Game like Ristorante Italia is what Ban would call an Agricola clone. Apparently, Agricola was the game that popularised strategy games that are heavy on resource management.

Pret-a-porter is yet another clone but more complicated. Basically, you play as a designer (company) with the ultimate aim of generating the most money (among all players) in a year. You do this chiefly through designing, producing and selling collection of clothes during fashion months at the end of each quarter. There are also other ways of earning money but that requires purchase of certain resource.

The resources that available for you are:

  • Credit from bank
  • Contracts
  • Buildings 
  • Employees
  • Clothes design
  • 3 different sources of materials
  • PR/Trend/Quality designation or some money
Credit from bank will incur interest each month until the fashion month where the borrowed amount will need to be paid back. If you are unable to pay maintenance cost of your resources (if applicable), you will be automatically forced to borrow from a private lender (aka loanshark haha) at higher interest rate.

Contracts are contracts with companies or individuals that provide benefits to you. They cost nothing to have but last until fashion month i.e. at most a quarter.

Buildings house companies or departments that provide similar benefits as contracts with companies. They have one time cost and recurring maintenance cost but are permanent.

Employees provide similar benefits as contracts with individuals but are constraint by the number of vacancies. Like buildings, they require a one time hiring payment, has recurring salary and are permanent.

The different sources of materials provide you different number of Quality designation tokens. One of them allows you to purchase one of every type of material whereas the other two allow you to purchase any number of material of only one type.

PR/Trend/Quality designation are used to enhance the chance of you winning the fashion shows.

Each fashion show will be judged on a set of features that are determined at the setup of the game. The set include 1 to 4 features from the following:

  • PR
  • Trend
  • Quality
  • Quantity
There are 4 main things that limit your ability to grab as much resource as possible:

  • Money (obviously)
  • Number of slots available for players to book resources (before getting them)
  • Place tokens (certain number per player and no way of increasing them) to book slots of resources
  • Number of players
This game is more complicated than Ristorante Italia and one major reason is the lack of intuitive pictorial descriptions on the cards representing Contracts, Buildings and Employees and hence lots of time was spent flipping through the manual to understand what each of these specific resource does. It is this reason that Ban refuses to play a second time. A pity, as our friend (it's his set) and I like it and I believe that it'll get easier with more sessions as we get more familiar with the cards.

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