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Die Fugger
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Store:  Card Games, Strategy Games
Theme:  Business
Format:  Card Games

Die Fugger

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-45 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Klaus-Jurgen Wrede

Manufacturer(s): Adlung Spiele

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Product Description

Who will get the most guilders? Augsburg in the year 1367: The Dynasty of the Fugger begins with Jakob the Rich. Through him this bank- and trading-house becomes the most important in all of Europe, because it loans large sums of money to popes and emperors. Become one of the buyers, who transact business with the Fuggers in jewels, copper, cloth, spice and wine. Only the best merchants will be welcome in Augsburg. Who will become the most successful buyer?

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Card Game Nominee, 2006
Games Magazine Awards
Family Card Game Nominee, 2005

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Klaus-Jurgen Wrede

  • Manufacturer(s): Adlung Spiele

  • Artist(s): Alexander Jung

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 30 - 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 114 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).


  • 9 price cards
  • 1 Jacob the Rich card
  • 5 goods value cards
  • 45 goods cards
  • 4 merchant cards
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews

Excellent game, affordable price!
March 16, 2004

This is a very clever game. The game board is created by laying out cards. Players compete to control commodity prices by playing commodity cards. The first two rounds give you the option of playing 'investment cards' which can change the outcome of the game when counting out the final score.

On a players turn, you have the option to play a card or replenish your hand. Sounds simple, but if you play too many cards of the same commodity the value may collapse. Don't play enough and you'll miss out on making money. Your tactics change as other cards are revealed.

Plays well with 2 players. It's fun and very portable.

Pleasant little
February 12, 2005

Adlung Spiele is an interesting company in that they only produce one very specific type of game: card games containing exactly 66 cards. This rather quirky characteristic is one part of what makes Adlung interesting, but the other factor is far more pertinent to you and I, the consumers: Adlung makes some great big games in their little tiny boxes. Games like Verrater, Meuterer, Von Kap Bis Kairo (and from what I’ve heard, Im Auftrag der Konig) manage to cram a boardgame-like experience into a little deck of cards. Of course the flip side of that is that Adlung has produced some rather forgettable games, and some downright odd ones (their pinball game, and their beach volleyball game come to mind). So what about die Fugger (pronounced “dee Foo- ger”)?

Well, the game comes in a small box of 66 cards…like every other Adlung game. The cards come in several types, best listed by describing the game itself. First, the Price cards are laid out in a circle from 1 to 9. Then 5 price marker cards, one for each commodity, are placed by the “5” card. The supply deck, containing commodity cards and merchant cards is placed in the middle of the circle. Players are then dealt a starting hand of cards from that deck, and “Jakob the Rich”, an additional “player”, is dealt 2 cards face-up. Play then begins.

A player may either draw a card from the supply deck, or lay a card face-up in front of him. Cards laid in this way are the player’s holdings. Cards come in two types: merchants, and commodities. If a player plays a merchant, he will get two additional cards into his hand at the end of the round; if he plays a second merchant in the same round, he will get 5 extra cards into his hand at the end of the round. Merchants are few in the deck though, and the majority of cards played will be commodity cards. Commodity cards can be plain ol’ commodity cards, or they may have a royal seal on them. Royal seal cards can be worth double value at the end of the round, but only in special circumstances.

A round ends as soon as one commodity has 5 face-up cards showing amongst all the players’ holdings (including whatever Jakob has). When this happens, commodities fluctuate in price, and players are awarded points. The 3 commodities with the highest number of cards showing increase in value according to how many cards were put down. The other 2 commodities decrease in value by 1. A commodity can not go below “1”, and any commodity that goes over “9”, comes to a complete stop at “1”, and must start climbing the proverbial ladder in the next round. For example, if there are 5 red, 3 yellow, 3 green, 2 brown, and 1 blue, then red goes up in value by 5, yellow up by 3, green up by 3, brown and blue down 1 each. So by laying down cards, players are trying to increase their holdings while also manipulating the prices. After prices have been changed, players are awarded points for their holdings. Each card is worth points equal to the current position that commodity occupies in the price circle. If a commodity has 3 or less cards face-up this round, any card of that commodity with a royal seal is worth double. All cards on the table are then discarded, and then players are dealt 2 cards (plus bonus cards if they laid down merchants), and the next round begins.

The game ends when one player goes over 100 points. Then bonus points are awarded. For, in the first two rounds only, a player, on his turn, may place one card face-down in front of him per round. Anytime a player does this, Jakob gets one additional card face-up. These face-down cards are worth bonus points – big bonus points! Each card is worth double the point value of the final position of that commodity. Clever stuff, wot! By introducing this mechanic, players have a bit of uncertainty as to how the round will play out, since it adds a card to Jakob’s supply, and it also means players must balance short term gains and the long-term goal of ensuring high value for their two bonus cards. Rounds are short and trying to balance your holdings (long and short term) and manipulate the prices at the same time is neat trick. This tension is a very nice part of the game.

This game, on paper, sounds very clever, and opinion of the game is generally favorable. The rules are simple, gameplay in unique and clever, and it all fits into a tiny box. What’s not to like? Well the game isn’t perfect. For one, it suffers from “Goldilocks syndrome”: 2 players is too unpredictable (due to Jakob getting a card every second turn), 4 players is too chaotic (due to shortness of rounds), leaving 3 players, and only 3 players as really the only number to enjoy the game with. The other problem I found is that I never really felt engaged in the game. It is kind of clever, but it’s not quite as polished and interesting as I thought it might be. Of course, my preconceptions are not the fault of the game itself, and I can see how, when played with experienced players, this game would be fairly tight. But rounds are very short and feel rushed, and the game itself is very repetitive. Even the artwork, sort of a watercolor deal, seems indicative of gameplay: pleasant, but washed out. If Anne of Green Gables played this game, I’m sure she’d say there’s not much scope for the imagination here. It’s just a clever idea for a simple game, and doesn’t pretend to be much more than that. If you like the description of gameplay, you’ll like this game. It may not be groundbreaking, but it is pleasant.

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