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Founding the Dutch East Indies Company

It's 1602... Merchants from the rich provinces of Holland and neighbouring Zealand gather in stately rooms to discuss the foundation of a mighty consortium: a company that will hold the monopoly of the very profitable East Indies trade. One question occupies their minds more than anything: who will control the new company? Each player takes the role of a merchant living at the end of the sixteenth century. These merchants sent out ships to explore and expand the profitable trade in the east, where they traded cloves, nutmeg, silk and tea in such remote areas as India, Indonesia, China and Japan.

These goods were then sold at great profit in the West. The journey, however, was a dangerous one and fitting out a ship was prohibitively expensive. Merchants therefore cooperated in small groups, called 'compagnie' in Dutch, to fit out ships together. At the same time, competition was cut-throat, not only at home, where Amsterdam was the most fearsome rival, but also abroad. Your task in this game is be to make as large a profit as you can - but at the same time uphold the honor of your home town against the mighty merchants from Amsterdam.

This box contains two game versions: the basic game, which can be played by 4 or 5 players, and the advanced game, for 3 to 5 players. The basic game is suited for people aged 10 onwards and takes about an hour. The advanced game is intended for people aged 14 and older, and takes between 90-120 minutes, depending on how long you spend negotiating.

The game contains wooden cubes, representing seemen and merchants; a board; four erasable maps of the far East, on which the players can draw their course; cardboard counters for the various types of goods; contract cards which indicate the value and the demand for the various types of goods; game rules in English and German; and several other parts.

VOC! was published by us in 2002 as a joint project with the city of Middelburg. It had a very large print run, of which about 50% was in Dutch with the title " Naar de Oost!". These were sold by museums and bookshops in the Netherlands.

The international version, " VOC!" was made for the gaming public. The game combines heavy trading and negotiating with a strange trick: drawing on screens with your eyes closed. To appreciate the game, you therefore need a strange mixture of playing styles. The game uses a lot of original period artwork such as the front cover and the maps.

If you can no longer find a cheap copy at a retailer near you, you can buy one of our last copies at collector's prices.

By the way, the name of the game is pronounced Vee Oh Cee as it is an abbreviation of the name " Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie". The common pronunciation F*ck is not correct ;-)

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