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Subject: "Open a city" rule from Medieval Merchant rss

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Chris Reimer
United States
West Chester
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The following are my (ignorant) observations, having only read the rules for Franchise and Medieval Merchant. I have no practical experience with either game (yet), so feel free to throw stones and poke holes etc:

In Medieval Merchant, none of the city tiles start on the board. They are semi-randomly dealt to players during setup so they hold a hand of tiles. There is an additional step at the start of each players turn, during which they must play a tile from their hand onto the board, "opening" that city and creating opportunities for themselves and others.

In Franchise, all of the tiles begin on the board, in play.

... I'm not sure I understand this change.

I acknowledge it's never a good idea to read the rules for a new game and start tinkering with it before you even play it - developers aren't paid for nothing! But it feels like the decision to vary the size of the city tiles for readability killed the opening deal, rather than a top-down decision. I'm tempted to re-introduce it, accepting the awkward requirement to randomize differently-sized components during setup.

There is another change which is understandable; in Medieval Merchant players collect income per-city during the "increase market share" step, and only if they decide NOT to increase market share there, but this would be a bit awkward to include alongside the income chart. The numbers in Franchise are ~20% of their counterparts in Medieval Merchant - 8 instead of 40-45 for the big connections, 1 point for $3 instead of 1 point for $20 etc. At 5p, the income chart in Franchise gives you half of the equivalent amount of Medieval Merchant guilders, which corrects for the missing rule but removes the decision.

Edit: Looking at the numbers again, it's not entirely accurate to say the decision has been removed, only softened - in Medieval Merchant, increasing market share is "free", but costs the income from the city that turn. In Franchise, it's $1, which is still a significant amount. Either way I suppose I should actually play the game before continuing further.
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