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Medieval Merchant
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Medieval Merchant

English language edition of Pfeffersäcke

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60-90 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Christwart Conrad

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games

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Product Description

Toward the end of the Middle Ages, the rise of rich merchant families helped open the cities of Europe to trade and commerce.

Beginning with their homes in small villages, players open branches in nearby cities. Once branches are established, players use their income to increase their wealth or to increase their presence in the cities where they have branches. Players then can use their wealth to further develop their trading empire into new cities and regions.

In the end, it is the player who has developed the largest trade empire and earned the most money in the process that wins the game.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Christwart Conrad

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games

  • Year: 2010

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 60 - 90 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,400 grams (estimated)

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item.

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 8 reviews

Merchants of Pain
February 15, 2003

Every choice causes pain. Wonderful pain. Do I take the fast route for more money, or the cheaper route that takes an extra turn? Do I take income or expand a city? Do I expand my empire or try to take posession of cities?

Tight, tense, tactical and strategic.

I love El Grande and always will. This one is a great contender for the throne though.

Downside for me: Picking my actions is pure torture.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Tactical thinking at its best.
December 17, 2001

Many reviews seem to want to equate Medieval Merchant with [page scan/se=0040/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]El Grande. I don't think this is really a good comparison, and I feel that MM is the superior game. Where El Grande relies on the semi-randomness of cards to change the situation on the board, MM is pure tactics and strategy. Once you make the decision to play a piece in MM, there is no turning back--no bailing out of a bad move by playing a card.

Every turn you must evaluate your situation and try to anticipate the next move of your opponent. You can never achieve all of your goals, so you must choose which moves to make and when.

I have a large collection of games, and this is the best for pure tactics--and it is not hard to learn or long to play. Possibly the perfect game!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Just a decent playable game
September 19, 1999

Medieval Merchant is an interesting game. I won't go through all the mechanics because they have been described more than adequately by others. I only would like to say that this is a good game, not great, but the kind that plays fairly fast (60-90 minutes; usually closer to 60 after everyone gains a bit of experience), the mechanics are straightforward and the game (from my perspective) is attractive to look at. The board might not strike everyone's fancy; it looks like a block-printed map with old style script, but I think it gives the game a bit of atmosphere. I would classify MM as an 'El Grande' light - it is a game about territorial occupation, but this is accomplished in a different way than El Grande. I also feel that the game has received some bad press, but that MM is much better than some of the reviews. Again, good but not great, but with good replay value and some possibilities exist for a little 'tweaking.'

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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