We Were Playing It Wrong: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre: The Five Villages, by Chris Handy, published by Rio Grande Games (2013), 2-5 Players

Cinque Terre, published by Rio Grande and designed by Chris Handy, is a pick up and deliver game that sets the players as produce merchants grabbing tomatoes, garlic, etc. from local fields and delivering them to the eponymous Cinque Terre villages of Liguria, Italy.

The primary way players score off their deliveries is by fulfilling produce orders, which look like these:

produce orders
Some examples of order cards. Orders taken from the table count toward game end, but orders held in hand do not.

After an order is filled, the player takes the card and gets points for it at game’s end. However, after taking the fulfilled order, the player also draws a card from the top of the deck which they may keep or not. If the player keeps it they take it into hand and get the opportunity to score points for the kept card too, but only if they fulfill the order by delivering all the required goods to the places indicated of the card. The game is over once a player has fulfilled five produce order cards and/or received five “most popular vendor” (“MPV”) cards (don’t worry, they don’t figure into our mistake). Produce order and MPVs can be taken in any combination to trigger game end. Critically, and here’s where we made our mistake, cards taken into hand remain secret and do not count toward triggering game end. We played such that fulfilled orders in hand were declared and put with other fulfilled orders, which had the effect of hastening the end of the game.

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We Were Playing It Wrong: Cinque Terre