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Subject: So.... Is Leonardo da Vinci really good? rss

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J. David Koch
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Indianapolis
Indiana
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This is one of the games that I have been looking at for my next purchase.
Been reading all the Essen reports and pouring through this section trying to get all the information I can.

I like the meatier games and am always on the lookout for the next great game.

Some of the games at the top of my list are:

Caylus
Puerto Rico
Princes of Florence
Power Grid
Mykerinos
Traders of Genoa
Amun Re
Reef Encounter
El Grande

and on and on and on....

So....
What has been your experience with playing Leonardo?
Is it a classic in the making or just the flavor of the month?
Does it have some real staying power so that we might be playing this years from now?
Are the mechanics particularly interesting and unique or is it just too close to other types of games all ready in the market?
Any kind of feedback you can provide either good or bad will help me decide if I dig down in the checkbook for another Euro or hold off till later for something better?
You know what I'm looking for...Is it fun and will it be fun for a long time?
Shelf space is at a premium and I just want to make sure it is worth the time, effort, and coin.

Whatever your feeling, I appreciate your thoughtful response.
 
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Skip Maloney
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You may purchase/obtain a copy of Leonardo DaVinci, secure in the knowledge that based on the games you like, Leonardo will exhibit substantial and sufficient staying power, the application of a (somewhat) unique set of mechanics and a blend of the complex and simple that will please a broad range of fellow gamers. Think of it this way: You've got some friends over and it's in the middle of the evening. You've gotten some 'warm ups' to the table. It's now officially, 'not too late' and time to bring out a closer. Something that will occupy a decent expenditure of time without threatening dawn. That can involve (say) up to 5 people. Something that will engage the brain without trying to wrestle it to the ground. Something that is different than almost anything you've played thus far. Leonardo Da Vinci will fit the bill. . .something that any decent group of gamers would consider, now and in the future, to be of decent weight and sufficient enjoyment to bring to the table as a potential choice.

Some may reject it. Those who've never played it, perhaps, because there's a learning curve. Those hankering for something a little lighter, perhaps. But with a contingent of like-minded gamers, who possess a zest for thinking, Leonardo will do quite nicely, thank you very much.
 
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John Weber
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I posted some comments with my recent game rating, gave it an 8. Would have probably gone up to 8.5 except I don't rate games in half-point increments or decimals. If you enjoy the feel of a tense Princes of Florence game, you will probably enjoy Leonardo which has a similar feel but very different mechanics. I consider it kind of a cross between Princes of Florence and Louis 14th, with the theme and the game engine reminiscent of Princes but the tactics and mechanics similar to Louis and perhaps Caylus. There are some unique mechanisms in the game (in particular the Council and the repeated actions for an increasing cost at each location plus the bidding for the patent rights) and the game system rewards proper planning and resource allocation. I recommend playing with the non-beginner setup with players choosing their extra favors at the start plus with the marketplace expansion. While some may not like it, I think it is a fine game that deserves to be ranked near the very top of this year's crop of new Essen games -- plus it's already available in the US in an English language edition. (Something that can't be said yet for some of the other big "hits" from Essen 2006.)

The English rules have been posted on-line, so I recommend you check them out for yourself. The game has been available recently through both Fairplay in the Midwest and GameSurplus on the East Coast, but check for availability as the initial shipments may have already sold out.
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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I like it. I think it's a good Euro. It has the angst of not being able to do everything that you want and others screwing with your plans. It is a relatively simple game that still has some meat for you to bite on.

It is a solid Euro. A game of efficiency yet not knowing really how well since you can't see everything. You also get nervous that people might beat you to that invention and all that work is for naught. I like the bluffing aspect of the game also as you play mind games with your opponents.

I prefer it to Caylus. I find the theme more interesting and it really is more incorporated than in Caylus.
 
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Greg Durrett
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Go for it. First day I brought it to my gaming group we played it twice, which is always a good sign. It remains to be seen whether it's got staying power, but right now it's guaranteed to get some play at every session.
 
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Scott Nelson
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I've thought a lot of games had staying power, that never did over the 3-4 times. other games I go back to a year later, I find a new spark, and we play it non-stop for a few months. LDV is a lighter game than you suspect upon reading the rules. In gameplay it is rather simple, which makes it a good mid-gateway game. You will find LDV a game in depth similar to Princes of Florence, Elasund, or even Puerto Rico. It isn't hard to know what you want, but getting it can be tricky. Peronsally, the 2 player game is too easy...should be 3-5, sweet spot is 4. In the 2 player game, the areas are too wide open. It is a mechanical game, versus a straightforward build-a-city type game. You are in a way building stuff, but it takes time which you need to allocate as well. It has entertaining elements that make the game fun...but for how long is the question. I can say that enjoy playing it, it is very "nice" for a game, giving everyone a chance to buy into the area they placed their markers into, it just may cost a little more. The mechanics are unique, which gives it some staying power. But the fun-factor is still there. I say after a few more plays, I will know if it has staying power.

ps jsyk, if you have any problems with missing/damaged stuff, Mayfair customer service is the best.
 
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J. David Koch
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Based on everyone's feedback here, I picked this up yesterday.
Played last night and.... really like it.
Will take more plays to see if it is what I believe it to be, a solid addition to the Euro library.
But all the indicators are very good.

Thank you all very much for your feedback.
Really helped me to make the final decision.

To anyone else thinking about Leonardo da Vinci:
Looks to be a great Euro in the tradition of Princes of Florence.
Not a brain burner, but lots to accomplish.
But like all great games of it's type, just never enough time to get it all done.
Very original and interesting auction mechanic.
Wonderful bits, good depth, and great fun...





 
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Eric
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I'm wondering, what do think of the game some three months later? Does it have the replayability you were looking for?
 
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J. David Koch
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Quick answer is: It sure does.
Great addition to any Eurogamers library.
This is one that has real staying power.
Pick it up....
 
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jbrier
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For a game that belongs to the same family of Euros as Puerto Rico, Princes of Florence, Caylus, Amun-Re... I find this to be the most clean and certainly most distilled version of that type of game, so while I'm not saying that makes it better than all of those others, it certainly justifies it belonging in a gamer's collection.

 
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Curt Collins
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I couldn't disagree any more. The game is very stale, and the once around auction element really drags down any game. This game belongs to the goa, la citta, taj mahal family of games. That's not a compliment.
 
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J. David Koch
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But I really like all those games....So I guess it is a compliment.
 
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Curt Collins
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I call that group the imposters. People seem to think they are euros, but they play more like tic tac toe IMO. I know plenty of people like them, no accounting for taste I guess, so if you like those games go for it. But if not then beware, complete dud.
 
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Alexander B.
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This is a persistent favorate at our club.

Yesterday, faced with piles of games to choose from, this was the first one to win the "vote" at our table.

Unlike many games that have their sub-groups of lovers and haters at our group, this one seems to be one of the few games that everyone is always "game" for.

It doesn't take long, but packs a lot of tough choices into the time, from the first move to the last.

Another advantage of it is that it plays differently with different numbers of players e.g. a 3 player game has a substantially different strategy than a 5 player game due to the resources being a lot tighter.

Great game!
 
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Curt Collins
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heh, exactly the opposite from where I'm coming from. I don't foresee this one being suffered through much. Especially not by people who have played before.
 
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