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Subject: The City as a 2 player game rss

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Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
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This review is part of my series of reviews of how games play with just 2 players. For the full list see: My 2 player game reviews.

The City was a recent acquisition, because of the designer's history, and it has become an instant success, as it's short playing time makes it ideal for any gap you want to fill-in. As a 2 player game we regularly play it at the end of lunchtime, to fill in the gap between the main lunchtime game and heading back to work.

Rules - how are they different in a 2 player game

There are no rules changes with the 2 player game.

How is the game different with 2?

The game is almost unchanged with just 2 players. This game pretty much defines the genre of multiplayer solitaire. The only interaction between the players is the rate at which they start scoring and trigger game end, except occasionally when you get a card that scores for your opponent's buildings. This is the only way that two player is slightly different - there are less players to put that card into play, and it's less likely your opponent has high score in the symbol you want to collect 2 player's points for, and so these cards are very slightly weaker. Only slightly though - it's almost a negligible difference.

Verdict

The game is pretty much identical with all player counts, as it is so solitaire. It makes an excellent end or start of session filler, when you're wanting something about 10 minutes long to fill in a quick gap.
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Bruce Murphy
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There's one other difference. With two players, a card once discarded will likely never been seen again, with 4, there's enough churn that you'll reshuffle the deck at least, probably more and cards used for payment have a chance to come up again.

I quite like The City as a 2-player game, but this aspect of it is the reason that I prefer to play with 3 or 4 if possible.

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Sharon Khan
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I don't think I've ever shuffled the deck more than once, even with 4, and usually only on the last turn, two at most.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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sa266 wrote:

I don't think I've ever shuffled the deck more than once, even with 4, and usually only on the last turn, two at most.


Clearly the people you play with are far too concerned with victory points ;) Particularly the icons-for-income cards can generate a lot of cards in the last couple of rounds and depending on how the scores ramp up. I've seen at least 3 shuffles (but memory is fuzzy beyond that).

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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I agree. In our games we have a lot more shuffles than you are reporting.
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Sharon Khan
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We do primarily play with 2 or 3, so maybe that's why - and with 4 there's usually at least one beginner who's well behind the curve and not got much of an income.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Yup, with 3 we typically saw just one shuffle, or barely the second. With a single shuffle, you can hope for certain cards, but the shuffle happens late enough that maybe someone will spitefully hold onto just the cards you need.

I lost with a 1 to 2 income tableau that would have been okay if I'd gotten some of the other Stadtvillas!

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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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thepackrat wrote:
I lost with a 1 to 2 income tableau that would have been okay if I'd gotten some of the other Stadtvillas!


But a higher income gives you a better chance of getting those Stadtvillas.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Eric Brosius wrote:
thepackrat wrote:
I lost with a 1 to 2 income tableau that would have been okay if I'd gotten some of the other Stadtvillas!


But a higher income gives you a better chance of getting those Stadtvillas.


Sure, but loses you all the style you can get if you manage to win with 1 or 2 income :)

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