Tiny Towns is an infant in the board game world just coming out in 2019. That hasn’t stopped it from already amassing a large and passionate following. This puzzle/strategy game is a little bit Tetris with a little bit of Catan all encased in charming pieces and artwork. You can play with 1 – 6 people and games last about 40 – 60 minutes. This is how to play Tiny Towns board game.
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WHAT IS IT?
Every player gets a 4×4 grid (16 spaces) that represents their “tiny town”. The key is to build different buildings to get victory points using strategically placed resource cubes. Every game there are communal building cards put in the middle as guides for what to build. To build, it will show you an interesting configuration you need to make with resources. Each turn, a player calls out one of the five resources, everyone gets those resources and tries to fill in their grid to get to one of the various combinations.
- 1 Rulebook
- 6 Player Boards
- 25 Building Cards
- 15 Monument Cards
- 15 Resource Cards (3x wood, 3x wheat, 3x brick, 3x glass, 3x stone)
- 1 Score Pad
- 1 Master Builder Wooden Hammer
- 90 Resource Cubes
- 132 Wooden Buildings (8 different types)
First things first, select your building cards for the game. There will always be 7 communal cards and 1 personalized monument card to build from but these change. You will always use the cottage card (aqua blue house piece) but for each other type, you randomly select one of four. Once done, there should be a card for each building type. For example, the “farm” uses the red farm and silo looking building but so does the “orchard”. This is so every game is new and requires a whole different strategy. The building piece it uses is shown in the top right corner.
Besides the communal you have your monument. This is a card just you get to build and is usually pretty special if you can pull it off. At the start, everyone secretly gets 2 and from it they choose one to play with.
LAY OUT COMMUNAL PIECES
One downside to this game is that it has tons of pieces. The last part of setting up a game is laying them all out. You are going to have one pile with the 90 resource cubes, but you all also going to want to lay out separate piles in the communal area of the 8 different building types.
PART 1 – RESOURCE COLLECT
Whoever is in possession of the white master-builder hammer gets to kick off the turn by selecting one of the five resources. Every player gets one of that color resource to add to their grid. They have to put this down. They don’t get to skip. The further along, the more the board fills up and the harder it is to find a good space. All players do this simultaneously.
- Once a resource is placed, it can’t be moved to a different square.
- Resources can only be removed by constructing a building.
- Only one resource or building may occupy a square.
- When resources are removed from the board, they go back to the general supply in the communal area.
PART 2 – BUILD
After everyone has put down their resource, each person could determine if they want to build buildings. The way you build is by getting resource cards in a configuration on your board that matches the configuration on one of the building cards. You then remove the resources from the board, take one of that building type and put it on any of the spaces that were filled with those resources.
When you are done, pass the master-builder hammer to the player to the left. Once everyone signifies they are done with their moves, the master-builder kicks off a new turn by selecting the new resource.
END OF GAME
When a player can no longer place resources or build buildings (because their card is filled) they are out and their town is complete. All other players continue and the completed town players sit for the remainder. Once every person has “completed” their town, the game ends and you move to scoring your victory points.
The victory points are denoted by a green “+” like symbol and different buildings give different kinds of bonuses depending on a variety of factors. Everyone adds it all up and whoever has the most wins.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE
Caravan Rule – to make things a little easier, this is a special rule you could decide to play with. This allows each player to decide twice in a game that they want to throw the chosen resource for the round into a cavern instead of putting it on board. This is to give you a little extra freedom when it gets hard to find places on your board late in the game.
Resource cubes and buildings are infinite. If there are no more, substitute in some other token to use instead.
Unfed Cottages at the end of the game remain on the board but score no VP. Some other buildings (such as wells) still score points from unfed cottages.
“Adjacent” means up, down, left, right (no corners).
It is possible to have a negative score at the end of the game.
I hope now you can say you have mastered how to play Tiny Towns board game. In the past few years, this is one of the hottest games to hit the board game community and the fans can feel it. The replayability is incredibly good and it even has an interesting solo mode. If you love a good strategy game but want a little more of a puzzle element, this is your game.