Compared to video games, analog tabletop games, whether card game or board games have more entry barriers for people to play them. Players need to setup the game, learn the rules, maybe even run a game night, preparing a lot of stuffs before even playing the game.
On top of that, it will take some effort to learn how to be good at the game to win. It is a demanding hobby. With so limited time, a lot of gamers prefer simpler, shorter games.
However, some games require player to take a bit deeper dive into the strategy to find the best experience. They can have hidden depth and if player just take a glance, play the game once they might find the game not that interesting.
I think that is the case with this next one, OddVille. This one has a couple of popular mechanisms like worker placement, multiuse cards and tile laying but it is not a complex game. In fact, it is a small card game with a lot of player interaction, if the players are willing to compete.
So, what is this OddVille card game? How do we play the game? Is there a solo mode for this game?
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 OddVille Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.
Hope this helps. Is OddVille going to be the best card game out there?
Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top.
Game’s Title: OddVille
Genre: Card Game, Competitive, City Building, Worker Placement, Tile Placement, Multi Use Card, Multi Purpose Card, Fantasy Theme, Card Drafting, Variable Player Power.
Designer: Carlo Lavezzi
Artist: Markus Günther, Mariano Ianelli
Publisher: What’s Your Game?
Number of Players: 2 – 4
Playtime: 30 – 60 minutes
Official Website: Oddville (whatsyourgame.eu)
Release Year: 2012
2 Rulesheets (EN, DE)
1 Variant Sheet
1 Resource Board
36 Workers in 4 Colors
94 Cards (63 x 87.5 mm):
Worker Cards (16)
Character Cards (12)
Main Square Card (1)
Building / Coin Cards (64)
End of the Game Card (1)
About OddVille Card Game
In this game, players will be competing in building the city of OddVille. The main mechanism is Tile Placement or Tile laying using cards. Each card will have a building or cityscape with a street network.
The city starts from the Main Square and we need to connect the next building to either the Main Square or the previously built cards. Each building requires a set of resources from 4 types of resources.
Players will have to send out their workers first gathering those resources, with one resource per worker. Then we can retrieve those workers back when we want to spend the resources for building the card.
Everytime we build, we will lose one worker. Each player starts with 9 workers and the game will end after one player has built their sixth card.
Aside from victory points at the end, building a buildings can give us in game benefit like another resources or coins. If then the new building is connected to the existing street network, we will also gain the bonus of the adjacent cards.
Each building also have association with one of 4 Guilds that controls the city. Everytime we build a building, the member of the associated Guild will join us and give special abilities that only that member can have.
The abilities can give us something like more coin, more resources, cheaper resources but only as long as the member is with us. But those Guild members won’t stay with one player forever. There is a chance for other players to attract those member to come to their side.
Getting resource is just one way to use the Worker. They can also be used to gain coins or drafting building cards depending on their power. The power of the Worker is determined by the same set of 4 different Worker Cards.
The strongest one can take any resources, the farthest building card and most coins while the weakest one is the opposite. Once we have played that specific Worker Card we either need to wait until we have played all cards and retrieve them back, or we can retrieve them early with some penalty.
So, this becomes a hand management game with those multiuse card. On every turn, we will have a tough choice to make. We might need this strong worker to take the resources but at the same time, we also need it to take building card.
Combined with that is the challenge that if we don’t take them now, the other players might take or occupy the space, blocking us in subsequent turn from the worker placement area. The worker spot to take any resources can be occupied by multiple workers but the subsequent one will have higher cost.
Each building itself will have base victory point value that we will get just by building it but also extra points depending on the state of the city. One building can score more points from certain Guild type. So, even if those type are build by the other players, we can still gain points from their effort.
This next video is a preview for the game by BoardGameGeek Channel with the designer of Oddville during Spiel 2012.
The game of OddVille comes in a square box, with about 20.7 x 20.7 x 5.1 cm as the size. So, it is similar to 2 player line from different publisher like Targi from KOSMOS or Mandala from Lookout Games.
On the cover, we can see all of the Guild member characters in the game. At the center is supposed to be the city of OddVille that resembles some European city in medieval era. We can find a couple of buildings in the game that we will build here.
The sides of the box don’t say much beside the title, the publisher, and stats like playtime, age and number of players.
On the back of the box, we can find some components of the game and description in 2 languages, English and German. The description and illustration emphasizes about what we can do with the worker placement idea. They do not show about how the communal building will look like later.
If we look inside the box, some may say that the box is too big for the components which are mostly just cards. We get some rulesheets, one sealed deck of cards, a plastic bag for all wooden workers, and one square board.
If not for this square board and the rulesheets, the game will be just cards and the box can be smaller. There is a white insert which is just huge well at the center while the board can sit on both higher end of the insert.
All of the cards come with the same size, which is 63 x 87.5mm or the Standard Card Game Size. The box definitely has more than enough space for sleeve cards. Even just the well still has more room.
There are 2 Rulesheets, one for English and one for German language. On the publisher’s page, there is a link for the English and Italian version. I don’t know why they didn’t put the German version.
That file is actually slightly different from the printed version that I have. Not really sure which one is the latest version.
On BGG file page, there are a couple of translations to different language like Russian, Dutch and Japanese but I don’t know if they are official. According to the data from BGG, there was English only and German only version, Polish version and French version, in addition to English / German version.
The game itself is language independent. We just need the rulebook with the right language to learn how to play. Each rulesheet is folded into 6 pages with the square shape, almost the same size as the box.
Here is the table of content.
Component and Introduction (Page 1). Here we can find the list of components but without any illustration. Then the section continues with a brief description of what we will be doing in the game.
Initial Preparation (Page 1). This is the setup part for all of the supported player counts. The differences are the side of Resources boards and the number of Character Cards used from each Guild.
Then players will have to choose their initial resources, starting from the last player. Each player will place one of their worker in the top or most expensive spot of chosen resources area. All players must choose different resources.
Game Rounds (Page 2). This part explains that there is no fixed number of rounds in the game of OddVille. Players keep taking turns doing one of 2 actions until the endgame is triggered.
Playing Worker Card (Page 2 – 3). This is one of the 2 actions we can take during our turn. It explains the 3 possible actions from the Worker Card we can activate: either OBTAIN COIN, OBTAIN RESOURCE or OBTAIN BUILDING CARD.
Also, this section explains how to retrieve them after we have played all cards or while still having some cards in our hand. One Coin per remaining worker card in hand.
One important thing about the resources is we always put the worker in the cheapest available slot. Workers can be taken back from the resource board anytime during the game.
From the OBTAIN BUILDING part, there is a limit of 2 building cards but it is not a hard limit. We can get more but discard right after. The market is refilled immediately after the draft.
From the OBTAIN COIN, there is a limit of 5 COIN CARDS but also not a hard limit.
Develop OddVille (Page 3 – 4). This part explains how we can put the building card in the OddVille after paying the resources. The second part explains all of the construction rules that we need to follow.
The important part from here is about the top most row which is determined by the Main Square card. From the example, we can still place a card with a street connecting to the row above it, even if we won’t build anything there.
Another thing is getting multiple bonuses can be resolved in any order which can be important when we have fewer workers.
Characters (Page 4). This explains how players can get and how they must return Character cards. Basically, we get character everytime we build the associated buildings onto OddVille. Only take character based on the most recently played building card, not the adjacent linked ones.
If then no card of that Guild is available to take then all players who have characters from that Guild must return all of them. The active player will then take one from the top after all of them are shuffled back to form a new deck.
End of the Game and Scoring (Page 4). This is where we can find the end game trigger of the original rule which the game ends immediately after the first sixth building. The variant on separate sheet which will be discussed below will address this issue.
Then, we can find how we get the score. Basically from Buildings with the Workers, the Character cards and Workers on Resource Board.
Building’s Bonus (Page 5). This explains all of the bonus icons we can find from Building cards. The general idea is that no bonus will have any cost. We just need to have the Worker to gain the resources bonus.
Also, the new worker will always occupy the cheapest available spot. The bonuses are also optional.
Victory Points (Page 5). This part explains all of the possible victory point icons that we can find in any Building card in this game. There are 8 major type and the last one is for the Main Square card, which can be confusing because it only shows the icon.
Character Cards (Page 6). This part explains the power of 12 Character cards in the game. While they say the name of each card but the cards themselves don’t have the name printed. So, we still need to check the picture.
Credits (Page 6). Here we can find out more about people who are involved in the process of development of this game.
I think this rulesheet is doing a good job explaining everything about how to play this game. There are some tricky details but usually they are explained in different section, so as long as we read all of them, we will find out what they mean. But at a glance, people might ask some clarification.
Most of the questions on the forum are related to the Character cards and how each of them interact. For example, the Human Resource Manager can be combined the effect with Seignior.
While the game is language independent but I feel like I still need to check the rulesheet for clarification. Most of the time it’s about the Character’s ability and others are icons related to Victory Points and Bonuses.
It’s a good thing that they put the summary for Characters as the last page. Usually I don’t like this folded sheet but because of the layout, I can fold it in a way to show the last 2 pages about summary of these icons.
Some people complained about why the game ends without players having equal number of turns. It seems that there is a reason for that with the last player can actually take away the Characters from the one who triggered the end of the game.
Nevertheless, the publisher and designer listened to it as feedback and came out with variant. The recent printing came with another sheet to modify the rule which will be discussed in this next section.
From what I understand, the original printing may not have this sheet. This single sheet contains 3 variants to play the game in 2 languages, English on one side and German on the other.
As I said above, at least 2 of these variants tried to address the issue with unequal number of turns when the game ends. I didn’t realize the issue with the rule as it is in my first couple of plays.
I thought these are just optional alternatives because other games could have call them Errata which is official change. It is possible that other people will have the same thoughts as me based on some complaints recently on the comment section of the forum page for this game.
At the top right corner of this Variant sheet, we can see a picture of the END OF THE GAME card. So, for the one of variants that modify the endgame rules, they include additional component.
There are 3 suggested variants, 2 for End Game and one for the Character Card setup.
End of the Game Variant 1. Instead of the game ends immediately after one player played their 6th worker on a building, the game continues. All players gain 1 additional turn so the player who triggered the end of the game also gain 1 more turn. For this, players still don’t get equal number of turns.
End of the Game Variant 2. For this we will be using the END OF THE GAME card. Whoever placed their 6th worker first take this card. Then, all of the other players will take 1 more turn. So, for this, players still don’t get equal number of turns.
The card indicates that whoever triggered the end of the game won’t lose any Character cards on other player’s turn. But this will only lock the Character after the player gets the card.
What that means is if the active player builds their 6th building, triggers the end of the game also triggers the reset for one Guild, that player still have to lose their Character cards of that guild. This matters only in higher player count where we can have multiple characters from a guild.
Other players can still build buildings subsequently but they won’t take characters from player who has that End of the game card.
Sadly, there is no official explanation for which variant is the better one. It seems that the second one is the preferable variant for some people.
Character Variant. With this variant, we will be using all Character cards regardless of player count. The difference is that those characters will be taken back from players in different remaining cards based on player count.
For 4 players, players must return the cards of that guild if the guild has no cards left when one player can take one after the building action. With 3 players, it will happen with 1 card remaining on the deck and 2 cards for 2 players.
So, in 2 players, after one player already has 1 Character of a Guild, then the next time any player has to take Character from that guild, the reset happens. It is still the same as the original rule but we will be using all cards instead of just 1 in 2 players.
Another change is that instead of taking the top card only, players can choose any card as all of them become available. We put all of the Character cards face up right from the start. I can see that people may forget about the reset if they already get used to with the original rule, at least for lower player count.
The question is, how impactful allowing players to get more Character cards of the same guild in lower player count? If it’s not that impactful, then the rule should just reset the Characters after the Guild’s pile is empty.
As it is, it’s the rule even from the original. So, there should be a reason to put it in the first place. Sadly, no further discussion regarding this.
From these 3, I think using Variant 2 for the End of the game and Character cards are recommended. Or just the End of the game variant seems to fix the main issue.
As a worker placement game, OddVille comes with 36 Worker Pawns in 4 different colors. Worker placement game is a game where each player will get a number of pawns. Each round they will have to place one pawn in a number of available worker spots, to indicate that we are taking action from that spot.
Usually, each spot allows us to do different kind of action. Everytime one worker takes a spot, it also prevent the other pawns to take that spot until the spot becomes empty again. On the other hand, the other spots becomes available for the next player to take.
In OddVille, each of 4 players will use just 9 of the same color, either Red, Yellow, Purple or Blue. There will be no sharing of the pawns in this game and no way to get more workers for the whole game.
I don’t mind the color choice but related to these pawns, I kind of wish that they use lighter color, especially for the purple. It is not an issue at all, just wish that the purple pawn can be more stand out on the building card.
Each of these wooden pawns has identical shape and looks like a human figure. It is actually very impressive considering that in more recent games like Architects of the West Kingdom, the shape is less like human compared to this. The size is about 1.9 x 1.2 x 0.8 cm.
In this game, these workers are just markers because the action selection using the pawn is based on Worker cards. Those cards will tell us which action we can take, then, we place the pawn to mark that we have taken the spot.
The spot itself is mostly the Resource spot from the Resource Board. So, one worker in any spot means one resource of the corresponding type. The shape doesn’t contribute anything to the gameplay.
That means, if we somehow lose these pieces, we can easily replace them with other generic component. As long as the replacement has similar size like cubes and it comes with 9 pieces and with the same color.
Later in the game, when we want to build buildings by spending those resources, we have to take all pawns of the required resources. Subsequently, everytime we build a building, we also need to mark that building as ours by placing one of the Worker.
That means, as the game progresses, we will have less number of workers we can use. Towards the end of the game, we will have less flexibility as which type of resources we want to keep.
The buildings themselves always require between 2 or 3 resources so we don’t need that many. However, the challenge is that we can only have up to two building cards in our possession which may not share the same type of resources.
In general, everytime we gain a resource, we will try to make sure that it can be spent for future buildings. But at the same time, gaining a resource means losing worker, temporarily. If then we keep choosing the building that do not require that resources we previously got, then we will have to spend one turn just to kind of switch or trade resource.
It may not even be a free trade. Maybe other player has taken the cheapest of free spot. Of course, it’s possible that trading is worth it. Mostly because the random card draw just doesn’t give us the right building that require those resources.
As I said before, taking the worker spot is preventing other players to take that spot. So, we might want to get it early or when the cheapest one becomes available. Even if we don’t need it, it can hold the opponent’s progress like hate drafting.
Especially if we gain the resources as a bonus. We have to take it if we still have the workers. It is a bit different if we get the resource by playing a card because it will take a turn.
When one player has placed their 6th workers on the building it triggers the end of the game. So, the workers themselves also serve as a timer of the game. Any players can trigger it. They can easily tell as we are building the city collectively instead of in our own board.
That will create tension towards the end of the game as we may get the cards and resources but not enough turns to build the buildings.
At the end of the game, any remaining workers on the Resource Board will give the player 1 point. We will get 3 or 4 points at most from that in a game where we can score more than 30 points.
It is not that significant but after the end of the game is triggered, it is not a bad idea to just place the workers to gain resources. Otherwise, they will worth 0 point.
This is the only cardboard piece in this game. It is a square board about 16 cm on its sides with about 1mm thickness. The Resource Board has yellow border and game’s title on both sides.
We will be using one side for 2 players and the other for 3 or 4 players. As we can see that both sides have 4 quadrants, each represent one type of resources: WOOD, CLAY, STONE and CRYSTAL.
Each quadrant has the resource icon and a bit of illustration on the background but it doesn’t really mean anything. We can also find 2 or 3 square spots on either side in each quadrant.
These are the worker spot, specifically the limited spot. Only one worker can occupy that one square space. One or two of the square spaces will have a COIN icon. These indicate that if we want to take this spot, we have to pay a COIN unless we gain it from the bonus.
The bigger quadrant itself will have an icon with 2 coins. This indicates that the big quadrant is an unlimited spot that can be taken by any number of workers. However, for placing each worker, except for the setup and bonus, we have to pay 2 Coins.
The board itself doesn’t explicitly say but these 4 type of resources are not equal in value. We can determine the value based on how easy we take them using Worker cards.
From 4 worker cards, only one card has access to the Crystal, 2 cards for Stone, 3 cards for Clay and 4 cards for Wood. Based on that, we can say Crystal is the most valuable and the Wooed is the cheapest.
This is important to know for players when they are deciding to choose their starting resource. Every player must take a different starting resources with the last player in turn order becomes the first to choose.
Based on the number of building cards that require each resource, 38 of them require Crystal, 34 for Stone, 33 for Clay and 32 for Wood. However, from 38 that require Crystal, none of them require more than one Crystal.
For the other type of resources, some buildings may require up to 2 of the same resources. There are 5 buildings that require either 2 Stones or 2 Clays and 6 buildings that require 2 Woods.
So, the total number is about the same for 4 type of resources. I guess, just because we need the strongest worker card to gain Crystal, maybe always going after Crystal is not always a good strategy.
We also need to consider the cards that are available in the market at the moment. Maybe they don’t really need certain resources so if we still choose that resources, it will just stay there for a while until we get a card that needs it.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the resource requirement is just one aspect we need to consider from the buildings. We cannot just build buildings as fast as possible.
There are bonuses from Characters or the buildings itself that we can try to get, street connection and spatial element with the previous buildings, and victory points. More about this next.
The game could have come in smaller box if it isn’t for this board. A fan of the game shared a digital file for card version of this board so the game will be just using cards and those pieces. We can find the file from this link.
End of the Game Card
Now, we get to the last type of component, the cards. We start with this End of the Game card.
This is the card with the lock icon in the middle, surrounded by the 4 Guild Icons and the title of the game at the top. The End of the Game card is actually part of the variant that came in the recent printing but not the original.
We will use this if we play with the End of the Game Variant 2. The player who triggered the end of the game by placing their 6th workers on a building will take this card.
What it does is, it will lock their Characters to stay with that player. Originally, the rule is that the game ends immediately after this player place their 6th with no additional turns for the other players. People complaint about that because that is what works in most games, to give equal number of turns.
The reason for the original rule is that if the game allows for subsequent turns, the other player can just try to take away the Characters from the one who triggered the end of the game. In that case, that player will lose points because they lose the Characters even if it is not a guarantee to happen.
As far as I know there is no specific discussion thread on BGG between designer or publisher regarding this. Nevertheless, they came up with the variant as the solution.
By having this End of the Game Card, this will encourage players to be the one to trigger the end of the game. Especially if the player already has some Characters. The other 2 or 3 players might still suffer losing their Characters if they are building for the same Guild in the last few turns.
I think it also encourage player who triggered the Endgame for taking characters of the same Guild. At least, in higher player count. Without this card, it is better to diversify, lowering the chance of a Guild to reset. With 2 players, we cannot have more than 1 from the same Guild.
At first, I thought this card is like the first player marker in other games. But it serves another purpose.
The next type of card is the Character Cards. These are the only cards in horizontal orientation in this game. We get 12 unique Characters from 4 different Guilds.
On the back side of each card, we will see the game’s icon and the Guild’s icon with the wooden background. The game doesn’t give a name or story to each Guild. While the icons are different enough but doesn’t say much.
We get the Blue one with a Mask as their icon and the Purple one which has a Chicken as their icon. The third one is Green with a green plant, maybe and the fourth one is White with 3 bells as the icon.
On the front side of the card, each card will have a single figure on the left side with a name at the bottom left. It’s more like the name of the card or the title for the character, not exactly the character’s name.
On the right side, we can find icons about their Power, their Guild’s icon and the Victory Points. The victory points simply means that if we still have that character with us at the end of the game, we will gain certain points, mostly 2 to 5 points per character with one that can give 7 points.
As I’ve mentioned before, all of them are unique including their power. So, in any game, only one player will have access to that power. The game itself is language independent, so the power is presented with just icon on each card.
So far, I would rather just check the summary on the rulesheet to find out what the Power icon means rather than trying to look on the icon itself and try to understand from it. Some of the icons are very clear but others might lead to different interpretations.
If we are familiar with the game, then the icons are probably enough to remind us what they are when replaying the game after a while. However, new players won’t be able to tell for some.
Depending on the game mode variants, we will use either all of these 12 cards or remove some based on the player count. The original rule will use all cards for 4 players, remove 1 from each Guild in 3 players and remove 2 from each Guild for 2 players.
The game starts with these characters being neutral and accessible to all players. To attract them to our side, we only need to build buildings that has their Guild’s icon on the card. Only then, that player can get the benefit of that Character’s power.
With the original rule, we can only take the top card of each Guild’s deck. While the new variant allows us to take any of the leftover cards from each Guild.
The Character cards won’t stay with one player. One player can force the other players to return those characters back to the supply. With the original rule, if the deck runs out of card, all players have to give back their cards. Those cards will be shuffled to form a new deck. Then, the player who triggered the retrieval, can take the top card.
With 2 players using the original variant, since we only have 1 Character per guild, then the other player is taking that card directly from the player who has it. Using the new variant, the Character card will still go to the pool or supply. The reset happens everytime. The active player may then take a different one.
Other than that, technically there is no limit to how many characters one player can have from any Guild. The other limit would be 6 cards but that will trigger the end of the game. Depending on the variant, I guess it is probably possible to have even 7 and that can worth like 14 to 21 points in total.
That is huge in a game where we will get like 30 to 40 points. It is possible that more than 1 player is competing for the same Guild. In that case, they keep canceling each other’s possession of those characters. While, at the same time, another player is diversifying with the 3 other Guilds and can get a lot of points for just having them.
From what I understand, taking a Character card after building action is mandatory. That means, it is even possible that one player can take all cards from the same guild and that player reset it themselves. Instead of having 2 or 3, they will only have 1.
With the original rule, we don’t know which one we will keep while the new variant allows us to choose. What makes it interesting is that if we use end game variant 2, the player who triggered the endgame may still have to return their cards before taking the End of the Game card.
They will keep the most recent one but they have to be careful to not lose cards. This introduces another consideration towards the end of the game. We cannot just build any 6th building. It can make us lose 1 or 2 Character cards which are worth 4 points at least.
With the lower player count of original rule, we might not have the same set of characters in play. This can change the overall strategy and actually add more replay value.
Detail of Characters Cards
Human Resource Manager
Power: All Worker cards allow you to obtain any resource.
With this, even the weakest worker card has access to all types of resources. So, the strongest one can just focus on getting 3 coins unless we also have that Ghost character. Those 3 coins will be enough to pay either for taking resources or cards.
This will give more flexibility but if we don’t have any coins, then the power is useless. Maybe while we are busy getting coins, the other player can force us to return this card. In that case, the power is gone and we lose the access of the other worker cards.
Power: You pay 1 coin less when obtaining a resource.
This can help us save some coins. But for the most expensive spot, we still need some coins. We still rely on the specific Worker cards to take certain resources unless we also have the HR Manager.
This will also prevent whoever has the Tax Collector to gain coins as long as we don’t take the most expensive spot.
While saving coins may not be that useful but at least this will help us not to compete for the resources and focus on maybe the Building cards. The opponent may take the cheapest spot but we can still get the next one for free. While the opponent is too busy claiming the free resources, they are giving up their access to the Building.
Of course, depending on the situation, this may not matter like maybe the building cards available are not that good.
Power: You can obtain 2 resources (of the same kind or of different kinds), indicated on the played Worker card. You have to pay for both.
For this, depending on the Worker cards we are using to obtain resources, some worker cards can be more powerful than the others. The weakest one only allows us to take 2 Woods while the strongest one can take 2 of any types.
In all player counts, there is only 1 free spot for each type of resources. So, if we want to take two of the same type, there might be a cost for the second one.
The 3 and 4 player modes are more interesting as the second and third cheapest spots have a cost of 1 coin. If we want to prevent the other players for taking that spot, we need to take both or it will be useless. But then we have to pay more.
I don’t know exactly how this will interact with Landowner. Some people might say that we will only get a discount for one but others can interpret it as one discount for each. With that interpretation, the total discount is at most 2 coins.
Aside from having coins, we also need to have the workers available. So, this power is less powerful as we have less flexibility. At least, it can be useful to just place the workers on Resource board to gain points at the end of the game.
Power: At any time during your turn (once per turn), you can switch one of your Coin cards into a Building card. You are not allowed to look at the Coin cards in your supply to see which Building is depicted on the Building side.
I assume we are not allowed to look at the building side of the card before flipping the card. So, it kind of pushing our luck, hoping that the card will be good in the expense of 1 Coin.
This can be handy towards the end of the game. Coin is not worth any points so, if we still have some, maybe we can find some good cards there. The problem is that we are not allowed to switch it back.
On the other hand, if we have a lot of Coin cards, and the market doesn’t have any good card, we can just use this power. This will save one turn and one worker card.
From what I understand, if we already have 2 Building cards, we can still use this power to flip a card. If it is a good Building card, then we can just use it to replace the existing one or just discard that card right away if it is bad.
Power: You pay 1 coin less when recovering the Worker Cards.
Mistress Power is also very situational. Most of the time, we might not want to recover Worker cards before our hand is empty because we have to pay Coins. So, if we can play efficiently, then we might not even use this Power.
However, there are some situations when we do need to take Worker cards back early. Especially if a very good building card just show up before our turn. If we wait and don’t take it now, by the time it is our turn again, the card might be taken by someone else.
Even for that idea, we still need to calculate the cost. Because we still need to pay, maybe just using weaker worker and pay more to acquire card is a cheaper option.
The challenge is, we still need to have some coins ready. Otherwise, it is free but only if we have one card left in our hand.
Power: At any time during your turn (once per turn), you can swap one of the Building cards in front of you with one of the 6 Cards in the Building Row.
This one can be handy. When a new building card come out, it will always be in the most expensive spot. With this, we can take the card for free by trading it with the card in front of us.
This is even more useful in lower player count as the Building row or the market may not move as much as with 4 players. But it is still situational as if the next card is also bad, then we still need to wait.
I think the biggest value from this Power is that we don’t have to waste a turn to take the card. As long as we have one card in front of us, we can save the worker cards and just do the switch. If somehow we can combine it with Cheater, then this can become more useful.
Ghost of Lovely Spinster
Power: All Worker cards allow you to obtain 3 Coins.
This makes the Worker cards become more powerful, with the exception of the 4th one. The weakest one can now take 3 coins while originally they cannot. That is a huge deal because then, the other Workers can focus on doing something else like taking cards or resources.
The challenge is that we still can only have 5 Coins. So, going twice and get 6 coins is a bit wasteful. That means, this allows us to be a bit less efficient when taking more expensive options.
This is not as powerful as Benefactor as we still need to take one action, losing a turn and a Worker Card. While we have the Coin to retrieve cards early but we might want to spend the coins for something more productive.
Power: Each time another player has to pay Coins, you obtain 1 Coin.
This is not bad to generate 1 Coin but we need to make sure that the other player will pay something. That means, we probably have to make sure that all resources with the free cost are occupied. This can also happen when other players have to take their Worker cards before their hand is empty.
For the opponents against this Character, the effect can be lowered by having Mistress or Landowner. From what I understand we will only get coin from Tax Collector if the other players have to pay something after the discount.
My issue with this is that I tend to forget about having this ability at all. Mostly because it doesn’t happen that often and the other player might get away from it. Especially with 2 players as the card might switch to other player before we can get any benefit.
Power: You obtain 1 Coin at the beginning of each of your turn.
This is a very powerful one. Even if we can only have 5 Coins, but with this, we don’t have to worry about spending it. For drawing cards, we might even take the most expensive one.
Benefactor is even more powerful when it is combined with the Cheater. We flip one Coin card and the card will become a building card. On our next turn, we will get back up to 5 coins again.
Maybe it is worth keeping the character by acquiring every building card with the green Guild, preventing the other player to take it. Unless, for the last couple of turns.
With the new Character variant, I think this is the best one to take from the green Guild, at least early in the game.
Power: When you build, you gain the bonus from adjacent buildings even if not directly linked by a street.
The rule only says gain bonus from adjacent building. I assume it means only orthogonally adjacent buildings that are not connected by street. The bonuses are either getting or trading resources or another coin per adjacent card.
That means, this is very situational. Most of the time we will always try to just connect the street so we can get bonus. This give some flexibility.
As an example, if we have a building that can get score from all buildings in the same row or column, usually we just want to create a long connected street or we won’t get any bonus. With this, we can still play other cards and build up that bonus.
At the end of the game, coin is worth nothing but getting resources, assuming we still have a worker means 1 point each on Resource board. The problem is that we might not need the resource of that adjacent buildings.
While we can probably get up to 4 additional bonuses by filling an empty slot covered by 4 adjacent cards. In reality, it is very unlikely to pursue that strategy. We are lucky to have that situation and this card at the same time.
Power: After another player builds a building (even during last turn), you can build too (using the usual rule of DEVELOP ODDVILLE). You have to pay 2 Coins.
This can be very useful, especially using the original rule where the game ends immediately after one player has placed their 6th worker. Using this, the owner can still build one more building. Of course that is less relevant for that idea if we use the variant.
It is still a good additional move during the game. Instead of one turn to build, we can use our actual turn preparing for the next building. It’s just that we need to constantly have 2 Coins. So, it can be powerful if we combine it with Benefactor or one of the Green.
The tricky part about this Character is if the active player manage to take away the Builder card by building a white card. In that case, the previous owner of the Builder card won’t gain extra action.
I guess the other players can also take advantage by having Tax Collector. Everytime the Builder pays 2 Coins, the Tax Collector will take one Coin.
Power: At any time during your turn, you can place 1 of your workers on an empty resource spot of the Main Square, paying the corresponding resources. A Player cannot have more than 1 Worker on the Main Square. At the end of the game, the player that has this card in front of himself gains 0 points if he has a worker on the Main Square. 7 points if he doesn’t.
This one is a bit tricky for several reasons. For one, I missed the part about MOVING workers from the Resource Board to the Main Square for a while. I thought this just allows me to put a Worker without paying anything. The icon on the card actually shows the Resource board as part of the Power icon.
At first, I thought that this Character allows us to gain one more resources which is on the Main Square. Now, I’m not sure if we are allowed to take the workers away from it. The rule only says that we cannot take away workers from the Building cards in the City and I assume that Main Square is also one of the Building card.
If that is the case, then this Character is just about getting either 7 points or 4 points and no useful power to help us with the gameplay. It would have been more interesting if this can add something to the resource management.
I can see that some people might miss the rule where we can still gain 4 points from the Main Square by having the worker there. The rule itself only explain it in the example.
So, the benefit is if we lose the Traveller card, we still can get 4 points if not 7. We have to be aware with other player’s attempt to force us to lose this card. Also, we can even do the reset ourselves. With the 2nd end game variant, getting the lock can ensure the 7 points. But since we cannot take the worker away from the Main Square, then we actually lose 3 points for placing at all.
The last thing about Traveller is, this can actually triggers the end of the game without building 6th building. The rule only say about placing 6th workers in the City not the 6th building to trigger it.
If that’s the case, then it can be a good idea to move one worker to Main Square and end the game, especially using the original rule. Otherwise, the opponent might do it.
The next type of cards are the Worker Cards. There will be 12 Worker cards that comes with the game to support 4 players. Each player will have identical set of 4 different Worker cards, with the exception of the card’s color that matches with the player’s color.
On the back side of each worker card, we can see the game’s title with 2 part background split vertically in the middle. The left side will have the player color, either Red, Blue, Yellow or Purple and the right side is the game’s color which is also yellow with checker pattern.
I don’t like the idea for the Yellow player color. It is not a big deal but they could have used different background color to make it more distinguishable.
But it really doesn’t matter. As long as the player can keep their set of 4 cards, players can mix up their cards from different colors. There is no mechanism to make the cards switch hand to other players. The cards will be either in our hand or on the table in front of the owner.
On the front side, the cards will have a player color on the border. Each card will have three rows for different uses of the card. This is the Multi Use Card aspect of the game.
The top row will start with a picture of the worker class. Next to it, either we see an empty space or coins between 1 to 3 coins. The picture doesn’t mean anything but the Coin indicates that one of the use of the Worker cards is to gain Coins.
The second row will show the resource icon or icons. This indicates the type of resources that this Worker can take by playing the card.
The third row will icons that resembles the Building Card Row or Market. It will show 6 faceup cards and a deck of coin cards. The six face up cards will use either green color or red color. Green color means the card in that position will be free to take by the corresponding Worker.
The red one has a cost. Next to the red card icons, we will see a Coin icon and a number with a number 1 or the cheapest is farther from the deck while up to 5 for the closest one to the deck.
In this game, all players will start with all 4 cards in hand. On their turn, they can choose to play one to do one of 3 actions or do different actions. Player will then place the card on the table as the way to play the card and resolve the effect.
The cards will stay on the table unless the player choose to recover them early or the player can just wait until they have played all of the cards. Recovering them early has a cost. One coin per remaining cards in the player’s hand.
So, if player has played all cards and no card left in their hand, recovering them will cost nothing. Once all cards have been retrieved, players can play them again in any order for any action according to the card.
Here is the detail of each Worker Cards
Building Card: Free for spot #1
Resource: Wood, Clay
Building Card: Free for spot #1 – #2
Resource: Wood, Clay, Stone
Building Card: Free for spot #1 – #3
Resource: Wood, Clay, Stone, Crystal
Building Card: Free for spot #1 – #4
Since all players have the same set of cards, we can tell what the other players can do on their turn based on the remaining cards. Even if we are supposed to keep the cards in our hand, it is not really a secret and not that hard to keep track of.
By considering those information, players can then predict, whether they need to claim cards or resources right away, or just wait until the next round. This will change a bit when players have some characters.
Most of the time, our focus would be deciding the order of the cards to play and which of 3 actions to take from each. So, we will try to make sure that each Worker can be efficient and work toward the same goal, which is mostly to build the Buildings.
Maybe one to take the card, one to take coins, and the remaining two and one more next to take resources. But then the random setup with cards from the Building row can make it more tricky to decide.
We can probably take the card using the strongest Worker. But at the same time, we also need the that exact workers to take Crystal that is required by the building.
We can try different approach using the other Worker but it may require extra cost. So, then, we need to use one to gain Coins. Now we need to gain Coin first but other players can then take cards or resources before us. At that point, we will start considering what the other players are capable of in the next couple of turns instead of just focusing on ours.
Those kind of decisions is what we will be experiencing throughout the game until the end game is triggered.
Clearly, we will always want to rely on the strongest Worker. However, if we only try to use that one and keep recovering as soon as possible, it won’t be very efficient. We also have to pay a lot of coins while we can still do something with the other workers.
The amount of coin that each Worker can take is always the same. For resources, it is more flexible. While only specific workers can access certain resources, the additional cost might make it different because it depends on the other player.
It also depends on the building requirement. Not every building requires a Crystal. Some may need just the cheaper one. The score that we can get from the building is what matters.
We can also try to take bonuses by connecting streets from buildings. Most of them can give extra resources so we don’t need to use specific workers. We can even get resources for free if it comes from bonus. Coin as bonus is very rare like only 7 Building cards out of 64 but it can help.
That leaves us with the ability of Workers on getting Building cards as the main priority. Playing worker card is the main, almost only way to take cards. There is no bonus that generate cards. While some characters allow us to gain cards, we have to acquire those Characters first.
Of course, the strongest worker will give more flexibility when taking the cards. We only need up to 2 coins to acquire any card from the market using the strongest one. But because the cards on the market will slide cards to a cheaper spot, we can probably just wait until the card that we want will be in the affordable space.
The challenge only comes from the other players as they can take it away before it comes to our turn again. Which is why always having the strongest card ready will be crucial.
However, the weaker card can also take all cards. It’s just, it will be more expensive. This can also affect the other players. Even if they can spend 5 coins on the weakest card to take the card at the sixth spot, more likely than not, they will not consider it a a good deal.
As mentioned before, while we can recover the played cards early, the most efficient way to play is to assign specific task for each Worker. The hardest one would be for the weakest worker.
This one cannot take coins and can only take Wood. If we cannot pay any Coin, we are stuck with just free card on the 1st spot. So, if the card is not that good, then it will be a waste of turn.
That means, we always have to make sure that we have at least certain coins to give more flexibility to the weakest worker. Even if the market doesn’t have any good card for all players, if we take one with this worker, maybe the next card to show up will be very good. In that case, one of the next players might take it before us and we are just helping them.
Main Square Card
Now we get to the last type of component, which is the Building Cards. Building cards are the card that we need to build to expand the city of OddVille together with the other competing players.
Main Square card is the starting card of the city. We are expanding the city by placing another building card next to it. With that idea, we can say that OddVille is one of the tile laying or tile placement game that uses card as the tile.
On the back side of the card, it won’t have a Coin symbol like the other Building cards but we can find the game’s title and the 4 Guild Icons. This is almost similar to End of the Game Card but without the lock icon.
On the front side of the card, we can see the illustration of a Main Square of OddVille. At the top left corner, we can see a shield with a number 4 on it.
This represents the Victory Points that a player can get if they can place their worker on this card using certain Characters. Also, some building cards can gain Victory Points from the adjacent cards and that number will serve that purpose.
At the top right corner of the card, we can see a 3D box with 4 colors. This represents the bonus we can get if we build building adjacent to this card and connecting the street. The four colors means, we can choose one of 4 type of resources.
This Main square has a street connecting the right, lower and left end of the card. The street to the north is blocked by buildings.
When placing a new building card to the city, we have to always place it orthogonally adjacent to the existing cards but not diagonally. We also need to follow the edges of the card. If it has a street to one end, then the card next to that end will have to continue the street. Otherwise, it will show houses on the edge of the card and the card next to it will need to connect it with another houses.
In the case of Main Square, the first player to build can only build on the left side, right side or lower side of this Main Square. All 3 of them must continue the street, even if the next card will cut the street immediately like a dead end.
Technically, we can also build upwards by building a building card with houses on lower end. However, the rule says that the Main Square determines the top available row we can build.
One of the example in the rule suggests that the next building card can still have a street connecting to the top or north part as if there are more rows above the Main Square. But we are not allowed to build further up.
Around the intersection on Main Square card, we can find 4 different resource icons. This is how a player can claim the Main Square by using Traveller Character’s power. The player who has their worker on this card will gain the stated 4 points at the top left corner.
The resource icons indicates the cost we need to pay in order to claim the card. Once an icon is occupied, the other players cannot take that same spot. Each player can and only need to have 1 worker on this Main Square card.
If this worker is the player’s 6th workers in the City, it will trigger the end of the game.
On one hand, I keep asking why we are not allowed to build upwards from this Main Square row. It will give more flexibility for the first couple of buildings. From my experience, I had some sessions where all of the starting cards from the Market or Building rows are almost the same which is hard to connect to this Main Square.
We can still build something but that player will have to lose the chance on getting bonuses which can be significant to win.
On the other hand, this will help players determine the direction of expanding the OddVille. I have played other tile laying games where we cannot predict where the expansion will go and a lot of holes between tiles.
In that case with a small table space, I have to stop the game to kind of rotate the tableau or all tiles that have been played. That way, we can keep expanding in any direction.
OddVille still has that issue but more manageable. Most of the time, we will go downwards more than to the right or left side from this Main Square.
However, I can also see how they can introduce different starting Main Square card. For example, instead of determining the top most row, it can be the top right corner or the left or right most column.
It can even be the center of the city but limited grid size. They can use one of the cards with fountain on it as the starting card. Of course, for that idea, the designer has to make sure that any of them will work with the entire Building cards.
Building / Coin Cards
This is the last type of the components from OddVille. We will use all of these 64 cards to expand the city of OddVille in any player count.
On the back side of each card, we can see a Gold Coin Icon with a number 1 on it. This indicates that if this side is facing up, it will work as a Coin Card with a value of 1 each card.
This is how the card becomes a multi purpose card, not exactly multi use. We have no choice to switch the card freely for different uses. However, the game may utilize it in a different way.
There are a lot of games that use both sides of card differently like Peloponnes Card Game, Oh My Goods! or One Deck Dungeon. It is a clever design system to reduce the amount of components. However, there is a downside to this in my opinion.
I feel like when a card serves a different purpose, it will be removed from the pool or the rotation. Instead of a balance number of cards for each variant, we might end up seeing the same type of cards more than the other.
I don’t know how that can significantly impact the experience in OddVille but I keep asking myself that question. Maybe the Coin Cards that we have is the exact Building cards that can help us win the game. It’s more of randomness issue but using the card for different purposes can make the issue worse.
When we flip the card, the front side will have an illustrations of a building or cityscape at the center, surrounded by houses with darker color. Like the Main Square card, it may or may not have some streets connecting different edges of the card.
At the top left corner of each card, we can either find a Victory Point value or Scoring Conditions of both. The player who build that card will have access to the VP and/or the scoring condition stated by the card.
At the top right corner, we can see either a Guild Icon, Bonuses, or both. This is what players can get by building the card to the city. For the Bonus, player who build the card will not just get the bonus from that card but also from the adjacent card connected by the street. Players who can take advantage of that can create a combo to help them build the next card faster.
The bottom middle part of the card will show the required resources to build the card. Each of them will require at least 2 up to 3 resources. Two of them can be from the same resource type or all 3 different resources.
The game itself doesn’t give a name to these buildings so it will be difficult to communicate. Some are Parks, Fountains, a few look like a Church, Castle, Tower or Mansion or just houses.
Luckily, based on the art, there are only like 9 different types of buildings, each with a number of variants. Variants are just the same building but with different colors on the roof that are associated with the printed Guild icons.
Each different type of buildings also has the same scoring conditions and Victory Points. It’s not that we need to remember but at a glance I thought we will have more variety. What makes the card unique within the same group is the street connection, bonuses and set of required resources.
Victory Points and Scoring Conditions
In my opinion, Victory Point and Scoring Condition is the most important aspect to consider when building the cards to the city. After all, we are trying to score the most points.
We might just go for the highest Victory Points but the Scoring Condition can also contributes a lot of points.
The Victory points will have a number on a Shield Icon. The value can be 0 or no shield at all up to 5 per card. Next to the victory point value, some cards also have a Diamond. Some buildings can generate points based on the number of Diamond in the city.
There are 7 different Scoring Conditions that we can find from these cards.
5 or 4 VP plus Diamond. With 4 or 5 VP each as the base value if we build them. There are a total of 16 cards, 7 with the 5 VP and 9 for the 4 VP.
The Diamond itself will not generate any point unless we build a different buildings that can give us points based on the Diamond icons available in the city. That building count any Diamond building regardless of the owner.
So, we don’t want to build Diamonds if we cannot get any score from it. We might end up just giving the opponents score as well. Those 4 or 5 VP are huge value but the opponents can do something else that won’t give us any point in return.
Those with 5 VP have all variants of T shape street connection. Two of them are dead end street and one connect the north and south edge. For the 4 VP Diamonds, there are 3 buildings that connect north and south edge, 5 cards with L shape street, and 1 dead end from the left.
3VP plus 1 per Diamond. We will need to build one of these 7 cards if we want to gain score from any Diamond icon in the City. If we build more from this, that can will multiply the score from Diamonds. It can be huge if the opponent is doing the job.
4 cards from this group has T shape street connection, 2 with L shape, one will connect north and south and 1 more to connect east and west.
If each player can build 6 buildings which all of them have diamonds, with 2 players, we can only get 12 points or less. Even with higher player count, it doesn’t mean all of the cards will come out. Most of the time each player will probably build 3 Diamonds or less.
2VP plus 1 per Building card in the same row. The bonus includes this exact card, so, technically we will get at least 3 points. I feel like most of the time, we can easily build 3 cards in a row in any session and get a total of 5 points from this category.
There are only 4 cards with this type. Two has an L shape street connections with different configuration, one that connects north and south, and the last one connect east and west.
This is actually a bit tricky. With the L shape street, we are essentially cutting the row. We can still build something next to it but either we lose the bonus from street connection or we have to find a different connection.
The same goes with the North-South connection. Even the opponent can easily block the east-west connection. The bonus is useful during the game for the next building but during final round, we should just care about the points which can be huge. Just using all 4 cards of this in a row can give us 6 points each.
2 or 1 VP plus 1 per Guild. This is similar to Diamond as the owner of buildings with the corresponding Guild doesn’t matter. That means, we cannot just build this and add more of the same guild as our opponent can take advantage of that.
Each Guild only has 2 of this type, one with 2 VP and one with 1 VP. Those cards themselves count for the bonus, so technically we get 1 extra points already. The 2 VP variants have 2 with L shape connection, 1 dead end from the north and one with N-S connection.
The 1 VP variants have 3 dead end cards from north, east and west and one card with N-S connection. Each Guild has about 14 cards that can give 14 points if all of them get built.
With just 6 workers limit before the end of the game and 4 Guilds, there will be less than 4 buildings of the same Guild.
1 VP plus 1 per card in the same column. This card also counts for the bonus, so we will get at least 2 points. There are only 4 cards for this, one for each Guild.
Three of them have L shape connection while one with T connection going N-S. This T one is probably the strongest one because the next building we connect to the south will at least give 1 more point.
This is more flexible than other scoring conditions like based on Guild. We don’t need to always connect the street.
1 VP plus 1 per orthogonally adjacent building. At most we can get a total of 5 points from this. All of the cards have fountains as the art. There are 8 cards from this group, two for each Guild.
From my experience, we probably want to play this one as early as possible. Later in the game, it will be much more difficult to find connection if there are already 2 buildings from the same corner. If one edge of that corner doesn’t open to connection, then, we cannot build this one.
Also, it is very rare to even have 4 adjacent buildings connected to this one. It almost never happen to fill the gap with already four adjacent cards in play using this card.
While we might try to avoid playing this later in the game but there is a chance that we might end up have to do it. Maybe it can create a perfect connection with the next card. It sucks when we have to play this just because the other player keeps cutting the street with their buildings. In that case, we could be losing a lot of turns with taking cards and the resources to build this one.
0 VP plus VP from orthogonally adjacent buildings. The icon will have a shield with no number and 4 orthogonally adjacent cards. These cards themselves won’t generate points on their own.
We still get something because of the rule to connect with the existing cards and it doesn’t have to be connected by the street. The Main Square itself can give 4 points if we play this one next to it.
At most, we can get a total of 20 points, by playing all 5 VP cards adjacent to this one, which will unlikely to happen. But we don’t really need to get that 20 points. If we can build it next to 1 5 VP card and connect one more card with just 1 or 2 VP, we already score a lot.
I guess, this is another reason why we might want to avoid playing those Diamond cards. It is also possible that the next building also doesn’t have any base VP like those Parks or this same type of card. In that case, we won’t score anything.
If our opponent play this one, maybe we should try to cut it by playing low value cards. Playing Parks is actually a good idea for this as we will get 3 VP just from this card and the opponent will gain nothing. The Fountain is the next one as we still give our opponent 1 VP.
There are 8 cards from this type, two for each Guild. 3 of them are dead ends, 2 have an L shape, 2 will connect N-S and 1 connects E-W.
0 VP plus 3 VP per Orthogonally Adjacent Cards. These are the Parks. None of these 8 cards are associated with any Guild. They also have no street connection so we won’t get any bonus from the adjacent cards, except for the score.
All of them also require a set of 3 unique Resources and get one in return for most of them. Some will just give coins or trade resources. This still counts for the Row or Column bonuses. Fountains cannot connect at all with this.
So, the total score per this card can give us 12 points, assuming we can have 4 adjacent cards. Because no street connection bonus, maybe ideally we should try build this towards the end of the game. We will definitely get 3 points at least and possibly get a second or even third one.
If we go for this, we are probably ignoring the Guild’s bonuses but the Guild might not appear at all. The only downside is we won’t get any points from Characters by focusing on this.
This could be a very strong scoring condition. They are very flexible to build as we will always find one side of existing card that is not connected by a street. With Characters, we might even lose them.
Guilds and Bonuses
On the surface, it may seem that each Guild and bonus are distributed equally throughout all Building cards in the game. It turns out, if we check the number, some Guilds are associated with certain bonuses more frequently than others.
Here are the details aside from 8 cards with no association to any Guild.
Wood: White (3), Green and Blue (2)
Clay: White (3), Blue (3), Purple (1)
Stone: Green (5), White (1), Purple (1)
Crystal: Purple (5), Blue (2)
Coin: White (3), Purple (3), Blue (1)
Trade: Blue (4), White (2), Green (1)
Wild: Purple (3), Green (3), White (1)
Double: Green (3), Blue (2), Purple (1), White (1)
I don’t know if this information really helps with the strategy but in my experience, there were times when I got a lot of resources of one type. Maybe from this data, we can adjust the strategy a bit if we consider the Character’s power from the associated Guild.
For example, Blue has the most Trading Bonus. Considering that the Guild’s Power is leaning towards getting cheaper resources, then, maybe we don’t have to worry about getting a wrong resources. We can just go to the cheapest available ones and later trade them.
Green can significantly give more Stones than the other types. I guess, if we need to pay coin for resources, we should try spending them for the other types.
Purple can generate a lot of Coins, Wild Resources and Crystal. I guess we should utilize the strongest worker to take cards.
White is more evenly distributed to all types of bonuses. A bit difficult on getting Crystal or Wild resources as bonus.
All of these matter mostly if we build a building that can give score based on the Guild icons.
That is it with all of the components that we will get from OddVille. Now, we can learn how to play the game using these components.
How to Play
OddVille is a competitive game for 2 to 4 players. As I have mentioned above, the original rule has some issue related to how the game ends. The publisher already included variants to fix that issue in the second printing of the game. I personally like using End of the Game Variant 2.
Up to this point, there is no official solo variant to play OddVille. There is a fan made one that we can find from this link but I have not tried it.
This next video has a bit of tutorial for how to play OddVille by Jason from The Boardgame Mechanics channel.
1st. Each player chooses a color and then takes 4 WORKER CARDS and 9 WORKER PAWNS with the matching color. Return the unused components to the box.
The Worker cards goes into their hands and we can place the Worker pawns on the table in front of the player to create the player’s supply. Each player also need to leave some space on the table in front of them for their Coin Cards, Character Cards, Building Cards and played Worker Cards.
2nd. Place the MAIN SQUARE CARD in the middle of the table. We need to leave some spaces around this card for several rows and columns of cards to build the City of OddVille. This Main Square Card will be the top most row so the direction will be either going down, left or right from that card.
3rd. Place the RESOURCE BOARD on the table, using the right side face up, either the side for 2 or the side for 3/4 players. The number of players will be at the top left corner on both sides of the Resource Board.
4th. Sort the CHARACTER CARDS according to their Guild to form 4 decks. Shuffle each deck separately and place them on the table face up. Depending on the player count, we need to remove a number of cards from each deck.
For 4 players, remove nothing, 3 players remove 1 from each, and for 2 players remove 2 cards from each Guild or deck. So, in 2 player game, each Guild will only have 1 character in play. We can return the unused cards to the box.
5th. Shuffle the COIN / BUILDING CARDS to form a deck. Place the deck on the table face down. Then, reveal 6 cards from the top of the deck to create THE BUILDING ROW or the Market Row next to this deck.
6th. Choose the FIRST PLAYER and the turn order will go clockwise from that player. Players will have to choose their STARTING RESOURCE, starting from the last player in the turn order, going counter clockwise.
Each player has to choose a different starting resource.
The player will then place one of their Worker Pawn in the upper slot, with 2 Coin icon of the chosen resource quadrant. That means, the cheaper slot will remain empty.
7th. Keep the END OF THE GAME CARD ready and this will be given to a player who triggers the end of the game later.
So, that’s the setup and we are ready to begin the game.
The game of OddVille will be played in a number of rounds. Players will take turns doing 1 action in clockwise order until the end of the game is triggered. Using the End of the Game variant 2, after one player has triggered the endgame, the rest of the players will do one more action. So, each player may not get the same number of turns.
Then players will proceed to scoring to determine the winner. The action they can do during their turn is only one of 2 possible Actions: PLAY 1 WORKER CARD or DEVELOP ODDVILLE.
If the player also has certain Character, they can choose to activate the Power once per turn in addition to taking the one of 2 possible actions.
NOTE: the player who has the Green Character, THE BENEFACTOR, takes 1 Coin from the deck at the start of their turn.
Activate Character’s Power
Some of the characters’ power can be activated as additional action during the player’s turn. The others can happen by tweaking the original rule for the 2 possible actions.
If the player has the purple character, THE CHEATER, they can switch one of their Coin cards into Building Card. They are not allowed to look at the other side of coin Card before switching them. Remember that we can only have up to 2 Building cards at a time.
If the player has the purple character, THE BOOKKEEPER, they can swap one of their Building cards with any of 6 cards in the Building Row.
If the player has the white character, THE TRAVELLER, they can place one of the worker pawn to an empty resource spot on the Main Square card by paying the corresponding resources.
A player cannot have more than 1 worker on the Main Square. That pawn will stay on the card until the end of the game and counts for triggering the end of the game.
The rule says that this can be done during the player’s turn. However, after resolving one of 2 possible actions, their turn is over. So, it has to be before taking the action or it can happen between resolving some steps of those action.
We can tap the character card to indicate that we have activated that power in this turn.
Play 1 Worker Card
For this action, there are 2 parts: Recover Cards and Play 1 Card. If a player has no card in hand, they will recover all 4 cards and immediately play one.
However, players can also choose to recover all played cards while still having some cards in hand. For that, they will need to pay 1 Coin for each card still in their hand. Return the required Coin Cards back to the bottom of the Coin deck as payment.
NOTE: the player who has the green character, TAX COLLECTOR, they will gain 1 Coin if there was a payment by the other player.
After that the player will have all 4 cards in hand and they can immediately play one.
NOTE: if the player has the Purple Character, THE MISTRESS, they get a discount of 1 Coin for recovering cards early. So, with 1 card remaining in hand it will be free.
To play a card, player will take one Worker Card from their hand and place it on the table. That player will have to declare which ability of that Worker they want to use and resolve the corresponding action.
Depending on the Worker cards, they can either OBTAIN COINS or OBTAIN 1 RESOURCE or OBTAIN 1 BUILDING CARD. Then their turn is over.
To OBTAIN COINS, the player simply take a number of card from the top of COIN / BUILDING DECK and place them on the table in front of them with the Coin side face up. The number of card they can take is shown by the top row of the played Worker Card, which can be either 0 up to 3.
There is a LIMIT of 5 COIN CARDS at a time that each player can have. Each player has to discard the excess if they have more. Return the discard Coin card at the bottom of the deck.
Players are not allowed to look at the other side of their Coin Card to find out which building the card has.
NOTE: if the player has the Green Character, Ghost of Lovely Spinster, any Worker Cards can take 3 Coins.
To OBTAIN 1 RESOURCE, the player put one of their Worker on the cheapest slot available of the chosen resources. The type of the resource they can take is determined by the played Worker Card which can be either just 1 type or up to 4 types.
NOTE: if the player has the Blue Character, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER, any Worker can take any type of resources. If the player has the blue Character, SEIGNIOR, they can obtain 2 resources indicated by the Worker Cards in one turn, placing 2 Worker Pawns for the same type or different resources.
They will then have to pay Coins indicated by the slot on the Resource Board if any which can be 0 or free up to 2 Coins. Return the required Coin cards back to the bottom of the deck as payment.
NOTE: if the player has the Blue Character, LANDOWNER, they get a discount of 1 Coin when obtaining a Resource.
The player who has the green character, TAX COLLECTOR, they will gain 1 Coin if there was a payment by the other player. If the other player paid nothing because of the discount, the Tax Collector collects nothing.
At any time during the game, players can remove one of their Worker pawns from the Resource Board and return them to the player’s supply.
To OBTAIN 1 BUILDING CARD, player plays one of the Worker Card and take 1 of the 6 cards from the Building Row. Players can take any of those 6 cards but depending on the Worker cards they play, they might have to pay additional Coin cost which can be 1 up to 5 Coins.
The cost is indicated by the played Worker card. It is Free of charge if the position of the chosen card is depicted in green. If the position is depicted in red, there will be stated cost next to that position.
After the player has paid the Coin cost by returning Coin cards at the bottom of the deck, they take the chosen Building card and put it in front of them on the table.
NOTE: the player who has the green character, TAX COLLECTOR, they will gain 1 Coin if there was a payment by the other player.
NOTE: there a limit of 2 Building cards that a player can have at a time. They need to discard the excess and return the card at the bottom of the deck with coin side face up.
Everytime a building card is taken from the Building row, we move the remaining building to the left, leaving just one empty space next to the deck. Then, draw one card from the top of the deck to replenish that empty space.
For this action, player will be placing one of their Building card in front of them to the OddVille. There are a couple of steps to resolve this action.
First, they need to pay the required resources by taking their workers from the Resources board. Start from the cheapest slot of each type and put the workers back to the player’s supply.
The required resources for the building are shown at the bottom part of the card. There will be 2 or 3 resources for each building with up to 2 resources of the same type.
Second, they place the Building Card into the OddVille by following the construction rule. Then they need to indicate that the building is theirs by placing one of their worker pawn onto that card.
There are 5 construction rules.
One. The building must be placed orthogonally adjacent to one of the previously placed building card or Main Square Card.
Two. The Main Square Card determines the top most row of OddVille. So, we can build at the sides and below this Main Square Card but not above that row. As shown by the example in the rule sheet, the building in the top row can still have a street connecting to area above that row.
Three. The Building card cannot be rotated.
Four. We need to follow the edges of the card. Houses must be placed next to houses and streets must be placed next to street.
Five. Once placed in the City, Building cards cannot be moved or removed.
Third, they resolve the Bonus. There are 2 types of Bonus at the top right corner of each Building cards: the Guild Bonus and Resource Bonus.
Players only get the Guild Bonus from the Building that they just placed not the connected adjacent card. In general, players can get the Resources bonus from the card they just placed and the adjacent building cards that are connected by the street.
For the Resource Bonus, we can either take 1 resource of the indicated type, double the resources, take 1 Coin or transform 1 Resources as stated by the Building card.
For this, if we have to place one Worker to take resource, we always go to the cheapest available slot but for free, even if the slot shows 1 or 2 Coins. Double and transform mean that we need to already have 1 Worker on the Resource Board to gain the result. The Bonuses are optional.
NOTE: if the player has a White Character, LAMPLIGHTER, they can also gain Resource Bonus from any adjacent cards even if those cards are not directly connected by the street.
For the Guild Bonus, we simply take a card from the top of corresponding Guild deck. If there are not card from that deck, all players, including the player who just placed the Building card must return all Character cards of that Guild. The cards will be shuffled to form a new deck.
NOTE: Using the End of the Game Variant 2, the owner of End of the Game card will keep their Characters until the end of the game.
Then, that active player can take the top most card. That player will then place that Character card in front of them.
After resolving the bonuses, the active player’s turn is over.
NOTE: after one player has done resolving their Develop OddVille action, the other player who has the white Character, THE BUILDER can also choose to do Develop OddVille action. This player needs to pay additional 2 Coins and the required resources for the building.
Resolve both the Resource Bonus and Guild Bonus as if they are done as regular action. If then, the Active player managed to force the owner of The Builder to return the card, then the follow action doesn’t happen.
End of the Game
The end of the game is triggered once a player has placed their 6th worker pawn in the City. This includes placing by using the power of white character, THE TRAVELLER or as a Bonus Action for having THE BUILDER.
Using the End of the Game Variant 2, the one who triggered the end of the game will take the END OF THE GAME CARD after resolving their action. By having that card, that player gets to keep any of the Character cards until the end of the game.
However, the reset can still happen after placing the 6th worker and before taking that card. After that all other players get to take 1 more action. So, it’s possible that players will not get equal number of turns.
Then, we can proceed to Scoring.
For scoring, players simply count their Victory Points from 3 categories.
One. The VP value from Building Card and Main Square Card that has the player’s worker on it. Each card can have a base value, indicated by the number on a Shield icon and a dynamic value based on the Scoring condition on the card.
Two. The VP from each Character card that the player has in front of them. Each card can give from 2 up to 7 VP. The Traveller character can give either 0 or 7 VP.
Three. 1 VP for each worker that the player has on Resource Board.
The player with the most points wins. In case of a tie, the player who triggered the end of the game or closest (in clockwise order) to the player who triggered the end wins.
That is it with how to play OddVille.
My Experience & Thoughts
For my first couple of plays, my focus was just to connect the next building with the street. Obviously it will give more bonus then just connecting anything.
With that in mind, I always went for the cheapest card and cheapest resource, tried not to spend Coins at all. I thought that would be how the game should be played and that was how efficient we can be.
Since the Characters don’t stay with us and getting them depends on the Guild icon on the Building card, I also ignore most of them. Using the original Character variant, some characters might not even available in the game. I thought their power is situational and not that powerful.
What I found with what I thought the obvious approach is that the game becomes boring. Doing anything feels repetitive. Occasionally, we will need more Coins, so I need to play 1 Worker just to get Coins but that’s about it.
Because of the bonus after building, the game still feels to keep moving forward. Just wait for my turns to get anything, either cards or resources. Eventually I can find a way to connect one of my Buildings to the City, either with or without street connection or to get resources for free.
I don’t care about getting certain Characters or even trying to take them from the opponents. We have no control over what’s available in the Building row anyway.
So, I kind of lose interest to keep playing this game. After that, I started paying attention to the score. I noticed that the score can swing a lot, especially with just 2 players. Even if both players manage to place 5 or 6 of their Workers, the difference in score can be huge like less than 30 for one player and over 40 for the other.
Then, I moved from just chasing the next easy building to build and go for the victory points. Going for buildings with 5 VP as the base value seems much better than those that only give like 1 VP. I noticed that some doesn’t even give any VP just to build them.
Those with 4 or 5 VP also have a Diamond. So, I need to chase the buildings that give VP from those diamonds as well. Then I realized that the opponent can just piggyback by focusing on the building that can generate score from those Diamonds. Without owning any Diamonds at all, they can still get some scores.
I thought maybe those 4 and 5 VP buildings are not that powerful and I have to go for other buildings that generate VP from other buildings. Or at least, we need to make sure that we are not the only one doing the work while our opponent can just take advantage from our effort.
Because of that, I realized that holding and timing becomes matter. The scoring is what makes it interesting instead of just build anything mindlessly.
Even just getting resources is not that useful. They can still become points at the end but there will be times when we will get a lot of resources of one type and we cannot do anything with them.
So, the other buildings that give similar scoring conditions are either those that give points based on Guilds and VP per buildings in the same row or column. For VP based on Guild, it depends on whether the card will come out for both the scoring itself and the Guild.
It’s possible that Buildings with one type of Guild will come out more often than the others. Each Guild will have 2 cards to gain score from specific guild. I guess we have to be aware when those cards get built but we are the only one who cannot get score from them.
There is really nothing we can do about it. Hate drafting, preventing the other player from building more of that Guild will not be efficient. If it is just 2 players, then, preventing the second one to get built is easier. In fact, if one player can get both scoring, it will be very powerful.
In other games usually they can introduce a scoring condition where we can get points just from any Guild but maybe with lower value. Or they can also make a pair like we can get score from two Guilds instead of one with just building one card.
I’ve never played with more than 2 players. So, with 3, it is possible to just two players are kind of working together for the same guild, leaving that one player alone?
While the total points can be the same from that scoring condition but I think the two players can have more advantage than the one working alone. I assume the points from Characters is what prevents both players to just work on just one and the same Guild.
The next scoring where we can get more points from each building in either the same row or column is an interesting one. Unlike the previous one that are based on Guild, this one has spatial restriction. We can just build anywhere in the City for the Guild but this rows and columns are kind of more difficult to execute.
Of course, we will try to just extend the street in either directions for the bonus but most of the times we won’t find the perfect building with that street. Especially those that connects west and east side while north – south connection is more common.
If then, we wait, the other players can just interfere by building something adjacent to it. In that case, there is a chance that we might lose our chance to build ours completely. It is very easy for other players to both interfere and piggyback.
Usually the longest row or column we can get in my experience is about 4 buildings including the one with scoring condition. It can be huge mostly because part of it is somebody else’s effort.
While we will eventually break the street from a contiguous row or column, we can still extend it without that street connection and the bonus. I ignored this idea immediately. But it does have some uses towards the end of the game because we don’t care that much about getting the bonus.
Speaking of getting bonuses as many as we can, I thought those Parks were rather weak. Mostly because they don’t have any street and no Guild icon. I guess it is one way to stop giving points to other players who collect that specific Guild.
They don’t have base value but 3 points per adjacent building is huge. It is almost impossible to even get up to 4 but even with just 2 adjacent buildings, getting 6 with just one Park is huge. Not to mention, we can also at the same time extend row or column if we are working for that scoring condition. So, they have some uses.
The Fountains are a bit tricky but can be powerful as well. I thought, because I was looking only for the connection, it’s not that great to build it. On one hand, it actually limit as where we can build it.
Also, it can feel like we are helping other players to just connect theirs. Especially when all available cards in the market are just dead end cards.
At most we can only get 5 points per Fountain card. It is not that difficult if we build them early though. They do have some uses but can be taken advantage by other players.
With all of those scoring conditions from building, then the game makes more sense. We will start chasing certain cards and take the card first.
Understanding those scoring conditions and try to make a plan around it is what make this game interesting. Players have to compete and take advantage or even being mean to each other.
Only then, we know that how precious stronger workers can be and how having and spending Coins is a reasonable action. We cannot just be efficient all the time.
Using the some of the Character’s power to get extra action or even just to make more efficient can make a difference. Some can constantly increase the power like the Benefactor, Landowner, Seignior, Human Resource and the Ghost.
While some others just give extra flexibility but situational like The Mistress, or Lamplighter. Especially the Builder but we need to be prepared. Or we won’t use them at all.
So, this game is not just racing to be the first to trigger the end of the game? That rule is what made me not chasing the best option and went with just the efficient route.
There are some games where we can just build as fast as we can and we will win. The opponent is too busy with chasing the best strategy and score very low points.
I don’t know for sure but I doubt that we can still win with just 3 workers against the opponent’s 6 workers. Even if all 3 buildings score more than their 6, individually.
I guess it has some kind of a balancing act. We still need to be efficient but this is still a race.
The problem is now how easy we can get the right Building? With just 2 players, the market or Building row becomes more static. More recent games will try to replicate what happen in higher player count like removing a card every round like the cheapest one.
Or, each player can take turns choosing one card to remove. Any idea that can help the 2 players cycle through the deck. Or just remove some similar cards for lower player count. I think almost all cards are unique if we consider all elements like street connection so there is a chance removing some cards can make it unbalance.
That Bookkeeper character definitely becomes more interesting for that purpose. But unless we use the new character variant, the card may not be in the game. Even that is situational, only if there is a good card in the market.
The Cheater is just random but if we have more than enough Coins, then it can be something.
For me, after learning more about each card, I can see how there are really few less powerful buildings. I think we can always find some ways to utilize most of them in different strategy. But new players may not even try to dive in that deep.
The scoring in 2 players, the points from Characters can significantly determine the winner. Especially if both players are equally efficient, with playing 5 or 6 workers.
The player who can take all of the Characters in play will definitely win the game. Like it’s the only determining factor. Of course, with just 2 players, it doesn’t matter how many points more we get than the opponent’s, it’s a win.
The least amount of points from 4 Guilds, if one player can take all in 2 player mode will be 8 points. But at the same time, it will prevent the opponent from taking those 8. While if both players have 2 each, both can still get 4 points.
I guess it means both players should be aware with what the other player can do. Especially related to removing those Character cards from their possession. Even if it means build a suboptimal cards just to make sure they can keep those Characters.
I don’t know about the experience in higher player count. Maybe it will be less significant as the reset will less likely to happen and the points will spread to more players.
More building cards will be played as well so in theory, more opportunity to take advantage. But we are still using the same variety of building cards. That means, we have less access to those cards with interesting scoring condition
We will also cycle through the deck more even with just 1 more player as we will spend more Coin cards. Need a significantly bigger table space also.
Overall, I think OddVille is a very good small card game. It’s just players need to compete and chase the best building card instead of just getting the next cheapest thing. Otherwise, it can feel a bit repetitive and boring.
It has hidden depths that players need to explore for their strategy. A lot of player interactions by trying to either block or taking advantage of each other.
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 #OddVilleAtHomeOfMark on IG for all of the sessions.
OddVille is a competitive game for 2 – 4 players. The theme is about building a city of OddVille in a communal board. It has a combination of tile laying mechanism using cards and worker placement mechanism using multiuse cards.
Each player will be playing with 9 worker pawns that they can use to mostly claim a resource spot. To use them, we need to play one of 4 Worker Cards.
The Worker cards are the Multiuse cards with 3 possible actions that the worker can do in varying degree. Either they can take some amount of Coins, draw a building card from central market or claim a certain type of resources.
All 4 worker cards are different. The weakest can only take 1 type of resources and the first Building card for free and no coin. While the strongest can take any of 4 types of resources, 3 coins, or the first 4 building cards for free. All players will have the same set of cards in their hand.
Once played, either we need to play the remaining cards in hand before they are returned to our hand. Or, we can pay some cost to recover them early.
So, we will be faced with a tough choice in this game. Which worker we should play first and which action we need them to do now? We need to be efficient and utilize the weaker cards as well.
The worker placement part is only about getting resources from the Resources board. There are 4 different type of resources, each with their own spot on the board. The board itself can be occupied by any number of workers but with a cost.
We can go for the cheaper spot or even free if we go early. Otherwise, we will need to pay up to 2 Coins.
We need those resources to play a Building card to the City of OddVille. Each card requires up to 3 resources. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing which Building card to take and play.
The first one is the spatial element. Not only we need to place them orthogonally adjacent to the existing cards but we also need to follow the edge, either connect them with the street or the surrounding houses.
Everytime we build them, we pay the cost by taking the workers from the resource board and we permanently lose 1 worker to place them on the card. The end of the game will be triggered after one player has placed their 6th worker in the city,
After building a card, we will also get the depicted bonus by the card, either the Resource Bonus, The Guild Bonus or both. If the card is connected by a street, then, we can also gain Resource bonus of the adjacent buildings.
So, we will try to make a combo so that the resources bonus can be used to build the next building. The Guild Bonus is getting the Character to our side but temporarily.
There are 4 different Guilds and each Guild can have up to 3 Characters in a game. By having them to our side will give us special power that only the owner can use.
The power can be about getting discount, more resources or coins in a turn or even additional action. Some are definitely more powerful anytime while some others are situational.
Once all Characters from 1 Guild have been taken, the next player to gain the Guild Bonus of that Guild will force all players to return all of the characters of that corresponding Guild. Having those Characters themselves can give us point at the end if we can keep them.
What makes the game interesting is the Scoring Conditions that each Building card can give aside from just their base value. Some can give points just from adjacent buildings, some others can give points from buildings in the same row or column.
There are also scoring conditions based on the Guild icons or even the VP of adjacent buildings. What that means is it is possible in this game to take advantage of the other player’s effort from building the City together.
If we don’t care about the other players, we can end up helping them more than ourselves. Sometimes we cannot take advantage and need to cut their progress so they will not get more points.
Players need to understand those Scoring Conditions and build a strategy around it. If we play this game mindlessly, just wait for the next cheapest option, we will not score that much and the game can feel boring and repetitive.
More Similar Games
There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game that might share some similarities with OddVille. 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.
Tile Laying – Spatial Puzzle
As a tile laying or tile placement game, spatial puzzle is the first interesting aspect from OddVille for me. We cannot just place the card or tile anywhere but we also need to connect them with the existing ones.
That is not the only thing to consider as we also try to get higher points and certain bonuses. To achieve that, usually there will be requirements like placing the tile in certain position or next to other tiles.
There will be times when we have to hold it first, wait until the better situation comes up to place that tile. Sometimes we need to play a weaker tile first just so the second tile can be more powerful. That means, there will be an element of timing.
At the end of this kind of games, usually we will see a final result of our tiles, in this case, the City of OddVille.
The first game that I have played with similar spatial puzzle is Ankh’or. This one uses tiles but simpler drafting game than OddVille. Players will be laying tiles on their own area.
The unique thing about this is that we can place the tile on top of existing one while still trying to connect either the color or the animal icons. So, it’s like 3D spatial puzzle.
The next game with this aspect is Café. This one uses cards with a grid of 2 x 3 with several types of icons. The next card we put onto our tableau must cover at least 2 spaces of the existing cards and we will try to place the same type of icons adjacent to each other.
If we can do that, the action of that icons will be more powerful. There is an engine building aspect to it with processing coffee beans as the theme until we can send those beans to either Coffee shops or warehouse.
The restriction to overlap the card will sometimes force us to sacrifice or lose progress. If by the same time, we also create a new progress, we can score a lot of points.
Circle the Wagons has similar mechanism to Café with overlapping cards but with a grid of 2 x 2. In general, we will also try to connect icons of the same color next to each other.
However, in every session there will be 3 unique Scoring Conditions that will utilize different icons from the grid. Similar to OddVille, there is Scoring Condition where we want to keep adding cards or icons in the same row or column.
Circle of Wagons is a micro game with just 18 cards only for 2 players.
Kingdomino Duel is another 2 player only game with spatial puzzle but in roll and write genre. In this one, we will roll 4 dice and each player will take 2 to create a domino tile with 2 icons.
We will then draw those icons on our player sheet following the domino game rule where it can only connect to the same icon. So, there is already a restriction as where we can place the tile. Not only that, in this one we want to expand the territory of each group of the same icon.
The next card game with similar spatial puzzle is Solar Draft but this one is only linear puzzle. This is a game about designing a solar system. We start with a Sun and we have to play Planetary cards from the closest to the sun to the farthest.
Some of the planet cards can give score if we place that card in specific position like the third or seventh planet from the sun. Each planet also has color and size so there is a Scoring Conditions for both aspects that can affect the other planets.
There are also Moon cards that we can add to the planet to increase its value or Comets that we can play between the cards that can give extra action.
Tumble Town is another city building game like OddVille but with player boards. Instead of tile or cards, we will be placing a building construct made of dice with 4 different colors or materials. Each building might require certain number of dice with certain value of faces and certain colors.
It’s like playing Lego but there is a game as how we can get those dice. After we have built the dice building, we will try to place them in the Main Street or Player Board that has some spatial requirement for the dice.
Some building slot might require certain color of dice at base level or Level 2. If we can meet the requirements, we will get more points.
This last one is Walking in Burano, which also uses cards to build the colorful houses of Burano. Each player will build their own grid of 5 houses each with 3 levels using small size cards that they draft from the communal area.
Aside from building colors, each card will show some objects like cats, curtains, chimney, plants or flowers. Once we have completed a house, we can attract a Character for that row to give us score. These characters have their own preferences as what they like to see from the building.
For the card placement, ideally we should start from the ground up to the roof. However, sometimes we get the roof card or the second level card first before the base level. Each player can use their 2 construction cards to temporarily replace the cards for the lower level while waiting for the right card from the market.
Multi Use Cards
The next interesting aspect of OddVille for me is the Multi Use Cards which is the Worker Cards. Each player will get an identical set of 4 Worker cards with each worker has varying degree of doing 3 different actions. They can either take Coins, Resources or Drafting Building Card.
We need to play them all first before these cards will automatically return to our hand. There is a way to retrieve them back but with additional cost.
With that idea, in this game, we will always have a tough choice. Which Worker card to play first and which action should they do? Combined that with the dynamic situation of market cards and empty slot of resources, it can create opportunity to use the weaker cards in the right timing.
The first game with similar experience that I’ve played is Fleet. This is an auction game where we can use the Multiuse cards to pay the bidding with their coin value. Aside from that, the cards themselves represent the boat that we can deploy to start catching fishes or we can use the card to Hire a Captain.
Similar to OddVille, we will have a tough choice. One card can give a big coin value that can help us win the bidding for fishing license. Winning the License can give special power. But we probably need that same card for the depicted type of boat to generate more cards or points.
The difference from OddVille is that we don’t need to wait for the cards to comeback. We actually need to create engine that can generate more cards as the game progresses.
A similar game to that is Peloponnes Card Game which is also an auction game. We can use several different types of resource cards for the resources or it can be a coin cards to pay the bidding.
It is almost similar to Coin Card in OddVille but in this one we have a choice of turning into both ways.
For a bigger game, I’ve played Imperial Settlers. The Multiuse cards in this one is the Faction Cards.
We can either build the cards to gain points at the end or get some actions or use it as a Deal to generate resources but no points at the end. Building it requires some resources and a foundation, which is sacrificing an existing building.
The challenge is that we don’t know which card to come first. Ideally we need to build those that can generate resources early to help the subsequent buildings. But that specific type of card may not show up early in the game. Instead, we get a card that allows us to do action like converting those resources into something else.
We can choose to either hold this second type hopefully we can build it to help us later. Or, we can just turn it into a deal hoping that it can help us build other buildings sooner.
Another card game with multiuse card mechanism is The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game. Each turn, we get 2 cards and those 2 cards can be used for 6 different actions.
We can use the card for either take an Estate card, build that Estate card, trade the cards into workers, sell items, or take a Silver or turn Silver and Workers into points. The card itself has a die value from 1 to 6. That can limit the flexibility for some of the actions.
So, there will be some randomness and luck but the game offers a lot of ways to mitigate to change the value.
Oh My Goods! is another small card game with multiuse cards. The cards can be the factory that we can build for more actions but they also have resources icons.
When we use them for resources, we need to discard them. As the result we will lose the access to build it as the factory. There are 2 ways for this, either to start the Factory or for the chain production which are usually from 2 different factories.
Tybor the Builder, a card drafting game also uses multiuse cards for the Citizen card. Each citizen can be used for their construction power, their type icons and discounts or to execute the construction.
Combined with the simultaneous card drafting idea, we have to choose one card for one of those 3 uses while giving the rest of the cards to the next player.
For a game with totally different theme, the multiuse card idea is also available in One Deck Dungeon game. Each encounter card can be used to either gain EXP to level up, as an item to roll more dice or as a skill to change some dice.
Leveling up allows the character to have more items and skills. Having more dice and skills are essential to win the game.
Another dice game but with multiuse card is Aerion. In this game, we will have cards from 6 different decks. We can use the card to build ships if we can acquire them by having a Poker set using 6 dice.
However, we can also discard the card to change the dice by rerolling some of them like in Yahtzee game. We have to make sure that we only discard a card that we can get from other decks. Otherwise, it will cost a lot to retrieve them back.
Piggybacking – Positive Interaction
OddVille is a game where all players will build the city collectively. Most of the games I’ve played are multiplayer solitaire in this regard where I don’t need to worry about other players ruining my board. In this one, players can take advantage of what the opponents are doing previously.
It can be a positive interaction. But that means, we usually have to hold back, hoping that our action won’t give much benefit to the other players.
Architects of the West Kingdom is a bigger game than OddVille but with worker placement mechanism. The worker from one player will not block subsequent workers to be placed on the same spot. With more workers one player has on that spot, the stronger the actions they will get.
However, the other players can also capture the opponent’s workers, especially on one spot with just a single action. The capturer will then make a lot of money from that so we might want to spread the workers.
I already mentioned Circle the Wagons, a 2 player micro game. This one has time track mechanism. We can pick a card from a row as far as we want, skipping some cards that we don’t want. However, the opponent will then take those skipped cards like getting extra action.
Another 2 player only game, Jaipur can also give this experience. If we keep pursuing the most expensive cards without being able to trade a big bundle, the opponent will then make a bigger bundle from the cheaper goods which is easier. We also don’t want the opponent to fill the market with all Camels and take all fresh new cards.
Mandala, another 2 player only game with area majority mechanism is the next game that I’ve played with that experience. In this one, we will try to increase our control of 2 Mandalas against the other player. The winner gets to decide which color of cards from the center area to take while giving the other to the opponent.
We can either play cards to our area, increasing the control or play to the center, to manipulate the value. It is possible that we may end up having too much control but with no value from the center. Maybe we don’t win but the value from the second color is also not that bad.
Seastead is also a 2 player only game where the action we choose can be beneficial to the other player. From the choosing resource pairs from Dive action to placing the Ship that can give discounts to both players.
If we don’t play careful enough, we can end up helping the opponent more than ourselves. Even the Dock tile can be taken advantage by the opponent if we build them too early.
Villages of Valeria has a follow mechanism. The active player can choose the action and the other players can choose whether to take the same action but less powerful or more expensive. It’s not always a good move to just follow because we won’t be able to do the action properly during our turn later.
That is all I can share with you about OddVille. Sadly, this is an older title and the publisher run into financial issues.
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.