Gameday First Play – The Gallerist
I once saw an elaborate landscape in a gallery, drawn in pencil, that took my breath away. Then I realised the artist probably didn’t have enough confidence to use a pen.
~ Garry Shandling
This age of art and capitalism has created a need for a new occupation – The Gallerist.
Combining the elements of an Art dealer, museum curator, and Artists’ manager, you are about to take on that job! You will promote and nurture Artists; buy, display, and sell their Art; and build and exert your international reputation. As a result, you will achieve the respect needed to draw visitors to your Gallery from all over the world.
There’s a lot of work to be done, but don’t worry, you can hire assistants to help you achieve your goals. Build your fortune by running the most lucrative Gallery and secure your reputation as a world-class Gallerist!
As it says you’re trying to make the most money from your gallery and it’s a Worker Placement game of sorts. There are only 4 spaces to place workers, each space has 2 actions and you can take one of them.
If you occupied that space and someone else goes there they move your pawn into a subspace and when they complete their turn you can take a ‘Kicked Out’ action. This means spending reputation to take an action from that space out of turn. Great system, but can cause turn order confusion at times 🙂
It’s a Heavy Euro with a lot of moving bits so excuse me if I skip the detail and go straight into a “This is basically how the game works…” explanation. 🙂
There are several resources and ‘things’ you need to do other things and if I get into too much detail it won’t be a very fun read 🙂 So I’ll get the basics and put it in some sort of order.
In the Artists Colony you can discover an Artist by flipping the Artists tile over and gain a benefit from doing that. You can also buy Art by paying the cost of a tile, placing it in your Gallery.
The Sales Office lets you get a Contract from the main board to put on your player board and if you have a matching contract for the Art type, (Painting, Digital, Sculpture and Landscape) you can Sell a Painting. This gains you money depending on how popular the artist is.
In the Media Centre you can Promote an Artist to up the value of their work and you can Hire Assistants. Assistants have multiple uses but can be left in an Action Space you vacate to give extra ‘Kicked Out’ actions if another player takes that space. You also leave them on Contracts if you activate them for their bonus.
You track the Value of the Art on your player board and when the reputation of an Artist goes up you move that Artists value with their Signature token.
Finally, the International Market you can increase your Reputation (Big end game points and the resource you use to take Kicked Out actions) if you have the matching criteria. The International Auction allows you to take bonus tiles for resources and effects if you can meet the criteria of people in your Gallery.
Also, before or after taking your action, you can take one Executive action and use Tickets you pick up to move Visitors of the matching colour from the Plaza to your Foyer or from the Foyer to the Gallery. Where Visitors are, the number of them and their colour is a condition for a lot of effects and bonuses so it’s good to do this.
Another Executive Action is to activate the bonus on a contract card if you wish.
There are 3 end game conditions, once 2 of them are met the game ends. You go through end game scoring including a final Auction. Pieces of art are set up (1 fewer than the number of players) and based on your position in the Auction track you get to pick one and sell it… Coming last on this track means you miss out on these decent end game points. ( I was last 🙁 )
This is one of those games, when you’re learning, you go… “Huh?”. It reminded me of Kanban in that way where once you see how everything works together it makes sense but also thematic sense making it easier to understand.
You can’t sell a Painting unless you have a contract from a buyer. the higher the Repuation of an Artist the more their work is worth, the more Investors you have in your Gallery the more Money you can make etc…
It all fits together really really well and was very easy to play once you got all those tiny details down about what goes where and what you need for which action.
It helps that the player aides were AMAZING!
This one breaks down all the actions, including Kicked Out actions and Executive actions…
This one gives you information on what all the bonus actions do but also describes each resource… what its used for and how you get it.
These were very helpful…
Overall I thought this game was great. The box is huge, it’s expensive but it all works together so well that our game took well over 2 hours and I didn’t feel it at all.
Second plays of these heavier games are required to make sure it’s not just the novelty of a bunch of mechanisms mushed together in a particular way that make the game feel good. So I hope to play this one again to find out 🙂