob to take a Forest for $200.

Round 2 --- Actions

1. Rod bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Religion for $300
2. Eric bought a Profession Card for $300 and played #8 Goldsmith for 11 WB, taking $1100 + 0 PP
3. Rob bought a Profession Card for $300 and Freedom of Travel for $300
4. Aran built a Studio for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #14 Sculptor for 14 WV, taking $1400 + 0 PP

Aran earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 1800 6
2 Rod 2900 3
3 Eric 1500 0
4 Rob 1500 0


Round 3 --- Auction

Eric auctioned a Recruiter and Rob bought it for $700. He auctioned a Jester to Rod for $1200, and then took a Builder for $200. This allowed Aran to take a Lake for $200.

Round 3 --- Actions

1. Eric bought a Profession Card for $300 and played #13 Composer for 12 WV, taking $800 + 2PP
2. Rob recruited #14 Sculptor from Aran, built a Tower for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #14 Sculptor for 12 WV, taking $1200 + 0 PP
3. Aran bought a Profession Card for $300 and played #15 Painter for 15 WV, taking $1100 + 2 PP
4. Rod built a Workship for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #7 Watch Maker for 16 WV, taking $600 + 5 PP

Rod earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 2400 8
2 Rod 2000 14
3 Eric 1800 2
4 Rob 1700 3


Round 4 --- Auction

Rob put a Jester up for auction and Aran got it for $1100. He then auctioned a Prestige Card and got it for $200. Rod bought a Recruiter for $600. This allowed Eric to take a Forest for $200.

Round 4 --- Actions

1. Rob played #20 Astronomer for 16 WV, taking $200 + 7 PP, and built a Laboratory for $300 (gaining 3 PP)
2. Aran built a University for $700 (gaining 3 PP) and played #1 Mathematician for 20 WV, taking $1400 + 3 PP
3. Rod recruited #15 Painter from Aran, built a Hospital for $300 (gaining 3 PP), and built a Studio for $300 (gaining 3 PP)
4. Eric built a Laboratory for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #21 Organ Maker for 15 WV, taking $100 + 7 PP

Aran earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 2000 17
2 Rod 800 20
3 Eric 1400 12
4 Rob 1400 13


Round 5 --- Auction

Aran auctioned a Jester to Eric for $900, then bought a Recruiter for $800. Rod then bought a Forest for $200. This allowed Rob to take a Park for $200.

Round 5 --- Actions

1. Aran built a Library for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #10 Cartographer for 21 WV, taking $500 + 8 PP
2. Rod bought a Profession Card for $300 (surprising Eric, who hadn't noticed there was one left) and played #17 Physician for 18 WV, taking $400 + 7 PP
3. Eric built a University for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #3 Philosopher for 21 WV, taking $700 + 7 PP
4. Rob built a Theater for $300 (gaining 3 PP) and played #18 Dramatist for 16 WV, taking $0 + 8 PP

Aran and Eric both earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 1000 31
2 Rod 700 27
3 Eric 900 25
4 Rob 900 24

At this point Rob remarked on the fact that he was in last place on the score track


Round 6 --- Auction

Rod auctioned a Jester card to Rob for $700 and a Park to Aran for $300. He then put a Prestige Card up for sale and Eric bought it for $500. This allowed Rod to buy a Lake for $200, gaining 3 PP.

Round 6 --- Actions

1. Rod bought a Bonus Card for $300 and played #9 Goldsmith for 18 WV, taking $200 + 8 PP
2. Eric thought for a while, then played #11 Jurist for 17 WV, taking $300 + 7 PP and bought a Bonus Card for $300
3. Rob played #4 Botanist for 18 WV, taking $400 + 7 PP, and built an Opera for $300, gaining 3 PP
4. Aran bought Freedom of Travel for $300, played #2 Theologian for 21 WV, taking $100 + 10 PP, and recruited #14 Sculptor from Rob

Aran earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 500 44
2 Rod 400 38
3 Eric 400 32
4 Rob 300 34


Round 7 --- Auction

Eric put a Builder up for auction and bought it for $200, gaining 3 PP. Rob then put a Prestige Card up for auction and bought it for $200 when no one else bid. Aran put a Lake up for auction and bought it for $200 (gaining 3 PP.) This allowed Rod to take a Jester for $200.

Round 7 --- Actions

1. Eric recruited #4 Botanist from Rob, played #4 Botanist for 20 WV using the Categories Bonus Card, taking $0 + 10 PP, and played #5 Alchemist for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP
2. Rob played #6 Physicist for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP, and #12 Choreographer for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP
3. Aran played #14 Sculptor for 18 WV, taking $0 + 9 PP, recruited #4 Botanist from Eric, and played #4 Botanist for 17 WV, taking $100 + 8 PP
4. Rod played #16 Pharmacist for 18 WV using the Jester and Freedom Bonus Card, taking $0 + 9 PP and #15 Painter for 20 WV, taking $0 + 10 PP

Rod and Eric both earned 3 PP for Best Work

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
1 Aran 400 64
2 Rod 200 60
3 Eric 200 57
4 Rob 100 52


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

Aran had no Prestige cards
Rod had no Prestige cards
Eric earned 6 PP for Most Builders
Rob earned 6 PP for Most Buildings (with only 4) and 7 PP for 1 Builder, 1 Jester and 2 Landscapes

Final Scores

Seat Cash PPs
--------------------
2 Aran 400 64
4 Rod 200 60
3 Eric 200 63
1 Rob 100 65
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Stephen
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Rod and Rob. laugh

Nice session report! I'm surprised no one went for a builder strategy, especially given how cheaply the builders were going. Also, it looks like two works on the last turn is definitely the way to go.

It does seem a little weird that a prestige card went for $200 on the last turn. Shouldn't that have been likely to be worth more than three points to anybody?
 
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Phil Sauer
United States
Willow Street
Pennsylvania
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Nice report, Eric. Many thanks for posting this.
 
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John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Eric, thanks for posting this.

Congrats to Rob, the winner. Also, kudos to the runner-up, Aran, who reached the Puerto Rico final later in the week and came in third.
 
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Rob McFadden
United States
Cherry Hill
New Jersey
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Thanks for this report, Eric...and the previous two!
 
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Aran Warszawski
Israel
Rehovot
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Thanks for the report as always Eric.

I had 4 interesting points in the game.
The 1st was the pregame bidding, I thought the 1st player has the advantage for getting another profession card if all take one in their turn. but:
1. it does not get an extra card (I am an idiot )
2. not every turn players take profession cards, its not a 5 player game (I am an idiot )

2nd point was on round 3, where I decided to build a work now for 15 instead of waiting till next tun to do it better, I knew Rod can build a building and make 16, But there was one last profession card in the game, and I thought he would have prefer to take it instead. This one cost me allot, as I didn't score 3VP for best work.

3rd point, is round 5 after building my work and taking $500. I knew I needed a Park at turn 6, but didn't decided yet if I want a jester for best work at 7th round or not, at the end I didn't take the jester as I thought I will not have best work anyway. So I should have taken at least 1 more if not 2 more points.

4th point was the bidding in last round, I made the huge mistake of not watching Rob come from behind, I saw I had Eric and Rod covered probably, so I took a safety Lake or park for 3PP, in retrospect I should have seen Rob can pass me, If I bid 300 on the prestige, Rob may pass as he needs to sacrifice a point for that, and it might get me 0. so I still not sure what I should have done there.
Than comes the Park/Jester decision, I thought because Eric and Rod had a bonus card I will not have best work anyway, but if I would have gone for the jester, I would have made 2 more PP direct from the 2 works, and got tied for best work with 20, which is another 3PP minus the 3PP for not taking the 2nd park/lake, means 2 PP more.
But as I wrote I was sure I was winning anyway and didn't want to take any chances. I didn't notice Rob.

So this all shows I am not experienced enough in this game as I might have been, but I learned allot.

Congratulations to Rob again, one of the nicest and best players in the WBC I know.
Also thanks to Eric and Rod for an excellent final, I enjoyed it allot.
Thanks again for Eric, who is doing a marvelous job in GMing this thing.
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Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
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I was surprised that Aran did not win with four best work bonuses and that Rob did win with none. It just goes to show that there really are multiple paths to victory in Princes of Florence!
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Captain Planet
Canada
Burnaby
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I love it how Rob remarked that he was in last and then won the game .
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Rob Flowers

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I'm still not sure I understand how to play this game. I remember all of my games being very different.

My first game I believe I got by on 5 works, a prestige card, a couple of buildings and LOTS of bonus cards to get best work four times.

Second game again I got 5 works, 1 or 2 prestige cards, and 4 buildings with NO builder.

Semifinal I can't remember as well, except that 2 of the 4 players made unfortunate mistakes (like accidentally buying the wrong building), so it was hard to say who would have won had we been able to catch such things in time.

Final, I was pretty sure I was going to build 4 buildings pretty early, and I was aware there were profession cards sitting out there for the taking, but I couldn't figure out how to pick up more and still have enough actions left to do everything.

Without getting many jesters, professions, or bonus cards, I was missing out on best work. So I had to use prestige cards to make up the difference and barely managed to do it.
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