Cinque Terre (the five villages) Board Game Review

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mapThis weekend I played the board-game, Cinque Terre. There is a lot of detailed information about the game at the link in the preceding sentence which takes one to the Boardgame Geek page for this game.

The theme is delivery of farm produce to five towns in the Liguria region of Italy. When I was in the Navy (c. 1983) our ship made a port call at Livorno. In the Google map above left, I have annotated a yellow area to the region for the game setting, and a red box around Livorno. In Livorno, I took liberty and visited Florence and Venice by train. I enjoyed traveling here, primarily due to the art, beauty, food, and people.

map

The board game is played on the map depicted to the right. Players are given a player symbol (colored wooden truck). Then you take turns moving the wooden truck around the map on a one-way road. Each turn a player takes three actions among the following: harvesting, moving, taking a resource card, or selling. You can take the three actions in any sequence and you can repeat them. (The resource cards depict tickets needed to harvest fruits in the yellow areas and they are randomly selected). After harvesting, you move your truck and the fruit to the five villages and sell it.

My friends made a clever modification to the game’s fruit components. It is sold with fruit as small wooden, colored blocks. Instead of the blocks, my friends substituted colored die which can be set depending on the value of the fruit sold. The die trick was useful in keeping tracking scoring on each person’s player card.

Points are scored in several ways. 1) Each city has a set of demand, which makes delivery of some particular produce more profitable; 2) players can score points by fulfilling contracts on contract cards;  and 3) being the first player to sell ten items to a village.

We played with five players and the game was face-paced and easy to play. It would also be good with four. I would recommend this as a good family game with some light resource allocation strategies. It takes about an hour to play once you learn the game mechanics.

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