The unique feature of this game is also the source of many players'
frustration with it. Each player owns a whole ship, but he gives half of
it to the player on his left and the player on his right gives half
a ship to him. On his turn, the player moves both of the ships in
which he has an interest. The trouble with all this is that the two players may not
agree on the direction the ship should go. Usually it does not rear its ugly
head in the early going, but later if a player looks like a winner, this can be
quite frustrating and even result in a ship essentially spinning in
a circle and not get anywhere. More player
upset has been generated by this game than any other that has ever appeared on the
table. On the other hand, it is both
gorgeously-illustrated and covers a little visited topic,
i.e. historical sea trading in northern Europe.
These features make it a good candidate for a variant.
- several copies of the Demands Sheet printed out
- 1 copy of the Locking Track printed out
- Coins or paper money
- Four six-sided dice, two white and two red
Setting Up the Variant
- Make manageable stacks of all the commodities at the corresponding ports.
- Each player receives one ship half of a unique color and
coins having total value of 4.
- As usual for this game, shuffle the Wind cards and deal one face up to the
wind space in the middle of the board.
- Give each player a Kaperbrief card and a Privilege card.
- Shuffle the Wind cards and deal each player one.
- Shuffle the New Products cards and deal each player one.
- Shuffle the Harbor cards and deal each player one.
- Shuffle the leftover Wind, New Products and Harbor cards together into a single
deck and place it on the board.
- The first player generates four demands and chooses two for himself.
During this initial setup phase, if the size of a demand is indicated
to be greater than 3, adjust it so that it is exactly 3.
(See Generating Demands and Claiming Demands below).
It is allowed to discuss this choice with other players.
- The next player generates two new demands, chooses two from the four now
available and also chooses two for himself.
- This proceeds until each player has chosen two demands.
Goal of the Game
The game ends as soon as any player has the required number of
coins, including unplayed cards, in Lübeck and no uncompleted claims.
If more than one player has the required amount, the one with more
coins wins. If they are tied, it is considered a tied victory.
|Number of Players||Required Coins
Playing the Variant
Sailing and Hauling
All ships start in Lübeck and
move as in the normal game. When arriving at a port, they
may freely pick up as many product tokens as they have space in
their ship's hold. After entering a port to pick up or deliver,
a ship having remaining movement points may continue moving on
the same turn.
Ship Size and Crew
A ship always requires 4 coins to hire out the crew.
Initially the player has only a half ship with three product slots.
If two players wish to share crew costs, they may combine their two
ship halves into a single ship which sails for the same crew cost.
This ship's position on the board is indicated by one of the player's
tokens and moves during this player's turn. The ship's movement must
be agreed upon by the two players. If they cannot agree, the ship
is moved by the player to the left.
Once the ship returns to
Lübeck the two ship halves are returned to their previous owners
and the ship loses any leftover movement.
(Note: both players in this case would receive a card.)
If players sharing a ship both claim the same demand and because they are sharing a
ship deliver them both at the same time, only the player whose current
turn it is gets paid.
If a player wishes to buy the second half of the ship in his own color,
he may do so at any time in his own turn when
the original half is in Lübeck. The cost is 10 coins.
Generating New Demands
At the start of the game the players must generate new demands using the dice
and the following table. All four dice are rolled and the results written
into the Demands Sheet
which should be plainly visible by all players.
To utilize the table:
- First, examine the two white dice and subtract the
smaller from the larger. Write this amount in the Number column
of the first empty line on the sheet.
If both dice show the same number, write the number instead of writing
- Total the two white dice to find the corresponding row under the
"White Roll" column.
This provides a port that is seeking the commodity. Write this port name
in the "Port" column.
- Then, using this row, cross-reference the red dice individually
with the columns numbered 1
through 6 to determine the product being sought. Write these product names
in the "Products" columns just to the right of the port.
If the two results are the same, make one of the products the next
column to the right, or if the number was "6", the product in the "1"
Explanation of Demands
A single line on the Demands Sheet shows two separate demands.
They indicate that a particular port wants two particular commodities in
a particular number. The first player to deliver on one of these demands
receives payment for it.
At any time during a player's turn
he can claim a particular demand by circling it and checking the column
of his color. However,
to do so he must be
carrying the necessary load and the other demand of the line may not be
already circled. Once a demand has been claimed, the
following rules are strictly applied:
You must always claim a demand before you can deliver it.
More than one player can be working on the same claimed demand at the
same time. (Interesting races may develop.)
The first player to deliver a load gets the payoff;
other players who have also claimed the load must still deliver it
and may not jettison the products until they do so.
If however the demand has already been satisfied and the player
has lost part of it due to cardplay, only the remaining part need
be delivered. If the demand has already been satisfied and
the entire load has been lost, it is not required
to deliver at all.
- The other demand can never be claimed or delivered.
- The products used to do the claiming cannot be voluntarily
jettisoned or delivered elsewhere.
The initially chosen demands are privately claimed; only the
player who took them can deliver those demands. It may be convenient
to mark with a "#" the corresponding space in other players' columns
to help them remember that this demand is not available. Also, the
players should take the tokens for such demands immediately, flipping
them upside down on their ship card until the port from which they come
is actually visited.
The number of demand lines in the pool must constantly be monitored in
order to satisfy the following rules (in order):
Whenever there are are fewer than 2 x N unclaimed demands, generate new demands so
that there are 2 x N unclaimed demands, except do not go above 3 x N
locked plus unlocked demands.
- The pool size ranges from 2 x N and 3 x N (inclusive).
- The number of unclaimed demands is 2 x N
(exception: the initial pool is allowed to exceed this).
Note that demands which have been completed by at least one player, but
not by all players claiming it, are not considered to be part of the pool.
To help the track these numbers, use two tokens and a printout of
Upon delivery, the player cross-references the port of delivery with
the product being delivered and receives that number for coins for each
In addition, the player turns the wares over and receives their value
in extra profits. This money is placed on the ship and is unavailable to
the player for upgrading purposes until the ship returns to Lübeck.
At this time the coins should be removed from the ship and placed in the
player's general pile.
The ware tokens are then placed at the bottom of the stacks at the port of origin.
Players might find it convenient to draw a line through a completed
demands line, perhaps with a wide marker.
Whenever a ship sets out from Lübeck, it must again pay the crew
cost of 4 coins, regardless of ship size.
A player who has no claimed demands may give up his
entire turn and mark complete three unclaimed demands of his choice. The player
may immediately claim demands (new demands or remaining old demands) using the
products he currently has on board. If claiming causes more demands to appear
he can claim those as well.
A player may play 1 card at any point during one's own turn.
Keep in mind that a ship's movement allowance is calculated from the
wind card and position it had at the start of its move, so playing a
Winds card during movement will not affect the ship's speed.
The Kaperbriefe [Letters of Marque cards] and
Privilegienkarten (Privilege cards) have the same meaning as in the
original game, although now that Harbor cards do not need to await
arriving in a port to play, the no. 3 special advantage is rendered meaningless.
If not used, these cards are worth coins at the end of the game as follows:
Players receive 1 new card whenever they return to Lübeck after
having first visited another port.
The Hansa Day card works the same way with two alterations.
- Players who do not meet the Hansa Day requirement to return to Lübeck
must pay 20 coins from general store.
- At the end of Hansa Day, each player must announce the total value
of their coins in general store. Except for this time, the exact amount
that each player holds is private, although the stacks should be
These cards work the same way with the following alterations:
- The initial player to move the pirate moves it just one space,
the second moves it two, the third three, etc., even if the
pirate card specifies a different movement rate.
- To determine what the ship caught by the pirates loses:
- Roll the red die and multiply the result
by 10 to find the percentage of wares lost.
- Roll the white die and multiply the
result by 10 to find the percentage of coins
on board lost.
- Very Large Ships:
Players may increase their ships even past size 2 using
ship colors which are not in the game. Each additional ship half added
costs 15 coins. If there are not enough to go around, it is first-come,
- No Writing:
Writing things down can be avoided with a little work up front.
Make up 60 cards to form the city deck,
the name of each of the 6 cities appearing on 10 of them.
Then make up a further 60 cards to form the wares deck,
each of the 6 products to appear 10 times.
Finally, procure a number of dice equal to the number of players times 3.
Generating a new demand is now just a matter of drawing a city card to determine
which port is demanding the wares, drawing two ware cards to determine which wares
are desired (discard and draw again if a ware which is produced at that port is drawn)
and rolling a die to indicate how much of the wares is desired. Lay these four items
out in a row so that all players can see. Players can use markers colored the same
as their ship to mark which demands they are claiming. When a claim is fulfilled,
discard the cards, unless another player is still required to deliver it, in which
case place the four items in front of him until he does.
Thu Sep 20 16:21:11 PDT 2001