Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Turin Market Review


Turin the capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy, is known for its refined architecture and cuisine. The Alps rise to the northwest of the city. Stately baroque buildings and old cafes line Turin's boulevards. And grand squares like Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo add a unique feeling to this quaint city.

In Turin Market players are transported back to 18th century Italy as shrewd goods traders trying to become the most powerful trader in the market.

About Turin Market:

Designer: Jordan Draper
Artist: Jordan Draper
Publisher: Dark Flight Games
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 2 − 5
Ages: 9 and up
Playing Time: 10 − 30 minutes


Set up and Game Play:

To set up a three player game of Turin Market each player receives fifteen scudo and an end game reference card. The eighteen product cards are then shuffled and each player is dealt six cards. The remaining scudo and loan cards are placed off to the side for later use. Note one card in the two and three player game will be held secret in a player's hand until the end of the game.

Here is the set up for a two player game which is the same as a
three player game except six cards are dealt to each player and
the remaining are discarded from the game.

Once set up is complete players will enter the first Auction phase. The game consists of five Auction phases that are broken into the following steps:
  • Choosing a card for the market. Each player will choose a card from their hand and place it face down on the table in front of them. Once all players have done so the cards are flipped face up to create the market.
  • Blind bidding. Each player now takes scudo from their reserve in the amount they would like to bid and conceals it in their hand. Once players are ready they will reveal their bids. The player with the highest bid wins. If there is a tie the tied players will re-bid with the highest player winning.
  • Distributing cards. Once bids have been resolved the market cards are distributed to the winner(s). In a two player game the winner gets both cards and pays her full bid amount. The looser will pay half his bid rounded down. In a three player game the winner gets two cards, the second place bidder gets one card, and the third place bidder gets no cards. The winner again pays the full bid amount along with the second place bidder while the third place bidder pays half rounded down. Both the four and five player games work very similar. All ties are broken with an additional bid.
  • Selling cards. The distributed cards are then placed face up in front of the player who received them. The players then have the choice to place an amount of scudo on top of the won card to signify that it is up for sale. Once scudo is placed on a card it can not be used for bidding until it is sold or until the end of the next round. Players who buy these cards pay the owners the amount of scudo which is placed on the card by the seller. Cards can be bought at any time.
  • End phase. Once all players have had a chance to put their card up for sale a new auction round begins.
After the final cards have been auctioned off the game ends and the final sales are completed. Each card has three types of goods listed, three of one, two of another, and one of another. Players will look to see who has the most of a single good (like fish) and that player will receive the value listed on the end game reference card and one scudo from each player. For example the player with the most fish would get five scudo plus one scudo from each player. Players do this until all goods have been paid out then players pay back any loans they took. The player with the most scudo wins!!!


Two player end game. A little lopsided.


Review:

Theme:
I love the theme of Turin Market—buying and selling goods in an old world market. The game could have many different themes, however I like how this theme fits the mechanics and game play. I will mention more about this below but the artwork really lends to tying the theme into the game.

Mechanics:
The mechanics here are simple, set collection using blind bidding. This mechanic works really well especially when playing with more than two players. I have recently reviewed another game—Port of Piraeus—that has similar mechanics of set collection based on bidding but is used a little differently.

Artwork and components:
The artwork in Turin Market is very simple yet elegant. It lends well to the feel of 18th century Italy. The writing is a little hard to read but the iconography more than makes up for it. Jordan not only designed the game but also did the artwork. Well done!

The Good:
This game plays quick, so it is a great filler game. It is also small so it can easily go anywhere you want to go. I love the simple yet interactive mechanics going on here and the solid components.

The Bad:
The game plays great with three or more players but is a little predictable with two players. I would love to see a good two player bidding game.

Final Thoughts:
If you are looking for a quick filler game that will appeal to many gamers, this is the one. Great art great game play.

Players Who Like:
Bidding games like Bridge Troll and Port of Piraeus will love Turin Market.

I am giving Turin Market 4 out of 5 super meeples.


Please check out Dark Flight Games's Kickstarter campaign for Turin Market which ends April 30.

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