A week has passed and Thunderstone hasn't hit the table. Instead Fresco got its first outing and it's a pretty good game.
When I first heard about Fresco the idea of mixing paints and keeping your workers happy sounded like a good theme. It was the strong "euro" in this years SdJ and I was on the lookout for something else to try with the kids.
At its heart its a worker placement game with a few twists. You decide the playing order each round by deciding how early your going to wake up your workers. First up gets to do things first but paints from the market cost more and your workers happiness drops. If your last out of bed you don't have much to choose from at the market but its cheap. Your workers are happy and you may even recruit a new one.
So after you have bought paints its then time to use them to complete tiles on the Fresco part of the board. You have to use up your workers and paints to complete these tiles. followed by the ability to earn money by painting portraits, mixing your base colour paints to make different colours and finally sending your workers to the theatre to increase their happiness.
so each round you have a few things to think about, mainly what time to get up, whether you are buying paints, painting the fresco or mixing new colours. All while trying to keep your workers happy.
The board and components are really nicely put together. All the tiles are good heavy card stock and the graphic design is beautiful. Layout of the board is well put together, visually it helps resolve each round. Queen games always seem to do well on their pesentation and design so I wouldn't expect anything less.
The first play went very well, its a smooth game to play with no real rules questions. It just seems to make sense. It's not very difficult to grasp, so I think its going to become my first gateway game to introduce new players.
The game also comes with 3 expansions. These add extra rules and things to think about to increase the complexity of the game. I haven't tried these yet but its nice that they added them into the base game instead of releasing them as a seperate expansion.