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Sherwood Games – In the City: Origins (Review)

February 15, 2016

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Publisher Sherwood Games
Genre Card Game
Number of Players 2 – 5
Play Time 45 min
Initial Review Date 2/9/16
Last Updated 2/9/16

In this game you vie for control of the city by recruiting various individuals. Some of these individuals are nobles while others are just peasants. As the game progresses more powerful individuals become available.

Setup

The cards are divided into groups. Theses groups are independently shuffled and then the cards are arranged in columns with decks at the top of each column. Each player receives a Lord card which not only grants them some special ability but it also determines their starting influence. Setup for this game is a little on the long side for this game because of the sorting and arranging that needs to happen EVERY time you want to play.

Game Play

It might seem a little confusing at first but the game play is actually rather straight forward. Basically players take turns recruiting / claiming cards from the columns. Some of the cards have abilities that allow you to manipulate the rows in some way or affect another player or they may just make it easier to acquire more expensive cards.

The game has a chess like quality because everything is public knowledge. Everyone can see where the other players stand and everyone can see what cards are options. It especially feels this way when you are playing a two player game since you only have one player you can affect or that could affect you.

Scoring

Most cards in the game are worth 0 – 3 points. Many of the top tier cards are worth a variable amount. These cards will specify what they give you bonus points for. Additionally, these variable point cards are often immune to being destroyed so once you get them you have them for good. Scoring is otherwise just a simple task of adding up all the points that your cards are worth. Other than the variable cards there aren’t any other scoring considerations.

Conclusion

While I have only played the game a few times it feels like there are balance issues. The leader cards are not all balanced against one another. Also, there are rules in place that give the player(s) who do not go first extra advantages. But these added benefits are stronger than the first turn advantage the seem to be attempting to compensate for. Especially when you consider that some of the leader cards have abilities that negate a first turn advantage.

Sherwood games has released an expansion for the game. It’s possible that this expansion resolves some of the balance issues present in this game. If you’re looking for a strategic game where you don’t have to worry about hidden information this one isn’t bad. Otherwise you can probably give this game a pass.


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