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Die Seidenstrasse
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Store:  Strategy Games
Genre:  Racing
Format:  Board Games

Die Seidenstrasse

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60-90 minutes 2-7

Designer(s): Hartmut Kommerell

Manufacturer(s): Schmidt Spiele

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Product Description

At the end of the 13th Century, Marco polo returned from his expedition to faraway China. The new Silk Road, as it became known, brought all kinds of treasures to Italy.

As this game of trading begins, each player has a hand of 3 Movement Cards. There are good and bad cards, which may benefit either the player or his rivals, depending on the play. A player may use his cards in different ways. If he has less than three cards in front of him, he may play a card and follow its instructions. If he has cards on the table (played earlier), he may use one of them to move a rival Merchant. Markers on a compass card (along with the card) lay down the rules for moving other players men. Finally, the played card is discarded and the marker on the compass card changes position.

No Merchant may be more than 10 spaces ahead of other Merchants. Plus, players may only play cards which can actually move a man. It should be noted that traveling as a group (with the right cards) puts the men in one's group further ahead. At the end of his turn the player restores his hand back to three cards. Only once in the game may a Trader stop at a Market by discarding a special card given before the game. Only the three Traders in the lead make money at a Market Fair, and the amount of Silver they receive is stipulated on the card. The first Fair doesn't really offer much for trade, so if you can wait, you'll receive a bigger pile of Silver. Consider, however, that the journey is more difficult when one is heavily loaded. Said in another way: He who makes an early break for the Market gets to Venice sooner, with a possible greater income at the Trading Posts along the route.

Each player's wealth is registered on the Wealth Track. The long way to Venice leads through all the Trading Posts. Part of the road before a town is marked with ascending numbers. The first to arrive receives the best deal. The following traders each receive payment in accordance with their "Travel Space". After each evaluation the marker moves along to the next Town, enticing the player with the prospect of further wealth. The game comes to an end as soon as the first Merchant reaches Venice. Traders with heavy purses collect additional silver, but the unlucky player who still has cards in front him (Market or Movement) finds he has a hole in his pockets!

Seidenstrasse is an exciting Trading and Racing game with lots of player-interaction. Card play is critical. Playing the wrong card too soon gives rivals unintentional advantages. In every turn you have to counterbalance your own interests with those of your rivals. An early Market Day may only give you a few coins, but the following travels to the next Trading Posts could be highly profitable. But it is not always the one in front who wins!

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Hartmut Kommerell

  • Manufacturer(s): Schmidt Spiele

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 2 - 7

  • Time: 60 - 90 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 820 grams

  • Language Requirements: An English translation of the rules is provided.

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