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Between Two Cities» Forums » Variants

Subject: "Love the Left" - a more competitive variant for experienced players rss

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Julia Ziobro
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We came up with this variant during one of our umpteen playtests of Between Two Cities. I shared it with Jamey on February 15th, and he asked me to hold off on sharing it until the game was published and in gamers' hands.

Once you've played Between Two Cities enough times to really get the strategy and scoring, it can get a little dull, especially if you always play with the same group. Here's a way to spice it up.

You and your neighbors will still be building cities together, but in this variant, each player is trying to build a great city to their left, and a terrible city to their right. You only score the city to your LEFT at the end of the game. ("Love the left, hate the right").

Playing this way involves more strategic decisions at each turn and greatly increases the tension involved in a game.
Here are the alternate rules for Between Two Cities: Love the Left .

Components do not change.
Setup is as normal.

Gameplay has these changes in each round.
E When you select tiles for each city, BEFORE revealing them, assign one to the city on your left, and one to the city on your right. Remember, you will only score the city on your LEFT.
E After the tiles are revealed, FIRST play the tile you assigned to the left city in the position most advantageous to you for future scoring and additional tile placement.
E Then each player places the tile they assigned to the right city in the position LEAST advantageous to that city (but not breaking the 4x4 grid and tile-alignment rules).
E Discussion of tile placement is allowed, but because you are competing, you will find that it is not often useful.

Round two proceeds as normal, with the tile assignment method above.

Round three proceeds as normal, with the tile assignment method above.

Scoring proceeds as normal, but each player ONLY scores the city they built to their LEFT.

In the case of a tie, the higher scoring city WITHOUT the most-factories bonus factored in is the winner. If there is still a tie, the city with the most houses worth more than 1 point each (not next to a factory) wins. If there is STILL a tie, play rock-paper-scissors or arm wrestle.

Have fun being mean!
JAZ
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Well done, Julia! Thanks for your patience.
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John Sheppard
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JuliaZ wrote:
We came up with this variant during one of our umpteen playtests of Between Two Cities.


What an awesome idea! I wish I had thought of it.
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Julia Ziobro
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Well done, Julia! Thanks for your patience.


LOL Jamey, you know the real challenge was not forgetting!
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Mark Palframan
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Interesting, that definitely adds some asymmetry to the pass to the left and pass to the right rounds...
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Jerry
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I had almost the same idea a few weeks back. It never got past the 'batting it around in my head' stage so I never got deep into the particulars. Will give this a shot!
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Brad McKenzie
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Very cool variant!
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Jason Strong
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Thanks. This may have saved this game for me and at least one my groups.

My two groups (one with more experienced gamers and the other mostly novices) were done with BTC in three tries or less. The gamers optimized the gameplay too quickly and the novices were bored by the drab theme.
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John Sheppard
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jstrong wrote:
Thanks. This may have saved this game for me and at least one my groups.

My two groups (one with more experienced gamers and the other mostly novices) were done with BTC in three tries or less. The gamers optimized the gameplay too quickly and the novices were bored by the drab theme.


Glad we could help. I felt the same way about this game and suggested the variant after about five games or so. It made the game more interesting, at least for me. Glad Julia posted it, as I'd have never gotten around to it. Probably.
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Ben Bateson
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jstrong wrote:
Thanks. This may have saved this game for me and at least one my groups. The gamers optimized the gameplay too quickly and the novices were bored by the drab theme.


I'm not dismissing this variant, because I think it works and is fun, but I suspect you will find it just as easy to optimize.
 
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Jason Strong
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ousgg wrote:
jstrong wrote:
Thanks. This may have saved this game for me and at least one my groups. The gamers optimized the gameplay too quickly and the novices were bored by the drab theme.


I'm not dismissing this variant, because I think it works and is fun, but I suspect you will find it just as easy to optimize.


I ended up being half right. It helped with one of my groups, but it was the non-gamers - they found it easier to focus on one direction.

Still, it's a pretty big disappointment for such a promising mechanic.
 
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Lloyd MC Chan
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Brilliant and simple twist!

My group never play the original rule after experiencing this variant.

We also have a modification on the scoring of SHOPS. SHOPS in a "L", "T" or "+" are counted twice, therefore a "+" will score 20(10+10,instead of 2+10+2).
 
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Ben Bateson
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Zoids wrote:

We also have a modification on the scoring of SHOPS. SHOPS in a "L", "T" or "+" are counted twice, therefore a "+" will score 20(10+10,instead of 2+10+2).


This is not a good idea.

However, I have a better one.

One small addition to this variant thread: have each player add the monument token representing to their cities to one tile after phase 1. The tile with the monument scores double at game end. If it is part of a climbing scale, then its value is of the top increment on that scale (so, if your monument is on an office next to a pub, and you have five offices, it would be worth 6x2=12 points). Adds a little more focus for the saboteur.
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Ryan Valdez
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Trying to get more mileage out of this game, so I'm going to be trying this variant soon (still loving the game btw, especially with Capitols). But out of curiosity, why is it that in the case of a tie, the higher scoring city WITHOUT the most-factories bonus factored in is the winner? As in, why take away the most-factories bonus?
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Ryan: I'm not quite sure I understand the question. The way the second tiebreaker works, you essentially just look down the reference card at each category until the tie is broken. First you look at shops. Still tied? Okay, compare factories. Still tied? Look at taverns. And so on.
 
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Ryan Valdez
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To clarify, I meant as far as this variant goes, not under the base game rules. But then it just dawned upon me that you're only scoring the left city, so disregard! I feel dumb lol.
 
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