Thursday, April 18, 2013

Through The Ages - Card - Leonardo da Vinci

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Leonardo da Vinci
On April 15,  1452, one of the greatest minds ever was born in Vinci, Italy.  Leonardo da Vinci was born out of wedlock to a young peasant woman, although he was raised by his father, Ser Piero, a respected notary.  At the age of 14, da Vinci apprenticed with the artist Verocchio.  By the age of 20 he had become a qualified master artist of the Guild of St. Luke and opened his own workshop.

His work extended beyond simply art.  He studied architecture, bodies of both humans and animals, and engineering.  He recorded his thoughts and drawings into notebooks.  Eventually these notebooks would exceed 13,000 pages.

Leonardo's mind never stopped.  He observed and thought constantly, collecting all of his notes.  Although he rarely completed projects, many of his ideas for tanks, flying machines and other mechanical systems are  mechanically sound.  Leonardo is most famous for two of his art pieces: the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa.  Both are considered masterpieces without equal.

Leonardo's peerless talent attracted the attention of many powerful people.  He left Italy in 1516 at the request of Francis I, King of France.  He was titled 'Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect to the King.'  Leonardo passed away three years later at the age of 67 at Cloux, France.
Game Stats
Leonardo is the Age I "Science Leader".  His ability to generate ore with the play of a technology card seems exceedingly useful and this makes him the most popular leader of his Age.
Statistically, Leonardo da Vinci is roughly equivalent to Christopher Columbus.  Leonardo has a slightly improved odds of the player ending in first or second place, but Christopher grants its person a slightly higher rate of ending in first place.  The difference is marginal.

It is hard to determine cause and effect in these situations.  Overall, I believe the more advanced players realize an intrinsic benefit to Christopher Columbus and know how to better utilize him.  The result is an improved odds on Christopher.

I believe Leonardo is an excellent choice for an Age I leader for beginning players.  However, I believe Christopher Columbus provides a greater overall benefit for the more advanced player.  At most, Leonardo will generate about 2 ore.  Additionally, he generates about 12 science.  Christopher Columbus generates no additional science, but creates much more ore and/or food over the course of the game.

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