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Turin Market Board Game Kickstarter Review

We would like to thank Dark Flight Games for the review copy of Turin Market used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review.  

How to Play | Review | Final Verdict | Comments

How to Play

Setup

Each player is given 15 Scudo to begin the game. All 18 cards are dealt out and distributed based on the number of players:

  • 2 Players: Six cards are dealt out to each player with the remaining cards being discarded with no players looking at them.
  • 3 Players: Six cards are dealt out to each player.
  • 4 Players: Four cards are dealt out to each player. The remaining two cards are auctioned off to start the game with the top bidder choosing which card they want and the second highest bidder getting the other card.
  • 5 Players: Three cards are dealt out to each player. The remaining three cards are put out in the center of the table and are auctioned off. The three highest bidders all get one card starting with the player who bid the most.

Auctions

Turin Market is played in rounds. Each round begins with each player choosing one of their cards from their hand that they want to be placed in the next auction. Each player puts their chosen card face down in the center of the table. When everyone has chosen their card, all of the cards are revealed at the same time. It is now time for the auction.

Auctions in Turin Market use silent bidding as each player chooses how much they are going to bid and puts that amount of money in their closed fist until everyone has chosen how much they want to bid. All players reveal their bids at the same time. Cards are chosen first by the highest bidder, then the next highest bidder and so on. The cards get distributed as follows:

  • 2 Players: The highest bidder gets both cards.
  • 3 Players: The highest bidder gets two cards while the second highest bidder gets one card.
  • 4 Players: The highest bidder gets two cards while the second and third highest bidders get one card.
  • 5 Players: The highest and second highest bidders get two cards while the third highest only gets one card.
Auctions in Turin Market
In this auction one player bid six Scudo and gets to pick the first two cards. The next player bid five Scudo and gets the next choice of card. The third highest bidder bid three Scudo and gets the last card. The fourth player bid two Scudo so they get no card(s). The three players that got cards pay their entire bid to the bank. The player who bid two Scudo owes the bank one Scudo.

Each player that received cards from the auction has to pay their entire bid to the bank. If the player did not win any cards they have to pay half of their bid to the bank (rounded down). A player can choose to bid nothing on an auction and thus won’t have to pay anything to the bank.

If while bidding two or more players tie, they rebid by adding more Scudo to their bid. Players can choose to add nothing to their bid. The player that bids higher breaks the tie. If two players are competing for second or third place, they can not move up to first or second even if they end up bidding more in the tie than the player that holds that position. If two players tie bidding zero Scudo, the card(s) they tied for is discarded from the game.

Selling Cards

After the auction is completed, all of the cards won are placed face up in front of the player who won them. Players now have the option to put one of their cards up for sale. The player chooses how much they are willing to sell it for by placing that amount of their Scudo on the card. The amount put on the card is how much another player has to pay to buy the card. The Scudo put on a card can’t be used in the next round of bidding and is only removed if the card is sold or the player decides to take it off after the next auction.

Selling Cards in Turin Market
This player has decided to put five Scudo on this card. If another player would like to purchase the card, they would pay this player five Scudo.

When a card is up for sale, any player can buy the card at any time for the amount placed on it. They pay the player who owns the card the amount owed and they take the card. The player has to sell the card to any player that pays the amount asked for. If two players want to buy the card at the same time, they flip a coin to determine who will be able to buy the card.

Loans

If at any time a player wants to take out a loan, they are able to take out a loan from the bank. The player takes a loan card and takes ten Scudo from the bank. At the end of the game the player has to pay the bank fifteen Scudo to pay off the loan. A player can only take out one loan during the game.

Loans in Turin Market
The player has chosen to take out a loan so they receive ten Scudo from the bank. At the end of the game they owe fifteen Scudo to the bank.

During final scoring if the player has already taken out a loan and doesn’t have enough money to pay another player, they can take out a one Scudo loan from the bank which they have to pay back as soon as possible.

End of Game

The game ends when all of the cards from players’ hands have been put up for bid. In two and three player games each player gets to keep one of the cards from their hand to use for scoring instead of putting it up for auction. The game ends immediately when the last auction has finished and cards have been distributed.

Scoring is then done based on the different types of goods. Referencing the player aids, scoring starts with the fish and moves down the list.

Reference Card in Turin Market
Scoring starts with fish and moves down the list. The player who has the most fish gets five points and so on down the list.

The player who has the most of the good receives the payout indicated on the reference cards (paid by the bank). The number of goods is based on the number next to the good on the card so a card that has a three next to the fish is considered to be three fish and not one. Any player that has any of the currently scored good and doesn’t own the most of the good owes the player who owns the most of the good one Scudo. If two players share the lead for a good, they split the whole payment (payment from bank and other players).

Scoring in Turin Market
The game has ended and players add up the number of all of their goods. Players will receive Scudo as follows:
The first player will get six Scudo for having the most grapes and will receive a Scudo from the second and third player. The first player will receive nine Scudo for the oranges and will receive a Scudo from the second player.
The second player would get five Scudo for the olives and will get one Scudo from all of the other players. The second player will also get ten Scudo for the figs and will get one Scudo from the third and fourth player. The second player will also get six Scudo for the eggs and will get one Scudo from all of the other players.
The third player will get five Scudo for the fish and will get one Scudo from the first and second player. The third player will also get five Scudo from the potatoes and will get one Scudo from the first and fourth player. Finally the third and fourth player tied for the most tomatoes so the third and fourth player will split the eight Scudo from the bank and the one Scudo from the first player.
The fourth player will get six Scudo from wheat and will get a Scudo from the first and third player.
The first player will get an additional 12 Scudo from scoring. The second player will get an additional 27 Scudo. The third player will get 12 Scudo. The fourth player will get 8 Scudo. Combining these with the Scudo already in the player’s hand determines who wins the game (most likely player two).

The player with the most Scudo after scoring is completed wins the game.

Review

For regular readers of Geeky Hobbies, a while back we looked at the game Poison Bottles made by Jordan Draper and Dark Flight Games. Today I am looking at Jordan Draper’s latest game that is coming to Kickstarter, Turin Market.

In Turin Market you play as a goods trader in 18th Century Turin, Italy. The city is currently experiencing a food revolution and the city’s traders are fighting to control the various goods entering the city. Will you be able to monopolize the most goods and control the Turin Market?

I had fun with Turin Market. It is an interesting combination of a bidding game and set collection game. You are trying to collect the most of specific goods in order score points/Scudo at the end of the game. Players can acquire goods through the auction of cards as well as buying cards that other players put up for sale.

Turin Market is a filler game that is the perfect game if you have a little time to kill. Turin Market is simple to play and quick to teach to new players. The game doesn’t have a lot of rules and they are simple enough that you can teach them to new players easily. The game has a recommended age of 10+ and that seems about right. The game takes minutes to teach and takes around 10-15 minutes to play (maybe 20-30 minutes for your first game). If you are looking for a shorter filler game, Turin Market should work well for you.

While the mechanics are pretty simple, there is depth to the bidding because you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Even if you really want/need a card, you can’t bid too much or you will hinder your chances to bid in other auctions. You need to try and gauge the other player’s interest in order to try and win auctions as cheaply as possible.

I like the idea that players that don’t win cards still having to pay some of the bid because it forces players to actually bid in an auction or not bid at all. If you just bid a small amount just in case someone else didn’t bid at all, you likely will lose some of your money and get nothing in return. This makes the bidding interesting because you can’t bid too much and waste money but you can’t bid too low and throw away money and not win any cards. This makes the bids quite close which makes the auctions interesting.

I also like that players lose points for having goods that they end up not having the most of at the end of the game. This forces players to choose which goods that they want to go after instead of just getting a little of every good and hoping to sneak out a couple victories. With this rule players need to be careful which cards they end up taking since they will lose some points if they get goods that they don’t lead in. This also gives players more reasons to try and sell off some of their cards in order to avoid losing points at the end of the game. Every player will end up losing some Scudo for goods that they don’t have the majority in but you want to try and limit it as much as possible.

I found the loan mechanic to be an interesting idea in the game. While the loans are quite expensive (50% interest) I actually think you could actually use a loan as a valid strategy in the game. With more money you can have a big advantage over other players with regards to auctions/purchasing cards. With that extra money you could get quite a few cards which could help you win several goods that you otherwise wouldn’t have won. The only thing I don’t really like about the loans is when a player who didn’t take out a loan during the game is forced to take out a loan because they have to pay Scudo to the other players. This feels like a little too much of a punishment especially if a player invested in goods that are scored last. I think every player should be able to loan Scudo from the bank in one Scudo increments like players that have already taken out loans.

Overall I liked Turin Market and people who like bidding/set collection games should like the game.There are only two complaints that I have with the game.

I wish players would get a little more money at the beginning of the game. Players really start to run out of money at the end of the game. Unless you don’t bid a lot of money during the auctions you are likely to have only a couple Scudo left after the final auction. The problem with not having a lot of money is that it seems to hinder people’s ability to bid on the auctions and buy cards from the other players. Jordan Draper (the designer) is planning on a rules variant where you can start with 20 or 25 Scudo which I think is a good idea.

The other complaint is that the game feels a little too short at times. Your first game will probably take around 20 minutes to finish as you are learning how to play the game. After that the game takes closer to 10-15 minutes. If you are looking for a short game Turin Market is it.

Personally I would have preferred that the game be a little longer. The game lasts between three and five rounds. The short game means that you don’t have a lot of time for your strategy to form. The short length means that some luck comes into play in determining who will win the game. Players who are best at reading how much other players will bid/get lucky have a good chance at winning the game.

The main reason I wish the game was longer is that it feels like it hinders the selling of cards. I really like the idea of being able to sell cards to the other players. It just doesn’t seem to impact the game as much as I would like. In one game not a single player put a card up for sale. I think this is due to the length of the game and lack of money. I like the idea that players have to put some of their own money on the card in order to put it up for sale. This prevents players from putting ridiculous values on their cards. The only problem is that each player doesn’t have a lot of money to start with so if you decide to try to sell one of your cards you really hinder yourself for the next auction.

I think the length of the game impacts this as well because there isn’t a lot of time to sell your cards. With only three to five rounds you have just a couple rounds to sell the cards you purchased. You are unlikely to sell a card after the first two auctions unless you were bidding in the auction to acquire one card and don’t really care about the other card you acquired. The main reason you aren’t going to sell early is that every card you own will either put you in the lead for a good or put you very close to the lead. A player is also unlikely to sell a card for less than they paid for it and other players won’t pay more for it than it sold for at auction since they would have just bid that much in the auction.

When you get to the end of the third round of bidding players might start thinking about selling some of their cards. If a player realizes that they aren’t going to win any of the goods listed on the card you might as well try to sell the card since all you will do is lose money/Scudo by keeping the card. If there is a player that is currently losing by only a couple of one of the goods they may be willing to buy the card if it will put them over the top. The problem though is that most of the cards that a player owns are needed for one of the goods that they currently control. A player isn’t going to sell off a card that they need in order to control one of the goods. I think this is the main reason why a lot of cards aren’t sold at the end of the game.

I wonder if there is a way to make the game a little longer. Adding more cards to the game might extend the game a little and add some more strategy to the game as players will be able to see that they aren’t going to win a good so they will try to sell off cards. I think playing a couple rounds (keeping money between rounds) could also improve the game. With more money (in the later rounds) players would have more flexibility on what they could bid or pay for other players cards. I think this could add quite a bit of strategy to the game. My only concern with playing multiple rounds would be that there could be an issue with a runaway leader.

Jordan Draper is also planning some variants for the game that should make the game longer. One of the ideas he is thinking about adding is a round mechanic where players would play multiple rounds and add the scores together for a final score. Components would be reset between rounds. I think this is a good idea since with rounds a player can come back from a bad round and since the game will be longer there will be more chances for strategy.

I believe that the copy of the game that I received from Dark Flight Games contains the game’s final components. My version includes the deluxe components which includes the special leader chits and the Scudo being made out of wood instead of plastic. I can’t judge the quality of the standard edition components but if they are at all like the deluxe version’s components, you won’t be disappointed.

I have to say that using wooden discs for the Scudo/money is unorthodox but I like. I think it adds to the theme. The lower Scudo values are pretty small though so players need to make sure not to lose them. What I really like about the game’s components is that they do a good job supporting the theme. The cards are really nice. The artwork is great which really adds to the theme. While the font style is a little hard to read at first, after a while you adjust to it  and I think it really adds to the theme. Reading the text isn’t that important either since you really only need to see the goods pictures after you know how to play the game. Finally I like the leader chits (comes only with the deluxe version) which are little plastic tokens that represent the different goods in the game. They are only used to indicate the leader of a particular good so they don’t actually impact gameplay but they still look really nice. If you really like components that support the theme of a game I think you will really like Turin Market.

Final Verdict

I had fun with Turin Market. The game is an interesting blend of bidding and set collection mechanics. The game is quick and simple but still has some interesting decisions on how much to bid in the auctions and which goods to go after. The mechanics are well designed and the game shows a lot of potential. The components, artwork and theming is also well done. The only real problem I have with the game is that the game seems too short. I think the game would have benefited from being a little longer which would have allowed more time for strategies to develop and allowed more selling between players.

If you don’t like bidding or set collection games, Turin Market is probably not going to be for you. If you think the game sounds interesting and you like bidding and set collection games though, I think you should look into backing Turin Market on Kickstarter.

Turin Market launches on Kickstarter tomorrow (April 6th, 2016). The campaign is running through May 1st, 2016. In order to get the standard edition of the game (plastic Scudo and no leader chits) you have to pledge $16 or more. If you pledge $25 or more you get the deluxe version of the game which includes the wooden laser cut Scudo and the plastic leader chits. Check out Turin Market’s Kickstarter page if you would like more information.

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