In Istanbul, you lead a group of one merchant and four assistants
through 16 locations in the bazaar. At each such location, you can carry
out a specific action. The challenge, though, is that to take an action,
you must move your merchant and an assistant there, then leave the
assistant behind (to handle all the details while you focus on larger
matters). If you want to use that assistant again later, your merchant
must return to that location to pick him up. Thus, you must plan ahead
carefully to avoid being left with no assistants and thus unable to do
In more detail, on a turn you move your merchant and his retinue of
assistants one or two steps through the bazaar, either leave an
assistant at that location or collect an assistant left earlier, then
perform the action. If you meet other merchants or certain individuals
at the location, you might be able to take a small extra action.
Possible actions include:
Paying to increase the your wheelbarrow capacity, which starts the game
with a capacity of only two for each good.
Filling your wheelbarrow with a specified good to its limit.
Acquiring a special ability, and the earlier you come, the easier they
are to collect.
Buying rubies or trading goods for rubies.
Selling special combinations of goods to make the money you need to do
When a merchant has collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow, players
complete that round, then the game ends. If this player is the only one
who's reached this goal, he wins immediately; otherwise ties are broken
by money in hand.
Istanbul: Big Box is the all-in-one package for Istanbul, including the
base game as well as both expansions, Mocha & Baksheesh and Letters &
This combination also gives players the option to play on a big 5 x 5