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New City

(Foundation of the Next Big Mecca on the Edge of the King's Empire)

A Changing Landscapes game for the piecepack by Rob LeGood
Version 1.1, March 6, 2003
Copyright (c) 2003 Rob LeGood
2 or 4 players, 30-40 minutes

Introduction

Hear ye! Hear ye! With the growing expansion of the King's realm, the time has come to build a new city on the edge of his empire. Aptly named `New City' by our wise and glorious King, he has sent his four best advisors to oversee its construction, each responsible for building one quarter of it.

As one of those advisors, your job is to bid against your opponents to ensure you build the best and brightest area of the city. Whichever advisor has built the most prosperous quarter, as shown by the amount of gold in his coffers, will be declared the ruler of this `New City'.

Piecepack Components Used

Winning the game

Once the city has been built, the advisor with the most Gold in their coffers is declared the ruler of New City and wins a very special prize...

The Districts

Districts (tiles) are the different areas or zones of the city devoted to certain tasks. Be it a Residential District to house the citizens of the city, or a Market District containing shops and wares, districts are the building blocks of a city and their primary purpose is to supply you with income.

"Tile 1" - The Slums

Every city invariably contains areas when the seedier folk gather; hustlers, crooks and general thieves all call this home. Producing a paltry 1 Gold in revenue each round through taxes, the real power of the Slums is in organized crime. When built next to a Market, organized crime charges those merchants protection fees, in which case the Slums produces an extra Gold each round for you. If built next to an Entertainment District, their extortion fee produces an extra two Gold in revenue.

"Tile 2" - Market District

The sales of goods and services flourish in this area, producing two Gold in revenue each round! Of course, the greater the number of consumers, the more profit earned, so for each residential district next to it, revenue of the market increases by one gold per round.

"Tile 3" - Entertainment District

Housing taverns, theatre, taverns and more taverns, the entertainment district is a strong indicator of a healthy economy. (The heavy tax on tankards of ale doesn't hurt your pockets, either.) The entertainment district produces three Gold in revenue each round!

"Tile 4" - Residential District

The majority of your population will live in these residential areas. While these areas generate 2 Gold in income per round, they are strongly affected by areas around them. Building residential districts next to slums decreases the income by one for each slum next to it. (Never below zero, of course.)

"Tile 5" - Park District

Every city needs areas full of lush greenery and gorgeous settings and this is it. While the Park gives no special ability, it often provides great benefits for city improvements! Tourism to the parks produce 1 Gold in income each round, unless the park is built next to a slum, in which case it produces nothing.

The City Improvments

City Improvements (coins) offer chances to add a little something to each of your districts. While each district can only contain one improvement, the benefits of building these improvements are long-lasting. Certain improvements offer additional benefits depending on the district it's built in. (And to help the players easily identify this, if an improvement with a certain value is built on a district with the same value, there's usually an additional benefit. For example, The Gambling Hall "coin 3" built on the Entertainment District "tile 3")

"Coin 1" Safe House

Safe houses are needed to shield your very best extortione-- I mean, tax collectors, from the rest of the world. As a small token of thanks, you are paid a one-time bonus of the value of the tile it's built on, in gold, to your coffers.

If the safe house is built in the Slums, extortion money improves. If this slum collects at least one gold in extortion from either a Market or Entertainment District, the income for the Slums improves by one.

For example, Lucy has a Slum with a safe house built next to two Markets and and Entertainment District. When is comes time to collect income, she gets one gold for the Slum itself, one gold for each of the two Markets next to it, two gold for the Entertainment District next to it and since she's collecting at least one gold in extortion money, and gets a bonus one gold from the safe house. This means the Slum is producing a total of six gold in income this turn.

"Coin 2" - Trade Guild House

Setting up a guild house in your area of the city gains you a valuable ally in bidding against other advisors. Once per round, the guild house contributes the half value of the district is sits on, rounded up, to help pay for a winning bid. Note that this lets you bid above your maximum gold!

If the Trade Guild is built in a Market Place, it improves the revenue of the Market to three gold.

For example, John has 9 gold total and has just won a new Slums District with a 10-gold bid. John's Trade Guild house is located in one of his entertainment districts (Tile 3). Since they haven't been used this round, the trade guild kicks in 2 gold to the bid (3 divided by 2, rounded up), meaning that John only needs pay 8 Gold for it, leaving him with one gold. Had the Guild already been used this round, John wouldn't have been able to bid above his maximum 9 gold.

"Coin 3" - Gambling Hall

For this round and the rest of the game, the gambling hall produces extra income for you! It produces the value of the district it sits on in bonus Gold when it comes time to collect income. (For example, Tom builds a Gambling Hall in the Park. The Gambling Hall produces an extra 5 Gold each round!)

If built in the entertainment district, your Gambling Hall becomes famous! (Because isn't easy access to booze and gambling what life's really all about?) During the collect income phase, each player that doesn't have one of these famous Gambling Halls, must pay one gold to each player that does. This payment occurs after all other income is generated.

For example, John and Sue have built Gambling Halls in their entertainment districts, while Don and Mary haven't. When it comes time to collect revenue, Don pays John and Sue one gold each, as does Mary.

"Coin 4" - Statue of You!

Once this is built, the residents of your area of the city become fiercely loyal to the gracious person who built their homes. Once per round they will take up a collection equal to the value of the district it's built in, to assist in one of your bids. Note that this may be added to the bonus of the Trade Guild house for a single bid, and, as with that improvement, you may bid over your maximum amount of gold. If the statue was built in the middle of a residential district, its beauty not only negates the effect of all Slums on that district, but also increases the income to three gold per round!

"Coin 5" - The Palace

As one of the last improvements to be built, the King pays handsomely for a well-placed palace. Gain gold equal to five times the value of the district is sits on as a one-time bonus! A palace's ideal location is in the park with all its greenery and beauty, but offers no other benefit.

Setup

All players start the game with 6 Gold and a set of coins in one suit. Shuffle the non-null tiles and place them in five face-down piles, of four tiles each, off to the side. Take the four pawns and randomly place them in a vertical row. This is the pawn ladder and is used as a mechanism for bidding and tile selection. "Pawn order" is from the top of the ladder to the bottom.

Turn Order

I. Show New Districts
II. Choose, Bid and Build Each District
III. Build a City Improvement
IV. Collect Income

I. Show New Districts

Whoever is lowest on the pawn ladder chooses one of the face-down piles of tiles and turns them over. These are the four districts that the players will bid on this turn.

II. Choose, Bid and Build Each District

A) Choose a District

The player lowest on the pawn ladder must select one of the revealed face-up tiles. This will be the tile to be bid on this turn. When choosing the tile, that player makes an initial bid of at least one gold to open the bidding. If that player has no money, the choice of a tile goes to the next-lowest player on the pawn ladder.

B) Bid on the Selected District

In reverse pawn order, each player either makes a bid or drops out of the bidding. To make a bid, you must bid at least one more gold than the previous bidder, with one exception. If you are higher on the pawn ladder than someone else, you may simply match their bid instead of beating it. If a player wins an auction by matching a bid, that player's pawn is moved to the bottom of the pawn ladder. You may not bid more gold than you have in your coffers, unless you have built a Trade Guild or Statue.

Example: From top to bottom, the pawn ladder is John, Sue, Mary, Phil. Phil select a market district to be bid on and opens the bidding at 3 gold. Mary (next highest on the ladder) matches Phil's bid of 3, while Sue decides to raise the bidding to 4 Gold. John decides to drop out. Phil is not higher than Sue on the pawn ladder, so he bids 5 Gold to keep himself in the auction. Mary decides to drop out, and Sue matches the 5 Gold bid. This is too expensive for Phil, so he also drops out. Sue wins the market district for a cost of 5 Gold and, since she won it by matching a bid, her pawn drops to the bottom of the pawn ladder, making the new order: John, Mary, Phil, Sue.

C) Build the District

The winner of the auction subtracts the gold from their total and places the district on their area of the city. The first district must be placed on the intersection of the four quarters. (In addition, it's a good idea to place your die, with the ace on top, on the inner corner of the first district, so that ownership of the district can be quickly seen.) Each tile after the first must be placed in your quarter, next to a previously played piece (but not diagonally).

The King is also looking for a certain level of beauty in his city, which is achieved by placing new districts next to districts with similar features. If a newly placed tile matches a feature (value or suit) of one of its neighbours, gain an immediate bonus of one gold. If it matches any feature of two neighbours, gain three gold. If it matches three or four neighbours, gain 6 gold.

Once the district has been built, head back to the beginning of this phase and select a new district. Once all four districts turned over at the beginning of the turn have been built, play continues on to the building of city improvements.

III. Build a City Improvement

In pawn ladder order, each player has the option of building one (and only one) city improvement under the following rules:

If the value of the city improvement you wish to build is equal or lower than the current round, the cost of building the improvement is free. You also have the option of building an improvement one step higher than the current round for a cost of 3 gold. For example, John wishes to build a statue (Coin 4) in the third round. John pays three gold to do this. Had he waited until the next round, it would have been free to build.

IV. Collect Income

Once each player has had a chance to build a district, each player collects income based on the districts and improvements in their quarter. The King, not wanting you to do without in your early building days will supply an extra income of one gold for each of the first two rounds. What a great and fabulous King!

Income values are also summarized on the quick reference cards at the end of these rules.

In the example above, Sue, the red sun player (bottom right hand corner) is collecting her income. Her quarter of four tiles produces the following:

Thus, the total gold raised in revenue this round is 4 + 3 + 0 + 6 = 13 Gold. Once this is done, we see that neither the yellow sun, nor the Blue shield player has a famous Gambling Hall so they each owe the Black Moon and Red Star Player one gold each. Sue has earned a total of 15 Gold this round!

End of the Game

Once the fifth round is over, the player with the most gold is the winner, with any ties resolved by the pawn ladder. The winner is not only declared the ruler of the city, but may also, as granted by the King, as the last action of the game, stand up and proudly announce the new name of this `New City' to the other players! Victory has its benefits!

Variants

Special Rules for 2 Players

Play the game as in the above rules with each player taking two quadrants which are opposite each other. Each quadrant should have its own supply of Gold and own pawn on the pawn ladder. At the end of the game, each player notes the total Gold of his or her lowest scoring quadrant. The player with the highest total wins!

City Improvement Variant

Instead of each player getting one coin of each value, all coins are put into a common pile and can be used by anyone. This means that one person could build two of the same type of improvement, cutting another player off from building it.

Credits

Thanks to the playtesters: Jonathan Dietrich, Sean Bennesch, David Steel and John Bissada. Special thanks to Michael Schoessow (and his helpers) for judging the Changing Landscapes competition, discovering the 2-player variant, and suggesting the City Improvement variant.

F.A.Q.

1) What exactly is a "famous Gambling Hall"?

If a Gambling Hall ("Coin 3") is built in an Entertainment district ("Tile 3") it becomes a famous Gambling Hall.

2) So how do I stop paying the players that have famous Gambling Halls?

Simple. Build your own famous Gambling Hall. Simply building a normal Gambling Hall is not enough; it must be famous!

3) If I do build a famous Gambling Hall, does that mean that I can start collecting Gold from those that haven't?

Yes. Having a famous Gambling Hall is the only way to collect Gold from the other players.

4) If the value of the tile a Gambling Hall sits on is altered (for example, if it's on a Park which is next to a Slum), how is the bonus income from the Gambling Hall affected?

It's not. The Bonus income from the Gambling Hall is independent from any effects on the tile. A Gambling Hall on a park will always produce 5 bonus Gold each round, whether it's next to a Slum or not.

5) I think I get it, but just to be clear, how much income would I get if I had a Park built next to a slum with a Gambling Hall on it?

The park produces nothing as it's next to a Slum, while the Gambling Hall produces 5 Gold in bonus income, so the total is 5.

6) Does a statue negate the effects of all slums in the quarter, or just the slums bordering the district holding the statue?

The statue only protects the Residential District it's in from Slums which border it. Any other Residential Districts next to those slums are negated as normal.

7) I've built a Slum next to two Markets. I've also built a safehouse in my Slums. Does this mean I get a bonus Gold from each of the Markets?

No. The extortion bonus supplied by the safehouse is either 1 or 0. Having a slums next to multiple Markets and/or Entertainment districts does not increase this bonus.

8) Let's say I win a bid by matching another bid. Does that mean I get to pick the next tile to be bid on because I'm now at the bottom of the pawn ladder?

Yes. The reshuffling of the pawn ladder occurs immediately after the bid finishes.

Licensing Information

You may freely distribute this game. The author retains copyright.

Comments/Suggestions/Etc.

Feel free to send any comments, suggestions, or variants to the author, Rob LeGood, at rflegood@sympatico.ca.

History

v 1.1 - Replaced the grid used to keep track of gold, with pennies or counters for ease of play.
- Added the two player and city improvement variants. (Thanks, Mike!)
- Added a FAQ
- Additional misc. clarifications based on feedback during Changing Landscapes judging.

Big thanks to Mike and the rest of the judges for their input!

v 1.0 - Initial release of the game, submitted to the Changing Landscapes piecepack competition


Districts

Value Name Special Effect Income
1 Slums Improved income if next to a Market or Entertainment district 1 + 1 per Market + 2 per Entertainment
2 Market None 2 + 1 per Residential
3 Entertainment None 3
4 Residential Reduced income if next to slums 2 - 1 per Slum
5 Park No income if next to slums 1; 0 if next to a Slum

Improvements

Value Name Effect Special Effect
1 Safehouse Gain 1 x tile value in gold Improves extortion bonus by one
2 Trade Guild Bid half tile value (round up) in free gold, once per round Improves market income by one
3 Gambling Hall Bonus income = tile value each round Gain one gold from each player without one, during "Collect Income"
4 Statue of You Bid tile value in free gold, once per round Income of residential district = 3
5 Palace Gain 5 x tile value in gold None