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These house rules have been approximately 9 months in the making. My research involved reading just about every concern, question or comment associated with Monopoly City. This research was done/read here in BGG and also through other websites in the vast World Wide Web. I have also tried to "clarify" some vague or missing information in the official rules.

The house rules and clarifications have been composed in a Microsoft Word document. They have been uploaded and can be found here at BGG in the "Files" section, under the file name "Monopoly City House Rules and Clarifications v3." (Or click on the following link, to go directly to the downloading page.)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/64413/monopoly-city-ho...

Below, I have included a summary of the most prominent/major house rules. The information in the left column has the details of the house rule. The information in the right column, explains why the house rule was created and its advantages.


1. Do not use the electronic trading unit. Many agree that the use of the unit, slows the
game down considerably. There is also problems
associated with constantly passing it around,
or reaching for it in the center board area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1A. Build up to 2 blocks per turn. With the electronic unit, you could build from
zero to three blocks. Two is about average.
Simple and easy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1B. Build OR remove a RailRoad(RR) when you This slows down the entry of RR's. And if a
land directly on GO. player has too many "annoying" RR's, other
players can decide to remove RR's.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
1C. Auctions are conducted in a "normal" No more super rushed & confusing auctions with
fashion by the banker. the unit, like "who really called out the last
bid when the red light goes off?"
---------------------------------------------------------------------
2. If a player lands on & decides not to Too many auctions slow the game down.
purchase un-owned property, the property
is simply left un-owned & is not auctioned.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
3. A player may not acquire ADDITIONAL Wild & inflated bidding, & then trying to
funding for an auction. So a player may only figure out how to pay for the winning bid,
use the money they currently have on-hand. with mortgaging property, etc. Also promotes
a "savings" attitude.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
4. If you win an auction, you must buy the No backing out of your bid !
property at said price.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
5. If a district becomes too crowded to No "overly picky" rule in which bldgs must
accept addl bldgs, do your best to pile or stay(or fit) within the squares(blocks) in a
arrange them to fit. district.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
6. (For those who own the Shaped Tin Edition) The amount ranges from the unfortunate payment
The zoo and casino allow a player a chance of 2 Million to the bank, to collecting up to
to increase their wages every time you pass 5 Million! Roll one die to determine the
GO. amount.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
7. In a two-player game, you must own all Increased from the two full color group
the districts in THREE full color groups to requirement, because it was just too easy in a
purchase the monopoly tower. two-player game.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
8. When you land on a planning permission Look out! No more thinking that your
space, you have the option of BUILDING OR residential blocks are safe once you have a
REMOVING ONE SPECIFIC bonus bldg or hazard bonus bldg. Or you can remove a hazard(free).
that is indicated on that space. This promotes more lower-risk industrial
building.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
9. The price to remove a hazard is half of So the price is better matched to the benefits;
the cost of a residential block in that a high-end property should pay more to remove
district, times the total number of a hazard. And if you have more "risky"
residential blocks in that district. residential blocks, you must pay more. This
also promotes more industrial building.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
10. No deals of any kind, unless only two I hate when others make a horrible "deal," and
players are left playing. it destroys EVERYONE'S chance of winning.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
11. Addl funds may be obtained (except right Slightly better than the traditional 50% rule.
before an auction) by selling bldgs back to
the bank, at 70% of their orig value.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
12. To mortgage a property, you must first Similar to the traditional rules. This slowly
sell all residential & industrial bldgs back brings more bldgs available for others to buy
to the bank. The mortgage value is the (which are limited in supply). There is also
price showing on the space on the board. To a penalty(interest) to pay for mortgaging,
lift the mortgage, pay 20% interest. which is missing in the official rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
13. The conditions for payment of the Players should NOT be penalized for "trying to
Industry Tax have been changed/reversed. Now do the right thing," by purchasing industrial
when a player lands on an “Industry Tax” bldgs. Instead the rule is reversed, and
space, you must pay the 2 million tax, players who do not own a minimum amount of
UNLESS you currently own at least a total of industrial bldgs are the ones who must pay the
five INDUSTRIAL blocks (anywhere on the tax !
gameboard).



I have also included additional rules and clarifications to certain Chance cards. This includes the dreaded "Steal" chance card, and the "Repossessed" and "Taxi" cards.
There is also various other rules and clarifications; download the Microsoft Word document to view them.

I hope you like the house rules. Enjoy.
whistle

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Scott Lewis
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Los28 wrote:
2. If a player lands on & decides not to Too many auctions slow the game down.
purchase un-owned property, the property
is simply left un-owned & is not auctioned.

This one I disagree with, as I think you'll come to the exact OPPOSITE effect. On reason the original Monopoly takes so long for a lot of people is they don't auction off properties - and thus, it takes a non-trivial amount of time longer just in the "acquiring properties" phase of the game.

Plus, removing auctions removes some of the strategy of the game; do I buy it at full price, or do I try to get it cheaper via auction (but risk someone else jumping on it).

In the games I've played without a timer, most auctions go pretty fast - you generally know your maximum desired amount to pay, and someone will have the higher amount.

Quote:
3. A player may not acquire ADDITIONAL Wild & inflated bidding, & then trying to
funding for an auction. So a player may only figure out how to pay for the winning bid,
use the money they currently have on-hand. with mortgaging property, etc. Also promotes
a "savings" attitude.

4. If you win an auction, you must buy the No backing out of your bid !
property at said price.

These two can be a bit contradictory. What if you miscalculated your money, and accidentally end up bidding too much? You are obligated to pay, but the #3 rule doesn't allow you to do so...

Plus, I'm not sure why #3 is necessary - mortgaging properties is a risky endeavor, because you lose the income until you unmortgage them.

Quote:
5. If a district becomes too crowded to No "overly picky" rule in which bldgs must
accept addl bldgs, do your best to pile or stay(or fit) within the squares(blocks) in a
arrange them to fit. district.

I'm not sure this is a house-rule; the rules seem to imply that the districts are meant to be fluid anyway. I like playing with them as "strategic placement" to make things more interesting.


Quote:
7. In a two-player game, you must own all Increased from the two full color group
the districts in THREE full color groups to requirement, because it was just too easy in a
purchase the monopoly tower. two-player game.

I like this one.

Quote:
9. The price to remove a hazard is half of So the price is better matched to the benefits;
the cost of a residential block in that a high-end property should pay more to remove
district, times the total number of a hazard. And if you have more "risky"
residential blocks in that district. residential blocks, you must pay more. This
also promotes more industrial building.

I like this. Hazards just seemed too easy to remove otherwise, but I think this helps balance that.

Quote:
10. No deals of any kind, unless only two I hate when others make a horrible "deal," and
players are left playing. it destroys EVERYONE'S chance of winning.

This utterly defeats the purpose of Monopoly, to be honest. Without deals, it's just a game of roll-and-move-and-hope-you-get-lucky. Whoever gets lucky enough to land on the same color group multiple times gets the advantage.

If the players are willing to make horrible deals for whatever reason, I'd rather just play a different game, because Monopoly without deals just isn't Monopoly.


Just my two cents for whatever they are worth
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Los 28
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Los28 wrote:
2. If a player lands on & decides not to purchase un-owned property, the property is simply left un-owned & is not auctioned.
Too many auctions slow the game down.

This one I disagree with, as I think you'll come to the exact OPPOSITE effect. One reason the original Monopoly takes so long for a lot of people is they don't auction off properties - and thus, it takes a non-trivial amount of time longer just in the "acquiring properties" phase of the game.

Plus, removing auctions removes some of the strategy of the game; do I buy it at full price, or do I try to get it cheaper via auction (but risk someone else jumping on it).

This would be true, if this were "original Monopoly." In original Monopoly, players are initially bored & busy just acquiring properties, because you cant really do (build) anything without ownership of a full color group. But in Monopoly City, the action starts immediately! You can start building (and build big and hard) on properties, when you own less than a full color group.

Also, remember that these house rules are not removing ALL auctions. Auctions will still be initiated when a player lands on one-of-two "Auction" spaces on the board, or draws the "Auction" Chance card. I agree that there is strategy in the game with auctions; these house rules are only trying to limit auctions and move the game along.

sigmazero13 wrote:
Los28 wrote:
3. A player may not acquire ADDITIONAL funding for an auction. So a player may only use the money they currently have on-hand.
Wild & inflated bidding, & then trying to figure out how to pay for the winning bid, with mortgaging property, etc. Also promotes a "savings" attitude.

4. If you win an auction, you must buy the property at said price.
No backing out of your bid !

These two can be a bit contradictory. What if you miscalculated your money, and accidentally end up bidding too much? You are obligated to pay, but the #3 rule doesn't allow you to do so...

Plus, I'm not sure why #3 is necessary - mortgaging properties is a risky endeavor, because you lose the income until you un-mortgage them.

Ahhhh yes, they are contradictory, BUT there is a rule for that. I have not included it here in this "summary" thread, but it is in the guts of the house rules (so, "there's an app for that"). Here is how this rule reads:
"If a player wins the auction and does not have enough on-hand money to pay, follow these steps. First, the perpetrator must immediately pay a large fine to the bank. This amount is 2.5 Million, or all of a player’s on hand money, whichever is LESS. After payment of fine, the auction must be repeated (re-done) for the property in question. All players are eligible to bid, if they desire."

There is no rush when bidding, since there is no time limit (no electronic trading unit). There really should not be a reason to "miscalculate" your on-hand money; but if so, there is a rule for that. Simply thumb-through your large denomination bills, and quickly get an estimate of your amount of cash.

The method of mortgaging properties in the official rules can be cumbersome, and once again slows the game down. You need to calculate, then re-calculate for mortgaging and un-mortgaging. There is some risk, as you have explained, but in my opinion people really take unfair advantage of this method of mortgaging. They mortgage property, then one or two turns later, un-mortgage, and consistently doing this through-out the game (and with no interest penalty). And if you are the banker, you begin to pull out your hair; it can be maddening! (Note that my house rules have changed the method of mortgaging property, as explained/summarized in Rule # 12.)

I also would like to share a story about why Rule # 4 (If you win an auction, you must buy the property at said price) was mainly created. I was once playing with my teenage nephew. We both had a good amount of cash on-hand, around 15 million each. He landed on Auction, and brought up the last yellow property for bidding. I had the other two yellows, so he knew I really wanted the third. His strategy was to make me pay big for the property, and deplete a good chunk of my cash. The bidding got high ... 8 million, 9, 10, then he bid 11 million. I paused and thought to myself, "I want this property, but really dont want to pay that much for it." So I turned to my nephew and said, "I'm going to teach you a lesson, and not bid further for the property, which means you MUST buy the property at 11 million." You should have seen him squirm and scream "Nooooooo," as he really didnt want the property at such a high price (he actually didnt want it at all). Reluctantly ... he paid. LOL. cry

sigmazero13 wrote:
Los28 wrote:
5. If a district becomes too crowded to accept addl bldgs, do your best to pile or arrange them to fit.
No "overly picky" rule in which bldgs must stay(or fit) within the squares(blocks) in a district.

I'm not sure this is a house-rule; the rules seem to imply that the districts are meant to be fluid anyway. I like playing with them as "strategic placement" to make things more interesting.

I agree, this really isnt a "house rule." I think it falls more under the word in my title of a "clarification."
I recall some discussion, questions and disagreement about this topic in my research, and thought it best to include and make it clear in my House Rules and Clarifications.

sigmazero13 wrote:
Los28 wrote:
7. In a two-player game, you must own all the districts in THREE full color groups to purchase the monopoly tower.
Increased from the two full color group requirement, because it was just too easy in a two-player game.

I like this one.

In a number of two-player games we have played, others also agreed that this was a necessary variant.

sigmazero13 wrote:
Los28 wrote:
9. The price to remove a hazard is half of the cost of a residential block in that district, times the total number of residential blocks in that district.
So the price is better matched to the benefits; a high-end property should pay more to remove a hazard. And if you have more "risky" residential blocks, you must pay more. This also promotes more industrial building.

I like this. Hazards just seemed too easy to remove otherwise, but I think this helps balance that.

I agree, because the average amount of 1.5 Million to remove (under the official rules) was easily met. With this house rule, the amount is usually low early in the game, but can be quite expensive later in the game. So if a player wants to risk buying cheaper residential blocks (vs industrial), he may find himself in a bad and expensive postion if a hazard is dropped on his property. Ouch !

sigmazero13 wrote:
Los28 wrote:
10. No deals of any kind, unless only two players are left playing.
I hate when others make a horrible "deal," and it destroys EVERYONE'S chance of winning.

This utterly defeats the purpose of Monopoly, to be honest. Without deals, it's just a game of roll-and-move-and-hope-you-get-lucky. Whoever gets lucky enough to land on the same color group multiple times gets the advantage.

If the players are willing to make horrible deals for whatever reason, I'd rather just play a different game, because Monopoly without deals just isn't Monopoly.

I understand what you are saying here, but I REALLY, REALLY HATE BAD DEALS. Sometimes people get caught-up in wanting a chance to own a full color group, but they dont realize they are giving-up something way bigger in the deal. And as a third-party player, you just sit there and say to yourself, "OMG!" You cant (shouldnt) say anything, and you cant dispute it, that would not be "proper." You say if "players are willing to make horrible deals," but the main point is that the daft player doesnt even realize his deal is bad. So one must continue to play the game and hope for major luck (because I dont think that you mean that you would quit half-way through a game, when you say "I'd rather just play a different game.")

Besides, in Monopoly City, I dont think deals are that big of a thing and are not really necessary (in original Monopoly yes, but here, not as much). You dont need to own full color groups to play, or win. If you can build your single/double properties enough, and keep your opponents from owning too many complete color groups, you can win (been there and done it!).

And remember, in my house rules, once there is only two players, deals can be negotiated. This way if you make a horrible deal, it ONLY HURTS YOU, and no one else.

--------------------------------------

Thanks Scott, I appreciate your comments and opinions.


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Los 28
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One aspect of the official rules that I do not agree with, are rules related to the industrial buildings. What I mean, is that the official rules do NOT give players enough incentive to want to purchase and use industrial buildings on their properties. Most players will only buy industrial buildings once all of the residential buildings are sold-out (out of stock).

For their higher price to purchase, the industrial buildings are not cost effective. In other words, their higher price is not worth the small benefit a player receives for their "immunity" to hazards. The cost to remove a hazard (using the official rules) is very inexpensive(low) in relation to the amount of additional money that you must spend to buy industrial versus residential.

In my house rules, I have changed a number of particulars to make the industrial buildings more "attractive" to buy. Their cost is still high, but they are more beneficial and valuable. Here are the three main house rules that I have devised in this area :

A.) As previously noted in item # 8 above, I changed the rules so that :
"When you land on a planning permission space, you have the option of BUILDING OR REMOVING ONE SPECIFIC bonus bldg or hazard that is indicated on that space."
So basically, this rule makes properties more vulnerable to the possibility of having a hazard placed. Players can no longer rely on the premise that once you have a bonus bldg, it is extremely unlikely that it will be removed from the property. Prior to my rule, players would usually buy nothing but residential buildings once a bonus building is present.
But with my house rule, the possibility of having your bonus building removed, which was protecting all those residential buildings on your property, has increased. And if your bonus building is gone, someone can then place a hazard on your property on a subsequent turn.

B.) Noted in item # 9 above, I changed the rules so that :
"The price to remove a hazard is half of the cost of a residential block in that district, times the total number of residential blocks in that district."
This house rule will generally make the cost to remove a hazard more(and at times very) expensive. In the official rules the price to remove a hazard averages about 1.5 million. This is very low and cheap, and so most players dont see the need (and benefit) to purchase high-priced industrial buildings.
My house rule better matches the cost to remove a hazard, to the rental value players receive for the property in question. If a property is more valuable, then the cost to remove a hazard should theoretically also cost more. And if players want to buy more risky residential buildings (versus buying industrial), then the cost to remove the hazard from said property should also be more.

C.) This is the newest house rule that I have developed. It has been recently added and is noted above, in item # 13. This rule reads as follows :
"The conditions for payment of the Industry Tax have been changed/reversed. Now when a player lands on an “Industry Tax” space, you must pay the 2 million tax, UNLESS you currently own at least a total of five INDUSTRIAL blocks (anywhere on the gameboard)."
Once again, the idea is to make purchasing industrial buildings more attractive. The rule for paying this tax under the official rules does just the opposite ! If a player knows that they are going to be taxed at a high rate of 2 million for just owning one single industrial building (under the official rules), then why would players want to buy them ? I thought this official rule was just silly and unproductive.
So I reversed it ! Now players who do not own a minimum of five industrial buildings, anywhere on the board, must pay the tax. Most players will want to avoid having to pay this tax, and as such will usually buy at least the minimum amount of industrial buildings required. (Think of this revised tax as a "tax-penalty," similar to that for the ObamaCare Health Plan.) Players will usually settle on buying the cheapest industrial buildings possible, which will be on property(ies) in the "low-district" side of the gameboard (the brown and light blue districts).
And if you think about it, this house rule "kills two birds with one stone." In most of our games (using the official rules), we usually find that players do not buy any buildings in the low-district properties that they own. So there isnt very much "action" on this one side of the gameboard. With this new house rule, we usually now find that players do not stop at buying just five industrial buildings on the low-district property(ies), but will then usually finish their investment and buy up to the maximum eight total buildings. This now makes this side of the board more exciting during the game!

------------------------------------------------------

To go directly to the downloading page for my house rules (which are found here at BGG), you can click on the following link :
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/64413/monopoly-city-ho...

meeple

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Martin Matt
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Los28 wrote:

11. Addl funds may be obtained (except right before an auction) by selling bldgs back to the bank, at 70% of their orig value.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
12. To mortgage a property, you must first sell all residential & industrial bldgs back to the bank. The mortgage value is the price showing on the space on the board. To lift the mortgage, pay 20% interest.


I think the original rules of mortgages have a positive effect: they promote the spread of blocks over the boardgame.
Placing all blocks on the same district provides high rents (unbalancing the game) but it's risky because if you'll need not much money you´ll have (even temporary) to forfeit a high rent. This does not occur when selling blocks are allowed!

... unless when you decide to sell blocks you are forced to sell all blocks in a district at once.

A better solution is to state that all residencial blocks OR all industrial blocks must be sold at once!
This simultaneously promotes the spread of building over the board and promotes industrial building !



 
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