Merkle-Graphics: Manuel Casasola Merkle
2-4 Players 10 years and up
22 game board tiles
4 player storage boards
120 building tiles
60 landscape cards
Example for an initial setup for 3 players
Card supply / discard stack
Main buildings (black symbol)
Other buildings (white symbol)
Starting player: 4 landscape cards
Stack of game board tiles
Water, Forest, Hill, Mountain
Before the first game, carefully remove the game board tiles, building tiles, and shrines from their frames. Put together the 4 shrines from their 2 parts (see above).
Shuffle the game
board tiles and place them face down in a stack away from the middle of the
table. Depending on the number of players, draw 4, 6 or 8 game board tiles and
place them face up in the middle of the table as shown below.
Depending again on
the number of players, place 2, 3 or 4 shrines next to the game board
tiles (see above the black hex for a shrine).
Place the amphoras
to the side in a pile.
chooses a color and places the player board of that color in his play
area (the space before himself).
Each player takes the
30 building tiles in his color.
Note: For simplicity, all tiles are called buildings, even coon field, ship, road, etc...
Each player sorts out
the 6 main buildings (black symbol on back), shuffles them face down, and
places them in a stack next to his player board.
Each payer shuffles
his remaining 24 building tiles fare drown and places them face down in 3
stacks of 8 buildings each next to his player board.
Each player draws the
top-most building from each of his 4 stacks
and places them face up on the corresponding spaces on his player board.
Shuffle the 60 landscape cards and place them
face down as a supply away from the middle of the table.
The players choose a starting
player. The starting player draws 4 landscape cards as his starting hand.
His left opponent
draws 5 cards, the next player draws 6 cards (with 3 or 4
players), and the next player draws 7 cards (with 4 players).
Each player oversees the building of his city-state. Temple, theater and oracle, a harbor with ships, vineyard with vintner, and many more must find space on the Greek peninsula.
Players must move
fast to get the best land for themselves while blocking their opponents from
good building spots. As building is expensive, players seek to save money by
using the natural resources of the peninsula. Players also seek to organize
their building in an order that allows building for free.
The winner is the first player
· to place all 30 of his buildings on the game board
· connect any two shrines with his buildings
Figure: the Thebes player (red) wins as he has
connected two shrines with his buildings.
Playing the game
The starting player begins and the players continue in clockwise order.
A player's turn
On a player's turn, he either draws 2 new buildings or builds 3 buildings from his player board.
The player draws 1 building from any of his building stacks and looks at it.
If he wants to spend
the cost to build it
(see building rules), he pays the building cost and places it on the game board.
Otherwise, he places it on the corresponding space on
his player board.
When a player chooses
the draw action, he does it twice.
The player takes 1 building of his choice from his player board, places it on the game board, and pays the building cost (see building rules).
When a player chooses the build action, he does it thrice.
After the player has drawn twice or built thrice, his turn ends.
a player may not use the
draw action and build action in the same turn.
Draw landscape cards
When can a player draw landscape cards?
A player may choose to forsake all or part of his draw or build actions to draw landscape cards. For each draw or build action he forsakes. he draws 1 landscape card from the supply, adding it to his hand.
the Sparta player chooses to build on his turn. First, he builds a fortress on
the game board. Instead of further builds. he draws 2 landscape cards, adding
them to his hand. Had he used the draw action and drawn a fortress, he could
then draw only I landscape card.
If a player forsakes all draw/build actions he draws 3 landscape cards.
The player must always draw
landscape cards after he has taken all draw or build actions he wants. A player
may not draw landscape cards and then take draw or build actions. The hand of
landscape cards is not limited to a certain number.
When the landscape card supply is exhausted:
Shuffle the landscape discard stack and place it face down as the new supply.
Where can a player build a building?
A player may build a
bonding on any empty space on the game board, regardless of whether the
space has a landscape symbol or not. A player may not build a building on a
shrine or a space that already has a building.
The cost of a building is shown in landscape symbols on the building tile itself and also on the player board.
From the building
cost, the player may reduce his payment by the landscape symbol shown on the space he builds and by each
landscape symbol shown on empty spaces directly adjacent to the
The player pays the remaining cost with
corresponding landscape cards from his hand. He places these cards face up
on the discard stack.
He may play any 2 landscape cards in place of a required landscape card.
the fortress costs 1 hill and 3 mountains
The Corinth player builds a fortress on the space shown, reducing his cost by 2 mountains (1 on which he builds plus 1 adjacent mountain).
The player must pay 1 hill and I mountain card from his hand.
If he did not have a mountain card in
his hand, he could play 1 hill, and 1 forest and I water for the missing mountain card.
Building for free
A player can completely eliminate the cost to build a building by building it in the right order.
The arrows on the player boards depict the free building order. To build for free:
· The player's building, from which an arrow points must already be on the game board
· The player builds his building pointed to by the above building directly adjacent to the above building.
the Corinth player builds his tower directly adjacent to his fortress, paying
nothing to build the tower as it is pointed to by the fortress on his player
In the following cases,
players may not build for free:
· Inverse: the tower has been built and the player builds the fortress.
· Skipped building: the quarry has been built and the player builds a tower.
· Wrong player: the player builds a tower next to an opponent's fortress.
· Main building (white words on black background): there exists no right order for main buildings.
To build a street, a player must pay any 5 landscape cards. reduced by the landscape symbol shown on the space he builds and by each landscape symbol shown on empty adjacent spaces. Building for free: a player may build a street for free when he builds It directly adjacent to one of his streets.
Example: the player builds his first street on the space
shown, reducing his cost by 2 mountains and 2 water. He pays I landscape card of
his choice. Later in the game, he builds a second road adjacent to his first
road for free.
What is a settlement?
A settlement is one or more connected buildings of the same player color. A player founds a new settlement when he builds a building that is not directly adjacent to any of his other buildings.
When a player founds
a new settlement, he pays a new
settlement cost in addition to the building cost.
The new settlement cost is 1 of any landscape card for each other settlement the player has.
the Thebes player already has 2
settlements. He builds a road
on the space shown, founds a new settlement, and must pay an additional 2 landscape
a player may connect two or more of his settlements with a building, reducing
later new settlement costs. Buildings connected only through a shrine are not
in the same settlement.
Each building belongs to one of 7 groups (e.g. defense or shipping).
When a player builds buildings from one of his
groups together, he earns amphoras, which
can be used to extend the length of his game turns at appropriate times.
Which buildings belong to a group?
On the player boards, the buildings of each group are shown together.
For example, quarry,
fortress, and the two towers belong to the defense group.
When a player builds all buildings of a group
such that they are connected to each other on the game board, he
earns a reward of 1 amphora, which tie may use immediately or save in his play area
Example: the Corinth player builds
his quarry such that he now has all 4 buildings in the defense group connected.
He takes an amphora from the supply, places it in his play area, and completes
his normal turn.
When the supply of
amphoras is exhausted:
The player draws a landscape card, placing it in his hand.
Connected defense group:
as the above stows, the group need not be built in the order shown on the player
Extend game turn
The player puts 1 amphora back in the supply and may take 1 additional draw (when he chose draw for this turn) or 1 additional build (when he chose build for his turn).
An amphora may also be used to draw 1 landscape
card. Reminder: a player may not
draw or build after drawing a landscape card.
the Corinth player draws a quarry and a tower. he then puts I amphora back in
the supply and draws another building. Finally, he puts another amphora back in
the supply and draws I landscape card.
Note: a player may use as many amphoras in a turn as he
wants (and has), including those he earns during the turn.
When can the game board be expanded?
When a player draws the last building tile from one of his 4 building stacks, he first places the tile on the game board, paying the building cost, or places the tile on his player board. Then, he draws a game board tile from the stack and adds it to the game board. He may place the tile in any orientation he chooses.
Where may he place the board game tile?
A player must place the game board tile such that it is adjacent to at least one other game board tile or 1 shrine. The game board tiles may be placed such that there are holes in the game board. Players may not place game board tiles on top of shrines or other game board tiles.
When the stack of
game board tiles is exhausted:
the player continues his turn without placing a new game board tile.
End of game
A player wins the game, when he is the first player either to place all 30 of his buildings on the game board or to connect any two shrines with a string of his connected buildings. The game ends immediately when a player wins.
Reminder! Things often forgotten in a first game
- A player may play 2 of any landscape card instead of 1 required landscape card . (see Building cost).
- When a player founds a new settlement, he must additionally pay the new settlement cost (see Settlements).
- When a player has built an entire group so that it is connected, he earns 1 amphora (see Groups).
- When a player draws the last tile from a building stack, he places a new game board tile (see Expand game board).
For their help in play testing and rule reading. the
author and publisher thank Christwart Corned. Jens-Peter Schliemann, Bernhard
Weber, Ana-Marija and Lukrecija Kocmanic. Stetten Mahnert, Tobias Lang,
Sebastian Mellin, Claus-Jürgen Wrede, Andreas Wetter, Maja and Rüdiger Dorn,
Gudrun and Manuel Casasola Aprea, Dieter Hornung. Hannes
Wildner. Karl-Heinz Schmiel. Schorsch. the testers from Bodefeld and the
If you have comments,
questions, or suggestions. please write:
Rio Grande Games, Pd Box 45715. Rio Rancho, NM 87174, USA or
E-mail us at RioGames@aoI.com Visit our website at www.riograndegames.com
Copyright 2003 Hans im Glück Verlags-GmbH
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