English language edition of Patrizier
List Price: $35.00
Your Price: $31.50
(Worth 3,150 Funagain Points!)
from 1 customer review
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Throughout the Middle Ages, wealthy and influential men and women across Italy wished to prove their importance. They desired a solid, visible symbol of their power and prosperity. So, they built magnificent tower-like buildings: the more influential the family, the taller the towers! But the competition never let up, and if a family should ever lose influence, newer, taller towers quickly appeared.
As a master builder of these "Patrician Towers", you stand ready to profit from the vanity of these patrician families. You will build their towers, adding floor after floor. And when the towers are complete, you will be there to take the credit!
In Patrician, players compete to build the tallest towers in cities across Italy. You must shrewdly accept the building orders of the patrician families to position yourself in the right place at the right time. Play your cards right, and your name will be famous among the rich and powerful!
My first reaction to Patrician (Mayfair, 2007 – Michael Schacht) was one of annoyance. The boring cover, drab woman included, screamed that this was yet another game about the Middle Ages. COME ON NOW! Is there a testing group somewhere that hears about a space/cowboy/supermarket theme for a game, and then unilaterally decides to change it to the Middle Ages? Show some diversity, folks!
Okay, rant out of the way – I have to say I wasn’t too excited about Patrician, until I played it once. Then, I suddenly realized that this was an exceptionally fun little tower building game. It was simple, enjoyable, and had a good amount of interaction. I like pretty much any game that involves physically building towers, and Patrician was a terrific mixture of lightness and strategy. The theme is certainly drab, carried on into the artwork, but game play is simple enough that I think this might be a mild hit amongst those looking for a meatier “filler”.
The board is double-sided, but one side is only used in a five-player game (there are ten cities on it rather than nine). Each player is given a certain amount of tower pieces (amount determined by the number of players), and a deck of cards is shuffled – with some marked cards shuffled and three dealt to each player. One card is drawn and placed face up next to each of the cities on the board. Each city also has two point tokens placed next to it: “5” and “2”, “7” and “4”, or “9” and “6”. One player is chosen to go first, with play proceeding clockwise around the table.
A player’s turn is very simple, as they play a card and then draw a card. Each card has two items on it: a city crest that matches one of the cities on the board (some cards have a double crest), a picture of one of three Patricians (some pictures are doubled), and /or a special symbol. When a player plays the card, they must place one floor per city crest in the matching city. Each city has two areas for towers, and a player can place their floors in either or both. If other tower pieces are already there, then the player places their floors on top of the ones there. Each area must have one floor, but there is no other limit – other than the higher point token of that city. The total number of city crests equals this number – meaning that is the maximum number of floors allowed in that city.
After placing the floors, if the player has used a card that shows a tower piece, they may move the top floor in one OTHER city to the other tower location in that city. Either way, the player places the card that they have played face up in a pile in front of them and draws the card at the city in which they built. If the city’s face-up card shows a symbol with a question mark, the player may instead choose any face up card on the table. The card taken is then replaced, and it is the next player’s turn.
If a player plays the last floor of a city, then that city is immediately scored. The player with the most floors in the tower that is taller takes the point token that is more valuable; the player with the most floors in the smaller tower takes the other point token. If players are tied for floors in a tower, the player involved in the tie whose piece is higher in the tower wins the token. That city no longer has a card placed in front of it.
The game continues until all cards are played, at which point any remaining towns are scored. Players then reveal all the cards in their pile and sort out any patrician portraits that they have. For each set of three of the same portrait, the player scores six points, which is added to all the point tokens they received during the game. The player with the most points is the winner!
Some comments on the game…
I suppose that Patrician is just another medieval-themed area control game. And, without the tower pieces, I might have a hard time getting it played. But, hooking people with the wooden floors, I can entice people into a very fun, quick game that simply has an unfortunate theme. Regardless, I think Patrician will be one of the my most played games of 2007. It’s not simply because the game is simple to teach and quick to play. Instead, it’s a mixture of tower building, area control, and getting the right card at the right time. A satisfying game is Patrician.
“Real men play board games”