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Subject: Discovering the true meaning of the rules rss

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Today I found out what the lines "Take the top 12 cards from the stack and shuffle them. Place these 12 merchants randomly on the appropriate places on the plan." in the rules really mean.

We played with one board and five players. The merchants were dealt on the board one island at the time, and without shuffling the twelve tiles. This lead to a board configuration where #5 Finnischer Fjodor (sells fennel, buys meat balls) was three steps away from #4 Fremder Franziskus (trades one fennel into two meat balls), and #2 Forschender Fridolin (sells fetishes for commodities of one type) only four steps away from Franziskus.

So, the winning strategy was very clear (at least to me and the player to my left) from the start: The winner is determined by the starting order, meaning whoever gets to Fjodor first is the winner. I was the third player and did not have enough movement points to reach Fjodor on my first turn. The player to my left did reach him and soon got loads of money by trading two fennel for four meat balls and then selling the meat balls back to Fjodor. Then she concentrated on moving between these two booths and collecting enough commodities to get the fetishes.

Anyhow, I got very close to winning the game. My strategy was very similar to hers, I visited only one other booth when Fjodor was out of stock. I would have won the game on my next turn, but the player on my right bought one commodity from me just before I stepped into Fridolin's booth to get my third fetish. Because of this, the player to my left won the game immediately after my turn.

The board setup was disappointing, but the fight was tighter than it seemed at the beginning of the game. The next time I will randomize the twelve booth tiles better, though.
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