Strategically Thematic: The Gallerist

May 11, 2017

Strategically Thematic is a segment featured on The Dice Tower's bi-weekly Throat Punch Lunch videos about games where the theme and mechanics go together really well.

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Hi, this is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and this is Strategically Thematic, a segment where I talk about theme in different strategic games. This time, I’m talking about The Gallerist.

The Gallerist is a game where you’re an art gallerist trying to make the most money by discovering artists, promoting them, and showing and selling their art in your museum. Throughout the game, you have one big worker that represents you, going around to the different locations and doing different actions. You can also hire assistants that will help you both with your gallery and in the International Markets, increasing your reputation and bidding on works of art.

There are a bunch of actions you’ll need to do before you can profit from the art. First, an artist needs to be discovered before you can buy a piece of art from them. Also, when you discover an artist, you get to commission a piece, so even if the artist gets more popular and their art costs more, you’ll still be able to acquire that piece for the original price, since you found the artist before they were famous. Since you want your art pieces to sell for more money, you can promote the artists, which increases their fame and makes their art more expensive. Then you need to get a contract before you can finally sell the work of art to one of the visitors in your gallery.

Something that’s pretty neat in The Gallerist is that you have a track to score your influence. This is separate from the victory points, since you just care about your money at the end, but influence can be used to obtain money, as well as other perks. For example, if you’re trying to promote an artist, in addition to the normal action, you can use some of your influence to give the artist additional fame, which will help out later when you want to sell their art.

A lot of the influence and money you get in the game depends on the visitors you have in your gallery. There are a couple types of visitors - collectors, investors, and VIPs. The investors tend to give you more money, the VIPs give you more influence, and the collectors can give you both. But collectors are rare, and you can only get multiple to come to your gallery if you’ve sold some art already. Visitors are also the ones who actually buy your art. Whenever you sell a piece of art, the visitor who bought it leaves your gallery as a happy customer.

The Gallerist is a beautiful game with production to match the theme. I love how each work of art is different, and the game even comes with little easels where the international works of art are displayed! It takes a lot of planning and preparation to run a successful gallery with valuable art pieces, and The Gallerist captures that feeling very well. Thanks for watching Strategically Thematic! Comment below with your favorite thematic and strategic games!
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