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Lost Cities rules

 (Save rules as PDF)

The Object of the Game

It is the aim of both players to lay out expeditions to obtain (after deduction of the expenses) as much fame points as possible. There are five possible discoveries to make, represented in 5 colors/columns. The expeditions are formed through rows of cards from the same color in such a way, that the value of the next card added is higher than the previous one.

Before laying out "number values" for a particular expedition (column), you can make use of up to three "Investment Cards" per colour. Those cards double, triple or quadruple (when played in succession) the initial expenses, but as well the resulting fame points. Of course all cards in one column have to have the same color.

At the end of the game (no more cards in the stack) all started expeditions contribute to the final balance of fame points. The player with the better balance wins.

The Sequence of Play

The expeditions are formed by five card sets consisting of 12 cards each, totaling 60 game cards. For each color the 12 Cards are divided as follows:
  • three Investment Cards ("shaking hands" symbol)
  • 9 Expedition Cards with the values of 2 trough 10 (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) Both players start with a random selection of 8 handcards, leaving 44 cards in the stack. The active player has to remove a card from his hand and then refill his hand. Then it's the next players turn. A player can not pass his turn.

    To remove a card from your hand

    To remove a card from his hand a player has two possibilities:
  • To discard a card on the center row: Any Card may be discarded on top of a discard stack on the center line. Clue: Do not forget that your opponent can choose to take this card to refill his hand.
  • To play the card in the bottom part of the screen (building an expedition).

    Only Cards that meet folloing conditions may be played in the bottom part of the screen:
  • Investment Cards, can only be played if the expedition has not yet started, or only other investment cards were used on this expedition.
  • Value Cards, can only be played if the expedition has not yet started or the preceding card has a lower value (investment cards are lower than "2"). Clue: If you have an Investment, a 6 and a 8 of the same color on your hand, and you play the 8 as your first card, you cannot play the Investment or the 6. They are now useless to you.

    Draw a new card

    To refill his hand the player has up to two possibilities:
  • To take a card from center row: If all stacks in the center row are empty the player has to pull from the stack. Clue: Taking cards from the center row even if you do not need them can prolonge the game and you may be able to place all the cards you need to score with, before the stack counter runs out.
  • To take a card from the stack, above the move list: If the counter reaches "0" the game ends immediately and the fame points will be calculated.

    End of Game and Calculation of Fame Points

    The game ends immediately, when the last card is drawn from the stack. Scoring:
  • The expedition value of the players has to be determined. First all fame points of an expedition are added. Then 20 points investment costs will be deducted (so your outcome can be negative). If an expedition isn't played by one player it has 0 points.
  • If a player has 1,2 or 3 investments card of a color the above result is multiplied by 2, 3 or 4.
  • Each expedition consisting of 8 or more cards, gets an extra bonus of 20 points. This bonus does not get multiplied by investments.
  • The player with the highest score after adding all his expedition points, wins the game.