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Halunken und Spelunken
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Store:  Strategy Games
Theme:  Nautical/Aquatic
Genre:  Bluffing / Outguessing
Format:  Board Games

Halunken und Spelunken

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Product Awards:  
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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 20-30 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Alex Randolph

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Description

Place and Time: An English port, 1750. Welcome to a period of unrivaled prosperity and economic growth. Maritime trade has expanded across the seven seas; never before have so many British ships plied the ocean waves. As a result, qualified sailors are in extremely short supply. The players are sea captains whose ships sail at dawn, but who have yet to complete their crews. It is late in the evening, and each captain has only eight hours (eight game rounds), to search the dockside taverns and "recruit" enough drunken sailors to complete their crews.

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Product Information


  • 1 gameboard
  • 4 captain figures
  • 1 Black Jack figure
  • 42 scoundrel cards
  • 32 movement cards
  • 12 Black Jack cards

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 3 reviews

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by Dave
Light, but well worth looking into!
February 06, 2003

The board is beautiful and the premise is... well, fun! The sailor cards alone caused laughter and the strategy, yea it's light, made for a 'let's play again' atmosphere. Everyone wanted to land on a fellow player's space thus moving them ahead a space and totally messing up their next move. And adding Black Jack for the standard game provided an extra strategy component. The weight of the game reminds me of Cartegena. Fun but not complicated. Great ,lighthearted fun!

A definite thumbs up!
May 10, 2000

After playing this game through once, we immediately played it twice more. It definitely has a fun element of chance and strategy, and the winner is not always obvious. We had many laughs trying to figure out which card each other would play. When all was said and done, however, there were some shortcomings.

First of all, the rules were not as thorough as they should have been. We found a few situations that were not covered, and we had to make adjustments accordingly. The main one being empty taverns and how they are counted, or if they are just skipped over.

We also changed a rule so that the game became more interesting. At the onset, the rules state that each player chooses a sailor (a card that is face up) to start the game. We found that doing this gave all the other players a very good idea of what each other was trying to collect in regards to a color group. So we decided that the first card would not be revealed to everyone, and only after each player had chosen a card would the identities of the sailors remaining in the taverns be revealed. This adjustment added a lot of intrigue to the game.

After we had agreed on house rules and come to terms with the empty tavern discrepancy, this game was a total hoot. We very much enjoyed it and will probably add the black jack element soon. As far as replayability, this is a winner--on our first night of playing, we ended up playing a total of 4 times--a very positive response.

by Rick
Conscription can be fun!
March 04, 1999

Rounding up sailors from taverns makes a delightful family game. A murky, atmospheric board has 14 taverns printed clock-like on which 3 cards per tavern are placed. The amusing cards depict, in 4 suits, would-be sailors of various point values. Players use a set of 1-7 plus wild card to move their token to a tavern and collect the top face-up sailor card. Players see what move cards the others have used and then all reveal their move card for the current round. If two play the same card, they remain in place, which can be a good move.

Adding to the intrigue is the dubious Black Jack, a token players bid on each round--he'll cost you a sailor, but he may kidnap others' cards per a 1-12 move. After 8 rounds, points are totaled, with double points for the suit you have the most of. Perhaps a bit pricey, nonetheless this is an easy-to-learn, entertainingly interactive game. It was an instant hit at our house, where we start seafaring music when H&S is on deck!

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