About this project
Thanks to all Kickstarter backers who funded Between Two Cities! If you discover the game after the project ends, you can order the retail version of the game (it’s the same version you see here with all stretch goals) on the Stonemaier Games website.
Designed by Ben Rosset and Matthew O'Malley and developed by Jamey Stegmaier, Between Two Cities caught the attention of Stonemaier Games thanks to the unique intersection between cooperative play (build cities with 2 partners) and competitive play (only 1 winner).
You can experience the way Between Two Cities blends the gameplay of 7 Wonders, Carcassonne, Alhambra, and Among the Stars by checking out the rules and the free playtest version of the print-and-play files.
Between Two Cities is a complete game with a full set of linen-embossed tiles and custom wooden tokens, but we have some stretch goals to help make the game experience even better!
All stretch goals are fully playtested (see photos of some of our amazing playtesters below) and will be included in every copy of Between Two Cities (Kickstarter and retail).
Click here for the rules and the free playtest version of the print-and-play files. Between Two Cities has been playtested by over 250 people and is almost production-ready.
E&E's Spellenmolen (Dutch review)
- Money-Back Guarantee: If you decide you don't like Between Two Cities within 1 month of receiving it, you can return it for a full pledge refund. We'll even pay for shipping.
- Limited Availability: We don't do Kickstarter exclusive items, but we'll only print a limited number of the special edition as based on the final pledge totals.
- Make It Better for Everyone: The more stretch goals we reach, the more enhanced and beautiful the game will be!
- We Listen: We treat backers as collaborators--we truly value your input as we put the finishing touches on the game, and we promptly address all questions and ideas.
- Localized Shipping: Our shipping fees for Kickstarted games are so low because we send games in bulk to fulfillment centers around the world. This is your chance to lock in the lowest possible shipping rate.
- Backers Come First: You'll get your copy of Between Two Cities well before it enters traditional distribution channels. Remember that retailers can be backers too!
- We Need You: We've covered the cost of graphic design, art, and development for Between Two Cities, but we can't manufacture and ship the game without your support.
Backers are limited to 3 total copies per pledge, as that's the number that can fit inside a shipping carton with proper packaging. For additional copies, you can pledge under a different Kickstarter account.
Between Two Cities is played in three rounds. In each round, you'll start with a fresh hand of tiles. Select two of those tiles, passing the rest to the player on your left or right (depends on the round). Place one of those tiles in the city on your left and one in the city on your right, then pick up the hand that was passed to you and repeat the process.
The middle round actually involves drawing 3 rectangular "duplex" tiles (two building tiles side by side in a vertical or horizontal configuration) and selecting 2 of them--there is no drafting in this round.
After all three rounds, you will have built a 4x4 city on your left and a 4x4 city on your right. Add up the scores for all cities, but only compare your lowest scoring city to each other player's lowest-scoring city to determine the winner.
Each of the tiles (art shown below) scores in the following way. The final tiles have scoring reminders below the art:
- Shop (yellow): The more shops you have in a row or column, the higher the score.
- Park (green): Each group of adjacent parks score an ascending amount of points based on the number park tiles in the group.
- House (brown): Each house scores a point for each other tile type in the city (they want variety).
- Office (blue): The more offices, the better. If they're next to at least 1 Tavern, they score a bonus point.
- Tavern (red): There are 4 types of taverns (different icons)--you want to get as many sets of different tavern types as possible.
- Factory (gray): The cities with the most factories score more points per factory than other cities.
The game includes a head-to-head 2-player variant that removes the partnership mechanism but increases the impact of the tiles you choose to pass (or not pass) to your opponent.
Click here for the rules and the free playtest version of the print-and-play files.
The special edition of Between Two Cities features a limited-run version of the game. The game itself is the same, but the box will be embossed in gold foil highlights and will be stamped with a number unique to your copy of the game (e.g., "1287 / 4000"). The special edition also includes rules in French and German (in addition to English rules).
The special edition will also include 7 additional pairs of city tokens. When we were designing the city tokens, we designed 14 of them and had e-newsletter subscribers vote on their favorites. The top 7 were selected for the retail game, but we liked the other 7 so much that we decided to include them in the special edition for extra flavor. They do not expand the game past 7 players or impact the gameplay in any way.
One of the exciting aspects of designing a complete core game is you generate a lot of ideas for expansions. We look forward to discussing these possibilities with backers during and after the Kickstarter campaign to see the types of expansions they're the most excited about. These are the two styles of expansions we're considering:
- Vertical: These would expand upon the base game, allowing players to develop their cities through the ages by adding more rounds and new tile types.
- Horizontal: These would take the core mechanisms of the game and translate them to other themes, like Between Two Castles, Planets, Dystopias, etc.
We like to support game stores around the world by offering the special Kickstarter versions of our game to retailers during the campaign. If you're a retailer, please contact Jamey directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing information and manually make your pledge in full through Kickstarter during the campaign.
Ben Rosset is the designer of Mars Needs Mechanics, Brew Crafters, and Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game. He lives in Washington, DC and has one cat.
Matthew O'Malley is the designer of The Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits, Diner, and the upcoming Knot Dice. He lives just outside Washington, DC and has one cat.
Morten Monrad Pedersen, the designer of Between Two Cities' "Automa" solo variant, is the designer of the solo games Endless Nightmare and Viticulture Automa. He lives in Denmark and has a garden that is occasionally visited by a cat.
Beth Sobel is the artist of three other Stonemaier products: Viticulture, Tuscany, and the Treasure Chest. She lives in Washington (the state) and has two cats.
Jamey Stegmaier is the president of Stonemaier Games and lead designer for Viticulture, Euphoria, and Tuscany. He lives in St. Louis and has two cats.
Alan Stone is the co-founder of Stonemaier Games. He lives in St. Louis and has one cat.
Here's a video greeting from the designers, Ben and Matthew:
While we don't offer existing inventory as add-ons through Kickstarter, we have special deals on some of our products through our website, Amazon, and retailers:
- Treasure Chest (US, Canada, Europe, Germany, other)
- Metal Coins (US, Canada, Europe, Germany, other)
- Wooden Stars (US, Europe, Germany, other)
- Tuscany Prima (US, Canada, Germany, other)
- Viticulture and Tuscany are available from your friendly local game store (we have a few copies of Viticulture on Amazon here)
- Euphoria (second printing) will be available at game stores in mid-March
- Between Two Cities: We prefer if you pledge through the Kickstarter interface, but if that's not possible for you, you can support the project through our website. Shipping cannot be consolidated with other products.
If you don't see our games at your local game store, you can ask a manager to restock them. Thanks!
Risks and challenges
Between Two Cities is a first for us in that it's the first game published by Stonemaier Games that wasn't designed by Jamey Stegmaier--rather, it's from designers Ben Rosset and Matthew O'Malley. Jamey served as the game's developer, honing it, balancing it, and trying to make sure that every decision is fun and interesting. This process was made easy by the designers' willingness to hear and test new ideas.
During the evolution of Stonemaier Games, we've learned the importance of blind playtesting (having people learn the game from the rulebook and test the game away from the designers). We've been fortunate to have hundreds of Stonemaier Ambassadors and their friends volunteer to playtest our games so as to make them as good as possible for the first print run. We've also learned the value of having checks and balances at every step in the production process, but when we do mess up, we go above and beyond to remedy the error.
Stonemaier Games established an advisory board of industry veterans in January '13 to help us mitigate risks and challenges. So even though we will surely face new challenges in the future, we have an incredible team of experienced advisers to point us in the right direction. We also work with Panda Game Manufacturing to produce the game, a company with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Stonemaier Games has delivered all of our Kickstarter rewards from 4 projects within a few months of the estimated delivery date, sometimes even early. However, we seek to continue to improve that process to keep shipping rates low, deliver quickly, and ensure that the games arrive in perfect condition. We've learned that shipments sent from China to Australia need fumigation certificates for wooden components and that products shipped anywhere need "Made in China" clearly listed on the exterior of every product for them to clear customs. In short, we've made mistakes, and not only have we learned from them, we've shared them transparently with backers and on our blog to help other creators.
If you would like to know more about what we learned from our Kickstarter experiences and research, go to www.stonemaiergames.com to see 100+ Kickstarter Lessons to help you create a successful project too.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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