- 1 board
- 36 floor cubes with pips in 6 different colors
- 4 special cubes
- 1 wooden pawn (the mayor)
- 6 small colored cubes without pips
- 17 rooftops
- 2 pouches
- 60 cheques
The real estate business of Neustadt is crazy about building: The City Council has just approved the recent zoning map, and the Filthyrich banks awards millions of Euros in loans. Two rows of houses with a maximum of four buildings each shall arise between the rivulet Haul and the Main Road.
The meadows on the other side of the Haul shall remain as a recreational area for the new residents. But in view of the large profits speculators and building tycoons have totally ignored the public demands and start to build three rows of houses instead of the permitted two.
Even the mayor himself is planning a new mansion at the Haul and with some tricks, he doubles the value of one of the rows.
Even further, with some dubious "special building permits" houses are even erected on the other side of the Haul, beyond the designated building land (hence the expression "to take a haul").
But the City Council takes rigorous steps: As soon as the first two rows are completed, the racketeering is recognized and the houses in the last, yet uncompleted third row are to be pulled down. A big loss for all who invested into this row.
The board is laid in the middle of the table. The 6 small colored cubes are put beside the short edge of the board.
All of the floor cubes are put into a pouch. 24 of them are then taken out randomly and displayed in 3 rows of 8 cubes beside the board. The 12 remaining cubes are not used in this game and put aside.
All rooftops are displayed on the table, their domed side down and are "shuffled". The 4 special cubes and the wooden pawn (the mayor) are also put beside the board. Each player receives 12 cheques worth 1 million each.
The game is played in turns. On a player's turn, he chooses one of the displayed pieces (floor cube, special cube, mayor or rooftop) and holds an auction. He asks the other players clockwise for their bids.
Each player may pass or bid for a higher sum than has been bidden before. Each player has only one bid and must bid in increments of one million. When the highest bidder is determined, the auctioneer has two options:
- He gives the piece to the highest bidder, who pays his bid to the auctioneer.
- He keeps the piece for himself and pays the highest bid to the highest bidder.
Floor cubes may only be taken from each end of the rows, making six available cubes to choose from at the beginning. You can choose any other piece (rooftops, mayor, special cubes) to auction.
Rooftops can only be auctioned if there are houses without a roof on the board. Before the auction, a rooftop is flipped number side up. If the roof has no number, it is discarded from the game and the players turn is over.
A player who purchases a rooftop or floor cube must immediately place it on the board. Special cubes and mayor can either be placed onto the board or discarded. If discarded, they will not be available again for the rest of the game.
When the turn is over, the next player in clockwise order takes his turn as an auctioneer.
If a player places the first cube of a new color (not yet placed on the board), he puts the small cube of this color in front of him, where it can easily be seen by everybody. In the final score, every building with a floor cube of this color placed directly under the rooftop will be scored for him - either positive or negative.
In the course of the game, every player is allowed to play (choose, offer, buy, place) floor cubes of any color, even if this color is "owned" by another player.
A player may "own" more than one or even no color.
How to Place a Floor Cube
Floor cubes are placed on the square lots, starting from the street. They are placed pip side up. A floor cube can also be placed on another cube already placed if the cube below has a higher number of pips.
The color does not matter. Theoretically, there can be placed six cubes on top of each other that way.
On the building lots surrounded by a white fence it is only allowed to build a single level (cube). Naturally, you can place a rooftop on this, too. If there is a rooftop on a floor cube, you cannot place another cube on it.
In the beginning, a row of houses is limited to 4 houses (from the street to the river). With the special building permits I,II and III the maximum length can be increased or decreased.
The first building in each row has to be built next to the main road and you always have to build without any gaps between the houses. The players may build on any of the three rows.
How to Place the Rooftops
When a player purchases a rooftop with a number, he has to place it with the number side up on a house of his choice. The color and the score of the house does not matter. He is allowed to put this rooftop on any house (yet without roof), even on a house "owned" by one of his opponents.
A row of houses is completed, as soon as all lots of the permitted length are occupied and each of the houses has a rooftop.
How to use the mayor and the special cubes
The mayor is placed on the grey street in front of a row (see picture) doubling the scores of this row, either positive or negative.
Special Building Permits:
- I cube: shortens or lengthens the currently permitted length of a row for one house
- II cube: shortens or lengthens the currently permitted length of a row for two houses
- III cube: shortens or lengthens the currently permitted length of a row for three houses
The special building permits are placed on the board, marking the new building limit for that row, either longer or shorter. You may place more than one special cube in one row. Even a completed row may be lengthened and is then incomplete again.
It is not allowed to shorten a row, if the current development is already farther than the new length after the placement of the special cube would be.
With this cube, a player may take a special cube already placed off the board, nullifying its effect.
However, a special cube lengthening a row may not be taken off the board, if the permitted length after this action would be shorter than the current development, thus causing a conflict with the houses already built.
If a special cube or the mayor is purchased, they have to be placed immediately or taken out of the game.
At the beginning of his turn, the active player may put one million into his "illegal earnings cash box". He takes one of his cheques and puts it halfway under the edge of the board.
Illegal earnings may not be used anymore in this game. At the final score, each cheque in this "cash box" is worth one point.
End of the Game
The game ends as soon as two rows are completed or if it is impossible to complete any more houses (when the 12th roof is used or if all 24 floor cubes are used and have roofs).
The upper and middle rows are complete. The score of the houses in the upper row is doubled because of the mayor in front of it.
All rows are changed concerning their length: The upper row has been made two lots shorter, the middle and bottom row were made longer for one and three lots.
This house scores for the topmost player (here: blue) nine total points. In case of standing in the row with the mayor, its score is doubled.
All houses (floor cubes and rooftops) in completed rows are scored positive, all houses (with or without rooftop) in incompleted rows are scored negative. Sometimes there will be only one completed row, in rare cases none.
A house scores for the player owning the topmost level (floor cube). Each pip on every cube of the house is worth one point. The value of the rooftop is also added.
With the mayor in front of a row, the scores of the houses are doubled - positive or negative. Finally, the cheques of the player's "illegal earnings cash box" are added, counting one point each.
The Game in Several Rounds
If enough time is available, we recommend the game in several rounds. One round lasts averagely at least half an hour.
Before the start of the game, the players agree upon the number of rounds. After each round the score is written down - so hold pencil and paper ready!
The game ends early, as soon as one player has won two rounds. He is the final winner, independent from his actual score.
Otherwise, the player with the highest total score wins the game (if all players have negative scores, the player with the least negative score wins).
At the end of each round, all floor cubes and rooftops are put in their bags again, mixed up and displayed for the next round.All special cubes, the mayor and the small color cubes (indicators) are set up like before the first round.
The cheques are kept by the players and are not distributed again. The illegal earnings may be dissolved. The player gets these cheques back. They are available again for the operational business.