Hey there Guys and Gals,
I'm pretty excited today because I bought a game called The Palace of Mad King Ludwig, published by Bezier Games and designed by Ted Alspach. So, since I'm supposed to wait all patiently for the game to arrive, I figured I'd talk to you guys about Suburbia.
Suburbia is by the same publisher and designer and is a pretty neat game. I've owned Suburbia for a long time and always enjoy playing it.
In Suburbia you are laying down hexagon shaped tiles to build your own little Suburb. Your points are scored in "population" and the biggest town wins.
There isn't much that is initially that dazzling as its not a particularly thematic game. This is a good game, but it isn't the type of game that is going to give you super cool figurines or anything like that.
What do you get though, is some strong cardboard components, which I really like. Anyone into board games will tell you they hate cheaply made game components and this one seems pretty good to me.
And overall the rulebook is pretty good. Which from my Ghost Stories post you know is a thing for me. =)
This is a tile laying game, which sounds a lot like manual labor. Don't worry, you're not going to be refinishing a bathroom or something. Basically you're drawing tiles out of a "deck" and laying them down to play them, kind of like a card. These tiles are going to make up your borough, or city.
Everyone is going to be building from their own player board. One thing I like about the individual player boards is you can either build up from your board or down from your board. This may not seem like a big deal, but depending on how much space your table has, it can help economize your space.
I find this noteworthy. I've tried to play games and definitely did not have enough room for it. It was cartoony. It was like the blob of a board game taking over and as the game grew, we were trying to find tables and ottomans and whatever else we could to set stuff on. Games and their relation to "table real estate" is a thing.
Speaking of real estate!
There is a centralized board you're going to be getting your tiles from. The board has 3 stacks of tiles on it A, B and C.
There is a market you'll be buying tiles from each turn. It's that row on the bottom with all the prices.
Basically each turn, you'll take and place a tile. Then a tile will come off of one of those stacks, in alphabetical order) and all the tiles will shift to the left filling the empty space. The new tile will always go under the +
$10 spot. This is cool, because it means tiles are going to shift down in price each turn. So if you have your eye on something that is expensive you may have a real chance to buy it.
You're also going to have goals to achieve throughout the game. There are two goals (for a two player game) on the board in this picture. Those goals are public and whoever gets those gets the points at the end of the game.
You also each have a secret goal to try to meet at the end of the game as well. Here's mine, shhhh.
After you place a tile, you'll then resolve any of the icons on the tile. This could be getting money, adjusting your population. All the tiles say what they do and if you forget the game comes with a nifty cheat sheet, so you're all good.
In this example I would want to place a blue tile here. I would +1 Income. If I place a green tile I would get -1 Population. And if I placed a grey tile, there would be no impact.
Now, I mentioned income and population and you're like, I know those words, but not in context to this game. Fair enough.
Your player board has a circle tracker and a square tracker, just like you saw on the icon. The circle is your income, you get however much that is at the end of your turn. The square tracker is your population. Population is also going to be the "points" of the game.
Let's take a look at the score board.
This is pretty cool. As your little square chit is making its way up the population ranks, it will cross the little red lines. Basically, since it's not a quaint little town anymore, ya know the one with the cute little B&B and homemade pies cooling on the windowsills, it's going to cost more to maintain. So every time you cross the red line you have to subtract 1 population and 1 income off of your player board.
I think this is a really neat mechanic, because it keeps one player from running away with the lead.
Have you ever played a fighting video game or something and one player just wails on you while you hang out in the corner? And you're like, "Well, I might as well go get a drink or something, because I'm getting beat and can't move so I'm pretty sure I don't even need to be here for this."
This mechanic helps that from not happening and I think that's neat.
Rinse and repeat all of that and eventually, when you're most of the way down the C stack you're going to come across a 1 More Turn tile.
This is mixed somewhere in the last 1/4ish of the stack. So you have an idea of when that is coming out, but not exactly.
That's it! Most population wins and you can brag about what an awesome town pioneer you are, or something.
SO? How would you rate it?!
I like this game. I always enjoy playing it, but once I play it I'm not immediately ready to play another round.
I like how this game scales no matter the player count. For me, personally, that's always something I look for. I like when a game is good at both 2 Players and 4 Players.
Also, I think this game has pretty decent replay value. So, you saw the A,B,C and Goal tiles. Here are all the tiles we didn't use in setup.
So, each time you play you're going to have a variety of different tiles and goals you can get.
For me the biggest downside on the game is how busy the board is. Each time you play a tile you're immediately going through your entire borough, sometimes the other players' boroughs, to figure out if there is anything you need to do. It is pretty easy to maintain in the beginning, but as the board grows it gets pretty chaotic to maintain. It can be easy for money/points, etc, to get missed.
This is my board at the end of the game. I'm not sure why, but I'm really partial to how the hexagon tiles fit together. But you can see that its a lot of symbols, etc.
I hope this post gives you an idea of what this game is about! I think it is definitely worth taking a look at.
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