Author: Emanuele Ornella

Publisher: AMIGO 2005

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game :

I often wonder where the authors or publishers of a game find all those historical backgrounds that fit, sometimes more - sometimes less, the mechanism and the rules of a game. Does every publisher employ a historian or does the author simply open a history book randomly and tries to build his game around a story?

Anyhow, the background of Oltre Mare is the great time of Venice, when the town was a centre of trade. The gameboard shows the mighty naval trading routes through the Mediterranean as far as the Orient. The biggest and most powerful cities of this time are connected by these trading routes.

The players start in different of these cities and get next to some ducats (the money of those days) four trading cards. Additionally, the card with the name of the starting town is the fist card of each player's cargo stack. These cards have a lot of symbols and fulfil different functions during the game.


The fist action in a turn (phase 1) is the control of the allowed number of cards. This number is given by the top card of the player's cargo stack and changes during the game constantly. Surplus cards are dropped face down on the player's pirate stack (so each player has two stacks before him).

In the next phase the player may trade cards. Either he can change cards with his opponents or he buys new cards or used cards from his own pirate stack. Successful trades with other players guarantee the opponents a special prestige token that gives a bonus in the scoring phase.

In phase 3 the player then has to play as many cards from his hand as the top card on his cargo stack indicates. Each card has two out of 4 symbols that show the following actions. These actions must be carried out!

  • A Ducat symbol enables the player to draw new money.
  • Pirate symbols indicate that the player has to put cards from the public stack on his own pirate stack.
  • With a card symbol the player must draw new cards. Note that he is at this point of the game not limited in the number of cards.
  • Finally for each sailing symbol the player must go with his ship on the gameboard one step further. If in his new town there is still a bonus marker, he takes it and can use the special ability of this marker from now on.

At the end of his turn, the player must put the cards he played down on his own cargo stack in any order he likes. The order is important for the scoring and for the limitation of hand cards (see phase 1) in his next turn


Scoring takes place twice in a game. The first scoring is held, when the Venice card is drawn from the public stack. In this scoring there are ducats awarded for prestige tokens and for the player's cargo stacks. In the second scoring (when the last card is drawn) there are additional ducats awarded for the number of city bonuses a player collected and a victory point is subtracted for each card in the player's pirate stack. The scoring for the cargo stack is a little bit more complex and shall be explained here in detail: Beginning with the top card the player turns up his cards. If the following card has the same cargo symbol like the one before, the player puts it on top of this card. If however it shows a different symbol he begins a new stack. Cards with the same symbol that do not follow directly must not be placed on the previous stack but must start a new stack. For each of the stacks the player gets a specific amount of ducats. The sum of ducats a player earns increases with the number of cards in the stack, so that it is very advisable to arrange the cards wise during phase 4 of the player's turn. In the end the player with the most ducats wins the game.

Oltre Mare is a nice and very tactical game. Probably you will not understand the game mechanism completely before you played the game three to four times. Itīs a very interactive game mainly due to the trading phase and trading becomes more and more important in the end game, when the players have a lot of money. The AMIGO version of the game is already the second edition of the game. The first one was more a card game and that explains why the game has so a huge gameboard and the only thing you do on the board is moving around with your ship a little. Amigo added to the game very nice ships and an impressive designed box. The cards however are a little bit boring and colourless. Apart from these minor details you will get a very clever game that is really a hot tip, if you like thinking a little bit more and luck a little bit less (in a game).

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2005 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany