- one game board
- four player aids
- 100 paper bills
- 140 wood cubes
- four wood cylinders
- one orange wood pawn
- 165 cards in four decks
- 128 buildings
- 24 vocations
- 1 Contractor and 5 politician tiles
- 6 wealth and 3 prestige markers
- 3 highest/lowest block value markers
- 1 Active Player tile
- 1 Extra Favor tile
Object of the Game
Urban Sprawl is a board game for 2-4 players. Urban Sprawl abstractly models the growth of a town into a thriving city into a teeming metropolis.
Players act as entrepreneurs, tycoons, and politicians, working to develop a single modern urban area. Fortunes will be made and spent, and prestige will rise and fall, throughout the game. As time goes by, older buildings will be demolished to make room for better and newer ones.
These will result in either a lucrative investment or the foundation of a new building contract. Players will strive to become dominant in one or more building zones in order to acquire beneficial political offices.
The end result will be a vibrant metropolis that is revered around the world but only the player with the most prestige will be crowned the winner.
A Board & Player Mats: Lay the board in the middle of the table. Give each player a player aid. B Player Colors: Each player selects one of the four-player colors and gathers up all cubes of that color as well as the wooden cylinder of that color. C Large Tiles: Using any method desired, assign one player as the starting player. Give that player the Active Player tile. Place the Contractor tile face up in the "Pending Politicians" space on the board. Place the five politician tiles face-up atop the Contractor, with the Mayor on top. Set aside the Extra Favor tile for now. F Building Tiles-Separate the building tiles by color and place them in a general supply to the side of the board. From these piles, gather four small purple, four small gold, two small blue, and two small red buildings. Place these into the twelve spaces designated for them within the city grid in the center of the board. H Town Deck: Remove the Airport event card. Shuffle the remaining Town cards together. Count out 15 cards and place them as a face-down stack into the "Town Deck" space on the board.
Shuffle the Airport event into the next six cards and place this stack of seven cards face down atop the stack on the board. Place the remaining 15 cards face down atop the stack.
Draw the top five cards and place them face up in the five boxes that are linked to the Town deck by the rail line. Finally, turn the top card of the Town deck face up.
K City Deck: Remove the Sports Team event card. Shuffle the remaining City cards together. Count out 15 cards and place them as a face-down stack into the "City Deck" space on the board.
Shuffle the Sports Team event into the next six cards and place this stack of seven cards face down atop the stack on the board. Place the remaining 15 cards face down atop the stack.
L Metropolis Deck: Remove the Olympic Games event card. Shuffle the remaining Metropolis cards together. Count out 15 cards and place them as a face-down stack into the "Metropolis Deck" space on the board.
Shuffle the Olym- pic Games event into the next six cards and place this stack of seven cards face down atop the stack on the board. Place the remaining 15 cards face down atop the stack.
Remove the four Urban Renewal cards and place them face up in the "Planning Discard Pile" space on the board.
Separate out the 14 event cards.
Shuffle the remaining planning cards together.
Count out 14 of these cards, shuffle the 14 event cards into them, then place these 28 cards as a face-down stack into the "Planning Deck" space on the board.
Place the remaining 22 shuffled planning cards face down atop this stack.
Drawing off the top of this stack, give the start player 1 planning card. Then, proceeding clockwise around the table, the second [third] [[and fourth]] players draw 2  [[and 4]] starting planning cards.
Draw four more planning cards and place them face up in the four boxes that are linked to the Planning deck by the rail line.
Finally, turn the top card of the Planning deck face up.
Q R Prestige:-Play ers record their starting prestige by placing their wooden cylinders into space "0" of the numbered track. T Wealth: Separate the money into piles of different denominations and place them to the side of the board to form a generic "bank". If there are 4 players, each takes 21 wealth from the bank; if 3 players, 27 wealth; and if 2 players, 39 wealth. U Building Control: The start player selects any one of the twelve starting buildings and places one of his cubes atop it-thereby claiming control of that building. He pays wealth to the bank equal to that building's value (that block's wealth number along one row plus prestige number along the other row).
Proceeding multiple times clockwise around the table, each player, in turn, places one of their cubes atop any uncontrolled starting building and pays for it. Continue until every starting building is controlled and paid for.
V Vocations: Give the Media vocation marker to the player with the greatest remaining wealth. If there is a tie, give the marker to whichever player controls the 3-value residential (purple) building. Place the remaining vocation markers in the "Vocation Holding Box". X Wealth/Prestige Markers: Place the three red prestige markers and the six yellow wealth markers in the "Wealth/ Prestige Marker Holding Box". Y Election Track: Place the orange pawn into the "Mayor" space of the "Election Track". (This does not trigger an election).
You are ready to play! The start player begins the game by taking the first turn.
Players take their turns clockwise around the table, beginning with the start player. The player currently taking his turn is termed the "active player".
The active player first conducts Investments, then spends APs, then conducts End of Turn activities, explained as follows:
At the start of the active player's turn (only), he has the option of performing one or more "Investment" actions. An Investment is the voluntary discard of a Build Permit card currently in that player's possession.
For each Investment made by the active player, he gains wealth from the bank equal the value of the wealth payout shown at the bottom of the discarded card(s). The card pictured on the following page would pay 11 wealth.
Spending Action Points
After any Investments, the active player receives 6 Action Points - or "APs" - to spend as he chooses during his turn. The active player spends these APs to perform all, some or none of the fol- lowing actions, in any order desired:
- Acquire an available (face up) Build Permit card.
- Acquire an available Urban Renewal card.
- Build an available contract card.
- Take an available contract card as a Favor.
The same action may taken more than once per turn (but see Favors, below). Unspent APs are lost: they cannot be accumulated from turn to turn nor can they be transferred to another player.
The five planning boxes (which includes the draw pile), the eight Contract boxes (including the three draw piles), and the player's Favor box each show an AP cost next to it ranging from 0 to 6: this number is the active player's cost in APs to draw/build/acquire the card currently face up in that box.
Throughout the game, each player has the ability to collect "Favors"-that is, a contract that only he may build. A player may only ever have 1 Favor at a time-if a player already has a Favor, he cannot acquire a new one.
To acquire a new Favor, a player spends APs as normal for an available contract but, instead of building it right away, he places it face up in the empty Favor space of his player mat.
Once a player has a Favor, he may, on any of his future turns, build that contract for 0 APs (permits and wealth must be paid as normal, of course). A Favor cannot be voluntarily discarded-it may only be built. A player may acquire a new Favor the same turn in which he builds an existing Favor.
The Planning Deck
Event Cards: There are fourteen event cards in the Planning deck.
Urban Renewal Cards: There are four Urban Renewal cards in the Planning deck. These begin the game in the discard pile and thus only come into play after the first reshuffle of the Planning deck.
Build Permit Cards: The majority of the Planning deck is made up of Build Permit cards. Build Permits are comprised of one or more of the four zones: COM, CIV, IND and/or RES, as indicated by the presence of the relevant zone icons along the left-hand side of each card.
Build Permits come in four denominations: 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-permit. Each permit "page" shown in the center of a Build Permit can pay for one lot's worth of building of the same zone.
Players keep their acquired planning cards face up on the table in front of them - they are never hidden from the other players. Players may accumulate as many planning cards as they wish. Planning cards in a player's possession that are used as an investment, to build a contract, or to allow demolition are placed in the planning card discard pile.
The Three Contract Decks
There are three different contract decks: "Town", "City" and "Metropolis".
Event Cards: Similar to the Planning deck, the three contract decks also contain event cards. See page 13.
Building Contract Cards: The majority of the three contract decks are made up of "building contract" cards-or just "contracts". Each contract card is one of the four zones: CIV, COM, IND or RES, as indicated by the zone icon on the left side of the card as well as the card's colored border.
Contracts come in four sizes: 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-lot, as indicated by the number of permit pages shown below the contract's title. A contract's size is the number of permits worth of Build Permits (and of the same zone) that are required to build it.
Contracts also have one or more of: A building restriction, vocation (page 9), and/or text effect.
Other than as a Favor, players never keep contract cards. Once a contract is built, that card is placed back in the box, out of play.
Wealth & Prestige Markers
The six wealth markers numbered 7 through 12 and the three prestige markers numbered 4, 5, and 6 can come into play during the game via various card effects.
When first entering play, a wealth/prestige marker must be placed into any one of the vacant gray circular spaces around the outskirts of the city grid.
When a card effect allows one of these markers to be moved, it must be moved to a vacant (different) gray space, if any.
If all nine gray spaces are filled, no further movement of these markers is possible-ignore any card effect that would otherwise do so.
Effects-When a new wealth/prestige marker is first placed, it increases the value of all buildings, lots, and blocks along its row.
When an existing wealth/prestige marker is moved, it both increases the value of all buildings, lots, and blocks along its new row while at the same time decreasing the value of buildings, lots, and blocks in the row from which it was taken.
Example: The value of the 4-lot COM building (as well as that of the four lots and the single block that it occupies) begins the game at 8-2 prestige to the left plus 6 wealth to the bottom. Later in the game, the "6" prestige marker gets placed  which immediately increases the value of the COM to 14 (2+6+6).
A few turns later, the "6" prestige marker gets moved . This drops the value of the COM back down to 8, while simultaneously raising the value of the 1-lot RES to 11 and the 3-lot GOV to 12 (from 5 and 6, respectively). The value of the 2-lot IN D remains unchanged throughout all of this.
Cost to Build
When the active player chooses to spend APs to build an available face-up contract or Favor, he must pay:
an amount of APs equal to that listed next to the box occupied by the contract; and
at least as many permits, and of the proper zone type, as that contract. Permits may be paid by more than one Build Permit card. Permit cards spent this way are placed in the planning discard pile; and
an amount of wealth to the bank equal to the value of the block in which that building is built.
The number of permits required to build a contract - 1, 2, 3 or 4 - is also its size in "lots". Each block on the board contains four smaller lots into which buildings are placed.
Individual buildings may not straddle the light gray streets (they can't occupy more than one block at a time). When a player builds a contract he takes a building tile of the appropriate color (zone) and size (lots) from the general supply and places it on the board within the confines of the grid limits.
When built, the active player places one of his control markers on that building. The contract card is then put back in the box, out of play.
Some contracts have stricter or looser restrictions as to how or where they may be built. These restrictions are shown as italicized text directly underneath the contract's permit cost.
A new building cannot be built adjacent to an existing building of a different zone unless the new building is also being built adjacent to a building of the same zone.
Put another way, a new building may only be built adjacent to no zoned building at all or adjacent to a building of the same zone (color). Parks have no zone so they are ignored whenever zoning restrictions are a concern. Build- ings "placed" or "moved" via card effect also ignore zoning restrictions.
1 - In the graphic at left, the High School could be built in the 7-value block containing the COM building as long as it was placed adjacent to (diagonally and across the street from) the existing 1-lot CIV building. 2 - The High School could also be built in one of the 2-value blocks since this would put it adjacent to no building at all (thus creating a new CIV zone). 3 - It could not be built in the block occupied by the 3-value RES building because that would put it adjacent to a building of a different zone with no adjacent building of the same zone.
Immediately after a new building is built and paid for, the active player gains 1 prestige for each adjacent building of the same zone. Note: This bonus is never received when a building is "placed" or "moved" (instead of built) via card effect.
Continuing the previous example, building the #1 High School would earn the active player 1 prestige for the single adjacent CIV building. The adjacent COM building confers no neighborhood bonus for this play since it belongs to a different zone.
Vocation markers allow for immediate as well as possible future gain of wealth and/or prestige for their owning player. Many building contract cards have one or more "NAME-NUMBER" combinations within a brick wall, located underneath the card's permit cost.
These cards are termed "vocation contracts" and are the main way vocations are acquired in the game.
Sample Vocation Marker
Acquiring a Vocation
When a player completes the building of a vocation contract (that is, all wealth and permit payments have been made and any neighborhood bonus received), he immediately takes one of the indicated vocation markers from the supply and places it face up in front of himself (take only one marker of that name: the number is irrelevant in this regard).
If - and only if - there are no more of that particular vocation remaining in the supply, he may instead take one of the same name from an opposing player of his choice.
Immediately after the active player acquires the listed vocation, all players owning vocations of the same name will score for them.
Note the NUMBER listed after the NAME of the vocation on that card: For each vocation marker in play matching that vocation, its owner chooses to gain either X prestige or X wealth, where X equals the noted NUMBER. A player may choose to have an owned vocation marker pay out wealth one time and prestige the next, and vice versa.
Additionally, players owning more than one of a particular vocation may gain prestige with some and wealth with others during the same score.
When a contract is built, it may trigger one or more effects. These effects are listed as (non-italicized) text on the contract card. If a contract has more than one effect they are performed in top-down order.
Usually, the active player is the only player affected by a building's effect. However, when an effect refers to specific buildings as gaining or losing something, the player or players controlling the noted buildings will reap the benefit or detriment of that effect.
When an effect refers to "these rows" it means both the horizontal and vertical rows of blocks emanating from that building's block.
If an effect refers to "one of these rows" and then "the other row", buildings within the intersecting block count for both. New buildings count themselves for their own effect, if appropriate - in other words, they exist within the city grid at the time their effects occur.
End of the Turn
Once the active player has spent his allotted APs - or he cannot afford to spend any more, or chooses not to spend any more - his turn ends. At the end of every player's turn, perform the following reset actions in the order given:
Slide face-up planning cards along the rail line - from the top of the deck towards the 1 AP box - in order to fill any boxes that were emptied during the turn.
Refill remaining empty planning boxes one at a time by drawing off the top of the Planning deck. If a revealed card is an event, execute that event then draw again. Once a Build Permit or Urban Renewal is revealed perform its election and/or wealth payout if any.
If face down, flip the top card of the Planning deck face up. If the card is an event, execute that event then reveal the next card. Once a Build Permit or Urban Renewal is revealed perform its election and/or wealth payout if any.
Slide face-up contract cards along the rail lines -from the top of the active decks towards the 1 AP box - in order to fill any boxes that were emptied during the turn.
When the Town deck is the only active deck (as is the case at the start of the game), Town cards will slide along all five contract boxes. See "A" below.
When the City deck becomes active, Town cards will be limited to only the 5 AP box; City cards will slide along the 4 AP, 3 AP, 2 AP and 1 AP boxes. See "B" below.
When the Metropolis deck becomes active, Town cards will continue to be limited to the 5 AP box and City cards will now be limited to only the 4 AP box; Metropolis cards will slide along the 3 AP, 2 AP and 1 AP boxes. See "C" below.
Refill remaining empty contract boxes one at a time by drawing off the top of the nearest linked - and active - contract deck. If an event is revealed, execute the event and draw again. Once a contract is revealed perform its prestige payout if any.
If face down, flip the top card of the Town deck face up. If an event is revealed, execute the event and reveal the next card. Once a contract is revealed perform its prestige payout, if any.
Repeat step 6 for the City deck if it is active.
Repeat step 6 for the Metropolis deck if it is active.
Pass the Active Player tile clockwise to the next player, who then begins his turn.
This sequence is also shown on the back page of this booklet for ease of reference during play.
Election & Payout Triggers
Whenever a new planning card is revealed, players should first check to see if there is a "ballot box" icon on the card. If so, the orange pawn is advanced 1 space clockwise on the Election Track and an election held. See page 13 for rules on elections.
Whenever a new planning card or contract card is revealed, players should check to see if there is a wealth or prestige value at the bottom of the card. If so, players perform a wealth or prestige payout, respectively (after any election triggered by the same card).
For payouts, the number/color of the payout icon indicates which matching row within the city grid will be the target of the payout:
If the matching prestige/wealth space is present on the outskirts of the city grid, there is a payout.
If the matching prestige/wealth marker hasn't yet been brought into play, there is no payout.
Payout Amounts: The "Payouts" tables - shown at right and on each of the player mats - show how much wealth or prestige is awarded to the players that have the most, second-most, third-most and fourth-most buildings on that row.
When playing with 3 players, the "4th" column is not used. When playing with only 2 players, both the "3rd" and "4th" columns are ignored.
Ties During Payouts: If two players have the same number of buildings on the row and thus tie for a position, these players share equally the points for that and the next lower amount.
If three players tie, they share equally the points for that and the next two lower amounts. If four players tie, they share the sum value of all four columns. Fractions are dropped in all cases.
The five large gold tiles are called "politicians". The game begins with only the Mayor in play. The other four politicians enter play via the Airport event in the Town deck. Each political figure will give the player currently holding that particular office some sort of special ability.
Many special abilities break or otherwise modify a basic rule of the game. When the special ability of a politician conflicts with another rule within this booklet, the politician always takes precedence.
Politicians also give their owners varying levels of prestige bonuses at the end of the game. These abilities/bonuses are as follows:
Special Ability: At the moment he is (re)elected, the Mayor places a new 1-lot park into any vacant lot and takes control of it.
Bonus: When the game ends, the Mayor gains 1 prestige for each of his non-park buildings that are adjacent to one or more parks (regardless of who controls those parks).
Special Ability: When the District Attorney builds the first contract of his turn, he doubles any neighborhood bonus received.
Bonus: When the game ends, the District Attorney gains 1 prestige for each CIV building in play (regardless of ownership).
Special Ability: At the start of each of his turns the Treasurer collects 2 wealth from each opponent (players with less than 2 wealth pay what they have).
Bonus: When the game ends, the Treasurer gains 1 prestige for each COM building in play (regardless of ownership).
Special Ability: When a vocation contract is built, the Police Chief gains both wealth and prestige for his matching vocations.
Bonus: When the game ends, the Police Chief gains 1 prestige for each RES building in play (regardless of ownership).
Special Ability: When he is the active player, the Union Boss receives 8 APs to spend instead of 6.
Bonus: When the game ends, the Union Boss gains 1 prestige for each IND building in play (regardless of ownership).
Tie five politicians will change hands several times during the course of play through regular "elections".
An election , occurs whenever an event specifically calls for one or, more commonly, whenever the orange pawn is moved into a space of the Election Track: the latter occurring as a result of revealing a planning card with the ballot box icon.
Procedure: Whenever an election is called for, note the title of the politician listed there. That politician - and only that politician - will be assigned to a player ("elected") as follows:
Important Note: At the start of the game the Mayor is the only elected official in play (though initially uncontrolled). The other four politicians can be elected only once the Airport event (in the Town deck) adds them to the game.
Prior to the Airport event occurring, treat the four zone-colored spaces of the Election Track as being blank.
Mayor: The player owning the most vocations takes this tile. If there is a tie for most vocations, the player owning the Media vocation decides which of those tied players becomes Mayor.
District Attorney: The player owning the most valuable CIV building takes this tile. If there is a tie, the tied player owning the greatest number of CIV buildings takes the tile. If still tied, the current Mayor decides which of those tied players becomes District Attorney.
Treasurer: The player owning the most valuable COM building takes this tile. If there is a tie, the tied player owning the greatest number of COM buildings takes the tile. If still tied, the current District Attorney decides which of those tied players becomes Treasurer.
Police Chief: The player owning the most valuable RES building takes this tile. If there is a tie, the tied player owning the greatest number of RES buildings takes the tile. If still tied, the current Treasurer decides which of those tied players becomes Police Chief.
Union Boss: The player owning the most valuable IND building takes this tile. If there is a tie, the tied player owning the greatest number of IND building takes the tile. If still tied, the current Police Chief decides which of those tied players becomes Union Boss.
Contractor Assignment: The Contractor enters play only after the Sports Team event (in the City deck) occurs. Though not a politician, once it becomes active the Contractor tile is given to the player having the least prestige at the conclusion of every election.
If there is a tie for the least prestige, the Union Boss decides which of those tied players becomes the Contractor.
An "event" is any card with typewriter lettering on lined paper. During the End of Turn procedure, whenever the top card of any deck is drawn or revealed as a newly available card, if that card is an event (for example, the Business Relocation event shown below) play pauses so that the event can be executed.
An event card must be performed in its entirety before the next card from that deck is drawn or revealed.
Execute the event's effects in top to bottom order. If all or part of an event is impossible to execute due to the current game situation, simply skip that part and perform whatever actions are relevant.
After execution, events from the Planning deck are placed in the planning discard pile; Events from any of the three contract decks are placed back in the box (out of play).
Event Example: During step 7 of the End of Turn procedure the top card of the City deck is flipped face-up, revealing the above event.
First, the player owning the Media vocation gains both 1 wealth and 1 prestige.
Then, the player currently acting as Treasurer selects any one COM building on the board and removes its control marker, handing the cube back to its owner (the building itself remains on the board, controlled by no one).
Finally, the event is removed from the game and the next City card revealed. If this next City card is another event, follow that event's text then reveal yet another card- stopping the process only when the revealed City card is a new contract.
Urban Renewal is a mechanic whereby a player is allowed to "demolish" existing buildings, removing them from play. This ability is found on the four Urban Renewal cards in the Planning deck as well as the large silver Contractor tile.
The Urban Renewal cards begin the game in the discard pile, entering play during the first reshuffle of the Planning deck. The Contractor isn't used in the first two-thirds of the game, entering play via the Sports Team event in the City deck.
The Contractor is not a politician, though it does get reassigned at the end of every election, where it is given to the player with the least prestige (the Union Boss determines who gets it in a tie).
Demolition Ability: Whenever (1) the Contractor player builds a contract, or (2) any player holding an Urban Renewal card discards it while building a contract, that player is allowed to demolish one or more existing buildings, removing them from play. Buildings may be demolished if all three of the following conditions are met:
When building a contract, you may discard this card to demolish one or more existing buildings-
Zoning restrictions are observed as if each building being demolished did not exist (because it won't in a minute); and
The new building is at least as large as each building being demolished; and
The new building will end up occupying every lot of each building being demolished.
It is possible for a new building to demolish two or more buildings simultaneously. Note also the second ability of the Contractor: that player cannot have his buildings demolished by other players (that is, by means of the Urban Renewal cards).
Demolition Effects-A demolished building is removed from the board. Any control cube on it is given back to the owning player.
End of the Game
Players take their turns in clockwise order around the table until the Olympic Games event (in the Metropolis deck) is revealed during play. When revealed, play immediately stops and the game ends. At that point:
Perform a final payout on each prestige row (including the 4, 5 and 6 prestige rows if those markers have been added to the board); then
Players gain 1 prestige for each full multiple of 10 wealth they have on hand; then
Players gain prestige according to the text on any politicians under their control.
The winner of the game is then the player that has accumulated the most prestige. If there is a tie for most prestige, the tied player with the most wealth wins the game. If this is also tied, the victory is shared.