between two cities

If the name in the headline seems slightly odd and lengthy, you’d be forgiven for thinking so, but such is the cost of combining two fairly different tile-laying games into one new and surprising title. Stonemaier Games announced on Wednesday that they’ve gotten permission from Bezier Games  to combine their Castles of Mad King Ludwig with Stonemaier’s Between Two Cities, creating a more unique version of the latter with advanced scoring and theme from the former. It’s a kind of board gaming mad science that, when coupled with several prominent reviewers having received early copies to critique, makes for one very powerful piece of news that subverts disbelief with lots of pretty new tiles and possibilities. Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig plays 2 to 7 players, features a 4-piece Game Trayz custom insert, and is set to hit retail on October 19th.

     “Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a competitive tile-drafting game in which each tile is a room in a castle. You work together with the player on your left to design one castle, and with the player on your right on another castle. […] At the end of the game, each castle is scored. Your personal final score is the lower of the scores of the two castles 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 between two castles.”

As presented within the description above, it really is just Between Two Cities but with some better bits mixed in. You’re still doing the same wonderfully unique exercise of building two places between your neighboring opponents, but now there’s more involved with what kinds of rooms you add that affect scoring in new and interesting ways. It is doubtlessly a more attractive package than either of it’s parts, both on the table and in it’s design. Fans of either game have something a bit more of value in store in this union, which speaks to the thoughtfulness of Stonemaier Games’ presentation of this product.

Apart from the praise and criticisms this game will gather under it’s own merits, I can’t help but applaud the idea of smashing up two games into something a bit different. Will this become a new trend to takeoff into 2019? The year of board game mashups? It would be fascinating to see, and I encourage it! If you’re interested in learning more about Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, check out Stonemaier Games website for more pictures, videos, a full rulebook, and updates.

Stonemaier Games has announced the first expansion for their popular tile laying, city building game, Between Two Cities. Between Two Cities: Capitals adds several interesting new elements to the game. Landscape mats give each players’ city a distinct look and feel, and guide the construction by giving a certain layout to build on and around. Districts give players majority bonuses for connecting certain building types. Capitals also adds a new tile type, the civic building, whose goal is to be connected to two specific tile types. In addition, Capitals comes with the deluxe wooden meeples previously available as promos.

Between Two Cities: Capitals is due to be released in early July 2017.


The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category.  And the nominees are:















Design unique and beautiful cities in this partnership-driven, 20-minute, competitive tile-drafting game for 2-7 players.

Stonemaier Games is kicking off a Kickstarter today for the first “gateway game” in their collection, Between Two Cities.  Designers Ben Rosset and Matthew O’Malley have worked in conjunction with Jamey Stegmaier to create a tile-drafting game that is partnership-driven, but competitive at the same time.  You and your neighbors at the game table will draft tiles to simultaneously build two cities, but only the city with the lowest score matters.  Table discussion on where to place tiles is important, as your neighbors are working with you to create these cities–but they will be answering questions without exposing yours or their own strategies.

A game of Between Two Cities is played in three rounds, with each round consisting of drafting two tiles at a time from a hand of tiles, placing one in the city on your left and one on the right, and then passing the remaining tiles around the table.  After three rounds are finished, each player will have built two cities, and will compare their lowest-scoring cities to each other to determine the winner.

The retail version of the game will include:

  • 108 2″-Square Building Tiles
  • 24 Duplex Tiles (2″ X 4″ Rectangle)
  • 7 Pairs of Wooden City Tokens
  • 1 Scoreboard
  • 1 Rulebook (English)
  • 7 Reference Cards

The Kickstarter will feature a special edition of the game with the following additional components:

  • 7 More Pairs of Wooden City Tokens
  • Numbered, Gold-Foil-Embossed Box
  • 2 Rulebooks (French and German)

Between Two Cities is a game for 2-7 players and plays in 20-25 minutes.  The game will also include a solitaire variant as a stretch goal.  The primary funding goal of this project is $20,000.  For more information on this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

stonemaier logo

Things are hopping at Stonemaier Games this month.  Their February 2015 newsletter is chock full of news, events, and opportunities for readers, and here is just a smattering of what’s inside this month’s update:

  • Euphoria Expansion:  The original Euphoria game has 48 recruit cards and 18 markets, and the new expansion plans to add more of these to game play.  Stonemaier Games has put out a call for new ideas for these new recruit and market cards.
  • Between Two Cities:  The upcoming Between Two Cities game by Ben Rosset and Matthew O’Malley will be hitting Kickstarter on February 25.
  • Treasure Chests 2-4:  In mid-April, Stonemaier Games plans to run a Kickstarter for 3 new Treasure Chests with bundled pricing.
  • Scythe: Scythe is coming along well in its development, and you can see the latest artwork from Jakub Rozalski for the game in this month’s newsletter.

There is even more information about what Stonemaier Games is up to, and you can check it all out HERE.

Stonemaier Games has announced a new game and it is their first to not be designed by Jamey and Alan.

between two cities

Between Two Cities

The game is called Between Two Cities, designed by Ben Rosset and Matthew O’Malley. It is a partnership-driven, tile-drafting city-building game for 3-7 players that plays in about 20 minutes. The game also includes a 2-player variant, and Morten Monrad Pedersen is working on a solo “Automa” variant as well.

Imagine you are a world-renowned city planner and you have been asked to redesign two different cities. A project of this magnitude will require the expertise of more than one person. In in each assignment you will paired up with a partner. You and your partner will discuss and execute your grandiose plans.

Each turn features a simultaneous discussion with your two partners to decide which of your tiles to place into the cities you’re building with each of them and where in those cities to place the tiles. At the end of the game, there is only one winner, as each player compares the lowest scoring of their two cites.

This game will launch on Kickstarter in 2015, so keep an eye out for upcoming news on Between Two Cities.

There are some games that will be reaching your houses and gaming stores alike, though. Here is a list of when to expect them, if all goes well, that is.



December/January delivery for backers/pre-orders.

Treasure Chest

Mid-December delivery for early-adopter backers; late December/early January delivery for backers/pre-orders.

Euphoria (2nd printing)

December retail release in the US

Viticulture (2nd edition)

Delivered to all “early” backers and in stores. If you want to buy a copy, the best way to get it at this point is to request it from your local game store.

One really cool thing that Stonemaier is doing right now has to do with the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund Acution!

As part of our participation in the annual Jack Vasel Memorial Fund auction, we decided to donate $5 to that fund for every Treasure Chest pre-ordered through our website during the JVMF auction timeframe (Oct 21-Nov 14)