|for 4 Players|
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A Message from Reiner
Comments from Chris
4 Player Rules
A Message from Reiner
Comments from Chris
|A Christmas Present|
Lost Cities for 4 Players
by Reiner Knizia
I am delighted that Lost Cities has become such a popular game, valued by gamers and casual players alike. This is great motivation for me to carry on designing challenging games. Thank you!
Frequently I get asked about my favourite game. There is no favourite game (except always the one I currently design), because games are not absolute. Games live through the players, and for different groups and occasions, different games will be the right choice. Games provide the platform to enjoy an exciting and stimulating time with other people. I rejoice the ever-new challenges that players with different personalities introduce to the games. For me, the interaction with the opponents is the most important stimulus of play.
Partnership games are particularly fascinating, as the interaction happens on two levels, within the partnership and between the opposing groups. Whenever I play a partnership game, I wonder why I design so few of them (only Digging springs to my mind). When the question was raised, if Lost Cities could be extended to more than 2 players, I seized the opportunity.
Today I have the pleasure to present you with a little Christmas present - to all nice people around the world who like my games:
You need two game sets to play. (If 2 players have one set, hopefully 4 players will have two.) Use the game components from one set, and add all cards with values 2, 3 and 4 from the other set to the deck. Hence the 4-player deck contains a total of 75 cards.
Players sitting opposite each other form partnerships and play on the same side of the board. Proceed as in the standard game, with the following amendments:
When adding cards to an expedition, the numbers must strictly increase. Two cards of the same value may not be played into the same expedition.
Instead of taking a normal turn (playing and drawing a card) a player may choose any two of his cards and pass them face down to his partner. By doing so a player may never reduce his hand to less than six cards. Apart from this, partners are not allowed to communicate about their play.
This sounds straight forward, almost too easy. Well, it always is, once the secret has been discovered. To introduce very few changes is important, so not to cause confusion between the 2-player and the 4-player game.
However, simple rules do not imply a simple game. The last sentence of the rules introduces the real challenge: "Partners are not allowed to communicate about their play." Of course, success comes from well co-ordinated play within the partnership. Here are some suggested playing conventions - however, part of the fun is to developing more as you play:
Copyright Dr. Reiner Knizia, 1999. All rights reserved.
I am very pleased to announce the official rules for 4 Player Lost Cities. Many thanks to Reiner to allow me to be the first one to publish the rules, my very own world exclusive ^_^ right here!
You will notice that the additional rules are very straightforward. 15 extra cards are added to the deck plus an option where you can pass two cards to your partner. I hope that Reiner can find the time to produce a short history of the development of the game to show the changes, dead-ends and rational behind the 4 player rules. Having been present from the very start of playtesting, I found it fascinating how the game changed form and became a partnership game where a method of communication could be established between partners via the passing of cards.
As Reiner has outlined above, it is worthwhile to establish some form of convention when playing, especially when passing cards. I would make the following suggestions:-
Note: Low cards are Investment cards and cards numbered 2 to 4. High cards are numbered 6 to 10. The number 5 card could be either high or low (maybe best if considered as a high card).
Examples: If you have only a single low card in a suit, you may find that it not worth passing it over. Passing over an Investment card is always worthwhile if you are interested in a suit but you should not pass over two of them (as it would be better for you to keep one ready to play on top of the one your partner plays). Having a pair of numbered cards (i.e. a pair of 2's, 3's or 4's) is not much help, so you should discount one of them. If you have three low cards in a colour, you may try passing over a single low card (the middle value) and then play your lowest card at the first opportunity.
I am sure there are better conventions that players can come up with, please write in with suggestions and I will see about creating a web page with your ideas and suggestions.
Chris Lawson, 12th December 1999