Year Published
# of Players
2 − 5
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 3 players
Recommended with 2–4 players
(24 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
13 and up
Playing Time
120 minutes
User Suggested Ages
(6 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
No necessary in-game text
(11 voters) [poll]
(13 voters) [vote]
Primary Name
The Capitals
Alternate Names
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ObjectID: 119012
Description Edit | History

The world's most famous capital cities didn't just appear overnight. It took careful planning, resources, and time. Now, new countries seek to build great capitals of their own, and you are challenged to create a city unlike any other – but with each new era comes new challenges, and you must be prepared to make important decisions. The winning player will earn the right to host the next World Expo, but that's a prize reserved for only the most prestigious city.

The Capitals is a city-building game unlike any other, featuring new and creative game mechanisms. Cities take many years to build, and The Capitals requires players to plan ahead to create their vision. Playing over three eras, from Victorian to Modern Day, players are challenged to build a capital city that can compete with the world's best but also stand the test of time. With over one hundred unique buildings to construct, no two cities will ever be identical.

What story will your city tell?

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More Information Edit | History

FAQ Errata Variants and Tips


  • 143 building tiles - Over 100 Unique Buildings to Construct!
  • 35 wooden player markers
  • 5 wooden tourist cars
  • 10 construction tokens
  • 75 energy cubes
  • Other stuff yet to be detailed
  • Rules


mbThe Capitals fan

Notes from the Designer

The idea of making the game came in November 2010 and the tests began in January 2011. It was a wonderful experience and my friends support was invaluable. As the mechanics appealed to them, they participated actively in the test phase, playing several times and providing important contributions to the game rules. The creation process was a challenge to me as The Capitals is a strategic game with multiple paths to victory and with a lot of distinct special powers on tiles. It is not trivial to define rules that are balanced and challenging at the same time. So, the game development took more time than expected. In the meantime, a few city-building games, all inspired by the famous Sim City, where published. It was a surprise and a confirmation that the theme was a demand to the board game audience. It was not a setback to my Project because it's not uncommon to have repeated themes in the hobby. How many games about spaceships are available to purchase? What about Old West? I'm sure there are more than 4 or 5, and this doesn't prevent the launch of a new one. When I started the project, there were almost none with City building theme, but, of course, I have no control over this and the same idea can also arise in some other location in the world. I'd like to emphasize that I don't think it's fair to suppose that my game was influenced by any other game published from 2011 to 2013 even if they have some rules in common as they where conceived and detailed in parallel. Even so, I can guarantee that The Capitals has it's own feeling and shine. No other City building game available will make you feel as a real city manager, who plan and manage various aspects of your city. As players will notice during the match, it's almost impossible to build a city that cover all aspects, thus it's a dispute for resources and the player cannot relax. You need to do a bit of everything, but the game rewards those who specialize. A player who is doing well in a specific city status (culture, for example) gains a bonus for doing so, but on the other hand, he has to neglect several other aspects of its management. And who is behind in some other status track, might even be able to hold his position for a few turns, but he should seriously consider a plan to support it during the entire match. You need planning, but there is also room for improvisation, deduction and risk-taking. At the end, it is expected that the player take a deep breth and think about the great experience he had in managing his city.

Main mechanisms:
1. Build Victory Points engine with various paths to explore;
2. Spatial awareness;
3. Unusual Card draft system;
4. Interaction in various tracks systems;
1. City building;
2. Meaningful strategic and tactical choices every turn;
3. Theme linked with gameplay: public services, culture and the income of your city are all connected to each other. Every time you decide to do something you are postponing another, so you have to balance your short and long term strategies.

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Pg. 1
The Capitals
English first edition
Publisher: Mercury Games
Artist: Michael Christopher
Year: 2013
Product Code: MCY-1301
Size: 12.00 x 12.00 x 2.50 inches
4.82 pounds
Release Date: Nov 20, 2013
Link Image
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Title | Hot | Recent
[Browse »]  [Upload File »] Language:
Pg. 1 of 2 »
23 The Capitals Guide - 3 pages
Added a couple of clarifications.
10 Tuckboxes for all Tile Sets
Slightly larger (5%) version of original file, just to make the tiles fit a little less snugly.
13 The Capitals. Reglas tradumaquetadas al castellano 0.6
The_Capitals_FAQ_2.0.1 En Castellano.
2 The Capitals - french rules of the variants
The file is the unofficial translation of the rules of the various variants of the game into french (version 1.1) : simplified, 2-player, advanced - prosperity cards, draft, + advanced - prosperity cards forced.
7 Another Unnoficial Rules Summary: The Capitals v.1
Include some new rules and fix others in the worol's work. Based on FAQ's and original rulebook and use for two collumns layout.
4 The Capitals - french rules of the base game
The file is the unofficial translation of the rules of the base game in french
37 Official FAQ 2.0v with Errata, Tips and Variants
Minor Update. One translation fix on page 5 (the word lake was removed - Always Build Prosperity Variant). One minor clarify on “CONVENTION CENTER” BUILDING (PUBLIC): Q: How does it work? Does it activate all adjacent buildings, causing a cascade effect? A: No. Each activation of this building only gain the effect of 1 adjacent building that could normally be activated. Then, the player has one activation and the effect is coming from another tile. That's all. It is useful to activate neighboring buildings which already have too many cubes placed on them.
12 Capitals - Game Flow
This is an expansion effort, using Scott Ferrier's fantastic flowchart as a base. A few additional steps were added, clarified as required. Colour was added, based on phase and to ease understanding. This contains a page for the 3-5p basic game, a page for the 2p game (highlighting changes), and a page for the 3-5p game with Prosperity tiles (highlighting changes).
2 Efekty budynków w języku polskim
Przetłumaczone działanie budynków na język polski.
6 FAQ/Errata/Variant/Tips The Capitals Portuguese (BR)
Um pequeno ajuste no faq anterior para clarificar melhor o efeito do PRÉDIO “CONVENTION CENTER” (PÚBLICO): P: Como ele funciona? Ativa todos os prédios adjacentes, causando efeito em cascata? R: Não, cada ativação deste prédio faz ganhar o efeito de 1 prédio adjacente (que é possível de ser ativado, obviamente). Então, o jogador faz apenas uma ativação e o efeito dela vem de um prédio vizinho. É útil para ativar prédios vizinhos que tenham muitos cubos de energia alocados neles.
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Board Game Rank: 1184
Strategy Game Rank: 564
Num Ratings: 662
Average Rating: 7.12
Standard Deviation: 1.49
Num Views: 96045
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
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Avg. Game Weight: 3.5
Fans: 51
Personal Comments: 187
Users Owning: 804
Users Wanting: 119
Users Trading: 38 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 1
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