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Subject: A Brief Review of Trieste rss

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J. Chris Miller
United States
Plano
TX
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When I first saw Tom Vassel review this game, I knew I would enjoy it. It sort of fell off my radar though, and then recently I watched a top 10 of theirs and it showed up again. I came to the forum to read more about it, and decided it was interesting enough to give it a shot.

In this review, I will give a brief overview of the game, and give my final thoughts. Onto the review.

Gameplay Overview
The game takes place over 5 phases, in order of each of the 3 factions. Here is the order: City Watch, Merchant, and Thief. The reason this is important is because the City Watch and Merchant actions will happen before the Thief's action will have a chance to resolve, and therefore the Thief may not even get to take his action. It's also important because when victory conditions are met, the City Watch goes first, and if they have met their condition, the game immediately ends and they win, even if the Merchant or Thief have also met their victory condition.

Victory Conditions
City Watch - The City Watch wins if they have captured 7 thieves by the End Phase.
Merchant - The Merchant wins by having their total value of treasure in hand equal 11 + the total level of the thieves captured by the City Watch by the End Phase.
Thief - The Thief wins by having 9 Infamy by the End Phase.



Phases
1. Draw Phase - In order, each player draws 2 cards. They can both be from the player deck, both from the treasure deck, or one of each.

2. Play Phase - In order, each player plays a card face down. You can play a character card, an action card, or a treasure card. If you play a copper or silver, this would allow you to draw 1 or 2 cards from the Treasure deck respectively during the Effect Phase of the game. You cannot use Diamond or Gold cards to draw cards.

3. Payment Phase - In order, each player reveals the card they played. They will pay the cost of the card, located in the upper-left hand corner. Discarded cards go in discard piles next to their respective decks.

4. Effect Phase - In order, resolve the effects of the cards. Thieves are captured and put on top of the City Watch Law and Order card, which is simply a reminder of the victory condition that is visible to all players. If the Thief gains Infamy, he will take the appropriate amount of Infamy gained and place it in front of him for all to see.

5. End Phase - In order, players check to see if victory conditions are met. If so, that player wins the game. In case of a tie, it goes in order: City Watch, Merchant, Thief. Whoever is first in that order wins.



Thoughts
This game is dripping with theme. All of the cards and gameplay place you into a world of medieval theme, and each faction plays thematically. For example, the City Watch plays cards to try and capture the Thief, but the Thief dodges the City Watch by playing various level cards to elude them. The Thief is constantly stealing treasure from the Merchant, and the greedy Merchant tries to hoard as much gold as possible. This game of cat-and-mouse is something I have never experienced with such vividness in a card game before.

When I first tried the game with a couple of other gamers, we originally thought the game felt a bit unbalanced toward the City Watch. But because the game was so much fun, we kept playing and found the game to be extremely balanced, but each faction took some skill to play effectively.

The game also has Hero cards which I did not mention in the review. These add a special bonus either one time or for the entire game, and add more to the already thick layers of strategy. This game feels like something along the lines of Love Letter or Coup, but with so much more. I guess the reason I compare it to those games is because it is a fairly quick card game. Each game will take roughly 15 or so minutes. But there is a lot of action packed into that time.



The components being entirely made up of cards are of superb quality. I always sleeve my card games, but the stock is on par for a card game. All of the cards fit into the box when sleeved, which is important to me and a lot of other gamers. The artwork is gorgeous, and the card backs are really cool looking, giving you a gentle reminder that you're playing Trieste, one of the coolest card games ever made. The rulebook is also nice, with full color and is very descriptive. It took a short time to read and digest the rules.

It's not too difficult to tell by now that I love this game. From the medieval setting, to the rich artwork, to the incredible thematic gameplay, this game has me wanting more and more. In fact, we never switched factions throughout the 7 or so games in a row we played of Trieste. We thought it would be neat to just sort of fall into character and remain that way throughout our session. We each won a couple games a piece, and both of the gamers I played with walked away saying they were definitely getting this game.

Trieste is an excellent 3-player strategic card game with a medieval theme and feel. If you're at all intrigued by this review, I suggest you head over to the website of Victory Point Games to check it out. You'll be happy you did.


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steven smolders
Belgium
Heist-op-den-Berg
Antwerpen
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Will play almost everything. Unless i hate it ;)
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Nice review.
It lookes like a great game indeed, but i'll never buy it cause of language dependent. As i play with my family and my daughter can't read enlish yet.
To bad tho cause we always do 3 player games it would be a great addition to our collection.
 
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Jo Bartok
Germany
Zwingenberg
Hessen
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Interaction leads to Immersion.
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I can recommend The Boss then; very good 3p game, no language dependency.
 
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Ravage Board Gaming
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Funny - I thought most people were saying the Merchants were unbalanced when the group is learning, but you say the Watch? I guess this is testament to the game balance that different groups are having different results.

Received it yesterday - playing tomorrow. Also to disagree with your post - I feel the cards aren't of the highest quality. Could do with a linen finish and slightly thicker stock imo. Almost feel like the ink will start rubbing away fairly soon so I think sleeving is advised.
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