princes of florence

Updated 4/23/2010

POF   HMWG  
        17  20     
       21 
     11  

Wheatland   Ballroom B   Strasburg
Terrace, Table #5

Thomas Browne, PA

2009 Champion

2nd: Chris Senhouse, MA

3rd: Bruce DuBoff, NJ

4th: Rod Spade, PA

5th: Davyd Field, SC

6th: Jason Long, PA
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
2007     Eric Freeman     72
2008    Alex Bove     67
2009    Thomas Browne     58

Eric Brosius, MA

2010 GM

3 Top Six GM nominations

Links

 
Laurels  

Many paths to victory

Princes of Florence is a Top 20 game on Boardgamegeek.com. Although it is celebrating its tenth anniversary, it keeps making it to the table, with 2500 plays recorded on Boardgamegeek in 2009 and a new printing scheduled.

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 options and force you to make difficult choices. Resources are scarce, and if your opponents purchase items you need, you will need to find an alternate plan. The hallmarks of a successful player are solid strategy and tactical flexibility.

There are many ways for an aristocrat to gain prestige, but the most common is to attract scholars and artists of various professions to work in your principality. You may take advantage of their works to boost your prestige, or you may sell them to raise funds to further your plans. You may also gain prestige by constructing beautiful buildings and landscapes, or by buying 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 (about 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 tournament will have two preliminary heats. You may play in either or both. We will play 5-player games where possible, though some 4-player games may be necessary in the heats. If at least 25 qualifiers appear, the semif-inals will have five 5-player games. If 20-24 players appear, we will play five 4-player games. If 16-19, we'll play four 4-player games. All semi-final winners will advance to the Final (but if fewer than 16 qualifiers appear for the semi-finals, we'll skip the semis and go straight to a 5-player Final.)

Tiebreakers for advancement to the semi-finals will be:

1. Most wins

2. Win in first heat entered

3. 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

4. Average finish in all heats entered

5. Low numbered random 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. Unless attendance increases, however, all winners are likely to advance.

Rule Changes

We will make the following rules 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 semi-finals and Final. Many players believe some positions have a significant advantage, a concern we address 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  [8th Year]   NA 
    public.brosius@comcast.net   NA

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