Nov 18, 2009

Municipality - Week 2

Municipality is coming along swimmingly. The last-minute radical change to the game's structure ended up being the most fun part of the game. To think that I was afraid of making such a fundamental change right before my first playtest . . . this game could have ended up so much less fun had I not changed course.

Here are notes from the last week of testing.

Version 2.0
Changes from v1.0:
New board
Connected only requires road connections, does not get restricted to within a certain range.
Players start with one random land, all starting land must be non-adjacent.
Players start with one permit (R,C,I) of their choice and immediately place it on their starting land.
Players start with $20 instead of $10.
City Council role has been removed.
Industry now has built-in tax of $5 instead of $10, Commercial has a built-in tax of $3 instead of $5.
Population ceilings reduced as follows: Industry - 5 down to 3, Commercial - 10 down to 5, Residential - infinite down to 15.
End game now triggered either by a player with 10 Approval announcing an election at the start of a round which take place at the end of that round or by a 15th permit being placed on the board, triggering an election at the end of the following round.
Rory Parsons - 140 (10 x 14)
Greg Costikyan - 126 (6 x 21)
Michael R. Keller - 125 (5 x 25)
Deputy Mayor confusing
Early game is tedious
Campaign manager not valuable until the end
Maybe add more empty space to the board
Consider non-player-owned buildings
Change to a Hex map? Would make connections clearer.
Should some permits have two roads, some only have one?
Difficult to tell who is winning until the game's end.
Version 2.1
Changes from v2.0:
Diagonal connections no longer allowed.
Players start with two land cards instead of one. all land cards must be non-adjacent.
Players start with one of each permit (R,C,I) instead of just one. They may place any one immediately and keep the other two. This should encourage balanced development.
Playing Time - 1 hour 45 minutes
Dan Glaser - 60 (10 x 6)
Elliot Black - 0 (0 x 11)
Michael R. Keller - 0 (0 x 7)
Need to fix endgame so last round isn't so anti-climactic; make it so keep going around until all roles are picked in last round.
Deputy Mayor will always be picked by whoever is going last. Make it so it is influenceable, that way there is a reason to not take it. Since now only lobbyist cannot be influenced, just make everything influenceable.
Campaign Manager useless at start of game. Make it so it automatically gives one approval when taken.
Mark properties with player tokens so you can tell who owns what.
Development calculation still confusing.
Version 2.2
Changes from v2.1
All roles will be picked during final round of the game.
Deputy Mayor and Lobbyist can now be influenced like the other roles.
Campaign Manager gives one level of approval for free. Additional levels cost $10 each. No Political Capital must be spend on this role.
Developer no longer requires Political Capital to use.
Player-owned properties will be marked.
Lauren Roberti - 16 (2 x 8)
Zhen Wang - 12 (2 x 6)
Michael R. Keller - 8 (4 x 2)
Cynthia Tang - 6 (2 x 3)
Change the development grid to use person icons. Current arrows don't make it clear that it relates to population. It is getting confused with taxes.
Cynthia wanted a chance to build more.
Board - extend river from B3 into C3 as well.
Subway - was difficult to understand. Perhaps make it an "advanced" card?
Special Permits - Too easy to forget their Approval ability by the time it comes up.
Player card - Remove the tax column, adding it to the tax card. Add a revenue column. Also, add a population cap column.
Board - do grid numbers need to be on all four sides? Or just two?


  1. Your game is beginning to sound a lot like Urban Sprawl, by Chad Jensen, the designer of Combat Commander:

    The rules are available on GMT's website. You might want to take a look.

  2. Thank you for informing me about this game. I will definitely take a look. I will be irked if I have to abandon my design, but better that I know this now than later.