Building Cities and Civilisations

Photograph of Sarah's city. She went heavy on Social Service buildings and Parks

Jobby and Sarah begin their 2018 challenge with a game of Quadropolis and a game of 7 Wonders Duel…

Square Cities

We had a fairly quiet Sunday so Sarah and I decided to get started on our 2018 11x Best of 3 challenge. Neither of us were feeling quite up to a weighty game like Le Havre or Last Will so we plumped for Quadropolis.

Quadropolis is a game where each player is going to try and build the best city. ‘Best’ in this context is measured by what buildings are adjacent to each other. Parks want to have tower blocks and shops next to them, factories want harbours and office blocks, office blocks just want lots of other office blocks!

Each turn, a player will select a tile from a board in the middle and place it on their own board. There are some restrictions and we were playing by the expert rules which make things a little different. A player will select a pointer number from 1 to 5, for this explanation let’s say they take a ‘2’ pointer. They place this next to the central board and take the 2nd tile counting from that edge (because they chose the ‘2’ pointer). They then place that tile on the ‘2’ area of their city or on a square numbered ‘2’. Or, if the tile is an tower block or office block they can place it on top of another tile of the same type (making the building two floors high).

It’s these restrictions that make the game so interesting. As the game moves on and a player has less and less spaces available it becomes harder and harder for them to get a tile they want.

Office Blocks Versus Parks

Invariably, to get the most points a player will specialise in a couple of types of buildings. I was working on office blocks being a winning combination. These only appear in the expert version of Quadropolis. They care about having lots of them in a group and also about being really tall. Because of the layout of the tiles on the central board, I had managed to get three adjacent but I couldn’t get any to go above three stories.  I had also placed a few factories next to the office blocks (they like that) and managed to get a couple of parks with tower blocks next to them (which they like). None of my tower blocks were above one storey, though, so they weren’t worth a lot of points.

I felt like I’d done ok but wasn’t too sure…

Photograph of Jobby's city in Quadropolis showing his tiles. He went heavily into Office Towers.
A line of Office Towers and some well placed Tower Blocks. I thought I had this!

Sarah, meanwhile had got lots of parks with lots of office blocks and shops around them. Here tower blocks were all quite tall, one had been built up to four storeys! She had also liberally sprinkled public services buildings around her city (which can be worth a lot of points). A couple of those public services buildings were special ones from the expansion which counted as parks and monuments thus building upon her massive parks plan.

When we totted up the scores Sarah had completely trashed me, scoring nearly 100 points to my 75. First game of the challenge to Sarah, then!

Photograph of Sarah's city. She went heavy on Social Service buildings and Parks
The winning city! Massive points for Social Service buildings and Parks!

What a Wonderful Game

With that crushing defeat out of the way I suggested we play another of our challenge games. This time we set up 7 Wonders Duel.

This is the two player only version of the rather awesome 7 Wonders. It’s a game about drafting cards to build up a civilisation. In this version the cards are laid out in a funky, overlapping pattern with some face up and some face down. As the face up cards are removed and reveal face down cards underneath they are then turned face up and become available.

Some of these cards will provide resources so that bigger value cards can be taken. Some cards just provide points. Some cards have science symbols on them – if a player gets six different symbols they win instantly as their civilisation is far more advanced than the opponent’s. Finally, some cards provide military power and push a marker towards the opponent in a vicious tug of war. Get the military marker onto the final space nearest your opponent and they lose instantly as you sack their city.

There are also Wonder cards. Each player has eight but only seven can be built in a game (7 Wonders, see?). These provide big bonuses, lots of points and sometimes even extra turns.

This game is brutal. Far more brutal than its multiplayer predecessor. Whatever helps you will hinder your opponent. Since cards can only be taken if they haven’t got a card overlapping on top of them, it is possible to force your opponent to have to use certain cards.

Very early in our game I managed to pretty much fix my resources so I could build anything. Two of my wonders helped with this – one that provided raw materials and one that provided manufactured materials. With these built I could then build my other wonders and pretty much any card I wanted.

Sarah was having to buy resources a lot. This becomes more expensive if your opponent produces those resources. I had a good collection of the cards that produced resources so this was getting very expensive for Sarah. She was having to alternate between throwing cards away for money and then spending that money to actually buy the resources to build cards.

I rubbed salt in the wound by picking up the Economy progress token. This meant that when Sarah had to pay for resources she had to give me the money (not the bank). I’m feel confident that this is what lead to me winning the game. The game went to scoring (no science or military victory) and I had far more points than Sarah; 97 to me versus 65 to Sarah.

Photograph of the Economy progress token from 7 Wonders Duel
This little baby won me the game, I’m convinced of it!

With both of us having suffered a crushing defeat we decided to call it a day there.

Scores So Far

So with two games played that brings us to one game each to Sarah and me. No matches won yet, though.

If this is any indication of what is to come then we are in for a well fought challenge this year! 🙂

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