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Subject: The Chopping Block: La Citta rss

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Doug Adams
Australia
Oakleigh
Victoria
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A fan of new Knizia games
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I have full game shelves. When I spotted Debbie's copy of La Citta out for it's "make or break" appearance on the table, I realised I have tons of La Citta's of my own polluting my gaming shelves.

Do I really need Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Urland, that huge copy of Tutanchamun sitting up there? Dare I say it, do I even need La Citta? I hadn't played it in about six years.

All I remembered about the game was you built up cities with different tiles, and these cities bled people to adjacent cities that they found more attractive. Strangely, the strongest memory was the "hoops" on the city tiles that resembled a place where you buy dubious hamburgers.

So, Debbie broke her copy out, and we hoisted up the guillotine. Would La Citta get the chop or not?

We went through the rules and the game sounded okay. We used the standard four player set up, because we couldn't remember what was good and what wasn't. During the first turn I toyed with the idea of starting up a third and possibly fourth city, but declined and decided to go with two huge centres of learning and culture - New Doug and Adamstown.

I was wrong, of course. The important rules I totally failed to absorb about new cities were ...
- they are instant farms, increasing your food production
- they provide instant people (VPs)
- if you can get white, blue and black hoops into them, you get 3 bonus VP.

Still, New Doug did very well, attracting citizens from Tina's adjacent cities all game long. However, little did I know I was destroying both my own and Tina's chances along the way. Why? All those people flocking to New Doug were starving at the end of the turn because I hadn't built enough farms.

I was constantly in a dilemma during the game - do I build a farm or take the Rich Harvest cards to double up production from a particular farm for that turn? It seemed a no brainer to me - build the farm. There seems to be a total kludge in the rules forbidding Rich Harvest cards from being played in the final turn of the game, so taking the Rich Harvest cards during the game is really just avoiding the problem - so build the farm! To back me up, nobody took a Rich Harvest card all game (to shoot me down, nobody else had food issues all game), so by the final turn we only had three of the card slots cycling - the other four slots locked out by Rich Harvests.

Despite my farms, I was behind in my food production for 3 of the 6 turns, thus taking a one action "penalty" each time. This meant I only played 27 of the potential 30 turns I could have played (three more farms!). In addition, for 4 of those turns I Polled The People, so I really only played 23 turns! Imagine playing Princes of Florence and giving up 25% of your 21 "turns".

At the end, New Doug was still siphoning off citizens from Tina Town, Janetville, and Cantonopolis. On the final turn of the game I managed to feed my people for a narrow third place. Debbie romped away from Janet, both having nurtured cities and Debbie ensuring three of hers had all the coloured hoops. Poor Tina, a victim of my lavish expenditure and poor infrastructure, was last by a single victory point.

Verdict:
I enjoyed it - it earns a stay of execution in my collection.
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Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
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The current moderation is unfair and one-sided...
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... So I am not supporting BGG in 2019
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Quote:
Strangely, the strongest memory was the "hoops" on the city tiles that resembled a place where you buy dubious hamburgers.


Heh, me too. I haven't played the game in years either, the main difference between us being that I did sell my copy of the game - and with so much else to play, I haven't missed it.
 
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Chris
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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This game is DEFNITELY a keeper. I'm biased because I wrote a glowing review of it (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/165506), but I did so because the production values are so high and the gameplay, to my mind, very compelling and a good challenge as you experienced in building your cities too fast with not enough food. I'm glad you decided to keep it. the game becomes more nuanced and engaging with more plays.
 
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