Siena has been getting a lot of buzz lately. So I wanted to see what everyone was talking about, and I had the chance on Tuesday. Bottom line? It's a game that's hamstrung by its own cleverness.
I can only assume that the game was designed around the painting that acts as the game board. It's certainly a novel idea. But just because something is novel, doesn't mean it should be acted upon.
Whereas with most games the art serves the game, here we have the game serving the art. What this ends up doing is constricting the game to the point that every single rule and mechanic feels forced to fit into the world of this painting.
The illustrious Mike Siggins said this: "Ridiculously overblown and fiddly game that presents as a full hour of impenetrable rules and card reading. We struggled through and found an average game that revolves around timing decisions. Too tied to the city theme, in need of a developer's careful trimming. Interminable game end. It takes a long time to play, and has that annoying 'feature' where you work away at something (in this case production) and someone else comes along at the finish and steals all your hard graft. I LOVE that."
This was my experience exactly...right down to the hourlong reading of the inscrutable rules. If you're curious, by all means play it...when someone else brings it. I wouldn 't rush out and buy it though.