Some time ago, an official expansion for The Princes of Florence appeared called The Princess and the Muse. It was released as a freebie PDF which you can still download from BGG. Not surprisingly, when the Treasure Chest appeared, it included this expansion in a better produced version.
I finally got a chance to play it a few weeks ago, and thus I can now offer up my fourth look at the Alea Expansions found in the Anniversary Treasure Chest.
To date, I’ve written about the Treasure Chest expansions for three of the Alea games: Louis XIV and San Juan (way back in 2010, when the Chest was a bit fresher) and Witch’s Brew (back in June).
I’ve since managed to get Puerto Rico back to the table, and with it the nobles expansion contained in the Treasure Chest. As such, I’m now ready to talk about what I think Treasure Chest adds to the game that was the one-time reigning Euro Champ.
A long time ago, in a blog far, far away, I started a series of game design articles discussing alea’s Treasure Chest. I kicked things off by looking at Louis XIV and San Juan and planned to cover all of the expansions in time.
But, I’ve found it hard to get the expansions to the table. Old alea games can be a bit of a hard-sell all on their own (mainly because they’re old; shockingly, not even Puerto Rico is seen much locally, nowadays), but introducing new complexities to players who may not know the game can be even more difficult.
Fortunately, this last Thursday I had a specific request for Witch’s Brew with the Treasur eChest expansions. Not everyone knew the game (or knew it well), but everyone went gamely along. So here’s what I thought:
Several months ago — like many of us I suspect — I picked up alea’s Treasure Chest. I love alea and have all the games represented in the Chest, so purchasing it was a no-brainer. Since then — like many of us I suspect — I’ve had a hard time getting any of those newly supplemented games to the table. They’re just not in my normal rotation.
Over the last few months I’ve finally played two of the Treasure Chest expansions, and so I’ve decided to write about them here: saying what the expansions are, how they change their games, and what they say about game design.
The expansion to Louis XIV comes in two parts: a favorite figure and four favorite action tablets.
The Figure. The favorite figure has a pretty minor effect. It’s always placed opposite Louis XIV. The top player on that space gets two of his influence markers from the general supply, everyone else gets one. These can go into their personal supply or onto the favorite actions tablet (see below).
Effect. Minor. It’s a slight consideration when you’re placing your influence markers.
Game Design. I suspect that it helps to keep the Louis XIV space from always being a position of maximal conflict. Instead some players lagging in influence markers might reasonably decide to compete over the favorite, who is of course exactly opposite Louey.