The first time you play the game, you should assemble the pieces as follows:
1.Counters: Detach the plastic pieces from their sprues by gently rotating them, or use scissors or a craft knife. It is not necessary to detach all the pieces before you start to play.
2. Flags: Remove the. stiff-adhesive flags one by one. Fold them carefully in the middle and stick them around the masts (see diagram). During the game they are attached to the bases or galleys as required.
SUMMARY OF PLAY
At the start of each, turn the players bid money to determine the order of play. The ducat is the unit of currency, in Serenissima. The 1,000 ducat coins are coloured gold, the 500 ducat silver and the 100 ducat bronze.
During a game players will in turn build galleys or forts, buy commodities and hire sailors. The commodity pieces are placed on board galleys Sailors are placed on galleys or in defence of ports. Galleys can only carry a maximum of five commodity and/or sailor pieces. The number of sailors on board a galley is the maximum number of sea spaces a galley can move in a turn.
The galleys are positioned on the map. If galleys of different players are on the same space, then combat can take place. It is not compulsory for combat to occur. At the start of the game, all ports are, neutral except for the players capitals. During the game players will progressively take control of the ports, which will be shown by the use of the players flag markers.
After galley movement and any combat, commodities can be sold by galleys that are in ports. At this point all players still controlling their own capital receive a fixed amount from the Treasury. A new turn then begins.
With three players only Venice, Genoa and Spain are used. The Turks are omitted.
With four players the Turks are included so that all the maritime powers are represented.
Before starting play, each player is given two galleys, ten sailors and 2,000 ducats. The player's flag is placed on his galleys, which a put on the sea space by his capital. The sailors are placed on the galleys and capital as the player chooses.
The burn marker is placed on its starting position.
Each player will need several flags to indicate the ownership of his galleys and ports as the game 'progresses.
A player is named "Chancellor" of the game. He is in charge of distributing ducats from the Treasury as well as galleys, sailors and commodity pieces when required. For ease of use, he should sort the counters in the box as follows:
Phase 1: Turn Marker and Bidding for Turn Order
With each new turn the Turn Marker piece is advanced by one space. Each player then secretly takes a sum of his money. The sums taken are revealed simultaneously and the player that bid the largest amount gets the first choice in the order of play. This player's marker is then placed on his chosen order space I, II, III or IV. The other players then choose their places in the turn order in descending order of their bids. If there is a tie the players involved throw a die, with the higher result choosing first.
Players who bid nothing throw a die to fill the remaining order spaces. The highest result will automatically play before the lowest. These players Have no choice in their turn order.
All money bid in this phase go to the Treasury.
The Venetian bids 300 ducats, the Turk bids 500 ducats and the Genoese and Spanish bid nothing. The Turk has bid the largest sum and chooses to play last, placing his marker on the "IV" space. The Venetian chooses to play first and places his marker on the "I" space. The Genoese and Spanish each throw a die, throwing 6 and 2 respectively. The Genoese must therefore play y second and the Spanish third. They place their markers on the board accordingly.
It is important to remember that the order of play will be applied to each phase of that turn i.e. the player who is first in phase 1 will be able to buy commodities first, move his galley first and initiate combat first, etc.
Phase 2: Purchasing Commodities., Building, Hiring Crew and Reorganising Pieces
Purchase of Commodities
1. General Principle
Each player can buy one or more commodity pieces in each port in which he has a galley. In each port he can only buy the commodity corresponding to the colour of the circle of that port. The colour code is:
Orange: Gemstones (1 port)
Yellow: Gold (2 ports)
Green: Spiced (2 ports)
Red: Wine (4 ports)
Black: Textiles (4 ports)
Grey: Iron (4 ports)
Brown: Wood (6 ports)
A player does not have to control a part to able to purchase its Commodity. A player controlling a port cannot stop another player from buying or selling there.
A galley is considered present in a port when it is in the sea space adjacent to the port.
It is possible for players to sell each other commodities, only if they occupy the same space (see "Questions & Answers" at the end of the rules).
2. Purchase Price of Goods in a Port
The purchase price of a commodity varies according to whether the port is neutral or controlled by one of the players.
If the port is neutral or belongs to the purchasing player, then the price of each commodity piece is 100 ducats. This money is paid to the Treasury.
If the port is controlled by another player, there are two possibilities:
As soon as a price is agreed the buyer gives the money to the seller and receives the appropriate commodity piece, which he immediately places on board one of his ships in that port. A player can buy as many commodity pieces as he wishes as long as he has space to load them on galleys in that port. Remember there must be at least one sailor per galley and no more than a total of five sailors and commodity pieces on each ship.
If there are no commodity pieces in the Treasury, this commodity can only be purchased from another player who owns it. This can only be carried out when the two players galleys occupy the same space (see "Questions & Answers')...
Building Galleys and Forts
To increase his fleet and reinforce his bases a player can build new galleys and forts in ports that he controls. Each turn he can build either one or the other in a port although he may build in as many ports as he wishes. Each build costs 500 ducats which, is paid to the Treasury.
The construction of galleys and forts is subject to the following conditions:
Construction of Galleys
Constructing new galleys allows players to increase their revenue by trading more. It also allows players to increase the power of their navy in combat. In order to build galleys the port must produce and/or have in its warehouse wood and iron.
To build in Tunis or Alexandria, the city warehouse must contain a wood piece and an iron piece. To build at Modon it is sufficient to have an iron piece in the warehouse as Modon produces wood itself.
As soon as the 500 ducats is paid to the Treasury, the new galley is placed on the sea space adjacent to the port in which it is built. At least one sailor must be immediately placed on board. The sailor piece must either be newly hired or come from the port's garrison. The galley can immediately receive commodities, either transferred from other galleys in the same space or newly purchased.
Construction of forts
Building a fort in a port increases its defensive capability when it is attacked (see Attacking a Port). In order to construct forts the port must produce or have in its warehouse, wood and gold:
To build in Sicily or Istanbul, the city warehouse must contain a wood piece and a gold piece. To build in Tunis, it is sufficient to have a wood piece in the warehouse since Tunis produces gold itself.
As soon as the 500 ducats are paid to the Treasury, a fort is placed beside the warehouse of that port. The owners flag is placed on the fort.
To crew a galley or strengthen a fort, players may recruit sailors in all the ports under their control. This recruitment is linked to the economic activity of the port: the more commodities in the warehouse, the more sailors are available.
The number of sailors that can be recruited per turn in each port is equal to the number of commodity pieces in that port's warehouse at the time of recruitment.
Smyrna has three commodity pieces in its warehouse, so the player controlling Smyrna can recruit up to three sailors there.
For every sailor recruited a player must pay 100 ducats to the Treasury. New sailors can be placed on a galley adjacent to the port or beside the warehouse as part of the garrison.
Transfer of Sailors and Commodities
Players can reorganise their sailors and commodities if they are on the same space. This can be done between two galleys or between a port and a galley at that port, subject to the following two limitations:
1. A galley can contain no more than a total of five sailor and commodity pieces.
2. Each galley must have at least one sailor on board or it will sink and lose all its cargo.
There is no limit to the number of transfers that can be made.
When all players in turn order have completed phase 2, phase 3 can begin.
Phase 3: Movement of Galleys
It is not compulsory for a player to move his galleys. In fact ships can remain anchored at a port or at sea indefinitely.
Presence of Galleys Belonging to Other Players
A galley can always leave the space in which it starts the phase; it can also enter any space. However, it cannot cross a space occupied by another player's galley without obtaining that player's agreement. When there are several players galleys in a space, they must all agree for another galley to cross that space. If permission is not obtained, the moving galley must end its movement on the disputed space.
Example of movement:
With three sailors on board the Turkish player can move his galley three spaces. He can leave the starting space 1 without the permission of the Genoese player and move freely as far as space 3. If he wishes to carry on to space 4, he must obtain the permission of the Spanish player. If this is refused the Turkish galley must remain on space 3.
Permission to Cross Spaces
Whilst there may be preliminary negotiations, and promises given that galleys will get permission to cross over spaces, final agreement or refusal is not given until the galley is actually on the disputed sea space. If passage is refused, then the galley is blocked. It cannot return to its starting space. If the right of passage is agreed, then the galley continues onwards and can move to any space, regardless of the agreements made between players.
This means that a player is not required to disclose whether or not he will agree to the passage of a galley before it has actually moved onto his space. Once permission has been given, it cannot be revoked - even if the galley is leaving in a direction different to that which was previously promised.
Players make all of their galley moves in turn order. When all players have moved, this phase is complete.
Phase 4: Combat
Combat is not compulsory. Players decide in turn order whether to initiate combat.
Combat Between Galleys
Combat between galleys care only take place when they are on the same space. If a player decides to attack on his turn he designates his attacking galley and the target of its attack.
Combat is simultaneous between attacker and defender. Each player throws the die and adds the result to the number of sailors aboard his vessel. The total is divided by three and rounded down. This figure is the number of sailors eliminated from the opponent's galley. The eliminated sailors are removed from play immediately.
On his turn a player can continue to attack as many times as he likes with whichever galleys he chooses, providing that the attacking galley is in the same space as its target. In each attack the same or a different target can be nominated. Sailors lost in combat can only be removed from the two galleys involved in that combat.
If a galley loses its last sailor after combat, the victor has the choice of sinking his opponent's galley or seizing it for himself. If he decides to sink it, the galley is removed from the board. If he decides to seize it, he must transfer one or more sailors from the victorious galley to the stricken vessel. A player can choose to transfer all his crew to the defeated galley but this will result in his own galley being sunk.
Commodities aboard the two galleys can be redistributed between the ships as the victor wishes, providing that the figure of five sailors and/or commodities per ship is not exceeded. Cargo from a stricken ship may be rescued before it sinks.
Note: A player cannot throw one of his own sailors overboard in order to replace it with a commodity piece.
When a. player takes over a galley, he replaces the flag with his own. This ship becomes part of his own fleet.
An attacking player can choose to stop combat after each individual attack.
Example of combat between galleys:
The Turkish player attacks the Genoese with Galley 1. He throws a two and so removes one Genoese sailor (Two plus three sailors, divided by three and rounded down). The Genoese player replies, rolling a three. He removes two Turkish sailors (Three plus three sailors, divided lay three).
The Turkish player decides to launch a second attack but this time with galley number 2. He throws a four. Together with his three sailors he has seven points and is able to eliminate the last two sailors aboard the Genoese vessel. The Genoese player has the right to return fire because the combat takes place simultaneously. He throws a three, which added to his two soldiers and then divided by three, allows him to eliminate one Turkish sailor. The combat is over. The Turkish player can now transfer one of his sailors from galley 2 on to the captured Genoese galley. He replaces the ship's flag with a Turkish flag. If he does not want to seize the Genoese boat, he can transfer the gold and wine pieces to his own galley and sink the Genoese galley.
Attacking a Port
A player having one or more galleys on the sea space next to a port controlled by another player can decide to attack the port in his combat phase. He designates the galley from which the attack is being made. Both players throw the die. The result of the combat is obtained in exactly the same way as for combat between galleys, i.e. sailor losses are calculated by adding the attacking or defending number of sailors to the die throw and dividing by three (rounding downwards). If the port is fortified (shown by a fort marker at the side of the port), the attacking player must divide his total points by four rather than by three to establish the losses inflicted on the defender. This reflects the better defences offered by the walls is of the port.
A Venetian galley with five sailors, attacks the port of Smyrna which is defended by four Turks. The Venetian throws a four and the Turk a six. The result of the combat is calculated as follows:
Venetian total 5 + 4 = 9, divided by 3, results in three Turks eliminated from the garrison
Turkish total 4 + 6 = 10, divided by 3, results in three Venetian sailors eliminated from the galley
If the port is fortified, the Turkish player loses fewer sailors, i.e. the Venetian total is divided by four, so only two Turks are removed from board. The Venetian player still loses three sailors.
The rules for combat between galleys apply to combat between ports and galleys, with the following differences:
Note: The fort markers and commodities in the warehouse are not affected when the port is attacked.
When all players have had their combat phase then phase 5 begins.
Phase 5: Taking Control of a Port
When a player lands a sailor on a port he takes immediate control of that port. He then replaces any other player's flag with his own.
Note: A player can land the last sailor remaining on board his galley but it will then sink.
When all players have landed their sailors on the ports that they wish to occupy, phase 6 can begin.
Phase 6: Revenue
always take place, irrespective of who controls the port. However, goods cannot be sold in ports
where that particular commodity is either present in the ports warehouse or is produced at the port.
When a sale takes place, the commodity piece is put in the warehouse on the space with the lowest figure showing. The player then receives from the Treasury a sum in ducats equal to 100 times the figure on this space. This sum is received even if the fort is controlled by the selling player. A player can make more than one sale in the same port, so long as each sale falls within the above conditions.
It is never compulsory to sell commodities.
Example of a sale:
It is the Genoese player's turn to sell. He receives 100 ducats for the spice piece and 400 ducats for the iron piece. He cannot sell gold because the port produces gold. He cannot sell wine because the warehouse already holds it. In phase 2 of the following game turn he may be able to negotiate with the Spanish to buy some gold.
Opening of New Markets
Very rare commodities can command very high premiums. When a player sells a commodity in a port belonging to another player, and this commodity is not present in any port controlled by that other player, a bonus of 500 ducats is received. For this to occur the commodity in question must not be present in any warehouse, nor produced in any port, controlled by that other player.
The bonus is doubled to 1000 ducats if the sale takes place is capital (Valencia, Genoa, Venice or Istanbul).
Bonuses are added to the sum received by a player from the sale of the goods.
Note: The bonus is never applicable to a player selling to his own port or to a neutral port. Goods on board galleys are not included when assessing whether the commodity is new to a player.
Each player receives an income of 300 ducats per game turn from the Treasury for having possession of his own capital. This is in addition to revenue earned from the sale of goods. Players not in possession of their capital do not receive this income. Extra income is not earned for being in possession of a capital other than the player's own.
The Revenue phase is now complete. A new turn may begin.
Prosperity points are calculated as follows:
10 points for control of own capital;
1 point per 500 ducats in a players coffers at the end of the game;
1 point per port controlled in which the warehouse is not full;
2 points per small port controlled in which the warehouse is full (i.e. it contains two commodities);
5 points per medium port controlled in which the warehouse is full (i.e. it contains four commodities);
10 points per capital controlled in which the warehouse is full (i.e. it contains six commodities). If this is the players own capital, these points are in addition to the 10 points given to a player for controlling his own capital.
Is it possible to exchange or sell commodities directly between players?
When two players have at least one galley each on the same space, they can trade goods between
these vessels. This cannot take place on the four spaces that are not adjacent to land, i.e. on the open sea. The players are free to set their own sale prices. Sales must be conducted in the same way as indicated earlier, i.e. offer, counteroffer, refusal or sale, last chance to buy.
A player cannot be forced to sell any commodity piece on his galleys.
Remember that at the end of a transaction, there can be no more than four commodity pieces on a single galley.
Is it possible to remove some pieces in order to buy more of others?
Yes. A player can remove some commodity pieces from one of' his galleys to make room for more. These goods are put back in the box. The player receives no money for the operation. Players can also remove sailors from galleys but only if the galley is in a port. At least one sailor must remain on board if the galley is to remain afloat. If this action is carried out at a port controlled by the player, the sailors become part of the port garrison. If the port is under another players control, the sailors are put back in the box. Again the player receives no compensation for this operation
What happens if a defeated port is not occupied?
It is possible that, after removing all his opponent's garrison in combat a galley owner chooses not to land any sailors. In this case the port remains under the control of the defeated player and his flag remains on the port. Control of a port only changes when sailors disembark to form a new garrison. Note that it is possible that one player might defeat a garrison but a different player occupy the port because they move first in phase 5.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF VENICE
Venice itself seems to date from 810AD when the seat of government was moved to a group of tiny, better protected islets at the center of the lagoon on the Riva Alto (which became the Rialto). Some years later two Venetian merchants stole the relics of Saint Mark from Alexandria, brought them to Venice and placed them in a specially built basilica. The winged lion, symbol of Saint Mark, now the Patron Saint of Venice became the emblem on Venetian flags and boats.
The presence of Venetian merchants in Egypt shows that as early as the 9th century Venice was trading on a large scale with the Levant. War, commerce and diplomacy were all used to increase the power of Venice and its reputation spread rapidly across the Mediterranean. Freeing itself gradually from Byzantine authority, Venice found a role as the meeting point of two hostile worlds - the East and the West, which were obliged to trade with one another.
Numerous treaties were concluded with the most powerful states such as the Holy Roman Empire and the Muslim kingdoms of North Africa, Syria and Egypt. Even the Byzantines had need of Venice and its formidable naval strength in order to block the Normans, who, having conquered Sicily, coveted Greece and Albania. In exchange the city received numerous commercial privileges throughout the Expire. It was even granted the right to set up trading posts in Byzantium and to trade without having to pay the usual customs
On the other hand Venice showed extreme brutality and aggression towards its direct competitors, such as Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi. When their commercial interests were threatened the Venetians did not hesitate to send out a punitive expedition. The rivalry with Genoa brought, a succession of conflicts that lasted more than a century. Genoa, divided by internal quarrels, came out of them-weak and drained whilst Venice having proved the strength of its political institutions, was left to take full advantage of its dominance in the Mediterranean.
The Crusades gave Venice the chances to further increase its power. In exchange for supplying boats
and provisions to the troops Venice was able to found trading posts in the new Crusader kingdoms.
Cyprus, Antioch and Tripoli were added to the numerous Venetian bases, which how spread east.
This new strength reinforced the desire for independence from Byzantium. In the Fourth Crusade the Doge provided the Crusaders with a fleet and as payment required them to Liege Constantinople, en route to Jerusalem. Besides huge plunder from the sack of the city Venice took from the Byzantine Empire the islands of Samos, Rhodes Lesbos and Corfu, but left the Balkan possessions as too costly to defend.
At the start of the 15th century Venice had reached the peak of its naval and territorial power. However the Ottoman Empire wad growing in strength. In 1453 the Turks took Constantinople, which, with its naval shipyards, gave them the means to build a navy and within the Mediterranean. During the 16th century the Turkish fleet took, little by little, most of the Venetian islands in the Aegean Sea. Venice was forced to ask for Spanish help.
By this time Spain's wealth came from its transatlantic trade and the Mediterranean was no longer a vital interest. It was with reluctance that Spain participated in the Battle of Lepanto, and it did so primarily to stop Turkish expansion, which was threatening the Hapsburg (Spanish) possessions in Hungary. Although the Battle of Lepanto was hailed by Venice as a brilliant victory it did not weaken the Turks in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1572, barely a year later, the Turks took Cyprus and forced Venice to pay a tribute of 300,000 ducats.
Exhausted by its struggles against the Ottomans and weakened by the great plague of 1630, Venice was incapable of competing with Stein for the new transatlantic trade routes. She had already lost her spice route to India which was now controlled by the Turks, whilst the Portuguese had opened a new sea route around Africa. In the 12th century trade between east and west had tipped the balance of power from Byzantium to Venice. In the 16th century trade routes moved from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Other countries - Spain and Portugal and other cities - Lisbon, Seville and Antwerp replaced Venice in importance.
Venetian supremacy rested upon its mastery of the construction and manoeuvre of warships and merchant ships. Unto the 12th century shipbuilding. was scattered across the city in the hands of small family enterprises, but in 1104 the Government created the Arsenal, a huge shipyard that is still admired today. This employed almost 3000 workers and was able to build 100 galleys in two months before the Battle of Lepanto.
Eight times longer than they were wide, the biggest galleys had as many as 171 oarsmen the "galeotti". These were free men from the lower classes. They were a little better paid than the dockers and fishermen, but were always willing to supplement their income with a little plunder. The galleys were merchant ships and were used particularly for transporting valuable products, but could instantly transform themselves into warships and engage in combat against any adversary. Although ramming and missile fire were frequently used, sea-battles essentially consisted of man-to-man combat after boarding. This was why all sailors and oarsmen received training as soldiers and carried on board arms and armour. Venetian naval standards distinguished between armed and unarmed boats only by the number of men on board. With less than 60 men a galley was considered unarmed, above that number it was armed and, on occasion, took on triple the number for military expeditions.
Serenissima - "Queen of the Seas" - is the name by which the Venetians knew their own fair city.
THE GAME AND THE AUTHOR
The game of Serenissima was devised during long walks around the streets of Venice, from a desire to relive, at least for a few hours, the extraordinary history of this city. There was an age when Serenissima really was Queen of the Seas and sent her galleys to the Levant so that the warehouses of the Rialto could bulge with riches.
The game is based on the realities of the age, but in a time before the Mediterranean became a Venetian lake. Putting commerce and diplomacy above war (a source of useless expense) no operation was shameful for the Venetians, so long as it made a profit. They would even trade with their enemies. The famous "Fondaco dei Turchi" (Turkish Warehouse) in Venice stayed open, even at the height of the conflict with the Ottoman Empire.
Similarly, the game takes place almost entirely upon the sea. Conscious of their demographic weakness the Venetians, like their rivals the Genoese we never tempted by a land based empire. They here happy to set up trading posts to allow their fleets to replenish, repair and trade. Conversely, the Ottomans believed in territorial conquest and only built a fleet as an aid to their expansion on land.
A game by Dominique Ehrhard and Duccio Vitale.
Design of the box, the game board and the pieces: Dominique Ehrhard
Rules: Duccio Vitale
English Translation: Daniel Steel and Kevin Jacklin
Paste Up: Guillaume Rohmer / Studio InEdit
The authors wish to thank the different playtesting teams, particularly:
Joelle Amado, Dirk Bilgen, Giovanni Capobianco, Jean-Michel Clement, Marc et Myriam Delenne, Peter Dobler, Pascale, Thomas & Guillaume Ehrhard, Myriam Lemaire, Rosaria Masone, Dominique Moser, Michael Palm, Boris Pauly, Carl Pincemin, Francis Verrier, Uwe Walentin, Pierre & Annick Zumbiehl.
Collection directed by Duccio Vitale
A Eurogames game published by Jeux Descartes
1, rue Colonel Pierre Avia
75503 Paris Cedex 15
Distributed exclusively in North America by
P.O. BOX 552
Phone : 610 695 0523
Fax : 610 695 8145
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson