Florence in the 15th century! The city is in the midst of an artistic, cultural, and financial boom. Thus, it begins a competition among the architects and master builders of Florence to build the most impressive palaces.
Who will be the most successful builder? Who will score the most victory points? Who will win the game?
- 55 money cards
- 1 master builder
- 8 frames with 4 quarries, 1 material supply, 48 building tiles
- 5 rider tiles
- 1 value 3 certificate
- 4 Summary Cards
Object of the Game
The players try to build the most valuable palaces (with many windows).
The players take on the roles of master builders and try to build the most valuable palaces. Each turn, a player has three possibilities: he can get more money from investors, he can buy or auction building materials, or he can spend his turn reconstructing his palaces, adding to their value.
The higher a palace and the more windows or doors it has, the greater its value and the more victory points its builder earns. The player with the most victory points at game end is the winner.
At game end, the player with the most victory points is the winner!
Place the material supply in the middle of the table. Place the 4 quarries around the material supply. Place the master builder on any one of the quarries.
Sort the 48 building tiles by their backside (I, II, and III), shuffle each group and place as three face-down stacks near the material supply and quarries.
Shuffle the 5 game end tiles (riders) into the III stack of building tiles, returning it face down on the table. From the I stack, draw the top-most 5 tiles and place them face-up, 1 each on the quarries and the material supply.
During the game, players first draw from the I stack, then, when it is exhausted, from the II stack, and finally, from the III stack, where the 5 game end tiles are. The game ends when the 5th game end tile is drawn.
Place the value 3 certificate face up near the material supply and the quarries. Shuffle the 55 money cards and place them face down as a supply stack near the material supply and quarries.
Each player draws 4 money cards from the money card supply, taking them in his hand secretly, so the other players do not see their values. Each player also takes a summary card, so he can be constantly aware of victory points during the game.
Before beginning the game, players should become familiar with the following important information.
The 48 Building Tiles
They represent three different types of materials (brick, sandstone, marble) and have one to three windows or doors each. Attention: later in these rules, windows refers to both windows and doors.
There are building tiles for five different floors (numbered 1 to 5 on the right edge of each tile), from ground floor (= 1) to the roof (= 5). With these building tiles, the players build palaces, which earn them victory points at game end. The more windows a palace has, the more points it earns.
The building requirements:
The palaces must be built with increasing floor numbers from bottom to top, for example 1, 2, 3, but not 3, 1, 2. Palaces may skip floors, including even the ground floor, for example 2, 4, 5 or 1, 3.
No palace can have two (or more) of the same floor, for example 2, 4, 4, 5 is not allowed.
Different types of building materials may be used in a palace, for example brick-2, marble-3, sandstone-5. However, a palace of just one type of building material earns more points.
The number of windows per floor in a palace may vary from floor to floor.
A player may normally only build a tile on top of another. If a player wants to "insert" a tile under an already built tile, this can only be done using the "tile reconstruction" option.
For example, if floors 1 and 3 have been built, a player may simply add floors 4 and/or 5. If, however, the player wanted to insert floor 2 between 1 and 3, he would have to use the "tile reconstruction" option.
Each player may start to build as many palaces as he chooses. However, at game end, a palace with only one floor earns the player 5 minus points!
When a player buys or wins a tile at auction, he must immediately build it. However, he may, instead of building the tile, return it face down to the box, removing it from the game (this can be very useful near the game end to avoid negative points).
Players may only change already built tiles by using the "tile reconstruction" option.
Anita owns the two started palaces (A & B) and has acquired the 3 building tiles shown on the right.
Anita cannot add building tile
1on top of Palace A as doing so goes against building rule 1: 1,3,2 is not allowed). She also cannot insert the tile into Palace A between floors 1 and 3 directly. First, she can use building tile 1to begin a separate palace (in this case, Palace C). Then, on a later turn, she can use "tile reconstruction" to insert the tile in Palace A.
She cannot add building tile
1to Palace B, as there is already a floor 2 in the palace (building rule: 2: a palace may not have 2 of the same floor number).
She can add building tile
2directly on top of Palace A. She cannot add it to Palace B at all because of building rule 2. She could also place the tile on Palace C (=building tile 1), but then would not later be able to insert building tile 1into Palace A using "tile reconstruction", as she has planned.
She can add building tile
3to any of her three palaces (Palace A, Palace B, and Palace C), but her best play would be on Palace B, as this would be using the same type of building material.
The 55 Money Cards
show three different currencies, recognizable by the different coins and different colored backgrounds on the cards. Each currency has three cards each with values 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. In addition, there are 10 certificates of value 2, which are currency neutral and can be used as jokers with the value of 2 with any of the three currencies.
For each payment that a player makes in the game, he may only use cards of one currency and/or any certificates (jokers).
Exception: exactly 3 cards of the same value and in all three different currencies, or exactly three value 2 certificate cards, have the neutral payment value of 15 (regardless of the actual sum of the values of the three cards).
In any case, the three cards must be played together as a group to have the value of 15.
A player may play any number of groups, along with any number of certificates, and any number of cards of one currency.
The players choose a starting player, who begins. Play then follows in clockwise order. On a player's turn, he must execute one of the following three different actions:
- take money
- buy or auction building tiles
- tile reconstruction
When a player decides on this action, he draws one more card from the money card supply than there are players (with 3 players, for example, the player draws 4 cards), displaying them face up on the table.
Next, the player chooses two of these cards, adding them to his hand. Finally, the other players, in clockwise order from this player, each choose one of the remaining cards to add to his hand. This completes the player's action.
When the card supply is exhausted, shuffle the discards and replace them, face down, as the new card supply.
There is no money limit; a player may have any number of money cards.
Should there not be enough money cards (including the discards), for a player to take the complete action, then he may not choose this action.
Buy or Auction Building Tiles
When a player decides on this action, he draws the top two tiles from the current building tile stack. He always places the first tile face up in the material supply.
He always places the second tile face up on one of the quarries. How does he decide which quarry? Starting with the quarry with the master-builder (as zero) and counting in a clockwise direction to the other quarries, he places the tile on the quarry whose number matches the number of windows on the tile.
Immediately after placing the two tiles, the player decides whether to buy building tiles or to auction building tiles. He must choose one!
a. Buy Tiles
The player can only buy building tiles from the material supply; building tiles on the quarries must be auctioned. He must buy at least 1 and may buy at most 2 building tiles. The price of each building tile in the building supply is calculated as follows:
10 minus the number of building tiles in the material supply at the start of buying
Note: when a player buys 2 building tiles, he does not buy them individually, but together.
Thus, the player adds the prices together and pays the sum by discarding the appropriate number of money cards in one currency (with groups and jokers).
He may pay more than required but does not receive change.
After buying and the subsequent building, the player's action is complete.
b. Auction Tiles
When a player chooses to auction building tiles, he first moves the master builder in the clockwise direction to the next quarry with at least one building tile. All building tiles on this quarry are now auctioned.
The player whose turn it is begins the bidding by placing the value 3 certificate in his play area. This is his first bid. He may not bid more than this as his starting bid.
The value 3 certificate is just like the value 2, that is, it is currency-neutral. For his next bid, the player can play any cards - allowed by the rules! - that he wants.
The auction continues in clockwise order. Each player, in turn, either passes or places a bid (first time) or adds to his previous bid(s). When a player bids, he places money cards for the bid face up on the table.
A player's total bid (including his previous bids in this auction) must be higher than the previous opponent's bid. A player's bid can be any acceptable combination of money cards from his hand, including groups or jokers.
Of course, if his previous bids included currency bids, added currency bids must be in the same currency. When a player passes, he takes back all his bid cards, returning them to his hand.
Example: it is Monika's turn and she has decided to auction some building tiles. She begins the auction with the value 3 certificates. She has the 8 money cards shown on the right in her hand.
When it is next to her turn to bid, the high bid stands at 15. Monika adds the group of three 4's (worth 15) for a total bid of 18. On her third bidding opportunity, the high bid stands at 25.
This time she can play either the group of value 2 certificates (15 + 18 = 33) or the green 6 and one value 2 certificates (6 + 2 + 18 = 26), in order to save the other two value 2 certificates for the next auction.
She chooses the latter. However, her opponents continue to bid and the bid reaches 31 before her next bidding opportunity.
She cannot add the two value 2 certificates to make a group, so she passes, taking back her bid cards and places the value 3 certificate next to the material supply and the quarries.
Once a player passes, he cannot bid again in this auction. When all players but one have passed, the auction ends with the non-passing player as the winner.
The winner places all his bid cards on the discard (face up next to the card supply), takes all the auctioned building tiles from the quarry, and adds all these tiles to his palaces, following the building rules.
The auction starting player returns the value 3 certificate next to the material supply and quarries.
Exception: if there are four or more building tiles on the quarry with the master builder, these are not auctioned. Instead, the players do the following: the player whose turn it is takes one of these tiles and builds it.
Then, the others follow in clockwise order, each taking one of these tiles and building with it. After each player has taken one building tile, the players place any remaining tiles on that quarry face down in the box (these are out of the game and may not be used or examined).
Example: in a 3 player game, there are 5 tiles on the quarry with the master builder. In clockwise order, each takes 1 tile and builds it. Place the remaining 2 face down in the box.
After the auction and subsequent building (or the tile taking and building when there are 4 or more tiles on the quarry with the master builder), the player's turn ends and the next player takes his turn (This is always the player to the left of the player who started the auction).
When a player decides on this action, he may reconstruct one of his already built building tiles. This costs any one of his money cards, which he places face up on the discard pile. If a player has no money cards, he cannot choose this action.
When a player chooses reconstruction, he can do one of the following three reconstructions:
remove a single building tile from one of his own palaces (from any floor) and place it alone to start a new palace,
place one of his single building tiles (that stands alone as a palace) on or in another of his palaces (even between two tiles or at the bottom of a palace),
place one of his single building tiles (that stands alone as a palace) out of the game (face down back in the box).
Note: a player may not remove a tile from one palace and place it directly in another! He could, however, use one reconstruction to remove it from the first and a second reconstruction on his next turn to place it in the second palace).
End of the Game
In the III stack of building tiles, the five game end tiles (riders) are shuffled in. (They signify the arrival of the Royal Ambassador who will judge the competition and choose a winner of the palace building).
When a player decides on the second action, he draws the top two tiles from the current building tile stack, placing always the first tile face up in the material supply and always the second tile face up on one of the quarries.
But when a player draws one of the game end tiles, he places it instead of face up next to the material supply and quarries. When a player draws such a tile, the player does not draw another to replace it.
As soon as the fifth game end tile is drawn, the game ends immediately. No further actions may be taken.
Note: in the rare case where a player's second draw is a game end tile and there are no building tiles on a quarry afterward, the player may decide on the auction action, even though there is nothing to auction, so that nothing actually happens.
Then, the players calculate how many victory points (VP) they have earned for their palaces. For each palace, a player earns:
- with 1 floor: minus 5 VP
- with 2 floors: 0 VP
- with 3 floors: the total number of windows
- with 4 floors: the total number of windows + 3
- with 5 floors: the total number of windows + 6
Players can earn extra victory points for palaces that are constructed purely. A palace that is constructed of only one kind of building material (type) and has a minimum height will earn a player the following bonus points:
- 1 or 2 floors: + 0 VP
- 3 + 4 floors: 3 VP
- 5 floors: 6 VP
The winner is the player with the most victory points. If two or more players tie with the most victory points, the player among those tied for the most with the highest value of money cards as would be used in a single bid (only one currency + jokers + groups), is the winner.
Examples of some scoring:
Tip: if a player had used a turn to reconstruct the single tile into the 2 floor palace, the player would gain 13 VP: + 8 VP instead of -5 VP.