New City

Players 2 or 4
Length 60-90 mins
Equipment Required coins for Gold
Designer Rob LeGood
Version 1.1
Version Date 2003-03-06
License custom license: You may freely distribute this game. The author retains copyright. , dual-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0


New City is a city building game, with a bidding mechanism at its heart. New City was the first place winner of the third design competition, ChangingLandscapes.

New City was Day 5 of the LudicAdventCalendar.

Rules and Links

Reviews & Comments

One of the RecommendedGames.

From the ChangingLandscapes page:

New City is German-style game of city building. As with many German games, it is played in "rounds", with various actions (including an auction, a district-building phase, an improvement-building phase, an income collection phase, etc.) taking place in order each round. It displays the typical elements of an excellent game; there are difficult decisions almost every turn and there is a lot of player interaction on a couple of different levels. The game also has good depth and excellent clarity, as well as the right sort of randomizing element to insure good re-playability. As with many excellent games of this genre, thoughtful play is well rewarded, and in my opinion the balance between luck and skill is just where it should be with enough luck to keep things interesting but not so much that a skilled player will be unjustly robbed of a deserved victory. Rob lists the game as strictly 4-player, but we happily discovered at one point (when there were only two of us present and we wanted to play New City again) that it plays very well with two players if each player takes two oppositely positioned city quarters and then at the end of the game scores only the income of his or her lower scoring quarter. The rules to New City are also well written, with a nice dose of wry humor. I do have one very minor criticism. The scoring track, although workable, is inconvenient compared to just using some coins to keep track of income, and after the first game we always used coins for money.

We had a very successful session the day before yesterday. We first played a three player game of HangingGardens and then a four player game of New City...

New City also went down very well, although everyone preferred Hanging Gardens. It is great that such a deep, complex game can be compressed into the piecepack. It is an auction and tile laying game in the classic German style. The players act as city planners competing in auctions for different districts of a city. These are then added to their own quarter of a city. The districts interact with each other and produce money for the players to spend on more auctions. After five auction rounds, the game is over and the one with the most money wins. There is a lot of skill involved and lots of player interaction. My only complaints are that the rules are slightly unclear in places, as it is sometimes essential to read the examples in order to understand what is going on. There is also an FAQ, which should have been incorporated into the rules and the reference sheets could be clearer. When I get home from Mexico, I would like to redraft the rules to fix this — with Rob LeGood's permission. It is also possible for a player to get entirely frozen out of the game, if they do not buy districts in the first round. My brother did this, was outbid for almost the entire game and only had two districts at the end. I am not sure what could be done to fix this, other than to advise people to get stuck in early. Finally, New City requires some reference sheets and lots of counters to represent money, which makes it less portable. We used small sweets which naturally got eaten towards the end of the game by the guys who were not going to win — maybe next time I will use beans. Despite these quibbles, New City is now my second favourite piecepack game.

--IainCheyne, from Inconsequential ruminations

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