Greetings to all that read these words!
Yesterday evening, my wife and I played a complete game of La Citta. The game has fascinated me and I really want to like it and play it more than once, but two things about the game concern me.
1. Why develop more than one city?
Each player has two castles (the nucleus of a city) at the start and commences expansion. In our game, there never seemed to be a good reason to found a 3rd city, let alone a 4th city. There also seemed to be no good reason to expand both cities on any equal basis, as an opponent concentrating all of her growth in one of her two cities would triumph during the migration phase and my two weaker opposing cities would be helpless against her "megalopolis." In our game, we both focused on growing the attractions of our larger city. Again, no new cities were founded. The final score was a difference of one population token.
2. The uselessness of Rich Harvest cards
Feeding our populations was never a problem throughout our game so there was never a need to take a Rich Harvest card as an action. As a result, these cards eventually clogged the tableau and limited the number of usable political cards that could be chosen. It occurred to me that there should be a way to fix this. I like the idea of having the option to take one gold coin when taking a Rich Harvest card, which would seem to be completely thematic (cash crop?), or when three appear in the tableau two could be removed and replaced by cards from the draw pile.
I know there must me a few die hard La Citta fans out there that can alleviate my concerns that 1) founding new cities is pointless, 2) concentrating all development in one city only is a winning strategy, and 3) Rich Harvest cards are an impediment to game play.
There you have it.
Hi! It's been awhile since I played but I think I can answer your questions.
Players develop multiple cities because cities with an arch of each service are worth 3 VPs each. Also, you may need to develop another city because you need more food or your current cities may not have extra citizens to expand. If you want to keep your weak cities alive, then pay close attention to the Voice of the People. Use Polling the People cards to find out what the service in demand will be and construct those buildings. Bread & Games cards can also help protect a weak city.
The usefulness of Rich Harvest cards may be diminished somewhat in a 2 player game. However, at some point there's a good chance that a player may need to use this card. Make sure you are feeding your people correctly. This tends to be a somewhat difficult rule for many players to grasp.
In all honesty, I would not play this game 2 player. It is much more difficult to build large cities with more players, hence the need for more cities. IMHO you are not getting the full flavor of the game.