Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Friedemann Friese


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Year after year I wonder where I can put all the fantastic new games. Long ago my shelves were getting completely stuffed with all the big boxes and I was forced to give some of the games away whilst others went into my cellar. However, once they are downstairs, they are soon forgotten, and this certainly is a pity for the one or other game. With these storage problems I am always glad to find good card games in small boxes that do not occupy too much space. AMIGO SPIELE seems to have specialized in the field of card games, and they have made it a rule not alter the dimensions of the game boxes, so that you can pile these games up in a very limited space. (However, all good things come to an end, and so my Bohnanza collection also will burst the limits of my drawer soon).

Friesematenten is such a card game that might have the potential to find a way into my drawer. It is a remake of a game that originally was published in 1998 by Friedemann Friese 's own publishing house 2F-SPIELE. At that time it was published as a kind of trading card game that was sold in small boosters. AMIGO now has moved to publish the 180 cards in a series of three sets with 60 cards each. This is a big advantage over the original game, especially because the price for a set is very moderate (about 6 Euros). Additionally, AMIGO has sponsored the cards a new, modern design and has improved some of the rules.

Basically Friesematenten is a typical auction game. The players take the role of industry moguls and try to gain acceptance in an economic system full of envy and corruption. The cards are divided into four types. Factory cards give the players their regular income, and some of them have a benefit if special requirements are met. Status symbols on the other hand are the most precious cards to win the game. They give the players most of the victory points, and again some of these cards have special benefits which are triggered if their requirements are met. Influence cards are used to alter the features of other cards or to give a player particular abilities, and - last but not least - the Action cards can be used to do special actions. These can trigger a positive effect (e.g. to buy a card cheaper), but a lot of these cards also can be used to do harm to the opponents (e.g. to steal one of an opponent's factories).


At the beginning of the game, all cards are shuffled. 15 cards for every player are taken randomly, while the rest of the cards are not used for this game. So, the players always are confronted with new situations in every new game. 60 Euros starting capital are given to each player.

Each round begins with revealing as many cards as there are players plus three, and these cards are openly placed into a trading area. After that the players play or use Action and Influence cards in their possession. Then, in the following phase, the cards in the trading area are auctioned one by one. The auction mechanism is quite traditional, as the players can raise their bids one after the other, and if a player passes he cannot give another bid for the same card. The winner of an auction takes the card and puts it into his empire (the cards he has played and placed in front of him). Then the next card is auctioned in the same fashion. Cards that do not find as buyer in the current round are auctioned again in the following round, but if they are not sold then they will leave the game. The rounds ends with the players collecting the production income of their factory cards plus a basic income. The game goes on in this fashion until a player has 40 or more victory points in his empire or until the drawing pile has been emptied for the second time.


Friesematenten is a short and easy card game. It works well with every number of players, even with only two players. The cards are full of funny comments and references to politics and economy. Of course - any similarities with reality are purely coincidental. For example: if you are the lucky owner of the railway company, you must pay 10 Euros to the bank every round. A really loss-making venture, if you ask me. The new graphical design of the cards also contributes to the funny atmosphere. Again an example: The card "strike" shows a situation in front of a public toilet, where a resolute woman, apparently on strike, blocks the way to the loo. Two men, apparently strongly feeling the call of nature, stand before her and blush heavily. This all is a signal that the game should not be taken too seriously but played with a quite light-hearted group.

If you are fed up with your cards, you can take a second set to expand the variety of the cards. With the second set influence markers are introduced that allow the repeated use of several cards or a modification of some card effects. More important, the second set gives you new cards with new motifs, so you can laugh again about the crazy ideas of Friesemann Friese and AMIGO. However, there is a small language-restriction which needs to be considered before buying this game, since a lot of the cards use text to explain their effect and because there is no English version of the game available. Thus, you should be able to understand the German language in order to enjoy the game at full taste!

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany