Invented by Rudi Hoffman.
Translated by Peter Wotruba.
In Maestro, you are letting new musicians debut in concerts. Every player controls an agency which employs musicians - signing them to contracts, and finding them work. Thus you earn credits for each of your musicians which appear in concerts. Non-employed musicians, who remain in the agency, are not working and thus are depleting your cash resources. Whoever owns the most profitable agency at the end wins the game.
Every player takes an agency card and a conductor (Maestro), who is placed in space number 10. All other musicians and applause counters are mixed together, and are placed face-down next to the gameboard. The money chips are placed next to the game board, as is the critic.
The game is played in turns. The player who can hold high 'C' the longest starts. When it is your turn, FIRST you can place musicians onto the gameboard, then you MUST draw 1-3 musicians and place them onto any empty space of your agency card you choose. You must decide before you draw, whether you will take 1, 2, or 3 counters.
In the beginning of the game, usually the conductor is not placed down alone, but musicians are generally drawn first.
Before you place a musician in an empty row, you must first put down a conductor. The conductor replaces any musician of your choice, and is placed at your discretion on any instrument. After the conductor is placed, as many musicians as you want can be placed in the same area. Indeed, in this manner, a whole row may be started and finished in one turn.
Further musicians are likewise laid down so that a complete row is built. A player may only complete one row per turn.
You may take any number of musicians from anywhere in your own agency, but you may only raid the top row of other agencies. You may not take any more musicians from other agencies as there are in the row in the gameboard in which you are placing them.
Whether or not you place musicians, you must still draw 1-3 new counters. Newly drawn musicians (including conductors) are placed onto empty spaces in your agency. Once played, these musicians may not be moved to different positions in your agency. You may not draw more counters than you have space for in your agency. If an applause marker is drawn, it goes down onto the bottom row of the gameboard. Drawing an applause counter counts as your draw - you do not get to draw another counter to replace it.
You have ten spaces in two rows. Every space is numbered. The numbers symbolize the value of the contract that you gave that musician. This number only matters at the end of the game. If musicians remain in your agency at the end of the game, the owner of the agency pays as much money as the total of the contracts for these musicians.
As already mentioned, musicians can be taken from the top row of the other player's agencies, and not from the bottom row (they get exclusive contracts so to speak). There is one exception: If an agency is completely full, then musicians can also be taken from the bottom of this player's agency. This remains true only as long as the agency is completely full. Musicians, which are taken from other players, go immediately onto the gameboard, and not into your agency!
When a row is finished, (either completed in one turn, or completing one already begun), put the critic at the end of the row. The points earned by the player who completed the row, is described in the next section.
The game ends immediately as soon as the last applause marker is placed. The game also ends when a player can not draw a new musiscian. That second condition may also occur if someone has a full agency and will not or can not place a musician. When the game is over, everyone counts their points, and subtracts the unplaced musician's contracts.
Whoever has the most points wins the game. Usually several games are played, and the points earned for each game are totalled. Whoever first reaches 200, (or another figure agreed upon before-hand) has won.
Every musician corresponds to an instrument space on the gameboard. Additionally, there are ten conductors which can substitute for any musician. The stars on the musician counters show the frequency of that musician. The numbers next to each row gives a simple point value. If you fill the row in one turn, you recieve double that this printed value. All rows have authentic arragements of musicians.
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell