How To Play: London (Second Edition) – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Mastering 'How To Play London (Second Edition)' involves understanding its core: setup, gameplay nuances, and victory conditions. Additionally, strategizing through efficient hand management, smart economic choices, and calculated urban development while controlling poverty is just as crucial. Much like London’s cityscape, strategies are varied and dynamic.


Welcome, fellow city builders! In this guide, we’ll lay down the cobblestone for mastering ‘How to Play London (Second Edition)’ by outlining the essential rules and providing top strategies to help you claim victory. Drawing from my own game nights, I’ll guide you through effective hand management, income generation, and deft development while controlling poverty – your blueprint to becoming London’s finest architect!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game board
  • 4 Player boards
  • 68 Plastic coins
  • 46 Pauper Tokens
  • 32 Loan Discs
  • 4 Victory Point Markers
  • 118 Cards:
    • 95 City cards
    • 12 Borough cards
    • 11 Event cards
  • 44 Building Discs
  • 1 City Display Card
  • 1 Starting Player Marker
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play London (Second Edition): Rules Summary

Setting Up the Board

Launching a session of ‘How To Play London (Second Edition)’ begins with careful set-up to establish the playing landscape. Firstly, lay out the main game board in the center where all players can access it. Distribute a player board, a stack of money, and markers for tracking in purple, blue and black to each participant. Shuffle the deck of city cards and deal each player a starting hand. Finally, situate the poverty and city deck nearby, arranging the borough tiles within easy reach.

The Gameplay Loop

  1. Draw a city card, adding options to your hand.
  2. Develop your city tableau via card placement, tapping into strategy for short or long-term gains.
  3. Run your city, deciding the order of card activation for maximum benefit.
  4. Address poverty, managing your board to minimize this hindrance.
  5. Buy boroughs, extending influence using critical resources.

Crossing the Finish Line: Winning

Triumph in ‘How To Play London (Second Edition)’ demands exciting balance between wealth and squalor. Calculate score by totalling your piles: money, VP (earned from significant constructions and from some connected boroughs), then subtract poverty counters. The victor is the one with the highest score after the final round. A word of strategy – minimize poverty whenever possible, as it’s a strict point penalty at game’s end!

Varied paths: Special Rules & Conditions

Look out for peculiar elements to spice up the affair. Some crafted buildings hold skills to trigger immediate or ongoing effects – essential to grasp for clever manipulation. Additionally, importance lies in using unique player abilities to your favoured strategic angle. Retain awareness through flexible tactics based on developing situations.

Best London Second Edition Strategies

Mastering Hand Management in London: Squeeze Every Benefit

How To Play London (Second Edition) isn’t just about constructing the most impressive tableau; it’s equally about the subtle art of hand management. Remember, each card tucked into your hand presents potential; you’ve got to use them adeptly. Transitioning effectively from phase to phase, keenly aware of what’s in your grasp, is central to securing the win.

Strategic Draw Choices

  1. Target synergies between cards for potent combos.
  2. Precisely calibrate your draws to your city’s needs.

Clever Card Utilization

  1. Maximize every play by having multifunctional card uses.
  2. Minimize waste; if you can’t use it, don’t keep it.

Anticipating Your Opponents

  1. Analyze opponent tendencies to predict and preempt their strategies.
  2. Use this insight to adjust your hand for optimal plays.

The Foundations of Wealth in London

Maintaining a robust economy in London (Second Edition) is pivotal. Here’s how I’ve learned to keep my coffers full and my city thriving:

Income Pacing Strategy

  1. Time loans strategically – Borrow only when essential, repaying before interest swallows your resources.
  2. Balanced development – Focus on building a mix of income-generating boroughs early to fund later growth.

Maximizing Revenue

  1. Optimize card plays – Aim for combos that maximize income in a single turn.
  2. Choose investments wisely – Sometimes, spending more on powerful buildings pays off in heightened earnings.

Minding the Poverty Line

  1. Monitor poverty – Reduce your poverty to avoid scoring penalties at game’s end.
  2. Critical clearing – Rest wisely to manage poverty without sacrificing too many actions.

Mastering the Metropolis: Urban Development and Poverty Management

When playing ‘How to Play London (Second Edition),’ balancing urban development with poverty is crucial. You may be pulled towards expanding your cityscape but pay attention; unchecked expansion leads to poverty. Now, first—you need a sound strategy to mitigate poverty’s sting. Begin this subtle dance by focusing on a judicious build-up.

    Strategic District Development

  1. Keep poverty low by building efficiently, only crucial districts.
  2. Urban Synergy

  3. Create card combos for district upgrades, minimizing wasted turns.
  4. Card Versatility

  5. Develop districts with cards also providing poverty reduction.
  6. Measured Growth

  7. Expand sensibly, mindful of the poverty increase each turn.
  8. Late Game Boosts

  9. Position yourself for strong, poverty-friendly turns towards game end.

Mastering the Foggy Metropolis

Armed with insights into hand management, economic optimization, and urban development savvy, you’re now ready to plunge into the world of London (Second Edition). Remember to stay flexible in your strategies, as no two games unfold alike. Keep your opponents’ actions in consideration and adapt swiftly. Good luck building your version of London, and may your cityscape shine the brightest in this gritty quest for prestige and prosperity!

Want to know what we think of London (Second Edition)? Read our detailed review of London (Second Edition) here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.