Date: 30th April 2010
Game played: Fresco ( Queen ) BGG Id: 66188

While the others were playing Royal Palace, my group of three opted for Fresco, a game that has been getting some very good reviews. The game puts players in the roles of fresco painters who have been employed by the bishop to restore the ceiling of a cathedral. Players have to buy paints, blend them as necessary and use them to complete the 25 sections of the cathedral ceiling. At the same time, they have to keep their apprentices happy by entertaining them at the theatre (or they won't turn up for work next day) and bring in more income through painting portraits at their own studio. The bulk of the turn is determined by allocating your apprentices to the various tasks of the day but the novel mechanism is deciding your wake-up time at the start of each round. In reverse victory point order, players pick a wake-up time which sets the turn order for the round but also affects your appretices' happiness (forcing them to get up early makes them more unhappy and so one of them might choose not to turn up for work) and the price you pay for paints (early risers pay a premium for having the best choice of paints). This mechanic gives players some agonising choices at times and helps to peg back the leader as they will be left with the worst choice of wake-up time.

Fresco was very good and very tight and nobody was sure what the outcome was going to be right until the end. Mark K spent most of the game as leader but towards the end was hanging on as Steve and I caught up. We thought Steve made a tactical error by not choosing the earliest wake-up time on the last turn and he found his planned ceiling section had already been painted by me, reducing his payback for that crucial turn. However, his back-up plan left Mark K with a choice of ceiling section left to paint that he hadn't expected and that proved to be enough to keep him one point ahead of me when the final scores were tallied. Excellent game and definitely the best game I played in April.

Mark K

(c) 2001-2024 Garry Lloyd | | admin