Greetings winemakers, grape enthusiasts, and tasting experts! We cordially invite you to take a stroll with us through our vineyard as we continue to grow and expand our market operations…
Or, at least, that’s the general vibe that Tuscany, the large-scale expansion to the winemaking Worker Placement game Viticulture. The premise behind Tuscany is that your vineyard has continued to increase in size and prosperity, allowing you to expand it as you see fit.
The game does this through a legacy-styled unlocking of expansions, where one new expansion is cumulatively added to all of the previously unlocked ones every couple playthroughs. Will your play group go right for new visitor cards or do you prefer to get the advice of Mom and Dad first? Is unlocking the new board as enticing as being able to hire specialized workers? That’s for you and your play group to decide.
Then, once all of the first eight expansions have been unlocked, you’re able to choose one of three top tier modules to use alongside them. After that, you’re free to select which top tier module to use each time you play, whether you’re in a mood for cheese, apples, or appealing to the better nature of the local organized crime lord.
Or you can pack the whole thing up and start over. You know, if you want.
It’s evident that the designers of Tuscany put a lot of work not only into each individual expansion (11 in all!) but also to refining a unique and quasi-thematic approach to exploring each of them. As such, we felt it best to honor that when reviewing the game.
Therefore, to best encapsulate both the merits of Tuscany’s expansions individually and the game’s desired “uncorking” nature, we’re doing the same with reviewing Tuscany. And we’re taking you with us.
There are two reasons behind this decision. First, it’s a good way to see if Tuscany lives up to this Legacy-styled approach. While some people may opt to dive head first into the expansion and play with all of the new choices from the start, that’s daunting for most people. However, doing the normal approach obviously takes time. Even running through Tuscany quickly while still limiting yourself to one new module at a time requires a minimum of 11 playthroughs to fully take in every expansion the game offers. That left us with two choices, neither of which we liked the prospects of: burn ourselves out playing Viticulture about 15 times in a short period of time (and pretty much no other game), or not review any aspect of the game for six months while we wind our way through the game.
The first option would be maddening; the second would leave us with little to show for our efforts. Plus, playing Tuscany two or three times can’t even come close to being as fair or thorough as it would need to be for a proper review.
We eventually came up with the idea of a legacy-styled review – one that will slowly expand as we run Tuscany through the gauntlet like we do everything else. Once complete, the review in its entirely will be up permanently.
Second, it’ll be fun! As we saunter through Tuscany, we’ll get to share how our vineyard grows and expands while fairly looking at each expansion module through a critical lens. It may not be quick, but it should be a fun experience for everyone in the meantime.
So, please come join us for a tasting of what Tuscany offers, one sip at at time.