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Subject: Lorenzo or Grand Austria Hotel? rss

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Bart
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Which one should I choose? What are your experiences with these games? I have to say I mostly play 2-player games.
 
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Matthias M
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For 3 or 4 players, it's Lorenzo without any doubt, because I would not recommend GAH for any number of players other than 2. For 2 player, it's a close call, but I'd still say Lorenzo.
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Rowdy Scarlett
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Lorenzo is a bit "Heavier" game than GAH. Not Lisboa heavy, but it is certainly a more meaty game than Grand Austria.
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Ben Johnson
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I'd say it really depends on what you're looking for. They both do well at 2p. Lorenzo is more engine building and shopping via worker placement. GAH is dice drafting, resource management and order fulfillment. I own both and like both, but I feel like it depends on what you're in the mood for.
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Marcin Gielewski
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2 player GAH (3+ players long downtime)
3-5 Lorenzo (2 players you can't produce and harvest when you nead it)

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Bart
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Thanks for your opinions
 
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chris ward
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I like GAH at all player counts and have never had the problems at 4 that others have found. That said I learned and played many 2 player games before playing 4p.

I've played 4P at least three times each with different groups and minimum of 2 new players without problems.

I think it would be a mistake to learn with 4 new players (I have friends who dud that and it killed the game for them). But with 1 experienced teacher reminding folks of the workflow and warning of the worst pitfalls you can keep it moving and everyone involved.

That said it is particularly good at 2P, partly because it plays so fast even with initial drafting (a must after first few plays) once you know the game.

Not played Lorenzo but would like to.
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Chris Eustice

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cw67q wrote:
I like GAH at all player counts and have never had the problems at 4 that others have found. That said I learned and played many 2 player games before playing 4p.

I've played 4P at least three times each with different groups and minimum of 2 new players without problems.

I think it would be a mistake to learn with 4 new players (I have friends who dud that and it killed the game for them). But with 1 experienced teacher reminding folks of the workflow and warning of the worst pitfalls you can keep it moving and everyone involved.

That said it is particularly good at 2P, partly because it plays so fast even with initial drafting (a must after first few plays) once you know the game.

Not played Lorenzo but would like to.


Exactly this GAH is fantastic one of my favorites. I own Lorenzo have yet to play it.
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Phil Hendrickson
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aFamilyOfTrees wrote:
I'd say it really depends on what you're looking for. They both do well at 2p. Lorenzo is more engine building and shopping via worker placement. GAH is dice drafting, resource management and order fulfillment. I own both and like both, but I feel like it depends on what you're in the mood for.


This is it. The two games look similar due to the emperor track and faith track, but they really play differently. Both are very good.

GAH is great for two players, but I really don't mind it with more players. You just need to be patient and enjoy the company of your fellow players.

I find Lorenzo to be a bit restrictive at 2P, because only one player can do harvest and production each round. It's very frustrating to build a great machine and then not get to run it.
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Marcin Gielewski
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DrumPhil wrote:
It's very frustrating to build a great machine and then not get to run it.


exactly
 
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Chris Whitpan
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I agree with most of what’s being said....

2-3 I like GAH
3-4 I like Lorenzo

So depends on how many you typically play with.
I would go down to one if I didn’t have a variety of groups to play with and my wife and I really like GAH at 2.

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Mike Pranno
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I have played and liked both games. My preference leans toward Grand Austria Hotel but more for the games variability than anything else. If Lorenzo had a larger base of cards, my gap between the two games would be much closer. Differences due to player count doesn't resonate with me.
 
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Justin Rizzo
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marcingielewski wrote:
DrumPhil wrote:
It's very frustrating to build a great machine and then not get to run it.


exactly


Yeah, we even played a variant in which the second player *could* run their engine, but at a penalty cost. It was still frustrating. I mean, in an engine building game the inability to run your engine is....frustrating.

Has any tried a variant where you the spot is just permanently open?
 
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Wil
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JustinRRizzo wrote:
marcingielewski wrote:
DrumPhil wrote:
It's very frustrating to build a great machine and then not get to run it.


exactly


Yeah, we even played a variant in which the second player *could* run their engine, but at a penalty cost. It was still frustrating. I mean, in an engine building game the inability to run your engine is....frustrating.

Has any tried a variant where you the spot is just permanently open?


Yes, I exclusively play this way with 2 players.

I do this because in my opinion, if I shut my opponent out of being able to run their engine twice in a game, I'd likely win but they'd probably never want to play Lorenzo with me again so that ends up being a major loss.

For clarity the variant (or house rule) is simple: don't cover up either of the engine running spaces. They are both available just like they are in a 3, 4, (or 5) player game.

Based on my experiences, this has only been a positive change for all. You can still go to the non penalty space first making it more costly for your opponent to run the engine if they go there later, just like you would in a multi-player game, but you don't shut them out entirely and give them a bad play experience.

To date, this change has not created a winner on either side, it has simply made it more fun for BOTH players by not painfully limiting one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game.

FWIW: the new expansion has a leader card that is a private action space that lets a user run either of their engines. It is NOT excluded from 2 player games and it's a significantly larger advantage for someone to have as it's literally their own uncontested action space to run their engine with no penalties or additional costs. If anything was to throw off balance for 2 players, it would be this card, and it's not excluded.

I highly recommend giving this variant / house rule a try and not covering these spaces. I think you'll mutually enjoy the game a considerable amount more. Note: you do still cover the two 4 player spaces on the bottom right of the board.

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Mike Pranno
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wgerken wrote:
JustinRRizzo wrote:
marcingielewski wrote:
DrumPhil wrote:
It's very frustrating to build a great machine and then not get to run it.


exactly


Yeah, we even played a variant in which the second player *could* run their engine, but at a penalty cost. It was still frustrating. I mean, in an engine building game the inability to run your engine is....frustrating.

Has any tried a variant where you the spot is just permanently open?


Yes, I exclusively play this way with 2 players.

I do this because in my opinion, if I shut my opponent out of being able to run their engine twice in a game, I'd likely win but they'd probably never want to play Lorenzo with me again so that ends up being a major loss.

For clarity the variant (or house rule) is simple: don't cover up either of the engine running spaces. They are both available just like they are in a 3, 4, (or 5) player game.

Based on my experiences, this has only been a positive change for all. You can still go to the non penalty space first making it more costly for your opponent to run the engine if they go there later, just like you would in a multi-player game, but you don't shut them out entirely and give them a bad play experience.

To date, this change has not created a winner on either side, it has simply made it more fun for BOTH players by not painfully limiting one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game.

FWIW: the new expansion has a leader card that is a private action space that lets a user run either of their engines. It is NOT excluded from 2 player games and it's a significantly larger advantage for someone to have as it's literally their own uncontested action space to run their engine with no penalties or additional costs. If anything was to throw off balance for 2 players, it would be this card, and it's not excluded.

I highly recommend giving this variant / house rule a try and not covering these spaces. I think you'll mutually enjoy the game a considerable amount more. Note: you do still cover the two 4 player spaces on the bottom right of the board.

How about allow each player to use both production spaces, i.e. unable to block, BUT allow each player to use only one space per turn? My only concern about doing it your way is allowing more resources into the game than was playtested for.
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Wil
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mcpranno wrote:
How about allow each player to use both production spaces, i.e. unable to block, BUT allow each player to use only one space per turn? My only concern about doing it your way is allowing more resources into the game than was playtested for.


That sounds like a wise refinement.

I haven't run into issues with double hitting each one being an issue as it was uncommon to do so, but you're absolutely right that this could be an issue. I'll use that refinement on the next play as well.
 
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Wil
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To respond to the OP, I thought I'd share that I enjoy both Lorenzo and Grand Austria hotel at two players. I think they are both fantastic games and both work quite well at two players (but I do tweak the rules in Lorenzo on the engine running spaces and that's an important bias to be aware of, mentioned in a discussion above).

Picking which is better to me is almost like asking me which of my children I like more. I can't compare them as they are both amazing and unique. What I can say is that if you play mostly two players, you really can't make a bad decision here.

Grand Austria Hotel is a slightly lighter game with a shorter play time at two players. That speed could lead to two plays in a row which is always great.

Dice drafting is one of my favorite mechanisms and Grand Austria Hotel does this quite well and with fun chunky dice. I do prefer having the extra dice that you get in a 3 or 4 player game, but it's still fantastic at 2 players.

The race aspect in gaining a reward in Grand Austria Hotel can be a competitive rush, and the variety of cards and combinations that come out are great.

Lorenzo is a bit heaver of a game and with that comes some additional length. Don't let that scare you off as the rule set is clean and makes sense but it can be more thinky. I see that as a plus myself, but not on every occasion. Sometimes, I prefer to sit down with some strudel and coffee and play Grand Austria Hotel.

As much as I like dice drafting, I prefer engine building more and this is one place where Lorenzo shines. You don't get to run your engine that often though so this doesn't blow Grand Austria Hotel away but it can be quite satisfying.

In my experience, I also find Lorenzo a bit more interactive but primarily due to someone going somewhere you really wanted to go. Neither game is high up on the interactive list so this is just a slight nod.

One additional comment on Lorenzo is that the new expansion for Lorenzo is fantastic. You can essentially just do more due from having a unique starting power (or I should say "over power"), to a fifth tower of cards to pick from. This has raised my Lorenzo rating by at least 0.5. It's also new so that carries its own bias.

My rambling likely didn't help that much. If you are primarily playing 2 players, you really can't go wrong with either game. I suggest watching a play through of each game and see which theme and mechanisms grabs you the most. Then get that one first, and buy the other one later. They are unique and excellent games, both shelf worthy in my opinion.

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Bart
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I ordered Lorenzo first. I know that blocking harvest/production spaces may be painful in a 2-player game so I think of using this more friendly variant from the very start, especially if you say it is not game-breaking But at the same time I wonder how it plays with normal rules. I probably try them both
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Wil
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bartekb8 wrote:
I ordered Lorenzo first. I know that blocking harvest/production spaces may be painful in a 2-player game so I think of using this more friendly variant from the very start, especially if you say it is not game-breaking But at the same time I wonder how it plays with normal rules. I probably try them both


Great to hear, and yeah, definitely play with the rules as written. The variant suggestions for two players is only a suggestion if you decide you want / need it to improve the two player experience. You may not.
 
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Matthias M
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Play with the rules as written. It works perfectly. I played Lorenzo several times with my wife.

BTW: It is rarely a good idea to use house rules in a first play. It is usually a safe bet to assume that game author and editorial stuff from the publisher played a game a lot more often than people writing about the perceived "necessity" of house rules in internet forums.
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Spencer Kellis
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MetalPirate wrote:
BTW: It is rarely a good idea to use house rules in a first play. It is usually a safe bet to assume that game author and editorial stuff from the publisher played a game a lot more often than people writing about the perceived "necessity" of house rules in internet forums.


I completely disagree. When you first open any game box, don't read the rules at all. Just open it up and set all the bits on the table. Figure out something that you think might be fun. Then, after you are done, read the rules and see how close you got.
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Brad Keusch
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IMO the 3-4 player concerns are completely overblown with GAH, unless you are playing with seriously AP prone people. The game is very tight with only 14 actions. That being said, I think Lorenzo is probably more interesting and challenging, though they are both worthy of spots on the shelf
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