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Leonardo da Vinci» Forums » Variants

Subject: Revision of my variants rss

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Eric Pietrocupo
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Now that I have the game, I can give a more detailed view of the variant I would like to make. I currently have played a 5 and a 2 player with the original rules so far. Here are the variants I suggest

Scoring: You will receive at the end of the game 1 victory point for each ingredient on the inventions you own. Florins are used as tie breakers. You will get the following bonus points if you have 2 or more different types of inventions: 2-5-9-14. The goal is to separate the scoring from the money.

5 players favor setup: A 5 player game is pretty tense, instead of starting with 3 favors, maybe use 4 favors or 3-1/2 favors where the 1/2 could be 2-3 florins OR 2 ingredients.

Bidding: To speed up the game and to remove the bug where players with few workers have an hard time getting new workers, the bidding should work differently.

Players can only bid 1 worker or 1 master at a time. There is no majority anymore, only the order of the worker count. So no need to calculate how much worker would be best to spend, it's the first player to arrive that wins first. The only exceptions are the masters which are placed in front of the worker and behind the other masters.

The area is resolved in the order of the line. There is generally no interest of placing 2 workers on the same area and I think it could be prohibited to do so to give a chance to other players. Else 2 workers in the same line would only allow you to get twice an upgrade

"Move worker" special ability Like stated in the optional rules, the special ability would allow you to move an enemy worker. I am not sure which of the 2 variants below I am going to use:

A) move an enemy worker at the end of a line on the same area (not very useful with few players, but the player has a chance to get what he wanted).
B) move an enemy worker to any city area where there are no other workers of that color. ( The player does not get what he wanted but get a chance to get something else.

Method A seems better because it is much less powerful with the new bidding system.

Number of shown inventions: In my 2 player game, we had the problem that the inventions were not rolling which always made us stuck not able to do anything. Also we were always developing the same inventions which resulted in an auction. In the 5 player game, an auction never occurred. With fewer inventions, it makes it harder to have a valid invention you can play and many times it occurred that I could not do anything.

My suggestion is that there is always 5 inventions shown what-ever the number of players.

2p invention deck: A 2 player game should not remove 3 inventions from the deck. They will just develop less golden inventions which is better since 2 players start with less resources and are less likely to make high level inventions.

Replacement of inventions: I am not sure bout this one, it's just an idea. Many times I get stuck with the problem that people make inventions, new inventions gets flipped up but these new inventions are already fulfilled. But I must lose 1 turn before being able to cash it in on the next turn.

My idea is that each time an invention is completed, the invention cards gets replaced immediately allowing other players to complete already completed inventions. OR give a second invention completion phase to allow more inventions to get completed.

Council florin: 1 florin per turn is so useless especially in a 5 player game. Now that florins are not victory points anymore, I suggest that the number of florins the council gives should be equal to the number of players. But they do not accumulate from a turn to another. If this is too much, it should at least give 2 florins per turn.

Development on same turn: I hate auction and I really don't find it interesting to auction the invention cards if more that one players creates it on the same turn. My suggestion is that the player with the least victory points should get the card but he receive a regular reward, while the other players receives the black reward.

Any comments are welcomed.
 
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david landes
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I think you may be over-reacting to sub-optimal play in your two games. Still, you were there, I was not. I would not want to play this with less than four people.

Comments:
- Untying Florins and victory points breaks the game. Every aspect of this is designed to force a consideration of the $$ received from inventions versus the expenditures throughout the game and whether they pay off: paying to use an action or use an action a second time, bidding for ties, while you may find this variant enjoyable, it will not be Leonardo you are playing.
- Tinkering with # of favors makes sense to me depending on how much you want people to start the game with.. more favors just advances the engine further to start the game enabling more to get done
- Changing worker placement - breaks the fundamental game. The key tactical decisions in this game are around how many workers it will take versus how much $$ it will take to get an action you want. Additionally, the game is structured such that players are expected to expend multiple workers to get an action at times. Changing this to one worker will put too many workers in the game. The joy of this game, for me, is the tactical reaction each turn to what others need to accomplish and trying to predict how to get what I want and thwart them. By taking this away, you make this into a strict worker placement game, and much more boring, perhaps close to 'solved' when all is said and done.
- # of shown inventions - your description leads me to believe you just should play more and get better. If you have nothing to do.. then that is just plain poor planning, I never have enough workers to do all the things I want to do.
- I like the extra florin per turn in the council.. though I would have to see if that becomes too attractive if it remains more than one turn

Overall, I really dislike the variants. However, there is nothing wrong with inventing a new game using the Leonardo parts, particularly if the kernel of that game seems interesting to you and your play group. On the flipside, if you do not like the fundamental game.. and based on your description you don't, it may be better to just try something else altogether.

Sorry for the dissenting opinion.. happy new year.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Quote:
Sorry for the dissenting opinion.. happy new year.


That is OK, I like to see other people's opinions even if negative. It can help me see problems I did not see.

Of course, if you like the game the way it is, you have no reason to play it differently. For me, I liked most of the game, the 2 only things that I did not liked was:

1-Scoring in money should be separated (like it is the case in Puerto Rico. It's based on a design law that I did not even create). All the games I played, I end up with almost with 0 florins at the end of turn 7, so only the last inventions developed count.

2-Bidding takes too much time and calculation. Waiting in line to get what you think requires less calculation, speed up the game, makes sense thematically (Like on boxing day: you wait in line to buy what you want, first to arrive get's better deals) and take advantage of the fact that the game is designed to manage lines.
 
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david landes
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Thanks for the response. I would say:

1) Stop spending so much money - If you spend 4 florins buying stuff, you might as well not have developed a small invention (including 7 days of labor by meeples).. be parsimonious with the money!!

2) It gets quicker with time and knowledge as to the relative REAL value of things, requiring less thought. I enjoy the vlauating process, but if you don't, you are correct that the design supports managing lines.

Cheers.
 
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Rick
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dklx3 wrote:
I would not want to play this with less than four people.

I've only played a handful of 2 player games so far (looking forward to trying this 3-5 player) and am surprised at how well the game does scale. It's actually very enjoyable. It does end up coming down to who makes a mistake at the end (usually not having the right resources so stock up!)

larienna wrote:
Scoring: You will receive at the end of the game 1 victory point for each ingredient on the inventions you own. Florins are used as tie breakers. You will get the following bonus points if you have 2 or more different types of inventions: 2-5-9-14. The goal is to separate the scoring from the money.

The original game was designed with separate money (Florins) and VP (Fame Points) - according to the designers website.

larienna wrote:
Number of shown inventions: In my 2 player game, we had the problem that the inventions were not rolling which always made us stuck not able to do anything. Also we were always developing the same inventions which resulted in an auction. In the 5 player game, an auction never occurred. With fewer inventions, it makes it harder to have a valid invention you can play and many times it occurred that I could not do anything.

My suggestion is that there is always 5 inventions shown what-ever the number of players.

I can see how this can hurt the game a little, but so far it hasn't been too bad. It just turns out that more people work on the same things, which is where the bidding comes in. You need to remember that each invention is a race.

larienna wrote:
2p invention deck: A 2 player game should not remove 3 inventions from the deck. They will just develop less golden inventions which is better since 2 players start with less resources and are less likely to make high level inventions.

I would argue the opposite is true. On turn 7, generally inventions pop up that you will have 2 turns to work on. If there aren't any golds out there you can invent everything on turn 8 and there's no point to turn 9. I would argue that you could remove additional lower value inventions.

larienna wrote:
Council florin: 1 florin per turn is so useless especially in a 5 player game. Now that florins are not victory points anymore, I suggest that the number of florins the council gives should be equal to the number of players. But they do not accumulate from a turn to another. If this is too much, it should at least give 2 florins per turn.

This probably needs to be scaled for number of players 1 florin for 2-3 players and 2 florins for 4-5.

 
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