die kaufleute von amsterdam (the merchants of amsterdam) is a game that i had never heard of before i came up the idea of 30 games in 30 days. originally a german game made by jumbo games, it was imported by rio grande games, but is currently out of print. so if you find copy snatch it up!
the basic premise is that you are one of amsterdam's many merchant princes during the explosive exploration of the new world and the subsequent explosion in trade that followed (1579 to 1666)
each player takes a turn choosing three cards from the play deck. one card will be discarded, one card will be auctioned, and one card will be kept by the player. each card does one of several actions. they advance the timeline, provide an expansion your trading houses, and develop colonies around the world. as each player builds their merchant empire, the resources of sugar, spices, gems, and silks increase.
spaced regularly around the board are opportunities to gain more florins to use in the auctions. the auctions are interesting in and of themselves as it is a timed affair using dutch rules; as the timer counts down the cost of the item for sale gets cheaper, and with the ability to stop the auction at the beginning and double the cost of the auction item, means that savvy players can drive up the cost of things for their opponents.
amsterdam is a clever little game that is easy to learn and with the right crowd, nice and cutthroat.
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