I have a soft spot for serinissima. I first played version one over a decade ago and instantly loved it. Version two recently came into my possession and I was eager to try it out.
Serinissima is a game where up to four players set out from their home port somewhere in the
Mediterranean and through trading and *perhaps* piracy try to make as much gold as possible before the variable length end turn arrives.
Each player starts with two galleys and a half dozen sailors. Their home port is able to produce one of a possible six types of good (wood, stone, textiles…. eh green, gold and black). Players can load a galley in port with the good that port produces and then set sail to other ports and offload them where they’re in demand scoring moneys for their trouble. Each cube transported fills up a limited amount of warehouse spaces and each port only wants one of each good so you can’t spam the one good like a mad yoke.
Now that the economics have been explained we get to the good part. The med is not a safe place (doubly so if you play with me) ships can be waylaid and their goods stolen and sold off. It’s ugly (unlike the players). It’s possible to play nice and be happy traders with other players but we knew this would never end well.
When a player gets a little ahead it’s the sworn duty of every other trader to pull them down and mess up their business and if they benefit from it all the better. Revenge will cost you the game (I lose a lot). In order to win you have to put up with a lot of flak and side with people who a turn before were openly pirating you (I don’t win much). This reluctant ally play is something I love in a game.
If you’ve played the original this is an improvement on it. Rules have been tightened and it’s feels a little different. Version one always ended in a massive battle at the end which could be a little random. It’s definitely stilly fighty but a bit more strategic. As always people’s intentions are visible in advance. Someone buying galleys and forgoing trade goods to fill them to the Gunwales with sailors *may* indicate the intention to do someone the dirty.
Production is good, pieces are neat, the map is clear and the graphics ye olde. It could benefit from some pimping but it is more than adequate for the task. I’ll be honest I’m a big fan of this game. Have been for a long time and I know some games have come along and have done the whole thing better but I think this is a game well worth playing and they’ll have to rip it from my cold dead hands to get it off me. There’s depth and subtlety here
Fine game. Well worth a play