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- 3 to 5 player game
- 45 to 60 minutes to play
- European bean merchant theme
- Strategy game
- Nautical race game
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Keeping that in mind, Cape Horn is exactly one such game, written by Thorsten Gimmler. Made originally in Germany by a company called KOSMOS back in 1999, Rio Grande brought the game to North America shortly thereafter and has released subsequent reissues in the years that followed. Compared to some of their more popular titles, Cape Horn isn't quite as readily available or easy to locate. The object of the game, in its very simplest terms, is to be the first to sail your clipper ship into San Francisco.
The game's theme is derived from those crazy days before the Panama Canal connected the Atlantic with the Pacific and the fastest way to ship goods from New York to California was to navigate a wind-driven ship all the way around South America then back up the other side! Fortunately the game deals only with the stretch of wild ocean surrounding South America's southern most tip, Cape Horn.
While marketed as a race, the truth is that winning Cape Horn has everything to do with strategy over speed or endurance. After picking out a colored clipper ship to be theirs for the game, each player is allotted (three at first but a maximum of 6 at-a-time) wind tiles that provide both a direction and a number of spaces. The tiles are then laid down adjacent to each other so that a route for the ships can be followed. The trouble with creating an efficient route is that everyone will try to take it.Read more ›