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Store:  Strategy Games
Genre:  Trading
Other:  Essen 2008 releases


AKA: Black Market

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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Andreas Steding

Manufacturer(s): MOD Games

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Product Description

This game is an Essen 2008 pre-order and will be directly imported after the end of the show. There are special conditions associated with pre-ordering this game. Please read the full conditions here.

The game includes six types of goods and at the start of the game a market is created showing the initial production value of each good as well as the VP bonus for holding the most or second most at the end of the game.

Each round, goods are placed on the market based on their current standing on the market chart, then players secretly determine which goods they want to produce, using discs of each color and two white discs which can be any color. Each player can produce up to four goods. Once goods are produced, with any extra goods taken from the general supply as needed, the market is adjusted based on the demand, with an item left behind in the market dropping on the market and an in-demand item moving up. Dropping on the market increases the value of an item during the selling phase because there are fewer of them available for sale. Whichever good is lowest on the market chart has its VP bonus value increased by one.

Players then trade goods with one another, either in an open market or with regulated trade phases, depending on the player preference. In the open market, once a good is traded, it's set aside and cannot be traded again in the current round; with structured trading, in which players offer specific deals, goods can change hands many times. Trade is essential because goods that you produce are worth nothing. Only goods that you receive in trade will provide VPs. What's more, at the end of the trade phase, you lose half the goods that you didn't trade, so keep hustling!

An auction for information card follows, with players bidding secretly using goods of a single type of their choice. Winning the information card allows a player to adjust the VP value of a good, in addition to giving other bonuses, such as increased production. After the auction, players secretly decide how many goods they want to sell for VPs. The exchange value works like the beanometers in Bohnanza with, say, three goods of one color worth 1 VP, while nine of that color are worth 4 VPs. After selling, you keep cubes of the sold colors in your VP storage area to represent points.

Rounds continue this way until either players produce more goods of a type than are available or a good reaches the 7 VP mark on the value chart. In either case, the game ends immediately. The game can also end after ten rounds when all the information cards have been auctioned. After a final round of selling, players net 1 VP for each cube in their vault, plus bonus points if they hold the most or second most cubes of a type of good. Additional points are awarded for information cards, and the player with the most points wins.

Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Andreas Steding

  • Manufacturer(s): MOD Games

  • Year: 2008

  • Players: 3 - 6

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 700 grams (estimated)

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

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