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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Batavia / Moderne Zeiten
Theme:  Business
Format:  Board Games


mutilingual edition remake of Moderne Zeiten

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Strategy Nominee, 2010

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 3-5

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Product Description

Beautiful sunsets, a foreign animal- and plant-world, the scent of fine spices is in the air. The Far East has always magically attracted adventurers, soldiers of fortune, and explorers as well as traders and merchants.

For about 400 years merchants in different countries organized themselves into companies in order to send large shipping fleets to the Far East.

They expected rich profits from these trips, because spices such as pepper and nutmeg were worth their weight in gold.

Batavia takes the players to the Golden Age of the East India companies. Whoever can travel to the stations with the most lucrative goods can get the best varieties and rake in the gold by the end of the game.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Strategy Nominee, 2010

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 6 reviews

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Gorgeous components in this family game about the spice trade
August 06, 2012

Once upon a time, there was a game called Moderne Zeiten. And it was good. And it was designed by Dan Glimne and Grzegorz Rejchtman and featured artwork by Franz Vohwinkel and an economic theme about industries in the Roaring Twenties. And lo and behold, Queen Games hath reimplemented Moderne Zeiten, and called it Batavia. And it was still good. It was still designed by Dan Glimne and Grzegorz Rejchtman. But now it featured artwork by Michael Menzel, and a trading theme about the spice island trade in the Far East. And that made it better. Or did it?

In the game of Batavia, players are merchants who use ships (including the ship Batavia!) to visit the trading posts of the five East India Companies throughout Asia (including the city Batavia!). By playing Ship cards, you can gain "majorities", which will earn you the right to different commodities, which in turn will translate to money that will win the game! So go ahead and hop back in time on the good ship Batavia, and head to the city of Batavia to see if you can make some lucrative profits as part of the spice trade!


  • great components and fantastic artwork
  • very interesting mechanics, different
  • quick game play
  • good interaction
  • easy rules
  • very balanced (different ways of scoring)


  • theme doesn't seem to fit mechanics
  • not easy to teach, need to see entire game working together

Is Batavia for you? As always, that's going to be a matter of taste, but one of the strengths of Batavia is that it has something about it that gives it a unique flavour. It's not going to be an outstanding or innovative or deep gamers game by any means, and it wouldn't be fair to judge it as such. It will primarily appeal to people who are looking for a good medium/light-medium weight game that can be played in under an hour, that isn't too brain burning and yet still allows good tactical decision making, and has high production value and solid interaction. Since these are precisely the elements that many gamers are looking for, the good ship Batavia might just be well worth taking a closer look!

EndersGame, BGG reviewer

it's better than it looks (and it looks very good...)
December 09, 2003

I was instantly hooked by the 'bits factor', I must confess, having a weakness for art-deco posterwork and Zeppelins, but the game itself is a nice little number too.

It's easy to explain the mechanics and it plays nice and quickly so it can easily slot in to a spare chunk of an evening. The actual play is one of those examples where you think, 'is that *it*?' in a 'why did I spend money on *this*?' way, but subsequently find out there's a great deal more to think about than you first noticed. First run through it's difficult to see quite what you should be doing, but some sort of strategy should pop into your head soon so it doesn't need long in play before it's any fun (and I'm quite sure the strategic depth is deeper than I've plumbed to date, so it shouldn't wear out too quickly either).

Nothing in the mechanics is especially novel or obviously screaming out how clever it is, but it all slots together very well and is highly playable. The good feelings in play are enhanced by yet another good art job from Franz Vohwinkel, capturing the energy and optimism of the 'Modern Times' very well. And anything with Zeppelins for playing pieces is clearly ahead of the pack!

I've 'only' given it 4 stars because though it's a fine game IMHO I see it as more of an exquisite aperitif rather than a solid main course. But theer's nothing wrong with that!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
April 26, 2003

Moderne Zeiten is another one of those German games that manages to wrap a tremendous amount of tough decisions and tension into a simple set of rules -- from the card auction to the scoring -- and a cleverly designed gameboard. From beginning to end, players must plot their card display and movement very carefully in order to pursue their strategy, and remain mindful of sudden opportunites and alternative strategies as play progresses. There are sneaky little 'gotcha' tactics for safe guarding your follow-on moves or denying an opponent an important location on the matrix. Usually, the decision by a player to trigger or not to trigger a stock market crash not only makes a difference on that turn, but has impact on future turns as well.

All this puts a tremendous importance on the auction phase. Since the high bid wins all the cards up for auction (1-6 cards, depending on the die roll), it is sometimes worth winning the auction to deny cards to an opponent more than procuring those cards for yourself.

And I've found at least one make-or-break auction in every game where I had to commit heavily in order to be competitive. I once bid $15 million of my $16 million on hand in order to get 4 cards, but after winning with that bid, I was able to trigger a market crash (knocking out my majority in automobile shares), and with my new majority in the shipping industry, I secured both that industry on the matrix (3 victory points) and the majority in the city of Paris (4 victory points), and ultimately won the game by a single point.

It's fun, plays in less than an hour, and the components are outstanding, right down to the little zeppelin markers.

I am more than pleased with Moderne Zeiten, and it has already become one of my favorite games after just four playings.

Highly recommended.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Show all 6 reviews >

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