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Die Kaufleute von Amsterdam
original German edition of Merchants of Amsterdam
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Take yourself back to Amsterdam in the 17th Century when the city was becoming more powerful and more prosperous than ever before. Ships from Amsterdam travelled the oceans of the world and brought merchandise back to the home port. There they would make big profits. The population grew by leaps and bounds within a very short time and the city had to be considerably expanded. The Arts blossomed and painters such as Rembrandt produced great masterpieces. Against this background each player takes the role of a rich and powerful merchant family. Each tries to achieve profits on the Commodity Exchange and to expand their power in Amsterdam and in the colonies. Particular advantages are enjoyed by Amsterdam's mayor and it is an office that changes hands frequently. Whoever holds it should make the most of their opportunities.
Depicted in the middle of the game board are the four districts of old Amsterdam: Grachten, Nieuwe Zijde, Oude Zijde and Lastage. Surrounding this is a map of the world showing the four continents which are of importance in the game: the Americas, Africa, East Indies, and the Far East. In each continent there are trading settlements. At the bottom edge of the board is the Commodity Exchange. There are markets for each of sugar, precious stones, spices and silk.
On the other three edges of the board is a time track. The game begins in 1579 and ends in 1666. The important happenings for Amsterdam during the period are represented by means of symbols. The players begin with game tiles. During the game these tiles will be placed on the Commodity Exchange, in Amsterdam and on the trading settlements. The cards are the motor of the game. They determine the places where tiles may be placed. There are cards for the Commodity Exchange, for Amsterdam and for the trading settlements.