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Edel, Stein & Reich
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Edel, Stein & Reich


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
9+ 45-75 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Reinhard Staupe

Manufacturer(s): Alea

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Product Description

As a boss of the trading firm Edel, Stein & Reich the players are on the move through the jewel stock exchanges of the world. Incessantly they look for valuable emeralds, precious rubies and noble sapphires. But only those who correctly predict the intentions of their competitors will win the exciting haggling for money and jewels....

Difficulty: 2/10

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2003
Deutscher Spiele Preis
10th Place, 2003
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2003

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reinhard Staupe

  • Manufacturer(s): Alea

  • Artist(s): Oliver Freudenreich

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 3 - 5

  • Time: 45 - 75 minutes

  • Ages: 9 and up

  • Weight: 407 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components contain some foreign text, possibly requiring occasional reference to rules translation. An English translation of the rules is provided.


  • 30 Gem Cards
  • 30 Event Cards
  • 20 Action Cards
  • 1 Scoring Card
  • 88 Gems
  • 1 set of Money
  • Counters

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 5 in 3 reviews

Negotiate, escalate; this game's great!
January 06, 2004

I sure didnt want to buy this game. Nearly completely abstract, about gaining majorities in colored stones, and this edition, based on Basari, ditched the board and made it a card game. I dont think a game could have anything more going against it for me, but with the constant positive buzz on this, I finally had to try it for myself. Folks, two words for you: HOME RUN!

Okay, okay, so there is a little bit of theme. Something like we are gem brokers trying to blah, blah, etc. etc. The theme is less than convincing, but the gameplay makes up for it. There are 4 different colors of gems, and there are three rounds. At the end of each round, money is awarded to the leader in each gem type. The colors are worth different amounts, and so some gems (red) are more hotly contested than others (blue). Since money is what wins the game, majorities are pretty nice to have. But majorities arent the only way to get money! But I am getting ahead of myself

Each player has a hand of 3 actions cards (4 action cards if playing with 5 players); the hands are identical. The first action is Money, the second is Gems, the third is Special Action Card; (the whole game is in German, so I am giving you the Yirmeyahu version of these actions.) At the beginning of a hand, each player is dealt a gem card face up, and a special action card is revealed. The gem card for each player is different and depicts between 2-4 gems (in all sorts of different possible combinations) and a dollar value between 4-7 million. Each player will look at all the gem cards, and the special action card and try and figure out which action would help them the most, and choose it secretly. Players simultaneously reveal which action they want to carry out. If you pick Money, you want the total dollar value (pure points) shown on the bottom of your gem card; if you pick Gems, you want the Gems on your card; if you pick Special Action, you want the Special Action card. Elementary!

But theres a catch (isnt there always a catch?): If 3 players pick the same action, they all lose their turn. Ay Caramba! If only 1 person picks an action, they may carry it out unimpeded. But if 2 players pick the same action, they must negotiate to see who gets to carry it out. And this, my friends, is the game. And what a marvelous game it is! The person with the least red gems begins the negotiations by offering any combination of gems (and only gems!) to the second player. The second player can accept the gems, allowing the first player to carry out the action, or they can counteroffer, which means their offer must be more valuable. The first player can then accept, or up the value again! And back and forth we go! So if you can figure out what an opponent will go for, do you avoid hios action and let him have it for free? Or do you try and tie him to get something out of him? What if he takes your offer leaving you with an action you didn't want in the first place? Delicious!

Sometimes a bid will start out small and escalate a lot. I have seen offers go back and forth 10 times or more! Its not only wanting to get the action that is important but also making sure that if the other person gets the action, you are adequately compensated for it. But you also need to consider what you are gaining compared to everyone else (after all 3 reds is worth a lot less if you are still 3rd place in reds) and what your opponent will gain relative to everyone else. Creating ties, or offering valuable but (to your opponent) useless gems is a useful tactic, and the whole game just crackles with tension and laughter.

Downtime isnt too bad, and barely noticeable since watching the negotiations can be more fun than being in them! This has gone over well with families, gamers, non-gamers this game is a smash. Unless you hate negotiation games, you should check this out. The negotiating is not complicated, and the compensation factor makes it a friendlier game than many other negotiation games are. There is something about the system that is easy to pick up for nearly everyone. Dont let the German text scare you either. The only place the text is bothersome is the special action cards, but since they have pictures on them depicting what happens, after your first game (referring to the English translation often) the pictures make complete sense and you can ignore the text completely. I recommend this game highly, and suggest families give this one a serious look.

Ah, this is more like it!
September 03, 2003

As mentioned in my just-written review for its sister game, this is the new, gamer's version of Basari. While dispensing with the gameboard, the game has also acquired a richness with its expanded options. Nicely produced and filling one of the Alea small boxes, this is a game that is both easy to learn and fun to play.

While ostensibly about a competition between directors of a gemstone trading house, this is really a well-crafted abstract game. Players must out-guess their opponents at every turn, or failing that, must engage in a cleverly designed bartering system in order to take their intended action.

The biggest change from the prior game is the inclusion of a set of action cards. Players must decide whether to go for the cash listed on their gem cards, the gems themselves, or to take the action on the single action card each turn. The action cards can provide ether immediate advantages, or bonuses at scoring. Some of the cards can be very tempting, or at the very least devastating if not taken!

My one quibble is that the game can play a bit long. There is a balance though, as more players will result in fewer rounds played. This is a game that can be enjoyed by both hardcore gamers and more casual guests at the table, and therefore receives my highest rating. Highly recommended.

by Steve
A real hidden gem
May 12, 2003

This game turned out to be the most popular requested game at a recent weekend games session, admittedly with many non regular gamers. It was favoured even over Carcassonne and several other titles.

The mechanics are simple. The objective of the game is to earn as much cash as possible from collecting the most gems of any one color or by acquiring the majority interest in the mines.

There a are 3 scoring phases per game. Each phase consists of 8 card deals. On each deal, cards are turned over depicting a certain quantity of gems, money and an event (which can increase a players score immediately or at the end of each phase in the 'Scoring' round).

The players then secretly play a card to decide which of the 3 options they want: Gems, Money or Event. The players then reveal their choices simulataneously which is the game main source of amusement.

The reason is that if only 1 person elects an option, then that persion gets to receive that option unchallenged. But if exactly 2 people go for the same option they must bid against eachother, with their precious gems. Something to be avoided if at all possible.

Worst still, if more than 2 people bid for the same option, then the option is forfeit altogether.

Play is fast and fun as each deal results in the dilemna: should I go for the most profitable option and risk gaining nothing or, opt for a less profitable option, which one might win unchallenged. The problem is that everyone else may think the same and opt for the lesser option. The real fun in the game is in trying to fathom out what may be going through your opponents minds and guestimating their choices based on their past performance, gut instinct etc..

8 fairly quick guesses later and you have a scoring round.

In the scoring round, money is awarded to the person who has collected the most gems of each color: Red, Yellow, Green and Blue earning 14,12,10 and 8 million respectively. Ties result in the money being shared. Another way to earn money is to acquire the most mining certificates (these form, about half of the event cards). The person with the most certificates gets 10 million and the second place player 4 Million. Money can also be obtained directly from choosing the money option on each deal and collecting between 4-7 Million as depicted on the card.

The Event cards add great interest to this game. Some events add bouses to the majority owner of specific colored gems. Other Event cards allow players to trade and collect gems to help them get an overall majority in one type. It often happens that you desperately want both the gems and the event cards but have to choose one. As when a Gem card offering 3 yellow gems appears with an Event card offering a bonus of $7m to the person who owns the most yellow gems. Going for the bonus card may mean that another player takes over the majority so you must content yourself with losing the bonus. Another interesting facet to the game is that you must continually appraise how much benefit your opponents can get with a particular card. At times, you'll need to choose a fairly weak card to yourself in order to stop your opponent making large gains.

All in all, the blend of gems, events and money on offer provide plenty of challenge, there is great entertainment provided by the revealing of choices and the bidding rounds that frequently result.

This game is the best light-middle game I have discovered this year, liked by gamers and non-gamers alike.

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