Author: Klaus Teuber

Publisher: Kosmos 2001

Awards: none



Gold has been found at the Tuzza-River!!!

Hordes of daring adventurers have followed its call, building a small boomtown at the riverbanks. Everybody needs good equipment, but money is hard to get!

Thus, the players of this game have decided not to get dirty hands by digging themselves, but instead they have given loans to the diggers, and in exchange they will profit from their finds and also from their shooting and cardplay skills... Thus, it is the aim of the game for each player to become the most influential player in town.

At the beginning, each player receives a set of 13 loan-cards with values from "0" to "4" as a starting equipment. From these loans, each participating player has to sponsor two - with the values "1" and "2" - to form a random "market" at the beginning of the game. Since market will be most essential during the game, some additional explanations on its construction are needed: It consists of face-down loan-cards, and these have been arranged into rows consisting of 6 cards each (thus forming 6 slots). Whenever a row is full, a new row is started for six additional loan cards. Each of the 6 existing slots receives a number from 1 to 6. As additional preparation, each player receives 10 Gold, the event cards and the adventurer cards are mixed randomly and the Undertaker will be placed at his office. Last, each player puts his playing piece on the starting position of the "way of success".


During his turn, a player first has to turn over an event card, and this will have to be performed. Next, he may spend some of his Gold to increase his fame, moving forward on the way of success and get closer to winning the game. Last, it may be possibly to bid for adventurers, and, if not enough loan-cards are left in the market, a payday may possibly follow.

During the event phase, three different kinds of events may arise: Goldrush, Gunfight and a Poker-Round. Each of the events is started in the same way, by the players placing one of their adventurer cards secretly in front of them.

When all players have chosen their adventurer, the cards are simultaneously revealed. If the current event is a Goldrush, the players now have to compare the Gold-values of their adventurers. The player who has played the adventurer with the highest Gold value now receives an amount of Gold corresponding to the higher number shown on the event card, and the player with the adventurer with the second-highest rating receives Gold corresponding to the lower number on the event card.

If the event has been a Gunfight, the Undertaker is first moved one step into the direction of the graveyard. Afterwards, the players compare the Gunfight values of their adventurers, and the player who has played the adventurer with the highest rating may randomly take two of the loan cards from the market. Any gaps which may be created in the market layout by this procedure are filled by placing cards there which are taken from the current last row of the market. Also, the adventurer with the lowest Gunfight value will be killed and is discarded.

If the Poker-event comes up, the players compare the poker-skills of their adventurers. They player with the highest value is the winner, whereas the player with the lowest value is the looser of the poker-round. Winner and loser have to adjust their positions on the way of success accordingly.

After the event has been dealt with, the card with the highest value in the event (the "winners card") will have to be discarded, whereas all other players may take back their adventurers (apart from the victim of the gunfight who was killed).

In the following phase, player may spend up to 5 Gold to move their playing pieces forward accordingly on the way of success.

Last, the bidding phase follows if a player has only less than three adventurers in his hand. A number of random adventurer cards is now revealed, one adventurer less than players participate in the game. Starting with the current player, the players may place up to three loans openly in front of them. Each player's bid must be different than the bid of the previous player (higher or lower), and a player may only pass bidding if he cannot make a different bit altogether. The player with the highest bid now may chose one of the revealed adventurers, and then he places his loans face-down into the last row of the market (or, if all 6 slots in that row are filled, he starts a new row). All other players perform likewise, apart from the player with the lowest bid who does not receive an adventurer and thus may keep his loans.

If after this phase there are as many full rows in the market as there are participating players, the payday will follow. The current player now makes a diceroll and turns over the last card in the corresponding slot in the market. It is turned over and the player who has placed this card now must pay the corresponding amount of Gold to the Bank. This procedure is repeated until the player rolls the number of a slot where all cards have been revealed or until a player cannot pay his loans anymore. If a payer cannot pay anymore he has to take a "-5" marker to represent his loss of fame and he has to move back his playing piece 5 spaces on the way of success. At the end of the payday, all players may take back their revealed cards from the market, and the current player fills up the gaps by taking cards from the last row.

The game ends of a player receives his last "-5" marker, if the Undertaker reaches the graveyard or if a player reaches to finish-space on the way of success. The game is won by the player who is leading on the way of success.

As a matter of fact, the game plays much easier than it is possibly sound from my description of the rules. I was put up to a hard test by having to describe the rules for the operation of the "market", but I hope I was able to give you a general impression of the game.

The game carries its background of a "Wild West" atmosphere astonishingly well, and the rules are offering enough strategic choices to keep the game interesting for a long while. It is a smaller game than Teuber's Settlers of Catan or Löwenherz, but it is still a very good game. Furthermore, the good impression of the game is assisted by a very fitting artwork. Especially the drawings of the adventurers are quite worthwhile to look at, representing quite a few different personalities of a typical frontier-town.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany