Prestige? or Wealth?
Nick Henning is unable to stop Randy
Buehler from winning his third tournament of the week.
Alex Bove last scored laurels in this
event three years ago. Back to the drawing board.
There's something special about Princes of Florence.
It's not one of those bourgeois games in which the players scrounge
for wealth. Such mean pursuits are beneath the dignity of the
aristocrats who play Princes of Florence - they care only
for prestige. Of course, if you run out of money, you can't afford
the latest fashions, your palazzo starts to look down at the
heels, and - most alarmingly - you can't attract top artists
to work in your principality. It's hard to maintain a healthy
bank account when you never check your balance (at least, not
while anyone else is looking.)
Attendance was strong this year, up 30% over 2010's total.
We had one player in a wheelchair, and our assigned room was
atop a short flight of stairs, so we used space in a nearby room
to provide accessibility. Such accommodations are usually possible
if you notify the GM of the need.
Heat 1 yielded six 5-player and three 4-player games. At one
table, Rod Spade and Daniel Eppolito finished in a tie at 56
VP each, but Daniel had 500 extra florins to Rod's 100 to win
by tiebreaker. Jason Levine had the largest margin of victory;
his 68 PP exceeded those of the runner-up by ten.
We played eight games in Heat 2, and many were close. Rich
Meyer edged Rod Spade and Brian Jones in a 4-player, and Curt
Collins squeaked past Greg Thatcher in a game that ended with
a margin of only 7 PP from first to fifth. On the other hand,
Jay Fox demolished the opposition in his game, winning by 16
19 qualifiers and three alternates appeared for the semis,
but we needed only the top alternate, Randy Buehler, to fill
five 4-player games. Jason Levine had the closest victory, by
1 PP over Edward Fear, leaving Edward with sixth place laurels.
David Platnick won by a bigger margin using a Builder strategy,
and putting on only three works but piling up 78 PP. Randy, our
lone alternate, won as well, beating GM and two-time champ Eric
Brosius, who finished second, by 4 PP.
In the elimination rounds, we bid for seating order. There's
little agreement about which seat is best in the 4-player game,
but most people prefer the second seat in a 5-player game. You
can view the data at the following link: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/686638
Randy bid 400 florins for the second seat, with Greg Thatcher
and 2007 champ Eric Freeman bidding 100 florins each for the
first and third seat respectively and Jason Levine and David
Platnick opting for the cheap seats (4th and 5th) for bids of
It was an unusual game, with David buying four Forests during
the course of the game and both Jason and Randy giving up PP
for money to fund purchases after there was spirited bidding
for a Lake and a Park in the Round 7 auction (so much for the
effortless lifestyle.) After the final set of actions, Eric was
in the lead, but each of the others had a Prestige Card yet to
reveal, and the scores were close enough that these cards would
determine the winner.
There were no Prestige Cards worth eight PP, but Greg's "Builder,
Jester and two Landscapes" card was worth seven PP. Randy's
"Most Lakes" card and Jason's "4 Buildings, 2
Freedoms and 4 Works" card were each worth six PP, and David's
"2 Large Buildings" card was worth five PP. After we
adjusted the players' scores by these amounts, Randy and Jason
were tied with 56 PP each!
Fortunately, the rules provide a tiebreaker for such cases.
The player with the most florins remaining is the winner. But
neither Randy or Jason had money left (remember that both had
given up PP for money.) Based on the rules as published, this
game would have been a tie, but no WBC tournament can end in
a tie, so I created a tiebreaker: the player with the lowest-numbered
Profession card on the table at the game end is the winner. We
checked and saw that Randy had the Mathematician (#1) in front
of him, while Jason's lowest-numbered Profession card was the
Pharmacist (#16). Randy won on the second tiebreaker in the closest
POF Final game in WBC history!
It was an unusually close game from first to last. The final
Randy 56, Jason 56, Greg 55, Eric 53, David 51.
I wrote up a detailed play-by-play account; you can read all
about it at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/686628
Congratulations to Randy, and thanks to everyone who took
part in this year's tournament. If you're interested in Princes
of Florence, come to WBC next year and join us. I'll explain
the game during the demo and you can display your hauteur to
Eddie Burmester and John Morris
Curt Collins, Bill Zurn, Deniz Bucak
and Robert Kircher
Euro Quest Laurelists
Aran Warszawski, Israel
Rod Spade, PA
Robert Cranshaw, RI
Doug Galullo, MD
Randy Buehler, WA