Micro City (Second Edition) Card Game Review

In tabletop game industry, sometimes a game can go through multiple iterations of game design process. This usually leads to different edition, which should have improvement from the previous one.

Originally, the game could be designed for one thing and with some redesign process, the designers could find another way to play. Previously, I wrote about Adventure of D, which was originally designed to be for multiplayer but we can also play as solo game.

This next one, Micro City is actually the opposite. The first edition was only for single player and now with the second edition, we can play with 2. Not only that, we can also play the game both cooperatively or competitively with that other player.

So, what is this Micro City game? How do we play the game? Are the multiplayer variants as good or even better than the solo one?

Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my Micro City Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.

Hope this helps. Is Micro City going to be the best city building game out there?

Micro City 2nd Edition

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Overview

Game’s Title: Micro City (Second Edition)
Genre: City Building Theme, Competitive, Cooperative, Official Solo Variant, Hand Management, Modular Boards, Worker Placement, Dice Manipulation
Designer: Michał Jagodziński, Kamil Langie
Artist: Paweł Niziołek, Jarosław Wajs
Publisher: ThisTroy Games (thistroygames.com)
Number of Players: 1 – 2
Playtime: 10 – 30 minutes
Official Webpage: Micro City (BGG)

Release Year: 2020
Price: US$20

Contents:
1 Rulebook
4 Six-Sided Dice
1 Time Marker
2 Score Markers
8 Resource Markers
16 Investment Markers
2 Engineer Figures
2 Symbol Aids
55 Cards (63 x 88mm): 
Project Cards (13)
District Cards (5)
Logistic District Cards (3)
Seaport Cards (2)
Garden Card (1)
Goal Cards (8)
Advantage Cards (10)
Victory Point Card (1)
Round Tracker Card (1)
Company Cards (2)
Symbol Aids Cards (2)
Building Cards (7)
3 Large Sheets (90 x 140 mm):
Company Sheets (2)
Player Aid (1)

Expansions:
Neoprene Player Mat (2020)
Microville Expansion (2020)
Skyline Express Module (2021)
Micro Cosmos Module (2022)
Game Playmat (2022)

About Micro City Card Game

The first edition of Micro City was introduced in 2018 as a print and play game. Back then, it was a solo only game which we can still try for free. Two years later, ThisTroy Games as the publisher, launched a Kickstarter campaign for the second edition.

This new edition now supports one more player but we can play cooperatively or competitively. They also introduced some expansion contents, improved the artwork included in the box of the second edition.

The game itself is about city building in a small box. Big game in pocket sized box was the selling point. Players are engineers, trying to build a building by gathering materials and money first from visiting various places in the Micro City in limited time. The building we are trying to construct can be a skyscraper or a landmark like Empire State Building or Eifel Tower.

Each of them needs to be construct in several phases and each phase require different set of materials and money. For more difficult challenge, we may need to complete the phases in specific order not randomly.

The city itself is made of 4 Modular cards that form a 2 x 2 grid. Each card itself has 4 quadrants of 3 different building types: Residential, Industrial and Commercial area for the base game

The Industrial area is where we can get 3 different materials: Wood, Steel or Coal. Each quadrant can only generate one type of materials.

We can trade those materials in Commercial area for different materials or sell them for money. The last type of quadrants, the Residential area is where we can send the Engineer to either build one phase of the building or get more money.

Each quarter has stronger version of the same actions that we can activate by spending the required die.

Once visited, the quarter is marked with the investment token. Until the token is removed, we cannot activate the action of that quarter again.

We can only move the Engineer orthogonally. What determines the movement is the hand of 6 Project Cards. Each turn, we can only play 1 card which will allow the Engineer to move 1 or 2 spaces. Once played, the card will no longer be available until we retrieve them all back with a cost of 1 turn.

Each project card itself has two unique actions in addition to the action from the city cards we can do each turn. We can only choose one of them and the second action requires a die with the corresponding face value to activate.

The actions from Project cards may allow us to get more money, trade materials, remove investment tokens. There is also an action that can upgrade the city quarters and another to retrieve the played project cards early for the stronger versions.

At the start of each turn, we will roll 2 D6 dice. We can then use one or both dice, one for the stronger action of the Project card and one to activate the stronger action of the city’s quarter. If we don’t use any of them, we can get money at the end of turn but if we spend even just one, we will get nothing.

Before we choose the Project card, we can also manipulate the initial dice roll. By spending either 1 material or 2 coins each, we can add or subtract the die face value by 1.

On one hand, if we change the dice, we can activate the more powerful action. However, we may need those coins or materials to construct the building. So, that’s the kind of decision we will be making in Micro City.

We will keep doing this until either the building has been fully constructed and we win or we run out of times and lose the game. The investment tokens themselves are limited so it’s another resource we need to manage. Running out of those tokens is another way to lose the game.

That’s the basic idea of the solo base game for Micro City even from the first edition. In the second edition that adds one more player, we can play the game cooperatively. Both player will share the same amount of Investment tokens, the same set of 6 project cards but not the materials and money as in solo game.

The starting player will choose one project card, move their own Engineer and do the 2 actions. Then, that player passes the remaining project cards to the second player and do the 2 actions with a separate engineer.

With 2 players, we can also play the game competitively. Instead of building a tower or landmark, players will compete in fulfilling objectives or goals which is the same as one phase from the building.

Everytime any player fulfill a goal, they will get victory points. After 20 rounds, whoever gets the most points wins. In this mode, both players will get the identical set of components as in solo game.

Players also cannot end the movement of their Engineer where the opponent’s engineer is on it. The investment token of another player will also prevent the player for activating the quarter’s action.

The Logistic and Garden expansions are essentially replacing one of the City Modular cards with a new one that has new type of quarters. These will give extra challenge and opportunity during the game.

For the Seaport, we will add 2 more cards to the city grid, so it’s no longer 2 x 2 but 2 x 3. This will add more action spaces but also additional objective that we need to complete in order to win.

The Microville expansion sheet is similar to buildings but in slightly different form. Here we have a choice of phase we can construct that will give different amount of points. We need to get 15 points within the limited number of rounds.

This next video is the introduction about the game by the publisher.

Components

Micro City (Second Edition) comes in a small, pocket size box. The size is about 15 x 10 x 3cm. In this size box, it already includes all of the expansions up to this point and contents from stretch goals.

The box has enough room for sleeve cards as well. In my case, I use the standard sleeve from Sleeve Kings, not the premium one for the 55 cards with regular size. I don’t use any sleeve for the bigger sheets and if I do, it may push the lid up.

The box cover only shows the name of the game, which is the same as from the first edition. On the back we can find an illustration of the game being played that includes one of the expansion contents. I assume that the picture is a rendering not an actual pic of the component as they show inaccurate component, specifically for the investment token.

It also says that the game is made in Poland. We can find the list of components, names of people involved in the development of the game and contact info of the publisher.

Inside the box, there is a paper insert, but with some colorful art of the District card from the game, which is nice. This will just divide the box into 2 compartments. One for the card and the other for the tokens, dice and markers.

With the sleeve I use, the cards only take one side of the compartment. The other components come in 3 zip lock bags. I guess they separate them based on the type of components.

The thing is some people may play this game mostly as solo. They probably won’t touch half of the components which is mostly for the second player most of the time. In that case, maybe it will be easier to just divide the components as a set for each player.

On top of the 2 compartments, is where the rulebook and all big cards or sheets will stay on. When I bought this game, I also got the Neoprene Mat and Microville sheet expansion, outside the box. We can store them both inside this box.

This next video below is a quick unboxing video of this game by Ben and Danielle Reviews channel.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Micro City 2nd Edition

Micro City 2nd Edition

Micro City 2nd Edition

Rulebook

According to the data from BGG, this second edition of Micro City has been printed in multiple languages. There are Polish, English, German and Italian edition.

However, on the forum, there are only English, French and Italian digital version of the rulebook that we can find here. Unfortunately, the publisher’s page is now only for newsletter subscription and no dedicated page for this game.

The rulebook itself has 32 pages, with slightly smaller size than the box to fit in and printed horizontally not vertically. Here is the table of contents.

Cover (Page 1). This just shows the game’s logo.

Introduction and Object of the Game (Page 2). These are just 2 paragraphs of text explaining the theme and what we are trying to do in this game. We can read the introduction part on the back of the box.

Components (Page 2 – 7). This section starts with a list of all components, which includes the components for 2-player competitive variant. Then it continues with the 8 subsections for 8 main component types that we will use in the basic solo game.

It starts with the District Cards. This is where we can learn about the different types of quarters. Somehow they included the explanation for Logistic expansion but not Seaport and Garden.

This is also where we can learn about Upgrading the District Card by using one action of the Project cards. While they mentioned the A and B side but they didn’t say anything about the number system which will mention the card from the expansions.

The next subsection is for the Building Cards. I think they explained each part of the card again in the Solo variant part. They could have used one of the pages for something else. There is an illustration that shows a number of different Building cards but no detail about how many of them included in the box. They show 5 cards but my copy has 7.

Project Cards is the next subsection. This one only explains the 4 features we can find on each card. They didn’t say how many cards are there, the different cards and the different actions we can do. The subsection doesn’t even have a paragraph explaining the purpose of these cards.

The next one is about the Engineer figures which they didn’t put any picture. This is where we will find out that we can only move the figure orthogonally and cannot go back to the starting place. Nowhere in the rulebook mention whether the edges wrap around or not. I assume it doesn’t based on how the Seaport expansion works.

The next part is about Investment Markers. There is no picture for this as well but it seems they do explain everything about this component.

After that is the explanation for Company Cards. The cards themselves are just to track resources in player’s possession. They also explain the different type of resources and their icons. There is one for wild resources where we can choose any of the 3. Also, if we can take 2 wilds, then they can be different materials.

Round Tracker card is next. This is very simple, just to track the number of rounds. Both this and Company cards should have shown the token that we will put on each card to track instead of just highlighting the color.

The last part of this section explains Dice. My problem with this part is about the table area for Dice Pool and Dice discard pile which was designated on the left and right side of the Company Cards. I think it would have been better if there is a text on the Company cards on both edges with an arrow that says DICE POOL or so.

Single Player Variant (Page 8 – 15). This part has several subsections from Setup, Gameplay and 3 Variants. It starts with an illustration for the setup and step by step setup.

The illustration actually has 2 empty spaces but the rule doesn’t say what to do with them. They actually explained it in the component section about dice. One space for after the roll and the other is for after we have used the dice.

The setup for District cards to create 2 x 2 is not very clear either. They didn’t say whether we can rotate the card 180 degrees or not.

Another missing part is probably the area for discard pile for the played project cards. Project cards themselves will stay in hand until they are played.

Then the section continues with the Gameplay, which explains the 4 consecutive phases that need to be resolved every round. I think they missed the part about how to handle the Project Cards.

The rule actually says that after playing a Project Card it will go to the discard pile. The player aid actually doesn’t have this part.

From the publisher’s tutorial, we discard the card at the end of phase 2 or project phase. That means, after resolving the actions from the card before the Investment phase.

I think they should also explain each Project cards, specifically each action on the card. While some of them are mostly icons, but a couple have text. There are people who interpreted some actions differently. The component section only explains every part of the card.

I guess, they also miss the part as how to physically handle using the dice to activate actions from either Project cards and quarters. They only say, we can use them, but they didn’t specify, to place them on card or quarter to indicate it is no longer in the pool.

Without a dedicated area, we have to remember whether we have used one or both dice. If we use both and place them together, we might think they are in the pool.

This is also where we can find the WINNING CONDITION or how to win the game. Which is by doing build advanced action from the Residential area. We can also do this from one of the Project cards. While they do have a dedicated section for Game Ends and winning condition, they should have pointed out how to achieve that in general in that section.

There should have been a note as well about we will win the game immediately once we put the Investment Marker on the final building stage. In that case, we only need 1 Investment marker without the need to end the round and put one on quarter.

The last part is the variants for single player mode. This explains the 3 different modes for the basic solo game. Each mode also has their own difficulty setting from easy, normal and hard. The setting is mostly having fewer rounds to complete for higher difficulty.

Basic Mode is just using standard Building Card. The card itself has 2 variants, the A side and the B side and each has 2 difficulty settings. We can just choose one side and one difficulty level.

Extended mode means completing both side of Standard Building Card. We can then choose the difficulty from easy, normal and hard with 25, 22 and 18 rounds respectively.

Challenge mode means using different Building cards, included in the box. Some cards will have extra features not available in the Standard Building card like the order of completing the phase and special bonus for completing specific phase.

Micro City 2nd Edition

2-Player Cooperative Variant (Page 16 – 18). This section starts with the illustration of the setup for the variant on a single page. However, the third page will tell us that there is one more component that we need to add which is the additional Project card.

This project card introduces additional action that is not available in the solo game. For the gameplay itself, there is a small change from the basic rule where every round, players will roll all 4 dice and divide them 2 for each player. Each player will then resolve their turn one after the other, using one set of Project Cards.

2-Player Competitive Variant (Page 19 – 25). The competitive mode will use a lot of extra components. So, the section first explains the Goal Cards, Advantage Cards, Victory Point Cards in addition to the identical set of components for the other player.

There are a couple of rule twists from the basic mode that we may need to find in in any of these subsections. For example, in this mode, if we get an action to remove an investment token, we can choose to remove the opponent’s which is on page 20.

The Advantage card also has a rule that players can only take 1 per round, which is also stated on page 20. From the Victory Point card section, it says about player losing a point, which is mentioned on the page 20 as well in that blue section. There is also a note in the gameplay part.

Player will lose 1 point if they need to place an Investment Token but doesn’t have any. This allows them to retrieve one back from any place and immediately use it.

There is a complete illustration when the game is setup for this mode except for the Player’s score marker. They do mention it in the setup.

Like the basic solo game, this doesn’t show the area for discard pile of the played Project cards. Both players will have their own area and it is important for the gameplay as the cards need to be stacked.

In the gameplay part of this section, there is a couple more twist from the basic rules. For example, players cannot use the same Project card as the same one at the top of the opponent’s discard pile.

In this mode 20 rounds on the round tracker is divided to both players. Each player will move one space during their turn. So, it is actually 20 total turns.

Logistic Expansion (Page 26). This section explains how to use the Logistic expansion district card. There is no extra goals with this expansion and just change one of the quarter with different set of actions.

The icons and the player aid is enough to explain what they do. One missing part that we will have to check the rulebook again is that when using the action to exchange 1 coin to 2 materials, player gets to choose different materials.

Seaport Expansion (Page 27 – 28). This part explains how to include the Seaport District cards in either solo, competitive or cooperative mode. While the section doesn’t specifically say which card is the Seaport cards, like mentioning the code card, the illustrations do the job.

Unlike the other District cards, Seaport has several twists to the rule like when it is upgraded to B side. How the investment token works is different between cooperative and competitive mode.

The card itself has goals like Building cards that we also need to complete to win the game. If we include this, we get extra 10 rounds and 4 extra investment tokens which is not mentioned in the summary.

Another thing is how the figure can access the card which is not that difficult to figure out. These extra rules are not included in the Player Aid sheet so we also need to check this in the rulebook. Player Aid only reminds us the action we can do.

According to this thread, one of the designers said that the extra Investment Markers can only be used for completing Contracts. We cannot use them for the basic purpose from the base game like a different but similar component. The rule didn’t say anything about it.

Garden Expansion (Page 29). This section explains which card is the Garden expansion. There is a bit more restriction when including this expansion card to setup the board.

The Garden quarter must be surrounded completely on all 4 sides, so it is not as flexible. This new quarter doesn’t have any action we can activate as we cannot move figures onto it.

However, there is special benefit if we manage to do certain things with the investment token. Sadly, this is not printed on the Player Aid sheet so we eventually have to open this page to find out.

Rule Summary (Page 30 – 31). This is the summary for standard solo game. The second page of this section is the summary of icons.

Some people might prefer this to be on the last page or back of the rulebook so it will be easier to find. Luckily, they also provided a separate Player aid Sheet which essentially has more information than these 2 pages.

Credits (Page 32). Here we can find the name of the designer, game developer, artist, logo designer, rulebook writer and just the name of publisher on the last page of the rulebook. For just this information, they could have put them on the front cover so that the last page can be utilized for something else.

As I have mentioned above, there are a couple of missing parts that they should have put them in the rulebook. There are not that many discussion threads on the forum but more than half of them were asking about rules clarification.

Just by reading each of them for the first time after playing the game a lot, I still found a couple of rules that I have interpreted differently from the designer.  They don’t affect the game significantly, but a few might affect the overall strategy when playing the game.

Like me, some people might learn the game not from the rulebook but from videos online. But some others may not realize that there will be videos and they will learn just from this incomplete rulebook.

It would have been better if they put like a QR code or links in the rulebook to let people know that they can learn, at least from the publisher’s video. But still, the interpretation issue that I found was more in details.

The thing is that this is a very procedural game. We need to resolve things one by one, step by step, complete one phase before moving to another. What happens between each step and inside each step can be tricky.

Even if we interpret thing differently, the game may work perfectly fine. I found them out because I regularly try to write reviews on games and evaluate the rulebook. Most people who play this game won’t do that.

It is not a big, complex game. Players will get used to the right rule very quickly, if they ever find out some wrong details. So far, there is no update with the rulebook between the digital file and the printed one.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Dice

The first component that I will discuss from Micro City is the Dice which is the only component made of plastic. We get 4 translucent standard D6 with 2 colors, blue and red. The size is about 1.5 cm with rounded corners for easier rolls.

The two colors are actually to support 2 players but mostly for the competitive mode. In that one, each player will take 2 dice. Since there is no trading or stealing from one player to another, the color doesn’t affect the game.

The same goes with size. We can always replace them with standard generic D6 even a smaller one. I don’t recommend using the big one though as we may place them on a card but technically, we can still use bigger D6.

This is also a dice manipulation game. Which means that we will pick the dice up and rotate it to a different face. Smaller dice are usually lighter and easier to get bumped but harder to pick up with big hand. If we want to store replacement dice inside the box, then, there is a limit. Maybe up to 2 cm. The depth from the space inside can go up to 2.5 cm but it will take the space for the other tokens.

If we just play solo, we will only use 2 of these dice. I usually just pick 1 blue and 1 red instead the same color for both. Not sure if it actually helps but, in this game, we will manipulate the dice by adding or subtracting 1 to the face value. I think it is easier to remember if we want to return the dice to the initial roll.

In 2-player cooperative mode, we will use 4 dice together and share the dice equally, ignoring the color.

As the basic gameplay, every round, we will roll 2 dice. These 2 dice can then be used to activate one or both actions from the Project Cards and from the Quarter. Both of them will require specific face value and if we have the dice we gain access to a more powerful action. Otherwise, we have to choose just the basic action from either.

We can of course, just choose one basic of the two and the other as the advanced action, using dice. However, if we choose to not use the dice at all, at the end of our turn, we will gain 1 Coin. So, it’s like if we want to use one, we might as well find a way to use both.

However, the game time is tight. We will end up activate even just one, most of the time, even though it is not the most efficient way.

In this game, the dice face value is not an accumulative value where high value is a better option. Instead, they just represent the options we can do. Which is why, when we try to manipulate the dice, the game allows us to change from 1 to 6 and vice versa.

Manipulating the dice only happens in the first phase of every round. To change a die, we need to spend either 1 of any Material or 2 Coins to add or subtract the value by 1 each.

There is no limit of how many times we want to change the dice in a round except the availability of those resources. We also need to keep in mind that those resources are also useful for other stuffs like winning the game. So, we cannot just be wasteful with them just to change the dice.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Investment Markers

Next, we will discuss the wooden components, starting with the Investment Markers. These are the components that have a shape of a house. We will get 16 of them, eight for each 2 colors, blue and red.

The overall size of the base is 1.2 x 1 cm with 1.5 cm tall. As we can see from the publisher’s tutorial / promotional videos, originally, they use just very standard generic cubes, even a smaller one.

I do think the bigger one makes it easier to pick up. We will do a lot of moving these markers in this game. I don’t think the shape helps me to pick it up.

If we want or need to replace them, we can actually use any other game pieces like tokens, coins, even dice. Since the size and shapes are irrelevant to the gameplay, they don’t have to be the same type of game piece.

Maybe this is a bit tricky when playing competitively where both players will be using their own markers in a shared board. Using a small object, similar to the marker’s size is recommended. For easier pick up, I guess, something that stands or vertical is a better option like meeple or pawns.

For the solo game, we will be using just one set of these or one color. Except when we are playing with the Seaport expansion which requires extra 4 of the unused color.

In the cooperative variant, we still only use one set of 8 markers. It’s just both players can decide how to use them.  In the competitive variant, however, both competing players will only use 5 each.

That means, if we also want to use Seaport for the competitive variant, we can only add 3 unused markers. This is the only way the game uses all of the Investment Markers.

There are two main purposes of Investment Markers. One is to mark the quarter that the Engineer just visited. Until we remove the marker from that quarter, we won’t be able to activate the action of that quarter again.

Whether we choose to activate the quarter’s action or not, we will still place the Investment Marker on that quarter. So, there is a consideration when moving the Engineer.

Over the course of the game, more quarters will be filled with these markers. Through various ways, we have to remove them so we have access again.

In the competitive variant, the investment markers from one player will prevent the opponent to use that same quarter even if there is no figure in that quarter. On the other hand, one player can remove both their own marker or the opponent’s marker.

The second purpose of Investment Markers is to mark off the goal or building stages. In this game, we have to build a building or fulfill a contract. Each building or contract may consist of smaller parts or stages that we can complete separately. Everytime we have completed these smaller parts, we will place one of the Investment markers on that completed spot.

For the first purpose, since placing a marker is mandatory, we will lose the game immediately if we run out of these markers. While for the second one, if we don’t have any marker, we simply cannot do the action of completing goals.

As the game progresses, from 8 starting Investment Markers, a few of them will be placed permanently as part of the goal completions while the rest will be for moving between quarters. The game will be tighter towards the end and it will be more difficult to choose an action freely.

If we do not play efficiently, every round towards the end, we have to pay 2 coins just to remove Investment Marker we recently placed.

This is actually a characteristic of a Worker Placement game like Architects of the West Kingdom. In both games, players will start with a number of workers and slowly losing one by one permanently. It’s just in Micro City, the workers are just markers. The Investment Markers become another resources we need to manage.

The obvious strategy would be to hold off completing the goals and collect the necessary resources first. The limitation or bottleneck would be the number of resources we can keep at a time. We can only have up to 5 of each Materials and 5 Coins. Having more than that the resources will go to waste.

So, after we have reached like 3 or 4, then, maybe it’s a best time to start completing the goals. The game itself doesn’t demand completions of goals early or within certain rounds.

What will prevent us from just completing all goals at the end is that the action to build or complete goals. It is limited by the position of Residential quarters and Project cards.

They are not actions that we can always activate consecutively. There is a process to open the access again before we can repeat the process, including taking back the Investment Markers.

That means, once in a while during resource accumulation process, we need to find the right timing to spend some of the resources to complete the goals.

Retrieving Investment Markers

Managing the availability of Investment Markers is essential to win a game of Micro City. Knowing all of the available options will be helpful. In the competitive mode, one player can also remove the opponent’s marker. This can help open the access to the quarter’s action or the goals again.

There are a couple of ways to retrieve these Markers back.

One. By paying 2 coins or spend 1 any material at the start of the round. That means always have extra resources can be handy for this purpose.
Two. From the quarters, we can remove 2 from the basic action of Logistic quarter. If we don’t use this expansion, there is no option for that from the other quarters.
Three. Some of the actions from Project cards will allow us to remove 1 or 2 Investment Markers. Remove 1 (basic) or 2 (Advanced)  from Project card #1, 1 from both actions of #5. From the #4, we can remove 1 using the Basic action but we can also remove up to 4 using the Advanced action.

From these 3 options, only the first one is the most flexible and can be available at any time. For option 3, it needs careful hand management. While for option 2 itself, we need to make sure that the quarter doesn’t have an investment marker so we can use the action again.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Small Cylinder Markers

The next wooden components in Micro City is these small cylinder markers. There are 11 of them with various colors and icons printed on each. All of them have the same size, which is about 1 cm in diameter and 0.5 cm thickness. The icons are printed only on one side for each.

From those 11, 8 of them will be the Resource Trackers: the brown for wood, gray for steel, black for coal, and yellow for coins. Each of them will form 2 identical sets to support 2 players. We will be using all of them in either cooperative or competitive mode. If we only play solo, we will use only one set.

The white one has a clock icon which will be for Round Tracker. For the last two, the blue and the red are for Victory Point Tracker in competitive mode. The two players will compete to gain the most victory points. We won’t be using these 2 in solo or cooperative mode.

The way we use them is by placing them on the corresponding tracker card. Each card will have numbered spots and we can move the markers, depending on the situation accordingly. I probably will discuss more in the card section of each below.

For me, these markers are probably a bit too small for me. Luckily, we will not be lifting them during the game and just slide them up or down the track. The exception is for the VP markers. Both markers will be in the same track and can be in the same position.

While placing them side by side is possible but it will take over the other spot. It is more reasonable just to stack them. But that means, there is a chance that we have to pick the one on the top just to move the one at the bottom.

Maybe another issue is that it is very easy to lose them. Considering that the selling point of this game is for being portable and we can play the anywhere, losing any of them is possible.

If we just play the solo game, maybe we can use the other set of resource markers. But then, we can no longer play the 2-player variants unless we have some replacements.

The shape doesn’t matter. We can just use generic cubes and even without the same color, they will still work. The exception would be for the VP tracker. Both players will place the markers on the same card tracker.

If we have to replace them, we need to make them different at least by color. Otherwise, we cannot tell which one is which.

The size, however, cannot go way bigger than these cylinders and the reason is the tracker size on the card. They still have extra space like up to 1.5 cm. But if we suddenly bump the table, the bigger marker may move to a different place and we forget where it was.

I personally prefer just cubes because it will be thicker but I understand that maybe the smaller cylinder shapes can cut the cost.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Engineer Figures

These are the 2 pawns or meeples from Micro City. They are both identical except for the color, one red and one blue for 2 players. Just like the other components, we only use one for solo and both for either 2-player variants.

The figures are made of wood, and the overall size is about 1.5 cm wide and 2.3 cm tall with 0.8 cm thickness. While the printed figure shows an engineer character wearing a construction helmet, I don’t think it really fits in the theme or what the players are doing in the game.

In this game, players will be dealing with investment and financial aspect of the project. Financial aspect might be but the investment is usually done by the land or property developer which is outside the contractor. But this is Micro City not a real one.

The way we use the figure is that every round, we will move the figure one or two space orthogonally to the adjacent quarters of the District Cards. So, we will be picking up the figure and move it constantly. The tall shape really helps with that. It has to be taller than the Investment Markers.

The quarter where the figure lands their movement is the one we will activate the action from. That is only if the quarter doesn’t have any Investment marker yet. We can still move the figure to that spot but we cannot do the action from that quarter.

In the competitive mode, both figures will prevent each other from landing on the same quarter. They can still move pass through but not end the movement where the opponent’s figure is.

So, we do need this component to play the game. However, if we lose them, we don’t need to replace them with the exact figure. It can be just another generic pawn or miniature.

The exact shape doesn’t matter but the size, especially the tall one is preferrable. Using non identical figures for both is a must as both figures will be in that shared board.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Round Track and VP Cards

Now we get to the first type of the cards. These are the two cards with 30 spots numbered from 0 to 29. One has a blue color with a clock icon on each spot while the other has a red color with a star icon.

The blue one is the Round Track Card to track the number of rounds in each session. While the red one is the Victory Point Card to track the accumulated VP of the two competing players. We will always use the blue one in every mode of Micro City while the red one only in 2-player competitive mode.

The way we use them in the game is similar. We put the corresponding marker on the starting spot and move it accordingly to the next spot as the game progresses. White or Round Marker on the blue card and both red and blue marker on the VP card.

In both cards, the 30 spots are divided into 5 lines with 6 spots. At a glance, it looks like a snake pattern track but there is no connection between one row or line to another. As we can see the lower number always starts from left to right. Maybe there are people like me, who will make the mistake of assuming it is a snake pattern.

For the Round Tracker, since we will mostly move the marker to lower number, maybe it is not a big deal if we mess up the direction. The problem is with the VP card as there is a chance to both lose and gain points. We can easily lose the track if we move the marker in the wrong direction.

Both cards have two sides which are identical for the same purpose.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Round Track Card

The number of rounds is different based on the Goal or Building cards, difficulty level or game mode. It can be as low as 8 rounds with the medium level of Basic Mode with A side Building card or one of the Challenge mode with hard difficulty.

The highest setting is 25 rounds from the easy level of Extended solo mode. However, if we also play with the Seaport, we also get extra 10 rounds to complete the mission. That means, the total can be 35, which is not supported by the card.

I guess it is not a big deal but from my experience, there were a couple of times when I forgot to move the marker. With the extra rounds that the tracker doesn’t support, it is possible that I will forget whether I have added or not.

I guess I just have to set myself that when I play that requires the extra rounds, I will add them when the marker hits the 0 spot for the first time. One solution is to use the other side of the Round Marker.

In other games, they could have printed a number like 30 on that side to indicates that the marker already or still has 30 left. So, if we have 35 rounds, we use that side and start at number 5 spot. Then, when the marker hit the 0 spot, the game doesn’t end but continues. At the end of next round, we flip the marker and then put it at number 29 of the card.

VP Card

To track the VP of both players in competitive mode, both players will place their Score Marker at number 0 space. So, we will stack both markers. Then, everytime any of them gain VP from the game, the player moves their marker up several space accordingly.

There is a a lot of chance that both players will have the same number of points and stack the markers again. In this game, it is also possible to lose VP, therefore we will be moving the markers backwards. It shouldn’t happen that often though.

I haven’t played the competitive mode a lot. So far, the highest point that one player got in my experience was 21 points. That was without the Seaport. If that is the average amount that player will get, then having 30 spots is enough, even with the Seaport.

Even if we do need more space for more than 30 points, I think the similar solution from the Round tracker can be applied. We can just flip the marker to indicate that the player has gained 30 points stored in that marker. After that, the marker should start over at the 0 spot again.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Company Cards

These are the 2 regular sized cards with 4 tracks with 4 different colors and icons. Each track has 6 spots, numbered from 0 to 5. They are basically tracker for Resources for both 3 Materials and Coins or money.

Each card is identical. They also have two sides which is also identical.

Each player will use one of these cards and put the 4 markers on the corresponding track. The starting materials are 0 for materials and 2 for Coins in every mode of this game. With the exception for the competitive mode, the second player will start with 3 coins instead of 2.

In this game, players will try to gain resources and spend them for various purposes. Some actions allow players to trade between coin and materials or between the 2 materials.

So, they will move up and down the 4 markers constantly. Players cannot have less than 0 or more than 5. Anything over 5 will go to waste. Therefore, the markers will stay on the card and there will be no picking up the markers out of their track during the game.

The 3 materials, Coal, Steel and Wood can be considered equal. None of them is more valuable than the other and they can be spent for the same purposes. What makes them different is the Goal or Building card that may require certain one type of resources more than the other.

The Coin or money, however, can be considered as less valuable than the materials. For example, we can spend one material to change the die value face by 1 while we need two coins for the same purpose. The similar goes with spending them to remove Investment Markers.

Only a few of Goal or Building Cards require Coins for their build phase. Most of them require the materials more.

To gain resources, it is possible from actions of both Project Cards and quarter from the District. Some Project Cards also allow us to spend Coins to gain Materials. At the start of each round, we can also sell any 1 material to gain 1 Coin which is lower ratio than the standard 1 material for 2 coins.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Large Company Cards

The second edition also comes with 2 large version of Company Cards with 90 x 140 mm as the size. They are one of the stretch goals from the Kickstarter campaign.

Instead of just track, the card looks like a warehouse that can store these resources. We can see a couple of trucks, a train line and a few crossing bridges.

How we use them is still the same as the regular version. We will put the 4 markers on each of 4 rows with the corresponding type and move the marker up or down as we gain or spend those resources.

Since now the space for each spot is larger, we don’t have to worry about the marker sliding to a wrong spot if we bump the table or so. The resource tracks part is only in the 3 quarters left portion of the card while the right end is simply just art.

They could have used it for the pointing out the dice pool and dice discard area. So, the tracker can be placed in the middle and they use both ends of the card for those 2 dice areas. Even if the trackers are smaller or even as small as the regular version, it still leaves enough room.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Building Cards

The next type of cards is the Building Cards. These are cards that shows a famous building or real life landmark from around the world on the background. As the foreground, each has several rows with set of resources.

On the forum, the designer shared which real life buildings or landmarks that become the art of these cards. We can read more about it from this thread. From that thread, there is no particular reason why those buildings were chosen other than the designer’s preferences.

I thought maybe there was a thematic connection between the real buildings and the required resources to build or construct. For some, they tried like Eifel Tower requires mostly Steel but the game itself doesn’t have that many varieties anyway.

The game comes with 7 of these. All of the cards are double sided with different art and set collections. One is the basic building for Basic Mode and the other 6 are for the Challenge mode of solo or cooperative game.

As a city building game, these are objectives we need to complete in order to win the game. In each session we will use one of this building, or one side of the card and complete several building stages.

We need to have the required resources printed for each stage and spend them using the BUILD ACTION. Either from Project Cards or from the Quarters, specifically the advanced action from the residential quarter.

Everytime we complete a construction phase of the building, we have to place one of our Investment Marker on the circle next to the row to indicate that we have completed that stage. If we don’t have any free marker, then we simply cannot do the action.

The marker will then stay there until the end of the game. That means, once we have completed any phase, we will lose our flexibility because we have less Investment Markers to place them on quarters. It will force us to use Remove Marker action more often.

Some of the buildings for Challenge Mode will have a number in the construction phase circle. This is an extra requirement that the construction phase must be completed in an ascending order. It definitely will make the game more challenging. If the circle is empty, then we can complete them in any order.

Right below some of the rows for required resources, we can find one extra icon. This is the bonus action that we will get for completing that construction phase. So far, from these 6 cards, there are only 3 different bonus actions.

Buildings for the Challenge mode also have 3 numbers at the top of the card. These are the number of rounds for different difficulty settings. The green one will have the highest number for the easy one, yellow in the middle for normal and the red with the lowest for hard.

I don’t know why they don’t print the similar info for the Basic Building. From the rulebook, The A side of Basic Building is for medium and easy difficulty with 8 and 10 rounds in that order. While the B side is for hard and medium with 12 and 15 rounds.

The rulebook also has suggestion for EXTENDED MODE specifically using just the Basic Building but not the Challenge mode. What it means is we have to complete both A side and B side of the Basic Building in a single game.

We start with the A side and then continue with the B, removing all of the Investment Markers on it. This should be done within 25 rounds for easy, 22 for medium and 18 for hard mode.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Detail of Building Cards

Basic Building – A
Famous Building: none
# of Construction Phases: 4
Completion Order of Phases: No
1st Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood
2nd Phase: 2 Steel
3rd Phase: 2 Wood
4th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Steel
Total Required Resources: 2 Coal, 4 Wood, 3 Steel, 0 Coin

Basic Building – B
Famous Building: none
# of Construction Phases: 4
Completion Order of Phases: No
1st Phase: 2 Wood, 1 Steel, 1 Coin
2nd Phase: 2 Steel, 1 Coal, 1 Coin
3rd Phase: 2 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Coin
4th Phase: 2 Coal, 2 Wood, 2 Steel
Total Required Resources: 5 Coal, 5 Wood, 5 Steel, 3 Coin

Challenge Mode – 1
Famous Building: Airport
Number of Rounds: 11 (Easy), 9 (Medium), 7 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 4
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 2 Wood, 2 Wild
2nd Phase: 2 Wood, 1 Coin (Bonus: Upgrade 1 District)
3rd Phase: 1 Wood, 1 Coin
4th Phase: 1 Wood
Total Required Resources: 6 Wood, 2 Wild, 2 Coin

Challenge Mode – 2
Famous Building: Power Plant
Number of Rounds: 12 (Easy), 10 (Medium), 8 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 4
Completion Order of Phases: No
1st Phase: 3 Coal
2nd Phase: 3 Steel
3rd Phase: 3 Coal
4th Phase: 3 Steel
Total Required Resources: 6 Coal, 6 Steel, 0 Wood, 0 Coin

Challenge Mode – 3
Famous Building: Eifel Tower
Number of Rounds: 12 (Easy), 10 (Medium), 8 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 3
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 1 Steel, 1 Coal (Bonus: Trade 1 Wood to 1 Steel)
2nd Phase: 2 Steel, 1 Coal (Bonus: Trade 1 Wood to 1 Steel)
3rd Phase: 3 Steel, 1 Coal
Total Required Resources: 3 Coal, 6 Steel, 0 Wood, 0 Coin

Challenge Mode – 4
Famous Building: Empire State Building
Number of Rounds: 15 (Easy), 13 (Medium), 10 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 5
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 3 Coins
2nd Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
3rd Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Steel
4th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Steel (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
5th Phase: 3 Coins
Total Required Resources: 2 Coal, 2 Steel, 2 Wood, 6 Coin

Challenge Mode – 5
Famous Building: Palace of Culture and Science
Number of Rounds: 15 (Easy), 13 (Medium), 11 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 5
Completion Order of Phases: No
1st Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Wild
2nd Phase: 1 Steel, 1 Wild, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
3rd Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Wild (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
4th Phase: 2 Steel, 1 Wild, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
5th Phase: 2 Wood, 1 Wild (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
Total Required Resources: 2 Coal, 3 Steel, 4 Wood, 2 Coin, 5 Wild

Challenge Mode – 6
Famous Building: Shaft “Warszawa II” of the mine “Katowice”
Number of Rounds: 10 (Easy), 8 (Medium), 6 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 3
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 4 Wild
2nd Phase: 2 Wood, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
3rd Phase: 2Wood (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
Total Required Resources: 0 Coal, 0 Steel, 4 Wood, 1 Coin, 4 Wild

Challenge Mode – 7
Famous Building: Golden Gate Bridge
Number of Rounds: 15 (Easy), 13 (Medium), 11 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 5
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 2 Wood
2nd Phase: 2 Wood, 2 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
3rd Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood
4th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
5th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Coin
Total Required Resources: 3 Coal, 0 Steel, 6 Wood, 4 Coin, 0 Wild

Challenge Mode – 8
Famous Building: Petronas Tower
Number of Rounds: 16 (Easy), 14 (Medium), 12 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 5
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 3 Steel
2nd Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 2 Coin
3rd Phase: 3 Coin (Bonus: Upgrade 1 District)
4th Phase: 3 Steel
5th Phase: 2 Coin
Total Required Resources: 1 Coal, 6 Steel, 1 Wood, 7 Coin, 0 Wild

Challenge Mode – 9
Famous Building: Hover Dam
Number of Rounds: 15 (Easy), 13 (Medium), 11 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 5
Completion Order of Phases: No
1st Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood
2nd Phase: 3 Coal (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
3rd Phase: 3 Coal, 1 Wood (Bonus: Upgrade 1 District)
4th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
5th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Wood
Total Required Resources: 9 Coal, 0 Steel, 3 Wood, 1 Coin, 0 Wild

Challenge Mode – 10
Famous Building: Wembley Stadium
Number of Rounds: 12 (Easy), 10 (Medium), 8 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 4
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 2 Coal
2nd Phase: 2 Wood
3rd Phase: 2 Coal, 1 Coin
4th Phase: 1 Coal, 1 Coin 
Total Required Resources: 5 Coal, 0 Steel, 2 Wood, 2 Coin, 0 Wild

Challenge Mode – 11
Famous Building: Sydney Opera House
Number of Rounds: 12 (Easy), 10 (Medium), 8 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 4
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 2 Steel, 1 Coin
2nd Phase: 2 Coal, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
3rd Phase: 2 Steel, 1 Coin (Bonus: Retrieve 1 Project Card)
4th Phase: 2 Coal, 1 Coin
Total Required Resources: 4 Coal, 4 Steel, 0 Wood, 4 Coin, 0 Wild

Challenge Mode – 12
Famous Building: Burj Khalifa
Number of Rounds: 16 (Easy), 14 (Medium), 12 (Hard)
# of Construction Phases: 5
Completion Order of Phases: Yes
1st Phase: 1 Steel, 2 Coin
2nd Phase: 2 Steel, 1 Coin
3rd Phase: 1 Coal, 2 Coin (Bonus: Upgrade 1 District)
4th Phase: 1 Coal, 2 Steel
5th Phase: 2 Coin
Total Required Resources: 2 Coal, 5 Steel, 0 Wood, 7 Coin, 0 Wild

From these buildings, the 3 Bonus Actions are Upgrade 1 District, Retrieve 1 Project Card and Trade 1 Wood to 1 Steel. The last one is specific to just one building, which is the Eifel Tower, while the other two can be found in various buildings.

Since all of these bonuses need to be resolved right after completing the construction phase, we have to kind of create the situation where it can be useful. Otherwise, it will go to waste.

For trading, we need to have the Wood before completing the phase. Retrieve 1 Project Card is more flexible as we will use those cards every turn, except when we retrieve them all.

The best use for it probably is after activating the advanced action of the sixth card. We retrieve all cards except the 6th one, and then we use the bonus action to retrieve that 6th card.

However, some of the buildings with this bonus action require completion of construction phase in specific order. Waiting for depleting all hand of cards before activating it, might be not as helpful as in theory.

The same goes with Upgrading 1 District bonus. Of course, the most efficient way is to wait until all 4 quarters have Investment Markers before flipping the District. But it is very unlikely that it will happen. It’s more like just choose the District with the most Investment Markers when we have access to this bonus.

Of course, it kind of encourages players to plan ahead. Like either completing the phase now or in the next round. In that case, then, maybe we can take advantage of it. But if it involves several turns ahead, waiting for the right time is not the right way to play. We will be racing against limited time and we won’t have enough time.

Even in that small window chance, we first need to have enough resources to make us flexible enough. That way, we can change die face or remove markers by spending resources.

So, the overall strategy to accumulate resources first before start building is still in play.  These bonuses just slightly change about the material we should collect or the quarter and its position we should place the investment marker first.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Player Aid Cards

The game also comes with 2 Player Aids, one for each player. They are identical cards with two sides. One side will tell us about all of the icons we will find in this game. All of these can be found on the second to last page of the rulebook. They are also in the large Player Sheet.

The other side of the card will tell us the different difficulty setting for BASIC MODE and EXTENDED MODE, the shorter info from rulebook page 14. This card doesn’t say that we have to start with the A side then flip to the B side. No reminder that we will remove the Investment markers when flipping to the B side.

I personally think that these 2 cards are unnecessary. At least, we don’t need two cards. They could have used the second card for something else like the Competitive and Cooperative mode since they try to support both players while the player aid is more about solo play.

I didn’t even remember that these cards exist since I will always just use the Large Player Aid or just the Rulebook. A reminder for different difficulty setting like the Basic mode and Extended mode is handy but for setup, which I need just once per session. On the other hand, there are other things that I need to constantly check during the gameplay and that is what needs to be in this player aid.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Large Player Sheet

The size is the same as other large sheet, which is 90 x 140mm. This one has also two sides. One side for the general gameplay turn but for the solo or basic mode. There is no reminder about the other variant or game mode. The same information can be found in the third last page of the rulebook.

The other side has two parts. On the right end of that side, we can find the 15 icons just like in the Player Aid cards. The left side will tell us about the different types of the quarters, including Logistics and Seaport. Some minor corrections for the Logistic, the card will say advanced action while it is supposed to have 2 Basic Actions.

Other than those, the sheet is filled with several objects of architectural drawing tools like pencil, ruler, eraser.

This is actually the Player Aid that I always use in my plays. If I can have two, this should be the one as I need the information of both sides. While I can just flip the sheet, I ended up opening rulebook page 10 and 11 while looking at the reminder for icons in this sheet.

The rulebook, not the summary part actually explains things further about each section. Like we can spend resources to remove Investment Markers multiple times, which is not stated in the summary. I think I need those details and I don’t see why they cannot put them in the Player Aid Sheet.

The summary on the Player Aid is helpful when we already know perfectly all of the rules. But for someone like me who plays the game like once every month, those details are the one I need to keep checking from time to time.

If I have to dig through the rulebook to look for those kind of details and the rulebook page can provide a complete info better than the Player Aid, there is no use for the Player Aid.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Goal Cards and Advantage Cards

I probably can discuss these 2 separately but both of them have the same back of the cards. On the back we can see two people wearing a construction helmet discussing a blueprint, presumably for a building.

If we look at the front side, one of them will have a rather brown background while the other one has white background. The Brown ones are ADVANTAGE CARDS while the white ones are GOAL CARDS. We will use these two only in 2-player competitive mode.

The Advantage cards have two parts. The top half will have an artwork of architectural drawings and the tools while the bottom one will have an objective.

Players can try to fulfill the objective and will be awarded with the amount of VP stated by the card. Whoever manage to do that first can claim the card, preventing the other player from doing so.

All 10 Advantage cards will be used in every competitive game of Micro City. However, only 2 will be revealed at a time while the rest are in face down deck. Everytime a player fulfills the objective and take the card, a new one will be revealed from the face down deck of these card.

The number of points we can get from the cards are between 1 to 3 points each. As for the objectives, they are about the player’s current situation that can happen at any time during the game. For example, having a number of materials or exactly 5 of 1 material type or no investment markers on the district.

So, if the player can push their progress to be in that situation, they will gain advantage. The cards are shuffled and randomly revealed. It is possible that both players will not be able to fulfill any of them and they get stuck with those 2 cards for a couple of rounds. The game has no way to discard or cycle them automatically.

Some of the objectives are fairly easy. Players will get there eventually while some others will force players to focus on reaching that objective.

I do think these Advantage cards will make the competitive game more dynamic with how random the 2 cards will come out. Considering that the game is about being efficient in managing resources and the action, it is possible to always play the game in the same way. These could spice things up.

The Goal Cards are to replace the Building cards in competitive game. Similar to Building Cards, each Goal card will have 3 sets of resources in various amount. Players can use the Build action to fulfill each set.

The set will also show a number that represents the VP for completing that row. In every session, we will use only 3 random Goal Cards, which means there will be 9 sets of resources.

The difference is from the Building Cards and solo game, the competitive mode won’t end after all of the sets have been completed. In fact, players can try to repeat the process, fulfill the objective again and gain the same VP.

However, it can only be done again if there is no Investment Marker on that set from any player. Players will have to remove the Investment markers first to fulfill again.

What makes it interesting is that both players can also remove their opponent’s marker. While it will help the opponent in some way, but we do need to gain access to the Goals again.

The number of points we will get from each Goal set is between 1 up to 4 points. Goals with lesser points usually require easier set like just 2 materials but any materials. While those that will give 4 require like 3 materials of different types or 3 coins plus 3 any materials.

While each card with 3 sets of Goal will have a unique combination, but the varieties between sets might not be that different. Considering that the sets are revolved around just 3 different materials and Coin.

For example, I can see 6 cards that requires a set of 2 materials for 2 points as the first goal. Or 2 materials plus 1 coin for 3 points as the second, which is also appears in 6 cards.

For those, it means, if one player manages to occupy one set, there is a good chance we can occupy the other with just slightly different variants. That leaves us just 2 other Goal cards that we can consider totally different sets.

At least those 6 cards still have 3rd sets that are different from one to another. I guess the replay value is not that high from Goal cards.

Neither of Goal and Advantage cards have a number for each variant. It will be more difficult to discuss which card exactly.  But more details about each card below.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Detail of Advantage Cards

Advantage Card #1
VP: 1
Objective: Have 9 Materials of your choice.

Advantage Card #2
VP: 1
Objective: Upgrade a District.

Advantage Card #3
VP: 1
Objective: If you don’t have any Investment markers on any District cards in any of the final 10 rounds.

Advantage Card #4
VP: 2
Objective: Have Investment markers on a commercial and residential quarters.

Advantage Card #5
VP: 2
Objective: Have your Investment markers on every Goal cards.

Advantage Card #6
VP: 2
Objective: Have your Engineer on a commercial Quarter and an Investment marker on a different commercial quarter.

Advantage Card #7
VP: 3
Objective: Have your Investment markers on 3 different types of Quarters.

Advantage Card #8
VP: 3
Objective: Have 5 of the same Material.

Advantage Card #9
VP: 3
Objective: Have 3 of your Investment markers on any Goal Card.

Advantage Card #10
VP: 3
Objective: Have Investment markers on 4 District cards.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Detail of Goal Cards

Goal Card #1
1st Goal: 2 Coal, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Wood, 1 Steel, 1 Coin, 3 VP
3rd Goal: 1 Wild, 1 Coin, 1 VP

Goal Card #2
1st Goal: 2 Steel, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Wood, 1 Coal, 1 Coin, 3 VP
3rd Goal: 4 Coin, 2 VP

Goal Card #3
1st Goal: 1 Wood, 1 Coal, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Coal, 1 Steel, 1 Coin, 3 VP
3rd Goal: 1 Wild, 2 Coin, 2 VP

Goal Card #4
1st Goal: 1 Wood, 1 Steel, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Coin, 3 VP
3rd Goal: 3 Wild, 3 Coin, 4 VP

Goal Card #5
1st Goal: 1 Coal, 1 Steel, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Wood, 1 Steel, 1 Coin, 3 VP
3rd Goal: 4 Wild, 3 VP

Goal Card #6
1st Goal: 3 Wild, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Wood, 1 Steel, 1 Coal, 4 VP
3rd Goal: 2 Coin, 1 VP

Goal Card #7
1st Goal: 1 Wild, 1 Coin, 1 VP
2nd Goal: 2 Wild, 1 VP
3rd Goal: 5 Coin, 3 VP

Goal Card #8
1st Goal: 2 Wood, 2 VP
2nd Goal: 1 Coal, 1 Steel, 1 Coin, 3 VP
3rd Goal: 2 Coin, 1 VP

Micro City 2nd Edition

Project Cards

These are cards with a blue background on the front side, which is supposed to resemble blueprints. On the back it will have the logo of the game.

There are 13 Project Cards that come in the box to support the 2 players. Each player will get an identical set of 6 cards to play competitively and one card is specific for cooperative mode only.

The 6 cards from each set will be unique from each other, denoted by the die value at the bottom left corner from 1 to 6. In this hand management game, player can play one of these each turn. After played, the card will stay in the discard pile until the player choose to retrieve them back with a cost of 1 turn.

Until then, the player will have to play the remaining cards in their hand. These encourage player to plan ahead several turns. Otherwise, either they will get stuck with the wrong card or waste a turn just to retrieve. If we choose to wait, it may take up to 5 or 6 turns before we have access to the card again.

Project Cards are also multipurpose cards as they have several features on the front side. Each time we play the card, we have to consider how to utilize most if not all of those features.

Starting from the top left corner, we will see a head figure of the Engineer as an icon, followed by a number. This will determine the number of spaces or quarters that the Engineer will move on the District.

The number is always either 1 or 2 and it has to be that amount. Moving back to where the Engineer starts is not allowed for the 2 spaces. Engineers can also only move diagonally.

The next part of the card is the art, which shows orthographic drawings of a building from its front view side.  Each card, of course, shows different kind of buildings like house, office, factory, but they serve nothing to the gameplay.

At the bottom of the card, we will see 2 rows. These are the 2 actions we can choose one to do if we play the card. The first row is the BASIC ACTION while the second row with a die value is the ADVANCED ACTION.

To use the Advanced action we need to spend a die with the required value. Otherwise, we only have access to the basic one. Most of them, the Advanced action is a better version of the Basic action of the same card. However, a few of them is a totally different action that we may not need at the moment.

Some cards also share the similar Basic Action but each may give different extra benefit. The multiple features will make a tough choice for players to choose. What will help us to decide which card to use first or later is usually the Advanced Action.

As I said, there is one Project card that we will only use in the cooperative mode. This one has no specific die value to activate the Advanced Action. However, both Basic Action and Advanced action are similar and unique from the rest of the Project cards.

This one allows players to exchange any 1 Material with each other. The Advanced one has extra benefit of retrieving 2 Project cards.

In the competitive mode, there is another restriction as how we can play the card. Players cannot play the same card as the one at the top of the opponent’s discard pile. Which means, the last card that the opponent just played.

I guess, if we do not play careful enough, we might have to retrieve the cards early since we cannot or choose not to play the remaining cards. Usually, we can try to prevent the other player for playing some cards but in my experience, it also depends on the dice.

It may be easier to predict and block the opponent when there is only one or 2 cards remaining.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Detail of Project Cards

Project Card #1
Movement: 1 space
Basic Action: Remove 1 Investment Marker from any area.
Advanced Action: Remove 2 Investment Markers from any Area.

Project Card #2
Movement: 1 space
Basic Action: Set 1 die to any value.
Advanced Action: Don’t move the Time Marker this round OR Gain 1 Coin and 1 of any Material.

Project Card #3
Movement: 2 spaces
Basic Action: Exchange 1 Coin to 1 of any Material.
Advanced Action: Spend 1 Coin to do Build Action.

Project Card #4
Movement: 2 spaces
Basic Action: Remove 1 Investment Marker from any area OR gain 1 of any Material.
Advanced Action: Upgrade 1 District (Flip to Side B), remove all Investment Markers from it. This doesn’t have to be the District where the Engineer is on.

Project Card #5
Movement: 1 space
Basic Action: Spend 3 Coins for 2 of any Materials AND remove 1 Investment marker from any area.
Advanced Action: Spend 2 Coins for 2 of any Materials AND remove 1 Investment Marker from any area.

Project Card #6
Movement: 1 space
Basic Action: Gain 2 Coin OR 1 of any Material.
Advanced Action: Gain 2 Coin OR 1 of any Material AND Retrieve all Project Cards apart from this one.

Project Card #7
Movement: 2 spaces
Basic Action: Exchange 1 of any Material with the other Player.
Advanced Action: Use die with any value to exchange 1 of any Material with the other Player AND retrieve 2 Project Cards (apart from this one).

Micro City 2nd Edition

District Cards

This should be the last type of components of Micro City, the District Cards. These are the cards with 4 quadrants each. They look like a map of a city grid with interconnecting roads and 4 city blocks.

In this game, we will use at least 4 of these cards to create the map of Micro City in 2 x 2 grid. That means the city will have 4 x 4 grid or 16 blocks. So, they are like Modular Boards but with cards.

We can only place the card so the long side of each card are next to each other. The rulebook doesn’t say but the designer said on the forum that we can also rotate each card 180 degrees but not in 90 or 270 degrees,

Each card also has A side and B side but the B side is just the upgraded version of the A-side. We will always start with the A-side and upgrading any or all of them is up to the players.

The base game has 4 basic District cards. These cards are numbered 1 to 4, at the center of the card next to the letter either A or B. This second edition also comes with 4 more cards of these which include new quarters from the expansion. For these, they are numbered from 5 to 9.

However, from cards #5 to #7 with the Logistic quarter, we can only use one of them, and replace one of the basic District cards (#1 – #4). I guess #8 can be considered as another basic District.

Similar goes with #9 with the Garden expansion. The rule only said about replacing one basic District card but nothing about mixing them with any of the Logistic.

There is also one last expansion with kind of similar to District Cards and that is the Seaport expansion. For this one, we will get District cards #10 and #11. However, instead of replacing one of the Basic District, we will use both of them, in addition to the cards that form the 2 x 2 grid.

When playing this game, we will start by placing the Engineer in one of the quarters. Each round, we will move the Engineer between quarters up to 2 spaces, depending on the Project cards.

The movement can only happen orthogonally, not diagonally. They also don’t wrap up, so we need to move inward to reach the opposite end. This means, the quarters on the corner have fewer adjacent quarters than those on the edge which are also fewer than quarters in the middle.

After the movement, whichever quarter the Engineer is landed on we can activate the action of that quarter. However, the quarter must be available for actions or without any Investment marker.

In this game, time is valuable and we will try to maximize the action we can do every turn. Not being able to do the action from the quarter is a waste of turn. This is why we need to plan ahead one or two turns to make sure that we can do at least two actions if not all the Advanced variants.

With that in mind, if we move the Engineer to the corner, we have to make sure that the adjacent quarters are free to take action or we need to move 2 spaces in the next round. The game itself offers enough option to remove the Investment markers.

This can be spending coins or materials at the start of each round. It is still inefficient but, in some cases, maybe better than not.

Whether we activate the action from the quarters or not, we have to place an Investment Marker at the end of our turn.  So, it’s not like we don’t activate it now, hoping to go back to that quarter again in 2 turns to activate it later. Which is why we will always try to activate them anyway.

With the upgrading part, we have to flip the District card in the middle of the game. Since it will remove the Investment markers, upgrading is a good idea mechanically and strategically. Maybe a bit issue with the Engineer as we have to return the meeple on the same quarter of the flip side. It is not that hard to remember though but forgetting is possible.

Each quarter itself is big enough to be occupied by the Meeple and the Investment marker. It will not have more than those two even with 2 players. The Engineer cannot end the turn on the same quarter as the opponent’s or the other player’s Engineer.

Same goes when trying to activate the action from quarters. The Investment Markers of the opponent or other player will prevent from any subsequent activation.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Quarters

Each card has 4 quarters or city blocks. The quartres can be one of 3 different building types from the base game. The building types are either Residential (Red), Commercial (blue), and Industrial (which can be green, gray or yellow).

While the color and the action we can do from each type remains the same but all quadrants of all cards, will have unique art. Some can have multiple buildings and the rest will show only one building as the art, which doesn’t affect the gameplay.

At the top corner of each quarter, we will see the action we can do if we move the Engineer and land on that quadrant. The action from each quadrant has 2 variants, either the Basic Action and the Advanced Action.

For Commercial and Industrial quarters, the Advanced action is simply the better version of their Basic. Industrial is to generate one type of the 3 materials and the Commercial is to exchange those materials.

It is a bit different for Residential. The basic is to generate money and the Advanced action is for the Build action to complete objectives and win the game.

At the bottom of each quarter, we can see the dice symbols with specific value. This indicates the value of dice we can use to activate the Advanced action of that quarter.

Most of them only has one die but a few will have two values which we can choose just one. When the District is upgraded, usually each quarter will unlock a second or third die value as optional requirement.

As a general rule, when upgraded the first die value requirement will appear again. And the second or third die value on the upgraded side is usually plus 1 of the first die value requirement.

As an example, if the initial requirement on A-side is the value of 6, then on the upgraded, that quarter may require a 6 and a 1. Some will have a 5 and 6 instead of plus 1 of the initial. So, there is a pattern to help us predict what’s on the other side.

I don’t think we necessary need to kind of make a guess. Like after we upgrade the District, maybe we want to use the second die to activate the quarter. We can just pick the card and check to make sure after we flip, we can use the die.

The problem is of course, the District card may already have some Investment Markers. Knowing that pattern then can help minimize it. I do think knowing the information is crucial. Sometimes we can choose to go the other way and activate a different quarter because we don’t have that specific die and no resource to change it.

This issue is even more irrelevant if we have those resources. Just spend it and change the value. Since the number of quarters are limited to just 16 in 4 cards, with 3 types of buildings, not every die value will be represented in all type of quadrants.

For example, if we use the Basic District cards #1 to #4, there are only 2 Industrial areas to produce Coal. From those 2, even when upgraded, value 3 and 4 cannot be used in either of them.

For Steel, 4 and 5 is inaccessible. Wood is even less as we can only use 3, 4 and 5. For all industrial quarters, there are only 2 for each material in those 4 Basic cards.

Residential has 6 so all die values can be used. Commercial has 4 but we can also use all die values.

So, it is safer to gain more materials from Commercial than just from Industrial area. We only need one material and then we can work from that.

For the 3 Logistic Cards, the combination is always the same. One Logistic quarter, one residential, one commercial and any of the material industrial. Replacing one of the Basic District with one of the Logistic can kind of ruin the balance.

But the Logistic itself allows us to buy 2 materials with 1 coin which is very good deal. Because usually 1 Material is worth 2 Coins. So, Logistic probably will make the game way easier.

While the game comes with 3 Logistic Card, we can only use one of them at a time, replacing one of the Basic District Cards. Even those 3 Logistic cards seem to be very similar. The difference is just each card has different Industrial quarter.

That one Garden card (#9) is an interesting one. We cannot move Engineer to it so it will be a huge block, especially, if we place so that the quarter is in the middle of the city grid.

However, with more quarters surrounding the Garden, it will give more benefit. For each Investment Marker on adjacent quarter to the Garden, the player will gain 1 Coin. That can be huge but as I said, we probably need to move the Engineer farther if the Garden is in the middle.

The chances are, we will also need to remove Investment markers from the surroundings eventually because we need to do action from the quarter. If the Garden is at the corner, then we probably can just leave the 2 surrounding quarters left after placing the marker for the rest of the game.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Seaport Cards

These 2 cards are a bit different from the other District cards. If we play with the Seaport Expansion, we will use both cards. Instead of replacing one of the 4 Basic District, we will add them to the left side of the 2 x 2 grid and make a 3 by 2 grid. So, they are more like extensions to the city which makes the game different.

The art themselves depicts seaports not a city block. One with smaller boats while the other one has significantly bigger ship. They look very nice, especially because instead of 4 blocks or quarters, each card is one big Seaport block.

This of course, affect the gameplay, specifically how the Engineer can move to and out of it. Each of the Seaport block can be accessed from the two adjacent quarters of the Micro City.

While both Seaport blocks are next to each other, we cannot move the Engineer without going to the quarter. With that rule, we technically can put the 2 Seaports on different sides of the city, one on the left and one on the right, rotating 180 degrees on the right. But the rule only mentioned one possible setup.

Since we always have to use both, they don’t give much replay value. We can still switch the card in either row, though.

These two have the same purpose as the other District cards where Engineer can move to it and activate an action. On the other hand, it also serves like another Goal or Building Cards.

It will show the set of resources we need to deliver and there are 2 on each card. If we play solo or cooperative, we also need to fulfill those 4 in order to win, in exchange of additional game rounds.

Unlike the goals from building, if we want to fulfill these Contracts, we need to move the Engineer to the Seaport and activate the action there. So, we cannot just do the build action in any quarter.

The Seaport cards have something better compared to the District Cards. We can also upgrade the card and flip them. The difference is that while the upgraded side also has more dice to activate the action, but for the basic action, it will be more powerful.

With the A-side, we can exchange any 1 Material for 2 Coins. The B or upgraded side allows us to exchange 1 Materials for 3 Coins and we can also retrieve one of the Project Card. It is a huge benefit while upgrading District cards is only good for removing the markers. There is no reason not to upgrade Seaport.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Details of Each Quarter Type

Here are the details of actions from each Building type.

Industrial (Green, Gray, Yellow)
Basic Action: Gain 1 Material of the corresponding type.
Advanced Action: Gain 2 Materials of the corresponding type.

Commercial (Blue)
Basic Action: Exchange 1 Material for 1 Material of a different type and gain 1 Coin.
Advanced Action: Exchange 1 Material for 2 Materials of a different type and gain 1 Coin. The two materials can be the same or different types.

Residential (Red)
Basic Action: Gain 2 Coins.
Advanced Action: Perform a Build Action.

Logistic (Purple)
Basic Action 1: Retrieve 2 Investment Markers from any area.
Basic Action 2: Exchange 1 Coin for 2 Materials. The two materials can be from the same or different types.

Seaport
Basic Action: Exchange 1 Material for 2 Coins. If upgraded, gain 3 coins instead and retrieve 1 Project Card.
Advanced Action: Complete a Contract.

Garden
Action: No Action. The Engineer cannot move through or land on Garden quarter.
Bonus: If the player has 2 or more Investment Markers on quarters surrounding the Garden, the player gains 1 Coin during Final Phase.

Detail of District Cards

District Card #1 (Basic)
1st Quarter: Industrial (Coal), Die Value: 1 / 1, 2
2nd Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 5, 6 / 4, 5, 6
3rd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 3 / 3,4
4th Quarter: Industrial (Steel), Die Value: 2 / 2, 3

District Card #2 (Basic)
1st Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 1, 2 / 1, 2, 3
2nd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 2 / 3
3rd Quarter: Industrial (Steel), Die Value: 5 / 5, 6
4th Quarter: Industrial (Wood), Die Value: 4 / 4, 5

District Card #3 (Basic)
1st Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 4 / 4, 5, 6
2nd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 1 / 1, 2
3rd Quarter: Industrial (Wood), Die Value: 3 / 3, 4
4th Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 6 / 1, 6

District Card #4 (Basic)
1st Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 4 / 4, 5
2nd Quarter: Industrial (Steel), Die Value: 6 / 1, 6
3rd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 5 / 5, 6
4th Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 3 / 1, 2, 3

District Card #5 (Logistic)
1st Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 1, 2 / 1, 2, 3
2nd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 3 / 3, 4
3rd Quarter: Industrial (Wood), Die Value: 4 / 4, 5
4th Quarter: Logistic, Die Value: Any

District Card #6 (Logistic)
1st Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 1, 2 / 1, 2, 3
2nd Quarter: Industrial (Steel), Die Value: 6 / 5, 6
3rd Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 3 / 3, 4
4th Quarter: Logistic, Die Value: Any

District Card #7 (Logistic)
1st Quarter: Industrial (Coal), Die Value: 1 / 1, 2
2nd Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 3 / 3, 4
3rd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 6 / 5, 6
4th Quarter: Logistic, Die Value: Any

District Card #8 (Basic)
1st Quarter: Industrial (Any), Die Value: 1 / 1
2nd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 2 / 3, 4
3rd Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 3, 4 / Any
4th Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 5, 6 / Any

District Card #9 (Garden)
1st Quarter: Garden, Die Value: No Action
2nd Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 1 / 1, 2
3rd Quarter: Commercial, Die Value: 3 / 3, 4
4th Quarter: Residential, Die Value: 6 / 5, 6

District Card #10 (Seaport)
Die Value: 4, 5 / 4, 5, 6
1st Contract: 2 Wild, 1 Coin (1 VP)
2nd Contract: 4 Wild, 1 Coin (3 VP, Bonus: 1 Wild)

District Card #11 (Seaport)
Die Value: 1, 2 / 1, 2, 3
1st Contract: 1 Coal, 1 Wood, 1 Steel, 2 Coin (4 VP, Bonus: 1 Wild))
2nd Contract: 3 Wild, 1 Coin (2 VP, Bonus: 1 Wild)

That is all of the components from second edition box. Now, we can learn how to play Micro City, using them.

Micro City 2nd Edition

How to Play

Micro City (Second Edition) can be played with one or up to 2 players. It is originally a solo only game but with this edition, we can also play the game cooperatively or competitively.

The cooperative mode is almost similar to solo but a twist to support both players. While the competitive version is a bit different.

This next video is the official tutorial to play the solo mode of Micro City by the publisher. More videos below for the other modes.

Setup

1st. Place 4 BASIC DISTRICT CARDS (#1 – #4) and place them on the table to form a grid of 2 x 2 board. All cards should have their A-Side face up and in a way that the side with the same length from each card are touching. This means, it can either in the vertical orientation or rotate them 180 degrees.

If we play with the District Cards from the Logistic expansion (#5 – #7), we can only use one of them to replace one of the Basic District. Similar goes with District Cards #8 and #9, we have to replace one of the Basic District.

If we play with the Seaport Cards, we will use both cards (#10 and #11) and create a third row on the left side of the 2 x 2 grid.

2nd. Place the ENGINEER FIGURE on a quarter from the 2 x 2 grid of our choice.

3rd. Place the 8 INVESTMENT MARKERS to form a pool. If we play with the Seaport expansion, we also use 4 of the unused markers.

4th. Place a COMPANY CARD and place RESOURCE MARKERS on each track. The starting resource should be 0 for all Materials and 2 for Coins. Leave some space to both ends of this card, one for the DICE POOL and the other for the SPENT DICE.

5th. Pick a BUILDING CARD and place it on the table with the desired side up. For the first game, it is recommended to use A-side of the Basic Building Card.

6th. Place the ROUND TRACKER CARD on the table and place the ROUND MARKER on the spot corresponding to the chosen difficulty level. For easy difficulty, place it on spot number 10. If we play with the Seaport Expansion, add 10 rounds.

7th. Take 2 DICE of one color and place it next to the Building Card.

8th. Take a set of 6 PROJECT CARDS. We will also need a space for discard pile.

That’s the setup and we are ready to play Micro City.

Gameplay

The game is played over a number of rounds based on the setting from the chosen Building cards. Each round consists of 4 consecutive phases: PREPARATION, PROJECT, INVESTMENT and FINAL phase.

If we haven’t lost the game after completing all of the phases above, we will start a new round and start the Preparation phase again. The game ends with a lost if the Round Marker reaches spot 0 or when player has to place an Investment Marker on the board but doesn’t have one.

We win the game immediately after completing the last stage of the building.

Preparation Phase

At the start of this phase, we roll both dice and without changing the result, place them on the Dice Pool area. Before proceeds to the next phase, there are 3 things we can do.

One. We can change the dice value either +1/-1 by spending either 1 of any Material or 2 Coins. This can be performed multiple times on both dice.

Two. We can remove one of the Investment Marker on one of the Quarter and place it back to the pool.  To do that, we need to spend either 1 of any Materials or 2 Coins. This can be done multiple times.

Three. We can sell 1 of the Materials for 1 Coin. Just adjust the position of resource markers on the Company card accordingly. This can also be done multiple times.

After this, we can proceed to the Project Phase.

Project Phase

In this one, we can choose to either play 1 of the Project Cards in hand or Retrieve All Project Cards from the discard pile. For either action, we need to resolve a couple of steps.

For Playing a Project Card, first, we move the Engineer a number of space orthogonally indicated by the played Project card. This can be either 1 or 2 spaces. After that, we can either perform the BASIC ACTION or the ADVANCED ACTION of the played Project Card.

To perform the Advanced Action, we need to have the dice with the corresponding value stated by the card in our Dice Pool. We take the dice and move it to the right side of the Company Card to indicate that we have spent that dice.

After that we can resolve the action as stated by the card. Then, we put the card in the discard pile.

For the second option, we can Retrieve Project Cards. First, we move the Engineer 1 quarter to adjacent space. Then, we can take all Project Cards from the discard pile back to our hand.

In this phase, we can perform BUILD ACTION using Advanced action from Project Cards #3.  If we complete the final stage of the Building cards, with this action, we win the game immediately.

After resolving all of the steps from either option, if we haven’t won the game yet, we proceed to the Investment Phase.

Investment Phase

In this phase, we can activate one of the action from the quarter where the Engineer is standing on. However, only if there is no Investment Marker on that quarter yet. If there is, we have to skip this phase.

There are two actions from each quarter: Basic Action and Advanced Action. Like Advanced action from Project Card, we need unused dice from the Dice pool with the matching value as stated by the quarter to activate the Advanced action.

If we don’t have the die, then we can only perform the Basic Action. Activating any of the action is optional but even if we don’t activate it, we still have to place Investment Marker at the end of the phase.

Depending on the type or colors of the quarters, these are the actions we can do. These are the 3 types from the Basic District Cards.

Industrial (Green, Gray, Yellow)
Basic Action: Gain 1 Material of the corresponding type.
Advanced Action: Gain 2 Materials of the corresponding type.

Commercial (Blue)
Basic Action: Exchange 1 Material for 1 Material of a different type and gain 1 Coin.
Advanced Action: Exchange 1 Material for 2 Materials of a different type and gain 1 Coin. The two materials can be the same or different types.

Residential (Red)
Basic Action: Gain 2 Coins.
Advanced Action: Perform a Build Action. This action cannot be done if there is no free Investment Marker available.

In this phase, we can perform BUILD ACTION using Advanced action from any of the Residential quarter.  If we complete the final stage of the Building cards, with this action, we win the game immediately.

If we haven’t won the game already, we proceed to the Final Phase.

Final Phase

In this phase, there are 3 steps.

One. If there is no Investment Marker on the Quarter your Engineer is standing on, take 1 from the pool and place it on that quarter. We cannot use or move markers from other quarters or Building Card.

Removing them must be done during the Preparation phase prior to this. If we have no free Investment Marker at this point, the game ends immediately in a loss.

Two. Move the Round Marker one space on Round Track Card to the lower value. If the marker reaches spot 0, the game ends immediately in a loss.

Three. If we have 2 Dice in the Dice Pool, we gain 1 Coin. That means we haven’t used any of them for any advanced action from either Project Card or quarter.

If we haven’t lost the game after resolving this Final Phase, we will start a new round with the Preparation Phase again.

Build Action and End of the Game

This is an action that we can perform during either Project Phase or Investment Phase. Build Action is to complete a Building Stage from the Building Card once we have the required set of resources.

We have to spend the resources, adjust them on Company card accordingly. After that, we have to mark the completed stages by placing the Investment Marker next to that stage from the Building Card.

Each building will have multiple stages. Some can be completed in any order and some others require completion in ascending order. At this point, if we do not have any Investment Marker, we simply cannot activate the action.

Keep in mind that while we can place the Investment Marker on the Building card, if we don’t leave one at the end of the round to place on quarter, we lose the game. Unless that is the final stage of the Building, in which we win the game immediately. We don’t need to have that 1 last investment marker during Final Phase.

As stated on the Final Phase, we lose the game immediately if we fail to place an Investment Marker on empty quarter during Final Phase or if the timer reaches space 0.

That is it with how to play Micro City in solo mode.

2-Player Cooperative Mode

To play this game cooperatively with one other player, the rule is similar to the solo variant.  Both players will use just 1 set of Project Cards, one set of 8 Investment Markers. For Project Cards, we will also use the 7th card with any Dice value.

The differences are, instead of 2 dice we will use 4. Both players will also use  their own Company Cards, collect their own resources that they cannot exchange between players, unless they use that 7th Project Card.

Each player will move their own Engineer figure and activate action from the quarter. Both figures can start on the same quarter. We will use one and the same chosen Building Card and work together to complete its multiple stages.

Each round, players will resolve all 4 phases similar to solo mode. During Preparation phase, players roll 4 dice and divide them into 2 that players will use separately. Like in solo mode, they can choose to change the dice value by spending resources before they divide the dice.

After that, the rest of 3 phases will be resolved by each player separately, starting with the first player until the final phase, then the second player can resolve. That means, at the end of the round, both players will move the timer twice in total. The number of rounds is similar to the solo mode setting.

During Project Phase, the 1st player can choose to play one of the Project cards still in play, not discarded, resolve it like in solo mode. At the end of the final phase of the 1st player, that 1st player will hand over the remaining Project cards to the second player.

Then later, during final phase of the 2nd player, 2nd player will hand over the rest of the Project cards again back to the 1st.

The Investment phase is exactly the same as in solo mode. Since the 2nd player can end their figure on the same quarter, then that second figure may not be able to use the quarter’s action if Investment marker is there. The final phase is the same as in solo mode and both players can end the game in loss.

They can gain 1 Coin based on the dice on their own Dice Pool not collectively. Here is the official tutorial video from the publisher about the Cooperative mode in Micro City.

2-Player Competitive Mode

This one differs significantly from the solo mode. Both players will compete to gain the most Victory Points to win the game within 20 total rounds. So, the first difference is that players will use VP Card and their own Marker to track points.

Each player will use their own set of 6 Project cards, Company Cards and resources, 5 (not 8) Investment Markers, 1 Figure and 2 Dice.  Setting the board with District cards remains the same with 2 x 2 grid and all A-side at the start. First player starts with 2 Coins while the 2nd player starts with 3.

Players will take turns, resolving their own 4 phases. That means, each player will move the Round marker once at the end of their turn and both will get 10 rounds each.

Players also cannot end their Figure movement on the same quarter as their opponent’s. When playing a Project Card, the active player cannot choose the same card as the one on the opponent’s discard pile.

Players also can only use the action from quarters if there is no Investment marker on it from either player. The active player can remove their opponent’s marker from that quarter.

The other difference is, instead of using Building Card, we will use GOAL CARDS and ADVANTAGE CARDS. We randomly choose 3 Goal Cards, put them on the table and put the rest back to the box.

Players can use Build action during their turn to complete one of the stages stated on any of the Goal Cards. They need to spend the resources, adjust them on the tracker then put 1 Investment Marker next to the completed stage. After that, players can gain VP and adjust their marker on the VP card.

Those stages from the Goal Cards can be completed repeatedly and gain the same VP multiple times but the Investment marker on that stages must be remove first. This can be done by either player using the action from Project card.

For Advantage cards, we will use all of them to form a face down deck. Then, reveal 2 cards from the top of that deck. Players can take any of the face up card when they meet the requirement stated by the card and gain points from it, up to 1 card per round. After that, we immediately refill with a new Advantage card from the top of the deck if available.

During Final Phase, if player doesn’t have any available Investment Marker to put on quarter, that player can choose to lose 1 VP and retrieve any of their marker from any area and immediately use it to complete a Goal.

NOTES: For Advanced Action from Project Card #2, we can only take 1 Coin plus 1 Wild. We cannot use it for the Round Marker.

This next video below is the official tutorial from the publisher to play the competitive variant of Micro CIty. That is all of it with many ways we can play Micro City.

Micro City 2nd Edition

My Experience & Thoughts

What I found was that in this game, I feel the need to focus on the goal or Building cards. If we just play the game and follow the result of the initial roll, somehow it can kind of go nowhere. We can be wasting time just moving around and keep spending resources just to retrieve markers or change die value.

Eventually, we didn’t realize that the time is up and we still haven’t completed the objective. With that idea of limited Investment Markers, it is reasonable to first collect resources before trying to complete any stages. That way, it will give more flexibility.

But back to what I just said, the dice can just steer us away from the goal. Maybe we can still use the dice, either using the quarter or the card but it doesn’t help progressing in the game.

This also applies with the competitive variant. In one of my play, one player managed to keep progressing while the other was stuck. The winner got almost 10 points ahead of the other.

I thought that the winner of that play would get left behind because they kept using their Investment Markers for completing goals as soon as they can. It turns out it was a better way to play than the opponent. While eventually the winning player got into the situation where they will spend every turn removing marker, that doesn’t help the losing one.

Maybe at the same time, it kind of block the opponent from doing action. At least the opponent will try to move to the empty quarter if they cannot really remove their opponent’s.

So, it’s like it has similar effect of an area control game if the losing player choose to get driven away. I think this can happen to solo that it will hurt themselves. That means, placing marker on the Building card or Goal cards kind of help players to manage their markers.

I still think the important thing is to stay focus on the goal and works toward it. Hoarding resources first or just spend them as soon as possible seem to be both a viable option.

Some people might find that the gameplay is a bit procedural and mechanical. Like the dice and any action from it feels like they are added to the main one which was the card.

I personally don’t mind considering that this is a micro game. Usually the goal is not to make a thematic game but offering a game in a small package or limited components. With that in mind, I think it works well.

I heard that someone actually played this game in airplane while traveling on that small tray. We can just lay out all cards but keep the Project cards in hand, maybe even just flip the card but keep them in hand instead of discard pile.

But back to my previous point, while the mitigation for the dice roll is a bit generous compared to other game, it kind of can be deceiving. We will think that the roll is not bad and we can find some way to change and use the dice, we are actually just wasting time.

At the same time, this is also a very tight game, in terms of limited number of rounds. Playing sub-optimally like just one action per turn is not going to help us win the game. So, we will try to do anything to use both dice or none at all to get that free coin. But again, just because we activate both actions, it doesn’t mean they are both actually helping.

From my experience, when we realize that we are about to lose, like in the last few rounds, then we will start to think that maybe there is a bit more luck to it. Maybe we just need to be mindful with the direction of progressing through the game.

Compared to a standard worker placement game, the action selection on this one with the card is much more interesting. With that set of cards that we need to actively retrieve them before using it again, we need to plan ahead instead of just move figure using any card.

Two cards might give the same movement but the action parts is how we decide which card to use first. We kind of have to visualize what we can do in subsequent rounds from that position. Can we move somewhere else after that where we can still activate the action using the remaining cards in hand?

Sadly, because the board doesn’t wrap around, going to the corner is not really a good idea because we will get less option. Especially if the leftover cards in our hand only allow us to move 1 space.

While the game opens the possibility of more varieties of setup using the same District cards, it kind of limit the replay value. Also, consciously, I somehow try to set the board in some way like making some quarters closer to each other, rather than trusting that every setup is balance.

I have not proven it but it seems that placing the Residential area on the edges or outer grid will make it easier. We only use them to build when we already have the resources and getting coins can be done elsewhere. So, if residential areas are in the middle, we will be wasting a lot of time just to move pass through.

While all of different Building cards introduced some interesting things like completion order of stages, bonus for completing stages, eventually what we do in this game stays the same. Just collect resources and build them. It’s just different combination of those 3 materials and money.

There are not many different things that they can add from it. While there is another challenge with different number of rounds but eventually it is just about being more efficient during our turn.

At some point, it is still a nice challenge but beyond that, I don’t find good value from that challenge. It’s more like a challenge for robot that give more reward for being precise and accurate. On top of that, there is still some randomness that might prevent us from achieving that time limit goal, not necessarily because we play poorly.

I also don’t find a good sense of progression during the game, other than progressing with the construction stage of each building. What we do at the start until the end remains the same.

Even there is an upgrade action where we can flip the District card, that doesn’t give better action, just better chance to activate depending on the dice.

We may not need those extra dice at all. Or that we may still need to spend resources to change the value even if just less.

The game becomes tighter as we lose more Investment Marker but at the same time, we don’t get anything better in exchange. While we have two actions, one from the card and one from the quarters, eventually, the action and the result stay the same. It gets boring after a while.

I think this is a problem with games with static board or static action from the board. The same issue can be found in games like Maquis and even Adventure of D. The actions are on the board which doesn’t change much. At least in Adventure of D, we still level up the character and that can help win some challenge.

I think there is a chance to make it interesting for the exchange between losing flexibility and getting more power. They actually have done it with that Garden module. Just determine the effect of the action quarter based on placing marker on the same type or such.

For example, if we have 1 marker on 1 Residential area, that gives 1 Coin and we can increase it by placing more markers on the same type. The idea would be similar from Architects of the West Kingdom.

Of course, criticizing is easy. Every new idea added to the game requires a lot of play testing. But if the designer can do it, maybe it will give less static experience.

Otherwise, with limited choice of action, limited number of rounds, limited type of resources, they cannot add more interesting thing to the game. This is also what happened in Maquis where they give more harder objectives to complete, but they allow us to win partially.

While in Micro City, we can play longer but without that sense of progression, it gets repetitive. Like adding the Seaport, we get 10 more rounds but we are still collecting the same resources.

This is why I think the competitive mode gives a better experience if not that much. I haven’t tried the cooperative variant. While I think it gives slightly different experience compared to solo as we can play 2 figures, but we are still playing on the same board and the same set of cards. If anything, it can be more AP situation because we could be trying to think 4 steps ahead.

The reason that I think the competitive variant is more interesting is because, at least with the base game, we don’t actually lose our Investment Markers. We can take them back from the Goal cards that cannot be done with the Building Cards. We can even remove the opponent’s marker or the opponent can do it for us.

While the Goal cards require the same or similar resources as the Building Cards, at least we have 9 to choose from instead of 5. That gives more flexibility.

Actually, maybe a bit too many. In one of my play, removing opponent’s marker from the Goal cards didn’t happen that much. If anything, some are kind of too hard and nobody tried to complete that.

There is also a chance that players will be too busy removing their markers from the District. So, in practice, about trying to block opponent from scoring some Goals or force them to remove markers are not as good as in theory.

Or maybe too low on markers in the competitive mode? With 9 Goals, 3 from each card and each player can only have 5, it takes almost all markers from both players to occupy all Goals.

Combined the Goal cards with the Advantage Cards that players can compete on, also makes this a better experience. The random order of how they come out will change the experience. Also, the requirement is not just about having resources.

Some of them kind of encourage player to explore the board with placing markers on different spots. That will give players to chase different things and not just doing repetitive things.

Of course, there are some that will be difficult almost impossible to achieve if they come out at a wrong time. Unlike the Goal cards, Advantage cards makes it a race since they are once and gone.

Back to my previous points, those all sets of requirements, will also give more things to stay focus on but with more varieties than the solo. While I still prefer the competitive mode, it is still possible to get the same feeling of stuck as in solo mode.

I also want to point out that the extra markers rule when using the Seaport in competitive mode is just awful. It is kind of difficult to separate them.

Overall, while there is a nice game system in Micro City, it is kind of hard to keep coming back to the solo game. The different buildings from challenge cards are not that different from one to another.

All of the actions we can do are just too static from start to finish, even from game to game. Even the competitive one has issue but the Advantage cards really save the game but is still very limited.

For a small, portable, micro game, it’s not bad to play once in a while for the solo. I think the replay value is in that competitive variant. It is still limited but to be expected from a micro game.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Expansions & Accessories

Micro City (Second Edition) was a crowdfunded game using Kickstarter platform. It seems that there are a couple of extra content exclusive just for the backers. I didn’t back the game myself during the campaign so I’m not really sure.

I only bought the game from local retailer and it came with 2 things. The Player Mat and the Microville Expansion Sheet. We can check their update posts on KS page for this game and it seems there are a couple more content related to this game. Some are just PnP module and another that I know is the game mat.

The publisher also tends to offer any of extra content on their other game’s campaign and even on other platform like Backerkit. Sadly, they don’t always announce it on the game’s BGG page. So, the only way to know is check the update posts which is sometimes exclusive just for backers.

Player Mat (2020)

I assume that all backers got this player mat. My retailer only gave me one, which is sad because everything they added to the Second Edition was about bringing a second player. To support that idea, they could have added another one. Maybe they offered this as an add on so people can purchase an extra one, but I’m not sure.

This rectangular neoprene mat can actually fit in the box. I guess 2 mats would prevent that but it is possible. The size is about 13.5 x 8.8 cm with 2mm thickness.

On the front side we can see a colorful player area that looks like a drafting table of an architect. We can see some building sketches. The back side is all black.

From what I understand, the left side with the blue color is meant to place the Project cards. I assume it is the discard pile while unplayed cards remain in our hand.

On the right side, we can see three areas or rows. The top one has two dice symbols with a red cross mark. I assume this is where we place the dice that we spent.

Under that area we can see two square spaces, each with a die and a green check mark. I assume this is meant for the Dice Pool after we roll them at the start of every round. So, if we use them, we put them on the top area or otherwise, the dice stays in that Dice Pool area.

Lastly, the bottom right corner space, with the building sketch is meant to store unused Investment Markers. If we remove them from any of the playing area, we put them back there.

I personally don’t like using it at all. One of the reason is it feels too small for so many stuffs. Like for Investment Markers, the space is more than enough to hold all markers for one player, especially if we place them standing.

The thing is, I’m not sure I always want to put them standing. Especially, in the game where we constantly take and remove the markers like every round. Maybe more than one per round. Eventually the other will get knock down and fall off those mats. Some people will love doing that but not me.

Maybe if the space is bigger, I don’t mind that much. The space is enough for the components but maybe not enough finger space when picking them up.

This can be solved if they do not add a space for discarded or spent dice. Usually, the way I play is, if I use the dice, I place them on the Project Card and on the Quarter that I want to activate.

That should be enough to indicate that I have spent them. If I want to keep them, and not using them, they can stay on that red square.

Maybe the way I place the dice is not ideal with 2 players but considering that there is only 1 mat, I assume I use this just for solo. That space on the mat is enough but I disagree about adding a spent dice area.

As for the area for cards, it is exactly the size of 1 card. The thing is, when we discard cards, the pile usually is a mess while the mat seems to assume that we will put them neatly like a single deck.

The way I play the game is that I will lay all of the Project cards on the table. Everytime I use them, I slide that card down, lower than the other to indicate that I have used it. Then when I retrieve the card I slide them up again.

So, in solo, I don’t need the discard pile and not holding the cards in my hand. Of course, that will take more table space. The game is meant to be portable, that we can bring anywhere, play anywhere and the mat is designed for that.

I just thought that the space is too small to be comfortable. I mean, I can just put them on the table and make them a separate space is actually more flexible in any form and table size.

If then, this is meant for multiple players where each player use one, the discard pile is actually necessary to be visible to the other player. They should be closer to the middle instead of just player’s board.

One good thing about the card part is that the mat will add some elevation. This will make picking up cards easier than just on table. But if we already play on big mats, then, this is unnecessary.

Micro City 2nd Edition

Microville Expansion (2020)

This one is part of the stretch goals during Kickstarter campaign of Micro City. They will send this outside the box. This one big sheet will replace the Goal cards or Building cards.

We can find the rule of how to use this expansion on the back side of this card. The size is the same as the other big sheets: 90 x 140mm.

On one side, we can see something similar to District cards but not with quarters. Instead, it has 7 city blocks of 4 different groups and their own color: red, blue, green or gray. Each group will show two sets of resources that we need in order to build that block using the Build Action.

One major difference compared to using Building cards is that, even in solo or cooperative mode, we will try to collect Victory Points. Each set of resources will show a number of points for completing that set.

Some building blocks can be fulfilled multiple times indicated by multiple marker spots with lower score each and the rest can only be done once. Once built, we put the Investment Marker on that spot and like the Building cards, it cannot be removed.

In the middle of the card, it shows bonus points for completing certain set of blocks. Either a set of 3 with 3 different colors or a set of 3 buildings of 1 color.

To win this game mode, we have to reach 15 points within certain number of rounds. Like the building cards, it has 3 difficulty settings with shorter rounds for higher difficulty.

There isn’t much discussion on the BGG page for this expansion but there is one on the main game page. I think there is a clarification that I need to know regarding the competitive mode using this expansion.

Both competing players will still only use 5 markers and if players place their markers on this Microville, they won’t get it back. So, it’s not like the regular competitive mode where the other player can remove their opponent’s marker.

This next video is a solo play session using this Microville expansion by Spartacus Spielt Solo channel (German language).

Skyline Express Module (2021)

In the Update #30 post of this game Kickstarter campaign, the publisher shared this roll and write module that anybody can print and play. It’s called the Skyline Express module, named after the next game from this publisher.

This is a roll and write module or expansion to the game of Micro City. Which means, we still need to use the base game components to play.

This single sheet will become an objective or like Goal cards or Building cards from the basic game. There are 6 objectives, each for one die value. We need to unlock them one by one first using the corresponding die value during the Preparation phase.

After unlocked, the objective can be built using another die with the same value. From what I understand, it can be done separately, between the unlocking part and the completing part.

Each objective requires between 2 to 4 resources to complete. Once completed, almost each of them will give one-time bonus like retrieving one Project card or upgrading a District.

It’s a roll and write module so we can write or cross that section from the sheet to indicate that they are done.

Micro Cosmos Module (2022)

Then, in Update #32, as part of advertisement for the campaign of their other game, Micro Cosmos, they introduced another module for Micro City. The Micro Cosmos Module.

Sadly, this time, they didn’t show any picture about it. However, they did describe it a bit. It’s about building Space Port in 3 stages and we will get bonus for completing each stage.

Micro City Neoprene Playmat (2022)

This giant playmat was offered as part of the campaign for another game of this publisher, Micro Cosmos. We can find out more about the product on Gamefound.

The size is 28 x 19 cm. It will have space for 4 District cards, the 2 Seaport Cards and the Building Cards. There is also a section for the Round Tracker so we can just place the marker there, no need to use the Round Tracker card.

I think the artwork is nice. It shows undeveloped area with still natural settings, divided into sections by main road. Then, when we place the card, they will turn into city blocks. I kind of wish that we can build or turn the area slowly instead of just suddenly become a city and cover those spaces with cards.

Maybe the restriction of size is the reason they do not provide bigger mat to accommodate other elements of the game like anything in the competitive mode. No area for Goal cards or VP tracker and not even the Microville Expansion.

Session Reports and Pictures

Usually, I share a session report of playing a game on BGG. Here are the links of each session for this game.

I also put turn-by-turn pictures of a session and unboxing pictures for every game on my collection that anybody can find on my Instagram. For this game, search for #MicroCityAtHomeOfMark on IG for all of the sessions.

Also, check out my blog on BGG. I occasionally write a detailed session report / written playthrough for a game that I’ve played. In each, I will explain the decision process during the game every turn.

November 2023 session and more pictures of that session on IG.

December 2022 session and more pictures of that session on IG.
November 2022 session and more pictures of that session on IG.
October 2022 session and more pictures of that session on IG.

Summary

Micro City, as the name suggests, can be considered as one of the micro game. With minimum and small component in a small box but it can deliver the same full experience as a bigger tabletop game.

It was originally designed as solo only game, introduced in 2018. With the second edition, now the game can be played with up to 2 players both cooperatively and competitively.

The basic idea in this city building game is that we will be trying to collect resources and complete a building construction through multiple stages. This has to be done in limited number of rounds.

We will be moving our Figure to various places in the city. We can activate actions of those places that allow us to gain resources, trade them and spend them for the building.

The city itself is made of 4 cards that form a 2 x 2 grid. Each card itself has 4 quarters, so each game, there will be 16 quarters. The Figure can move to  any of them orthogonally, one or two spaces and activate the action of that quarter.

Each quarter can be one of 3 different types or colors and has 2 actions the Basic and Advanced action which are different based on the type. The types are Residential, Industrial and Commercial.

Industrial is where we can gain one of 3 different type of Materials, either Wood, Coal or Steel. Commercial allows us to sell one of Materials for a different type and gain 1 Coin. Residential can give either 2 Coins or allows us to do Build Action. This Build action is how we can complete a Building and win the game.

The Advanced action of quarter is usually the better version of the Basic one except for Residential. However, to activate the Advanced action, we need to spend the die with specific values, stated by the quarter.

How far the Figure can move is determined by a hand of Project Cards. Each round, player can choose one of these 6 unique cards. Once played, the card will stay in the discard pile until we choose to spend a turn to retrieve all cards from that pile.

Each of these cards also has 1 Basic Action and 1 Advanced action that we can use one per turn. The basic action usually is free to use but for the Advanced action, we need to spend 1 die with specific face value.

So, each turn, we have a chance to do 2 actions, one from the card and one from the quarter. Considering that the game itself is so tight in time, trying to use both, or more over, the Advanced actions from both is probably the most efficient way to play. Which means, we need both dice to be the right face value.

At the start of each round, we will roll 2 dice. Right after that, we have a chance to manipulate the value. We can spend either 1 of any material or 2 Coins to increase or decrease the value by 1 each. However, we may need those resources to complete the objective.

So, there is a resource management we need to do. On the other hand, if we do not use the dice of the round at all, at the end of turn, we will get 1 Coin.

There is another resource that we need to manage, which is the Investment Markers. Every game, we will have 8 of these with no way to increase the number.

At the end of turn, we will place this in a quarter where we end the movement of the Figure assuming the quarter doesn’t have one yet. Actually, if the quarter has an investment marker, it prevents us from activating any of the action from that quarter.

We will also use the marker to mark off the construction stage that we have completed. As the game progresses, we will have less flexibility because we will lose these markers.

Markers on the quarters can still be removed using mostly the action from the cards. However, markers on the Building cards will stay there until the end of the game.

The game can suddenly end with a loss if we don’t have any available marker when we have to place one on the marker. We can also remove the markers from quarters at the start of each round by spending 1 of any materials or 2 Coins. Again, those are the resources that we may need to win the game.

The game ends with a win once we have completed the final stage of the building construction before the time runs out. While there are multiple difficulty settings which will determine the number of rounds, I feel like the game is really tight.

We cannot win with just do one action per turn. Trying to utilize both actions is the least we need to do. The dice roll can be swingy but there is enough way to mitigate that.

However, I find that we need to stay focus on the objective. If we just use the dice or do the action just because we can or the dice allow us to, we might end up just wasting time, moving around, gaining resources and wasting them.

Another negative point about the game is that there is no sense of progression about the action. The actions we can do during the game are static. We will do the same thing from start to end and won’t get stronger actions. While we lose flexibility with the markers, we don’t get something better in return.

It feels repetitive after a while. The game comes with a lot of setup variabilities from the different city cards, and different building objectives. For me, none of them change the game that much.

The same goes with the cooperative mode. We are still playing the same number of rounds for the same objective as in solo but divided into 2 players. The two players will use their own 2 dice and move their own figures but with still one set of Project cards.  So, it’s like each round, we will have to think the actions of our next 2 rounds, resolved by one player each.

I personally think the best value comes from the competitive play. Players can try to block each other because both figures cannot be on the same quarters. The same as markers on quarters as we will try to utilize both actions and chase the empty quarters.

In this mode, both players will be competing to have the most points. This can be achieved from the Goal cards, which is similar to Building card in solo mode, and from Advantage cards. The difference is that with Goal cards, the markers can still be removed by either player. That way they can score the same stage multiple times for the same points each. But they need to make it empty first.

The Advantage cards is where the game becomes more interesting. Any player can take the cards, gain the stated points, if they can meet the requirements. Once taken, the other player cannot score from it again.

The requirements from these cards are not just about collecting resources as the Goal cards. But it can be about spreading markers on different city cards or no markers in the last 10 rounds. Also, they can come out in random order and random time.

Compared to what we do with the Goal cards, these requirements change the game significantly. Even though originally, the game is for solo only, this additional competitive mode is actually better. With that being said, even in competitive mode, one player can still feel like not progressing at all in the game.

As a micro game, Micro City does offer enough game with interesting puzzle while keep in small size and minimum components. It’s just maybe we cannot expect too much for the replay value.

Micro City 2nd Edition

More Similar Games

There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game that might share some similarities with Micro City. Some people may look for those similarities that they enjoy. It can be the mechanism or even just the same theme or setting.

Usually, a board game will have a lot of elements. It is kind of difficult find another game where everything is similar. Which is why, in this section, I try to break them into things that I enjoy from the game and point out games that share the same experience.

These next games are just some games that I have tried, played and written a review for them, up to this point.  Check out the link to each article to find out more and also check this Complete list for more games.

Point to Point Movement on Modular Boards

In Micro City, we will be moving the pawn or Engineer from one spot to another orthogonally. That target spot may give specific benefit that can help us win the game if we activate the action on that spot.

There is a puzzle or challenge we need to solve first before the pawn can get to that spot. Maybe the spot is just to far and we need the benefit right now but the resources that we have are not enough. So, we may need to consider a different route as alternative and maybe it will have a better outcome.

That means, not only there is a spatial challenge but also resource management.

One game with the closest similarities that I’ve played was Adventure of D. Obviously, this is a totally different theme and setting but I think the gameplay is similar. Instead of constructing buildings, in Adventure of D, we try to level up our character.

In both of these games, we need to do some hand management, choosing which card to use for this movement while the other can be used in subsequent rounds. Micro City also uses dice as extra benefit while Adventure of D does not have that.

In Adventure of D, each spot can have some events temporarily. That event could be on different directions from our destination but both can give the same benefit. However, if we don’t get there fast enough, the event would be over.

The other game, also with modular boards where we need to move the pawn from one spot to another is Tiny Epic Defenders. This one is a Tower Defense game, also in fantasy setting.

In this one, the movement is much simpler than the previous two. We just need to spend Action Points, to move one space to the adjacent one per point. The challenge is that we also need to use that Action Points for something else, including defending or securing the location once the pawn is on that spot.

Sometimes the enemy is attacking the adjacent space randomly and the Action points are not enough to reach there. Because of that, maybe let it suffer some damages is not a bad idea as we can secure it later, unless it got destroyed.

All of these 3 games use modular cards to form the game board. Because they are modular, while the configuration remains the same but the position of each spot might be different. That can change the overall experience. These 3 also come in small size box, like a micro game.

Bigger game can have that idea but not as the main part of the game. Coimbra actually has that Pilgrim Map where we can move our pawn, along the path to reach one spot and gain the benefit.

To move the pawn, we first need to collect the movement points and spend them in certain phase of the game. The map and all of the location spots are always the same but on certain spots, different tiles for the benefit or bonus actions will be placed randomly.

Sometimes we do need to reach certain spots for that bonus. But that spot is far away and we cannot afford it. In that case, we might have to switch to different destination for different bonus or even stop investing on that map.

Biblios: Quill and Parchment also have this Pilgrim map, with point-to-point movement. The path on the map may have branches and sometimes we need to switch to a different plan and move somewhere else.

This one is a roll and write game. We will roll a die every round and the die will tell us how far we can move the Pilgrim. The game also comes with different map without a fixed path but instead made of grid. Some specific spots from that grid will show icons as the bonus if we can move and end the Pilgrim movement right on that spot.

Dice Manipulation Games

I think part of the interesting decision in Micro City is about the Dice Manipulation. Every round, we roll 2 dice and hopefully, we can use both. If not, then, we try to change the value. Mostly by spending resources, either 1 of any material or 2 coins.

So, there is a bit of resource management. The resources that we need to complete the goal to win the game can be used to gain activate action. We need to keep resources in stock.

While that is enough mitigation, unfortunately, there is nothing beyond that. Other games might offer rerolling, flipping or something like change to any value.

One of the games with Dice Manipulation that I’ve played before is Aerion. In this one, we will roll 6 dice and we can use all of them or partially to claim cards from 6 different decks. Each deck requires a different poker set like 2 or 3 pairs, three or four of a kind, Full House or Straight.

We can use to reroll any number of those dice but we have to discard a card for each reroll. The cards that we might need to complete a set. There are a lot of other resources we can spend for more rerolls. If we run out of option, then maybe go for easier, partial poker set is the way to go.

There is also ability that allows us to flip the dice. That will give more control of the outcome than just rerolls.

Another game that is very well known for the dice mitigation system is The Castles of Burgundy. I personally have not played the board game version but The Card Game version does keep that mitigation idea. We can use Workers to change the value by 1 up or down.

Like in Micro City, we can change between 1 and 6. While we can only use workers to change the value, the game itself offer different way to use that dice, including to gain more workers. That way, even if we get bad rolls, we can accumulate workers and spend them in subsequent rounds.

That same idea of mitigation can also be found in the Dice Game version. The difference is that the worker will change the value to any value. However, to use the dice, we need to pair it withanother die with colors on the faces. Each color can only work with specific value. There is another mitigation to change the color.

The challenge is that each round, we can only use one mitigation. Either to change the value or to change the color. Sometimes, it is better to just use the dice on different path.

For a different theme, One Deck Dungeon also offers some Dice manipulating experience. In this game, we will use dice with several different colors to fight enemies in a dungeon. If we can beat them, we can level up, getting more dice and more skills to more interesting way to manipulate the dice.

Sometimes, not only that we need specific value, but we also need specific color. There are skills to trade two dice to gain wild color which can be used as substitute.

For another city building game with Dice, I’ve also played Tumble Town. In this one we will have building cards that we need to build or construct by stacking dice.

The building requires specific number of dice each with certain range of value and colors. All of the mitigations that I have mentioned in other games are available in this one. We just need to build those easier buildings first to unlock those mitigation skills.

Retrievable Limited Resources

Another main challenge in a game of Micro City, in my opinion is managing the limited workers and cards. This is not about the resources we can get more but about resources that we need to retrieve occasionally before we can do more action.

In this one, there are 2 things, the Investment Markers and the Project Cards. Ideally, we want to avoid retrieving early because it will be a waste of turn. However, depending on the situation, that might be the best course of action. They won’t return automatically like reset every round but instead, we need to make decision when to do it.

Usually, in games like that, we will need to plan ahead. Which card to play first or which purpose to use the Investment Markers first?

In some games, we may lose those resources permanently after completing certain actions. Then the games become tighter and we might want to keep them for awhile for the freedom. That’s how the Invesment Markers work in Micro City, like Workers in other worker placement game.

Usually, that happens mostly in worker placement games. Similar games with that idea that I’ve played is OddVille. Actually, this one is similar for both the retrievable card and the workers.

In this game, every turn, we can play one of 4 cards in our hand that will determine how powerful the Worker will be while using the same pawns. The more powerful one can take more money, more cards for free or more expensive resources.

Like Project Cards in Micro City, once played, the card will stay in discard pile unless we choose to spend our turn just to retrieve them. Sometimes we want to be efficient but depending on the situation, we may need to use the strong card now. Or retrieve them early.

If we use the worker to take resources, then the worker will stay there until we use the resources. At the same time, if we complete a building using that resources, one worker will be placed on the card to mark that the building is ours. In that case, we lose the worker permanently so we will have less flexibility for doing certain actions.

For a bigger game with similar retrievable resource is Architects of the West Kingdom. In this one, we will play with 20 workers from the start and place them on various places to gain various resources.

Eventually, we will run out of workers and find a way to retrieve them back. Or the opponents will do that for us.  Then, we can spend the resources to build buildings. However, for every building we have to lose the worker permanently.

This similar idea also exist in a game of Walking in Burano but very minor part. It’s the scaffolding cards that we can temporarily use to hold floor cards on higher level without anything below it. This will help us wait for the right card to show up that we can put in that position.

Final Words

That is all I can share with you about Micro City, a micro game about building a city. While the game offers a lot of things in the small box, but there is always a limit of what a micro game can do well. Sometimes a micro or small game is about being portable and no more.

I may have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.

I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget. If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with a lot of player interaction.

The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity. Some may say, it’s like a workout for the gray matter of our brain.

So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.

This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mark M.

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