Traders of Genoa: Rules

Rudiger Dorn

Translated by Alan How (April 2001) Please note: I am not a German speaker and have used online translation services to get close to the rules. If you are desperate for a game, use these rules. If you need a perfect set of rules, wait for the Rio Grande version.

The game of wares, values and adversaries.

You player plays the role of Genoese trader. They fulfil profitable orders and take possession of important buildings in the city. Yet without the goodwill of other sales people, this situation will not arise. And that costs money… much money!

Game goal
The game lasts between 7 and 12 rounds according to number of the players. Each round, each player has one go at being the current player. Only then may you move the game figures for all players through Genoa. At the same time you can visit up to five squares, mostly buildings. An action can be carried out in each of the buildings. Because the current turn player can only carry out only one of these five actions, he tries to "sell" the other actions to the other players - as profitably as possible. But if he demands too high a price, these are wasted as actions. If, however, he demands too little, the other players are happy about the good business….

Through skilful negotiating around the single actions, the players try to complete orders and deliver messages and fulfil them as quickly as possible. The possession of buildings and special cards will also help determine the game winner.

The person who has the most ducats at the end of the game is the winner.

Game materials
  1 Game board (shows an 8x8-square grid with 18 buildings, 20 street squares and a marketplace)
40 goods blocks
         (5 in each of 8 colours: silver (grey), copper (brown), salt (white), pepper (black), wheat (yellow), rice (beige), linen (pink) and silk (turquoise))
60 Game cards (16 "large order" cards, 16 "small order" cards, 14 message cards and 14 "privilege" cards)
80 Money certificates (10x 5, 30x 10, 20x 50 and 20x 100 ducats)
27 special cards (5 of each of "chosen start square", "one choice of goods", "one further action", "1 building action" and 7 x "1:1 exchange")
  1 card (start player)
  1 Trader tower (5 brown disks)
  1 round indicator (brown stone)
  2 dice (eight sided, blue and red)

You should read these rules for the first time, an d then refer to the summaries on the edge of the rules. The references clear up some issues and deal with special game situations. The texts in the side edge serve as a short cut for the game rules, which will aid you - also after a longer time away from the game to get back quickly into the game.

Game preparation
The game board is placed in the middle of the table.

The following pieces are placed on the 5 buildings (without a name) on the left and right board edges according to the figure below: (see picture at the bottom of page 2 of German rules)

The remaining 4 x 5 special cards are placed in piles next to the board sorted by type adjacent to the corresponding buildings, (see the picture at the bottom of page 2 of the German rules).

Each player receives:

The remaining money - after the 4 types are sorted - is placed as a bank next to the board.

The youngest player receives:

Game progress
The start player begins; the game proceeds in clockwise order. The player whose go it is, is called the current turn player because he takes a game turn. Subsequently the next player takes his turn etc. as game turn one again. Once each player has taken a turn, a game round is over. Then the start player (who does not change during the whole game!) moves the round indicator down one square on the turn strip. When the round indicator is moved onto the square with the number of players, this indicates the last round of play. Subsequently the scores are calculated and the winner is determined.

Each Game turn proceeds in the same sequence:

1. First give the trade tower to current turn player.

2. Subsequently he may move the tower up to 4 squares further. Before the movements of the tower, the other players negotiate with the current turn player about where the tower moves and who carries out the actions. (This is carried out one move at a time.)

3. Subsequently the ownership markers are placed.

4. As a last action of his game turn, the current turn player gives all 5 trader disks, together with both dice, to the next player. A new game turn begins etc.

Trader tower is placed
The current player throws both dice. The red die corresponds to the red strip on the board, the blue die to the blue number strip. The intersection of the dice determines the square on which the player places the five trader disks in a tower.

Move the trader tower.
· Once the trader has played, he moves the whole trader tower that have not yet been used.
· Both the park and also the harbour count as buildings.
· Each of the 18 buildings (regardless of its size), each of the 20 square street spaces as well as the central market place count as a one space.

The current turn player (only!) can move the trader from the start square horizontally or vertically (not diagonally) to an adjoining square. In addition, he takes all the disks and places them on the new square; he leaves the lowest on the square he just left. From the new square, he can move the trader again to an adjacent square; again he leaves that lowest disk etc. In this manner the current turn player can move the tower up to 5 squares (including the start square). When there are no more disks remaining and there is no further movement.

Please note:
· Once a square has a trader disk (within a game turn) you cannot move there again.
· The current player may move the trader after he has carried out his action or no other players take an action. (This is especially important in connection with the messages and the ownership markers).

Sidebar: Refer to the small picture (bottom of page 3): from the start square (guildhall), the current turn player moves the trader over the coach house and the park to the Villa Coloni. He would have been able to arrive here however by moving over the Metal storehouse to the villa. (1) He could have moved to the Tavern (2). Or over the Coach house, he could have come also to the spice warehouse (3) over the market place up to the Palazzo (4) etc.

Please note: this only considers some of the numerous movement options! Moreover, the current turn player would earlier have been able to conclude his turn.

Carry out actions.
The current turn player may visit of up to 5 buildings in his turn and a corresponding number of actions. As a rule, he can carry out only one of these actions, and the other players would like to use the remaining actions. Accordingly, they try to make the current turn player attractive offers in form of money and goods, to move the trader to building of their choice.

Actions can be carried out:

The trade laws of the city Genoa.

First of all the current turn player checks whether someone would like to carry out the corresponding action in the current building, in which the traders are now located.

Attention: this already applies to the start square of the trader.

As soon as another player submits an offer for the action, the action must be carried out. The current turn player however has the privilege of carrying out the action himself. If he does not want this (or cannot, or there are no more actions to be taken), he must carry out the action of one of the other players, who have submitted an offer for the current building. Subsequently he can move the trader further on his turn.

He can move it also further if – after an appropriate time frame - no other player has submitted an offer for the current building. In this case of the current turn player, the action for this building is not carried out, and this action is lost.

Before the current turn player moves the trader further, he offers other players the chance to suggest which adjacent building he should move the trader to, where they would like to carry out the relevant action. If the current turn player accepts an offer, play goes as follows: the other players "pays" for the offer, the current turn player moves the trader on the agreed neighbouring building and the other player then immediately carries out the corresponding action. Subsequently the current turn player can move the trader again (again applies the rule to "neighbouring building") - or his turn.

The current turn player always has the right to move the trader onto a neighbouring building of his choice, which may not be where another player has made an offer. Just as he can accept also that there may be no only offer submitted, because the other players are waiting where he will move the trader.

Important: if he moves the trader on to a neighbouring building without having reached an agreement, it counts a move for as in section 1.1: current building.

The other players can always negotiate with the current turn player about the buildings that might be reached further in a turn. These offers are not yet agreed or paid for and can be changed as desired. They become relevant when the trader is located on an adjacent square to the current building; from then, section 1.2 neighbouring building applies.

These are types of good:

The buildings
The player who carries out the action of a building, receives one or two types of good, which are shown on the building by one or two corresponding images.

Note: Should some goods no longer be available, the player leaves empty handed. This action however counts as being carried out (see also "small orders"). Which goods a player receives from a building, is explained below. Further detail of the game cards, special cards and ownership markers will then be explained.

Guildhall: the player takes the top card from the pile "large order" into his hand. One of the 4 villas is shown on the card as well as the 3 goods that the player should deliver there.

City hall: the player takes the two top cards from the pile "small order" into his hand. On these cards, a building is shown as well as the goods that the player should deliver there.

Postal service station: the player takes the two top cards from the pile "messages" into his hand. Two buildings are shown on these cards, between which the player should deliver the messages.

Cathedral: the player takes two ownership markers of its colour from the general supply (at the board edge) and puts it before himself - in his supply. It has not yet put it on a building!

Palace /Park, Coach house /Harbour / Tavern, Trattoria:
The player takes the corresponding special card from the pile next to the building. For example, in case of the "1:1 exchange" card, of the board and puts it before him.

Goods warehouse: According to the goods warehouse -
· Grain warehouse: wheat (yellow) - rice (natural)
· Metal warehouse: silver (grey)- copper (brown)
· Cloth warehouse: silk (turquoise) - linen (pink)
· Spice warehouse: salt (white)- pepper (black)
The player takes both types of good that warehouse has from the supply (i.e. one of each) and places them in front of himself.

Note: it is not permitted to take two goods of one sort instead of one of each sort. So if a sort is no longer available, you only receive one stone of the other sort.

Villas: (Colini, Monetti, Ricci, Zasteri): in each of the 4 villas the player can carry out one of two possible actions:
· Either fulfils he a chosen large order
· Or he takes the uppermost card of pile "Privilege" into his hand.

Street: no action can be carried out on a street square. The trader is moved there and nothing further happens. At the end of the game turn, street squares that have been entered have an important function that is explained under "ownership markers".

Market place: on the market place, no action can take place. Nothing happens to the trader that is moved on these spaces. When the dice are thrown for the start square of the trader and they directly intersect on the market place, (=throws 4/4, 4/5, 5/5), the round indicator is moved one square further. (See more in addition under "the special cards" (" any start square") and "Game end".)

The game cards

Large orders
If a player wants to fulfil a large order, he must do so as his action in the relevant villa: the player puts the 3 required goods back into the supply and the order card face-up under the pile. He receives a payment of 100 ducats out of the bank and a special card of his choice.

· As soon as the first open large order therefore appears at the bottom of the pile, the pile is reshuffled and placed face down. (This applies also to that three other cards pile.)
· For each of the four villas there are 4 large orders. They are so constructed that no goods are to be delivered out of the neighbouring warehouses to the villa and one goods out of each of the other 3 warehouses.
· If a player is in a building where he can carry out an action, is it not allowed to fulfil several large orders in a game turn at the same Villa.

Small orders
Only the player, who has just carried out the action of a building, can fulfil a small order corresponding to the building: he places the relevant goods back into the supply and the card openly under the pile. He receives a payment of 40 ducats out of the bank.
· For the city hall, the four warehouses and the four villas there is no small order, for the Trattoria and the Tavern there is 1, for all to other buildings 2 orders.
· The fulfilling of a small order does not count - in contrast to the large orders - as an action, but the fulfilling player does not have to have carried out the relevant building action before fulfilling the small order. It is not allowed however, that a player is able to fulfil both small orders for a building in a game turn.
· A player is allowed to carry out its action in a building, in which goods are no longer available, so as to fulfil a corresponding small order.

In order that a message counts as fulfilled, the trader must have visited both buildings in a game turn. Neither the player whose message is fulfilled, nor any other player (who fulfils messages) must have carried out an action in that one or the other building. Obviously, any players may have carried out actions. A player whose message is fulfilled puts it face-up under the pile. He receives 30 ducats out of the bank as a payment. [Translator’s note: I have added the word in brackets, for clarity, otherwise it is nearly impossible to complete messages]
· The sequence on the messages is not important. So for example, the message "guildhall - park" is also as fulfilled if the trader visited first the park and then the guildhall in the same game turn.
· If a message card has no second place mentioned, then the postal service station is the goal.
The messages are always 2 squares between both buildings.
·A player is permitted to fulfil several messages in a game turn; these may also have used the same building as a goal.

In the 4 villas already described, one of two actions can be carried out:
· Fulfil 1 large order or
· Receive 1 Privilege-card

A player, who decides on the second action, takes the uppermost privilege-card from the pile into his hand. One of the 14 buildings that lay on the outskirts is shown on each privilege-card. At the end of the last game round these cards are evaluated. The more adjoining buildings the player has on his Privilege-cards, the more money the cards bring in. The table on the Privilege-cards indicates what value the "building-chains" have for different lengths: a single building receives 10 ducats, 2 adjoining already together 30, 3, 60, 4,100 ducats; from then the values increase by 50 ducats per building.

Example: Anna has the following 6 Privilege-cards: Metal warehouse, park, Coach house, Villa Ricci, harbour, Villa Zasteri.
So she has privileges for 3 single buildings (Metal warehouse, harbour, Villa Zasteri): è 3 x 10 ducats
as well as a 3-length chain (park, Coach house, Villa Ricci) : è 1 x 60 ducats
The total values for her 6 Privilege-cards amount to 90 ducats.
(If, for example, she also had the card "Villa Colini", she would become its 170 ducats: a 5-length + 2 single buildings.)

The special cards
A player may possess as many special cards as desired. He can use them in any combination and quantity. Used special cards are played on their respective piles.

Chosen Start Square
If a player carries out any start square the action of the Coach house, he receives a special card. He can only use if he is the current turn player, and instead of throwing the dice. Subsequently he places the trader on any square. If this square is the market place, the round indicator is immediately moved a square further.

1 further action
If a player carries out the action on the park, he receives this special card. In addition to an action per game turn, that is normally available, he can now carry out a further action. As already mentioned, a player may use also several of these cards in a Game turn. He can use it at any moment, even in the game turn in which he received it.
· The use of this special card is worthwhile especially for the current turn player because he can move the trader to the building of his choice.
· Also it is not permitted through the use of this card to use the action on the same building repeatedly in the same game turn.

1 any Goods.
If a player carries out the action of the harbour, he receives this special card. He uses it, and may take any good out of the supply and places it before himself. He can use this special card at the beginning, during or at the end one his actions, even at the end of the action when he received it.

To clarify: as soon as a player has acquired the right from the current turn player to carry out the next action, and/or if he carries out the action as a current turn player himself, he can use this card - even before (!) he carries out the actual action of the building. He can, however, use it also during and/or after the carrying out of the action. As soon as he declares his action to be concluded, the player can no longer use this card until he again carries out an action.

1:1 exchange
When a player carries out the action of the Tavern and/or the Trattoria, he receives this special card. When he uses it, he can exchange any good against any available good. This special card is usable in the same way as the special card "1 any goods".
· He hands in a message (under the pile) and takes the uppermost small order.
· He hands in a good and takes one of his ownership markers out of the general supply.
· He hands in a (further!) "1:1 exchange" card and takes a good of his choice.
· He hands in a large order and takes a new large order for that. Etc..

1 building action.
When a player carries out the action of the Palaces, he receives this special card. When he uses it, he may carry out the action of a building, on which one of his ownership marker lies. (More in addition under "the ownership marker".) It is usable in the same way as the special card "1 any good".
· The use of this card does not count as an "action carried out" in the normal sense, i.e. the player only uses the special card, but no action.
· In using this card, it does not matter at all whether there has been an action taken place in this building already in this game turn. Just as it does not matter where the trader just played himself.
· The use of this card by the player does not subsequently permit a small order to be completed.
· It is permitted to use several of these special cards in a game turn repeatedly as the action on the same building.

Example for the use of special cards:
The harbour-action is carried out by Anna and she receives a special card "1 any good". Immediately, she uses this again and takes a copper stone. Subsequently she reveals a small order "harbour-copper", puts the copper-stone into the supply and the order card under the pile. She receives 40 ducats out of the bank.

Now she uses another "1:1 exchange" card (received in an earlier game turn): she hands in an ownership marker (out of her supply) and takes a new small order (Palazzo - pepper). The declared action for her concludes.

Because she possesses another special card "1 further action" (received in an earlier Game turn), she can make the current turn player further offers: she offers 10 ducats, if the trader moves from the harbour to the Palazzo. Anna delivers the "1 further action" card and takes an action at the Palazzos - a special card "1 building action". Because she has placed an ownership marker on the spice warehouse, she plays this special card immediately: she receives a salt and pepper stone out of the supply. Subsequently she reveals a small order, places the pepper-stone back into the supply and the order card under the pile. She receives a further 40 ducats out of the bank. She ends her action……

The ownership markers

Why are they good?
As just described, buildings with ownership markers used in connection with the special card "1 building action" are very useful and a frequently used way of carrying out the action of a building when one would like.

Moreover the possession of a building also brings in money:

How are they placed?
After the current turn player has declared his turn is concluded, ownership markers can be placed on the buildings that border the street squares horizontally or vertically that the trader has entered in the game turn.

The current turn player begins, and then it goes in clockwise order for one round. When the person has their go, and they have ownership markers left in their supply, they can either forgo the placing or decide on one of the entered street squares. In the second case, the player can put an ownership marker apiece on both adjacent buildings.

Subsequently he removes the trader disk(s) from the selected street squares. The following players may not place any more ownership markers in this game turn on this square.

On a building selected in this manner, if a hostile ownership marker is lying there, this can be removed. The player must "sacrifice" a marker: he takes the hostile ownership marker from the building and puts it - together with an ownership marker out of his supply - back into the general supply on the game board. If the player has further ownership markers in his supply, he can then put this if he likes on the - now empty - building.

Example: (see diagram on page 11 of the German rules) The current turn player is Bruno (blue). After 3 movements (that began in the Villa Ricci that have led over the spice warehouse to two street squares) he concluded his game turn. As a current turn player, he begins now with the placing of ownership markers.

He decides for the last placed streets square and places a marker piece on the guildhall and the Coach house, after that he removes both trader disks. Carla (yellow) is the next neighbour in the round who has an ownership marker before herself: she sacrifices one in order to remove the blue marker on the Coach house, and then places one on that as well as a further one on the spice warehouse. Subsequently she removes the trader disk.

Although other players have ownership markers before them, they can no longer place markers in this game turn because there are no street squares remaining.

The number of game rounds varies according to user number of players: with 2 players, the game passes round over at most 12, round with 3 players over 10, in 4 over 8 and in 5 over at most 7.

The market place rule may reduce the number of rounds.

Attention: the last game round of a party is played always to end so that all players were equally often the current turn player! Subsequently each player uncovers its Privilege-cards and takes as many ducats out of the bank.

Each player receives 10 ducats out of the bank for each building on which he has an ownership marker. All remaining goods in the possession of the players are worthless.

Whoever has most ducats is the winner. If there is a draw, the decider is the person who possesses more remaining goods.

Example: We are in a game with 4 people, at the end of the 5th game round. Anna is the start player; she takes her turn and first moves the round indicator onto square 6. Then she throws the dice:4/4. She places the trader on the market place and moves the round indicator down a square further. After Anna’s Game turn, Bruno takes his turn: he plays a special card "any start square" - and places the trader again on the market place. Again the round indicator must be moved a square further and it reaches square 8 where the game ends. Because the current round did not end with everybody having the same number of turns, Carla and Dario will have one more turn as the current player – it does not matter that the market place is thrown again or whether they occupy once again by a special card. After Dario has concluded his Game turn and may possibly have placed ownership markers with the other players, the scores are determined and the person with the most ducats is the winner.

Special rules for 2 players:
In a 2 person game, the rules are the same, except for the following changes:

Note: This rule and the special card "1 further action" do not have any effect one on the other!

Example 1: Immediately at the start square the other player makes the current player an offer, which is accepted, so the current turn player may take a second action.
Example 2: The current turn player takes an action, subsequently the other player takes an action. Now the current turn player may also take a second turn.


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