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Rating: 6.7 Good
Players: 1-4 players
Playing time: 45-90 minutes

Created by: Uwe Rosenberg, Klemens Franz

Published by: Lookout Games


Merkator is about the rise of Hamburg after the Thirty Years' War.

You visit cities to collect goods or fulfill orders. The collected goods are added to the cities when a player visits a neighboring city.

Fulfilling an order provides you with another better, but more complex order additional to the fulfilled order which you keep and can fulfill again, although the number of orders you can own is limited. Each order itself is worth a certain amount of points at the end of the game.

Also you can exchange these points for special cards which provide additional goods in certain cities or more victory points if you fulfill certain conditions at game end.

Depending on the city you want to enter you either receive a resource called "time" or you have to spend it. By paying a certain time-fee you are allowed to accompany another player on his trip to a town to fulfill your orders in this town (but not to collect goods).

The game ends when a player receives the order with the highest value by fulfilling the order one level below.

Retail Price:$50
Merkator: Messe Sonderkarte

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1618 - 1648: thirty years of war throughout Europe. The Hanseatic city of Hamburg, ever a center of commerce, is booming. Her merchants deal with all warring parties: here the Catholics, supporting the Emperor; there the rebellious Protestants.

You are one of those merchants. On your travels throughout Europe, you collect and deliver goods to fulfill your contracts. Your rewards are additional, more lucrative contracts that can be used or sold.

If you are efficient, you can also save back time which can be spent during other players' turns to join their travels and fulfill even more contracts. Who will be the player with the best trade network? …

  • Investment

    The Investment step is the first step of a turn. This way, a player has plenty of time in the previous player's turn to think about investing and what to buy.

    (In Merkator, you can theoretically plan your whole turn while the player to your right takes his/her turn).

  • Invest

    If a player skips the Investment step and chooses a location while the forced investments rule is in effect, that player immediately has to sell Contracts for coins and gets no chance to buy Bonus cards or Building cards this turn. …

The solo game has a limit of 17 turns.

Use the standard rules with the changes listed below.


You need approximately 15 Time counters. The time chart and the letters on the flip side will not be used - there's no loss-of-goods in the solitary version.

As in the standard game, put 1 cube on each Major location. You get 2 random Bonus cards - one each of value 3 and of value 4.

The five Building cards with the phrase "the sole player" are removed from play. Those cards have a different illustration on the right side. …

The long game of Merkator

Use the standard rules besides the changes in the game setup listed below.

With 3 or 4 players, flip the Time chart onto its backside. With 4 players, the chart is filled completely; with 3 players, just the third line is filled. With 2 players, use the ULTIMO side and fill the chart except the upper row.

This symbol (long outline) shows where to put additional Time counters for the long version of the game.

The players initially get:

  • no cubes onto the Supply tile
  • no Bonus cards,
  • only one value 2 and one value 3 Contract
  • no Time counters to make up for the starting player's advantage

With 3 or 4 players, as soon as the backside has no Time counters left, turn it over and re-fill it completely with Time counters. (Ignore the 3-player logo). …

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