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First Impressions: “Cities” by Martyn F

16 Mar

I have had the opportunity to play the game Cities several times in the past couple weeks and decided to buy my own copy.  I thought I would share a little bit about the game and my impression of the game.

Cities is a Tile Placement game designed by Martyn F and is currently being published by Z-Man Games.  This game plays from one to four players.

Game Play:

Each player is given twenty-four tiles that have four quadrants on each tile and a number on the tile.  One person out of the group is chosen to randomly draw tiles while the rest of the players will also take the number of the tile from their own stock that matches the number of the randomly drawn tile.

The game starts off by the random person drawing three tiles and placing them diagonal to each other.  The only rule for starting is no tile (of the first three) may touch another tile on its side.  It must touch on a diagonal space.  Something to note:  You will eventually wind up with a game board of tiles in a 4 X 4 square (sixteen total tiles for the entire game out of the twenty-four – eight of them obviously are not played).

All the players can now take those three tiles (prior to pulling the fourth tile) and rotate them in any direction before connecting them at the diagonal points.

The the person who is the random drawer will draw a fourth tile and each player draws that same numbered tile.  At this point, each player may do one of several actions:

  • Place the tile Next to an existing tile where the sides touch or diagonal again, but making sure not to develop a board game that will be bigger than 4 X 4 tiles.  Now the player has an option of placing a meeple on one of the quadrants of that tile that was just played,
  • Place the tile as described above, and NOT place a meeple.

For each tile thereafter (tiles five through sixteen) the player has additional choices available to them:

  • Place the tile Next to an existing tile where the sides touch or diagonal again, but making sure not to develop a board game that will be bigger than 4 X 4 tiles.  Now the player has an option of placing a meeple on one of the quadrants of that tile that was just played,
  • Place the tile as described above, and NOT place a meeple.
  • Place the tile, and move an existing meeple that has been placed one space in any direction.
  • Place the tile, and jump a meeple from any tile to the one just placed.

Scoring The Game:

The game has several levels of scoring that can occur.  For younger players and players that are not familiar enough with modern board gaming I would recommend level one.

In level one, players will score a point as long as they have one meeple in the region for each Yellow attraction they have touching each other (but not on a diagonal touch).  They will also score a point for one meeple in the region of Green that is touching (again, not diagonally), which represents parks.

In level two scoring, they add the Orange quadrants known as terraces into play, except they don’t count Orange.  This time they actually count each BLUE (Water) and GREEN (Parks) that they can see in a plus sign shape.  For example if they were standing on a Terrace and looking out one direction and saw two parks and water before some other Terrace or Attraction (Yellow), then would score two points in that direction.  Remember they score for each direction in a plus sign shape (four directions).

Level three also throws in additional points scoring for each Terrace that touches the Attractions.

Again, Meeples have to be in these quadrants to score at any level.

Replayability and Length Of Game:

I believe there is multiple chances of replayability based on the randomness of the tiles being drawn and how you connect them together.

As far as time, this game should play in about 15-20 minutes maximum with explaining rules, etc.

Components:

  • 96 Tiles – 24 for each player
  • 28 Meeples – 7 for each player

My overall impressions:

I like this game a lot, in the way that it plays as well as the time that it plays in. One other note:  If you have multiple copies of this game, you are not limited to four players.  You can have any number in your group as long as you have tiles and meeples for each person.

This game, in my opinion, makes a great filler for people looking for a quick game.  For board game groups, the next time you want to pull out some card game for a filler, why not pull a copy of Cities out and give it a try instead?

The official rules can be found here.

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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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