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Subject: Cityscape is a broken game rss

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Nunya Beezwax

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A 2,3 or 4 player game with 25 blocks, indicating that there will be 25 turns. This means that whoever goes first (according to the game's official rules, this is always the youngest player,) will have the advantage as he/she always gets to go first and last.

Why does this break the game? It gives the first player a virtual lock on getting the tallest building built where he wants. In a two player game, this is especially game-breaking as it is an automatic 50 pt. score. A heckuva deficit for any player to overcome.

Why is this a MENSA select game? Hell if I know. My buddy said it's MENSA select because it teaches you that life is unfair as we're not all on a level playing field.

Do yourself a favor, pass on this box of poop.
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dale walton
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Thank you for raising your points. Cityscape is indeed a family-fun kind of game with some thinking, not a heavy strategy game.

However, before calling it a "box of poop", please note exactly what the rules state about who goes first:

"For the first round the youngest player takes the first turn. Subsequent rounds will be started by other players in rotation."

Thus each player gets a chance at starting a round. And therefore each player has an equal chance to make use of any "broken" strategy. The game is short enough that this should be feasible.

The tallest building is indeed 25 points each side (giving the 50 points you mention.) This is not totally automatic, the blocks actually have to be placed there at the expense of other goals. With two players, the second player may or may not choose to immediately fight the first player's first placement, but may work on other goals first(assuming that the second player even chose this goal at all.) The first player must then choose to consolidate his advantage at the loss of playing elsewhere, or allow the second player a chance to consolidate his own attempt at highest building at a different position. Whether this is actually worth doing depends on how well the opponent's placements fit with your goals, and whether you want, or do not want to consume blocks in a race for tallest as part of your overall strategy.

Also, if your play becomes too predictable, your opponent may set his goals to make use of your placements as well as his own.

For two players who find they are stuck in a predictable strategy, because it is consistantly working for them, (e.g. due to fixed beliefs about what is best play) the game you can easily be varied with house adjustments. For example, when playing with only two players, adjust the value of tallest building down (say to 15 points) or require that the highest building scores only once per player per building.

Never-the-less this game is intended for quick play for enjoyment, and not as a brainburner.
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