Top 100: #97 Lorenzo Il Magnifico

While being magnificent enough to be in my top 100 games there is a lot to digest as it's the first game on the list that is complex to set up and explain. But just like every game on my list, once you know how to play your turn can be quite simple. Deciding what to do on your turn however will always be hard with all of the choices the game provides for you.


Each player has four family members and other resources to use on their turns. With four family members that means each round you only get to take four actions as all of the actions require you to play a family member. The abilities of each family member will change from round to round because at the start of the round after setting up the towers full of wonderful cards the start player will roll the three dice. Each one shares a color with one of your family members. The values on the dice are the power for their respective family member for that round. Although you can always have helpful servants increase the power of one of your dice for the round.

Each round you will try to figure out how best to use your various family members to the best effect. Most of the actions you will take will be to purchase cards from the towers. There is a sense of urgency there as well because if someone else is already in the tower you have to pay to go into the tower. The cards you buy from the tower will be of four different types - Territories, Buildings, Characters, and Ventures. The first three of those will give you immediate bonuses and/or modify your actions to make it so you are more powerful than your opponents! Ventures on the other hand are mostly end game points.


After six rounds, each of the players will judge how well they have done in using their family members and building their empire. You score points for lots of different things like the number of territories you have, how faithful you have been to the church, and how much military strength you have. Most of the points at the end reward those that focus on single endeavors but you also can’t ignore things if you want to win!

That was a rather condensed version of how the game is played but I am always happy to teach this one! I like that you have to adjust your plan on the fly as you never quite know exactly what will be available or what power of workers you will have for the round. Deep strategy with a need to be able to think on your feet!