Fresco: Mastering the Art – Rules, Winning Strategies & How to Play Guide


Fresco is a unique board game that combines strategy, planning, and a touch of artistic flair. The game is set in the Renaissance period, where players take on the roles of master painters working on a grand Fresco in a cathedral. The objective is to earn the most points by skillfully managing your apprentices, buying paints, and creating the most beautiful sections of the Fresco.

The game was designed by Marco Ruskowski and Marcel Süßelbeck and published by Queen Games in 2010. It has since gained popularity for its unique theme and engaging gameplay. To play Fresco, you will need the game board, player boards, tiles, cards, and tokens included in the game box.

Rules for playing Fresco

The official rules of Fresco are straightforward yet offer room for strategic decisions. Here are the basic rules:

  1. Each player starts with a player board representing their studio and a set of apprentice tokens.
  2. Players decide when their apprentices will wake up, which determines the order of play and the cost of paint in the market.
  3. Players send their apprentices to various locations on the board to buy paint, mix paint, paint the Fresco, raise their mood, or earn money.
  4. Players earn points by painting sections of the Fresco, attending the bishop’s wishes, and having a high mood.
  5. The game ends when a certain number of Fresco tiles have been painted. The player with the most points wins.

While these are the official rules, you may also introduce ‘house rules’ to add variety to the game. For example, you could change the way points are scored or introduce new locations.

How do you play Fresco


To set up the game, place the game board in the middle of the table. Each player takes a player board and the corresponding apprentice tokens, money, and paint cubes. The Fresco tiles are shuffled and placed on the game board, and the market is filled with paint cubes.


The game is played in rounds, with each round consisting of several phases. In the first phase, players decide when their apprentices will wake up. In the second phase, players send their apprentices to the market, the workshop, the Fresco, the studio, or the cathedral. In the third phase, players carry out the actions of their apprentices. This continues until the end of the game.

End of the Game

The game ends when a certain number of Fresco tiles have been painted. Players then add up their points from painting the Fresco, attending the bishop’s wishes, and their mood. The player with the most points wins.

How to Win at Fresco

Winning at Fresco requires a balance of short-term tactics and long-term strategy. Here are some tips to help you win:

  1. Plan your actions carefully. Each action you take should contribute to your overall strategy.
  2. Keep an eye on the market. Buying paint at the right time can save you money and give you the colors you need to paint the Fresco.
  3. Pay attention to the bishop’s wishes. Fulfilling these can earn you extra points.
  4. Maintain a high mood. A happy apprentice is a productive apprentice.
  5. Don’t forget about money. You’ll need it to buy paint and pay your apprentices.

Remember, the key to winning Fresco is to be flexible and adapt your strategy as the game progresses.

Best Strategies for playing Fresco game

While there are many strategies for playing Fresco, here are some of the most effective:

  1. Focus on painting the Fresco. This is the main source of points in the game.
  2. Use your apprentices wisely. Each apprentice can only perform one action per round, so make sure their actions count.
  3. Mix your paints. Some colors are more valuable than others, so try to mix your paints to create the most valuable colors.
  4. Keep an eye on your opponents. Try to anticipate their moves and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  5. Plan ahead. The game can change quickly, so it’s important to have a plan for the next few rounds.

With these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master painter in Fresco.

Scenarios for Fresco

In Fresco, you’ll encounter a variety of scenarios that will test your strategic skills. Here are some common scenarios and how to handle them:

  1. You’re running low on money. In this case, you might want to send your apprentices to the studio to earn some money.
  2. You need a specific color of paint, but it’s not available in the market. You could try to mix your existing paints to create the color you need.
  3. Another player is about to paint a section of the Fresco that you wanted to paint. You could try to paint it first, or you could focus on a different section of the Fresco.
  4. Your mood is low. You could send your apprentices to the cathedral to raise their mood.
  5. The game is nearing its end, and you’re behind in points. You might want to take some risks to earn more points, such as painting more complex sections of the Fresco.

No matter the scenario, the key is to stay calm and think strategically.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about playing Fresco:

Q: How many players can play Fresco? A: Fresco can be played by 2 to 4 players.

Q: How long does a game of Fresco last? A: A game of Fresco typically lasts 45 to 60 minutes.

Q: Can I play Fresco with my children? A: Yes, Fresco is suitable for ages 10 and up.

Q: What do I do if I run out of money? A: You can send your apprentices to the studio to earn money.

Q: Can I mix any colors of paint? A: Yes, you can mix any colors of paint, but some combinations are more valuable than others.

I hope this guide has given you a good understanding of how to play