The game Auf der Walz follows the traditional travels of craftsmen during their “journeyman years”, covering all the challenges and surprises of a journey in the second half of the 19th century.
Young Journeymen follow this tradition, which dates back to medieval times and is still alive in German-speaking countries today. They begin their journey after being “absolved” by finishing their examination. On their travels, the journeyman wears a traditional dress: flared pants, waistcoat, jacket, black hat (as a symbol for freedom), the “Stenz” (traditional curled hiking poles), and the “Charlottenburger” (the coarse cloth used to wrap up belongings, similar to a tie, fondly called “Charly”).
The journeymen have to be “on the road” for 3 years and one day without ever venturing closer than 50 kilometers to home. Using public transportation is frowned upon.
As a general rule, Journeymen should not spend money for sleeping and traveling. Thus, they foot or hitch a ride. The Journey Work for Different People, Called foremen and small-timers, which they meet on their journey to gather technical and social experiences. They benefit from this continuous education, as they learn about different materials and methods in different regions, and come in contact with all kinds of people, even from different cultural regions.
The journeymen negotiate their wages with the foremen and smalltimers, often including food and lodging.
As Journeymen usually do not stay long in a place, they have a motto: “If the neighbor’s dog does not yap at you anymore and the mailman addresses you by name, it’s past time to move on.” They are allowed to finish their “Walz”.
Auf der Walz is a travel game with resource management. Like life on the roll, it includes uncertainty and random elements. A certain degree of randomness and luck is essential for the theme and supports the gaming experience.
In The Walz , the players (from now on, well-timed) wish to successfully finish their Wal-Mart after three years and one day, and have the most victory points at the end of the game. After each of the three years, they conduct a year-end scoring. After the one day, they have a final scoring.
The Journey score for collecting scantlings on their tally stick, for working in different cities and villages, for encounters and experiences collected in their traveling book, and for cleverly budgeting their money. Finally, they are awarded victory points for special achievements.