Between 2 Cities Rules
designed by Ben Rosset & Matthew O’Malley art by Beth Sobel
3-7 players (with 1 & 2 player variants) · 25 minutes · Ages 8+
The early 1800s is a time of immense construction and urbanization. You are a world-renowned master planner who has been asked by two different cities to help them rebuild their city centers. Projects of such significance require the expertise of more than one person, so for each assignment you are paired with another master planner to execute your grandiose plans. Will your planning and collaborative skills be enough to design the most impressive cities in the world?
Between Two Cities is a tile-drafting game in which each tile is part of a city. You work with the player on your left to build one city center while simultaneously working with the player on your right to build a second city center. On each turn you select two tiles from your hand, reveal them, then work with your partners to place one of your selected tiles into each of your two cities.
At the end of the game, each city is scored for its architectural grandiosity. Your final score is the lower of the scores of the two cities you helped design, and the player with the highest final score wins the game. To win, you have to share your attention and your devotion equally Between Two Cities.
108 BUILDING TILES
24 DUPLEX TILES
14 CITY TOKENS
7 REFERENCE CARDS
SETUP 1. Shuffle the seating randomizer cards and draw one from the top of the deck. Sit clockwise around the table based on the category on the card. For example, if the card says, “Alphabetical by city of birth,” a player who was born in Birmingham would sit to the left of a player who was born in Augusta, and so on around the table.
Note 1: If players prefer a completely random setup, deal one randomizer card to each player and refer to the numbers in the upper left of the cards to determine the seating order. Players then sit clockwise in ascending order (lowest value to highest).
Make sure to sit with equal space between players, as each city will be built between two side-by-side players.
Place the scoreboard in the middle of the table. Place one city token between each pair of players (where the cities will be) and matching city tokens next to the scoreboard. Place one reference card in front of each player.
2. Shuffle the duplex tiles (rectangular) and place them in face-down stacks next to the scoreboard.
3. Place the box in the middle of the table with all of the face-down building tiles (square) inside, and shuffle the tiles inside the box.
GAMEPLAY: OVERVIEW The game is played in three rounds. At the start of each round, you draw a random hand of tiles. On each turn, you secretly choose two tiles to place face-down in front of you. If you have more than one tile remaining in your hand, pass your hand to the next player. Then all players flip their selected tiles simultaneously and place one of them in each of their cities.
The tiles you select and their positioning determines how many points you score at the end of the game. See Scoring (page 4) for a detailed description of how each tile type is scored.
At the end of the game, each of your cities must form a 4x4 square of 16 building spaces—12 building tiles and two duplex tiles. You may never play a tile in any position that would cause the end result not to be a 4x4 square.
All players conduct the steps below simultaneously.
Draw seven building tiles from the box to form your hand. Then take the following steps in order:
CHOOSE: Secretly choose two of the tiles from your hand to play. Put the remaining tiles face-down on the table above the city to your left and place the city’s token on those tiles. This signals to the other players that you have finished choosing your tiles. When you have finalized your choice, you may not change it, nor may you look at the hand you passed.
REVEAL: Once every city token has a stack of tiles under it, all players simultaneously reveal their chosen tiles by placing them face-up on the table in front of them.
PLACE: You may now openly discuss strategy with your partners to determine the best location for your chosen tiles. You must place one of your chosen tiles into the city to your left and the other into the city to your right, but you can decide which tile goes into which city after discussion with your partners. All tiles must be oriented in the same direction so that you and your partner can read the scoring key on each tile, and all tiles must be placed adjacent to at least one other tile in that city (they must share an edge).
NOTE 1: You must place all tiles so that your final city is a 4x4 square. After placing, tiles in the cities are set in place and cannot move.
NOTE 2: Very rarely it may happen that a player does not want to place tiles until another player places first (in the spirit of partnership, we discourage this, but it can happen). If this happens, the player with the lower value in the seating randomization places first.
REPEAT: If there is more than one tile under the city token to your right, pick up those tiles and choose, reveal, and place again. When there is only one tile remaining under the city token, discard it face-down to the center of the scoreboard (don’t place it back in the box with the other tiles) and begin round two.
At the end of round one, each city will consist of six tiles.
Draw three duplex tiles to form your hand. Secretly choose two tiles for placement in your cities, then place the third above the city to your left under the city token to signal that you have made your decision. Now reveal and place two tiles, one tile into each of your cities. Just like in round one, when placing your tiles you may openly discuss strategy with your partners to determine the best city and location for your chosen tiles. A total of two duplex tiles will be added to each city in this round, because each player adds one duplex tile to each of their cities.
Treat duplex tiles just like two building tiles stuck to one another—one of the buildings must be placed adjacent to another building tile in the city, and they must be placed in such a way that the final city can be a 4x4 square. Duplex tiles also must be placed so their orientation matches the other tiles. (The scoring prompts will face you on the tiles.)
At the end of the round, take the remaining duplex tiles from under each of the city tokens, discard them face-down to the center of the scoreboard, and begin round three.
Round three follows the same steps as round one, except that you put your remaining tiles face-down under the city token to your right and you pick up your tiles from your left. At the end of round three, each city will be a complete 4x4 square.
ENDING THE GAME After round three is over, clear the scoreboard of discarded tiles and unfold the scoreboard. One player calls out each building type in the order listed on the reference cards (top to bottom). Going around the table, each player announces the score for that building type for the city to their left and advances that city’s token on the scoring track. Score one building type in all cities before scoring the next building type. Your final score is the lower of the two scores of your cities, and the player with the highest score wins.
First tiebreaker: Tied players compare the scores of their higher-scoring cities.
Second tiebreaker: Winners add and compare the quantity of buildings by type in both of their cities, starting at the top of the player aid and moving down until the tie is broken. First count the number of shops in both of their cities. The player with the most shops wins. If still tied, move on to factories, taverns, offices, parks, and finally houses.
Example: If Ben and Emily are tied after the first tiebreaker, and Ben has a total of five shops in his two cities and Emily has a total of four shops, the tie is broken and Ben wins.
Shops (16 buildings + 8 duplex)
Shops do best in a shopping district where customers can find everything they need in one place.
a set is worth 2|5|10|16
Shops score when connected in a straight line (row or column): 2 points for one shop tile, 5 points for two connected shop tiles, 10 points for three connected shop tiles in a straight line, or 16 points for four connected shop tiles in a straight line. If lines of shops cross (in an L or T or + shape), each tile can only be counted for one of the sets.
Score each set of shops separately. The example to the right scores 16 points for a row of four shops, plus 2 points for the single shop and 5 points for the column of two shops for a total of 23 points.
Factories (16 buildings + 8 duplex)
The most industrialized cities become known for their work and attract even more industrial development.
a tile is worth 4, 3, or 2, determined by majority In the city (or cities, if tied) with the most factory tiles compared to other cities, each factory tile scores 4 points. In the city or cities with the second most factory tiles, each factory tile scores 3 points. In all other cities, each factory tile scores 2 points.
Cities A and B each have five factories (4 points per factory), City C has three factories (3 points per factory), City D has two factories and City E has one factory (each city receives 2 points per factory), and City F has zero factories (0 points).
Taverns (20 buildings + 8 duplex; 7 of each)
Residents visit a variety of taverns; some have the best food, some the best drink, some the best music, and some the best beds.
a set is worth 1|4|9|17
There are four different tavern tiles, each with a different icon inside a red diamond. Taverns score 1 point for one in a city, 4 points for two different taverns, 9 points for three different taverns, or 17 points for all four different taverns in a city (regardless of location or adjacency to each other).
A city can contain duplicate taverns. Each set of taverns is scored separately.
If a city has one music, two drink, and two food taverns, that city scores 13 points for taverns: 9 points for the first set of music, drink, and food taverns, and 4 points for the second set of drink and food taverns.
Offices (20 buildings + 8 duplex)
Professional services (attorneys, accountants, doctors, etc) create a demand for more professional services. Locations next to taverns are especially desirable.
a set is worth 1|3|6|10|15|21, and a tile is worth +1 if next to at least 1 tavern Offices score 1 point for one office tile, 3 points for two office tiles, 6 points for three, 10 points for four, 15 points for five, or 21 points for six office tiles (regardless of location or adjacency to each other).
If a city has seven office tiles, the seventh starts a new set of offices, and the scoring starts over again at 1 for that set.
If a city has 7 office tiles, it scores 22 points for offices (21 + 1). In addition, each office gets +1 point if it is adjacent to at least one tavern. Each office tile can only score 1 bonus point, but several offices can receive that point from the same adjacent tavern tile.
A single office adjacent to a tavern is worth 2 points (1 + 1). A single office adjacent to four taverns is still worth 2 points.
Parks (16 buildings + 8 duplex)
Large parks can be enjoyed by more citizens when they are spread throughout the city center.
a group of one or more connected parks is worth 2|8|12|13|14… Parks score in groups of one or more connected parks. A single unconnected park is worth 2 points.
Two connected parks are worth 8. Three connected parks are worth 12. Every additional connected park after the third increases the score by 1.
You may have more than one unconnected park group in your city. Score each park group separately.
To be in a connected group, a park must share a border with another park. The group does not have to form a straight line.
In a city with four separate park tiles, the parks score 8 points total (2 each). Three adjacent parks and one separate park score 14 points total. Four adjacent parks score 13 points total. Two separate groups of two parks each score 8 points for a total of 16 points.
Houses (20 buildings + 8 duplex)
People want to live where they have access to many different services and places to work, but few want to live across the street from a factory.
a tile is worth 1 per other building type (excluding houses) in the city, but a tile next to a factory is only worth 1 Each house tile is worth 1 point for each other building type (excluding houses) in the city (regardless of location or adjacency). If there is one other building type in the city, each house is worth 1 point. If there are five other building types in the city, each house is worth 5 points. All taverns count as a single building type. If a house tile is adjacent to a factory tile, that house tile instead scores 1 point (people don’t want to live right next to a factory).
In a 2-player game, you each design two cities on your own (four cities total): one to your left and one to your right. On each turn you choose two tiles and place one in each of your cities. Each of the rounds from the 3 – 7 player game is played twice as indicated below:
1. Round 1a—
draw 7 building tiles, then choose, reveal and place 2, and pass the remaining tiles to your opponent until only 1 tile remains
2. Round 1b—same as round 1a
3. Round 2a—draw 3 duplex tiles, choose and place 2
4. Round 2b—same as round 2a
5. Round 3a—same as round 1a
6. Round 3b—same as round 1a
At the end of the game, score each city the same way as in the 3 – 7 player game, but instead of only counting your lowest-scoring city, add together the scores of both of your cities to determine your final score. Ties are broken using the second tie-breaker rule from the 3 – 7 player game.
NOTE: Without the element of partnership, the 2-player variant can be more aggressive than the 3 – 7 player game. You have much more influence on your opponent’s choices when passing tiles.
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