|Our Recommended Age:||7+|
|Cost:||Game - $49.99 Expansion - $|
|Play Time:||30-60 Minutes (But it can vary)|
|Skills:||Visual Perception Focus & Attention Strategy Social Play|
New York 1901 is a city building tile placement game set in…New York…1901. The idea for this game is beautiful because not only do you place tiles to build Skyscrapers but you will actually demolish existing tiles on the board with shiny new tiles…don’t worry you get points for the tiles you placed first AND tiles take their place!
New York 1901 is recommended for ages 8+ and honestly I wouldn’t go too much lower than that. You know your kid better than I do so you should play first and see but the Gentleman is 7 and has been able to play since closer to 6 but the Diva still struggles a bit. Really it is getting the mechanics of destroying buildings, planning and the expansion Goons of New York 1901 that she still struggles with.
The box is a lift top lid with those wonderful plastic inserts that have a place for everything! I don’t have OCD…no really I promise I don’t…but I might have tendencies…a bit…The board and the cards are made of chipboard and so are the Character Cards and the artwork is beautiful.
Designed to fit the times of New York 1901, the artwork is bright and has an elegance to it perfect for this game…I love history though getting to see someone’s art that represents a period in history is fantastic!
I’ll move on now…the cards are all standards card material but slightly better. They have the ridges that when you scratch your nail across it really fast makes a cool beat…or is that just me too?
The skyscrapers that are used to keep track of points and all the workers are plastic but that softer not so light plastic…over all very well made game…and pretty too! I’ll go over the how to’s and such now…
Have the most points at the end of the game!
In the instructions there is a beautifully laid out Game Initiation sheet which is perfect if you have never played the game before. I will cover the Standard Rules though since we also have an expansion to cover!
We typically have 3 players so I will go over a game setup for 3 players. If you have just 2 remove all the Pink Lot Cards and David Schneider Character Card and the entire Pink section will not be used. Otherwise put the Game Board in the middle of the play area…probably best if it’s a table.
Choose a color and get all of the parts that go with it…Scoring Marker (the Skyscraper!), all the matching color Skyscraper Tiles and sort them into 3 groups in front of you by Bronze, Silver and Gold, 1 King Token, Workers and 3 Action Cards (1 of each type).
Now you can either choose to use the Bonus Challenge Cards OR the Expansion…you COULD use both for an extra challenge but we will just cover the Expansion. Goons of New York 1901 has Goon Bosses and each one has a special power and is “in charge” of a color district. Lay all the Bosses face-up next to the board. Again, don’t use Pink in a 2-player.
Randomly pass out Character Cards, 1 per player. Also dealt out though not randomly are 1 2-square Lot Card that matches your chosen color. NOW since we’re using the Expansion Goons of New York 1901, we will place our Starting Properties based on THESE rules instead of the Standard Rules.The colors on the Character Cards only matter for the Starting Properties and most likely won’t match the color you chose. This is ok…don’t panic…and they don’t matter when using the Expansion since we set up the Starting Property differently.
Everyone takes turns, figure out who places their property first (go clockwise), and put your Starting Property on one of the starting spots. These are marked with symbols on a 2-square section and there is one Starting Property in each color…again in a 2 player game you will not use Pink. The last person to place theirs gets to be first player…yay you!
Now shuffle the Lot Cards and put them Face-Down near the board which the instructions refer to as the Future Market. Take the top 4 cards and put them face-up next to the Future Market and these are now called the Open Market.
Shuffle and set 3 Bonus Cards NOT the Bonus Challenge Cards..those are not in this game since we are using the expansion. Place the 3 cards face up next to the board and put the rest in the box. Then take the Legendary Skyscraper Tiles and put them next to the board so everyone can plan which they want to use in the hopes that they can use it before anyone else…You can only build ONE so plan carefully!
Play moves clockwise and the youngest player goes first. NOW we can play…it really isn’t that hard to setup and only LOOKS complicated…when I write it…a lot of the setup is going on at the same time as everyone can pitch in and after the first game it is super easy and quick to set up…fairly quick on the first game too actually…ok now let’s play!
The Active Player is the person whose turn it currently is and you get to do 1 of 2 things on your turn. Acquire Land and/or a Building or Demolish and Rebuild. Let’s go over these two options quick.
Acquire Land and/or a Building – First pick a Lot Card from the Open Market and put a Worker on an empty lot of land that matches the color and size (based on the squares). You can also Build a Skyscraper by putting a Tile on any previously acquired lot or lots of land BUT you can only place ONE Skyscraper Tile…some of them will require TWO lots of land to build.
Demolish and Rebuild – You can Demolish one or more buildings by removing them and yes you keep the points you already scored, and then you can build 1 new building from a more advanced age in the newly free space. You get MORE points from the newly placed tile too! You can only go UP in the ages, Bronze to Silver and Silver to Gold OR Bronze to Gold!
You can also use one or more Action Cards. If you use more than one you have to complete the first card before playing the second and once played they are out of the game.
These are great and very helpful BUT you get 1 point for each Action Card you do NOT use during the game. So if you have all 3 left at the end of the game you get 3 points…I like to try to save mine as I need all the help I can get usually.
Important Note – If during your turn you have NO Workers left to place AND you cannot Build or Demolish then you HAVE to select 1 of your Lots of land that a Worker is on and remove that Worker and put the matching Lot Card on the bottom of the Future Market and that is your turn…ouch…we haven’t had this happen yet thankfully.
At the end of every turn you replenish the Open Market using the Future Market’s top cards so there are always 4 in the Open Market. If there is not enough cards then whoever’s turn it is just triggered the end of the game…sometimes we try to stall…but the end will come eventually…
Ages – A key thing to know about is Ages, Bronze, Silver and Gold. You start off in the Bronze Age so you can play any of the tiles from this age when you build. If you demolish you can only replace the Starting Property during this Age.
The Silver Age can only be gained by getting 6 points. Once you have 6 points you can upgrade your Bronze Skyscrapers or the Starting Property with Silver ones or Build them directly. The Gold is the final Age and you have to get 18 points to reach this Age.
Now you can upgrade any of the Ages below Gold with Gold…you can also never Demolish a Gold Skyscraper…so place these carefully.
Legendary Skyscrapers can be built when you reach the Gold Age but NOT upgraded from a Gold Skyscraper. You can upgrade a Bronze, Silver or Starting Property with a Legendary Skyscraper but you an only build ONE Legendary type and they are first come first served…so plan and get there quick!
There are special markers on the scoring track to let you know which Age you are in too so you don’t have to try to remember all the time. This helps me a lot since I end up with Skyscrapers from all the Ages and not sure which I can play…sometimes…ahem…moving on.
Goons of New York 1901:
Once you reach the Silver Age…with the expansion…you use the Boss Cards…dun dun duuuun. Once all players reach the Silver Age you pause the game and figure out who holds the majority of each color area on the board.
Each Boss controls a color area and if you have the most Skyscrapers in that area you can use a Goon Card on your turn before you normal Actions…this is where it gets interesting…
Every player who has a majority in a district gets that Boss Card but if there is a tie then no one gets it until someone builds enough Skyscrapers to break the tie…build quickly…
If you have a Boss Card then at the start of your turn before you take normal actions, you can activate the Goon Power of one of the Boss Cards under your control…you can control more than one! BUT you can only activate ONE Good per turn so choose carefully…
Activating turns one Worker into a Goon that will score you points as long as it stays on the board…so upside and downside but each Goon Power is different. The Red District is controlled by Suzanne St. Pierre and you put a Goon on another player’s Bronze Skyscraper, score one point at the start of each of your turns as long as that skyscraper is still on the board and has your Goon on it.
At the very start of your turn instead of activating you can reclaim your Workers and in a sense deactivate your Goon…this is a free action.
If another player builds enough Skyscrapers in a district to gain the majority, meaning they cover the largest area in that color, then you lose control, and the Boss, immediately…yeah this has happened to me more than once…but I got a couple back too.
When…or I guess IF this happens give the Boss Cards to the player who stole it mercilessly from you and remove any Goons associated with it back to your supply…poor Goons…This expansion is fantastic!
The end is nigh!…no triggered, the end is triggered when 1 of 2 things happen. Someone has only 4 Skyscraper Tiles left (it is polite to let everyone know when you have around 5 or 6) OR there are only 3 faceup cards in the Open Market AND the Future Market is empty.
Once one of these happen all players EXCEPT the active player will get one last turn. After the last player gets their final turn it is time to add up points!…also known as the Final Tally.
You get additional points for each of the Bonus Cards in play but if there is a tie for this than no one gets those points. IF a Skyscraper is on more than one street it counts for each street it is on.
Bonus Challenge Cards would also get points…but I’m not going to go over that here. You also get 1 point for each unused Action Card.
The player with the highest score wins!!! It is not often me…like twice maybe but I still enjoy this game a lot! By the way the Starting Property counts as a Skyscraper with no Age associated with it. If there is a tie then the person with the highest Legendary Skyscraper (height in feet here people) wins!
If the players who tie didn’t build a Legendary Skyscraper…they fail…kidding! then the player with the most Gold ones would win…if there is still a tie you have to share the winner title.
There are variants to the game like increasing the points needed to enter a new Age (which also have markers on the board because Blue Orange Games thinks of everything) and you don’t start with a Starting Property…I haven’t tried this one yet but the Comedian has and seems to like the challenge!
I LOVE the expansion and my favorite is the Yellow District Goon, Wilfred Twain. You put a Goon on the Church and whenever someone else Demolishes a Bronze Skyscraper, which everyone does, you get a point! Combine him with the Green Districts, Ronnie & Claire (which lets you put a Goon on the bank and whenever another player builds Gold Skyscraper you get points!) and you can have a pretty good run!
New York 1901 is a great game for a variety of ages and skill levels which makes it perfect for Family Game Nights or just Game Nights with adults and/or teens. My son is going to be 8 soon and loves playing with us but the Diva is still learning strategy and some of the mechanics…I am afraid to show the Goons of New York 1901 once she gets better…I will never win again…but I’ll be so proud…
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