SPOILER CITY – The Opinionated Gamers play through My City… Part 1 of 2

Editor’s note – Normally we don’t write reviews here that include spoilers.  This is going to be an exception.

 THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HERE ABOUT SOME OF THE LEGACY PARTS OF MY CITY! PLEASE CONTINUE READING ONLY IF YOU ARE OK WITH SPOILERS!

But, the spoilers will be hidden (hopefully).   If you’re planning to play this game on your own, I’d suggest either skipping the spoiler text or maybe skipping this whole review!  A lot of the enjoyment of legacy games comes from the surprise of dealing with whatever comes in those sealed envelopes, and we’ll be discussing some of those things below.

Here is a test of the spoiler block that we will use.  Click on the arrow here to un-hide the spoiler text. (If you can read this without clicking on anything, the spoiler text does not work on your browser, and you should only proceed further at your own risk).

This game seems like it is perfect for remote play, and part of the reason that I wanted to write this up was to help people realize that this is possible, and how it would be best to organize the game.  If you want to skip all the possible spoilers and simply figure out how/when to send things, scroll all the way to the bottom of this post and I’ll have a summary at the end.

I will do my best to hide all the spoilers behind a spoiler tag, and if there are any incriminating photos, those will hopefully also be hidden behind them.  In this new era, I think trying to figure out how to play games remotely is the next frontier, and while this game wasn’t specifically designed for it, it seems to be fairly suitable.

OK?  Last chance for me to warn you that spoilers are found below the jump! Time to tell you about our game!

So, the one thing that 2020 has taught me about gaming is that regardless of the conditions of the world, there are always going to be new games to try!  It has been hard trying to keep up with all of the newest and greatest releases, especially when there have been severely reduced opportunities to play said games. 

 Sure, I’ve started to dabble a bit with online gaming (Boardgamearena, Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, Playingcards.io, etc) – but I haven’t found it to be a great replacement for FTF gaming.  That being said, as I have had nearly 5 months with almost no in-person gaming – I’ve found that sometimes you just have to adapt to the circumstances.

Earlier this year, I was super interested to learn more about My City – a new legacy game by KOSMOS and Dr. Reiner Knizia.  One of our writers, Chris Wray, was gushing about it, and he even managed to get a German copy to play with his family. 

https://opinionatedgamers.com/2020/05/08/my-city-game-review-by-chris-wray/

 Lucky for the rest of us, Thames&Kosmos has brought it to the US in an English Language version, and they were kind enough to send us a copy to try out.

 Of course, the group that I want to play this with is my weekly online group.  After a bit of discussion with the people at T&K as well as Chris Wray – we determined that it would be a pretty decent game to play from afar.  Once my review copy arrived, I sent each player in our group their own player board and building pieces.  I have kept the Chapter envelopes and the deck of card with the buildings on them.  (Looks like I’ll always be in charge of that sort of busywork for this game…)

 From what I’ve read, the game is broken up into 8 chapters, and each chapter takes 3 games to play – hopefully around 2hrs per Chapter.  We’re going to try to play this over 8 sessions, and do a Chapter per session.  We know that we’re going to eventually need stickers for our player boards. Our current plan is to have me scan the sticker sheet each week and email them to each player – they can then print them up and tape them/mount them to their own player board.  I think that Chris Wray is actually sending his extra stickers to Luke, so that will make it a bit easier for him as he doesn’t have a color printer at his place.

 We thought it would be fun to try to discuss how our remote game goes – and while we’re certainly going to try to avoid spoilers (or at least hide them in some fashion), this is a playthrough of a legacy game that might not be available to avoid them all…  Hopefully you’ll enjoy this report!  I’m hoping the other guys will chime in here and there to describe what they think of the game as we play it.  This first portion will include the first four Chapters, which we managed to play over the course of 15 days.

Chapter 1 – 30 August

So the first game night was postponed for two weeks because of…. Real life.  We were super excited to start playing in mid August, but return-to-school and some unexpected visitors had us push off the start for a few weeks.  This turned out to be probably a good thing because the other lesson I’ve learned from Coronavirus is that the “usual” rules of delivery timing should be thrown out the window.  Thanks to the wildfires in California, a Priority mail package that used to take 3 days to arrive now takes 8-9 days …  Shipping costs so far: $14 for Chapter 1. 

We each read the rules to the game, though we still let Luke run us through everything to make sure that we’re all on the same page.  In this particular group, Luke is clearly the best at succinctly explaining game rules, and he’s also the guy who will go and check things after we’re done so that we get our usual AAR of “rules that we got wrong”.

For this first week, we start with empty boards and the first envelope.  Each session will have us open up the next envelope and see what’s inside.  

Inside the first envelope are 3 things.

MINI SPOILER ALERT for info on what is in that first envelope… (use this as another test to make sure the spoiler block works!)- 

Inside the first envelope are 3 things.1) a small sheet of stickers. 2) A double sided sheet with rules for the first Chapter. 3) a single sided player aid or scoring reference.  I really don’t think this is a super spoiler because if you play it, you have to eventually see what’s in the first envelope in order to play, and frankly, there’s nothing really secret or amazing about these contents.  

These are the 3 things…

Anyways, I scanned the things in the envelope and emailed them to the other players prior to the start of our game session.  At least for now, it looks safe to open up the envelope in advance and scan stuff.  In any event, I haven’t really read the rules sheet nor the player aid  closely, i just slapped them on the scanner and then emailed them.  I figure we can read them together once we get on Google Meet, and maybe we’ll learn more about if there are secrets on the rules or not.  

For now, I also have no idea when we’re going to be stickering things up – so everyone has a chance to print up the stickers for this chapter in case they need to be placed on the boards midgame or whatever.

So – here we go… In case you hadn’t gone and read Chris’ great review- here is a bit about the gameplay that is blatantly copied.

*** start plagiarized text ***

The Gameplay (Spoiler Free)

Note: This is spoiler free, but I do discuss the first three games, which are part of the initial “Chapter” in the game.  I don’t think this can be considered a spoiler given that this is handed to you right out of the box.  I’m not going to discuss the specifics of later chapters though.  

Each player has a board where they’ll be constructing their city.  As the campaign begins, it has a few different features — empty fields, rocks, trees, etc. — and you have 24 polyominoes of three different colors.

A deck of cards sits between the players, and a card showing one of the polyominoes is flipped.  Players must build that in their city.  The first piece must be placed along the river — and pieces can never cross the river — and future pieces must adjoin previously-built pieces.  Players can refuse to play a piece, but they take a step backwards on the point track (and the game begins with each player having 10 turns).  Players can drop out of the game at any time, and the game ends when all players do so, or when the deck of cards runs out.

Each tree showing is worth one point, each rock is minus a point, and each empty field is minus a point.  Starting in the second game, a new scoring mechanic is introduced: you get a point for each building in your biggest group of each color.  Starting in the third game, you get a new landmark: a fountain that, if completely surrounded, can score you four extra points.  

*** end plagarized text ***

Games 1-3 were as one of the gamers in my group said: “Introductory setup, for 3 games”.  So far, it’s an interesting light puzzle game, with some new rules added in at each step of the way.  Honestly, nothing fancy here, and the three games go quickly.  If it weren’t for Internet glitching (mostly we have to pause after each round to make sure everyone has already placed the building before I draw the next round) – each of these games would likely only take 15 minutes or so.    The winner of each game earns progress points for the campaign, and as the campaign progresses, there become a few others ways to earn progress points.  These are documented via filling in little circles at the top of your player board.  

The winner also receives certain stickers (rocks in the early games) that set them back a little, and the losers receive a boost for future games (by receiving trees), so there is a bit of a catch up mechanic. At the end of this first set of games,  my personal board got a few extra stickers, and I’ve learned a bit about the basic strategy of the game.

The current score:

Brian – 4

James Nathan – 3

Luke – 1

Dale – 1

As it turns out, we’ve decided to draw in our sticker features as we play, and then I’m going to mail out the stickers to each player – if I send them out on Monday, they should make them to everyone by the time we re-convene on the weekend.

Cost for this week – 1 stamp per remote player.

Here’s a good view of a board that comes in 4th place… My usual position

James Nathan: I’m something of a competitive legacy curmudgeon.  While I’ve loved my cooperative legacy experiences, I’m not convinced the “issue” of balancing current game incentives and campaign incentives in the competitive experience has been “solved” in a way that sits well with me. I’m also not a fan of the legacy/fable games that start with a sort of tutorial mode and then pile on rules and rules and rules until it is fairly bloated and, well, not fun.  (Something I have not had an issue with in Pandemic 1 or 2, as it seems like they are able to twist the current game’s rules with minimal ornament hanging.)

So yeah, for me, I’m with Dale that Chapter 1 is an interesting enough puzzle for a game or two, but feels like something of an appetizer.  I would’ve been ok with 1? I’m cautiously optimistic because I enjoy a nice little spatial puzzle and I’m giving the Dr. and Kosmos the benefit of the doubt.

Luke Hedgren: I agree with James Nathan, re: competitive legacy. Do winners get more and exacerbate any skill difference for an even longer time than a normal game would take? Or do you go the “socialist” route like My City does, giving a helping boost to those who aren’t doing well. I don’t think either is the right answer. Even though my skill at this basic game is clearly in the bottom half of our games, I don’t feel good getting awarded bonuses to help me out. 

Chapter 2 – 6 Sept

Well, after a bit of rescheduling, we figured out how to meet on the holiday weekend online.  All of the pieces made it in the mail, but interestingly, the cardboard bits had separated in the mail.  I did not give them any extra cardboard for support, and I suspect that the envelopes got pushed thru the sorting rollers and the shear force separated the cardboard.  Luke and Brian both managed to glue things back together.

Getting the game set back up only took a minute, though we did have to go over the rules again real quick as it had been a week, and we’d only played one session.  As the rules suggest, I would definitely make sure that the scoring aid is up on the table as it can be a bit tricky remembering all the different ways you can score (and lose) points   Playing remotely makes this a bit more important because it’s really hard to check each others scoring – for instance, i’m using an all-in-one desktop, and there’s simply no way to make my hard-mounted webcam able to see my board, and if I pick up my board to show people, everything will just slide off of it…

Anyways, the player aid is well done, and everything is nicely summarized.  Last week, we kind of read things as we went, not wanting to “spoil” anything.  Having read through the information for this chapter ahead of time (as I needed to see if there were things I had to send to people), I think that it’s best for the whole group to read the chapter information together.  It’s important to know what the possible bonus/malus effects are – this might affect your strategy.  You might consider even tanking a game or two if there is a specific catch-up bonus that you’d like to have for the long run.  As it stands now, the pattern still holds true in that the top 2 players in each game score legacy points while the bottom 2 players end up getting advantages/modifications which should help them score better in the future games.  Making sure that all players have the same baseline information here is good

We have therefore decided to read the following chapter envelope at the conclusion of each session so that we all know what is coming – this will also help us decide whether or not we need to mail stuff to each other.   As it stands, the initial mailing for the week seems to be enough, and we got through the three games in this chapter in about 75 minutes of gameplay.  Each player had to devise some proxies for some pieces, but nothing requiring major arts-and-crafts skills.

Thus far, I can say that I haven’t felt like the initial board changes have done much.  Rocks are a mild penalty (for winning games in the first chapter),  but in the end, it’s pretty easy to cover them up – i mean, you’re normally covering those squares up anyways.  Getting the trees is a nice possible bonus, but placement is important – and I made some bad decisions with my tree placement (well… that’s all in hindsight, and who knows if they are truly bad decisions, they just seem bad now).

Brian and Luke have decided to use Sharpie art on their board for now as they add things to their board. I think Luke might be covering his up with the stickers as they come, but Brian might be leaving his sharpie art as we go.  Anyways, they’re the only ones who need to know what the icons mean, so it’s all good either way…

This second set of three games was way more interesting than the first chapter.  It really felt like the first three games were “Setup, the chapter” – in order to give us slightly asymmetric boards and a taste of the basic rules.  The additional rules added in this second chapter give the players a lot more interesting decisions to make

James Nathan: Just a quick note to say I’m torn between attaching the stickers and keeping my hand drawn and cobbled together replacements.  I love the poor quality scrapbook look of what I have at hand to mark up my board with! More games with craft time, please.

Luke Hedgren: With the rate of overall scoring, and the length of the track to track it, I wonder if the game will “double all the points” toward the end of the campaign, to keep the outcome unknown and in turn, rendering the early games less important. 

SPOILER INFO FOR THIS CHAPTER

The big thing here is the addition of new buildings, churches.  In general, you can’t pass when their card comes up, so this makes you leave spaces for them on your board.  If you can’t place a church when it comes up, you are forced to quit the current game!

I personally like the way that the new buildings work against the color group scoring which was introduced in the first chapter.  Now, you are rewarded for getting one of each color (red, blue, yellow) around a church.  If you do this, you’ll get a nice bonus, but it really does make it harder to get huge groupings of all of the colors.  More than once in this chapter, I locked in a Church bonus but had to place a building so that it cut off expansion in one direction of another color. Still not sure if getting a 3pt bonus was worth it…. As with most decisions in this game though, the calculus of figuring out how different placements will affect your scoring is kinda muddy – I just end up playing by feel and seeing how it turns out in the end.

The other thing I liked here was the special rule in one game where you simply cannot pass at all.  This added a new dimension to the placement of your buildings because an unlucky card draw could knock you out of the game prematurely. I spent a lot of time making sure I had room for the 5-square U building as well as the cross church.  As it turns out, we were all knocked out at the same time by the second U-building that was drawn.  I may have also liked this new rule as it turned out to be only the second time in 6 games that I managed to score a legacy point….

James Nathan: For me, the churches have largely worked with my color group scoring (see also: Scoreboard, below) as after the first 4 or 5 pieces, I sort of map out where I hope to place the rest of my pieces!  It sits right next to my board, and no one can see it on camera. :) 

So I know where I hope to put my churches, but of course the game may have different plans.  When I need to call an audible, I sort of strategize around placing the pieces that will maximize adjacencies with my future plans, so that I’m not as much at the mercy of the card draw.

What is messing me up the most is the no passing round 6!  My detailed planning approach is not compatible with that at all :(

I’m also not sure about these wells. I mean, I’m not confident that they are easy enough to score for the points granted, but I am confident that placing them almost anywhere is a shot in the dark. 

Luke Hedgren: Playing “straight” is not working for me, so trying for the wells and churches becomes my new strategy. And James Nathan is right, the no-pass rule definitely helps me more than him, as planning out all the placements is not my strong suit. 

END OF SPOILER INFO

Score after this chapter:

James Nathan – 7

Brian – 6

Luke – 3

Dale – 2 

We went ahead and opened the envelope for Chapter 3 and read it together so that we’re all on the same page.  Interestingly, it appears that we can play this next chapter without being OBLIGATED to mail things.  Sure, players have earned stickers and stuff, but with the proxy pieces that we made in this chapter, we’re still good to go for the next Chapter.  Given this unexpected finding, we’re now trying to see if the holiday weekend will allow us to get another Chapter played!

At the quarter post, I’m still undecided on this one.  The second set of games was definitely more interesting than the first, and I am liking the fact that the individual games are each quick to play.  What remains to be seen is whether or not the games will end up feeling repetitive.  So far, there has been a nice progression of one new rule added per game, and thus far, it has built up nicely.  At the current pace though, I’m not sure how much I’d like it by game 24 if we keep adding one rule each time – I worry that it might get too complicated!  Well, for now, it’s still light and fun, and I’m enjoying the challenge of puzzling out where to put my pieces.  Now, if I could just stop sucking so bad at it.  I’m hoping that my constant losing at this game will set me up well for the end as I’m sure to have all the possible bonus things at this rate!

Cost for this week: nothing!

James Nathan: I’m still in, but mostly because I’m having fun with my friends, and trying to play remotely is fun, and so far has been pretty easy!  If I’m going to play “online” with my friends, I’ve learned that I strongly prefer when I can still play with physical pieces.

If we were in person, how would I feel about the campaign?  Unknown.  The experience would be different enough that I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a conclusion.

Luke Hedgren: Having a good time. The general structure of iterating a simple basis over the course of 24 games is enough to keep me coming back. 

Chapter 3 – 7 September

Well, we managed to meet back up on Labor Day and take advantage of the holiday.  As we had discovered yesterday afternoon, it would be quite feasible to continue playing our legacy game without a break for the USPS to deliver new bits to the players.  Brian continues to just draw on his board.  Luke appears to be using white removable stickers, and James Nathan is cannibalizing some stickers that he claims are in his house for his young nephew and niece to use..   (They are also the reason I have frog and dinosaur stamps. -JN)

I had just left my stuff out from last night, so I was instantly ready to go.  We did a quick re-read of the rules, and we were playing within a few minutes.  And, this chapter went by lightning quick.  Sure, some of the speed is due to us becoming more familiar with the piece placements and the scoring – again, the thing I have liked so far about the game is that each game tends to only add one rule, and as you get to play a whole game with the new rule addition – the whole thing feels pretty organic, and the overall game doesn’t feel too complex.  

From the rules, this chapter feels like it’s setting us up for something to come.  The rules/player aid make it clear that there are going to be a lot of stickers added to our boards in these three games (following the usual pattern).  We played this whole chapter in about 40 minutes…  

My overall success is still pretty dismal, but I have found that this set of 3 games has made it more interesting to me, and I’m ready to immediately keep playing the game…

SPOILER TEXT FOR THIS CHAPTER

One of the big rules here is that you only use half of the board in each of the three games in this chapter.  This makes the games go much quicker as you have so many fewer spaces to fill up.  It also makes passing a harder decision as there is no guarantee that you’re going to get the specific piece you’re looking for before you run of of points to lose or spaces to use.

Later, when you get a new rule for where to start each game, that kinda puts things on its head.  After 2 whole chapters of getting into a decent flow about where I like to start and how I like to grow from that initial placement, I was forced to pretty much invent a new strategy.  I liked the change, and I liked the way it made me look at the opening turns differently.  Though I’m not yet tired of the basic rules, this little change is enough to keep me on my toes and constantly trying to re-evaluate how I want to place my pieces.   Knowing that all of the older rules are possibly mutable also will likely give me a little pause when choosing where to place my stickers.  

The other interesting thing we learned about My City is that Luke is the king of games when passing is not an option.  He is currently undefeated in that setting, and because of his supreme strategy at this style of game, he has continued to keep me in the basement.  After 9 games, I have 4 points – a single win and two second places.  I’m honestly at a loss for what I’m not doing as well as everyone else, but I seem to be a consistent 5-10 points less than Brian and James Nathan at the end of each game.  Only a supremely lucky draw of two churches in one game this chapter allowed me to sneak out a win with an unexpected 8 point bonus from the last two tiles I placed in that game.

James Nathan: I was, well, not a fan, of the only-half-the-board approach. It felt sort of gimmicky, and took much of the puzzle fun out of the game.  It sort of swung the spectrum closer to the tactical end and became less strategic. 

Luke Hedgren: Yay for winging it.

END SPOILER TEXT

As per our usual routine, we opened up the envelope for Chapter 4 and read it together.

PICTURE SPOILERS – 

Dale’s board with stickers

Luke’s board with homemade stickers

END OF SPOILERS

Scores after this chapter – 

Brian – 10

James Nathan – 8

Luke – 5

Dale – 4

Cost for this week – nothing!

Talking about the overall game after this chapter, we had a great idea – which I’m planning to send on to the people at Kosmos.  They should consider creating a remote play pack – which would include a board and then the sticker sheets that one person might need.  Someone would still have to buy the full game for the deck of cards, but then everything else could be in a small compact package.  I would think it might even be possible to put the sticker sheets in a manila envelope, with the chapter 1 stuff at the top of the sheet.  It would be quite easy to simply slide the page up to expose only the current chapter’s worth of stickers, take the ones you want and then slide the sheet back down into the envelope.  When you got to the next chapter, you’d just pull the sheet up further, and you’d still only see the stuff for the Chapters that you’d already played. 

Chapter 4 – 7 Sept and 13 Sept

Well, this is the first time that we decided to split a Chapter up.  We finished a super quick Chapter 3, and we still had a little bit of time left, and we decided to forge ahead into Chapter 4.  As we have now decided to open up the next Chapter’s envelope at the conclusion of the one we play, we were able to see what was in store for us in the next installment – and to our delight, we would be able to continue – though it would definitely require a bit of proxy work for the short term. 

I quickly scanned the rules sheet, player aid and sticker sheet and emailed these to the players.  Again, I think it is super helpful to have the current player aid for reference at all times.  The scoring has become somewhat second nature as each game only adds one more thing at most to the scoring rubric – but it’s still nice to see it all lined up on the sheet. Furthermore, it’s really helpful to be able to see what the rewards/penalties are for the three games in the chapter.  

Well, we finally get to see some of the stickers that go in those huge areas left on the outside of the playing area on our board.  This whole chapter revolves around what we place in that area – and the three games introduce new rules concerning this new concept in the game.  

We played the first game on the Holiday weekend, and we only had time for one game of the three.  We reconvened the next weekend to play the final two games in the chapter.  I liked the way that the theme of the chapter ran through all three games, and that the effect was augmented with each successive chapter.  What I am truly curious about is whether or not this continues throughout the rest of the campaign or if this was just a three-game block to try out some different ideas using the same base framework.  I think that I’d probably be OK either way – by adding in a new focus for three games, I really had to re-think what I was doing on my board and it did cause me to play differently.  On the other hand, it would be cool to keep adding more and more rules and scoring possibilities to the game, but if we keep adding stuff on, it’s gonna feel bloated and complicated for complications-sake soon…

SPOILER TEXT FOR THIS CHAPTER>

This chapter is all about gold!  I was happy to see that there are now some sub-games as well as a little meta-game for this chapter.  We each have two gold mines that we’ve added to our board, and there is a bonus sticker granted to the player(s) who are able to cover both up the fastest.  Additionally, there will be a nice reward at the end of the chapter for the player who has done the best with the gold over the entire chapter.    If you look at the “gold cabinet”, you’ll notice that the rightmost space in each row has one or more metapoint icons in it!  As you collect enough gold, you’ll be able to earn victory points – this looks to be an interesting sub-game as the payoffs here can be large.  At the moment, we can see that the bottom four rows will pay off 1, 2, 3 and then 4 victory points as their respective rows are filled.  At the current moment, we’re still getting 2 VP for winning a round and 1VP for coming in second – and thus filling up these four rows is equal to 5 round wins!  Not too shabby….

In the final two games of the chapter, I am finally able to see some of the catch-up bonuses that I’ve “earned” over the past 10 games.  As I’ve consistently come in last or second to last in the games, I’ve been able to cover over a lot of my board with plain green squares or trees.  Game 11 gives a bonus gold nugget for being able to cover all of your forest spaces first… and well, i’m in the pole position for this as I’ve had the most extra stickers on the board to cover up those pesky trees.  I made a point of moving for the tree coverage, and it didn’t take long to cover up the 9 or 10 spaces I had left – so bonus gold nugget for me!  I also managed to tie for the race to cover both gold veins, so it was a nice haul of two nuggets today, leading to some bonus points from the Gold Cabinet scoring.

Game 12 had an interesting new bonus – +10 points for covering up all your forest spaces.  Unsurprisingly, I also managed to do this as I still have the fewest forest spaces, and it did help me get an uncharacteristic 2nd place.  It had been quite awhile since I was coloring in circles in the scoring area and not adding stickers to my board somewhere….  I’m currently last on the scoreboard, but I’m definitely pulling away on the gold track.  

James Nathan – Bridging the two gold veins has not been my strong suit, but I haven’t tried very hard either.  It’s sort of like we’re at the part of a point salad game where I decide I’ll just ignore one whole component and try hard enough at the other bits that I can still be competitive.

Luke or Brian made the analogy that each Chapter is sort of a Kramer variant.  That is, the way Wolfgang often provides variants at the end of a rule set for other ways to minorly tweak the main game.  I think that analogy extends to Reiner and the way a tweaked game will be licensed to a different publisher.

I don’t know that any of us meant any of that pejoratively, but I think one side effect of that so far has been that there really aren’t any spoilers!  There’s a chance that around a month from now, I’ll be playing through the campaign with different folks, and knowing what I know now, there’s nothing I would do differently (except not sweat where I put the well, because I know I’m going to ignore it), and that’s interesting. In, to me, what is the fundamental critique of a Legacy game (Were the games actually fun, or was it just the anticipation of opening the next box?), where does that put us?

END SPOILER TEXT

Our scores at the end of this chapter

Brian – 15

James Nathan – 14

Luke – 6

Dale – 6

Though my scoring has been the worst so far (by a large margin), I’m surely going to have a huge advantage in the second half of the game with all of these bonuses that I’m picking up now!  In fact, I’m telling the guys that I’m doing this on purpose.  Which, sadly, I’m not.  I just haven’t really figured out the best way to fit my pieces on the board after the first 9 games.  I think some of the issue here is the remote-ness of our game, I don’t necessarily get to see how the other players are placing their pieces, and I think my game could benefit for a little bit of copy-cat action – not on a turn-for-turn basis, but overall, getting to see how they are scoring points might help my shore up my own strategy.  After a chat after game 10, I think that I’m placing too much emphasis on not losing a point by passing, and I’m therefore not able to get high color bonuses    In that game, I think my final score was 25 or 26, and James Nathan and Brian both had over 40.  Oh well, you can’t win them all – though, I’d think that I’d have done better than winning just one out of 10 at that point…

In our break we decided to do a little bit of mutual spoiling to keep things moving… Though we still had game to go to finish Chapter 4, we went ahead and opened up the Chapter 5 envelope. I had a chance to send the earned stickers to clean up the boards as well as the necessary things for chapter 5.  It isn’t possible to send everything for Chapter 5 as it is unclear who will earn which stickers – it is all dependent on our finish order in each of the three games.  I also took the liberty of not sending the wooden piece in the envelope as this would push the envelope past the thickness of a first class envelope.  I’m sure that all the players can find an appropriate proxy to use.  Given the speed of the USPS now, sometimes an envelope mailed on Monday from Ohio doesn’t make it to California by Saturday…. To try to keep us able to play a chapter a week, we all agreed to peek together at Chapter 5 to be able to condense our mailings.

I ended up deciding on an alternate strategy for the rest of the chapter – and I have no idea if it will pan out or not…   As i’m not able to score enough points to regularly compete for the game win, I’m going to make a play for the alternative goals added in this chapter.  The whole thing is a bit of a risk – it’s not clear whether or not the rules in this chapter will only be in effect for this chapter or for the rest of the game.  If it’s just this chapter, then I’ve spent a whole bunch of effort for a small short term gain.

SPOILER – PICTURE OF WHAT GETS MAILED

This is the bagged up bits with stuff from Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 each in a separate numbered bag…

All fits in a small #9 envelope!

Cost for this week – one stamp per player

Well there you have it – a trip through the first half of My City… I think that we’re all enjoying it so far, and it has definitely been an interesting game to this point! We’ll be back in a few weeks once we have completed the game! We’ll also have the full shipping recap at that time

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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