Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tom Lehmann and The City

As details continue to trickle in for Jump Drive, I can't help but consider one of the inspirations for Jump Drive, Tom Lehmann's 2011 title The City.

The City is somewhat like Race for the Galaxy. Cards are the main currency of the game. 

But The City plays faster, with scoring every round, and fewer paths to victory. There are no goods or production, only a tableau that steadily improves each round.

A typical round:

Building or Surveying

Players each lay a card down in front of them, then reveal simultaneously. The card becomes a part of their tableau and is paid for using remaining cards in hand. If a player can't or doesn't want to build, instead they survey and draw 5 more cards into their hand.

Score Victory Points

Each development in the tableau earns victory points, and the victory points come each round. This sounds somewhat like the experience you'd normally expect from consumption powers in Race for the Galaxy.

Earn Income

Each development in the tableau also potentially earns you income. After scoring, each player draws cards to collect the required income for the turn.

Ending the Game

The game ends when a player reaches 50 points. I would expect these points ramp up quite quickly, as each round cumulatively earns greater points and income (with which to buy ever-bigger developments and earn even more points). Per BGG reviewers, games of The City last about 15 minutes as the main action is the very definition of snowballing.

From BGG user binraix
But I've never played the game. 

An official English version has never been produced. I pulled this summary together using unofficial prototype rules posted on BGG by Lehmann in 2011. And in 2014 an English version was still waiting when Lehmann posted news to BGG he was attempting to "recover" publishing rights for an potential English version.

I personally blame Amigo. What good can possibly come from a company responsible for Bohnanza?

Finally, in 2016 we have Jump Drive. 

Per Lehmann, it will be the best of all worlds, combining the simple play of The City with the added complexity of "two card types, different actions and bonuses, military conquest, and some new player interactions."

Of course, we'll probably see the rules this weekend. I will keep my eyes out for the moment they arrive.

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