OBJECTIVE OF MERKATOR: The objective of Merkator is to be the player with the most Victory Points when the game comes to an end.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1 to 4 Players
MATERIALS: 2 Game Boards, 4 Office Boards, 4 Overview Tiles, 1 Time Chart, 4 Supply Tiles, 1 White Token, 26 Building Cards, 16 Bonus Cards, 78 Contracts, 66 Cardboard Tiles, 320 Wooden Pieces, 1 Rulebook, and 1 Setup Sheet
TYPE OF GAME: Set Collection Board Game
AUDIENCE: Ages 12 and Up
OVERVIEW OF MERKATOR
Acting as Merchants, players will travel throughout various cities attempting to fulfill their required orders to score as many points as they can. Every order is worth a certain number of points, but players can only keep so many orders, so sacrifices have to be made. Players are able to travel together if they wish, but remember, they are all trying to get the best order.
To begin setup, punch the overview cards out. The two pieces of the board are placed beside each other, and the boxes are placed in their assigned space. The wooden pieces should then be sorted by color and placed in their designated boxes. The coins and timer are placed beside the board as well.
The time chart should be oriented so that the ULTIMO side is facing up, and it is placed beside the board. The number of counters that fill the board depends on the number of players. All rows get filled is there are four players. The top is empty if there are three players, and the two rows are left empty if there are two players.
After the contracts are shuffled, one of each value are dealt to each player. The rest of the low value contracts are placed face down, forming the discard pile. The bonus cards are sorted and shuffled depending on value. Each player will get a card from each. Shuffle the building cards, placing the top four beside the stack. The game is ready to begin.
Gameplay rotates clockwise around the group. The last player to be in Hamburg will begin the game. If no players have been to Hamburg, then the last player to have a hamburger will begin the game. This player will receive no time counters, but the second will receive two and the third will get one. During each turn, a player will take four steps.
During the first step, the players can make investments as long as they have less than five contracts. If they have six or more, they have to sell some and invest the money. Players will then travel once they have finished with investing. In order to do this, they will place their Merkator token and pay whatever fees are necessary to travel to their chosen location.
When they have finished traveling, they will fulfill contracts. This can only be done if the location on the card and the current location match. In order for a contract to be fulfilled, all items on it are placed back into the general supply. After they have fulfilled contracts, players can choose to travel with an active player. They must pay the player in order to do so.
Traveling is the most crucial part of the game. During traveling a player must take goods, distribute new goods, collect or pay time counters, and determine the loss of goods. These actions must be taken in this order so that the players are keeping accurate tabs on their goods.
The gameplay will continue in this manner until the final round has ended. The final round occurs when a player completes a value ten contract, or the final time counter has been take from the chart. Each player will take one more turn, including the player who triggered the final round, but then the game will come to an end.
END OF GAME
When the final round comes to an end, so does the game. The players will tally their points to determine the winner. the player with the most Victory Points is declared the winner!