- Map of the Silk Road
- 75 goods tokens
- 90 action tiles
- 1 cloth bag
- 45 coins
- 5 turn tokens
- 1 big caravan pawn
- 1 big caravan leader pawn
- 6 player shields
Each player takes a player shield. During the game, players keep their money and goods hidden behind their shields. All goods tokens are placed in the bag. Each player draws three goods tokens at random and places them behind his screen, without showing them to the other players.
Action tiles are randomly placed, face up, on the map. Place on each city as many action tiles as there are players, minus one. With three players, place 5 action tiles on each city.
Action tiles with an orange back are placed on orange cities; those with a purple back are placed on purple cities. No action tiles are placed on Antioch and Chang'An.
Note: The fixed actions printed on the map next to some cities does not count toward the number of Action tiles assigned to those cities during set-up.
Special Placement Rules
No Crook or Barterer may be placed on Aleppo or Tyre (the last two cities). If this should occur, remove them and replace them with new tiles at random or swap them at random with some tokens from a purple city.
Each player receives 1 gold and 5 silver coins. The big caravan pawn is placed in Chang'An. A random player receives the caravan leader pawn and as many turn tokens as there are players, minus one.With three players, use 5 turn tokens.
The bidding for first turn movement can now start. VARIANT: For a change, you can play from Antioch to Chang'An, reversing the directions of movement, and placing purple tiles on the eastern cities and orange tiles on the western ones.
No Crook or Barterer tile may be placed on Lanzhou or Yumen (as per Aleppo and Tyre in regular game).
1. Determine the Caravan Leader
The other players can bid money to buy the caravan leader pawn from the player holding it.
Starting with the player on the left of the current caravan leader, and continuing clockwise once around the table, each player may pass or overbid the last bidder. No player can bid more than he owns and each player may only bid once.
If all players pass, the player who holds the caravan leader pawn keeps it for the next phase.
Otherwise, the current caravan leader chooses:
the highest bidder pays him and is given the caravan leader pawn and the turn tokens.
he pays the highest bidder and keeps the caravan leader pawn and the turn tokens.
2. Moving the Caravan
The player now holding the caravan leader pawn moves the caravan pawn in one of the possible directions, as indicated by the lines on the map.
Some cities (Dunhuang, Koria, Kashgar, Merv and Susia) have a special action tile symbol printed next to them. If the caravan is moved to one of these cities, the player holding the caravan leader has the opportunity to take this action as a bonus.
Then the player holding the caravan leader takes one of the action tiles in the city where the caravan has moved and takes the corresponding action. The player can decline to take an action, but he must nevertheless take an action tile.
Then, he places a turn token in front of himself, as a reminder that he has already acted this turn and cannot be given back the caravan leader pawn, and gives the caravan leader pawn and remaining turn tokens to another player of his choice.
This newly selected player takes an action tile, a turn token and then gives the caravan leader pawn and remaining turn tokens to a player of his choice with no turn token before them.
When the last player receives the caravan leader pawn, there should be no more action tiles in the city, and no more turn tokens. This player takes no action this turn, but keeps the caravan leader pawn and takes all the turn tokens at the start of the next turn.
With three players, 5 turn tokens are used, and each player can, therefore, play twice during the turn, the player who played only once receiving the caravan leader pawn in the end.
You may not pass the caravan leader to a player who has two turn tokens in front of them.
You can sell as many goods as you want of the specified kind. You get 4 silver for the first goods token sold, 3 for the second, 2 for the third, 1 for the fourth and all the following ones.
You can buy as many goods as you want of the specified kind. You pay 1 silver for the first one you buy, 2 for the second, 3 for the third, 4 for the fourth and all the following ones.
You can give the goods on the left of the tile and receive the goods on the right. You can do this once or twice, but no more.
There are also special Traders that allow you to trade
- up to four goods of any kind for the same number of goods of your choice
- up to two goods of any kind for the same number of goods of your choice
Choose a player and randomly steal one goods token from behind their screen.
Choose a goods type. All players can simultaneously reveal as many goods tokens of this kind as they choose. The player(s) who reveals the most receives 5 silver from the bank, the second 3 silver.
The Grand Vizier tile is then set aside with a token of the corresponding goods on it to indicate that another Grand Vizier tile cannot choose the same goods in the game.
Exception: If a 6th Grand Vizier is used, any goods token can be chosen.
Keep this token and use it to change any one goods type on an action tile that you are using.
You may not use the Barterer in the city where you collect him. Keep this token and use it later in a different city to take two action tiles, one after another.
There will then be two players who don't get an action this turn, and the last player to get an action will choose to whom he gives the caravan leader pawn.
End of the Game
When the caravan reaches the end city, the game ends immediately.
Each player scores
- 5 points per gold coin
- 1 point per silver coin
- 1 point per goods token
In addition, the player with the most goods tokens in each color scores 2 points.If there is a tie, no one gets the points for those goods.
Highest score wins.