The Gallerist: How to Play — Simplified

OVERVIEW

Our Rating:

In The Gallerist, you've taken on the roles of of an artist manager, museum curator and art dealer. You'll buy, display and sell art; promote artists; develop international influence and amass fortune in your quest to become the most successful gallerist. Resources are limited, though, and helping your own goals can help other gallerists in theirs! 

Number of Players

Time to Play

Ages

1-4

30-120 mins.

12+

Note: These simplified rules are to help you decide if The Gallerist is right for you and your group, or to help you get started quickly, not to be all-encompassing.

Rules Overview

The Gallerist is a worker placement game, and your goal is to collect as much money as possible through your fame and influence to be the most successful. The setup and play can be intimidating and complex, especially for your first play-through. However, it gets easier and quicker, and as you start playing, terminology and the game start to make more sense.

This is not a comprehensive rule guide; it is meant only as an overview to help you get a better grasp of the game and to hit the ground running. We've also included a few helpful videos that demonstrate what we're talking about. If you want a full read-through, Eagle Gryphon Games has the complete rule book online.  

The Gallerist Setup

There is a lot of setup in this game. The rules do a good job of walking you through it and as they're lengthy, we won't go through the entire setup here. (We tried. The post got waaaay too long!) However, there are a few pieces of information we figured out after making a few mistakes. The pink, brown and white meeples are the visitors (or VIPs, investors and collectors respectively).  They are placed in the bag at the start of the game. Use all of them in a four player game, remove two in a three player game and remove four in a two player or solo game. 

The matching pink, brown and white tickets are used to move visitors from the plaza to your lobby or gallery, or another player's lobby to the plaza, your lobby or your gallery. Visitors in your gallery get you points and increases an artist's fame when you buy artwork. Visitors in your gallery cannot be taken out by other players.

The small, square white tiles are artist bonus tiles for the artist tiles, and the grey-blue tiles (reputation tiles) are for the international market.

Ready to play The Gallerist.

On Your Turn

Learning a worker placement game can be intimidating. While you may have a decent understanding of the goal of the game, how to get there or why actions are important can escape you until it's too late. Instead of us simplifying the rules (which, honestly, is practically impossible in this game as there are so many), we've simplified why actions are important or how they link in the game.

There are four action areas on the game board: the sales office, artists colony, media centre and international market. On your turn, you have six or eight options--two at each action area. (Yup, that's not a typo.)  If your gallerist pawn is at home and not in an action area, it can move anywhere. If it is in one of the action areas below, it must move elsewhere. Let's talk about those areas.

1) Artists colony

Actions: discover a new artist or buy art from an already-discovered artist. 

The artists colony. Players can buy art from the face-up artists or discover the face-down artists. Art at the right, tickets at the bottom.

A) Discovering An Artist: What You Do

You immediately get the bonus from the bonus tile on the undiscovered artist (then discard the tile). Take the corresponding signature token for the artist. To start, place it on your player board's commission space until you buy art from that artist.

Why You Want to Do It

The matching signature token moves up the fame track on your player board when you buy art from that artist. (You can then discover a new artist.) As the artist becomes more famous, the signature token keeps moving up the fame track, earning you more money when you sell that art. Remember, money =points.

Discovering an artist also allows you to buy art from him for cheap, no matter how famous he gets, as long as you have his signature token. 

Remember, if you have a signature token in your commission space, you cannot discover a new artist until the commission space is free.

See it in action:

B) Buy Art: What You Do

You can buy art from any discovered artist (face-up tiles), as long as that artist has a signature token. An artist can only create two pieces of art at a time, and yes, one player can own both pieces from the same artist.

Why You Want to Do It

Buying art gets you bonus tickets and increases the number of visitors allowed in your gallery. Tickets move visitors to your lobby or gallery. More visitors=more bonuses and money.

Buying art also increases an artist's fame, helps you fulfill the bonuses on the two end goal cards (art dealer and curator) you were dealt, and it increases the amount of visitors allowed in your gallery. 

See it in Action:

2) Media Centre

Actions: promote an artist or hire assistants.

A) Promote an Artist: What You Do

Take an influence token (thumbs-up token with a number) from the game board and place it in the top-right corner of the artist tile you want to promote. Increase the fame on the artist's tile, using the picture equation, also shown on the game board. Influence can only increase by one per turn, so if the artist has a number two token, you switch the token to three. You pay for influence by spending your own influence, so be strategic. Your influence is part of your score at the end.

Why You Want to Do It

You immediately get a bonus (tickets, influence, money) shown on the game board. Increasing an artist's fame increases the value of that artist's art, earning you more money when you sell it. Money=points, my friend! 

See it in action:

B) Hiring Assistants: What You Do

You start with two assistants in your office and eight waiting in the unemployment line on your player board. Hire (pay for) as many assistants as what fit at the desks in your office. Each assistant cost is different. 

Assistants are hired from the unemployment line, shown at left.

Why You Want to Do It

Assistants can do your work for you. You will get bonuses for hiring every assistant after the first. Assistants can be left at action areas after your gallerist pawn has left. This will give you the option of performing a kicked-out action (a bonus action) if someone else enters that area and--you guessed it--kicks you out. 

Assistants are the only way you can play the international market, and very importantly, at the auction in the international market. You must have displayed or sold a specific kind of art and also have specific visitors in your lobby to play the market, hence the importance of tickets and buying/selling art. (Tickets move visitors.) The international market grants you immediate bonuses from your player board and end game bonuses from the tile you chose. It also helps determine who gets the renowned works of art and money at the end of the game, based on the assistants at the market. These bonuses can significantly improve your score. 

See it in action:

Assistants can also be assigned to contracts to get the contract bonus. That brings us to...

3) Sales Office

Actions: take a contract or sell your art.

A) Sign a Contract: What You Do

Four contracts are placed face-up (pink and brown sides) on the game board. Each has an art medium (sculpture, photography, etc.) and a bonus shown. Take one, or turn four new ones face up and take one of those, and put it on your player board's contract spaces.

The empty contract spaces are shown bottom centre.

Why You Want to Do It

Contracts allow you to sell art in the matching medium shown on the card. You immediately get a ticket from your player board the first time you put a contract in an empty space. You can also assign an assistant to the contract and get the bonus if you get kicked out of a space on the game board (an executive action of the kicked-out actions). When the contract is completed (flipped face-down), you can assign an assistant to that side of the card as well (during an executive action if you're kicked out) and get another bonus.

Fulfilling contracts/selling art gets you money, and helps you achieve the goals on your curator and art dealer cards. 

It's important to note you can't move the assistant off the contract until that card is removed from the space. Contracts are removed when they are replaced by other contracts, but you have to have used all the contract spaces before you can re-use a contract space (and free any assigned assistant). Phew. It's a lot to keep in mind.

See it in action:

B) Sell Art: What You Do

The artist tile's value track shows how much your art is worth. Sell the matching art from your player board and put it next to your board. Flip the contract-face down and move any remaining art to the left in your player board gallery. Put the signature tile back on the game board next to the artist. You'll also lose a visitor from your gallery and put any assistants assigned to the contract back to the player board office.

Sold artwork is placed near your player board. At left is the unemployment line for assistants with some assigned to contracts to get bonuses.

Why You Want to Do It

Selling art gives you money--sometimes a lot of money, depending when you bought or if you discovered that artist. Selling art also helps you achieve your end goals on the art dealer and curator cards you were dealt at the beginning of the game. These cards can give you big bonuses. After a sale, the number of collectors allowed in your gallery increases by one, improving your bonuses for artist fame, money, influence and so on.

See it in action:

4) International Market

Actions: take a reputation (blue and grey) tile or bid on renowned artwork.

International Market, shown at left, with contracts above and the influence tokens and track at the bottom.

A) Take a Reputation Tile: What You Do

Reputation tiles are in the upper four rows in the market. Assign an assistant to the tile space you want, place the tile on your player board (below your art), and take the bonus of the space you covered, not the bonus on the tile. You then return one of the visitors in your lobby to the plaza.

Important! You can only assign an assistant to one of these rows if you sold or are displaying the matching art medium next to a row and have the matching visitor colour(s) shown above each column in your lobby

Why You Want to Do It

You get bonuses immediately and at the game's end with the reputation tiles. Bonuses run the gamut from fame to money.  Any assistants in the international market are tallied at the end, rewarding players who have the most, second- and third-most with money bonuses (more points!). 

See it in action:

B) Bid on Artwork: What You Do

Similar to the market's upper four rows, you must meet the criteria to assign assistants to these tile spaces. Pay the cost, assign an assistant to the tile space, gain the influence noted on the game board and take your bonus.

Why You Want to Do It

The auction section of the market gives you an immediate bonus and bump in your influence, both important pieces to winning the game. These assigned assistants are also counted towards who gets the money bonus, and who gets a renowned work of art (increasing your score, contributing to end game goals, and so on).

See it in action:

Kicked-Out and Executive Actions

Kicked-out actions are taken only when your gallerist pawn or an assistant is kicked out from an action area by another player.

Executive actions are taken either before or after you take a location ​area action.

Executive Actions: What You Do

A) You can move as many visitors as you have tickets from any lobby (including your opponent's) to the plaza or another lobby or gallery (including yours). Ticket and meeple colour must match.

OR

B) You can assign an assistant to a contract and take the bonus.

An orange meeple is assigned to a contract, immediately giving that bonus.

See it in action:

Kicked-Out Actions: What You Do

A) Take one of the above Executive Actions.

OR

B) Perform one of the current location's actions by paying for it in influence. Move your coloured disc on the influence track back to the nearest pink (fame) square. This could be costly, so be strategic.

Wrap Up

It's a lot. We know. After you get over the intial, "Why the heck am I playing this?!" phase, The Gallerist actions and terminology will make sense and we're pretty positive you'll love it as much as we do. In the meantime, we hope we provided some clarification and background why you take actions and how important they are to your game. Have fun and good luck!

About the author

HexaGamers

We are the HexaGamers. Six good friends that love all things game related that gets us together to enjoy each other's company.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: