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Zoom In Wettstreit der Baumeister
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Wettstreit der Baumeister


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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-45 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Jean du Poel

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Description

Jean du Poel has offered this game through his own private label for about a year under the name Teutopolis. The new name from Kosmos means "The Noble Competition of Architects." The cards (about the same size as those in Caesar & Cleopatra) are beautifully made as medieval copperplates with which you build a city prospectus.

Within two decks of 20 cards are contained the City Wall, Towers and Gates, Churches, City Halls, etc. During play, one of the decks lies face up, the other face down. There are three parts to each player's turn. First, the player rolls a die in an attempt to better his finances (1 to 5 on the die; the sixth side gives a sabotage-counter instead). Second, he alone may look at the top hidden card before he makes an offer on either of the two top cards from the two decks. The other players then bid on the two cards. If the player (the Auctioneer) makes the highest bid, he may take the card and pay the bank. If, on the other hand, one of the other players buys the card, that player pays half the money to the bank and half to the Auctioneer. Third, a player may either build (lay down another card on his city) or sabotage a City Card of another player. The player receiving the sabotage must then pay the value of the card or remove it.

The game ends when either of the decks is depleted. At this point, each player may lay up to three extra cards onto their City before tallying the score. Each card has a value which may be higher depending on its placement in the City--you get Bonus Points if you have a Corner Tower at either end of the City, the Town Hall should be in the center of the City, and if you can place the Church next to it, you'll get extra points as well.

A point of strategy: It doesn't make sense just to go after the most valuable buildings. You may not be able to place them next to each other. And even though a Gate doesn't bring many points in the end, they do bring in a lot of cash during the game. Similarly, the Towers have low point value but offer the City protection against saboteurs.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Jean du Poel

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 3 - 4

  • Time: 30 - 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 794 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 3.8 in 4 reviews

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Bidding, Trading and Building
July 20, 1998
Wettstreit der Baumeister is a bidding, trading and building game, in which three or four players attempt to build the biggest and best Medieval city. Players lay tiles representing various town structures. Tiles are acquired through auctions. This in turn demands careful allocation of resources (cash). The placement of these beautifully rendered tiles is very important, as tiles once played, like actual buildings, cannot be moved. Players' city coffers remain hidden behind a screen, adding an extra twist to the bidding process. And if you are not content merely to build your own city, you may elect to sabotage those of your opponents.
 
 
 
 
 
Wonderful, elegant game
September 23, 1999

Wettstreit der Baumeister has become one of my favorite games - it is a visual, tactile and mental pleasure to play. The game itself is simple, yet packs a fair amount of strategy. Though relatively short (25-40 minutes), many decisions must be made during the course of a game, and a player's prospects may change several times.

If you're looking to add an 'auction' style game to your collection I heartily recommend this gem.

One last note: use the optional saboteur rules. In fact, using the 'varients' included in the rules can almost be considered the 'standard' version of the game.

 
 
 
 
 
by Dr Jay
The saboteur doesn't have all the luck.
February 05, 1999

Baumeister catches you unaware as a game. You think you understand the game until you start bidding and building city parts. All of our group of four commented they had never seen such beautiful designs of churches, towers, corner towers, gates (arches), and town halls (Rathaus).

I particularly liked the 'open' deck of buildings and the separate concealed deck. Each player on their turn, acting as auctioneer, can choose either deck to start the bidding. For a while, everyone chose the concealed deck because only a gate was showing. Finally, the open deck was chosen, because it became loaded with churches with high point values. The group had already realized you need 'shields' printed on certain towers and corner towers to protect the beginning of your medieval city. Two players laid three cards (permissible) to start their cities. The rules a saboteur to be used against a player with five cards or more in their hand. One player, instead of rolling the mandatory income from the die, rolled the 'black dot' (saboteur) and attacked another player's tower. The other player had little money left for a bribe, but he paid five thalers (income) for his two-point tower. As the rules state, the weakest player (in shields) is always attacked. I liked the feature of always rolling each turn for income with the one die. However, my rolls usually ended with 1's and 2's, which meant little money when the spirited bidding started.

Most players paid no more than five thalers for any one building. One player was quite irritated when his source of income from three city buildings was knocked out with a saboteur. The final scores showed how spirited the playing and bidding had become: 35, 32, 30, and 29. I made an incorrect four thaler bid in the last turn for an arch or gate. That cost me minus two points when the tallying was done. All of us had to remember that two of the same buildings could not be placed side by side, including churches. I became excited when winning the bid for the only Rathaus drawn with four-thaler bid on a six-thaler building.

Our group always provides a post-mortem discussion about how the rules could be improved. One player recommended everyone be given the same amount of money each turn instead of rolling the die. That created a dispute about how some players could hold back their income for a particularly prized building. We didn't think the saboteurs were that effective. When you are able to use a saboteur, you still have to roll the die to see if the sabotage were effective against overturned or hidden cards. The saboteur is exposed on a roll of 3-5.

Definitely, I would play the game again. You want to build the best and most points city. It appears each game represents different strategy. As one player remarked, you should not bid any more than five thalers for any property. I liked that you could hold back your left or right towers and build at least three tiles at the right time. The game provides suspense and enjoyment.

 
 
 
 
 
Constructive and clever
February 02, 1999

This is a particularly cute little game from Jean du Poel, and Kosmos did well to publish it so that it would get the recognition it deserves.

The game is an architectural competition. You compete against the other players to build the best city. There are a variety of tiles, such as guard towers, city gates, churches, and town halls. There are rules of placement -- mostly that you can't place two identical types of pieces next to each other. And of course, there are the bonuses you get from good city planning -- such things as making sure that your town hall is in the exact center of the city, making sure you have the same number of churches on either side of the town hall, and so on.

However, what really makes the gameplay interesting in my opinion is the way in which the tiles are distributed. There are two decks -- one is face down, and the other is face up. On a player's turn, they get to choose to auction a card from either pile. What this means is that in some cases you may find that you've bid on something you really don't want, such as a left-side end tower when you're already holding two. Since the tiles in your hand are subtracted from your score at the end of the game, such duplication can be quite costly.

All in all, I'd call it quite a fun game. It loses points for a few weird rules that tend to favor the player in the lead, but I'd still call it solid and enjoyable. It will definitely see a lot of future play in my gaming circle.

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