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Lost Cities Board Game: Adventure & Exploration

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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June 25, 2014

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Lost Cities the Board Game is the Kind of Simple Game that Allows for Conversations to Flourish with Friends

Lost Cities Board Game Snapshot

Go on an adventure in search of five lost cities. Send your four adventurers and a researcher on expeditions that will uncover artifacts, victory points and bridges that will speed them on their way.

Preparation

LostCitiesFiguresPlace the board in the middle of the table. The 25 event tiles are shuffled and placed face-down randomly in the spaces provided for them on the board. Some of these tiles give you points and artifacts while others allow you to move again.

At the beginning of the game you choose what color you want to be then take your four adventurers and a researcher. In addition to this you receive 8 cards. The remaining cards are placed face-down next to the board.

The Goal of Lost Cities

In the game you must complete three expeditions. An expedition is considered over when five figures have crossed the bridges depicted on the board. After each expedition, the points are scored. After the third expedition all the artifacts are scored as well and all points are added up. The player with the most points wins.

How to Play

This game has two simple phases. Play a card from your hand then pick up a card from the supply pile or the discard pile when it begins to form later in the game.

LostCitiesCardsOn a player’s turn, he takes either a researcher or an adventurer and puts it on the path he wants to explore. To do so he needs to play a card of the same color as the path that is preferably low in value. The card is placed in the play area in front of him. He then picks up another card from the supply deck.

Every time a figure is moved up the path a card of equal or higher value than the last one needs to be played. The cards played are placed in piles of the same color. A player may only move one of his figures up any given path.

Not all figures need to be played during an expedition. As the first few spaces on the path have a minus value it’s imperative that you move your figures along the path to avoid having these scored at the end of an expedition. This is especially so for the researcher who doubles the score of the step he is on.

You will encounter three kinds of tiles.

* The green artifact tile goes into your play area.

* The blue victory point tile allows you to score the amount of points it says but the tile remains face-up where it was found. You are given point chips instead.

* The arrow tile allows you to move any of your figures on the board one step forward.

There will come a time when you will want to discard a card as it can’t be played. You might, for example, have played a brown 7 card and you currently have a brown 3 card in your hand which you can’t use.

Discarding a card is simply done by putting the card you don’t want by the side of the board. Eventually, five discard piles will form according to color.

When cards start to appear in the discard area players have the option of taking the top card from the supply pile or the discard piles.

Scoring an Expedition

Each figure scores points according to the step of the path they are on. These points are given to you in the form of victory point chips.

Green artifact tiles are swapped with brown ones which are saved and scored at the end of the third expedition.

The game begins again the same way it started. The only difference is that the new expedition begins with the player to the left of the player who played last in the previous expedition.

Game End

After the third expedition the final tally of points is done. Your artifact chips are now taken into account using the long scoring table on the board to determine their value. If you have five or less you will lose points. These points are then added to the victory points you have amassed during the game.

Conclusion

Lost Cities, the board game, is a fun 2-4 player game. As it’s a simple and uncomplicated game it doesn’t require much concentration allowing players to converse about things not related to the game. It’s a colorful, eye candy game that can be polished off in an hour or less if you play the one expedition variant of the game.
 
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