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Rating: 5.9 Fair
Difficulty:Very easy
Players: 2-6 players
Playing time: 45 minutes

Created by: Dominique Ehrhard, Duccio Vitale, Dominique Ehrhard, John Goodenough, Serge Hochain, Tomasz Jedruszek, Scott Nicely, David Palumbo

Published by: Arclight, Descartes Editeur, Edge Entertainment

Alternate Names: Кондотьер, 傭兵隊長


It is 13th century Italy. Trade is flourishing between the city-states and the Levant. Venice, Florence, and Genoa are all bursting with wealth.

However, each city-state is also plagued with a weak national army, leaving them defenseless against invasion from their envious neighbors. Enter the Condottiere.

As veteran English soldiers returned from the Crusades, Italy found itself with an influx of desperate and capable men. These hired swords were contracted to fight for individual city-states by an agreement known as a condotta.

The most elite of these men were the mercenary leaders known as the Condottiere.

The object of Condottiere is to acquire four connected provinces in renaissance Italy. To do this players auction off different provinces on the board and bid on these provinces with a hand of cards representing mercenaries, seasons, scarecrows, and political figures.

However, unlike standard auctions in which only the highest bidder loses their bid, in Condottiere every player loses their bid.

Players are, in effect, bidding the number of troops they are willing to lose in order to win a province. However, several special effect cards shake the contests up and keep the players guessing.

Retail Price:$27
Spiel des Jahres Recommended 1995
Fairplay À la carte Winner 1995

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During the Renaissance, Italy was divided into numerous independent city-states, sometimes friendly, sometimes hostile. The best known of these were Genoa, Florence, the Duchy of Milan, and the Republics of Venice.

This is the era in which the Condottieri appear: leaders of mercenary armies who offered their ser- vices to the most powerful cities. Formidable strat- egists and highly skilled soldiers, the Condottieri were not content to just hire out their command and their troops; they reshaped the political map of Italy with their intrigues, alliances, battles, and sieges. The most daring among them founded new dynasties: Francesco Sforza took possession of the Duchy of Milan, and Giovanni de Medici made Florence his kingdom. …

If players wish to have a longer or more detailed game of Condottiere, they can incorporate one or more of the following rules.

Draw After Battle

With this variant, each player draws cards at the end of each battle instead of drawing cards at the end of each round. In fact, with this variant, there are no "rounds" in the game, only a series a battles. When playing with this variant, at the beginning of the game, players start with 7 cards instead of 10 cards. …

Mercenary Cards

These are distinguished from the other cards by their orange border and the shape of the shield in their upper left-hand corner. The numeric values in the shield range between 1 and 10, and indicate the strength of the card.

Mercenary cards are the most common type of strength-providing card, although some other non-Mercenary cards (the Courtesan and the Heroine) also have strength values.

There are 10 of the 1-strength Mercenary cards and 8 each of the 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, and 10-strength Mercenary cards in the deck. …

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