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Fresco - Board Game Box Shot


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Fresco title
Fresco board game in play

The ceiling in the cathedral is getting on a bit and is in urgent need of restoration. The bishop is awaiting important visitors and wants to show off his church from its best side. The players slip into the role of the fresco painters in this colourful family game and have to prove their abilities: But only the player who plans cleverly can win!

This fascinating game already contains 3 expansion modules which can be combined with the basic game in any desired manner to influence the scope of the game. Elaborately structured game cards, additional coloured pieces and lots of bonus counters provide even more excitement!

The 3 expansion modules:
All modules can be used separately or combined.

Fresco board game included expansions
images © Queen Games

User Reviews (9)

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Gamer - Level 6
93 of 101 gamers found this helpful
“Why Not Paint Some Tiles? ”

Fresco is one of those games that might seem intimidating at first to someone unfamiliar with euro games however the game play mechanics are not super complex. There is a fair amount of planning and strategy needed, but by the end of the 2nd turn almost everyone had the ‘idea’ of the game down. The objective is to score the most points; you do so by completing sections of the cathedral’s painting.

The game plays out something like this, you pick your wake up time on the first turn this is chosen at random but it is later determined by reverse score order, that is the person in last place chooses when to wake up first. This is a nice element because it stops someone from really taking off, some games I could jump out to an early 20 or 30 point lead but get stuck with the last wake up time and end up with a poor paint selection.

Your wake up time determines everything for the rest of the round, the order in which you will buy paints AND the paints available, the order in which you get to paint the Cathedral, the cost of paints and your moral.

Moral Track: Being in the positive gaines you a worker
being in the negative forces you to give up a worker

Wake Up Times

After you’ve chosen your wake up time you begin to plan the rest of your turn. You place your workers onto a rectangular card that determines how many of each type of action you get. 2 Men on the market means you get to make 2 purchases however you will ever only get to purchase from 1 “Market Stall”. For every man on the Cathedral you get to paint a tile in the center of the board, you can move the “Bishop” one space (diagonals are allowed) but only once regardless of the number of workers painting. The rest of the actions are straight forward, for every worker on portraits you get 3$, for every worker on the Workshop you get to blend TWO paints. And for every worker in the theater you gain 2 moral.

Worker Placement Board

You make all these choices behind a privacy screen, however if you have players new to worker placement games or new to gaming in general I would recommend playing the first turn or two without the screen.

All players’ actions take place at one location before moving to the next (everyone buys from the market before moving to painting etc.) The order that actions take place at each location is determined by your wake up time. After you have done the theater action the turn is over and players choose a new wake up time and repeat until there are only 6 tiles remaining in the Cathedral, this marks the next turn as the final turn.

I feel that Fresco is a great game that can and should appeal to all types of gamers and here is why.

Family Gamers should consider Fresco because there is no fighting, no war or ‘adult’ theme. Fresco also helps to teach management and planning skills, because you are planning actions behind a hidden screen and most of the time several turns in advance this game definitely gets a brain thinking.

Casual Gamers should consider Fresco as a bridge to more complicated and “gamer” games. Fresco brings worker placement to a basic level and really gets you planning a few turns ahead however it is short and after everyone knows how to play I found that a game only lasts 30-45 minutes. With the availability of multiple expansions you can think of Fresco as a game similar to Carcassonne, simple enough mechanics with room for complex strategies making a great game to convert casuals to gamers.

Gamer Gamers should definitely add this one to their collection. It’s a strategy worker placement game with hidden planning, and multiple expansions that come with the basic game. There are also 3 more expansions that offer plenty of replay ability.

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I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
94 of 103 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Picasso Would Be Proud!”

Fresco takes place during the renaissance in Europe. A bishop has hired renowned fresco painters to restore the large painting on the cathedral ceiling. Players take on the role of a fresco painter who must prove their skill to restore the cathedral ceiling to all its glory! The theme is well represented in the game. Players will buy paint and mix the colors to produce other colors and apply the paint to the cathedral ceiling. The players who paint more sections and the most difficult sections will earn more Victory points (VPs) and become the master of all fresco painters, and of course the winner of the game. Fresco is for 2 to 4 players ages 10 and up and plays in about 90 minutes. This game plays best with 4 players.

I would like to point out that Fresco is a very kid friendly game. The basic game is straight forward and can be enjoyed by children. I introduced this game to my twin daughters when they were 9 years old. They both picked up the mechanics without a problem. The game includes three expansions which can be used to increase the difficulty as your children become better players and for the avid gamers in your gaming group.

The component quality is excellent. The double-sided board (one side for 4 players and the other side for less than 4 players.) is mounted on thick cardboard and extremely colorful. There are thick cardboard tokens, wood playing pieces, a cloth bag, and cardstock player shields. The artwork on the board and playing pieces is beautiful and really sets the painting theme. The rulebook has 8 colorful pages and is well organized but a little wordy. It does contain some examples of play.

Set-up for Fresco does take a moment or two. Each player takes his playing pieces of his color, a large and small screen, an action sheet, a paint mixing reference and 12 Thalers (gold). There are a few playing pieces placed on the board along with the fresco tiles, and the paint cubes and Thaler tokens are sorted and then placed near the board. If there are less than 4 players then some adjustments to the set-up must be made. The expansions also create more set-up time by digging through the fresco tiles to remove certain tiles, shuffling the portrait deck and stacking the Bishop’s request tiles.

I’m going to include the three expansions in my discussion of the game mechanics since avid and power gamers will want to use them. Fresco is played in a series of rounds which consist of the following two phases:

1. Choosing Get Up Time & Adjusting Mood
2. Planning & Performing Actions

Players place (from last place to first) their master painter on the start time in the hostel. The player with the earliest start time takes his actions first and then the other players follow according to their start time. The earlier the start time, the more expensive paints are in the market and the crankier your apprentices become.

After all players have chosen a start time, the mood of their painting crew is adjusted. The mood of each player’s crew is tracked in the theater area of the board. A player’s crew can become unhappy enough to lose an apprentice. By the same token, if the crew becomes ecstatic, an additional apprentice will join the crew.

After start times and moods have been adjusted, players begin planning for the round. Each player secretly places his apprentices under an action on his action card behind the small screen. The large screen is used to hide the paint cubes and Thalers a player currently possesses. Up to three apprentices may be placed on any of the five actions. The actions consist of Market, Cathedral, Studio, Workshop, and Theater, and are performed in this sequence during the phase. Players reveal the location of their apprentices and starting with the player with the earliest start time and proceeding to the latest time perform each of the actions.

Market: Players buy paint. There are up to four market booths of varying size. Paint tiles are randomly selected for each booth at the beginning of the turn. Once a player has purchased paint from a booth, that particular booth closes.

Cathedral: Players paint a portion of the ceiling fresco. Each fresco tile has a required color combination to complete that portion of the fresco. Players earn VPs by completing fresco tiles. A player can earn extra VPs by moving the bishop figure on or near the fresco tile they complete. If a player cannot complete any of the fresco tiles, he can instead paint the alter earning minor VPs.

Studio: The studio includes expansion number 1 which consists of painting portraits of influential or famous persons. Two portrait cards are drawn each turn. A player receives a bonus such as Thalers, VPs, and paint if he takes one of the portrait cards (thusly completing the portrait of the influential person). A player can choose to paint the portrait of an ordinary average Joe and earn 3 Thalers for each apprentice.

Workshop: The workshop includes expansions 2 and 3. Expansion 2 is the Bishop’s request which is a set collection mechanic. The back of every fresco tile has a color(s) and once three of a color is collected, they can be turned in at the workshop for a Bishop’s Request. The requests grant players bonus VPs, Thalers and paint. Expansion 3 expands on paint mixing by adding pink and brown paint. Each apprentice can either blend two paints together, two times, or take a bishop Request.

Theater: A player sends apprentices to the theater to make them happier. Each apprentice sent to the theater increases the player’s mood track by two spaces.

At the end of the round, players receive their income which could be Thalers and paint depending on what is shown on the back of the fresco and Bishop Request tiles they have collected. The market tiles and portrait cards are drawn and a new round begins. If there are six or less fresco tiles remaining, then the game will end after the next round. The master of fresco painters and winner of the game is the player with the most VPs.

Fresco is an easy game to learn and play. The first three expansions increase the difficulty slightly and make the game interesting for avid and power gamers. There is not much luck in this game, it is all about planning. However, Fresco is not a brain burner planning game. Be aware that there are several more expansions for Fresco; however, I have never used them and cannot comment on their effect on the game.

At its heart Fresco is a worker placement game. Players place apprentices to collect paint resources and turn them into VPs. The mechanics aren’t particularly exciting but are solid and do incorporate the theme. I must say that the artwork and the theme present a very upbeat feel to the game.

Like many worker placement Euros there is minimal player interaction in Fresco. Another player can grab the start time you wanted, or the tile/card in the market, cathedral, studio or workshop that you had your eye on. That is it for interaction.

Fresco has a feel good theme and despite the not-so-exciting mechanics, is fun. Fresco is a solid game, well suited for children and casual gamers, and would make a fine addition to your collection.

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Novice Reviewer
I play red
94 of 104 gamers found this helpful
“Simple,nice and solid worker placement”

Visiting my hometown this weekend I stumbled upon Fresco at a bargain price and since the homestead was missing some nice euro action I took a chance and purchased it on a vim. I had heard mixed things about it before, knew it was a worker placement game and also loved the theme so the bargain price pushed me over. Played a couple of rounds of the basic game, it comes with three minor expansions in the box, so this is a review of the base game as I have not played with the expansions, but I will talk a little about them as well.

The game has you play as a master painter in charge of a workforce of apprentices that are competing in restoring the bishops renaissance masterpiece fresco, a huge fresco in the ceiling of the bishops cathedral. He is expecting prominent guests soon and the state of the painting is not good, so you and other master painters are tasked to restore it to it’s former glory. You must manage your small band of workers to decide when to wake up, what paint to buy, what to restore, make money, mix paint, and cheer up spirits.

There are two main phases of each round, though it kinda feels like one big phase. First all players in turn pick a time to wake the workers, the player who is currently in last place picks first and so forth until all players have a picked a time (no two players can have the same amount of points in this game by the way). The wakeup time decides three things, who gets to go to the market and cathedral first, how much money each paint token costs and how the mood of the workers are affected. Rising up early at 05.00 AM will guarantee you first pick of paint in the market and restauration pieces in the cathedral, but you will pay the highest price for the paint and get a high mood penalty, perhaps you will even lose one worker because of low morale. Getting up late at 08.00 AM (still kinda early in my book but ok) will put you last in line for shopping and painting, but give you great prices and happy workers that may also grant you an extra worker that round. Taking a look at your current paint and money holdings, the market offering and available tiles to restore in the cathedral, are all key to picking the right time to get up, but that is off course only if you are in last place and has first pick.

After everyone has chosen a wake up time each player secretly places the workers on a action board behind a player screen. You have a small screen for the action board and a large screen for hiding paint and money. You place your four to six workers on the five different actions and must choose how many workers to send to each task. Sending only one worker to the market means you only get to purchase one paint tile, sending three (the maximum) worker to the studio to paint portraits will fetch you the most money (3X3=9), but will let you do little else that round. Deciding what your workers will do is the worker placement part of the game and it’s fun to do it in secret and simultaneously . After all players have decide you all reveal the action boards at the same time by lifting the player screens. Then all players buy paint, restore, earn money, mix paint and lift spirits of the workers in the order set by the wake up time.

Fresco feels like a easy worker placement game because even though there are things to consider and some actions require that you think a head one or more turns it’s never even close to be as complex and mind boggling as say Agricola or Tzolkin. In the base game you have three primary and three blended colors, this means you have to get some primaries, blend them and then next round you can restore pieces that require the blended colors. There are a few blended colors in the markets (the market is random for each turn) but you have to blend to get them all. There are three expansions that comes with the base game that add portraits (event cards), bishops requests (special points), more colors (more paint colors). Not having played with these cards I can’t really say what they add, but they seemingly only add more of the same really, not changing the basic mechanic of the game. The fact that these expansions come with the game and are not part of the base game is interesting as it seems the designers wanted to present the most basic game possible for new players of Fresco. It also adds a nice option of spicing up the game if or when the base game gets a little predictable or just to simple.

All in all Fresco is a nice euro worker placement game that offers some interaction with the wake your workers, choosing which stall to purchase/close and getting first pick on the restoration tiles each turn, but aggressive this game is not. It offers some nice strategic decisions and requires some light planning ahead. But for me it often feels just a little to light, this is mainly because I love and adore the brutally hard decisions required in games like Agricola, Manhattan and Tzolkin. However my brothers enjoyed the game and not having played worker placement before it was perfectly challenging enough. So as it stands now I think Fresco is a nice easy to medium worker placement game that is well suited for perhaps younger family members or friends that haven’t lost their agricolainity yet. Even though I found it simple it still required strategic choices along the way to get the most points and it’s perfectly possible that other players will block your restoration attempts. If you’re looking for a game like this then Fresco is perfect, if you are looking for a crunchy and challenging worker placement euro then you will be better served with Manhattan Project, Tzolkin or off course the mother of all (modern) worker placement games Agricola.

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Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
oddball Aeronauts fan
94 of 106 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“An artistic alternative to Waterdeep.”

The Renaissance, a glorious and romantic period in human history; a time over-flowing with creativity; a period which saw the production of some of the greatest works of art of all time: Michelangelo’s David and the Sistine Chapel, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper and Mona Lisa, Donatello’s Saint John The Baptist and Saint John The Evangelist, Raphael’s Deposition of Christ and Wedding of the Virgin, and of course their leader, Splinter, who… wait, that’s not right.

Anyway, it’s a period ripe for exploitation through a multitude of media, be it Assassin’s Creed in video games, The Borgias on TV, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in cinema, and now Fresco in the world of board games.

Well, OK, not now, exactly. Fresco is a game of German origins from Queen Games which dates back to 2010, but was recently Kickstarted in a Big Box format and that’s how I got my hands on it. It’s for 2-4 players and in its vanilla form takes around an hour to play.

The idea is that each player is a painter working on commission to paint a ‘Fresco’ on the city’s chapel ceiling and you will be rewarded with victory points for each section you paint. In order to accomplish this you must send your apprentices to do various tasks for you in a classic Euro-game set-up.

Now at this point I can sense that a lot of you are probably starting to stifle a yawn, or maybe even looking for a Luchador link to click… DON’T!! “But painting ceilings!” I hear you cry, “Really? Is this where games have gone to?” Yes, yes, settle down.

They say that the mark of a good documentary (stay with me) is that it will make you care about a subject you never knew you were interested in. See King of Kong, non-video game fans, or Senna, non-Formula One fans. Well maybe something similar can be said of board games. It can’t. But maybe it can. The game doesn’t hinge on the subject but more the balance and competitiveness. The fact that everything is themed so well is an added bonus, but what you really get, once you have waded through the rules (more on those later), is a game that is simple, intuitive, fun and fair.

See, for me, Fresco is the best Euro (worker placement) game I have come across, ahead of the likes of Lords of Waterdeep, Lewis & Clarke and Euphoria. But before we get to that, let’s go through the mechanics of the game.

On each turn, players decide what time they want to wake up in order to determine the turn order for all future actions. The player in last place gets first choice of wake-up time and so on. The earlier you get up the unhappier you are, and happiness causes you to gain or lose apprentice meeples to do your bidding. But getting up earlier gives you first dibs on all the actions through the rest of the turn.

These actions are:

Buy paint form the market
Paint a section of the chapel Fresco
Earn money by paint portraits in your studio
Mix paints to make more exotic colours
And taking a little time off to go to the theatre to gain some happiness and, maybe, an apprentice for the next round
In the basic set-up it’s only the first 2 actions that matter, when it comes to turn order. The market is restocked with different selections of paint each day so getting in there first means you can get the pick of the best combinations on offer. It also means those paints are a bit more expensive so you can’t afford to get there too early too often. Arriving late might mean fewer paints available, but you can pick them up for much lower prices while also gaining some vital happiness.

Painting a section of the chapel ceiling involves handing over some of your hard won paints to complete a section of the ceiling for some victory points. Each section requires a different combination and is worth a different number of points. Again, getting there earlier means you get to make your choice from all those available. Arriving later means someone might have taken the piece you intended to paint.

Earning money from portraits is vital, especially early on, if you want to buy paints. As you complete ceiling tiles you start to earn an income each turn so you can slowly stop your other work.

Mixing paints allows you to paint more colours. You start off with the primary colours and can mix them for green, purple and orange (an expansion that we’re coming to adds in brown and pink). Tiles with the mixed colours are worth more victory points and, as there are only 2 with just the primary colours on, mixing is also a necessity.

And finally, maintaining happiness is vital unless you decide you don’t need one of your apprentices – a bold strategy.

The game is over when the chapel ceiling is complete and the player with the most victory points is the winner. You can earn a few extra victory points by spending your paints on painting the altar rather than the ceiling, should someone snaffle the tile you were about to place, but otherwise that’s about it (for now).

As you can see, it’s a pretty simple turn set-up, one that can be taught and learned very quickly. After that it’s all about the subtlety of tactics, which is as it should be – how early do you want to get up each day? How many meeples do you spend on portraits and the happiness when you really need to be buying and painting as much as you can?

The game is balanced in such a way that good tactics will likely win out, but you’re never totally out of the contest (unless you’re wilfully playing badly). You have 4 meeples to start and can go up to 5 or down to 3, but with 5 different actions to spend them on, every turn you have some difficult decisions to make about what to do.

Add to this the fact that each turn keeps everyone involved. There’s little downtime as each player does a mini turn in each venue (market, chapel etc), rather than someone doing all of their actions before passing on and sitting out for the next 10 minutes.

Finally, the trump card of this Big Box, what makes it big. It comes with 10 expansions (along with something which is more of a tweak than a true expansion, so 10 and a half?). These range from adding secondary wall Fresco to be painted, to adding stained glass windows, specific portraits (which give instant or ongoing bonuses) and even a doctors surgery (which adds a mechanism for apprentices to get sick and require curing before they can play a fully active role).

While it wouldn’t be recommended for anyone to throw all of these at once into a game, each one adds a different dimension and extra consideration in. They extend the length of a game by a few minutes and can make you ponder your moves a bit more, but for a smart tactician this can only be a good thing. I have to confess to not having played all of these just yet, but I’m eager to get a few more under my belt soon.

So what about negatives? I have but two, and neither of those should stop you from buying the game. The first is the rule book. I walked you through, basically, how a turn should work back there. It’s pretty simple, and once you get going you’ll be fine. However, the rulebook does not make it seem anywhere near as simple as it is. Maybe it’s a poor translation from the original German, maybe they only got people to read them who already knew how to play the game, but whatever happened, it didn’t lead to an easy first game.

The second problem is the box. Or rather the moulded plastic inside it. The game has 11.5 sections (the game, 10 expansions and the mini expansion). The box (and manual for that matter) do little to tell you which bits are needed for which version of the game. Don’t get me wrong, once I figured out how everything fitted into the plastic insert I marvelled at how neatly everything went away. Then I tried to work out where what I needed for a game was and I got lost. In the end I threw out the insert, went through all the components and bagged them in marked ziplocs so I could find all the bits I needed much more easily.

But you know a game must be good when the only two things there are to complain about are the box and the writing in the rule book. And I am serious, I cannot pick fault with the game itself.

OK, so if you are looking for a deep game filled intrigue and back-stabbing you’re not going to find it here, but that’s like complaining that Groundhog Day isn’t the Godfather. It was never supposed to be. And just as Groundhog Day is a perfect comedy (don’t even try to dispute that), Fresco is not Battlestar Galactica or Twilight Imperium because it’s not trying to be. Fresco is a perfect hour or so of worker placement fun and that should be celebrated.
Originally published @

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45 of 51 gamers found this helpful
“Fresco - Basic Game Review”

I was undecided as to whether to buy this game but I am very glad I did. This game is extremely well made, the components and artwork are superb suiting the theme well and it is a delight to play. The main board is double sided one side is for 3 players the other for 4 players this seems to be a trend with newer games and it works very nicely.

You each play a master painter with a team of Apprentices whose task is to help restore the Cathedral and its Alter. Having not played board games all that long I can not comment on whether the mechanics in this game are anything new but they are certainly used well and fit right into the central theme of the game. There is plenty of things to think about on your turn and various actions you can take. The turn order for actions is determined by the players choosing what time to wake up, this selection is done in reverse order of the Scoring track (random on the first turn). This effects the mood of your workers and the cost of your paint in the market. Going first gets you the most choice but costs more, going last is cheaper but you only get to chose from whatever the other players leave. You start with 5 apprentices but if their mood is really bad you will lose one but if they are really happy you gain an extra one. Each action you can take you can allocate up to 3 apprentices to perform it, so you have to decide carefully what actions you can take this turn and whether you want to do some more than once. During the last turn the actions you can take change so you are able to blend paints and then restore a Cathedral piece this is very important as for most of the game blending paints is done after restoring the Cathedral which makes your choice of paints at the market and paints used to restore Cathedral pieces very important.

I really enjoy this game and every game is different with the added benefit that the game comes with 3 expansions right in the box allowing for plenty of tweaking helping to keep the game fresh and exciting. The rules are short (always good) and mostly quite good and well explained. There are a couple of areas where the rules are less than clear and the examples given do not add much to the clarity, that said getting them wrong did not harm the gameplay that much, I read a thread here on forums that helped clarify the rule.

The game plays equally well with 3 players as it does with 4 and the expansions also provide rules for playing this 2 player, though I have not tried these yet. Whilst the rules and mechanics are quite simple to pick up there is a lot of depth here even with the basic game.

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83 of 105 gamers found this helpful
“Artistes, à vos pinceaux!”

Gameplay du jeu en vidéo:

Version abrégée des règles en vidéo:

Fermez les yeux. Imaginez-vous faire un bond en arrière dans le temps de 500 ans! Ouvrez les yeux. Devant vous se dresse une majestueuse cathédrale digne des meilleures architectures de l’époque de la Renaissance. Vous avancez de quelques pas et vous voyez l’évêque qui vous fait signe d’entrer. Il vous fait visiter les lieux, vous pointe la grande fresque ornant le plafond et précise qu’il attend des invités de renom. Il faut absolument redonner à la fresque, visiblement en piètre état, son éclat d’antan! L’évêque vous presse de revêtir votre tablier et de vous armer de votre arsenal de pinceaux et de peintures, car vous ne serez pas le seul peintre à vouloir l’impressionner.

Qu’est-ce donc que ce jeu?
Fresco est un jeu de placement d’ouvriers où l’on doit planifier ses actions, anticiper les mouvements des adversaires et… peindre ! Le but du jeu sera d’obtenir plus de points de victoire (que l’on peut associer au niveau de reconnaissance de l’évêque) que vos adversaires. Pour se faire, il faudra entre autres peindre des sections de la grande fresque. Le thème de Fresco est captivant et immersif. Dans la boîte du jeu version originale, on retrouve déjà 3 expansions de base dont je vous reparlerai un peu plus loin.

Comment y joue-t-on ?
Le tableau de jeu possède deux côtés. Au recto se trouve le tableau de jeu pour 2 ou 3 joueurs, et au verso se trouve le tableau de jeu avec quelques petits ajouts pour 4 joueurs. Après avoir sélectionné une couleur parmi celles disponibles (bleu, rouge, vert et jaune) et mis en place les composantes, vous serez prêts à commencer à jouer.

Premièrement, et c’est ce qui m’a séduit dès le départ, c’est le système du « turn order ». Vous aurez à choisir à quelle heure vos assistants vont se lever pour aller effectuer toutes les actions que vous prévoyez faire aujourd’hui. Les amateurs de jeux auront déjà vu des systèmes semblables dans Viticulture, par exemple. Le principe est simple : plus vous vous levez tôt, plus grandes sont vos chances de jouer le premier. Vous aurez toutefois quelques désavantages comme un moral qui diminue puisque vos assistants seront grognons et des prix au marché plus élevés puisque les boutiques viennent d’ouvrir.

Deuxièmement, vous aurez à prévoir toutes les actions que vos assistants auront à faire pendant votre tour. Cinq destinations sont possibles pour vos cinq petits meeples. Cette étape se déroule secrètement et les autres joueurs ne pourront savoir ce que vous avez planifié qu’au moment du dévoilement.

Troisièmement, c’est l’heure de dévoiler votre jeu ! Simultanément, les joueurs écartent leur petit paravent afin que tous puissent voir ce qu’ils ont planifié. Le premier joueur – celui qui s’est levé le plus tôt ce tour-ci – joue d’abord. Premier arrêt, le marché ! C’est ici que le joueur dont c’est le tour décide des couleurs de peinture qu’il désire acheter. N’oubliez pas que plus vous vous levez tôt, plus celles-ci seront coûteuses ! Une fois que tous les joueurs ont effectué leurs actions au marché, nous passons au second arrêt, la cathédrale. Pour chaque assistant placé ici, vous aurez la possibilité de restaurer une section de la fresque, à condition d’avoir en votre possession la peinture nécessaire. Vient ensuite la troisième action possible, le studio. C’est ici que vos assistants pourront peindre des toiles qu’ils pourront vendre et ainsi vous rapporter un revenu décent. Si vous avez envoyé un assistant au quatrième lieu, celui-ci se dirigera vers l’atelier pour y effectuer des mélanges de peinture. C’est en mélangeant des cubes de couleurs primaires ensemble que vous aurez la possibilité d’obtenir des cubes de couleurs secondaires. Finalement, si vos assistants se sont levés très tôt, voilà votre chance de leur remonter le moral en les envoyant au théâtre.

Quatrièmement, une fois que tous les joueurs ont effectué leurs actions, c’est la fin du tour. Chaque joueur reçoit 1 thaler pour chaque tuile restaurée à la cathédrale et on distribue de nouvelles peintures au marché. On détermine l’ordre selon lequel les joueurs décideront de leur heure de lever. Pour ce faire, il faut procéder par ordre croissant des positions sur l’échelle des scores. Le joueur ayant le moins de points sera celui à décider de l’heure de son réveil-matin en premier alors que celui qui est en tête sera le dernier à décider. Il est donc parfois stratégique de renoncer à quelques points pour avoir la priorité au prochain tour !

Finalement, la partie se termine au bout d’environ 60 minutes. Comment savoir que c’est la fin ? C’est facile. Dès qu’il reste 6 tuiles ou moins à restaurer sur la fresque, le dernier tour est annoncé. Les joueurs devront donc retourner leur plaquette de planification des actions. Cela entraîne deux changements importants : il n’y a pas de revenu à la fin du dernier tour, et on a la possibilité de visiter la cathédrale deux fois plutôt qu’une. Une fois au début de la journée, après les courses au marché, et une autre fois à la fin de la journée, après avoir fait vos mélanges de peinture. Lors du dernier tour, nous n’avons donc plus la possibilité d’aller au théâtre. Juste avant le décompte final du score, chaque joueur marque 1 point de victoire pour 2 thalers (par exemple, 20 thalers en fin de partie rapporteraient 10 points de victoire supplémentaires). Le joueur ayant le plus de points est déclaré grand vainqueur. Vous pouvez ensuite remettre en place le jeu pour une seconde partie 😉

En voulez-vous des expansions ?
En v’là ! Comme je le disais précédemment, le jeu de base vient avec les trois premiers modules qui peuvent être ajoutés ou retirés comme bon vous semble. Voici un bref aperçu des changements « in game » :

Module 1 : Les portraits
Ce module a un impact sur le studio. Normalement, chaque assistant désigné pour peindre des portraits vous rapportait simplement 3 thalers. Maintenant, vous avez le choix de prendre l’argent ou un petit bonus (instantané ou constant). Ceci introduit également une nouvelle condition de fin de partie : dès qu’il ne reste que 2 cartes dans le paquet et qu’elles sont dévoilées, le dernier tour est amorcé. Ce module ajoute donc 18 cartes-privilèges, se met en place rapidement et n’a pas un impact déstabilisant sur le jeu.

Module 2 : Les commandes de l’évêque
Ce module a un impact sur les actions effectuées à l’atelier. Un peu comme le module des portraits, les commandes de l’évêque sont une action supplémentaire qu’il est possible d’effectuer si vous envoyez un assistant à l’atelier. Chaque tuile de la fresque que vous restaurez a de petites taches de peinture à l’endos. Lorsque vous réussissez à réunir trois taches de la même couleur, vous avez ce qu’il faut pour honorer une commande de l’évêque. Chaque commande réalisée vous rapportera des points de victoire instantanément ainsi que des cubes de couleurs à tous les tours. Vous devrez par contre faire une croix sur le revenu que vous rapportaient les tuiles restaurées que vous avez utilisées. Le premier joueur à réaliser la commande d’une couleur recevra plus de points que la seconde personne à réaliser la commande de la même couleur. Hmm, ça ne semble pas très clair… Allons-y avec un exemple. Le joueur 1 a restauré 3 tuiles sur lesquelles se trouve une tache de couleur violette. Il décide de réaliser la commande de l’évêque concernant la couleur violette. Puisqu’il est le premier à réaliser cette commande, il marque 10 points. Le joueur 2 a également restauré 3 tuiles semblables (violet) et décide aussi de réaliser une commande de l’évêque. Puisqu’il est le second joueur à honorer cette commande, il ne marque que 7 points. Ah, voilà qui est mieux expliqué ! Ce module introduit 12 tuiles « commandes ».

Module 3 : Les couleurs tertiaires
Ce module amène des modifications à l’atelier. Normalement, chaque assistant envoyé à l’atelier vous permettait de faire 2 mélanges de couleurs primaires (rouge, bleu, jaune) pour créer des couleurs secondaires (bleu, orange, violet). Ce module introduit deux nouvelles couleurs tertiaires : le rose (violet + rouge) et le brun (bleu + orange). Vous pourrez également introduire à la fresque 7 nouvelles tuiles à restaurer contenant les nouvelles couleurs, et rapportant également plus de points que les précédentes.

Comme vous l’avez lu dans la fiche du jeu, 10 expansions de ce jeu sont disponibles à ce jour. Elles sont toutes plus originales et uniques les unes et que les autres et, selon moi, elles rendent le thème du jeu encore plus profond. Certaines d’entre elles ne changent pas beaucoup l’expérience de jeu alors que d’autres changeront complètement vos stratégies habituelles ! Ces modules sont en vente en paquets de 3, à l’exception de ceux qui viennent avec le jeu de base et du module 7 qui se vend individuellement. Depuis 2014, il y a la possibilité d’acheter la « Big Box » de Fresco qui comprend toutes les expansions + un petit bonus surprise. Avec toutes ses possibilités, libre à vous de créer vos propres parties personnalisées de Fresco en sélectionnant vos modules préférés ou ceux qui représentent le plus grand défi pour vous !

Ma critique personnelle
Vous l’aurez sans doute deviné en faisant la lecture de mon descriptif du jeu : je trouve ce jeu complètement génial. Mon avis aurait peut-être été différent si je n’avais pas fait l’acquisition de la Big Box dès le départ. Je ne vous le cacherai pas, le jeu de base (sans le moindre module en place) est plutôt simple. Si vous organisez une soirée-jeu avec des amis novices, 10 minutes suffiront pour leur expliquer le jeu. À la limite, après le premier tour, ils auront saisi l’essentiel et seront même en position de vous battre à votre propre jeu ! Si ce n’est qu’avec cette version que vous jouez, il se peut que le jeu vous semble répétitif. Vous avez donc la possibilité de joueur au jeu de base en famille ou avec des néophytes pour ensuite, après une partie ou deux, les introduire à de nouveaux modules. Je vous avertis tout de suite : ils en redemanderont 😉

Un autre point qui est particulièrement important à mes yeux est le fait qu’il soit possible d’y jouer à 2 joueurs. Le livret d’instructions mentionne très clairement ce qui doit être modifié dans votre manière de jouer si vous n’êtes que 2 joueurs. Contrairement à d’autres jeux où cette option n’est pas aussi attirante que le jeu à 3-4 joueurs, ici je n’y vois presque aucune différence. Peu importe le nombre de participants, le jeu demeure toujours aussi intéressant. Vous serez également peut-être surpris d’apprendre qu’il s’agit du jeu préféré de ma femme, qui était d’abord bien sceptique à l’idée de cet achat. Je crois que lors des deux semaines qui ont suivi notre achat, nous avons joué un minimum d’une partie tous les jours. C’est peu dire…

Oh ! J’ai failli oublier. Il est toujours possible pour n’importe quel joueur de « revenir dans la partie ». C’est-à-dire que même si votre adversaire peint la tuile que vous aviez prévu de restaurer, il sera toujours possible pour vous de marquer des points ailleurs ou autrement. C’est particulièrement vrai si vous jouez avec des modules qui permettent de marquer des points d’une autre façon qu’en restaurant la fresque du plafond de la cathédrale. Comme vous le savez, cette grosse boîte (43.2 x 31.5 x 10.2 cm) contient le jeu de base + 10 modules supplémentaires. Ce serait donc très difficile de s’y retrouver si les designers n’avaient pas fourni un thermo-formage dans la boîte. Heureusement, les différentes séparations de la boîte vous permettent de tout ranger. Le seul petit problème, c’est que la Big Box vient avec un peu plus de 550 composantes de toutes sortes et AUCUNE suggestion pour ranger le tout dans les différents compartiments. Vous devez donc trouver un moyen de ranger tout ce beau matériel de façon stratégique, ordonnée, et de manière à être facilement capable de trouver les modules que vous désirez utiliser lorsque vient le temps de mettre le jeu en place.

Player Avatar
I'm Completely Obsessed
Treasure Map
87 of 131 gamers found this helpful
“Good "starter game" for muggle recruitment”

For those tired of teaching Catan and Carcassonne, Fresco is a good, simple eurogame that can be explained easily to non-boardgamers. The game uses secret worker placement and an ever-changing turn order to collect and manage resources with multiple goals and paths to victory; everything that makes Eurogaming fun, but in a manageable way.

The game comes with 3 expansions, none of which are too complex to throw in even on the first game. I would argue the game description’s claim that any of them lengthen the game. The Portraits expansion almost always ends the game earlier with a set turn limit.

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I play orange
Check Out My Favorites
88 of 140 gamers found this helpful
“Excellent theme game with a lot of strategy.”

This game plays very smoothly after 1 play through. Some of the strategies and complexities take a bit to work out but once familiar this game thrives.

The added strategy of how “early do I make my workers work” as well as the funny element of, earlier makes them unhappy, works very well. Most worker placement games have a place to be the first player, this game incorporates that into your strategy as well as staying true to the theme here.

There are 3 seperate mini-expansions included with the game which all enhance the gameplay as well as replayability, while being easily ommitted to begin with while learning the game.

There is even a great learning opportunity here for the children, with the color wheel coming fully into play.

Overall, you need to give this game a good effort but you will not be dissappointed if you do so.

Player Avatar
70 of 129 gamers found this helpful
“Fun Euro that's okay with two.”

As an art history major I really like the theme for this Euro. The game plays smoothly with a lot of brainy decisions to be made. The dummy third player in the two player game works fine. My only gripe is that I wish the Fresco on the playing board was drawn more like a real fresco. It looks badly drawn to me


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