You are a reputable merchant in the 15th century sailing to strategically important cities of the Mediterranean, building warehouses in these cities and fortresses to protect them. It is your ambition to become the most mighty and successful merchant of all.
But you will succeed only if you manage to establish your warehouses in as many cities as possible and if you build your warehouses and fortresses in the most flourishing cities.
The player owning the most money at the end of the game is the most renowned merchant and winner of the game.
- 1 game board
- -5 wooden ships
- -90 wooden warehouses
- 15 fortresses
- 1 starting player token
- 54 sailing cards
- 3 proliferation bonus cards
- -30 loan cards
- 111 coins
- 3 additional city tiles
- 1 black pirate ship
Object of the Game
Each player adopts the role of a merchant during the 15th century, sailing to strategically important cities of the Mediterranean, building warehouses in these cities and fortresses to protect them.
The game is split into three phases, each phase ending with a payday.
Each payday, every player receives money for:
- the number of cities in which she has built warehouses (proliferation)
- each fortress she has built
- each city in which she owns the most or second most warehouses (majority)
The player owning the most money at the end of the game (after the third payday), is the winner of the game.
Each player chooses a color and takes the following components of her color:
- 1 ship
- 6 warehouses
- 1 fortress
All players are paid 20 Florin as their starting capital
All players place their ship, warehouses, fortress and coins in front of themselves on the table. All remaining warehouses and fortresses are placed besides the game board in a common pool. During the game the players keep their money open for all other players to see.
Sailing cards: There are two different types of sailing cards, which have to be divided in two separate decks. One deck comprises the destination/sea route cards, and the other deck being the city interconnection cards.
Both decks are shuffled separately.
Four destination cards and six city interconnection cards are placed face up on both sides of the game board, next to their respective face down decks (see illustration on the following page).
Loans: The loans cards are placed face up in two separate decks (10 Florin and 16 Florin) on the two bank spaces.
One player is chosen as banker and will be handling all the coins and loans. The three proliferation bonus cards are placed in reach besides the game board.
The game is played in three phases, each phase consisting of several rounds. At the end of each phase there is a payday. The youngest player is the starting player of the first phase, i. e. at the beginning of the game.
She is given the starting player token "El Capitan" and places it in front of herself. In her turn a player may sail first and then must perform one of the three following actions:
1. Build a Warehouse (or Re-open)
A player who wants to build or re-open a warehouse must have her ship on a harbor space of a city. Before and after building she may buy sailing cards. During her turn she may build or re-open exactly one warehouse.
2. Build a Fortress
A player who wants to build a fortress must have her ship on a harbor space of a city. Before and after building she may buy sailing cards. During her turn she may build exactly one fortress.
3. Take a Loan
A player who wants to take a loan must have her ship in the bank harbor space. She may not perform any other actions during this turn. During her turn she may take one loan only.
Purchase of Sailing Cards
This action is not mandatory and does not count as one of the three actions you have to perform during your turn. There are always four destination/sea route cards and six city interconnection cards on open display.
During her turn a player may buy as many of these cards as she wants or can afford. She takes all cards she wants to buy to her hand and pays the money to the bank.
These cards may be used immediately or in later turns. At the beginning of the game each player must buy at least one card in order to bring his ship into play.
After a player's turn has ended, new cards are taken from the decks and displayed open on the table, if appropriate. This way all players always have a full choice. If one of the decks is exhausted, the discard pile is shuffled and used as the new deck.
At the beginning of the game all players must buy at least one destination card and sail to a destination city with their ship.
During the course of the game sailing is a voluntarily action, but if a player wants to set sail, she must do so before erecting any building.
In this case the player plays a sailing card (which she had bought during this turn or a former turn) and sails directly to the city named on the sailing card or sails up to as many routes as the number of seals on the card.
If the first harbor space is occupied, the ship must be placed on the second harbor space. If both harbor spaces are occupied, the player cannot anchor in this city and must continue sailing.
The active player may play as many sailing cards as she wants to. When playing several cards during one turn there must be a free harbor space only in that city in which the player intends to erect a building.
Example: A player sails to Tanger with a destination card and then from Tanger to Alexandria with the appropriate city interconnection card.
At the beginning of the game and from the bank harbor, players can sail off only by using a destination card. For sailing to the bank harbor you don't need any card, this journey is free of charge. All cards played are discarded on two separate discard piles.
Build a Warehouse
You can build a warehouse only in that city in which your ship currently is anchoring in one of the two harbor spaces. In order to build a warehouse, you pay the cost to the bank as shown on the harbor space of your ship and place one of your warehouses on the next free building site.
The player building the first warehouse in that city chooses if he builds his warehouse on the first building site ("0"-space) or on the second.
If the first warehouse is built on the second site, then the second warehouse in that city must be built on the first building site. It doesn't matter if this is built by the same player or by some other.
The third warehouse and all further ones in that city are always built on the next, adjacent building site on this U-track. The last space of this track is a no building site; no building whatsoever may be erected there. The numbers on the building sites are of importance only on a payday.
Red has sailed to Marseille and built her first warehouse for 4 Florin. She had the choice to build it on the first or second building site, and she settled for the second one.
Green arrived after Red. She built four warehouses and one fortress. Her first warehouse had to go on the first building site. If no other player will build a warehouse now in Marseille, Green has to leave the city because she is not allowed to own more than three warehouses in a row.
In her next turn a player may remain in the city where her ship is anchoring and build another warehouse, or a fortress. But of course she may set sail to some other city and erect some building there or she may sail to the bank and take a loan.
If your ship is anchoring on the more costly harbor space you may not move to the cheaper one in case it becomes unoccupied.
No player is allowed to have more than three warehouses in a row in any city. If a player has built (or re-opened) three warehouses in a row she is allowed to build a further warehouse in that city only after some other player has built a warehouse there.
Build a Fortress
You can build a fortress only in that city in which your ship currently is anchoring in one of the two harbor spaces.
When building a fortress you pay the cost shown on an empty fortress building site to the bank and place one of your fortresses there.
In her next turn a player may remain in the city where her ship is anchoring and build a warehouse or she may set sail to some other city and erect some building there or she may sail to the bank and take a loan.
No player may have more than one fortress in any city.
Warehouse Shut Down
Each time a warehouse is erected on a dark-colored building site the first warehouse in the warehouse chain in this city is shut down, no matter whom it belongs to. (When building on the first dark-colored building site the warehouse on the "0"-space is shut down.
When building on the second dark-colored building site the warehouse on the second building site is shut down etc).. A warehouse that gets shut down is removed from its building site and placed on the central picture of the city.
Any warehouses standing on the picture of a city count on a payday, neither for proliferation nor for majority. Players can build on these now unoccupied building sites only after a warehouse has been built on the last possible building site (the second-to-last space) in this city.
For a two- or three-player-game there's an additional shut down space in each city. The first warehouse will be shut down as soon as a player builds her warehouse on the building site with the dark-colored triangle.
Warehouse shut down: Yellow has built a warehouse on the first dark-colored building site. The first warehouse is shut down and placed on the central picture of the city
Re-opening of a shut down warehouse
The owning player of a shut down warehouse may re- open her now worthless warehouse, if she sails again to that city (or still is in that city). She anchors her ship on a free harbor space and can re-open her warehouse free of charge.
When doing so, she removes her warehouse from the picture of the city and places it next to the last warehouse built. When re-opening one of her warehouses the player can not build another warehouse or a fortress during the same turn.
In case a warehouse is shut down and the ship of the owning player happens to be in that city she may re- open it immediately when it is her turn.
Re-opening a warehouse: Later, Blue had built on the second dark-colored building site, so the second warehouse (Red) was shut down. Subsequently, Red re-opened her warehouse for free. In order to do so she had to sail to Marseille again.
The last possible building site is occupied by a warehouse
Only after a warehouse has been erected on the last possible building site (second-to-last space) of a city, new warehouses may be built (or re-opened) on those building sites which had become unoccupied by shutting down warehouses.
The warehouse now is built the other way round, i. e. starting next to the first warehouse still in operation. This means that the last building site used is the "0"-space. When a warehouse is erected on all 12 building sites, no more warehouses can be built in this city and no warehouses in this city can be shut down anymore.
When building "backwards", i. e. on a free building site which had been occupied before, you still have to obey the rule that no more than three warehouses of the same color are allowed to be in a row.
Take a Loan
A player wanting to take a loan has to sail from her current city to the harbor of the bank (no sailing card is required for such a journey) and takes a loan this turn. Two kinds of loans can be taken:
10 Florin loan.
pay back 12 Florin, pay back after loan extension is 16 Florin (backside of the card)
16 Florin loan.
pay back 20 Florin, pay back after loan extension is 30 Florin (backside of the card)
After taking the loan the player places the card face up in front of herself showing the amount of the loan and then receives the money from the bank. When it is her turn again, she may remain on the bank space and take another loan or she has to sail to a city using a destination card.
Please note: If a player does not want to erect a building during her turn or is not able to do so she must sail with her ship to the harbor space of the bank and is forced to take a loan. No sailing card is required for such a journey. Loans cannot be taken during the first round of the game.
The number of ships on the harbor space of the bank is not limited.
As soon as the last building site of a city is occupied, the formerly occupied building sites, can be built in again. The warehouse chain is built "backwards" now towards the fist building site. The "0"-space is the last site to be built upon.
Even if the last three houses in Marseille would be red, player Red can build at the front of the chain, because not all of her houses would be in a row.
If Green would build in front of the chain, she could still erect a warehouse on space "8", but after that, not on space "4" because this would mean Green would have four houses of the same color in a row.
As soon as one player has built all their warehouses and fortresses, the phase ends at the end of the current round (this way all players have the same number of turns).
All players are then paid money for proliferation, majority and their fortresses built.
The proliferation chart denotes how much money is paid. If a player owns warehouses in three cities she will receive 5 Florin, if she owns warehouses in all nine cities, she will receive 60 Florin. In order to qualify for this it is sufficient to have just one warehouse only in a city.
Fortresses and shut down warehouses do not count against the proliferation chart.
The first player to have built at least one of her warehouses in each of all nine cities (shut down warehouses are not eligible) receives the first bonus card (15 Florin) immediately after building her warehouse in the ninth city and keeps it in front of her. The second and third player to achieve this will receive the second and third bonus cards respectively.
If a player holding a bonus card is forced to shut down one or more of her warehouses and therefore is not present anymore in all nine cities she still keeps her bonus card and is not forced to lose it.
The amount shown on the bonus cards (15, 10 and 5 Florin) is paid to the players on the third payday.
Each city is scored separately. Only the two players owning the most and second most warehouses on the U-track spaces will be paid.
The player owning the most warehouses in this city is paid the amount shown on the next free space to the right and the player owning the second most warehouses is paid half this amount, rounded down.
For example, if the first player receives 15 Florin for the majority of her warehouses, the runner-up receives 7 Florin.
Tie: If several players own the same number of houses in a city, the player whose first house precedes the first house of all other tied players' ranks first. There's always only one first and one second player qualifying for first and second rank.
When the last building site has been built upon, the last free space to the right shows the amount to be paid, which from now remains unchanged until the end of the game.
Both Green and Blue own the most warehouses. Green has built her first house before Blue, so she is first and is paid 20 Florin, Blue is second and is paid half that amount (10 Florin). If the next warehouse would be built by Red, Red would be first and Green second.
The game is in an advanced state. Red, Blue and Yellow are tied for most warehouses (the shut down warehouse belonging to Blue does not count). Because Red owns the first house of the chain she is first and is paid 16 Florin. Blue is second and is paid 8 Florin. Yellow does not receive any money from her warehouses.
For each of their fortresses all players receive the same amount of money as paid for the second rank of warehouse majority in this city. Looking at the topmost illustration, both Green and Red are paid 10 Florin each for their fortress (half of 20).
In a city or cities that contain the most warehouses, players are paid the same amount as for the first rank of warehouse majority. Provided the city shown in the above illustration contains the most warehouses (there are no more than 10 warehouses in any other city), Green and Red are paid 20 Florin each for their fortress.
Shut down warehouses on the central picture of the city are disregarded when counting the total number of warehouses in each city.
If there are several cities with the same highest number of warehouses, players receive the amount for their fortress as paid for the first rank of warehouse majority in all these cities.
After a Payday
Pay Back Loans or Extension of Loans
After a payday, all players, beginning with the starting player of this phase and proceeding in clockwise order, have to decide if they want to pay back their loans or to extend them.
When paying back, the player places the loan card back on the appropriate bank space and pays the pay back amount shown on the card to the bank (12 Florin on a 10 Florin loan or 20 Florin on a 16 Florin loan).
When extending a loan, the player flips the card to its backside. In that case, she has to pay back the loan after the next payday - but has to pay back considerably more as shown on the card now. Each loan may be extended only once; thereafter it must be paid back by any means.
Players can take loans anytime they sail to the bank, as much as they want or need.
Players paying back their loans or extending them do not have to sail to the bank.
Extending this loan, you have to pay back 20 Florin after the next payday.
Extending this loan, you have to pay back 30 Florin after the next payday.
After each payday all players count their money, subtracting their loans (pay back value) not yet paid back, and declare openly how much money they own. This way all players know the current ranking of players after each interim scoring.
Starting Player of the Next Phase
The player with the least amount of money after the money check decides who will be the starting player of the next game phase. The elected player is then given the "El Capitan" token and is the starting player of the next phase.
New Warehouses and Fortresses
Each player takes six new warehouses and one new fortress of her color from the common pool, adding them to any still standing in front of her on the table.
End of the Game
The game ends after the third game phase, when at least one player has built all her warehouses and fortresses (it doesn't matter if any of her warehouses are shut down). The current round will not be interrupted so in this way all players will have the same number of turns.
The third payday is the end of the game. All loans have to be paid back now.
Players owning a proliferation bonus card receive the money shown on their card now.
The player owning the most money is the winner of the game.