Barbarossa and the riddle masters

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Barbarossa and the puzzle master
Barbarossa Game Board (ASS)
Barbarossa Game Board (ASS)
Game data
author Klaus Teuber
graphic Bernd Wagenfeld (2005)
publishing company ASS (1988),
Kosmos (1997),
Rio Grande Games (2001),
Catan GmbH (2005),
Mayfair Games (2005),
daVinci Editrice (2005)
Publishing year 1988, 1997, 2001, 2005
Art Deduction game, puzzle game
Teammates 3 to 4
3 to 6 (Kosmos, Rio Grande)
Duration 50 - 70 minutes
Age from 12 years


Game of the year 1988
Der Goldene Pöppel 1988: 2nd place

Barbarossa and the Puzzle Masters is the name of a board game by Klaus Teuber . It is a kind of guessing game and deduction game with plasticine and received the award for the game of the year in 1988 .

Emperor Barbarossa at the Kyffhäuser Monument

Thematically, the game takes up the Kyffhauser saga , according to which Emperor Friedrich I , known as Barbarossa , has been sleeping at a stone table in the Barbarossa Cave for many centuries , while his red beard grows around the table. The Kyffhauser legend became known throughout the German-speaking area in the 19th century, among others through the Brothers Grimm ( Friedrich Rotbart in Kyffhäuser , 1816).

Game objective

The aim of the game for up to 4 players aged 12 and over is to be the first to climb the puzzle staircase and become a puzzle master . To do this, you first have to design puzzles yourself (using modeling clay) and try to guess other people's puzzles by asking clever questions. For each discovered puzzle you can advance the magic hat . When designing the puzzles, the correct level of difficulty is also important, because whose puzzles were too easy or too difficult so that they could be guessed immediately or not at all, you must also move your figure backwards in the end.

Game flow

Design phase

So each player kneads two (with 4 players) or three (with 3 players) things and places them in the middle of the board. This is one of the great attractions of the entire game. The game instructions contain a list of 720 terms to help you. But you can also choose others in one variant, but you should note that abstract terms such as love or birth and materials such as ice or wood are not permitted.

Question phase

The players then move with their token on a circular path through Barbarossa's cave, visiting different locations. Q&A sessions on the kneaded terms begin at certain locations. In doing so, general questions should first be asked about any puzzles that the creator can answer with “yes”, “no”, “possibly” or “cannot be answered clearly”. Questions about specific letters, the number of letters or direct questions are not allowed. Care should be taken to ensure that the other players do not draw their own conclusions from the questions and answers. In the second round you can try to solve a puzzle by writing the solution on your magic board and showing it to the creator. If the answer was NO twice or if a solution was attempted, it is the next player's turn. If someone comes up with a solution in between - on the basis of the previous questions and answers - even though it is not his turn, he may use so-called curse stones (everyone has 3 of them, which, if used, are also used up) to give a spontaneous written answer to give.

When traveling through Barbarossa's cave, you will also come across fields that allow you to find out a letter of the term you are looking for. In addition, everyone has a number of elven stones that enable them to bypass the luck of the dice in order not to land on fields that give other players advantages on the stairs of the puzzle.


The game ends when someone reaches the goal on the stairs or when the 13th spear is stuck in one of the 8 or 9 puzzles (each puzzle can be guessed twice and is marked with a black arrow ).


Barbarossa was developed by Klaus Teuber and presented for the first time in 1986 at the Göttingen game designers' meeting as a prototype made of “a game board, a few figures and a pile of modeling clay”. It was first published in 1988 by ASS with a rectangular game board, and Kosmos published a new edition in 1997 as Barbarossa with a round game board, which was distributed in 2001 in the United States by Rio Grande Games . In this version, the game can be played by up to 6 people. In 2005 a revised new edition of Barbarossa appeared with a game board for 3 to 4 people consisting of only one counting bar in the series Klaus Teubers Classic at Catan GmbH . Mayfair Games distributes this version in the United States and daVinci Editrice in Italy. For children, a now out of print edition “Junior Barbarossa” was published in 1992.

The history of its origins is described in the book "In the sign of the hexagon" by Peter Gustav Bartschat.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Edwin Ruschitzka: Göttingen authors' meeting - bridge between inventors and publishers. spielbox 4/94, 1994; Pp. 22-23.
  2. ^ Barbarossa (Klaus Teubers Classics)
  3. ^ Junior Barbarossa in the Luding games database