Author: Thorsten Gimmler

Publisher: Kosmos 1999

Awards: none



Coming in the Kosmos flat-type-box, Kap Hoorn is a game about a ship race around the South-American Cape. At the beginning of the game the Atlantic and the Pacific unfold at the bows of the playersī ships, pristine like a white sheet of paper. As a preparation, the playersī ships take up starting positions on the gameboard, and a total of 90 sailing-tiles is mixed and randomly distributed into two piles. These cards show a number of various saling-situations. So there are tiles. allowing the players to sail a space left or right, diagonally or straight ahead. Others allow more complex movement like two spaces ahead and then one space left, or another tiles even forces the players to sail back two spaces. But when trying to make use of good winds, itīs always important to plot a good course, since a sailing-tile may only be use if there is already another tile at the calculated end of the movement. The the most important element of the game is the clever placement of these movement tiles.

At start, each player receives three random sailing-tiles as a starting equipment. The player who owns the ship positioned on starting position "1" will start the game. First during each turn, a player gets one sailing-point which he marks on a scale in his shipīs log. Additionally, each player starts with an account of three sailing-points already noted in the log. During his turn, a player now may play as many sailing-tiles onto the gameboard as he whishes. Each tile placed must be horizontally, vertically or diagonally next to an already placed tile.

The movement of each ship is determined by the tile itīs on. Since itīs clearly determinable for all the players where an other player might go, the other players may try - whenever they get the possibility - to play a bad sailing-tile at the next position of that player. But players arenīt helpless against such "gifts" from other players: Whenever a player wants, he may refrain from moving his ship and instead he will gain an additional sailing-point. This points may be used during the game to ignore the instructions of a sailing tile and istead move the ship one space to onether tile. Furthermore, a player may spend a total of 5 sailing points, and for this he may take two turns in a row. At the end of his turn, a player may draw one sailing-tile to refill his hand, but if that doesnīt suffice (since he has played many cards), he may buy additional tiles for sailing-points.

Itīs the aim of the whole race to be the first player who succeeds to round Cape Hoorn, gaining tokens from three navigational marks which were distributed along the route. The player who first succeeds to gain three tokens has won the game - at least on one way. The other way to win the game is to collect only two tokens and then go with full speed for a final harbour, trying to be there before an other player succeeds to collect his three tokens and wins the game.

Kap Hoorn is an highly tactical game and thus itīs most suitable for players who love keen thinking games. Okay, there certainly is an element of luck due to the random drawing of the sailing-tiles, but since the game contains a good mix of tiles the players donīt need much luck. Actually, the game is quite interesting due to its well-balanced rules, but on the other hand no real race-atmosphere will arise during the game. There is some interaction between the players, of course, but still the tactical element of the game his highly prevailing, thus preventing a higher fun factor.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

[Gamebox Index]


Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany