princes of florence

POF     
        10    11   
   17     20     22  
 

   Ballroom B    Paradise Terrace, Table #7

Eric Brosius, MA

2006 Champion

2nd: Rod Spade, PA

3rd: L Dan Hoffman, MD

4th: Sam Atabaki, CA

5th: Davyd Field, SC

6th: Thomas Johnston, IL
Event History
2001     Arthur Field     65
2002     Arthur Field     94
2003     Eric Brosius     88
2004      Eugene Lin     77
2005      Ian MacInnes     82
2006      Eric Brosius     57

Eric Brosius, MA

2007 GM

 
Laurels  

Many paths to victory

 Princes of Florence is one of the top-rated Euros. It ranks 6th out of 2767 games on boardgamegeek.com and 3rd out of 5065 on Aaron Fuegi’s list (scv.bu.edu/~aarondf/Top100/list.txt). We had 82 players in 2005, and the Builder strategy came to the fore like never before at WBC.

In Princes of Florence, you play a Renaissance aristocrat, seeking not cash (so bourgeois) but prestige. In each of the seven rounds you may purchase one item at auction and take two actions, and you must make the most of these 21 opportunities to win. At the start of the game, many strategic options are available, but the decisions you make as you go along limit your choices and force you to choose a course of action. Resources are scarce, and if your opponents purchase items you need, you must abandon Plan A in favor of Plan B, C or D. The hallmarks of a successful player are solid strategy and tactical flexibility.
 
There are many ways for an aristocrat to gain prestige. The most common is to attract scholars and artists of various professions to work in your principality. You may use their works to boost your prestige or sell them to raise funds for additional purchases. You may also gain prestige through the construction of beautiful buildings or landscapes, or through the purchase of Prestige Cards, but the most direct route to victory is by putting on works. This presents challenges, because at most 26 works can be put on during the game (an average of five per player,) and the Personality Cards and Jesters needed to put these works on are hotly contested during the auctions.

Tournament Format

This year’s event features two preliminary heats. You may play in as many as you wish. We will play 5-player games where possible, though we will probably have to play some 4-player games in the heats. In making the heat pairings we will try not to have you play more than one 4-player game. The semi-finals and Final will feature 5-player games as long as at least 25 players appear. If 20-24 players show up for the semi-finals, we will play five 4-player games. If 16-19 appear, the Final will also be a 4-player game. If fewer than 16 appear we’ll skip the semis and go straight to the Final round.

Semi-finals and Final games will be 5-player games in which players will bid florins for their choice of seating order; this addresses concerns that some positions are better than others. Money will be public.

Tiebreakers for advancement will be as specified by the standard WBC guidelines for MESE events:

1. Win in first heat entered

2. Most wins

3. Win in second heat entered

4. Win in third heat entered

5. Brought a copy of the game, if needed for the upcoming round

6. Total points in all games entered, where for each game your points equal the ratio of your score to the score of your highest-scoring opponent plus 100 points for a win, 20 points for 2nd place, or 5 points for 3rd place in a 5-player game

7. Average finish in all heats entered

8. Low numbered draw from Profession deck

The order of finish in a game is determined first by prestige points and then by florins. If there is a tie on prestige points and florins, then the tied player with the lowest numbered Profession card on display at the end of the game will be awarded the higher position.

A list of qualifiers plus alternates will be posted at the kiosk after the conclusion of the last heat. Depending on the results of the heat, you could advance without a win-alternatively, you could fail to advance even though you have a win.  If attendance is similar to that of recent years, however, all winners are likely to advance.

Rule Changes

We will make the following rule changes. All other rules will be as printed in the Rio Grande English edition.

1. In all games, money will be public. Florin pieces must be kept in full view. Players are entitled to know how much money other players have at any time.
 
2. Starting players will be chosen randomly for the heats, but we will bid for seating position in the semifinals and Final. Many players believe some positions have a significant advantage, so we will offset the inequity by letting players bid florins to obtain preferred positions. The bid cost offsets the benefit of the position. The GM will supply a chart for each game listing the five positions, with boxes for 0, 100, 200, 300, florins beside each position. The initial bidder will be chosen randomly. Going around the table in order, each player whose marker is not on the chart must place it in any empty box, as long as the bid is higher than any previous bid for that position. If your bid for a position is topped, you take the marker back and use it to bid again later. If your marker is already on the chart when it is your turn to bid, you must pass. Bidding ends when all markers are on the chart, and players rearrange their seats in accordance with the final bids. You must pay the amount of your final bid to the bank out of your starting cash before the game begins. You may bid 0 florins, but you may have to accept a less popular position as a result.

Rule Clarifications

1. During the Auction phase, all initial bids must be exactly 200 florins, and all raises must be exactly 100 florins. No jump bids are allowed.
 
2. You may bid more florins during the Auction phase than you have if you have enough points on the Prestige Point track to make up the difference. You spend Prestige Points at the rate of one per 100 florins only if you win the bid.
 
3. You may use a Recruiting card to recruit either immediately after purchase in the Auction phase or during your turn in the Action phase. You may not recruit at any other time.
 
4. Profession cards are numbered in the top corners for reference. These numbers do not contribute to the Work Value. They have no effect on the game except as a tiebreaker (see above.)
 
5. You may not build the same building type twice (e.g., you may not build two Towers in your principality.)
 
6. As a matter of “game etiquette" you may continue the game while another player selects a Prestige, Profession, or Bonus card, except in the 7th round where knowledge of your actions could significantly assist the player’s choice. You may also wait until the card is selected before you continue.
 
7. It is easy to forget to pay for an item or to score Prestige Points for purchases, so players at each table should carefully monitor each other to assure that all payments are made and all Prestige Points are credited. If possible, a non-playing banker/scorekeeper will be used for the Final.

 GM      Eric Brosius  [4th Year]   NA 
    public.brosius@comcast.net   NA
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