Deutsche Einigung (1871)

Last played:

1st half: 2010

2nd half:

Ziel des Spiels:

Each group has to negotiate with or militarily engage with other groups to get pieces of a puzzle (a photo of Germania). Economic interest is represented by a picture of Germania, of which each group has one piece. The groups will have incentives to build a Zollverein and to build a railroad. But they can also choose to fight to try to get parts of the puzzle. In a war, the two groups turn over cards to decide who wins. If all goes according to plan, the states with fewer resources and lesser military strength will eventually form an alliance with Prussia. Here is a link to some background information


Preussen: Has three pieces of the puzzle and the highest military strength (should get mainly aces, kings, queens, jacks, tens, etc.) Wants Einigung with everyone except Österreich, and wants a Zollverein. Preussen favors military engagement over trading.

Österreich: Has three pieces of the puzzle and the next-highest military strength (should get mainly aces, kings, queens, jacks, tens, etc.) Wants Einigung with everyone. Wants a Zollverein.

Bayern, Sachsen, Württemberg: Have one piece of the puzzle and significant military strength (one-two kings, queens, jacks, tens, nines, eights, a few low cards). Do not want Einigung with Preussen. Prefer trading over war.

Baden, Hesse, Weimar: Have one piece of the puzzle. Prefer no Einigung.

Anhalt, Mecklenburg: Have one piece of the puzzle. Want Einigung with Preussen.

Lauf des Spiels:

1. Before the game, make the groups: best is completely mixed by age (easiest is to organize the spreadsheet by age, then put the names of each land in order over and over again). Hang up a sign with each group name Oben and Unten im Gasthof. Geographically, Österreich, Bayern, Würtemberg, Hesse and Sachsen can be Unten and the others Oben -- although it doesn't really matter. Hang up a picture of Germania Oben and Unten and make sure you write out which cards beat which (to avoid fights). Print out 15 copies of Germania and cut them into twenty pieces. Print out Zollverein and Bahn cards (two per group), and make Schilder for people acting as Zoll, Bahn or Privattransport. Unten, hang up a sign that says Frankfurt.

2. Explain to the villagers that they will be trading or going to war for pieces of a puzzle. Also say that at any point, different groups can decide to join each other if that is in their interest. At the beginning of the game, each group goes to its Ort and discusses strategy based on the Zielkarte they receive (siehe Anhänge). Each group should get 15 copies of a single puzzle piece, except Preussen and Österreich that each get 15 copies of each of three pieces.

3. Once the game begins, there is no Zollverein and no Bahn. To go to another group, villagers must use Privattransport, for which they must pay one puzzle piece. At different points as they move around, they will encounter the Zoll, where they have to pay one puzzle piece or go back.

4. At other Länder, villagers can negotiate for a different puzzle piece by trade. They can also choose to go to war. To do this, they bring with them their stack of cards. When they get to the Land of interest, they turn over the top card and so does the other Land. Whoever wins gets the other person's Spielkarte and one of the other group's puzzle pieces. This should make some armies quickly get larger while others get smaller. If a group decides to take their army somewhere else, they should consider leaving part of it behind in case they get attacked (!). If a group is attacked and its army is somewhere else, they automatically lose a puzzle piece.

5. After 10 minutes ask each group to send a member to the Rat in Frankfurt (this does not require Privattransport). There, present them with the Zollverein -- pay two puzzle pieces now, get two Zollverein Scheine, and you don't have to pay Zoll anymore.

6. After 25 minutes ask each group to send a member to the Rat in Frankfurt. There, present them with the Bahn -- pay two puzzle pieces to build the Bahn, get two Bahn Fahrkarten, and you don't have to pay for Privattransport anymore.

7. At this point you have given out only 14 of the 20 puzzle pieces. Start randomly giving extra pieces to Preussen and a few to Österreich (space this out). Meanwhile, all of the Kleinländer (not Preussen or Österreich) will be attacked by the French (two-three Betreuer) who have stacked decks of good cards and will continually win army battles. Österreich, meanwhile, will begin to be attacked by one-two Betreuer who represent Italy (who also have a stacked deck).

8. Eventually, several groups probably will have merged. and someone will complete the puzzle. Bring everyone upstairs for a debriefing. We did this in English the first time. We talked about the three wars of German unification (Danish, Austro-Prussian, Franco-Prussian) and then the general history of Germany as a country up to today (touching briefly on division after World War I, World War II, and the Wiedervereinigung).