Schoko & Co

Invented by Y. Hirschfeld and G. Monet.
Published by Schmidt Spiele.
Translation by Brian Walker and Matthias Stobbe.
Edited by Mark Green and Ken Tidwell.
Originally distributed by Just Games.


Set out the game board and give each player the cardboard factory of the same colour as their board position. Give each player 3 'Express' cards, a black block as a marker 100,000 in cash and a worksheet (Einkaufsformular). Determine a game leader by any random method. Game leadership will rotate clockwise each turn (1 turn = 1 month). The game length should be decided and should be a multiple of the number of players e.g. with 4 players play 8 or 12 turns. 8 turns should take 28-3 hours.

Turn Sequence

[Ken: Decrement these section numbers by one. If Netscape's START tag worked better I would have used it...]

  1. Looking at the 'Wirtschaftsdienst' (Event) card.
  2. Hiring and firing employees.
  3. Buying cocoa.
  4. Chocolate production.
  5. Selling Chocolate.
  6. Processing contracts.
  7. Wirtschaftsdienst (Event) card.
  8. Loans, interest payments, shares.

(0) Looking at the Event Card

[Ken: Note that this rule is an extension not included in the original rules.]

In player order at the start of each turn, players have the option of paying 15,000 to look secretly at the 'Wirtschaftsdienst' card which will take effect on Phase 6 of that turn.

(1) Hiring and Firing Employees

Decide in player order your work force requirements for the month; Each worker (brown block) converts 3 bars of cocoa into 3 bars of chocolate per month Each secretary (pink block) processes one contract. Each bookkeeper (gray block) end-processes two contracts. Each salesman (green block) may attend four meetings.

(1.1) You may not increase your work force by more than two in each category; for example, if you already had one secretary then you could only increase to a maximum of three on this turn.

(1.2) When you recruit more staff, place the appropriate coloured blocks in their spaces on the board; workers in production, secretaries in their office etc. Sick workers are placed in the park.

(1.3) Pay salaries for all your workers according to the scales detailed on top of your factory card.

(1.4) You may lay-off any number of workers but must pay them half-salary that month as severance pay.

(2) Buying Cocoa

Firstly determine how much cocoa is going to be available on the markets. In player order, each player announces how much he wants placed on the markets. This figure may never exceed his current vacant storage capacity for cocoa. Once all players have declared, the total is calculated and the yellow cocoa bars are distributed as evenly as possible between the five cities in the centre of the board.

(2.1) Starting with New York and proceeding clockwise, each city puts its cocoa up for sale. Players write secret bids on their 'Einkaufsformular' work sheet for a number of cocoa bars at a certain price per bar. Bids are revealed and the cocoa is distributed. The highest bidder takes the amount bid for and pays the money to bank. Any remaining cocoa goes to the next highest bidder and so on. Ties are resolved in favour of the game leader for that round, then proceeding clockwise. Each city is resolved before another begins. Place cocoa bars in your cocoa storage area.

(3) Chocolate Production

Each player may now convert 3 bars of cocoa into chocolate for each worker (brown block) he has currently employed. Turn cocoa bars over to brown side up (chocolate bars) and place them in the chocolate storage area.

(4) Selling Chocolate

Chocolate is sold by obtaining sales contracts. First determine how many sales meetings there will be. This is equal to X times the number of salesmen held by the player with the largest sales staff - where X is the number of players. Each salesman can attend X sales meetings. Players determine how many sales meetings they can attend, and place their black marker to indicate this on the chart numbered 1-15. The player with the most salesmen can attend all sales meetings, the other players must decide which meetings they will attend. Players decide if they will attend after each contract card is revealed.

(4.1) Turn over the top Contract (Vertrag) card. Bidding starts at the 'Midestpreis'. The player who sits to the game leader's right is chairman, and asks every player in order if he is willing to accept the contract at that price (asking himself last). As soon as one player accepts the Contract at the offered price, that Contract is sold. If all players refuse on the first price, the chairman raises the price by between 1,000-5,000 and offers the Contract round at the new price. This continues until the "Hochstpreis' is reached. If no-one accepts, even at the highest price, the Contract is canceled and placed aside with the completed Contracts in the bank. This still counts as a sales meeting.

(4.2) A player may never accept a contract for an amount of chocolate which exceeds his tonnage in stock.

(4.3) After a successful bid the player removes the number of chocolate bars sold from storage and returns them to the bank. He collects the money from the bank and places a yellow band around it. Money and Contract are placed to the right of the factory card. Make sure that Contracts are kept in the order in which they have been taken.

(4.4) If a player has been unable to obtain a Contract in any one month, he may sell a maximum of 2 bars of chocolate to the bank for 5000 each, receiving immediate payment.

(4.5) When the Contract deck is exhausted, shuffle the bank's cards back in to form a new deck.

(5) Process Contracts

Each secretary can process one Contract by placing it to the left of the factory. Each bookkeeper can end-process two Contracts. Contracts end-processed are finished; the player takes the money and returns the yellow band and Contract card to the bank.

(5.1) Contracts which are neither processed by secretaries nor end-processed by a bookkeeper are not moved, and remain (with the banded money) vulnerable to Event cards.

(6) Wirtschaftsdienst Card

The top Event Card is now turned over and the event is resolved.

(7) Loans, Interest, shares

Players may take out loans in lots 50,000, no more than one loan per turn. Take the money and a Kredit Card. Interest is 20% per month and the interest must also be paid on the turn that the loan is repaid.

(7.1) A player may never have a loan if he has the largest work force, and must fire workers if necessary. If all players have loans this rule is ignored.

(7.2) Players may invest money in shares by buying Wertpapier certificates. Players buy and sell at the prices given for each month. At the end of the game these shares are worth the price to which they have risen (+10% / month).

[Ken: I notice that this is not a complete translation as the original rules include two more sections: a variation and a tips & tricks.]

Express Cards

These may be played at any time but not during the first turn/month. No player can have more than one card played on them in one month.

Winning the Game

Players count up their money and the value of any shares held. Unprocessed Contracts are void. The player with the most money is the winner.

Card Translations

There is also a PostScript file with these translations which can be printed onto cardstock and used in place of the original cards. The PostScript file also includes some additional cards created by Alan Moon.

Wirtschaftsdienst Cards

"Schokolade: Finarlzielle Magenverstimmung"
All contracts & money still at the Bookkeepers are cancelled (return to bank). (Many interpret this as at the Bookeepers and/or Secretaries.)
"Schoko Protest"
Everyone has to remove 5 chocolate bars from their storage area, or all if they have less than five.
"Schock im Schokolager"
Everyone has to pay 5000 for each bar of chocolate in storage.
"Personal: Finanzzushuß"
The player who paid the most in salarles this month receives 5O,OO0 (shared in case of a tie).
No cocoa is available next month!
"Der Kakao sitzt fest"
Each worker produces only one bar of chocolate next month.
No new bookkeepers may be employed next month.

Express Cards

Give one third of your chocolate bars (rounded down) to the bank
Give one bar of chocolate to each player.
When you are present at a sales meeting you can force another player to give you a contract he has just gained.
Pay 1000 per employee to the bank.
Bookkeepers can end-process only one contract this month.
Each worker converts only 20 tonnes (2 bars).
One employee goes on vacation, the recipient choosing which. The salary is still paid.
A salesman misses two meetings (the counter is adjusted accordingly).
Pay each other player 5000.
One worker is ill and cannot produce (but must still be paid).
You may receive only half price for the contract vou have just obtained if you were the only bidder.
Tax inspection. Announce your cash holding.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell