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Princes of Florence (POF)

You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demonstration. The GM will be available for one hour in Exhibit Annex to teach the game. Be on time. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.

Demonstration: Tuesday 20 @ Exhibit Annex Table 1

Heat 1: Wednesday @ 16 - Alpine
Heat 2: Thursday @ 9 - Alpine
Semifinal: Friday @ 17 - Alpine
Final: Friday @ 20 - Alpine


Alex Bove: GM (1st Year)

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You are a Renaissance aristocrat, seeking not cash but prestige. In each of the seven rounds you may purchase one item at auction and take two actions. At the start, many strategic options are available, but player decisions shape your choices, so each game is different. Resources are scarce, so if opponents bid high for items you want, an alternate plan may be better. The hallmarks of a successful player are solid strategy and tactical flexibility.

An aristocrat can gain prestige in many ways. The most common is to attract scholars and artists of various professions to work in your principality. You take advantage of their works to boost your prestige, or sell them to raise funds to further your plans. You may also gain prestige by constructing beautiful buildings and landscapes, or by buying Prestige Cards. Whether you choose a strategy based on acquiring many jesters, buildings or cards, or a balanced approach, be sure to manage your money well. In the 2015 Final a player went bankrupt!

I will run a demo for new players. If you want to learn, or if you want a refresher, please attend. The rules to the game are simple, and people enter the tournament every year after learning the game at the demo.

Tournament Format
Heats: This year's tournament will have two preliminary heats. You may play in either or both. We will play 5-player games where possible, but we will probably have to use some 4-player games in the heats.

Semifinals: If at least 25 qualifiers appear, there will be five 5-player games. With 20-24 players, there will be five games, but some will be 4-player games. With 16-19 players, we will play only four games, and some will be 4-player games. The semifinal winners will advance to the Final; if possible, a 5 player Final will occur. If fewer than 16 qualifiers appear for the semifinals, we will skip the round and go straight to a Final that includes the top five qualifiers.

Tiebreakers for advancement to the semifinals will be:

1. Most wins
2. Total points in all games entered, where for each game your points equal the ratio of your score to the score of your highest-scoring opponent plus 100 points for a win, 20 points for second place, or 5 points for third place in a 5-player game
3. Win in first heat entered
4. Low numbered random draw from Profession deck

The order of finish in a game is determined first by prestige points and then by florins. If there is a tie on prestige points and florins, then the tied player with the lowest numbered Profession card on display at the end of the game will be awarded the higher position.

A list of qualifiers and alternates will be posted at the kiosk after the last heat. If attendance is similar to that in recent years, some players will advance without a win, but if attendance goes up substantially, it is conceivable that some winners may not advance.

Rule Changes

We will make the following rules changes. All other rules will be as printed in the 2000 Rio Grande English edition.

1. Money is public. Florin pieces are kept in full view. Players are entitled to know how much money other players have at any time.

2. Starting players are chosen randomly for the heats, but we bid for seating position in the semifinals and Final. Many players believe some positions have an advantage, a concern we address by letting players bid florins to obtain preferred positions. The bid cost offsets the benefit of the position. The GM will supply a chart for each game with boxes for 0, 100, 200, 300 ... florins for positions 1 through 5. The initial bidder is chosen randomly. Going around the table in order, each player whose marker is not on the chart must place it in any empty box, as long as the bid is higher than any previous bid for that position. If your bid for a position is topped, you take the marker back and use it to bid again later. If your marker is already on the chart when it is your turn to bid, you must pass. Bidding ends when all markers are on the chart, and players rearrange their seats in accordance with the final bids. You must pay the amount of your final bid to the bank out of your starting cash before the game begins. You may bid 0 florins, but you may have to accept a less popular position as a result.

Rule Clarifications

1. During the Auction phase, all initial bids must be exactly 200 florins, and all raises must be exactly 100 florins. No jump bids are allowed.

2. You may bid more florins during the Auction phase than you have if you have enough points on the Prestige Point track to make up the difference.
You spend Prestige Points at the rate of one per 100 florins only if you win the bid.

3. You may use a Recruiting card to recruit either immediately after purchase in the Auction phase or during your turn in the Action phase. You may not recruit at any other time.

4. Profession cards are numbered in the top corners for reference. These numbers do not contribute to the Work Value. They have no effect on the game except as a tiebreaker (see above.)

5. You may not build the same building type twice (e.g., you may not build two Towers in your principality).

6. As a matter of game etiquette you may continue the game while another player selects a Prestige, Profession, or Bonus card, except in the 7th round where knowledge of your actions could significantly assist the choice. You may also choose to wait until the card is selected before you continue.

7. It is easy to forget to pay for an item or to score Prestige Points for purchases, so players at each table should carefully monitor each other to assure that all payments are made and all Prestige Points are credited. If possible, a non-playing banker/scorekeeper will be used for the Final.

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