Posted by: gschloesser | May 1, 1970

Stadens Nyckel

Essential rules modificatinos to help make this Dan Glimne title more balanced and worth playing.

On my first playing of Stadens Nyckel, I was left very disappointed.  The game had quite a few flaws, especially in regards to the monetary situation.  Money was EXTREMELY tight in the game, and the cash that players begin the game with was drawn randomly as opposed to being distributed in equal amounts.  This left some players in a HUGE whole which they were never able to dig themselves out of.

Further, there are several ‘The City Grows’ cards which are shuffled into the development deck and then these cards laid along a track, representing the nineteen turns of the game.  These ‘City Grows’ cards trigger the auction and placement of a new city district, which is where much of the actions of the game are centered.  Since these are randomly shuffled and placed, it is quite possible (and it did occur in our first game) that most of these cards did not appear until very late in the game.  The result was very few districts in play and a very stale, very dull game.

Also, there are several ‘City Grows’ card in the event deck, but there appearance is totally random and it is quite possible … even likely … that some players may never draw one of these cards.  And since the player playing one of these cards receives the proceeds from the sale of the card, another huge disadvantage results to the player or players who are not fortunate enough to draw one.

But the game still held too much promise to abandon.  I toyed with it and developed several modifications which I hoped would solve these problems.  Upon playtesting the modifications, I am pleased to say that these modifications have helped turn Stadens Nyckel into a much more balanced, exciting game, one which I will readily play.  The modifications turned out to be a BIG improvement on the game and I would heartily recommend it to anyone.

Here were the modifications we used:

1) Each player is given an equal amount of money to begin the game. We gave everyone the following amounts:  1) $400   1) $300   2) $200    3) $100  – totaling $1400.

2)  Everyone was given one ‘City Grows’ event card.

3)  The Development cards were divided into two stacks and an equal number of City Grows cards shuffled into each half.  These were set on the spaces on the board so that there would be an equal amount of ‘City Grows’ development cards during each half of the game.

4)  We modified the ‘Fire’ card as follows:  Roll the dice and divide by 2 to determine the number of developments destroyed.  At least one development is destroyed by a fire.

These modifications resulted in a much more balanced game, which made the enjoyment level increase dramatically.  I wouldn’t want to play it again without these changes.

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