My City is a polyomino tile laying game, for up to 4 players. Each player has their own gridded player board, and a set of 24 tiles (8 shapes in 3 different colours).
A 24 card deck is shuffled, and a card is drawn, showing one of the available tiles. Each player chooses where to place that tile on their own board, or whether to pass, and lose a point. The game continues until the deck is depleted, or all the players have chosen to not place any more tiles.
You award and deduct points according to the spaces that remain uncovered on each players board. The game out of the box is just that simple, but will get more complex as the 8 Chapter envelopes are opened, and each episode is played.
The Beginning Strategy
The first tile you place must share an edge with an edge of the river. The tile can be on either side of the river, not both, and a corner touching is not enough. Every successive tile must share an edge with a previously placed tile. It can be on either side of the river, not both, but again, a corner touching is not enough.
You start with a score of 10 points. If you choose to not place a tile at any point, whilst wanting to continue in the game, you lose 1 point for passing. At the end of the game, you add +1 point for each tree that is in your city (not the forest to the right, but +2 points for each square with 2 trees that remain uncovered). You lose 1 point for each rock that is in your city (not the mountains to the left, but -2 points for each square with 2 rocks that remain uncovered). And you lose 1 point for each light green square that remains uncovered.
The board has an 11 x 11 grid on it, for 121 spaces. There are 26 spaces that are made up of the mountain range to the left and the forest to the right, which cannot be built on. This leaves 95 spaces. 5 of those spaces have 2 trees on them, and you want them to remain uncovered. That leaves 90 spaces (84 empty light green squares and 6 with 2 rocks on them) and you have tiles that cover exactly 90 spaces. It is possible to play a perfect game, without passing, earn 10 points for the trees which will give you the highest possible end total of 20.
But that’s unlikely …
It’s good to look at the shapes of the tiles, and how they might fit on your board, along your river, and around your trees. But you are at the mercy of the card draw. Especially at the beginning and end of the game, when your choices are limited. Think about the voids you leave behind on your grid, and the tiles you will use to fill them. But the game is about the flexibility of dealing with each shape as it comes up, and keeping your passes to a minimum.
Not surprisingly, the first play of the game will teach you a lot about how it works.
Each envelope is a Chapter, and contains rules for 3 episodes/games. When you are ready to play your first game, you open you the Chapter 1 Envelope, and see what it contains for the first 3 games. The remainder of this post, concerns those envelope contents, and is under Spoiler Tags.
Chapter 1 – The New Land
End of Chapter 1
Chapter 1 ends after episode 3. Game boards are individualised, and you have a good idea of the game play. When you are ready to continue, open the envelope for Chapter 2: The Churches, which will continue the story.