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In 2008, Spielmateriel.de – a German retailer of game bits – launched a game design competition in which the components from the Kosmos game Giganten would have to be repurposed into a new design. The winner of that competition – Schwarzes Gold, by Bernhard Weber – was launched at Spiel 2009 through Spielmateriel's newly founded publishing house, Mücke Spiele.
But due to the strong entries that the publisher received, Mücke Spiele announced the Schwarzes Gold would in fact be only the first in a series of titles bearing the label "Edition Bohrtürme" (Derrick Edition). While Schwarzes Gold took first in the "family games" category, Namibia from designer Brian Robson won the "complex games" category and will now have its moment in the spotlight at Spiel 2010. Here's a game description from the publisher:
In Namibia, players represent mining corporations who are looking to mine commodities – diamonds, gold, silver and copper – and transport them to ports to sell at the highest possible price. In order to achieve their aims, players have to bribe (via an auction) colonial government officials who control access to the interior and to the ports.
Access to the interior allows a player to develop the country’s rail infrastructure which is required to move commodities to ports in order to sell and make money – and money buys reputation, which gets more expensive to acquire as the game goes on. Players also need to construct and complete their mines and prospect for ore.
Namibia – game board
However, too much bribery leads to a decrease in reputation which affects a player’s position at the end of the game, but limited access to the transport and shipping infrastructure will seriously impact a player’s ability to make money.
Selecting the right time to ship and sell is the key because the market can be manipulated by other players. The winner will be the player who can make loads of money while keeping a good market reputation. The player with the highest reputation wins.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com