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Lucca Città» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2-Player Variant: Living City rss

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Mick Sullivan
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The Living City is a variant to allow Lucca Citta to be played by 2 players, instead of the standard 3-5. In addition to the palaces being built by the players, there is a third set of palaces owned by the city of Lucca itself. Players will add cards to the neutral palaces throughout the game.

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This variant uses the standard rules for a 3-player game:
- 7 Turns
- 5 cards in a completed palace
- 4 Triplets dealt each round

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Initial Deal:
Deal four cards to each player as normal. The players still select two of the cards to keep, but do not yet discard the other two. Instead, the four unwanted cards go into a third play area that represents the rest of the city. Build these four cards into palaces. If there is more than one card of each color, the cards are stacked with the highest street number showing.

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Turns:
Turn order follows standard rules, with the player possessing the highest number of shields in their palaces under construction area going first. The city does not take a turn, so do not count its shields.

The first player chooses a triplet and plays the cards as normal. The second player follows suit. There will be now be two triplets left on the table.

Next, the first player chooses a card from one of the remaining triplets, and builds it into the neutral city area. It must be built as a palace or tower, not a wall. Then, the second player chooses a card from the last triplet, and does the same. Discard the four remaining cards.

The city area does not have separate designations for palaces under construction, completed, or opened. They are simply either incomplete or complete.

Unlike a player's palaces, once a palace has been completed in the neutral area, another of that same color may be begun, if desired.

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Scoring:
The city itself does not score points. When players open palaces, they take city's neutral palaces into account. Standard rules apply: 1 point for each card in an incomplete palace in the neutral area, 2 for each completed palace. This is in additional to the usual scoring based on the other player's palaces.

When determining points by street number at the end of the game, consider the city as if it were a player. This could mean that neither player gains or loses points based on street numbers.

Towers in the city area have no direct impact on scoring.

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Note that this Living City variant could be played with three players, but I'm not sure how smoothly it would work. You would deal out 6 triplets each turn, and would need to reshuffle the discarded cards once during the game. With more than 3 players and standard numbers of turns, there wouldn't be enough cards to try, even with reshuffling.
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