With possibly the longest title I’ve ever heard of, This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us is a simple tile-laying game for (I have to say it) 2 to 4 players.
As I said, it is a simple game, but you can add up to three expansions that come with the basic game to make it a bit more complex.
For the rest of this review, I’ll shorten the title to This Town.
How Do You Play the Basic Game of This Town?
The picture above shows all the bits, including the expansions, that you get in This Town. All of that fits into a small bag as shown below.
Kudos to Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) for not putting this into an oversized box.
To start the game, pick a color (brand) and set the starting Claim Office tile in the center of the table.
On your turn, pick a tile from the face-down stack (or pile) and place it adjacent to the tile(s) already on the board.
Each tile has fences that connect to form corrals. When a corral is completed, you score it.
Count the number of each of the brands inside the corral. The player with the most brands scores the amount of brands that the second player has in the corral. This method continues for the 2nd and 3rd players. This means that the 4th (last) player will not score any points for that corral.
For example, let’s assume that this is the number of brands in a finished corral.
- Blue = 5
- Green = 3
- Red = 2
- Yellow = 1
Scoring this corral is as follows.
- Blue = 3 points
- Green = 2 points
- Red = 1 point
- Yellow = 0 points
If two or more players have the same amount of symbols, they are ranked equally and both score the points equal to the next lowest player’s brands.
You use the zig-zaggy scoring track (upper left in the first picture above) to keep score. If you go over 20 points, flip your tiny arrow over to show its +20 side.
Some of the tiles have silver bars on them. (Two of them do above.)
After you score a corral with silver bars, the current player (who caused the scoring to happen) may move a tile already on the board to a new location. The tile just can’t be part of a completed corral, nor can it be the Claim Office.
When the supply of tiles is gone, the game is over. The player with the most points wins.
Pretty simple, right?
What Do the Three Expansions Add to This Town?
You can add Badges, Hired Guns, and Miners to the mix. Let’s look at each separately. You can mix and match as you please.
Yes, the rules even say, “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”
So there’s that.
At the end of your turn, you can place your Badge on top of a brand. When that corral is later scored, the brand under the Badge doesn’t count.
There can be more than one Badge in a corral. You get your Badge back after the corral is scored.
The Hired Gun token works like the opposite of the Badge. When you place it on a tile, you do not cover any brands.
There can be multiple Guns in a corral.
When the corral is scored, the Hired Gun does count in the total. You get your Hired Gun back after scoring.
When you place your Miner, you don’t cover any brands. You immediately score 1 point for playing the Miner.
There can be only 1 Miner per corral.
After scoring a corral with a Miner, the player who caused the scoring collects the Miner, no matter what color it is.
If the corral also had a silver bar, the owner of the Miner (based on color) gets to relocate a tile as if he were the active player, instead of the player who caused scoring.
If you play with more than one of these expansions, you can only place 1 token of any type per turn.
This Town is a very quick game, if you play with just the basic rules. It’s enjoyable enough, but there’s not much to it. It would be a good introduction to tile-laying games for the very young. Perhaps the next step would be adding one or more expansions or moving on to something like Carcassonne.
This Town is much more interesting, for those who can handle it, when you use all three expansions at the same time. There is more strategy involved as well as tactical moves.
If you like tile games at all, you should at least give This Town a shot.