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Time to romp through the markets of Byzanz, the golden city later known as Constantinople, where players will haggle over wine, grain, spice and cloth.
In Byzanz, ware cards (six varieties worth 1-4) and merchant cards (jokers worth 0) are shuffled together, then four cards are dealt to each player. In each round, each player will win one auction, with the numbers of cards available dropping each time. (With three players, for example, you auction six cards, then four, then two.)
Players are bidding with the ware cards in their hands, ignoring the type of goods during this phase. The cards being spent -- along with one card from the lot -- are placed in the open market, and the auction winner takes the auction card showing how many cards were put up for bid. That player is out for the remaining rounds. Once all the auctions are complete, with the final player taking a lot without having to bid, players sorts the cards in the market by type, then each player claims all cards of one type, starting with the player with the lowest auction number (i.e. the one who won the final auction).
You continue to run through series of auctions until the game ends. At any time during the game, a player may sell three goods of the same type, keeping the highest valued card and returning the other two cards to the box. Merchants have a zero value but match every type; make a set of three merchants, though, and the card is worth five points at the end of the game. Players who have more than seven cards in hand must sell or throw away goods until they have only seven. Whoever has claimed the most points after the final round of auctions wins the game.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com