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Store:  Strategy Games
Genre:  Bluffing / Outguessing
Format:  Board Games


Your Price: $34.95
(Worth 3,495 Funagain Points!)

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Ronald Hofstatter

Manufacturer(s): Asmodee North America, Queen

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Product Description

As any citizen with a newly washed car knows, the true rulers of Venice are... the pigeons. Up to four Pigeon families fight for succession of the Pigeon Doge. Each round consists of three phases: Family Council, Piazza San Marco and Boroughs. Phase actions are card driven. Pigeons first land in San Marco. In a showdown, they fight for favors among the bread-tossing tourists. Fed pigeons are able to reproduce. Action cards change majorities in boroughs, and if players have kept some pigeons in reserve, they may also influence majorities. Majorities in boroughs with nests of other Pigeon families score points, with the first player to score 50 points winning the game.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Ronald Hofstatter

  • Manufacturer(s): Asmodee North America, Queen

  • Artist(s): Elena Obermuller

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,050 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components contain some foreign text, possibly requiring occasional reference to rules translation. An English translation of the rules is provided.


  • 1 game board
  • 72 cards
  • 4 home bases
  • 160 pigeon markers
  • 1 black wood figure
  • 6 gray cubes
  • 3 orange cubes
  • 2 black cubes
  • 1 spinner card

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3 in 3 reviews

Don't pigeon-hole this one
September 09, 2003

I picked up a sale-priced copy of this game a year or two ago and I've never regretted it. While I have only played it a few times, I can safely say that it is a very good area-influence game (ala El Grande or San Marco, etc.) with some interesting little twists.

Obviously the humor comes from the fact that you are playing antagonistic pigeon clans, but there's plenty of stuff here to make for a decent gaming experience.

Funagain must have acquired a number of copies of this at some point in the past as I often see it on sale, but don't disregard it as just another mediocre strategy game... It's definitely worth the sale price and I'd even go so far as to say that it's worth it's regular price, as well!

El Grande with Pigeons
June 13, 2001

This one took quite a bit longer than I thought it would. The placing of pigeons is fairly straightforward, and you score every round, unlike [page scan/se=0040/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]El Grande. However, there is a game of [page scan/se=0439/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Chinese Checkers played by each player every round in the Piazza San Marco as they jump pigeons over pigeons in order to land on (or near) the tourists or else to pin other pigeons between two of your pigeons. As each player gets to move every one of his pigeons, this bogged down the game as players tried to figure out the absolute optimimum sequence of moves and jumps to do in a turn.

It's interesting, and I have always enjoyed Chinese Checkers, but the two parts of the game seem a little disjointed. And as I said, it slows down the game.

The rest of the game plays well, and there are several very powerful event cards. As every player has a complete set of event cards, and priority for playing them goes to the player in last place, they work out to be a good balancing factor. You can get previously played event cards back by having the majority of pigeons on San Giorgio Maggiore island, which gives one extra target for your pigeons to shoot for.

My one big question is: Why 3 and 6 points? Nobody ever has a score which is not a multiple of three, so two thirds of the spaces on the scoring track aren't ever used.

In summary, a good game which feels like El Grande light, and therefore should be shorter than El Grande. Unfortunately it isn't.

by Ron
Cute concept, gameplay lacking a bit
June 13, 2001

Played this one last night for the first time. The pigeon theme is pretty funny, but that's really all I can say that's good.

There's a huge amount of randomness in the Piazza phase, which is where you generate more pigeons. Two tourists randomly show up somewhere in the grid, (see the spinner in the picture). And you can move each of your pigeons one space or jump any number of pigeons to get close to the tourists. If you're next to or on top of a tourist, you get food, and therefore more pigeons. If you can't get there, you're hosed.

There are also a few mechanics that just don't seem to make sense. Depending on the card you put face down, you can bluff about whether you're putting pigeons into the Piazza, but nobody really cares. And the special cards vary in usefulness from extremely powerful to almost pointless.

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