Mare Balticum - The Fate of an Empire
A game of production, trade and war around the Baltic Sea 1611-1658
What is the game about?
You play a noble line in 17th century Sweden, seeking to expand the wealth and the power of the kingdom as well as of yourself. Cooperate with the other players to rule subjects, produce goods, invest in builds, and conquer provinces. Compete to acquire military and political titles.
How do you win?
The first player to acquire four titles wins the game.
How do you play?
Allocate subjects to the production of goods (grain, wood, cloth, iron and stone) and trade them for gold. Use goods and gold to build fleets, armies and forts or to acquire titles. Subjects, goods and gold use similar tokens and are limited so an economic balance between the three is crucial. Several players may engage in a build and share the profit but only one player can lead the fleet, army or fort.
Each build is a link in a chain linking the kingdom with the overseas provinces where more goods can be produced. However, although each new link increases the overall profit, it also decreases the profit for the previous link. Thus, there will be tensions between the players, both within a build ("where should we sail the fleet?") as between them ("your army's plundering disrupts our fleet's trade!").
Beware, you are not alone. Enemy powers are simulated through hidden player selections and if they are not dealt with, production will be disturbed and the entire kingdom may fall. They are fought through a "prisoners' dilemma" mechanism, where one player may abandon the others to claim the gains for him- or herself but if all do that, all will suffer.
The challenge of Mare Balticum is to know when to cooperate and when to compete.
What makes the game special?
The unique mechanism of Mare Balticum is the constant balance act.
* Resource balance: You need to produce a mix of goods but if you produce too much, you will run out of tokens for subjects and gold and vice versa.
* Relation balance: You need to cooperate to build and manage fleets, armies and forts but compete to claim the most gains for yourself.
* Enemy balance: Enemies may harm your opponents but if growing too big, they may become a threat to yourself.
NOTE: This game contains laser cut components. Laser cut items will have a slight amount of soot around the edges, which can easily be wiped off; and will have a campfire smell for about a week after you open them.