Friday, February 21, 2020

#15: Fresco (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

  • rank: 286
  • rating: 7.30
Print Status
  • in print
Why It's On The List
  • Fresco is a lovely worker-placement game that has three endearing qualities: first, it has an interesting theme; second, pretty much every mechanic in the game can be explained in terms of that theme... and finally, it does not seem to ever bog down with AP (analysis paralysis) like some other worker-placement games.
Tips & Tricks:
    • You can play Fresco as a "sandbox" game (where you don't pay much attention to what other players are doing), but to really excel at the game, you must watch carefully to see what paints are highly desired and whether or not you'll have multiple options if you go later in the turn order.
    • One of the trickiest decisions in the game is manipulating the turn order by taking less points.
    • This will happen again with more games at the top of this list... I like the multiple expansion modules which let you customize the length and complexity of the game.
    • The picture with this post is Fresco set up with most of the published expansions.
    • Here's my take on the plethora of expansions:
      • In the original box (1-3):
        • The portrait cards & paint mixing tiles are great ideas & should be used from the start with gamers
        • The extra paint colors add some interesting tactical decisions but add to the length of the game.
      • First large expansion box (4-6)
        • The gold leaf a nice touch that increases the score, but I think it works best when coupled with the glaziers to offer different scoring pathways to pursue.
        • The wishing well is pretty random & non-essential.
      • Second large expansion box (8-10)
        • The second set of expansions (the bell, the "plague", etc.) are not necessary - but do give the game some variety if you're playing it a lot... which, sadly, I am not.
      • Stand-alone expansions (7 & Queenie 1)
        • There are two other small expansions published - a small giveaway called The Bishop's Favor (which I like) and an incredibly over-priced set of "secret" bonuses called The Scrolls (which would like better if it wasn't so expensive).
      • Fresco Mega Box expansions
        • These don’t physically exist yet… but were part of the Fresco Mega Box Gold Edition. The only one that sounds like something I really want is The Dome… but the cost of the expansion pack was too high even with my deep love for this game. Of course, I wouldn't say "no" if someone gave it to me. :-)

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