During the Renaissance, merchant families were quickly growing in power and prestige. These large houses competed with one-another to prove that they were the greatest. The competitions could get fierce, with the various family members rushing all over the city, looking to complete tasks that would bring honor to their name. In Lorenzo il Magnifico up to four families struggled to be the most famous and prestigeous in the city. Of course, along the way, the Church, that ancient institution, continued to require deference be paid to it.
In the Houses of Renaissance expansion for Lorenzo il Magnifico, players gain a new family member to help out with their tasks around the city, new specializations for their family, as well as lots of new opportunities to expand their influence. Almost every aspect of the original game has some new options or changes, from the Family tiles to the different Towers, to new Special Development cards, and the option to add a fifth player to the game.
The first way the expansion changes the game is through the Family tiles. Players bid on these families at the start of the game, offering up some of their starting resources in exchange for the different special abilities the family name grants them. These tiles will give players new options, from letting players collect resources on their Family tile to spend later, to not having to pay resources when spending on the military, to granting a bonus when players collect certain types of cards, along with many others. These tiles help differentiate between players, giving a new play experience each time.
Next, there are new Leader cards. These powerful and influential people are in-demand by all the different families. Some of them bring in new Actions that players can use. They will give players new ways of using their family members, further spreading influence throughout the city.
With the new expansion and new opportunities, the board, itself, also changes. Various tiles are placed over existing spaces on the board. For example, the Adaptation tile moves from Tower to Tower as the game progresses, changing the minimum value needed to perform certain actions. There’s also new Excommunication Tiles, altering the penalties imposed when a player decides to forsake the Church. The new Special Tower will give new Actions to players, if they’re willing to pay the price. These can drastically chance how players perceive the board and forces them to alter their strategies from the core game.
As players utilize the new Leaders, take advantage of the opportunities on the Special Tower, and make their family proud, they also have the chance to earn new Special tokens. These rewards are acquired facedown and have a certain type of resource(s) on them. Players can keep these tokens in reserve, in secret, until they’re spent. This means that a player can keep their plans hidden from the other players, giving new tactical options for bluffing in the game.
Using all these new elements, Houses of Renaissance changes a lot of the base mechanics, while maintaining the feeling of the base game. Fans of Lorenzo il Magnifico will love all of the new ways to explore the game. New play styles, new strategies, and new opportunities abound.
Lorenzo il Maginifico: Houses of Renaissance will be available in your FLGS on April 27.
Read more about Lorenzo il Magnifico here.