Patrician

This month’s Game of the Month is Patrician, designed by Michael Schacht, and published domestically in 2007 by Mayfair Games.

Patrician is an area control game with a medieval theme for two to five players. The game has a suggested player age of ten and up and lists a playing time of 50 minutes. It retails for $35, at your local game store, but you should be able to find it for $28 or less from an online retailer.

In Patrician, the players take on the role of master builders who create magnificent towers for wealthy patrician families throughout Italy. If you can take credit for building the most floors of the tallest tower in a particular city when all construction is completed, then you claim the greatest reward.

Patrician features a double-sided game board. One side for games with two to four players and the other for five player games. The board shows ten cities with two spaces in each city where towers are to be built. The city will be scored when the indicated number of floors are completed. There are two prestige tokens for each city that are awarded to the player who has built the most floors of a tower, or if there is a tie for number of floors, then the tied player with the floor closest to the top of the tower is awarded the token.

Players build towers by playing building cards. Each player starts with a hand of three cards. Each player takes up to five actions on their turn:

  1. Play a building card.
  2. Place tower pieces. (One or two depending on building card.)
  3. Take a special action if allowed by building card.
  4. Take a building card. (Usually from the city where you placed towers.)
  5. Draw a replacement building card.

There are two types of special action cards. One allows you to move the top floor of a tower to the other tower in that city. You may not move the floors of a tower in the city where you just placed a floor, nor may you move a floor in a city where you have built no floors. The other special action card allows you to take a building card from any city on the board, not just the city where you placed a floor.

Additionally, many of the cards feature one of three portraits of important patricians. At the end of the game, a player will score an additional six points for each set of three matching portraits.

Patrician for Game of the Month? Well, with the exception of the three initial cards that the players are dealt, there are no random elements to the game. Since last month’s GotM was a dice game, I thought a perfect information game would be appropriate. Also, Patrician can be played by email via Michael Schacht’s website, which I thought would allow me the opportunity to play the game not only face-to-face with folks here in Fresno, but also online with folks both near and far. Since things are a little difficult at home right now because of my wife’s illness, I thought being able to play a game by web would be a good idea. Please watch the announcement widget for information on how to join in on one of the online games.

Feel free to comment on your experience with Patrician, or if you have some questions about the game. My goal for the month is to get in at least five face-to-face games before the end of the month, with as many online games as I can accommodate.

Disclaimer: I have recieved no review copies of this game. I have included links to funagain.com, an online retailer that I support by including affiliate links to games. If you purchase something from Funagain, and include my affiliate code, P2RX, then I get a few pennies of store credit so I can buy more games.

3 Comments

  1. Just signed up for a pbem game with you. Patrician has all of the qualities of a game I should love (quick, Schacht/Knizia-style numbers strategy, historic theme), but somehow I don’t. I’m hoping a little more exploration with you will uncover something I’ve missed.

  2. I was a bit worried that Patrician was an iffy choice for Game of the Month, but now that I’ve played it more, I think it’s worth the time. Is this a super-filler? I’ve had a great time playing it online, but I like it even better face to face.

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