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Subject: Initially no score – but love it! rss

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oystein eker
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Some facts (most of them previously created in my brain):

1. GMT – the no 1 publisher of wargames, making a city building simulation?
2. City growth sim must have a huge rulebook (type Richard Berg)
3. Playing time 3 hours. Typically GMT you have to double it = 6 hours.
4. Always enjoy a slaughter of any negative review, and the “Played 1/3 of a game” review was a “good” headshaking experience. Anyway a few “facts” hit me:
5. Bored by calculations. OMG! 6 hours with calculations! Why not play a 18xx game.
6. It must be like Power Grid, and I hate it. Calculations and recalculations
7. Acquire game – I did not like it. And this is Acquire on steroids with a playing time of 6 hours!
8. Plain boring work. A Martin Wallace clone. I do not play M.Wallace games (except A few acres of snow.)
9. Down time. Unable to plan your next turn. The reason why I did not like Princes of Florence.

No interest at all. US did not slip under my radar, it did not show up.

Then a miracle…… (cost: $100).

One boring day (must have been at work) I have checked all the news on BGG, and start clicking randomly on videos. Undead Viking`s 1 hour long video of Urban Sprawls – Game of the Year, got a mouseclick. He must be kidding. Anyway, designed by Chad Jensen, the designer of Fighting Formations. A marvelous piece of work, with a few euro dirty fingerprints, I decided to watch to video. After watching it, to make it short, my jaw hit the floor. Then everything was confirmed by watching Marco`s review video.

An instant must buy. I could purchase it rather cheap from one of my favorite BGG dealers, but shipping takes too long. My local extremely expensive FLGS located at a Shopping Mall, had a few copies squeezed in between Trivia and Monopoly. Support your local FLGS and pick up your Visa, guy.

Comments on play:

Finally you can trust the fact box. It really plays in 3 hours. We use a second cube to indicate most valuable buildings, and the small chit to identify the poor slum. No doubt this speeds up play.

Downtime. No doubt you can plan 90% of your actions while the player to your right does his stuff. First you have to check if you have enough money to build in the most expensive area. If not, plan to discard Building Permit cards to gain enough money.

Next, eliminate options. Honestly you cannot do that much with 6 AP.

Now you can see what contracts will slide down to affordable AP boxes. Do you have to select a high cost AP, and then check the probabilities for enough BP to slide down to cheaper boxes. If not, forget it, or consider the Favor box.

With AP high cost contracts eliminated, you have to go for the lowest ones. Now you will have enough AP to grab enough BP cards, but check it.

When it is your turn, take a few seconds to recheck your plan A. Grab your contract (s) and spend rest of AP on BP cards.

Now it is time eliminate lots on the board. Go for the most valuable areas. You probably have only a few options left to consider now (Unless you have a cunning plan of (re)place value chits). You want to have majority in rows in both directions, and or the most valuable building, finally pick a lot with most connections to buildings in same color.

This procedure does not take ten minutes. Now wait and hope for some nice payouts. Start to plan again, when your right player grab his cards.

Warning! You MUST grab your share of political positions at the end of the game. None and you will lose. Do not blame luck or randomness.

Randomness. This game plays like El Grande. Accept that it is a new game each turn. Adapt your strategy to the tactical situation.

The opposite of randomness and predictability? In a Martin Wallace game you can say to your friends:” When it is my turn, I will take this card, move this and grab two VP”, and leave the table for a hamburger.

And downtime is created by: “If I do this, and you will do that, he is forced to do that in turn four. You will gain two VP, and I five VP. Another option is to pick that card in final turn, and he will lose one VP.”

What is fun with that? No doubt I prefer randomness to kill ability to calculate the optimum moves from here and till the end of game.

Final word on Contractor: Protect your valuable 1 lot buildings by build diagonally across the block. Can only be demolished by a four size building. Building smart and the contractor is not that strong.

Love the game as it is, Chad. Do not change or delete even a single event card. Keep the randomness in your next design.

A perfect “10” I want to play it now.
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Curt Carpenter
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eker wrote:
Randomness. This game plays like El Grande.

In what way do you mean? I don't see the similarity.
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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I'm sorry but I love this. Have to pay attention in Urban Sprawl.

Quote:
The opposite of randomness and predictability? In a Martin Wallace game you can say to your friends:” When it is my turn, I will take this card, move this and grab two VP”, and leave the table for a hamburger.
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oystein eker
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curtc wrote:
eker wrote:
Randomness. This game plays like El Grande.

In what way do you mean? I don't see the similarity.


In El Grande you reveal 5 new cards in a turn. When cards are used, you start a next turn with a new set of cards. They are completely different, and a new game starts with different options. You cannot plan what to do next turn. Consists of 6 mini games. Or it is similar to poker. Next round you start a new game with new cards.

I have the same feeling with US. What you planned and hoped for last turn will certainly be lost when you are the new active player. But there are lots of new opportunities to be explored.
 
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Clyde W
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Quote:
What is fun with that? No doubt I prefer randomness to kill ability to calculate the optimum moves from here and till the end of game.
Yes, if I could've gotten my gaming buds to play the game in any other way, it would be more fun, but I never could, and so traded away. Sadness because I wanted to love this game.

Most Polarizing Game of the Year, maybe?
 
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David Lanphear
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eker wrote:
Final word on Contractor: Protect your valuable 1 lot buildings by build diagonally across the block. Can only be demolished by a four size building. Building smart and the contractor is not that strong.

A single lot building can always be replaced by another single lot building.

Two single lot buildings on opposite corners of a block can be replaced by a 3 lot building too.

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oystein eker
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StocktonDave wrote:
eker wrote:
Final word on Contractor: Protect your valuable 1 lot buildings by build diagonally across the block. Can only be demolished by a four size building. Building smart and the contractor is not that strong.

A single lot building can always be replaced by another single lot building.

Two single lot buildings on opposite corners of a block can be replaced by a 3 lot building too.



OK - then I misunderstand example A (p14) lower block. You cannot demolish both 1 lot diagonally. What it is not clear in text is that you still may demolish one and build the 2 lot building.

Thanks!

 
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bestia immonda
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"Unable to plan your next turn. The reason why I did not like Princes of Florence"


LOL wut?
what do you PLAN in Urban Sprawl?
 
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oystein eker
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nicktaruffi wrote:
"Unable to plan your next turn. The reason why I did not like Princes of Florence"


LOL wut?
what do you PLAN in Urban Sprawl?


You can start to plan your next move when player to your right have picked his cards - and have a general idea of at least what you cannot do.

In PoF you have to start from scratch if plan A fails. Option of stealing building from other players generates alot of downtime.
 
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