Quadropolis from Days Of Wonder
Reviewed by Jason Elliott from PaladinElliott Productions
Who made it? Who should play it? What does it come with?
Days Of Wonder created this game through direction from Francois Gandon, and is listed as 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, lasting 30 to 60 minutes. It comes with 1 Construction Site Board, 4 double-sided player mats, 142 building tiles, 20 architects (to claim tiles with), 1 urbanist (to mark the tile just claimed), 1 mayor (first turn marker), 65 inhabitants (blue meeples), 50 energy units (red cylinders), 1 scoring pad, 4 helpers, 1 cloth bag, and 1 rule book.
What is this game about?
In this game of two to four players, you seek to build the best (highest points at the end of the game) city (listed as metropolis) by placing tiles that come in the forms of apartment towers, shops, factories, harbors, public services, and parks. You will seek to optimize your placements through the game as you may block yourself out of a key placement late in the game, and you will also want to follow the scoring charts provided to get the maximum number of points from your placement. The game is played over four rounds, and each round is made up of four turns. A turn will be taking a tile, and placing it. You will do this four times during each round for a total of 16 total tiles you will have at the end of the game. You may not necessarily fill your board of 16 spots (4 by 4 grid) as you will debate on stacking apartments for their category of point scoring.
You set up tiles on a centered 5 by 5 grid board so, there will be 25 tiles out for people to choose from. The placement and draws will be random from those marked with the number for the correct round. Tiles with the number 1 would be placed in the bag and chosen from during round 1 ( and number 2 for round 2 and so on).
Each of your players are going to operate and choose with four architects. Each architect has a number on it, the numbers will be 1, 2, 3, or 4. You will use one of these pieces to point to a tile you want, and the pointing will follow a column or a row, and the number on the architect will be the number of spaces you will go in from the outside of the construction board to the tile you must take. You must then follow this number that you used on your architect, and place the newly chosen tile on the column or row on your board with the matching number. This will allow you to claim a person (people/meeple(s)), victory points, and/or energy. You will find this information at the top left of the tile. This is not enough though, as you must allocate what the tile needs to be activated, which is found in the bottom right corner. If a tile is not activated at the end of the game, then it does not count towards scoring, so it is very important to pay attention to what you are collecting and what you are needing at the end of the game. Extra people/ energy each count as minus one point each for what could be described as unemployment and wasted energy. In the case of the wasted energy, you can have parks, that reduce some of it. For each park you have you can cancel out one extra energy, if you need to, at the end of the game. After a player takes their tile, the Urbanist pawn is placed on that spot. The next player cannot place their architect in a position in line with the Urbanist pawn. In addition, they cannot place their architect on top of another players architect. Once everyone has played their four architects, that will mark the end of a round, the remaining tiles are removed, and you place the next round's tiles in the bag to be drawn on to the board.
Notes for Scoring:
Your apartment towers are scored based on the number in the stack, anywhere from one to four. Your shops are going to score depending on how many meeples you placed in them at the end of the game. The public services will score by being placed in different quadrants of your city. The parks score in accordance with how many apartment towers are adjacent to their placement. The factories give you points based on adjacent shops and harbors (please note that the points to each type are different). The harbors score based on how many harbors are adjacent both in a column and a row, starting with one. Some tiles will have additional bonus points listed in the upper left corner.
The scoring for Apartment Towers is:
1 floor is 1 point.
2 floors is 3 points
3 floors is 6 points
4 floors is 10 points
The scoring for Shops is:
1 meeple is 1 point
2 meeples is 2 points
3 meeples is 4 points
4 meeples is 7 points
The scoring for Public Services is:
In one quadrant is 2 points
In two quadrants is 5 points
In three quadrants is 9 points
In four quadrants is 14 points
The scoring for parks is:
One adjacent tower is 2 points
Two adjacent towers is 4 points
Three adjacent towers is 7 points
Four adjacent towers is 11 points
The scoring for Factories is:
For each adjacent Shop add 2 points
For each adjacent Harbor add 3 points
The scoring for Harbors is:
If you have one aligned harbor you get 0 points
If you have two in your row/column aligned you get 3 points
If you have three in your row/column aligned you get 7 points
If you have four in your row/column aligned you get 12 points.
Anything else to the game?
You are also given the rules and pieces needed for Expert Mode, where you will play 5 rounds instead of 4. It will also change rules for your placement. You will receive Expert buildings for this mode, and must follow Expert scoring. There are also several promo tiles that are available for the game, but at the time of this review, seemed to be hard to acquire.
How did it play for us?
Our good friend Rob was at the helm to teach us the game, and three of the four of us managed to not have a major lock out placement (where you couldn't place the tile you picked), and we felt overall that the game made sense from halfway on. Rob won with 53 points to my 47, Stephanie (my wife) had 46, and Hailey (Rob's wife) had 34. The game played right around its described learning curve and time.
If you like having to decide on tiles for tile placement, and constantly being on the lookout for the best combinations of placements then this is a good fit for you. It will require strong attentiveness, as you will do your best to not close yourself out on a future turn. Randomness will come from other players choices, along with the tiles chosen for placement on the construction board. If you enjoy a level of satisfaction from making pieces on your board sync up, then this is a great choice. If you have no problem accepting that pieces you will need might be taken or blocked, then you are prepared to play this game.
Thank you so much for reading this report on Quadropolis!
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RET. SSG Jason L. Elliott (PaladinElliott)