Splendor News


Into the Cities

Preview the Cities Expansion from Cities of Splendor

18 July 2017 | Splendor


The Renaissance is a time of great enlightenment—an opportunity for a skilled craftsman like yourself to win the support and adulation of noble patrons, bringing prestige to you and your guild. But for the greatest artists and truly gifted gem merchants, a noble patron is just the beginning… after all, if a single noble will agree to support your work, why not an entire city?

With Cities of Splendor—a collection of four distinct expansions, each offering a unique experience—you can make your dreams of fame a reality as you outthink your opponents. No matter which expansion you choose to use, you’ll find an entirely new way to play Splendor, expanding the game’s replayability without sacrificing the elegance of the original.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the Cities expansion, the ways that it changes your games, and the strategies that you might employ to gain the upper hand as you test your mind against the diamond-hard puzzles of Splendor!

The Great Cities

If you’re new to Splendor or the Cities of Splendor expansions, the Cities expansion is the perfect first step for you and your fellow players. While it offers the same levels of strategy and replayability as the other expansions in Cities of Splendor, it has the fewest changes from the core game, making it the easiest expansion to understand and incorporate into your games.

The only components used in the Cities expansion are the seven double-sided city tiles—yet these tiles have a profound effect on the course of the game. With this expansion, you’ll no longer use the noble tiles. Instead, you’ll lay out three random city tiles (regardless of the number of players) at the beginning of the game.

Winning a good reputation with a single nobleman is easy compared to winning the affections of an entire city, and when playing with the Cities expansion, you can’t win the game by collecting prestige points alone. In fact, you’ll need to meet the extravagant demands of a city—the first player to claim a city wins the game!

You can claim the city shown above by having at least thirteen prestige points, four red bonuses, and three black bonuses!

Every great European city is unique, however, and you’ll need to use different strategies for different cities. Every city tile lists the requirements that you must fulfill. For one city, you may need to increase your fame by accumulating seventeen prestige points before the city will accept you as one of their own. Another city may have a lower prestige threshold, but force you to adapt to their peculiar tastes—such as by having at least four red bonuses and three black bonuses.

During the game, it’s immensely important to choose a city early on—but that doesn’t mean you should try to meet that city’s requirements at any cost. After all, if you’re competing against one of your opponents to meet the requirements of the same city, the result may be that neither of you can claim the city in time! Perhaps it’s more productive to switch tactics and pursue a new city… but does that mean you’re just ceding control of a city to your opponent? These are the brain-burning choices that run through the heart of every game of the Cities expansion for Splendor.

Your Path to Fame

The puzzles of Splendor are about to grow with four new expansion. Head to the Space Cowboys US Facebook page this Thursday to watch us play the Cities expansion live, and pick up your copy of Cities of Splendor this August!