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Subject: My English translation of the rules rss

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Tor Gjerde
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a. Preparations.

Each player places their ship in the large Scandinavian port. Place the commodity tokens in the matching ports. Shuffle the telegram cards and place them face down in a pile. The price chart is placed in view of all players with the clip in position 1. Each player receives 50 000 as starting capital, the remaining money becomes the bank.

b. Assignments.

To find out where to fetch commodities, one rolls a die three times. On a roll of 1 or 2, the die is considered blank and does not yield an assignment. For 3 to 6, consult the following chart:

1st roll
3 Venezuela
5 Egypt
6 Canada
2nd roll
3 Chile
4 Ceylon
5 Brazil
6 Gold Coast
3rd roll
3 Australia
4 Borneo
5 Siam
6 South Afrika

Players who receive three assignments are to visit all three and fetch commodities from all of them. If one roll is blank only two ports needs to be visited, and with two blanks the assignment consists of a single port. If three blanks are rolled, the player becomes a free ship as described under section i.

If a port is rolled where none of its own commodities are left, this die is re-rolled. As the game progresses, more and more ports will be emptied of their own commodities, and several re-rolls may be necessary.

When all four ports in one of the columns in the table is empty, the result will inevitably be a blank and no roll is necessary.

c. The journey and the cargo

A ship may hold 6 commodity tokens, but no more than 4 of the same type. Within these limitations, the players choose how many commodities to fetch from each assigned port. Ships with only one port assigned can thus not utilize its full capacity.

The players take turns to move, and each start their movement immediately after rolling for their assignment. Both dice are rolled, and the sum of their values determines the number of spaces the ship may move.

During the journey one may not pass through a space where another ship is already located. If a ship is in the Red Sea, other ships must therefore wait until it has exited before entering this sea in the opposite direction.

Ships may only enter ports in order to load or unload cargo, and – with the exception of the large Scandinavian port – there can only be one ship in any given port at the same time. When a ship enters a port, it must stay there until the next turn.

When a loaded ship returns to Scandinavia, its cargo is sold to the commodities exchange, and is sorted by type.

d. Commodity prices.

The sales price is found on the price chart in the row with the name of the commodity and the column wher the clip is currently placed. The price is given in thousands. Every time a player rolls a movement roll of 5, the clip is moved to the next column, so that the prices change. The change takes place immediately. From column 8, the clip is moved back to column 1.

When the goods are sold, the player again rolls a die three times to get new assignments. The new journey begins immediately after this.

e. Market trade.

Any time a player rolls a 6 on one or both of the dice in the movement roll, this player is allowed to trade on the market. If there are commodity tokens face up on the commodities exchange, the player may buy these at the current price, or sell commodities bought previosly. In one turn, a player may only buy 2 and/or sell 2 tokens. It is of course best to buy when the prices are low and sell when they are as high as

Commodities bought from the market are placed on the table in front of the player. This is his private storehouse. When they are sold again, they are placed face down in the appropriate place on the commodities exchange, and can not be bought again.

f. Telegrams.

Whenever the two movement dice show the same number, a telegram is drawn. The player reads the contents aloud. The telegram applies to all players, regardless of who rolled the dice. Its instructions apply until the next telegram is drawn. When all telegrams are used, they are shuffled and used again.

g. Sale in foreign ports.

Some telegrams report that certain countries buy commodities at favourable prices. If a ship has visited all of its assignments and is on its way home with the cargo, it may – until the next telegram is drawn – sail to the mentioned port and sell its cargo there. Commodities sold in this way become foreign goods and are placed beside its commodity storage. Further details about these are found in section i.

h. Shipwreck.

There are also telegrams that report of storms, and that ships in the mentiones seas drift 3 spaces in a certain direction. If there in such a case is less than 3 spaces to the nearest land, compass rose or edge of the navigable sea, the player is shipwrecked at the last space. The ship must then be towed to the nearest non-occupied port. This transport costs 2000 for each space it must be towed (no dice rolls are needed for this). If the ship has any cargo, it must be sold to the port, but only at half the current price. These become foreign goods if they do not originate in this port.

Regardless of whether the shipwrecked player had fulfilled his assignment or not, he starts his next turn by rolling for new assignments.

i. Free ships and foreign goods.

When all 6 commodity tokens are fetched from a port, the post is considered empty – even if it might contain foreign goods. A free ship (see section b) – and only a free ship – may fetch foreign goods. The ship may still only carry six tokens, of which no more than 4 of the same kind. Foreign goods are to be sold to Scandinavia, and may not be sold again to foreign ports. In summary: foreign goods can only be fetched by free ships, and free ships can only fetch foreign goods.

If one becomes a free ship at a time when there are no foreign goods available, one must wait until the next turn and roll for new assignments.

j. Starting from a foreign port.

After selling goods in a foreign port – or having been towed there after a shipwreck – one does not return to Scandinavia, but start directly from the foreign port after the rules in section b.

A die roll yielding the starting port as an assignment is counted as a blank, and if one ends up as a free ship, one may not buy goods from the starting port.

k. Cancelled assignments.

It may happen that an assigned port becomes empty before a player has reached it. In that case the ship continues with the rest of the assignments as if that assignment had been a blank.

If the ship had only that assignment, it becomes a free ship. If there are no foreign goods in any port at the moment, it must sail to the nearest port and roll for new assignments there.

l. Game end.

When all ports are emptied of their native commodities, and a player is about to roll for new assignments, the game is over – regardless of the presence of foreign goods in some ports.

Goods currently on ships or in private warehouses are lost.

The player with the most money is the winner.


When the dice show:
5 pips in total: new commodity prices
One ore two sixes: market trade
Same value on both dice: telegram

My comments

Due to the age of the game, the Norwegian rules are written in a somewhat old-fashioned language. As I have attemped a fairly close translation, the word choice and expression ends up somewhat stilted. The original was written well before gender neutral writing was commonly attempted, and I follow the custom of the original in using the male pronoun when referring to a player. Typographically, the text uses a convention common in Norwegian of using pairs of dashes to set apart parts of text in a way halfway between placing in in parentheses and placing commas before and after it. I have retained this practice despite it being far less commonly used in English. The original frequently places specific game terms in quotes. These are instead italicised in the translation.

Sections b, c, i and j: Section j is the only place in the rules where picking up goods from a port is referred to as “buying”; in every other instance a word closest to “fetch” but which may also be translated “collect” or “pick up” is used. Though counter-intuitive, it really does seem as if picking up goods from ports is supposed to be free (including in j, in spite of the word “buy” being used). It is certainly possible to play the game where one pays for them, but in such a variant I would suggest paying only half the price shown on the price chart.

Section b: On the game board, Brazil, the Gold Coast and South Afrika have the Norwegian equivalents Brasil, Gullkysten and Sydafrika. The latter is an archaic form, and the Norwegian rules have the current form Sør-Afrika. Several of the countries have changed their names since this game was published: Ceylon, the Gold Coast and Siam are now Sri Lanka, Ghana and Thailand. Borneo was never the name of a single country; my guess is that the game refers to British North Borneo, today part of Malaysia, despite the more westernly placement of the port on the map.

Section d: It seems reasonable to assume that the second paragraph happens on the selling player’s following turn, and not in the same turn as the cargo is sold, as that would yield a player turn consisting of rolling for movement – moving – selling – rolling for assignments – rolling for moving a second time and finally moving a second time (and possibly trading on the market twice).
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Tor Gjerde
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The translation above was made from a photocopy that contained the entire rules proper, but left out the introduction with the description of the contents. I have now found a copy of the “missing” text, translated here:


(For 2, 3 or 4 players)

Description of the game

The board is a simplified world map. The ocean is divided into hexagonal spaces, on which the ships travel. In the middle of the Atlanic and Indian oceans there are compass roses indicating the corners of the world. Ships may not enter these.

The hatched spaces in Suez and Panama are the canals. They can be passed as ordinary spaces.

The numbered and hatched spaces mark the borders between the oceans. East of 1–2 we have the North Sea, west of 1–2, 3–4 and 7–8 lies the Atlantic Ocean, and east of 5–6 and 7–8 is the Indian Ocean. Metween 3–4 and Suez lies the Mediterranean Sea, and between Suez and 5–6 is the Red Sea.

The border spaces does not count as part of any of the oceans.

In 12 countries there are rectangular commodity stores with room for 6 commodity tokens. By each store there is a port — the red round spaces.

In the upper right there is a large commodity store with room for every commodity token — this is the store of the commodities exchange.

The game also contains the following items:

72 commodity tokens — six for each port.

 2 dice which determines the ships’ speed.

 4 ships which are the players’ tokens

24 telegram cards — which add excitement to the travels.

74 banknotes, namely   4 notes of 500,000
                                      10    ”    of 100,000
                                      10    ”    of   50,000
                                      20    ”    of   10,000
                                      10    ”    of     5,000
                                      10    ”    of     2,000
                                      10    ”    of     1,000

 1 price chart — which contains eight different rates for each commodity. The numbers represent thousands. Belonging to the chart is a small clip which is placed at its top edge above the first column of numbers. The prices in this column applies at the start of the game, but during the game the clip moves through the columns, making the prices rise and fall. If the number is printed in red, the price will fall; if it is in black, the price will rise. The mean rate is written at the edge of the card, so that one can see if a given rate is above or below the mean.

During the game each player attempts to transport as many commodities as possible home in his ship and sell them at the optimal rate — preferably in Scandinavia. Additionally, he will try to earn money by making advantageous trades with the commodities exchange when the die roll allows this.
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