So sorry... this game is SOLD OUT 😢

Merchant’s Cove has arrived… and I’ve got every bit of the add-on goodness for you!!

This AWESOME bundle from Final Frontier Games is the Kickstarter All-in pledge!  It includes the base game, The Secret Stash, the Innkeeper, the Dragon Rancher, and the Oracle… as well as the Kickstarter-Exclusive backer-built rouge pack! This is a LOT of game… and it is just oozing with sweet mechanics, amazing artwork, and immersive, thematic goodness!  Thank you, Final Frontier!!

The story of Rise to Nobility…

Some time ago… in a land far, far away…. large groups of humans gathered to explore the newest board game releases. Reveling for 4 long days; demo’ing games, consuming amazing pretzels… and the occasional German beer.

Essen Spiel. Magic… pure magic.

It was at Essen Spiel in 2018 (I think) that I first met Toni and Maya from Final Frontier Games. I had backed Robin Hood and Rise to Nobility before I started Upstart Boardgamer… and I was excited at an opportunity to offer these AMAZING titles in the newly minted shop!

As you might imagine… Toni and Maya (and the entire Final Frontier team) are amazing humans! We hung out for a bit… chatted and got to know each other… and a friendship began.  I have visited with them on each consecutive Essen Spiel to continue catching up. And of course, between cons we chat here and there on email and remain in touch 😊

But anyway… my main point is that Final Frontier has been producing beautiful, elegantly designed, immersive content for a bit… and if you haven’t checked out their other titles… you probably should at least consider it. Just sayin’ 😁

Merchant’s Cove is actually part of the Cavern Tavern/Rise to Nobility universe… and is the third installation in the series. [Related aside… Rise to Nobility remains one of my favorite dice-as-workers-placement games of all time!!]

Anyway… Merchant’s Cove does NOT disappoint.

This is an incredibly well-done asymmetric board game. Sure, the game fires on all cylinders in the overall mechanics, art work, theme, replayability, and fun-factor categories. But for me what REALLY makes it shine is that it is an asymmetric board game I really, really enjoy!

Usually I shy away from asymmetry in games… as I feel a bit hamstrung without truly understanding the other players’ powers and abilities. Sure, I could study their abilities before we play… but I mean, I’ve already read the rulebook to understand the game… And now I need to read 5 mini-chapters to understand how the heck the competition is getting their groove on? <sigh> ☹️

As much as I recognize the amazingness of the game Root (for example)… I have to admit that I didn’t really enjoy it all that much the first time I played it. I was glad for the experience… and I enjoyed many of the characteristics of the game… and I had some fun for sure. But, the massive asymmetry and complexity of the different factions made me feel like I had no idea what my competitors were doing the entire game.

Not my favorite… [as a buddy of mine teaches his children to say when they really want to say, “I didn’t like that very much.” 😒] I do want to say again, however, that Root is an incredible game for those who enjoy asymmetry… and the team at Leder games are wonderful people who I have had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions. Just not on Root.. hehe.

Fine Drew… but what makes Merchant’s Cove different, you say?

In Merchant’s Cove you have a central board where everyone can take the same actions… and then each player has their own board where they have completely different abilites (some of the characters use dice placement to drive their engines… others feature a mancala style mechanic, and still another a roll and write!  There’s even pick-up-and-deliver and tile-placement driven characters! Hello?!?!?! Shout out on your Insta forthwith, people!  This is sweeeeeeeeet! 🚀😁🎉

<sprays self with mister and practices Yoga breathing techniques featured in Future Man Season 3>

OK… OK… I’m back. Whew!  Anyway… despite the massively different mechanics on each player board, all you really need to know is what the different players are producing. And this can clearly be seen on their selling tables.

[Break break –> semi-related side note… is it too much trouble to just say Instagram anymore? I mean, what are you saving by chopping off that one syllable “gram” at the end? I’m curious… if you know the answer… let me know! 😉]

OK… back to the game discussion…

HOW the different characters are making these goods isn’t all that important to your strategy (since you can’t affect what is happening on their individual player boards anyway)… and so, despite the asymmetry involved, you don’t have to know a THING about how your competitors are making their goods!!

Asymmetry’s biggest drawback (in this Upstart’s opinion) SOLVED!

Thank you Johnny Pac, Carl Van Ostrand, and Drake Villareal!!!  ❤️❤️❤️ I LOVE you all!!

Semi-related side note number two for this listing… I met a few of these wonderful designers at Essen Spiel in 2019… and they are really, really solid humans! Awesome game. Awesome designers. Awesome publisher. Wonderful humans UNITE! Gosh, I really love this hobby and the amazing community of designers, publishers, gamers, retailers, and on and on and on… 🥰🎉🎉

The Mico – game over.

The artwork in this game is A-MA-ZING. There… I said it! Not surprising, I suppose… as the Mico simply rocks at creating theme-channeling art for any game he is involved with. I have yet to meet The Mico.. but perhaps at a future Essen Spiel I will have a chance. It would be really cool to tell him how amazing I think his artwork is in person and thank him for his boundless contributions to the hobby. Sure, he’s been through this before.. but hey… I haven’t! Hahaha… 😉

Anyway, from the heat printed meeples to the dual-layered cardboard boats that they ride in, and the cardboard selling racks, marbles and plastic ships… this game delivers! See what I did there??  Hehe.  Anyway, the artwork, the thematic immersion, the components… they are all so dang SWEEEEEEEET! 🧁

Final sale… oops, I did it again…

This is an extremely well done, innovative, asymmetric adventure… with sweet components, elegant mechanics, and a theme that just WORKS! Perhaps it’s time to set up shop in Merchant’s Cove. Yeah… I think that is exactly what needs to be done. Fun and adventure await!

Oh… I almost forgot… a few videos for the more streaming-data oriented Upstarts…

Rhado Runs Through Merchant’s Cove at his usual warp speed… helping us get the gist and still have time for dinner! You can find the video HERE

The Undead Viking (one of my FAVES!!) reviews Merchant’s Cove HERE.

OK… that’s a wrap!

Ages: 14+
Players: 1 – 4
Play Time: 60 – 90 minutes
Artist: Mihajlo Dimitrievski
Publisher: Final Frontier Games
SKU: FFG 004
$199 for this complete bundle
on eBay at the time of this listing
– May 2021.
Our Price: $128.25
Link to BGG:


So sorry... this game is SOLD OUT 😢


merchant's cove all inWelcome ashore to Merchants Cove… the ALL-IN pledge!!!

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. 

—description from the publisher

Additional information
Weight 15.1 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 16 × 14 in

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.


Stop in… look around… stay a bit. Maybe even pick up a Deluxe or Kickstarter Edition copy of that game you forgot to back. Upstart Boardgamer; your Friendly Local Game Store – online. All games are sold with the express permission of their publisher.



Join our mailing list and hear about new games as soon as they hit the shelves!

Privacy Preference Center