I played Caylus for the first time today, and I was kind of meh. It's an interesting game, but there are too many things to think about and I'm not sure I'd ever do a good job with it. I like the building track, and if Caylus was simply an economic game trying to build the right sets of buildings so that my economy functions more efficiently than yours, I think I'd like that. I find that adding the castle and the royal favours makes Caylus so complicated I'll probably never do a good job with it. I can't grok the long-term consequences of my actions.
I think Princes of Florence is somewhat similar - there are just too many things going on. I'm all at sea when I play that, and consequently I don't enoy it so much. I suspect Goa and Louis XIV are a bit like that as well. Maybe just a bit too complicated. I like games that I can get my head around, even if it's only just, such as Tikal, Tigris and Euphrates, and Elfenland. They're the limit of complexity that I'm comfortable with and consequently a challenge to play. Easier games like San Juan, GIPF and Hare and Tortoise that I understand really well become old favourites that I can play to relax.
What I want to know is, do people often like games which confuse them? Are all the people who rate Caylus highly super-mega-smart? I have a Ph.D. and a genius IQ, but it confuses me. Are Caylus fans the absolute intellectual elite of the planet? If not, what's so good about a game that's confusingly hard? Do people like playing a game where they feel lost? Is there some different sort of intelligence that they have and I don't? I need feedback here, because it just doesn't make sense to me.