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Cinque Terre

Reviewed by: Chris Kovac

(Rio Grande Games, 2-5 players, ages 13 and up, 60 minutes; $54.95)

cinqueterreboxCinque Terre is a “pick up and deliver” game, designed by Chris Handy, challenging players to pick up and deliver produce to five scenic villages on the Italian Coast. The person who has generated the most points by the end of the game wins.

Each player starts with a fulfillment card, four randomly dealt produce resource cards, a starting order card, a truck token of the same color as the fulfillment card and a scoring token. Next, you seed the produce fields with the produce by putting one cube of each produce type in the dice bag and drawing them out, one at a time, on the field spaces. You then put all the produce cubes of the matching type on the seeded fields. Next, you take one die in each of the eight produce colors and put them into the dice bag. You then draw them one at a time and roll them to fill up the dice spaces next to the top village (Montresso) and bottom (Riomaggiore) villages. Repeat this action with the remaining dice to fill up the three middle village dice spaces. These dice show the values of produce at the various village markets when selling them. Finally, you put the order deck next to the board with a number of orders equal to the number of players face up and put the produce deck on the appropriate space on the board with four cards face up. You are now ready to play the game.

Starting from a randomly chosen player and proceeding clockwise, a player can do three of the following actions including repeating the same action. The actions are:

1. PICK UP up a produce card either from those face up or blind from the top of the deck and place it in his hand. (There is no hand size limit.)

2. MOVE up to four circle spaces clockwise (more than one person can be in a space at a time).

3. HARVEST if your truck is in one of the three produce field circle spaces. You may take produce cubes and fill up the truck space with up to four produce cubes from any of the adjacent fields next to your truck, playing a produce card of the matching type from your hand as you do so. You can discard two matching cards of any produce type to pick up any type of produce cube in the fields adjacent to your truck.

4. SELL your produce if it is on one of the five village circle spaces.

cinqueterre2A player may sell all or part of the cubes he currently has in his truck. The amount he sells it for depends on the color of the dice next to the village. For example, if the player sells a (red) tomato cube at a village and there is a red die in one of the dice spaces with a three, the cube would be worth three points. If the produce has no die of the appropriate color on the dice spaces, it sells for one point. Cubes sold at a village are placed on the appropriate spaces on your fulfillment card. You do this so you can claim either one face up produce order or a MPV (Most Popular Vendor) card at the end of your turn. In order to claim an order card you must have delivered the appropriate produce to the villages specified on the order card. If you claim a card, you score the points shown on the top left of the card and get to secretly look a the next order card from the order deck. You then decide whether to keep it or use it to fill up the face up orders. If you use to fill up the face up order cards, you may take yet another order card from the top but must keep it. Order cards you have in hand (including your starting order) are secret and only revealed at the final scoring at the end of the game. In order to claim a MPV card and its points (only one per village), you must fill up an entire row with produce deliveries next to a village on your fulfillment card.

After you have done your set of three actions, the game proceeds to the next player. The game ends when either two of the produce fields run out of produce or if a player gets a combination of five MPV/fulfilled order cards. Once this happens, each player has one more action. Now a final scoring takes place.

All held produce order cards are revealed and scored if you have delivered the appropriate produces to the appropriate villages. For each one you are short, you lose five points. Your starting order is worth 30 points if completed. If the starting order is not completed, then you score partial points according to the following calculations: “Add all 5 dice together based on the produce types shown on the card at each corresponding village”. This amount is subtracted from the 30 points and this amount is scored. The person with the most points wins. If two people tie, the ties are broken by first, who has fulfilled the most orders then second, by who has the most produce on the his fulfillment card.

The strategy in the game is balancing between delivering your produce to the villages to maximize your profit by selling them vs. delivering to the villages so you can claim a produce order card or fulfill your start produce order card. If you concentrate too much on either, you will most probably lose the game. Furthermore, you have your opponents trying to do the same thing which often results in the sniping of produce delivery cards by them just when you were about to get them. The game, as with most Rio Grande games, is nicely produced with a well illustrated rule book, nice cards and very cute vegetable truck player pieces. The only issue I had with the game was that the final scoring rules were a little vague and required a few reads to completely understand.

Overall, Cinque Terre is a nice, light, pick up and deliver game. Though the randomness of the produce cards and the produce order cards put it in the lighter end of the pick up and delivery games, the game is easy to learn for casual/family gamers as it delivers a mid-level game for gamers playing with friends or family.


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