Just in time for the holidays Z-Man Games is releasing Merchants of the Middle Ages, a revised version of Die Handler, which originally appeared in 2000.  Designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich, Merchants of the Middle Ages (MSRP $54.99) is designed for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, and takes 90 minutes to play. 


Players are medieval merchants with markets in six major cities in Europe.  Players trade in six different commodities including cloth, iron, wine, salt, silk, and food.  Players purchase the commodities in one city and then move them by wagons to other towns where they can be sold at a profit.  Players use their profits to enhance their social status, as it's social standing, not just the size of a player’s fortune, that determines the winner.


Each round of the game consists of a number of phases.  In this revised edition, the investment/special ability cards are no longer distributed before the first round, but are auctioned off at phase six of a turn, with a limited number of them available for each turn.  The revised edition also includes two influence cards, “Loading Master” and “Low Upkeep” that weren’t included in the 2000 edition of Die Handler.


Merchants of the Middle Ages includes a deluxe, full color game board, 3 wooden wagons, 54 goods in six colors, 1 wooden courier pawn, 16 coat of arms tiles, 4 sets of movement tiles, 8 investment cards, 21 influence cards, 5 Letter of Credit cards, 6 Bonus markers, 2 Gray cylinders, 1 Turn sequence board, 100 coins, 4 screens, and rulebook.