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The early 1800s is a time of immense construction and urbanization. You are a world-renowned master planner who has been asked by two different cities to help them rebuild their city centers.

Projects of such significance require the expertise of more than one person, so for each assignment you are paired with another master planner to execute your grandiose plans. Will your planning and collaborative skills be enough to design the most impressive cities in the world?

Between Two Cities is a tile-drafting game in which each tile is part of a city. You work with the player on your left to build one city center while simultaneously working with the player on your right to build a second city center.

On each turn you select two tiles from your hand, reveal them, then work with your partners to place one of your selected tiles into each of your two cities.


  • 108 Building Tiles
  • 24 Duplex Tiles
  • 14 City Tokens
  • 1 Scoreboard
  • 15 Seating Randomizer Cards
  • 7 Reference Cards
  • 1 Rulebook

Object of the Game

At the end of the game, each city is scored for its architectural grandiosity. Your final score is the lower of the scores of the two cities you helped design, and the player with the highest final score wins the game.

To win, you have to share your attention and your devotion equally Between Two Cities.


  1. Shuffle the seating randomizer cards and draw one from the top of the deck. Sit clockwise around the table based on the category on the card.

    For example, if the card says, "Alphabetical by city of birth", a player who was born in Birmingham would sit to the left of a player who was born in Augusta, and so on around the table.

    Note 1: If players prefer a completely random setup, deal one randomizer card to each player and refer to the numbers in the upper left of the cards to determine the seating order.

    Players then sit clockwise in ascending order (lowest value to highest).

    Make sure to sit with equal space between players, as each city will be built between two side-by-side players.

    Place the scoreboard in the middle of the table. Place one city token between each pair of players (where the cities will be) and matching city tokens next to the scoreboard. Place one reference card in front of each player.

  2. Shuffle the duplex tiles (rectangular) and place them in face-down stacks next to the scoreboard.

  3. Place the box in the middle of the table with all of the face-down building tiles (square) inside, and shuffle the tiles inside the box.

Game Play

The game is played in three rounds. At the start of each round, you draw a random hand of tiles. On each turn, you secretly choose two tiles to place face-down in front of you.

If you have more than one tile remaining in your hand, pass your hand to the next player. Then all players flip their selected tiles simultaneously and place one of them in each of their cities.

The tiles you select and their positioning determines how many points you score atthe end of the game. See Scoring (page 4) for a detailed description of how each tile type is scored.

At the end of the game, each of your cities must form a 4x4 square of 16 building spaces-12 building tiles and two duplex tiles. You may never play a tile in any position that would cause the end result not to be a 4x4 square.

All players conduct the steps below simultaneously.

Round One

Draw seven building tiles from the box to form your hand. Then take the following steps in order:

Choose: Secretly choose two of the tiles from your hand to play. Put the remaining tiles face-down on the table above the city to your left and place the city's token on those tiles.

This signals to the other players that you have finished choosing your tiles. When you have finalized your choice, you may not change it, nor may you look at the hand you passed.

Reveal: Once every city token has a stack of tiles under it, all players simultaneously reveal their chosen tiles by placing them face-up on the table in front of them.

Place: You may now openly discuss strategy with your partners to determine the best location for your chosen tiles. You must place one of your chosen tiles into the city to your left and the other into the city to your right, but you can decide which tile goes into which city after discussion with your partners.

All tiles must be oriented in the same direction so that you and your partner can read the scoring key on each tile, and all tiles must be placed adjacent to at least one other tile in that city (they must share an edge).

Note 1: You must place all tiles so that your final city is a 4x4 square. After placing, tiles in the cities are set In place and cannot move.

Note 2: Very rarely it may happen that a player does not want to place tiles until another player places first (in the spirit of partnership, we discourage this, but it can happen).

If this happens, the player with the lower value in the seating randomization places first.

Repeat: If there is more than one tile under the city token to your right, pick up those tiles and choose, reveal, and place again.

When there is only one tile remaining under the city token, discard it face-down to the center of the scoreboard (don't place it back in the box with the other tiles) and begin round two.

At the end of round one, each city will consist of six tiles.

Round Two

Draw three duplex tiles to form your hand. Secretly choose two tiles for placement in your cities, then place the third above the city to your left under the city token to signal that you have made your decision.

Now reveal and place two tiles, one tile into each of your cities. Just like in round one, when placing your tiles you may openly discuss strategy with your partners to determine the best city and location for your chosen tiles.

A total of two duplex tiles will be added to each city in this round, because each player adds one duplex tile to each of their cities.

Treat duplex tiles just like two building tiles stuck to one another-one of the buildings must be placed adjacent to another building tile in the city, and they must be placed in such a way that the final city can be a 4x4 square. Duplex tiles also must be placed so their orientation matches the other tiles. (The scoring prompts will face you on the tiles).

At the end of the round, take the remaining duplex tiles from under each of the city tokens, discard them face-down to the center of the scoreboard, and begin round three.

Round Three

Round three follows the same steps as round one, except that you put your remaining tiles face-down under the city token to your right and you pick up yourtiles from your left. At the end of round three, each city will be a complete 4x4 square.

End of the Game

After round three is over, clear the scoreboard of discarded tiles and unfold the scoreboard. One player calls out each building type in the order listed on the reference cards (top to bottom).

Going around the table, each player announces the score for that building type for the city to their left and advances that city's token on the scoring track. Score one building type in all cities before scoring the next building type.

Your final score is the lower of the two scores of your cities, and the player with the highest score wins.

First tiebreaker: Tied players compare the scores of their higher-scoring cities.

Second tiebreaker: Winners add and compare the quantity of buildings by type in both of their cities, starting at the top of the player aid and moving down until the tie is broken.

First count the number of shops in both of their cities. The player with the most shops wins. If still tied, move on to factories, taverns, offices, parks, and finally houses.

Game Scoring Example: In the six-player game shown below, Ben's final score is 56, Matthew's is 56, Margaux's is 52, Anna Grace's is 57, Peter's is 52, and Emily's is 62. Emily Wins!

More City Scoring Examples

Two-player Variant

In a 2-player game, you each design two cities on your own (four cities total): one to your left and one to your right. On each turn you choose two tiles and place one in each of your cities.

Each of the rounds from the 3 - 7 player game is played twice as indicated below:

  1. Round 1a-draw 7 building tiles, then choose, reveal and place 2, and pass the remaining tiles to your opponent until only 1 tile remains.
  2. Round 1b-same as round 1a.
  3. Round 2a-draw 3 duplex tiles, choose and place 2.
  4. Round 2b-same as round 2a.
  5. Round 3a-same as round 1a.
  6. Round 3b-same as round 1a.

At the end of the game, score each city the same way as in the 3 - 7 player game, but instead of only counting your lowest-scoring city, add together the scores of both of your cities to determine your final score. Ties are broken using the second tie-breaker rule from the 3 - 7 player game.

Note: Without the element of partnership, the 2-player variant can be more aggressive than the 3 - 7 player game. You have much more influence on your opponent's choices when passing tiles.

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