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Subject: For the Meeple, by the Meeple (Review of Quadropolis) rss

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Michael Carpenter
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For the Meeple, by the Meeple


SUMMARY




Quadropolis is a tile laying city-building game for 2-4 players. Players will use architects to build various types of buildings in their cities. The goal of the game is to build your city as efficiently as possible, taking into consideration pollution and overpopulation. Only the most skilled city-planner will employ his or her architects the most effectively, earning the most points and winning the game.


THE COMPONENTS


The board in Quadropolis is made up of a main board and a player mat for each player. The main board consists of twenty-five spaces in a 5 x 5 grid that holds the tiles that will be used to build each city. The player mats contain sixteen spaces that will be used to hold the tiles that each individual takes from the main board. The player mat is broken into four sectors, purple, blue, yellow, and pink. These sectors function as different areas of the city and will help score certain tiles appropriately.



The architect tokens are the main component used to determine which tile will be taken from the main board for each player. In the basic game each player will have four architect tokens numbered 1-4 in their own color. To use these tokens the players point the token across the row they would like to use or up or down the column they would like to use to take a tile from. This will be discussed in further detail in the game play section.



The mayor pawn and the urbanist pawn both have very important functions in the game. The mayor pawn (green) is used to show who is the first player in each round. Being the first player is extremely important in this game. The urbanist pawn (black) is used to mark which space a tile has most recently been taken from. This is also an important factor in the game and will be discussed in further detail in the game play section.



The inhabitants and energy units also play an important role in the game. The inhabitants (blue) are used to either activate a building tile or act as customers in shops to score points. The energy units (red) are used to activate certain building tiles. If a building is not activated by the appropriate inhabitant or energy unit at the end of the game it does not contribute toward scoring points. However, if you have any inhabitants or energy units leftover at the end of the game you lose one point per piece leftover. This makes gathering these pieces efficiently important.



There are at least twenty-five building tiles for each of the four rounds of the basic game in Quadropolis. Each tile is used in the round that is indicated on the back of the tile. Some of these tiles also have a 3-4 or a 4 on the back. Tiles that are marked 3-4 are used in three and four players games. Tiles marked 4 are used in four player games.



Each player also receives a reference sheet that explains how to score each type of tiles appropriately.





I have somewhat mixed emotions about the components in Quadropolis. The tiles are nice and thick, the meeples, pawns, and pollution pieces are beautiful and well sized for the number of pieces that have to be used in the game. My only complaint is that the main board isn't entirely flat and I wish the player mats were thick cardboard rather than thin and flimsy but both pieces function perfectly well.


THE GAMEPLAY


To begin players need to setup the construction site with the appropriate tiles for the first round. Players first place twenty-five round 1 tiles face down on the construction site.



Next, the players will reveal all tiles that are to be used according to the number of players. In this example I have revealed all tiles to be used in a 3 player games. I was able to determine this by the back of the tiles as mentioned before.



The basic game of Quadropolis is played over four rounds. Each round consists of four turns per player. A game turn is broken down as follows:

1 - Take a building from the construction site (main board)
2 - Move the urbanist to the space of the tile just taken
3 - Place the building tile in your city
4 - Receive resources from the building (if eligible)

Step 1:
To take a building tile from the construction site a player chooses any of their architect tokens (1-4) and places it along the outside of the construction site.



The number of the architect and which direction the architect token is pointed determines which building tile you may take. In this example the green player used the #4 architect and took the fourth tile down in the column in which he played his token.

Players may not place their architect tokens on top of an already placed architect token.

Step 2:
Next, the active player must move the urbanist (the black pawn) to the space of the tile he most recently took from the construction site.

In this example the yellow player used his #1 architect token.



He then placed the urbanist tile in the space of the tile he chose. Players may not place their architect tokens in a row or column that points directly at the urbanist's current location.



Step 3:
Once the urbanist is moved the active player must place his or her newly acquired tile in their own city (player mat). To correctly place a new tile the play must look at the number of the architect he or she used to acquire the tile. In this case the green player used the #4 architect.



The player then looks at his or her city (player mat) and checks for open spaces in Row 4 or Column 4.






Since there no tiles in any of these spaces the player may place the new tile in any of the seven available spaces.



The player has selected to place the tile in the number 4 column. It does not matter that the tile is in the number 3 row.

Step 4:

The final step on a player's turn is to receive resources that are provided by the newly acquired tile. In the example above the player placed a purple shop. The shop provided no resources to the player. Let's assume the player placed a yellow tower on their next turn. They would collect the resources provided to him or her that are indicated in the top left corner of the tile.



In this case the player would receive one inhabitant from the supply. The player could place that inhabitant immediately, if he or she had a building tile that required an inhabitant to be activated such as a factory or to be scored such a shop. Luckily, the player had placed a shop on the previous turn so if the player were to choose so, he or she could place the inhabitant in the shop permanently or temporarily. Players may moves inhabitants and energy units from tile to tile throughout the game before finally choosing the exact placement of each piece before doing the final scoring.

Some tiles award victory points to score at the end of the game rather than resources.

Once the active player has completed all four of these steps and placed their inhabitants and energy units as they wish play continues to the player on the left.

Lastly, I would like to look at how each type of building scores points.


Tower:
Towers (yellow) score points based on how many tiles you have stacked on top of one another. In the basic game a player may only stack at most four towers in a single space in their city.




When a player stacks a second, third, or fourth tower tile they collect the new resources the tower provides but they still only need one energy unit to activate the tower.



- A single floor is worth 1 point
- Two floors are worth 3 points
- Three floors are worth 6 points
- Four floors are worth 10 points

In this example the player would score 3 points for this particular tower at the end of the game.

The rule book refers to a new tile as adding floors to the tower.


Shops:
Shops (purple) score points based on the number of inhabitants placed in each shop. Each shop may hold up to four inhabitants.



- One inhabitant is worth 1 point
- Two inhabitants are worth 2 points
- Three inhabitants are worth 4 points
- Four inhabitants are worth 7 points

In this example the player would not score any points because the shop is not activated but if the player places an energy unit on the shop tile he or she will score 2 points for having two inhabitants in this particular shop at the end of the game.


Public Services:
Public Services (teal) score points based on how many sectors of your city have a public service building. Your city is divided into four sectors (four spaces each). The tricky part about public service buildings is that you may have three public service tiles in your city but if they are all in the same sector you only score as if you have one public service building instead of three.



- One sector with a public service building is worth 2 points
- Two sectors with a public service building are worth 5 points
- Three sectors with a public service building are worth 9 points
- Four sectors with a public service building are worth 14 points

In the example the player would score 9 points for having a public service building in three different sectors of his or her city at the end of the game.

Parks:
Parks (green) score based on how many towers are adjacent to the park. The number of floors (stacked tiles) is irrelevant when scoring parks.



- One tower adjacent to the park is worth 2 points
- Two towers adjacent to the park are worth 4 points
- Three towers adjacent to the park are worth 7 points
- Four towers adjacent to the park are worth 11 points

In this example the player would score 7 points at the end of the game for this park since it is adjacent to three towers.

Factories:
Factories (red) score points by being placed by shops and harbors. For each shop that a factory is adjacent to the player scores 2 points. For each harbor the factory is adjacent to the player scores 3 points.



In the example the player would not score any points for this factory because it is not activated. The player would need one inhabitant on the factory tile to score the 5 points it could score the player at the end of the game.


Harbors:
Harbors (blue) score points by being placed next to one another. Harbors are unique in the fact that players can only score the longest vertical connection of harbors and the longest horizontal connection they have in their city.




- 1 harbor is worth 0 points
- 2 connected harbors are worth 3 points
- 3 connected harbors are worth 7 points
- 4 connected harbors are worth 12 points

In this example since the right most harbor is not activated the player's longest horizontal connection of harbors is two, scoring the player 3 points. The player's longest vertical connection of harbors is one, scoring the player 0 points. However, if the player were to activate the other harbor the player would then score 7 points for connecting three harbors horizontally and 3 points for connecting two harbors vertically for a total of 10 points.

Once all players have placed all four architects, or in some cases as many as they could based on available selections, the round ends. The player who selected the tile with the green mayor pawn in the bottom left corner will now be the first player in the next round. If no one chose this tile then the same player will be player one in the next round. Players remove all unused tiles from the construction site and place them back in the box. Players also take back all of their architect tokens. Next, the players place the round two tiles just as they did in the first round, placing them face down, then revealing the appropriate tiles based on the number of players.

After four rounds of this the players will finalize their placement of their inhabitants and energy units as effectively as possible. Players may use parks to place one extra energy unit per park to help avoid losing points in the final scoring.

Once all players have finalized their placement of inhabitants and energy units players calculate their final scores. The player with the highest score wins the game.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Quadropolis is easily my favorite city-building game, surpassing Suburbia in recent months. This is because of the ease with which Quadropolis plays. Suburbia isn't extremely difficult to learn but there seems to be a level of complexity that would take Suburbia out of reach of several players.

Quadropolis on the other hand may take a little time to cover all the rules of scoring and placing but that should be the only time new players should have to learn the rules of these procedures in most cases. The reference sheet is a valuable item in this game and keeps all players informed throughout the entire game. I have played this game successfully with my 8 year old niece and she took to it quickly and easily.

There is a good amount of strategic satisfaction for players of all ages. While my niece was not able to optimize every move, she could see smart plays and make smart decisions when taking tiles and placing tiles. To me, this is a mark of a great family game. I typically find myself helping everyone else at the table with their moves and explaining rules which distracts from me having an opportunity to think about my own game. This game didn't require me to do anything of the sort because the reference sheet and the ease of play are both superb.

Days of Wonder obviously put their stamp of excellent production and beautiful art on this game, leaving very few complaints about production or aesthetics. The colors and components used in this game make the experience feel youthful, almost toy-like, in a good way. Again, my only complaints are that the main board does not lay perfectly flat, causing the board to be knocked around easier and I wish the player mats were player boards but the mats are not of poor quality.

The decisions you make in the basic version of this game are interesting because you can almost always determine your absolute best move but you can't always make that move on your current turn because the urbanist can block you or other players may have placed architects in the row or column you need to use. You are constantly trying to decide which architect to use and which to save for a later turn. These factors take a relatively simple objective of finding the best tile for your city and turn it into "settle for this until I can hopefully do this". Knowing when to take a piece you really need and when to leave it for a later turn is a necessary skill and this is where I feel the game can become a little deeper than young children can execute, but there is an enjoyment for them in simply taking the best tile available at the time.

While the game is very good and I truly enjoy it, I do have a couple of issues with it. Player order is extremely important. I understand player order is important in a lot of games and I don't always mind that, but in Quadropolis there is an issue presented in that some tiles provide victory points instead of resources. The number of victory points provided can be 1, 2 or 3. These victory points are found on public service buildings and the public service buildings are arguably the easiest way to score big points. This fact makes the first player almost always take the most valuable public service building on the first turn. So, what's the complaint? This is a smart move by the other player. Absolutely, but when the first player pawn changes hands by taking the appropriately marked tile from the construction site it means to stop the opponent from taking the best public service building for two, three, or four straight rounds I have to use one of my four turns to stop the other player and quite possibly take a tile that has nothing to do with my strategy.

I understand sacrifice is part of board games but if no one makes this sacrifice or I just don't get the opportunity to make the sacrifice I have nearly no chance of winning the game because the victory points awarded on the tiles are typically what sways the victory toward one player in this game. Most players score very similar scores from the placement of their building tiles and then the victory points awarded from certain tiles can really make the difference. It doers not break the game and truthfully it barely impacts my enjoyment of the game because it does add an element of competition for the mayor token but it is something that must be considered or one player will easily win the game if they gain the first player advantage.

At the end of the day I do love this game. It is easily my favorite city-building game and my favorite Days of Wonder game. The expert mode is not essential to making this game enjoyable but it does add some more of what is already good about Quadropolis so it definitely doesn't hurt the game. This is a game I have to recommend to all types of gamers because of it's hybrid feel of player interaction and solidarity. The player interaction is somewhat indirect yet very influential at times. It is a good balance of many things without becoming too difficult to wrap your head around.

Try this game!


Rating: 9/10



If you enjoy my reviews please recommend and check out my geeklist For the Meeple, by the Meeple



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Simon Maynard
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Quote:
While the game is very good and I truly enjoy it, I do have a couple of issues with it. Player order is extremely important. I understand player order is important in a lot of games and I don't always mind that, but in Quadropolis there is an issue presented in that some tiles provide victory points instead of resources. The number of victory points provided can be 1, 2 or 3. These victory points are found on public service buildings and the public service buildings are arguably the easiest way to score big points. This fact makes the first player almost always take the most valuable public service building on the first turn. So, what's the complaint? This is a smart move by the other player. Absolutely, but when the first player pawn changes hands by taking the appropriately marked tile from the construction site it means to stop the opponent from taking the best public service building for two, three, or four straight rounds I have to use one of my four turns to stop the other player and quite possibly take a tile that has nothing to do with my strategy.

I understand sacrifice is part of board games but if no one makes this sacrifice or I just don't get the opportunity to make the sacrifice I have nearly no chance of winning the game because the victory points awarded on the tiles are typically what sways the victory toward one player in this game.

Actually, public service building are one of the weakest ways to get points. I think there is an in depth strategic analysis here that explains why:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1582849/reasonable-board-la...

Perhaps with a few more games you will realise that strategy is not quite as important as you think it is?
 
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Michael Carpenter
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Fried Egg wrote:
Quote:
While the game is very good and I truly enjoy it, I do have a couple of issues with it. Player order is extremely important. I understand player order is important in a lot of games and I don't always mind that, but in Quadropolis there is an issue presented in that some tiles provide victory points instead of resources. The number of victory points provided can be 1, 2 or 3. These victory points are found on public service buildings and the public service buildings are arguably the easiest way to score big points. This fact makes the first player almost always take the most valuable public service building on the first turn. So, what's the complaint? This is a smart move by the other player. Absolutely, but when the first player pawn changes hands by taking the appropriately marked tile from the construction site it means to stop the opponent from taking the best public service building for two, three, or four straight rounds I have to use one of my four turns to stop the other player and quite possibly take a tile that has nothing to do with my strategy.

I understand sacrifice is part of board games but if no one makes this sacrifice or I just don't get the opportunity to make the sacrifice I have nearly no chance of winning the game because the victory points awarded on the tiles are typically what sways the victory toward one player in this game.

Actually, public service building are one of the weakest ways to get points. I think there is an in depth strategic analysis here that explains why:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1582849/reasonable-board-la...

Perhaps with a few more games you will realise that strategy is not quite as important as you think it is?



I guess what I meant when I said easiest way to get big points is you only need to place four tiles to get 14 points and you're very likely to get 2 VPs with the Public Service tile. I'm sure it's not the best strategy to score every point possible but I'm also not that kind of player. I don't try to analyze the game down to the absolute perfect move each turn. Plus, if I am attempting go another route, turn order will still be vital to getting the optimal time for that strategy and if I'm playing someone who is running a pre-determined, "nearly perfect" strategy the times we choose are going to be even more important... The public service tiles were more of an example for a family game and that didn't come across clearly, I can admit that, and you're retain my correct in saying there are far better strategies that what I or my family or friends use but that really wasn't the point of the opinion and I'll try to edit that and clear it up for you.

Thanks for the comment though!
 
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Simon Maynard
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Being first in turn order can certainly be useful in this game, for sure. The question on whether or not to take the first player privilege or not is itself a dilemma because the tile that give is is of little value otherwise. I would be more inclined to seize it if I'm 4th in the player order than if I'm 2nd.
 
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Michael Carpenter
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Fried Egg wrote:
Being first in turn order can certainly be useful in this game, for sure. The question on whether or not to take the first player privilege or not is itself a dilemma because the tile that give is is of little value otherwise. I would be more inclined to seize it if I'm 4th in the player order than if I'm 2nd.



Exactly, and that's more of the point I was making while trying to include a simple example because I'm probably not the person to go into a deep level of strategy to maximize the points in a layout. Plus, I was only addressing the basic game because it fits more of the audience I can relate to from a gaming-group perspective, as I often play games with my family and non-gamer friends. I just feel like 25% of my moves in a round could be on seizing player order rather than improving my city. Just seems like a lot.
 
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Scott Mohnkern
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I love this game, and you are right, its slowly replacing Suburbia as my go to game for city building.

One thing you should be aware of is that there is a glaring defect in acrylic pieces (the green and black ones)


With time (say six months) they start to develop cracks, and ultimately shatter.

Now if you contact Days of Wonder, they will replace them, but it looks like with the same acrylic pieces, and they are going to ultimately crack again. I'd hoped they'd found a long term solution.


Other than that, an outstanding game, high on my favorites list.
 
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Michael Carpenter
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mohnkern wrote:
I love this game, and you are right, its slowly replacing Suburbia as my go to game for city building.

One thing you should be aware of is that there is a glaring defect in acrylic pieces (the green and black ones)


With time (say six months) they start to develop cracks, and ultimately shatter.

Now if you contact Days of Wonder, they will replace them, but it looks like with the same acrylic pieces, and they are going to ultimately crack again. I'd hoped they'd found a long term solution.


Other than that, an outstanding game, high on my favorites list.



I had no idea about the defect! Thank you for informing me. They just simply fall apart with time?
 
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MariettaTennis wrote:
mohnkern wrote:
I love this game, and you are right, its slowly replacing Suburbia as my go to game for city building.

One thing you should be aware of is that there is a glaring defect in acrylic pieces (the green and black ones)


With time (say six months) they start to develop cracks, and ultimately shatter.

Now if you contact Days of Wonder, they will replace them, but it looks like with the same acrylic pieces, and they are going to ultimately crack again. I'd hoped they'd found a long term solution.


Other than that, an outstanding game, high on my favorites list.



I had no idea about the defect! Thank you for informing me. They just simply fall apart with time?


A small minority of people have experienced this. Whether or not it becomes widespread remains to be seen.

I've observed minor cracks in the larger pieces, but nothing bad enough that they'll crumble and fall apart. But if it happens, I'm quite confident the good folks at Days of Wonder will offer suitable replacement parts.
 
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