Posted by James (admin) on October 14th, 2014
Murano is a game by Markus and Inka Brand, designers of the excellent Village. Players are competing to be the best businessman on the glass-blowing island and have the most victory points (VPs) when the game ends.
The core game mechanic is moving the various ships around the action spaces that are located around the edge of the board. On their turn, a player can move any ship any distance so long as it doesn’t overtake (or even share a space with) any another ship. A player can move one ship for free, and they can move more ships each one moved costs an increasing amount of cash. When done moving ships, the player takes the action of the space where the last moved ship moved to.
There are lots of different actions such as buying or placing streets, shops, palaces and other buildings on the various islands; producing glass (which costs you VPs due to the pollution), placing their coloured gondolas next to islands, and hiring characters. The special buildings give players on-going abilities for the game. There are various ways to score points and the key method is from characters (cards) you have hired during the game. Characters score VPs for lots of different factors such as the number of shops on an island, the number of customers on an island, if the numbers of different types of buildings match on an island, etc.
However, the gondolas you have placed during the game and which island they are placed next to determine where you can score your characters plus one character can only be assigned to one gondola. This makes placing gondolas an interesting action because, whilst the spaces for gondolas next to each island are coloured in the players’ colours, you can pay a higher price when placing a gondola to place it on a space of another player colour. So, I expect some humorous screwage by players over that.
Murano sounds like an interesting eurogame with an unusual core mechanic, plenty of elements to balance and unusual scoring system. It sounds like a game where the ships could move a lot could between your turns, so you’ll probably need cash to ensure you can achieve the actions you want, or you’ll need to react to changes if you don’t have cash so you can figure out how to be effective when unable to move multiple ships.
As characters can only score where players have gondolas, players with few characters could maybe try to limit other players who have lots of characters by limiting the number of gondolas they have. Overall, Murano sounds very promising.
More info is available on Lookout’s Murano web page which can be reached using this shortlink: bga.me/murano and the rules are available in the Downloads section.
For more Spiel 2014 previews, check out my Spiel 2014 Previews page which lists the games on my radar with links to their previews too.