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Store:  Strategy Games
Theme:  Mining, Fantasy


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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 3-4

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Product Description

Deep in the heart of the mountains, down in the mines, valuable gems can be found. Each player has a team of eight digging dwarves and two head dwarves. Head dwarves may act as Silver Dwarf or Shadow Dwarf. The Silver Dwarf can buy at the stock market, fill orders or sell gems. The Shadow Dwarf can initiate unrest, devalue orders of other players, steal gems or exchange at the stock market. Each round the team is redistributed and the price of gems is adjusted according to the number of dwarves digging for each color. Player with most money wins.

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 6 reviews

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Plan, Bluff, Subvert!
January 09, 2001

I finally decided to get this game after reading everything I could about it on the net. We played with the full four players, all gamers in the group. Everyone in the group was engrossed and trying to make the right placements of their elves. This game has continuous participation for all the players. The components are excellent. I read the rules prior to getting together and taught the others within 3 minutes. I have read the other reviews and the distribution of contracts makes the randomness interesting. The player who had the high contract always got hit by the others. It balanced out to be a very close game. I was in second place on the last turn of the game and decided to sell gems. This gave me the 84-dollar boost to blow past the leader of the entire game. All players wanted to play again and were impressed with the experience. This is not a light gaming experience. This one will probably be our group favorite. Up there with Tim/Jims Outpost.

November 25, 2000

Again, here we have an economics-based game dealing primarily with maximizing your limited resources. So, what sets this one apart from the other multitudes? First, the theme of dwarves mining for gems is carried throughout beautifully. A dark and stark mineshaft-like game board sprinkled with glistening glass gem stones provides plenty of atmosphere. But, the major attraction is the decisions and player interaction that takes place in each turn. Do you invest in your private mine or compete for a public one? (I cannot disagree more where some reviewers have stated that the public mines are not worthy of investment. Here is where you can help yourself and hurt others simultaneously.) Do you invest your dwarves toward your gain, or an opponent's demise? And, man, can you totally screw up a player's turn (hee, hee)! Also, not readily apparent are the major gains you can make by the indirect manipulation of the gem market prices. This process can change your stash of "worthless" gems into great gains. The endgame can be fairly intense when all mines become public, and final scores are usually tight.

The only reason I cannot give Silberzwerg highest marks is that there could have been even more headaches for players to ponder. Each turn your choices are somewhat dictated by your existing collection of gems, and the composition of your single private mine and the two public mines. Having more private mines or public mines would diversify the decision making and intensify the game. (It would be interesting to try playing with two boards!)

Regardless, a very fine effort, and highly recommended.

Better yourself to the detriment of others.
July 23, 2000

Silberzwerg is a good game for 2-4 players. It is competetive, strategic, and underhanded. It has a mechanism of concealed placement of one's workers that is revealed simultaneously. Then each unit type resolves in turn: each player's shadow dwarves, then Silver Dwarves, then Miners. It's fun to see how the much the Shadow Dwarves can thwart the rest of the turn.

This game is well balanced and looks great set up. It has one of the fastest learning curves I've seen in a game. The text is no problem with the translation sheets Funagain provides. Our group didn't even need them after the third turn. The only knock against it is game length, but they provide excellent rules for a short version.

The overall feeling is that we wanted to play this game again and try new strategies. Its excellent German construction means it will last a long time, and unlike Ohne Furcht und Adel we wont have to worry about replacement cards. ;)

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