Splendor is a fast-paced and addictive game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops — all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you’re wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.
On your turn, you may (1) collect chips (gems), or (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you take either three different kinds of chips or two chips of the same kind. If you buy a card, you pay its price in chips and add it to your playing area. To reserve a card — in order to make sure you get it, or, why not, your opponents don’t get it — you place it in front of you face down for later building; this costs you a round, but you also get gold in the form of a joker chip, which you can use as any gem.
All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.
All of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to take your romantic letters to her. Will yours reach her first?
Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire!
Number 4 in the Tempest Shared World Game Series
Serenissima is the new Ystari edition of the 1996 game (Méditerranée in France). The rules have been updated and the game is more fluid.
In Serenissima players represent a merchant family during the Renaissance. Players attempt to balance the need of trading and open commerce versus the cut-throat economic piracy of the day. Players create a fleet of ships to purchase and move various commodities around the Mediterranean while also keeping well manned ships to attack and defend against other player’s fleets.
In Venetia, players compete to become the most prosperous and influential noble family in the history of the Serenissima Republic. From its rise in the ninth century to its decline and fall in the eighteenth, players take part in the golden age that built the city that once was the Queen of the Mediterranean.
Each player controls a patrician household, vying for power against other influential families. To gain clout and fortune (i.e., victory points), families extend their Influence outside the city, sending representatives to foreign markets. As their authority spreads, the power of Venice increases accordingly, and distant towns and ports fall under the sway of the Serenissima. In the meantime, players compete inside the city for the coveted title of Doge, the head of the government, spending resources and Ducati (money) to gain popularity.
But the hegemony of Venice over the Mediterranean is threatened by many enemies. The Republic faces the rise of competing powers, such as the rival seafaring Republic of Genoa and the kingdom of Aragon to the west, or the Eastern Roman Empire and then the Turks to the east. Century after century, players will take part in the struggle that will see the rise and fall of the Republic of Venice.
Venetia is played across three epochs: Rise, Apogee and Struggle. A Power track on the board is used to record the passage of time. Venice starts the game in its Rise, and the game ends when the Struggle epoch is completed. Players score VPs at the end of every epoch, and the player with the highest score at the end of the game wins!
The magazine ‘fifth wheel’ to the Art of Siege quad, this game covers the successful Ottoman siege of Constantinople.