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Rating: 7.5 Very Good
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 120 minutes

Created by: Vladimír Suchý, Milan Vavroň

Published by: Czech Games Edition, Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Rio Grande Games

Alternate Names: Die Werft


The year is 1870. For centuries, sails have ruled the seas, but now the steam engine is beginning to dominate.

Shipbuilders are experimenting with new designs, competing for the prestigious Blue Riband, which honors the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic. Their efforts are watched closely by the world's imperial powers; for the strength of every empire depends on its commercial and military fleet. It is an exciting time to run a shipyard.

Found a company. Build a fleet. Show the world that your ships are the fastest, the safest, and the best.

We're in 19th century, sea transport is more and more important. Both corporations and naval forces require newer and newer ships. Try to put yourself in the role of their manufacturers. Hire employees, buy accessories, get favour of evaluating committees. Don't forget to rent a canal and you can heave anchor.

Players take turns, beginning with a randomly selected player and continuing around the table clockwise. On their turn, they will choose one of the available actions from the Action Track. The action will get the player something they need to help build their ships. On the player's next turn, they will move that Action Card ahead of all the others and choose a different action.

If a player completes a ship on their turn (ships consists of little cards depicting bows, sterns, and (preferably several) middle pieces with several options to add equipment or crew), it is taken out for a shakedown cruise in a canal, during which they may score points for speed, crew, equipment, or safety.

As players take their turns, the line of Action Cards will advance around the Action Track. When the lead Action Card reaches the Starting Space again, the countdown marker moves down one space, and play continues.

The game ends when the countdown marker reaches the finish space. (It can also end early if the players run out of Ship Cards). Bonus points are scored for Government Contracts, and the player with the most points wins.

Retail Price:$52
JoTa Best Heavy Board Game Nominee 2010
International Gamers Awards - General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee 2010

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You take the role of a shipyard owner. Your goal is to build the best ships within the allotted time. As your completed ships leave the yard, they are evaluated on many criteria and your company's stock rises. You decide whether to build fast merchant ships, trans-ocean steamers, or small sailing yachts, while keeping in mind the bonuses you can receive from your secret government contracts.


  • Game Board in two halves.
  • 24 Captain
  • 24 Businessman
  • 24 Soldier
  • 4 Shipyard Boards
  • 8 Action Cards.
  • 104 Ship Cards
  • 24 Sails
  • 24 Smokestacks 24 Propellers
  • 24 Cranes
  • 24 Cannons
  • 24 Shipping Canals,
  • 2 x 12 Government Contracts in two decks.
  • 48 Employees
  • 14 Freight Trains
  • 4 x 5 Player Pieces
  • 5 Markers
  • 40 Coins


Each player receives the following: …

On your first turn, you will skip step 1 and go straight to choosing an action. Your available actions and potential income will be limited by the actions of those who played ahead of you.

Note: Your figure is used to indicate your chosen action. Th ere are 3 such figures in each color, but only 1 of these figures is used in a three- or four-player game. Return the other 2 to the box.

The starting player simply chooses an action (step 2) by placing his or her figure on the chosen Action Card. The starting player gets no income (step 3). He or she performs the chosen action immediately (step 4), possibly buying a bonus action as well. This will probably …

Build Ships

The game board has 20 Ship Cards available for building: 5 bows, 10 middles, and 5 sterns.

You can buy one, two, or three Ship Cards in any combination. For each Ship Card you buy, you pay the indicated number of guilders. (Those at the bottom cost nothing, those in the middle cost 1, and those in the two rows closest to the card decks cost 2).

Ship Cards are used to build ships. A completed ship has a bow on the left, a stern on the right, and only middle cards in between, with no empty spaces. A completed ship must have at least 1 middle card. …

Employees allow you to use an action more productively or to attach more Equipment or Crew onto your ship. There are several types of Employees, distinguished by color. When you hire an Employee, his beneficial effect is yours to use for the rest of the game. The effect can be used every time it applies.

The effects of your Employees are cumulative. If you have multiple engineers, for example, it is possible to get multiple extra pieces when you perform the Manufacture Equipment action. …

Your completed, point-scoring ships remain on the table in front of you after their Shakedown Cruises. At the end of the game, your entire fleet is evaluated, and you may earn extra points from your Government Contracts. Note that Equipment and Crew that are left in your Shipyard do not score any points.

Note: Completed ships that fail to meet one of the scoring requirements described in the Shakedown Cruise chapter are dismantled and do not count toward your Government Contracts. …

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