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Not content to present gamers with a small card game (Famiglia) and another expansion for his masterpiece (Power Grid: Russia/Japan), designer Friedemann Friese will also release a new big box game through his 2F-Spiele at Spiel 2010: Fürstenfeld. Here's a game description from the publisher:
Anno 1516: As a young sovereign you are cultivating your small Fürstenfeld to supply goods to the local breweries. But you still miss your greatest dream: your personal palace. Your status will finally rise high enough to leave the vexed farming behind and to demand taxes from the surrounding rural population, so you can finally live in peace.
You harvest hops, barley, and spring water, and increase your wealth with a growing agriculture. Additional buildings help you to get the necessary funds for building your desired palace. There are only two problems:
* First, the demand for goods at the breweries is limited. The more goods the players produce, the faster the prices drop. * Second, the palace needs more and more space. The closer you are coming to finishing your dream palace, the smaller is your personal field for farming.
Fürstenfeld is a game with easy rules, which allow players to start playing immediately. Each time you are confronted with new challenges: When do you start to build your palace? Which goods do you produce? Which additional buildings are helping you the most? And when you finally master the base game, the expert game will already be waiting for you!
Henning Kröpke, who works with Friedemann to prepare games from 2F-Spiele, passed along this additional information about Fürstenfeld:
Looking at the structure of Fürstenfeld, this game is very simple: players harvest goods, sell them, and, afterwards, build houses and production spaces. The special part is the permanent necessity to replace earlier built houses by new ones. Near the end of the game, players must even give up farming to finish their palace.
The excitement of the game is to find the exact moment to start building the palaces. As players normally go through their card supplies about one-and-a-half times during a game, a player will have a good chance to win the game if he successfully manages the changing prices at the breweries to his greatest advantage. To successfully play Fürstenfeld, it helps if a player can remember the order he placed unused cards beneath his card supply. In this way, a clever player can plan future moves as he discards unused cards.
Hopefully you have a lot of fun with this challenging game.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
Average Rating: 4.5 in 1 review
Fürstenfeld is a game designed by prolific green-haired designer Friedemann Friese, well known in the world of modern games for what is arguably his magnus opus, Power Grid. Furstenfeld is a newer game that first appeared at Essen 2010, and is now available in English from Rio Grande Games. To use the designer's own words, "This is a deck-building game but in a different kind of way." I personally consider it "deck-UNbuilding", because you start with a deck of 28 cards and slowly thin it as you buy and build various building cards from your deck onto your farm.
The brewery theme isn't the deepest, but I like it because it's somewhat non-conformist. Players manage a farm which supplies ingredients (spring water, barley, and hops) to local breweries, which in turn will earn players the finances to better develop their landholdings and eventually build a palace. The aim is to generate enough income to buy and build the six Palace cards (akin to the Province VPs in Dominion) from your deck, and the first player to do so wins the game. But in addition to the requirement of careful hand management and deck management, the real appeal for me was the interactive and clever market system that drives the financial aspect of the game - prices for goods vary depending on supply and demand.
It's not a deep or heavy economic game by any means, but for something that plays in 45-60 minutes, it offers a considerable dose of fun. Particularly with the advanced game (which is how Friese designed the game to be played), there are more decisions and more control than meets the eye. The game has suffered somewhat of a bad rap from people dismissing it too quickly as depending on luck-of-the-draw after only playing the introductory and beginner form of the game - which was intended only as a temporary stepping stone to the `real' game. Managing the cards requires careful decision making and planning, and the market system requires you to capitalize on the possibilities offered by interaction with the other plays. A very fun and recommended game from Mr Friese!