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Subject: My 2-Player Blue Moon City Review rss

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Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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What's in the box?

The box is quite a bit bigger than it needs to be, and once the tiles are punched out of their sheets that insert looks pretty big with the components bouncing around inside. My first impression was that I didn't get much for my money components-wise, and I think that is a knee-jerk reaction to that big box with no board inside. The tiles are big, hefty and of high quality, the little wooden bits are nice (and nicely colored) and the cards seem pretty well-made too. The dragons are the only things that really clash with the pleasant aesthetic of the game. They are chunky, solid, brightly colored plastic. Yuck.



How long does the game take to play?

Our first game took a little longer than expected, about 75 minutes. Subsequent games have taken about an hour. Depending on how many cards a
player has in hand, there are generally a few options to consider so there is some room for a bit of AP, but overall this shouldn't be a problem.

How does the game end?

There is an obelisk tile with 11 spaces on it (13 if there are 3 or 4 players in the game.) The first player to fill 6 of these spaces is the
winner. The earlier spaces are cheaper to buy with the most expensive space being at the top.

How does it work?

Blue Moon City is based on the Blue Moon card game (which I've never played.) The story is some shenanigans about warring races and the
rebuilding of a destroyed city. The players take on the roles of...actually I'm not sure about this one. Are we members of the city? Are we architects? Anyhow, we're rebuilding Blue Moon City. Each tile shows the blueprints for a building in the city, and once the players contribute the correct cards, that building is flipped to it's complete side and those who helped build it are rewarded. Rewards come in the form of crystals, dragon scales and cards.



The cards you are dealt serve two purposes: you discard them to contribute to reconstructing the buildings, and you use them to move the dragons around the board. If there is a dragon present when you contribute to a building, you get a dragon scale. Dragons typically breathe fire and eat peasants, but these dragons apparently watch you work and then give you one of their scales. Once all 9 scales are gone, the player with the most scales takes 6 crystals, the other player takes 3 crystals and all scales are put back in the supply. (if the player with fewer scales has fewer than 3, he keeps them and doesn't take any crystals.)

So you're essentially completing buildings to get crystals, and getting scales which you then trade in for more crystals. What are crystals for? There is an obelisk in the center of the city where players spend these crystals to place one of their markers. The first player to place 6 markers in the obelisk wins the game.

A turn breaks down pretty easily like this:


1. Move your pawn up to 2 spaces orthagonally (non-diagonally)
2. Make 1 or more contributions to the building tile you're on.
3. Discard up to 2 cards from your hand, then draw 2 more than you discarded.


The only thing complex or intimidating about the game is memorizing what the different colors of cards do, and that comes pretty quickly
after a play or two. Each card has a value of 1, 2 or 3 on it and each tile requires a different color of card contribution. For example, there is a tile with 3 brown spaces on it. Each space has a number in it representing the total value of brown cards that must be contributed
to claim that space(ie a brown space with the number 5 on it could be claimed by discarding a brown 3 and a brown 2, or a brown 3 and two
brown 1s.) Once all 3 spaces are filled, that building is complete and is flipped over to its finished side.

Everyone who contributed to a finished building earns rewards, and the player who contributed the most gets a little extra. Also, when completing a building any finished building directly next to it provides additional rewards. Thus the order the cities are completed becomes important, and where you build becomes important. It may not seem like a big deal to get only an extra crystal or two, but the game can easily come down to a race to gather enough crystals to swoop in and claim that final spot on the obelisk. Every little bit helps.

Finally, the 1s and 2s in each color can be discarded for a special effect: the black, blue and red cards let you move one of the 3 dragons,
the grey cards let you move your pawn further, the green and brown cards act as wilds, white cards let you change the color of other cards in your hand and yellow cards let you make additional offerings to the obelisk (normally you can only make one per turn.)



Who will enjoy this game?


Those who are looking for a light but engaging game will likely find themselves enjoying Blue Moon City. It's not a chore to teach or learn, but there are enough strategic options to keep the game interesting.

Who won't enjoy this game?

Fans of heavier games may get bored with this game. Also the game is won by players paying tribute to an obelisk, and some players may have
some religious objection to that concept.

What I liked:

I'm a sucker for a pretty game, and Blue Moon City is a very pretty game. The artwork on the tiles is exceptional, as is the artwork on the cards. As a former Magic the Gathering junkie, I recognize many of the artists: Scott Fischer, Franz Vohwinkel, Todd Lockwood and others. The playing pieces themselves are in purple, sky blue, grey and white - unusual choices that compliment the board and art very well without getting in the way. I also enjoy moving around the board and figuring out how to get the most efficient use of my cards, balancing which
buildings will give the best rewards vs how convenient it is for me to get there and contribute.

What I disliked:


I keep coming back to the dragons. They stand out from the rest of the components because they are chunky, ugly and I hate them. As for real complaints, I've found the ending to be a little anticlimactic. "I move to the obelisk, pay my 12 crystals and I win." I suppose you could make the same complaint about most games that are a race to achieve a certain score, but it feels more pronounced with Blue Moon City. This may just be a personal thing.

The bottom line:

Blue Moon City is a nice little game that isn't too tough to learn, offers some interesting gameplay and is over before it wears out its welcome. It isn't a game I'd want to play several times in a session, but it's fun every now and again. It's not the main event, but it really is a nice appetizer.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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this one is better with 3, and I think best with 4 people.
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Bryan Maxwell
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Burtchville
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Hendal wrote:
this one is better with 3, and I think best with 4 people.


I'd be interested to see how it plays with 3 or 4. Hopefully I'll get to try it one of these days. I typically get to game with a small group about once a month, and December's probably going to be skipped due to everyone's wacky schedules.
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Todd N.
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Medford
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This is my wife's favorite game regardless of how many players there are. Our two player games are always really close.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Hey Todd - I have found the game is usually close, but with 3 or 4 people I think it a better game - tougher decisions, and harder to judge what will happen when 2 or 3 other people go before your next turn.

I actually think it works best with 4 people, 3 is fine also, but 4 is the sweet spot for me.

Mr Nuts - good luck getting in some gaming over the holidays
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Jim Sutherland
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(just) West of London
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Hendal wrote:
this one is better with 3, and I think best with 4 people.

Could not agree more.

I had played once as a 2-player game and it was a very porr experience.

Imagine my dismay when, with three friends making the choice of game to play, it was chosen as the next game to play when we were together yesterday.

The game is much better with 4 than it is with 2.

Enough to keep it interesting without taxing the old-grey matter. Wouldn't play it every week, but once now and then as lighter fare at the end of the day (or perhaps start?) is no longer an objectionable idea to me, especially with some of the different layout suggestions here on the Geek.
 
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Patrick C.
United States
Milford
New Hampshire
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Since I play primarily 2p I traded this away immediately after trying. It was clear it wasn't going to be fun experience for me or my partner.
 
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