Urbino
Who will build the best districts in town?

Material

  • 1 gameboard (9 × 9 squares)
  • 2 × 18 houses (light and dark)
  • 2 × 6 palaces (light and dark)
  • 2 × 3 towers (light and dark)
  • 2 architect figures (red)

Objective

Players together develop the town of Urbino. The player who has built the most vibrant and most valuable districts by the end of the game wins.

Preparation

The gameboard starts out empty. Each player chooses one color and takes the 27 buildings of that color (18 houses, 6 palaces, and 3 towers) plus one architect figure.

  1. The player with the dark buildings (Black) begins by placing the first architect on any square on the gameboard.
  2. Then the other player (White) places the second architect on any unoccupied square as well.
  3. Now Black determines who will erect his first building, considering this starting constellation (see below, “Erect a building”). The applicable player erects the building. After that, it’s the other player’s turn. From then on, the two players alternate.

Black (1) and White (2) have placed the architects. Black decides that White has to start. White erects his first building (3).

Play

Each turn (except for the first) consists of two consecutive actions:

  1. Reposition an architect (optional)
  2. Erect a building

1. Reposition an architect (optional)

The active player may leave the two architects in place or choose one of the two figures and place it on a different unoccupied square on the gameboard. After that, it must be possible to erect a building in any case. If this is not possible, the architects have to stay put and the player has to skip a round.

Architects are repositioned on unoccupied squares (they don’t move in the usual way along the squares).

2. Erect a building

The active player chooses a building from his supply (a house, a palace, or a tower) and places it on one of the squares.

Where a building can be erected depends on:

2.1. the positions of the architects,
2.2. the districts, and
2.3. the neighboring buildings.

2.1. The positions of the architects

From his space, each architect “looks” straight across any number of squares in a horizontal, vertical, and diagonal direction. He cannot look over occupied squares.

When two architects are standing on the gameboard, in most cases their “lines of vision” intersect on certain squares. This is where buildings can be erected under specific conditions.

If the two architects are standing in one line, with no building between them, all the squares between them (without regard to other directions) are considered intersection points.

The lines of vision of an individual architect: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal.

In conjunction with the second architect, intersection points arise that could become “building lots.”

Looks and intersection points (■) on a crowded board.

2.2. The districts

All horizontally or vertically connected buildings constitute a “district.” Within one district, all connected buildings of one player are considered a “block.”

Each district may consist of no more than two blocks – one per player! That means, when erecting a building, a player has to ensure that all buildings of the same color within a district always remain connected. Buildings that are positioned diagonally to each other are not connected. See illustrations 3a and 3b below.

White has just repositioned an architect. The intersection points are marked with ■. Now he has to place a building.

There are three squares he cannot build on: On A, he can’t make the 2 districts into 1 because the black buildings would then not be connected; on B, the white ones wouldn’t be connected, and on C, in making 2 districts into 1, neither color would be connected. Only building lot D can be used. House a is on the diagonal to the white house and therefore is not connected and represents its own district.

2.3. The neighboring buildings

A tower may never be located horizontally or vertically adjacent to another tower (no matter of what color). The same applies to palaces: They may not stand directly next to one another. The small houses have no restrictions in this respect.

Skip a round

If the active player has no possibility at all of erecting a building, he has to skip that round. This can happen if he has no suitable building left or cannot reposition any of the two architects to make building possible. Skipping voluntarily is not allowed. A player who has had to skip a round might be able to resume play in one of the next rounds, provided new building possibilities come up for him.

End of the game and scoring

The game ends as soon as the two players in a row have to skip a round. When that happens, the scoring takes place. Only those districts are scored that contain buildings of both players. One-color districts or stand-alone buildings score no points. For the “vibrant” (i.e., two-colored) districts, only the player who has contributed the higher total building value gets the corresponding victory points; the other player’s building values go to waste.

The building values are:

House = 1 point Palace = 2 points Tower = 3 points

In case of a tie, the player who has placed the more valuable buildings gets the points. To determine this, the players compare the number of – in this order – towers, palaces, and then houses. If this doesn’t resolve the tie, neither player gets victory points.

Scoring examples

  1. White: 4 houses + 2 palaces (= 8 points),
    Black: 2 houses +1 palace +1 tower (= 7 points)
    → White gets 8 victory points
  2. White: 1 house + 2 palaces (= 5 points),
    Black: 2 houses +1 tower (= 5 points)
    → Black gets 5 victory points
  3. White: 1 house + 1 palace (= 3 points),
    Black: 1 house + 1 palace (= 3 points)
    → tie – no player gets victory points
  4. White: 2 houses + 1 tower (only one color)
    → no victory points
  5. Black: 1 stand-alone house
    → no victory points

Determining the winner

When all districts have been evaluated, the player with the highest total score wins the game. In case of a tie, here, too, the more valuable buildings that have been scored prevail. A game can also end in a draw.

Variant: the “monuments”

At the beginning of the game, players can agree on playing with monuments. There are three different ones, each of them consisting of three buildings of a player that are horizontally or vertically connected in one line.

They score twice as many points:

Town wall
house - house - house
6 points
Ducal palace
palace - house - palace
10 points
Cathedral
tower - palace - tower
16 points

Only one monument per block may be scored.

In case of a tie, the more valuable monuments prevail.

Example: White scores for 1 ducal palace, 1 tower, and 3 houses: 16 points. Black scores for 1 cathedral and 1 house. With 17 victory points, the district goes to Black.

Please note: White may not score for an additional town wall and Black would win this district also with 16 points (without the house) as the more valuable monument prevails.