Micro games have become a thing over the past few years and why not? They’re compact, inexpensive and fast. Micro games have the ability to pack a lot of game into a little package. The amazingly named, This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us gives not only a pretty cool little tile-laying game that includes three expansion modules. Jay Cormier and Sen Foong-Lim have shown you don’t need hours to have an awesome experience.
You play ranchers trying to close off corrals with your logo in them. On a turn you’ll draw a tile and add it to the board. Tiles are made up of fences and open corral space with different players’ cowboy brands and silver bars scattered throughout. When you close a corral you look to see who had the most brands. That cowboy or girl gets as many points as the person with the second most brands and so on. So, if Bill had 4 brands, Tom had 2 and Jill had 1 then Bill would get 2 points and Tom would get 1. It’s a neat little scoring mechanism that means that total domination of a corral is not enough. You need to win, but ideally your opponents will have invested enough to make that corral worth some points.
If you close a corral that has a silver bar in it, it allows you to move a placed tile as long as it’s not already part of a closed corral. It can lead to chains on your turn closing multiple corrals.
The We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges expansion gives each player a badge in their colour to use during the game. At the end of a turn you can place your badge on top of another player’s cowboy brand in an unfinished corral, removing it from play. When that corral closes you retrieve your badge to use again.
Hired Guns gives each player a hired gun token that works as an extra brand. At the end of your turn you can add it to an unfinished corral to add to your control of that area.
The Miner ’49er expansion gives each player a minor token to place at the end of their turn. As soon as you place it on the board you score one point. When the corral is closed the player with the most brands will collect all of the Miner tokens there to be used later in the game. If there is a silver bar and a Miner in a corral when it’s closed then it will be the player with the Miner token that gets to move the additional tile.
This game is pretty great, whether you play it with all of the expansions or just the base game. There is a print and play version on the geek or get your hands on the full version if you can. We don’t always have time for Advanced Civilization, but when you have 10-15 minutes to spare this micro game will fill it will some olde time fun!