Components

  • 1 Game Board
  • 78 Goods Markers
  • 4 Moneybag Tiles
  • 1 Merchant Ship
  • 60 Market Booths
  • 22 Talers

Object of the Game

Compete to become Master of the Hanseatic city-states during the 14th Century. Criss-cross the Baltic Sea in a merchant ship, always on the lookout for a chance to acquire valuable wares.

Set up networks of market booths within the cities, which allows your goods to be re-sold at the most advantageous time and increases your power and prestige. At the end of the game, the player with the most establishments and the greatest profits, is the winner.


Setup

Place the Game Board in the middle of the table.

  • With 2 players: Separate out all Goods Markers in two colors and return them to the box.
  • With 3 players: Separate out all Goods Markers in one color and return them to the box.
  • With 4 players: All Goods Markers are used.

Mix up the Goods Markers face down and then place a single Goods Marker onto each circular Warehouse Space on the Board (some cities have 1 Warehouse, others have 2). Once a Marker has been placed onto each Warehouse Space, turn them all face up (see Example 1).

Example 1: Start with T0nsberg and the Warehouses marked number 1 in red; Place one marker on each remaining Warehouse space, in numerical order, up to number 9 at Riga.


Place the remaining Goods Markers, in five approximately equal piles, onto the five Supply Spaces located in the lower right-hand corner of the Game Board (see Example 2).


Example 2: There are five Supply Spaces shown in the lower right-hand corner of the Game Board. This is where the remaining Goods Markers are placed in face-down piles.

The order of the piles is important during the game and is indicated by the arrows between them; in other words, the lower-left pile is first and the upper-right pile is last.


Place the Merchant Ship at Copenhagen. Set the Talers next to the Game Board.

Give to each player:

  • 15 Market Booths in a single color,
  • the matching Moneybag Tile (which serves to hold a player's money over the course of the game) and
  • 3 Talers from the bank, placed onto the Moneybag Tile.

Choose a Start Player. Note that it is important at the end of the game to remember who the Start Player was.


Initial Setup

Before starting play, each player places their first Market Booths onto any city they wish, except Copenhagen. No Market Booths may be placed there during the initial setup phase.

Starting with the Start Player, each player, in clockwise order, takes two Market Booths from their supply and places them onto a city of their choice. A player's Booths should be stacked to permit easier overview during the game.

Once each player has completed their first placement, the second and third placement rounds follow in the same fashion except that each player must place their second and third round Market Booths in different cities; however, the presence of an opponent's Market Booths in the same city is permitted.

Once all players have finished, the initial setup phase is over. (See Example 3)


Example 3: A possible initial setup for a 3-player game.


Tip: Inexperienced players should be careful not to concentrate themselves in a single area of the Board.



Game Play

Starting with the Start Player and proceeding in clockwise direction, each player carries out the four Phases that make up a turn.


Phase 1: Income

At the start of his turn, the player takes his income of 3 Talers and places it onto his Moneybag Tile.


Phase 2: Replenish Goods Markers

If there are any empty Warehouse Spaces, then the player may now replenish those spaces (note that filling empty Warehouse Spaces is not allowed during Phases 3 and 4).

To accomplish this, the player pays 1 Taler to the bank. He then takes the Goods Markers, one at a time, from the first Supply Space on which any Markers remain and places them face up onto the empty Warehouse Spaces. Warehouse Spaces are filled in numerical order.

If, during the filling process, a Supply Space's Markers should be used up, then the player continues replenishing with Goods Markers from the next Supply Space.

Important: Once a player has decided to replenish the empty Warehouse Spaces, then he must replenish all empty Warehouse Spaces.

A player may choose to skip replenishing Goods Markers (Phase 2) as long as there are Warehouse Spaces that are still occupied. If, however, all Warehouse Spaces are empty, then the player must replenish.


Phase 3: Carry Out Actions

There are three possible actions:

  • Purchase Goods
  • Set up a market booth
  • Sell Goods

The player may move the Ship before, after or in between actions. A player may only perform an action in the City at which the Ship is currently located.

A player may perform 1 action in that City! If he would like to perform additional actions this turn, he must first move the Ship to a different City. A player may perform as many actions on his turn as he likes, provided that he can pay for all of them.

A player may choose the order in which he performs his actions, and may also perform the same action multiple times (See Example 4). A player may choose not to carry out any actions.

Example 4: It is Anne's turn. The Ship is located at Lubeck and she performs an action there. She then moves the Ship to Aalborg and performs an action there.

She sails the Ship to Copenhagen and chooses not to carry out an action there; instead she immediately moves it along to Danzig and performs an action.

She has - as required - not performed more than a single action in any one City.

Moving the Ship: The Ship may only move along the set routes, and only in the direction of the arrow. Sailing from one City to the next costs 1 Taler, payable to the bank (See Example 5).


Example 5: The Ship is located at Copenhagen. From here, it may only sail to Danzig, Lubeck or Tonsberg. It may not sail to Aalborg or Kalmar, as the arrows on those routes point in the wrong direction.

It may not sail to any other Cities, as Copenhagen isn't directly connected to them.

Note: Goods are transported overland between T0nsberg and Stockholm; nevertheless the Ship is moved along this route anyway.

Note: It is entirely possible that the Ship visits the same City more than once during a player's turn. In that case, the player may also perform another +action in that City.

Note: Moving the Ship does not count as an action in a City

A player may move the Ship in phase 3 as many times as he likes, if he has the money to do so - before, after or in between actions.


The Individual Actions

Purchasing Goods

The player takes one Goods Marker off of a Warehouse Space in the City at which the Ship is currently located. He places it in clear view in front of him.

The player must pay 1 Taler for the Marker; this Taler is paid to whichever player has the Market Booth majority in that City.

  • If no players have any Booths in the city, or

  • if multiple players are tied for the Market Booth majority, then the Taler is paid to the bank.

  • If the player himself has the majority, then he obtains the Goods Marker for free.

Players may not purchase both of the Goods Markers in a City at one time, as that would count as two actions in the same City.


Setting Up Market Booths

The player may choose to set up one, two, or three Market Booths in the City at which the Ship is currently located.

Market Booths do not cost Talers; instead they cost one of the Goods Markers that a player has purchased and placed in front of him.

The spent Goods Marker is then removed from the game. The player places as many Market Booths into the City as there are barrels depicted on the Goods Marker.

If a player doesn't have enough Market Booths left in his supply, then he can only set up as many Booths as he has remaining. Bach player may own as many Market Booths as they wish in any City.

Note: To permit easier overview during the game, a player's Market Booths should be sucked on top of one another (Example 6).

Example 6: It is Yellow's turn. He has two Goods Markers lying in front of him: one with one barrel and one with two barrels. The Ship is located at Danzig, where Gray has 4 Booths and Yellow only has 2.

He pays the two-barrel Goods Marker and places two additional Booths in Danzig. Yellow now has the same number of Market Booths as Gray does.

Yellow would have liked to build another Market Booth by using the other Goods Marker (thereby obtaining a majority in this City), but he is not allowed to perform two actions in the same City.


Selling Goods

A player may only sell Goods in a City in which he has at least one Market Booth. To sell, he needs to have at least 2 Goods Markers of the same color.

A player may sell more than one color of Goods at the same time, provided that he has at least 2 Goods Markers of each color.

Removing a Market Booth: If a player chooses to sell Goods in a City, then he must remove one of his Market Booths from that City and return it to his supply.

A player only removes one booth, regardless of the number of Goods he sold.

Turning Over Goods Markers: Sold Goods Markers are turned over and remain in front of the player until the end of the game. They are 'safe' and cannot be used for any other purposes.

Selling Goods does not cost any Talers - but it doesn't bring any income, either. Instead, each Goods Marker counts towards Victory Points at the end of the game (See Example 7a).

Losses: The other players suffer losses as a result of a player selling Goods if they own any Goods Markers of the just-sold Color. Then Bach opponent loses one Goods Marker of the just-sold Color (s).

They are removed from the game. If a player has multiple Goods Markers of an affected color, then he may choose which Goods Marker to lose. (See Example 7b).




Example 7a: It is Gray's turn. He sells his 3 Orange Goods Markers and 2 Brown Goods Markers in Danzig (He turns these Goods Markers over and removes one of his Market Booths from the City.



Example 7b: Yellow has 2 Orange and 1 Brown Goods Markers. As a result of Gray's sale above, Yellow loses 1 Orange and 1 Brown Goods Marker. Purple has only 1 Brown Goods Marker, which he loses as well.


Phase 4: Taxes And Tolls

Once a player has carried out the desired actions, then he may be subject to taxes and tolls.

Players may own at most 3 Talers and 3 Goods Markers. Any extra Talers and Goods Markers must be turned in and are lost. In the case of too many Goods Markers, players may decide which of their excess Markers to turn in.

Excess Goods Markers are removed from the game; excess Talers are returned to the bank.

Note: Players are only subject to tolls and taxes in Phase 4. They may own more than 3 Talers and 3 Goods Markers at any other time in the game.


End Of The Turn

At this point, a player's turn is over and play passes to the next player on


End of the Game

The end of the game is triggered when a player chooses to replenish the empty Warehouse Spaces and has to start using some of the Goods Markers stacked on the last Supply Space.

The current round is played to the end, so that each player has an equal number of turns.

Scoring

Each player tallies his Victory Points:

  • Each unsold Goods Marker a player owns is worth 1 Victory Point.

  • Each sold (i.e. turned over) Goods Marker a player owns is worth 1 Victory Point plus 1 Victory Point for each barrel shown on the Marker. For example, a 1-barrel Goods Marker is worth 2 Victory Points; a 3-barrel Goods Marker is worth 4 Victory Points.

  • Each City in which a player has at least 1 Market Booth is worth 2 Victory Points. If only one player has any Market Booths in a given City, then that monopoly is worth 4 Victory Points.

The player with the most Victory Points is the winner.

In the event of a tie, the tied player with the most Market Booths on the Game Board is the winner. If the players are still tied, then they share the win.


The Moneybag Tile

Hansa gives players many different movement possibilities. If a player should decide, midway through a turn, that he'd have rather performed a different action earlier, then it can be difficult for him to retrace his steps. Therefore, players should carefully plan their turns first and then carry the actions out.

The Moneybag Tile is useful for this purpose. When performing an action, a player should at first only push the money off of the Tile. Only when all of his actions are completed does the money go to the bank or to other players as required.



Strategy Hints:


  • Goods Markers are used both to obtain Victory Points and to set up Market Booths. Players who never build any Market Booths will find it more and more difficult to sell Goods as the game progresses. They will also miss out on opportunities to obtain extra cash or Goods Markers for free.

  • Even though replenishing the Warehouse Spaces costs 1 Taler, it is often very helpful.

  • Saving Talers allows for more flexibility during the next turn.

  • Players should think about where they leave the Ship, as it determines the next player's options.

  • Players should pay attention to who gets paid when buying Goods.


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