You're the head of a large trading house in Hamburg's warehouse district, the Speicherstadt. Using a bidding-and-buying system, you purchase trade cards.
These cards give you, for instance, ships loaded with cargo, which you take to your contractors, or firemen to protect you against fire. Collect points for your activities. In the end, the player with the highest score wins the game.
- 1 game board
- 54 trade cards
- 25 coins
- 20 workers
- 5 market hall cards
- 1 metal coin
- 45 goods cubes
- 1 bag
First, place the game board in the center of the playing area. It shows a part of Hamburg's warehouse district, the Speicherstadt, and includes water spaces and building spaces, as well as a score track.
Put all 45 goods cubes into the bag and place it next to the game board.
Place all coins as a stock next to the game board.
Each player receives 5 coins from the stock to place in front of him- or herself.
Each player chooses a color and places 1 worker of that color on the 0 space of the score track.
The remaining 3 workers of a color are placed in front of their respective players.
Each player receives the market hall of his or her color.
Sort all trade cards by their backs:
- Winter (A)
- Spring (B)
- Summer (C)
- Autumn (D)
- 4th Fire (E)
According to the number of players, remove the following Autumn (D) trade cards from the pile and return them to the box. They won't be needed:
- 2 players: port/ fireman with value 3
- 3 players: Boatsmen Church/fireman with value 3
- 4 players: none
- 5 players: Boatsmen Church/fireman with value 3
Take the 4 stacks of trade cards (1 for each season), and shuffle them thoroughly. Then, make a drawing pile out of all trade cards, as follows: place the card 4th fire (E) first.
On top of it place the autumn cards (D), on top of those the summer cards (C), then the spring cards (B), and finally on top place the winter cards (C). All cards are placed face-down. Place the drawing pile next to the game board.
Leave some space next to it for a discard pile.
The player who most recently went to Hamburg becomes the first player and receives the metal coin.
The game consists of several rounds. Each round comprises 5 phases:
In this phase you determine the supply of trade cards that's available for the current round. For that purpose, take the top cards from the drawing pile (according to the number of players) and place them in a row face-up, from left to right on the water spaces of the Speicherstadt:
- 2 players: 3 cards
- 3 players: 4 cards
- 4 players: 5 cards
- 5 players: 6 cards
If you revealed 1 or more ships, randomly draw for each ship 3 goods cubes from the bag and place them on the ship.
In this phase you determine the size of the demand for the supplied trade cards. The player with the metal coin is the first player and begins. In clock-wise turn order choose 1 card by placing 1 worker of your color above that card. Place your worker on the lowest unoccupied building space. After all players have placed 1 worker, repeat this process until all players have placed 3 workers.
You may choose cards freely for each worker. In case there are already workers placed above the card you chose, simply place your worker on the next unoccupied space above. You cannot forgo placing a worker. You may, however, place more than 1 of your workers above a single card. If all 8 building spaces of a card are occupied by workers, you cannot place any further workers there.
In this way, bit by bit, rows of workers form above the cards. It is also possible that there is no demand for a card and no-one places a worker above it.
As soon as all players have placed all 3 workers, this phase ends.
Example: You are three players, the supply contains the 4 cards illustrated here. Beige and Purple have already placed 1 worker each. It's Orange's turn to place a worker on one of the 4 indicated spaces.
Now, carry out the purchase of each card individually, from left to right. The procedure is the same for every card.
The player whose worker sits directly above the card (that is the lowest of the row) decides first whether or not they want to buy the card. If they do, they pay as many coins into the stock as the total number of workers above that card. (You can't pay with the metal coin). The player then takes the card and places it in front of him- or herself. From now on that player may use the card's function. All workers in the row above that card return to their owners.
If the player is unwilling or unable to buy the card, take their worker back. Now, the player whose worker is next in line may buy the card. The price has dropped by 1 coin, since there is 1 worker less sitting above the card now. If that player doesn't want to buy the card either, it's the next player's turn, and so on.
Thus, the card is offered to all players who have workers placed above it in turn until one of them buys it. If no-one wants to buy the card, place it on the discard pile. The same applies if no worker at all was placed above a card. Afterwards, carry on with the next card.
Example: Beige could buy the card for 4 coins. If Beige declines, Orange can buy it for 3 coins. If Orange is also unwilling, Beige will be asked again, this time for the price of 2 coins. Should Beige decline again, Purple can buy the card for 1 coin.
This phase happens for the first time in Spring (B), once the first ship has been purchased. You sell goods cubes, or you move them among various trade cards or the market hall.
The First Player begins, the others follow in clock-wise turn order. (In order to quicken the pace, you may also all act at the same time).
Attention: As a rule, you may not trade or swap among yourselves - neither coins nor goods cubes or trade cards!
You may use the following cards in this phase:
If you bought one or more ships this round, you need to unload them now. Take all goods cubes off the ship.
You may now choose what to do with each goods cube individually:
- Place it on a contract.
- Sell it to a merchant.
- Keep it in your warehouse.
- Convert, sell or keep it in the market hall.
At the end of each loading, no goods cubes may remain on any ships. Any unused goods cubes expire. Put them into the stock of goods (or forming a stock if there is no stock yet): do not return them into the bag!
You may place any number of goods cubes from ships to the warehouse, or the market hall on one or more contract cards. The type of goods must match the contract card.
For instance, you may only place a brown cube on a coffee symbol or a white cube on a rubber symbol. You may place single goods on a contract, fulfilling it in partial steps. You may not remove goods cubes that are already placed on contracts.
You may sell any number of goods cubes from ships, the warehouse, or the market hall to one or more merchants. There are 5 different merchants:
- coffee roaster
- tea taster
- spice trader
- carpet trader
Each merchant pays 1 coin per goods cube of the depicted type of goods. For example, the tea roaster pays 1 coin for each green goods cube. Take the coin from the stock. Put the sold goods into the stock, do not return them to the bag!
During the loading you may place goods cubes in your warehouse or remove them from your warehouse. Here, you may keep goods cubes for use in later rounds or for gaining points at the end of the game. There may be no more than 4 goods cubes in a warehouse at any time, however.
You may use the market hall for various purposes during the loading:
Convert: Put any 3 goods cubes of your choice to the stock and take any 1 other goods cube of your choice from the stock.
Note: For this purpose you may not draw goods cubes from the bag or return them to the bag!
Sell: Put any 2 goods cubes to the stock and take 1 coin from the stock.
Keep: You may keep no more than 1 goods cube in the market hall for use in a later round.
Example: Blue bought 2 ships in this round and needs to unload them now. He places 1 rubber and 1 tea on his right-hand contract. He could place the carpet on the left-hand contract; this would fully complete the contract and yield 5 points at the end of the game.
But Blue decides to place the carpet in his market hall, to keep it for a later time since the carpet may also be used to fulfill the other contract, which may yield 11 points, after all.
Blue could convert the remaining 3 goods cubes rubber, tea, and saffron into 1 coffee at the market hall and fulfill his right-hand contract with that. But Blue is confident that he'll get the needed coffee later on. He would rather have a few more coins for the next round. So, Blue sells the tea to the tea taster and receives 1 coin from the stock. He sells rubber and saffron at the market hall and receives 1 further coin from the stock.
Both ships are now unloaded and Blue wants to take no further action during the loading.
Each player receives 1 coin. Players who bought no trade card this round receive 1 additional coin. Afterwards, the First Player hands the metal coin to the player on their left.
In the rare case that there are not enough coins in the stock during the income phase, make do with tokens outside of the game, for example real coins or dice.
End of the Game
As soon as in phase 1. "Supply" the only card left on the drawing pile after the drawing of the trade cards is the card 4th fire (E), your last round has started. Proceed as per usual. Afterwards, carry out the final card on the drawing pile, 4th fire. After that, the game ends.
Attention: Occasionally it may happen that the card 3rd fire (D) is the final autumn card and sits right above the card 4th fire (E). In that event, the round ends after revealing and carrying out the 3rd fire, but carry out the 4th fire immediately. After that, the game ends.
Now, determine all the points you've collected. Use the score track on the game board to show your points. The player with the highest score wins. In case of a tie, the player who owns more coins wins.