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Die Händler
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Die Händler

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Product Awards:  
Deutscher Spiele Preis
5th place, 1999

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60-90 minutes 2-4

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Product Description

From the team that brought us El Grande and El Caballero, this beautifully-made game is a pleasure to behold. In Die Hndler, players buy goods as cheaply as possible, negotiate to transport the goods to market, and try influence prices and sell when the price fluctuates upward. Make the most of the business opportunities you are dealt, making profitable deals (at your opponents' expense) and rise in status and wealth.

Product Awards

Deutscher Spiele Preis
5th place, 1999

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.7 in 15 reviews

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Expectations were set high. It left me underwhelmed.
August 29, 2004

Die Handler is a game that I have had sitting on my game shelf for about a year. After getting it and reading the rules I knew that I would need to have a learning game before playing with my wife. She hates playing games that we are just learning. She is very competitive, and wants to understand every detail of the game before starting, including strategy. Die Handler had too many mechanics going on for me to get my brain around without first playing a game.

Well, I have finally had a chance play a learning game and a couple more besides. I was underwhelmed. Of course I had very high expectations. Die Handler was a good game, but not that much better than average. Had I played it before buying it I would not have shelled out the money for it.

There are lots of different mechanics going on in different phases of the game. I wont rehash all the mechanics, those are available in previous reviews. Let me just add that after all the mechanics are discussed you still havent got to the heart of the game. The game is scored on a Status Track (social status). That is where the game is won and lost. Everything else, every other mechanic at work in the game, and there are lots of them, are just means to earn money. Money is then spent on social status in phase 6 of each round. I think that is freakin brilliant.

I really do.

The game just didn't grab me. Seemed like a lot of chrome tacked on to a simple concept. Seemed like phase 6 might have originally been phase 3 but after they settled on a theme to tack on they needed a bit more to make it less abstract and more appealing.

I played two games with pre-teen children. These are kids who can hold their own with adults in adult games and frequently win. They really liked Die Handler. The kids liked it, so I know that I will be playing again. That is fine with me. I do not think that Die Handler will have the ability to interest them for more than dozen plays. That is also fine with me. Before I get any hate mail let me clarify that I also played with adults. I think they liked the game better than I did but it wasn't in their top 10 either.

You don't see too many non-glowing reviews in Counter magazine but I have to second Alan's final analysis reprinted above, I don't think the game is as unbalanced as he does but it still falls short of expectations.

Gotta go with my never before utilized 'play before buying, but play as soon as you get a chance' rating. I can see the appeal this game has for gamers, my guess is that 70% of you who found your way to this website will love it. Another 20% will like it.

by Ed
Am I missing something?
January 01, 2004

I love Acquire, Settlers, Space Hulk, Through the Desert.... meaning I love most games... but somehow, the whole group that played DH, didnt see where the excitement was.

We cant explain it, but we found the pace slow, actions of others did not seem to have earth shattering impact on our fate, and the carts seem to be headed to the same towns since there are so few towns.

We did not feel the anticipation of Acquire, tension of Space Hulk, resource challenge of Desert, nor the excitement of Settlers.

So I must assume we are missing something? Seems to be a hit with all others that reviewed.

...waitin' fer the wagon ... waitin' fer the wagon...
October 09, 2003

This one is so good I am back for an encore. My group dusted off my copy and went at it with a vengeance. Since we have all played Traders of Genoa and Puerto Rico several times, we had 2 like games to compare DH with. Hands down, this is a winner. It has some of the elements of PR (role selection, though only one but with a farther reaching impact) and the intense negotiations of T of G. What we really enjoyed was the deal making (and back-stabbing). Of course, bidding 'fer the wagons' produces significan angst. But afterwards, bartering for the right (privilege?) of shipping goods, well, here is where the amusement begins. Not only can one make monetary offerings, but one could also agree to ship in consideration for a vote on a price increase for a commodity - or to toss a '3' chip for wagon number X or agree to move wagon Y briskly towards Paris...there are no limits, really (just time to avoid AP)

The fine balancing act between profits, guild dues and social ladder-climbing also keeps everyone's attention. And DH is a game where it is easily possible to overtake an early leader (of course, with the money tokens in the bag, sight unseen, who knows who is really leading and who may be saving up for a rainy day) - yes, the status board is fully visible, but it costs to hobnob with the upper crust.

In short, Die Handler is an absolute winner and in my opinion, should occupy proudly a space on any gamer's shelf next to PR and T of G.

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