Druid City Games
BGS Logo.jpg

Board Game Spotlight

 

Sorcerer City - A Kickstarter Preview!

PUBLISHER: DRUID CITY GAMES
DESIGNER: SCOTT CAPUTO
PLAYERS: 2-4
TIME: 40-60 MIN

INTRODUCTION TO SORCERER CITY

Description from the publisher: Every year, Sorcerer City gets built and rebuilt in magically new ways, blocks moving and rotating in crazy directions. You and your fellow players are rival wizard architects in charge of building the same city district over 5 years, expanding it and rebuilding it to gain the most money, influence, magic, and prestige. Unfortunately, Sorcerer City has a bit of a monster problem, so you must work hard to mitigate the effects of marauding creatures who attack your city district. The wizard architect with the most victory points at the end of 5 years will be crowned the new head wizard of Sorcerer City.

I received a prototype version of Sorcerer City. Components and Art may not be final and are subject to change.

The Board Game Spotlight was paid to advertise, and preview this game. We strive to bring you the best preview possible and we reserve all right to decline games that do not meet our standards.

OVERALL GAMEPLAY

Sorcerer City is played over 5 rounds, or “years.” Every round follows the same steps:

  1. The player with the sand timer flips it, and everyone simultaneously builds their city district.
     
  2. When the time runs out, all players must immediately stop building. Any tiles not placed in their district, from their deck, are not counted towards scoring this year.
     
  3. Monster abilities or City spells may trigger. This can be done in any order.
     
  4. Each player scores their city district on their score track.
     
  5. Players convert raw magic (purple districts) into one of the 3 other forms: Money, Influence, or Prestige.
     
  6. Influence rewards are given to players based on their influence level.
     
  7. All players, in order of influence levels, may purchase new tiles.
     
  8. All players gain Prestige points equal to their current level on their Prestige track.
     
  9. Shuffle the Monster stack for the next round, face-down, and give one to every player.
     
  10. Each player dismantles their city, shuffles their old and any newly purchased tiles together, and places the stack facedown. This is their deck for the next round.
     
  11. All players reset their tracks to zero, pass the timer to the next player on the left, and begin the next round. 

BUILDING YOUR CITY: SLOW IS SMOOTH, AND SMOOTH IS FAST!

Every round, players will attempt to construct the best city possible, using the choices presented to them. Players will strive to achieve as many goals during the round as possible, in order to gain the most Magic, Influence, Money, and Prestige possible.

In order to build your city, flip the top tile of your stack face-up and either place the first tile, or place the tile adjacent to an already placed tile in your city district. Once a tile is placed, it cannot be moved, or rotated (unless specifically allowed by tile abilities).

Players may stop building their city at any time, and they are not forced to continue to draw more tiles.

Tiles can be arranged in any direction and they DO NOT have to match other colors when placed. 

BUILDING STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS! 

Each district in Sorcerer City will allow players to gain specific resources for use each year.

  • The magic district, or purple district, allows players to harvest the raw magic emanating inside Sorcerer City and convert it into one of the 3 other types.
     
  • The market district, or yellow district, allows players to wheel and deal, chaining together lavish amounts of money in order to build up Sorcerer City to even greater heights!
     
  • The influence district, or red district, allows players to gain control of powerful influence rewards, and gain Prestige in one fell swoop! Players who are the most influential will quickly become the talk of the town.
     
  • The prestige district, or green district, allows players to enter the coveted Sorcerers Guild, and finally find your fame! Each Sorcerer yearns for the final call so that he or she may be entered into the history books as one of the greatest Sorcerers of all time!

CITY DISTRICT GOALS AND SCORING IN YOUR CITY

Group Goals: To complete this goal, you must create a group of 3+ tiles of the shield symbol/color.

Line Goals: To complete this goal, you must create a line of 3+ tiles of the shield symbol/color.

Shield Goals: To complete this goal, the tile with the goal must have at least 2 neighboring tiles with shields on them.

MONSTER ABILITIES AND CITY SPELLS

Some Monsters have an immediate effect. This is indicated by a flame icon. Others do not affect your city until the timer is finished. City Spells will also activate either upon drawing/placing the tile, or after the timer finishes.

STRATEGICALLY CONVERT RAW MAGIC!

At the end of calculating your city’s score, players will secretly choose, and simultaneously reveal a chosen track to convert their raw magic into. Players can convert raw magic (purple) into Influence (red), Market (yellow), or Prestige (green). 

AwARDING INFLUENCE REWARDS!

Players determine the amount of Influence they gained during the round. Players are given rewards based on the following:

  • 1st Place: Gains both the Prestige points and Reward for the current year.
  • 2nd Place: Chooses between Prestige Points or the Reward for the current year.
  • 3rd Place: Receives either Prestige points or the Reward, whichever the 2nd place player did NOT choose.
  • 4th Place: Chooses to take 5 money or receive 1 extra buy for the current year.

 

DETERMINE PRESTIGE AND BUY THE THINGS!

In order of Influence, first being the player with the most, and last being the player with the least, each player adjusts their Prestige track based on the amount of points they acquired from an Influence win.

The player then may buy up to 2 tiles using their money. Players may gain additional buys through various tile effects, gaining 20+ money in a round, or coming in last during Influence scoring. Each tier will hold a different cost for each tile. Players may purchase "wild" rainbow tiles that can help players score points!

Addditonally, during this phase, some City Spells may trigger, e.g. “Gain a free tile costing up to 6.”

 

Note: A player may pay 1 money to discard the bottom tile of a market tier. This may be done once per round by each player.

If there’s a tie for Influence when determining player order, the player who holds the timer, or is closest to the left of the timer goes first.

PRESTIGE: THE KEY TO VICTORY!

After all players have finished purchasing new tiles, all players collect Prestige points according to their Prestige score for that round. The player who collects the fewest Prestige for the current round receives a free tile:

  • 1st Year: A free Tier 1 tile from the top of the stack.
  • 2nd Year: A free Tier 2 tile from the top of the stack.
  • 3rd Year: A free Tier 3 tile from the top of the stack.
  • 4th Year: A free Tier 4 tile from the top of the stack.

DO THE MONSTER MASH!

The monsters in Sorcerer City are selected before the game begins, and they are added to player’s decks at the end of years 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Shuffle the Monster stack for the next round, face-down, and give one to every player. Players will shuffle the new monster into their deck.

END OF THE GAME AND HOW TO WIN!

At the end of the fifth round, there is no influence reward, Instead, the player with the most influence will win 25 Prestige points. There is no 2nd or 3rd place.  If you’re not first, you’re last! Players will not buy new tiles, or add new monsters to their deck.

 

At the end of the fifth round, count up your Prestige points from your scoring track as normal and gain that amount of Prestige points.

Count up all your Prestige gained throughout the game: The player with the most Prestige is crowned the new head wizard of Sorcerer City!

  Deluxe Coins because, why not?!

Deluxe Coins because, why not?!


FINAL THOUGHTS

Sorcerer City is an incredibly unique experience. Taking the best of many worlds, it combines tile-laying, deck-building, and real time strategy into an incredibly fun experience. One of the best aspects about Sorcerer City is the strategy of building, and re-building your city over 5 years. This gives players an incredible amount of diversity and information, as they sculpt their tile-deck to progress along the various tracks each year.

Converting raw magic into 1 of 3 different resources adds a nice touch of player interaction into the game, as players can try to outwit their opponents. The lack of "first to finish" rewards for quick-thinking players allows Sorcerer City to scale to accommodate a wide diversity of players.

The monsters add a tension into the game that adds a level of uncertainty into the back of players' minds as they build their district. The synergy the city abilities and monsters grant, allow for a ton of creativity among players. Using a monster to your benefit will give players an immense sense of satisfaction!

Sorcerer City is easy to learn, but offers players a world to explore thanks for over 150+ district tiles. The graphic design is intuitive and makes it easy to process the tile information as quickly as possible; remember, you're racing against the clock!

You will like this game if you enjoy: Tile-laying, deck-building, real time strategy, and fast-paced, (sometimes frantic) racing to beat the clock.

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO RE-BUILD SORCERER CITY! JOIN THE PRESTIGIOUS ORDER OF SORCERERS ON MARCH 6TH!

Derek Funkhouser