Merchants Cove is a heavily asymmetric Euro-style game for 1-4 players. Each role features entirely unique gameplay and components.
Welcome ashore to Merchants Cove!
In this highly asymmetric Euro game, each player takes control of a completely different fantasy merchant such as the Alchemist, the Captain, the Time Traveler and the Blacksmith.
Using a unique set of role specific components and gameplay mechanics, each merchant will compete to satisfy the demands of the bold adventurers who arrive each day to spend their hard earned coin at the famous market piers.An exciting time resource mechanism will challenge each player to balance control over the customers and market, versus running a highly efficient, goods-producing shop!
As players spend hours performing tasks and moving up the Clock, they will also be watching and influencing a dynamic market base that evolves as boats fill with customers and piers fill with boats. It might be tempting to rush ahead to and influence which customers visit the market and where they shop, but that might leave you with less time to respond to their demands.
On the other hand, you might want to stay back, operating on more information about the market and taking extra time (and maybe corruption) to squeeze the most efficiency out of your day as possible.
By selecting a different Merchant, or a different Rogue card, set of Townsfolk cards, or other content, you can customize the way you play. Each merchant offers a completely unique gameplay experience and is fully compatible with every other merchant. With so many options, you can enjoy a deeply replayable system that is sure to be different every time you play it.
Each shopkeeper will need to use their time wisely, carefully spending hours to perform an array of unique actions on their player board. Additionally, the clock determines when customers will populate the boats, so deciding where (and when!) you place the customers will have an immense impact when goods are sold in the market.
Customers come from afar seeking the wares of Merchants Cove. However, carefully influencing the types of customers, which boat they board, and the market pier they dock at is crucial to reaping your profits!
Money, money, money! Use this to track your gold. Gain a valuable Rock Rose for each 100 gold you earn.
The Cove is bustling with quirky locals too, and they are available to hire. Employing townsfolk will offer immediate bonuses, and then help power up the versatility and efficiency of your shop. Make sure you recruit the ones you need before your rival merchants do!
There’s always a quick and dirty path, the question is…just how dirty are you willing to get? Certain actions will require that you find out. Be sure to ditch the evidence though, or you’ll gain a reputation for cutting corners.
Some Merchants Cove visitors come to visit the faction halls rather than market piers. Gaining influence with each faction can offer additional rewards and profits.
Not all who arrive on the boats are heroic adventurers. Each game will feature a different type of Rogue customer that will require all players to adjust their plans.
Introducing The Alchemist
Alchemical work can be very lucrative if you know your way around a cauldron, and deadly if you don’t. Phoenestra Orwyn, owner of the Crystal Vessel in Merchants Cove, continues a long tradition of royal elven alchemists using high-quality essences and volatile black ichor. To craft these essences she uses only select ingredients from her personal alchemical garden, which she tends with the help of faeries.
She brews coveted potions with the finest—but sometimes unstable—ingredients. Skillfully combines the extracts and essences from her decanter to drop into her cauldrons – adding catalysts to enhance production, while removing volatile ichor to avoid disaster!
Ichor is an ingredient few alchemists will work with, used carelessly it could result in an explosion. However, when used carefully it’s got properties that allow it to mimic and neutralize nearly anything.
The final thing that makes a proper alchemist is knowing how to create a solid-state catalyst. Catalysts are solids with properties nearly identical to Ichor—however, they are completely stable and can be re-used for months!
Introducing The Captain
The rough seas and jagged rocks surrounding Merchants Cove are enough to keep amateur sailors clear away. Captain Greentail is nothing short of the finest sailor you’ve ever met.
Use your trusty compass to navigate a fleet of ships around the treacherous waters of the Perilous Strait. Sail close to the cove’s inner reefs on the hunt for the fresh catch-of-the-day or explore the surrounding islands looking for lost treasure. But be warned…
There are whispers among the crew that the compass is cursed, and they aren’t wrong. You’ll need to claim the treasure the compass points to or risk ruin.
Introducing The Blacksmith
Meet Olaf Thundercrack! Olaf is the resident Blacksmith of Merchants Cove, known for his masterful metalwork.
Fuel your forges with coal and smelt your alloys with care to create the finest weapons and armor.
To make quality wares you must strike with precision and keep the temperatures just right – Kaboom goes the hammer!
Introducing The Chronomancer and his Assistant
For those seeking rare artifacts and curios not easily found elsewhere, take control of the time-traveling duo, Wiz Grey the Chronomancer and his assistant Humpty McHalf.
Construct and maintain a series of unstable temporal anomalies to collect mysterious relics from bygone and yet-to-come eras. Avoid time paradoxes and calibrate your machines on the fly as you zip and zap through time looking for valuables to stuff on your shelves.
Humpty and Wiz can even freeze time to try and get a leg up on their fellow merchants, but as any time traveler knows, nothing is a sure bet.
Introducing The Innkeeper
Had a long trip?! Come on in and drink until your sea legs fall off at the Cove Trove!
As innkeeper Mr. Nasty (of Cavern Tavern fame), you’ll need to pour drinks for thirsty customers and make beds for those travelers who are exhausted after a long day at the market.
Properly preparing your rooms and selecting which drinks to have on tap will be the key to a full house and fists full of profits.
But be warned, unhappy customers are quick to anger and will inevitably start trouble, tarnishing the establishment’s reputation!
Introducing The Oracle
Behold, the mysterious and marvelous Oracle! What will the runes in the divining dish reveal? Step inside Haggatha’s UnFortuneTent to find out.
Roll your unique set of runes and write your way to foretelling futures and enchanting talismans. By making accurate predictions of those arriving to town, your shop will buzz with good fortune. Or gaze to the sky to “chart the stars” illuminating the path forward.
Skillfully influence your fate and the fates of others, and you’ll soon draw massive crowds of customers come to hear their fate.
Introducing The Dragon Rancher
Dragons are the hottest steeds in demand—and you, Dwelma Draketooth, have the market cornered. As a seventh-generation dragon rancher, your last name is associated with the most sought-after serpents in the 5-Realms. Yet it’s not all glamorous! Young dragons are a handful to raise: they are fussy eaters, require lots of room to grow, and leave behind huge, steaming piles… Do you have what it takes to maintain the ranch and the Draketooth Dragons pedigree?
The Dragon Rancher is a new merchant you can play as. It is centered around a mix of bag-building and mancala-style mechanisms, where you draw food and drop it on your board, piece by piece. Once food is placed, the young dragons can follow the trails—and grow bigger with every bite!?
Introducing The Secret Stash
The Secret Stash is a treasure trove of goodies that can be added to Merchants Cove. It features a variety of modular expansions you can mix and match to create fresh experiences.
It also introduces new content for playing solo: a book of 12 thematically-driven scenarios, and a deck of solo challenge cards.
Hope you like what you see! All of the roles feature entirely different components and gameplay!
For more detailed overview of the game components, what’s in the box and reviews of the game please visit or Kickstarter page available through the button below: