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Merchants of Amsterdam
  by Reiner Knizia
  from Rio Grande Games

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 family games

Playing time: 90 minutes

Players: 3-5

Ages 10 and up.

Approx. weight: 3 lbs

In the year 1600. Amsterdam was a city of 50,000 and a bright future. Trade flourished and many new buildings graced the harbor. Enterprising Dutch merchants traveled to the Americas, Africa, and the Orient in search of the new commodities valued at home.

This period of history is the basis for this game. The players take the roles of the powerful Merchant families of that time. The players invest in the commodity market, build warehouses in Amsterdam, and open trade offices in the colonies as they compete to become the most successful merchant in Amsterdam and win the game.

Central to the game is the auction clock, which simulates a traditional Dutch auction, where the price starts high and drops until someone bids. The players are bidding for the opportunity to invest in the commodity market, build warehouses in Amsterdam and open trade offices in the colonies. As the clock winds down from 200190180, the players wait for the right price, hoping they can bid before another beats them to the clock. Of course, the players want the cheapest price, but he first to bid wins the opportunity with no second chance for those who delayed too long. So, as the price drops: 150140130 the tension increases as the players try to be the first, but at a low price. Finally a player stops the clock: 120! He pays for the opportunity to increase is holding and possible earnings. He hopes he did not pay too much, while the others wish they had bid just a bit sooner.

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