Game board Coffee merchants It can be noticed even before unpacking due to its weight. You are curious to open the box and you will not be disappointed. Lots of high-quality textures make discovering the game a great experience.
Only a hint of coffee aroma can emanate from the box.
I liked the game itself…
Here's a great overview of the game. Everyone has their own board with different buildings. In the middle is the central gamepad containing the five regions and the Arabica progress bar.
Over three periods (1970, 1975, 1980) we went through six stages:
The first stage: work
At this point I can take up to four actions using my three action icons.
- Build a farm in one of the five regions. We choose from three classes and may receive additional rewards.
- Send workers to farms so that they can later produce there.
- Raising donkeys to operate higher value farms.
- Enter a secret cat (for pranks) or take coins.
The second stage: appointing workers on farms
If I still have workers in my inventory, I can use them on farms. If I have my own farms with no workers, I will pay a fine, but I also get rewards if I help another player.
The third stage: trade and construction
We take turns performing one of the two actions until everyone has passed.
I now place myself with traders at one of the five trading houses, which costs me money. Players can use the dealer for free using the piggyback method. Alternatively, I can also create a building. Here too, the piggyback method can be used in exchange for coffee (which the active player receives). But I can also squeeze myself into an Arabica bar.
Stage 4: Harvesting/storage
Each of the five regions is passed through and the coffee is produced accordingly. First, all Fair Trade items receive coffee accordingly, and then the remaining coffee is distributed to merchants.
There's a Joker coffee for civet cats.
The fifth stage: sales
Then, in reverse order, we sell our coffee to various cafes that have not yet delivered or fulfilled contracts. There are rewards for the latter and victory points for connecting cafes.
Stage 6: Update
Now preparations are being made for the coming period.
After the three periods, victory points are awarded for cafes, landmarks, buildings in the different areas, positions on the Arabica path, and points on your board.
Video explaining the rules
For anyone who wants a good, comprehensive video Coffee merchants If you want to see it, I can recommend The Board Game Man Explained.
Authors: Rolf Sagel, Andre Spell ■ Charts: John Rabo, Dan van Paredon
Publisher: Capstone Games / Skellig Games ■ Release year: 2021/2023
From 12 years
About 120-150 minutes
Game rules (Download German via Skellig Games)
The review writer had a reduced copy.
First of all, it should be said that you should not be confused with the “single” three periods, each of which consists of six stages. Even when it's well rehearsed, we play Coffee merchants In 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
The setup before each game takes a little longer and the introduction to the first game should not be underestimated. It may be helpful for everyone to read the rules beforehand.
We've done very well through the six phases with our gamepads. A highly successful solution, so you don't need your own gaming aid. But the other materials are also impressive. The only thing missing from the game is the padding (value). It's a bit of a fight.
I'm a bit conflicted about the instructions. On the one hand, they are written in great detail, and do not make it easy to read the rule quickly. In some cases, we spent some time searching for the corresponding clip during the first game. More guidance would be better here.
Many roads lead to victory. But it is not isolated. Even if you don't have to/can't use everything at the same time, you'll get the most victory points if you keep an eye on multiple things. This also applies to other players. On the one hand, you should always compare the capabilities of the piggyback method in your movements. On the other hand, when it comes to supplying cafes, building in the five regions and deploying merchants, it is also a matter of anticipating the actions of other players to some extent. Nice level of interaction. Talking about his fellow players. I don't really want to see depressed participants at my gaming table, as the game will then drag on much longer.
Coffee merchants It's not a game you can fully understand after playing it once or twice. Due to the many different ways to score victory points, it is not always possible to know where we stand in the game while playing.
I didn't play the game with five people because the game time would be a little longer. For two people, there's still an Automa you have to use. However, this is a matter of taste, but it requires extra effort during the game, even if the movements are relatively simple. I've found the best game so far with four players.
By the way, the game table should not be too small Coffee merchants He has a clear presence at the table.
Coffee merchants It is a real professional game with a very consistent theme. Even if the play time is more than two hours, it is a very entertaining game. But also demanding. I found the level of interaction positive, even if I was annoyed here and there by the antics of some other players in the free ride ;-).
Coffee merchants It is not captured entirely in one go. You need many games to explore the depth of the game. This requires more patience.
- Very useful player panel with integrated game overview.
- Great game material.
- Nice level of interaction in many places.
- Many different ways to collect points.
- He may be very cerebral and prone to brooding.
- The large amount of material must be packed in many bags.
- You need a lot of space.
From my point of view as a player: From the first time I unpacked the material, I was very impressed with the game. Lots of options, even though we don't have a lot of moves each round. In addition to the level of interactivity – the game does a lot of things right.
However, it is already a full-length “monster” and not even a cup of coffee between them.
There will be a few games coming up.
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