Comuni published by Elfinwerks
September 16, 2010
Product: Comuni is the game of political maneuvering in 12th century Italy. Each comuni represents a powerful independent city in northern Italy. It is the players’ job to balance the city resources, stave off invasions and amass the most victory points to win the game. Comuni fits the quality European board game mold with a game board, more than 100 cards and 275 wooden pieces, along with five player screens and rulebooks (in three languages — English, French and German) included in its contents.|
Gameplay: Comuni is like many other games of a similar intent — properly managing one’s resources to attain victory points and defeat your opponents — however, some of its greatest strengths are in its differences.
First, each of the Comuni in the game have different starting resources — gold, armies, pilgrims, craftsmen — represented by the different colored wooden cubes. When players begin the game, the comuni are randomly selected and players sit around the board according to the position of their city on the board. I found this a nice change where randomness can help out an inexperienced player to level the odds a bit.
To earn more resources, players bid on building projects. Players can build any of four types of buildings: economic, military, cultural or religious. These buildings provide resources associated with them and are worth victory points. The resources gained are then used for a variety of effects in the game.
Players will also need to fend off four invasions during the game from Venezia, France, the Pope and finally the Emperor. Each subsequent invasion is more difficult to defend against, and after the Emperor invades the game is over. The invasions are where players need to work together as they can form a common defense league to repel the invaders, but supplying armies to the league reduces those who can protect your own city walls, so balance must be maintained. Those who support the defense league the most (supply the most armies) are rewarded with heroism counters that can turn the tide of the game when calculating final victory point totals.
All in all, Comuni is a good resource management board game with enough cooperation between players to keep it from getting too competitive.
Marketing: It’s easy to say “Play it!” or “Demo it!” when it comes to any board game as that is the easiest way of showcasing a game’s strengths. However, many stores don’t have the room or the employees or the time to demo every game that they are trying to sell. And even then, that demo is only reaching a few people at a time.
Instead, for games with quality pieces and striking artwork, like Comuni, set up a game in a display case for patrons to view. No, not the box; the whole game! Every so often, you could even move some game pieces to make it different for repeat viewers. Then punch a hole in the upper corner of the rulebook and attach it to the case (like a phone book), so your customers can flip through the rules as they look at the actual game in play with all the pieces displayed in front of them.
Most games like Comuni are easy enough to pick up with a read through the rules once or twice and being able to do that instead of having to rely on the back box cover to decide where you’re going to spend your money is definitely preferable.
Stock No.: TG006
Availability: Check with your favorite game distributor or visit Elfinwerks
Great design with quality components
Easy to pick up with a quick read of the rules
Refreshing game play with random elements for replayability