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List Price: $39.95
Your Price: $31.95
(Worth 3,195 Funagain Points!)
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from 4 customer reviews
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The Mediterranean Sea is the lifeline for merchants living in the lands on its shores. In Oltre Mare, players represent competing merchant families plying their trade throughout the region. As the players move their ships from port to port, they try to load and deliver large cargos of the seven major trading goods of the day: spices, silk, silver, sugar, wine, wood, and grain. With experience, each has learned what the market limit for each good is, and will try to fill his ship with just this much of each cargo type to gain the most from his investments. Of course, players must always be on the lookout for pirates, who will board careless ships, stealing both cargos and reputations. The most successful player will earn the most money -- you are merchants, after all -- and win the game!
Average Rating: 3.4 in 4 reviews
Me and my family love this game! It is especially fun with 3 to 5 players as the trading part of the game comes more into play. This also has some very unique game mechanics as the last card you put in your freight stack on the previous turn, determines how many cards you can have in your hand and how many cards you must play on your current turn! This really makes you think about what cards to play and what order you will place them in your freight stack.
We had very few problems with the rules and they seem fairly straight forward to us. Although you will find yourself consulting them often during your first game.
Highly recommended for good clean family fun!
Oltre Mare - reissued by Rio Grande Games, is a fun game. This game is deceptively difficult, yet easy enough to be enjoyed by casual gamers and experts alike.
Play: Player 1 checks to see if they're over their hand limit - this is done by checking the top card in their freight stack - cards in excess are sent to the pirates. Then the fun really begins as trading occurs, with the player being able to buy cards from the warehouse or his pirate stack, and also trading with other players. A unique mechanism occurs where players will want to trade with the active player - any trade - or gift even earns the nonactive player a prestige point - which will (hopefully) turn into ducats/victory points.
After trading the player must play cards as determined by the top card in the freight stack - again a unique mechanism here as the hand limit and the number of cards to play will always balance so as to equal seven. A high hand limit means fewer cards to play. This is the crux of the game - where the decision-making gets tough.
There are four actions to take when cards are played. Players will receive ducats, extra cards to their pirate stack, extra cards in their hand, and sail their ship to a new harbour to pick up tokens that will provide bonuses. The more cards played, the more symbols per card, the more you will get of each action. Then the card(s) are stacked on the player's freight stack, order determined by the player so you have to decide whether you want a lot of actions next turn or if you want to hoard your cards. Then the turn is done.
Scoring - interim scoring occurs when the Venizia card shows up in the stack of cards. Players score cards in their freight stack (minus the top group of cards which will start their new freight stack for the rest of the game). Players also score points for the most prestige tiles - 6/3/1/0/0 points. At the end of the game (determined by the depletion of the stack of cards) scoring is the same except each cards in the pirate stack counts -1. And the harbour tokens collected throughout the game are scored as same as the prestige tiles.
Bits: Good - the ships are nice to look at, but the colours are a bit off. There is also a printing error on the olive and grain cards, but these are not critical to game play as such (just remember what they're really worth). Annoying but not fatal. The cards are beautiful to look at and the game itself is well made.
Overall impression: This is a good game - very good in fact. It may not be a GREAT game, but it will be enjoyable for many years to come. Replayability is high, it scales well from 2-5 players and there aren't many other games as fun as this!
I think some of the rules are so vague, it makes it more difficult to play. The pirate aspect of the game doesn't really seem to do anything but eat a lot of cards out of the draw deck. We've only played it once so far, but we spent most of the time going,"Is this right?" With some new house rules, we might be able to make it a little less clunky.
Not a bad game, but as we understood the rules, it wouldn't be a first choice.
This game had some interesting new elements such as your play on this turn affecting your play on the next. This creates some tension between immediate reward and future benefit. The interim scoring halfway through is also a nice touch and effects strategy.
However as a whole, it doesn't seem to flow quite right and doesn't seem to have the elegance you expect from a European game. The pirate aspects are the main offender here.
The game is enjoyable and it is worth it just for the unique elements. We will play it again, but it probably won't be amongst our favorites. We may experiment with some house rules.