Designers: Flaminia Brasini, Virginio Gigli and Simone Luciani
Time: 60-120 Minutes
This was our first event to play at Origins and my first disappointment. I really had high hopes for this game, as it had some interesting mechanisms but I just don’t feel the need to play it again. It had a Voyages of Marco Polo feel to me…..where I think the first game is unique and interesting but each play after that I would be doing pretty much the same thing.
I really like the different actions you can do on your turn. There really are quite a few of different places to go.
I liked the worker placement aspect of it, where each of your workers are associated with a die and you place those workers in a spot that has that number or lower. I like how every one has the same number for their workers, it’s what you can do and when you do it compared to the others that makes the difference. I also like that you are not just stuck with the number but you can raise that number with assistance if you want to.
My favorite part of the game is the engine building, where you buy cards then put them on your player board. Each card has a number associated with it based on pips on a die. There is an area on the board that you can put your worker on to activate ALL the cards on your player board that are associated with that spot. Most of these are gaining resources or trading one resource for another or to farm victory points. It is very satisfying to make those chains and do a bunch of stuff in one turn.
There are a couple of things I really don’t like about Lorenzo and they make the game a no buy for me.
You see every card in the first play. I just don’t understand why designers don’t make games more replayable. Just add a ton of cards so that I don’t see them all in the first game. I just have no desire to play this any more. Yeah, the cards will come out at different times, but that’s not enough.
This negative is directly associated with one of my positives…..activating your cards on your player board! The spots that you can use for your workers are too brutal! The first spot is free so, the first person to go there will get the full amount of the pips of the die he is using. Anyone going after that has a minus 3 pips to his die, making it extremely hard to use that ability. The whole game seems to guide you to doing this awesome engine building on your player board yet, punishes you for trying to use it???? I just don’t get it. Yes, there are certain cards that give you ways to adjust your pips on certain actions but still….just makes no sense???
There are a lot of things to do, but to me you are forced to do everything…..which is a false sense of multiple paths to victory. If I want to put more cards on my tableau I have to raise my military…..I have to go up on the faith track each era or suffer a penalty. It is one of those games where you just need to be better at one more thing than other players, everything else evens out.
I was pretty disappointed in Lorenzo il Magnifico by the time we got done playing, Grant and I were calling it Lorenzo il OKo. It was fine but I am glad I played it before I bought it. I have no desire to play again. I loved some of the mechanisms that were introduced into the game but sadly they were not enough to make me want to add it to my collection. Here’s hoping the rest of the games at Origins fare better!