Design: Günter Cornett
Graphics: Sabine Mielke
End of Game
translation by Rick Heli
A five player game lasts 45-60 minutes. A two player game can be played strategically like chess: if a player bids the wrong price for a square it may end after a few turns.
Objective of the game
A count wants his garden completed. 2-5 gardeners (the players) compete for this job. The count's administrator sells the contracts (= squares on the board) one after another to the gardener paying the highest price.
The price has a second function: For each louis d'or which the gardener bids the administrator moves one square. If a square is sold, the square on which the administrator is standing will be sold next.
If all squares belonging to a project (varies from 2-5 squares) are sold (= completed) the count gives money to all gardeners. How much depends of the actual worth of all sold squares. The worth of a square increases when it becomes part of a completed project. So the amount that the gardeners should bid depends not only on the square which is currently on offer, but also on the square to which the administrator will move.
Preparations for play
The board shows the count's garden. It consists of 24 squares and includes 10 projects. Before beginning play, show all players, where the projects are and which squares belong to them:
Every project consists of 2-5 order-squares. Some order-squares belong to several projects.
|Place 55 of th 58 glass stones (9 yellow, 19 blue and 27 red ones) on the board at the spots of the same color (there are one more of each color as needed). The yellow ones count 1, the red ones 2 and the blue ones 3.|
|The 75 wooden cubes (5 colores) are for marking the owner of the sold order-squares. Every player gets the cubes of his color.|
|The 5 saucers are for debts. Every player gets one saucer.|
|The bank notes of 1, 5, 10 and 30 louis d'or should be - by the view of historical correctness - golden coins. Every player gets 30. Place the other money near the board. Payment from or to count or administrator are taken or given to this bank|
|The big red piece marks the actual available order-square|
The little yellow piece is the administrator.
Course of the Game
Contract-square auction:The first player chooses a square which will be sold first. He puts both pieces (red and yellow) on this square. The next player (at his left) may bid or pass. Then the next player may bid a higher price or pass. If a player passes he may bid again the next time that it comes around.
The big red piece remains in the contract-square during the entire auction (of this square). But the adminsitrator moves with each bid as many squares as the actual bid was higher than the last bid (on the first bid he moves as many squares as the whole value of the first bid).
The administrator always moves as a newspaper is read: from left to right. At a row's end, the next square is the first square of the next row. At the last row's end, the next square is the first square of the first row. (Square 'A' is the first square of the first row and therefore always left and top)
If no one has raised the bid of a player on his turn, he pays the price and marks the order-square with a wooden cube of his own color. (You'll have a better overview if every player places his wooden cubes exactly in the center of the purchased order-squares). Than he takes the first glass stone of the order-square (First means: take them always from the left side. e.g. square E: yellow). The value of all glass stones a player owns is the sum which a player will get from the count.
If the administrator now rests on an unowned square this square will be sold next. Place the big red piece this square. If the administrator rests on a square which is owned by a player, the next square which is not owned by a player will be sold next (next in the direction from left to right, as the adminstrator goes). Place the big red piece now on this square.
Important ! The administrator doesn't follow the big red piece. He is only moved by the bids.
Example: The third square of the second row is available (square I). At begin of the bidding the administrator remains one square left of it (on square H).
|He is moved by the bids:
say '2 louis d'or' go to square J,
|There is no higher bid, so square I is sold for 17 louis d'or (to the blue player). The administrator stays on square A. The next free square (not owned by a player) is the fourth square of the first row (square D). This is now marked with the big red piece and available at the next bidding round.
If a player bought a square, the next player (on his left) has first bid for the next square.
Project Completion.A project is completion if all squares belonging to this project are sold (=completed). [There is no special action for completing: buying=completing]. First the worth of all squares belonging to that project increases (the count likes the completed projects more than the others). Every player owning a square of this project takes a glass stone from this square. If there is more than one glass stone on a square, take the glass stone from the left side.
If two or more projects are completed at the same time, the
owner of the square which belongs to these several projects,
receives as many glass stones as projects completed. (Take the glass
stones always from the left side).
Each players adds the value of all of his glass stones he has taken from the board (during the whole game). This is the amount of louis d'or that the player now receives from the count (yellow =1, red = 2, blue =3). Debts must now be paid (see: 'The administrator gives credit').
If two or more projects are completed at the same time, there will be only one payout for all. So at the beginning of the game nobody knows how many payouts there will be. You have an influence on it by your bidding.
The administrator gives creditIf you don't have enough money to pay for a square which you have purchased, you can get a little credit from the administrator. However, at next payout you must repay double the sum. This means that your credit limit is half the worth of your glass stones. Your ability to take loans, and thus to bid, are strictly restricted by this limit.
If you receive money by credit, place glass stones in the amount of of full repayment value (the doubled sum!) in the saucer. In case of a payout, you receive money only for glass stones outside the saucer. After this you take back your glass stones from the saucer (it's not clever to forget).
Notice that when you buy a square your credit limit increases.
This new credit limit can only be used for your next bid, not
for the actual deal in which you acquire the stone(s).
End of gameIf there are two squares left, the count has gone bankrupt and the game is over. The winner is the richest player, i.e. the one having the most louis d'or. Ties are broken by the highest value in the glass stones.
The game also ends if nobody bids for a square. This is probable if the selling of the 22nd square would not cause a payout.
The game also ends if all players are out of money. But because of the credit limit this case seems not likely. In any case it's possible to figure out the winner.
But it's not really necessary to change the rules. IMHO they are good and varying enough.
About tacticsThe dilemma at the beginning of the game:
During the game there are a maximum of 9 payouts possible. Each owned square scores each time a project is completed. So you need squares early. Before the first payout you should have one or more squares if you want to win the game. But on the other hand you don't have enough money especially at the beginning of the game. If you've paid too much, you cannot act.
The best strategy also depends of the number of players. With fewer players it's more important to have cash. But in a two-player game you'll lose if you don't have cash and your rich opponent can buy squares for small sums. Your opponent may lengthen the time to the next payout (by using clever bids) until his income will be higher than yours. In a five player game there will be a greater chance that one of your opponents will cause a payout, bringing you cash.
The true worth of an square?
At the beginning of the game the worth of the left glass stone is very important. In my opinion, a bid of 3-5 times this amount is ok, but I'm not sure.
You don't know which project will be completed first. If the squares are horizontal neighbors, it's impossible that they are completed in the same turn (because in nearly every case the price will be more than 1 or 2). But if the left neighbor of a square is sold, its righthand neighbor has a better chance of being sold soon (because of the rule that the next free square is sold next, if the administrator rests on a field which is already sold). Sometimes large projects need more time, because more squares are needed. But even 2-square-projects may take a very long time, because only one player may have be interested in completing it. All of the others may bid against the second square.
During the game it becomes more important which project will be completed and at which time you want a payout to occur. This right time of payout depends of the worth of your glass stones and of your cash (much cash=late payout; high worth of glass stones=instant payout).
An example for a wrong first turn:
The first player places the red piece and the yellow one on square 'L'. It belongs to a 3-square-project (L-R-X). The next player bids 6 louis d'or. Normally too much for a square with a yellow glass stone at the left (worth of square=1). But with this bid the administrator goes to the second field of the same project (square 'R'). If the player gets square 'L' for 6 louis d'or, square 'R' will be sold next and there will be a good chance for completing this project, because there is only one square left. If this project is completed, the value of the square will increase to 4 louis d'or, which the player will get at every payout.
If another player wants to stop him this player has to bid 7 louis d'or for square 'L'. In this case the administrator moves to square 'S' (belonging to another project) and that player buys a worthless square for the high price of 7 louis d'or.
So the first player should always choose a square which is not lucrative
At the end of the game
you should think about how many payouts there may be (minimum and maximum). The number of payouts depends of which two fields are not sold and if there are several projects will be completed at the same time.
Also remember: if the administrator rests on a square which is owned by a player the next free square is sold next. That means: a square, which is located directly after a group of squares owned by players, has a better chance of being sold than a square right of a group of free squares.
Bambus Spieleverlag Günter Cornett | Kopfstraße 43 | D-12053 Berlin
Phone/Fax: +49-30-6121884 firstname.lastname@example.org