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Kap Hoorn
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Kap Hoorn

original German Edition

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game Runner-Up, 2000

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 45-60 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Thorsten Gimmler

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game Runner-Up, 2000

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Thorsten Gimmler

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

  • Artist(s): Claus Stephan

  • Year: 1999

  • Players: 3 - 5

  • Time: 45 - 60 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,045 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.


  • 1 board
  • 90 wind cards
  • 9 nautical stations
  • 15 station tokens
  • 5 clipper ships
  • 5 log books
  • 5 sailing markers

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

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Hoist your sails landlovers!
July 11, 2001

This is a terrific game! I'm not going to talk about the rules since they've been explained by others. This game is all about planning ahead. Even if your tiles are not useable by yourself, they can be used as devious misdirections for others. The sailing points are crucial to your strategy: they can help you avoid tiles by sailing in another direction, buy tiles and move your vessel again. If your gamers take too long to lay down their tiles, I suggest a timer. I didn't mind waiting for my turn because this game forces you to constantly rethink where you want to go. My friends and I have put this in our regular game rotation, along with [page scan/se=0482/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Wizard, Settlers of Catan and [page scan/se=0949/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Cafe International to name a few. If you like strategy games, this is the one!

by Marc
Entertaining concept, but lacking something....
May 21, 2002

The concept of this game is rather intriguing, but the gameplay with 3 players seemed a bit, well... bland. Perhaps this game would be ideal for 4 or 5 players, but when I played a 3 player game with friends, the play, like the waves around the Cape Horn was rather 'choppy'. We decided that the game concept was a cross between Mississippi Queen and Streetcar. M.Q. in that you manipulate the speed and/or coal burning points much like you manipulate sailpoints, and Street Car in the abstract tile laying to reach pre-set 'destinations'. I would rate this game on the lines of M.Q. It's moderately fun, but nothing to write home about. There are interesting differences from both of these games like the diagonal tile play options and the winning conditions. Maybe my thoughts will change with more players but for the 3 player game I'd give this game a so-so on my 'top games' list.

Rough Seas Ahead...
September 07, 1999

I have always wanted to design a game. I have ideas, but cannot piece together a completed project that works, so I envy Thorsten Gimmler's 'Cape Horn', as it is his first published game. 'Cape Horn' is an interesting game, but not without its faults. First is the 'racing' marketing of the game. This is NOT 'Formula De' on the high seas. 'Cape Horn' plays much more like 'Steetcar' as a tile laying game with sailing ships.

Players navigate around Cape Horn using tiles with wind/distance directions printed on them. You must place tiles adjacent to exsisting tiles (an excellent way to get rid of unwanted tiles) belonging to any player. The tiles are neutral, so you may play/move on anyone's tile, even replace an exsisting tile within certain conditions. The true decision making of 'Cape Horn' is saving and using your 'sail points' at the right time to pounce ahead of your opponents.

The second flaw in the game is the ending. Players may win by collecting two different colored navigational points and crossing the finish line, or collect three different naviational points and end the game. The latter victory condition left my players feeling like the race never ended. There was no big 'finale' of sailing across the finish line. I highly recommend playing the game to the finish line after collecting two nav. points, and for advanced players, collect three nav. points AND continue to the finish line.

'Cape Horn' overall is a good game with nice, easy to read tiles, wooden pieces, and easy to learn rules. Just remember to play to the 'finish line' or you may have a mutiny on your hands!

by Dr Jay
Watch the Roaring Forties with the wind!
July 10, 1999

Being slightly romantic with history, I looked forward to our first three-player game of Cape Horn. It did not disappoint; however, I agree with the Internet reviewers who said it was not a true racing game. The old Avalon Hill game of yachting (Regatta) probably came close to the racing end. However, we agreed the game was more complex than Mississippi Queen, which I also enjoy.

Soon we settled into the routine of the game. First, you advance your sailing point one notch in the beautifully designed log book. The log book also tells you the different phases you may use in the game. Next, you place your suitable number of wind tiles for moving your ship (at the beginning, each player receives three wind tiles). It is important to remember the tile you are on governs how far you may move in a turn. For example, at the beginning, my tile read '1' on the second starting space. That meant I had to place a wind tile where the move was to be finished. I could move only one space. Wind tiles have to be placed adjacent to other wind tiles.

As the phases evolve, after wind tile placement, you then move your ship (if desired). The treachery becomes apparent as other players decide how to place wind directions to cause your ship to be becalmed or run in circles. One player attempted that with me, but my additional wind tiles saved the day. You may place only one wind direction tile over one already placed on the board to avoid that other player maneuvering. You may also spend three sail points to avoid the wind direction altogether.

After moving your ship the required space, you then draw one wind direction tile to finish your turn. You may also spend one sail point for each additional wind direction tile you desire up to the maximum of six tiles. After spending for the additional tiles, you may place them on the board the next turn. It soon becomes necessary to hoard sailing points to spend for additional wind direction tiles.

I particularly liked the quality of the wind direction tiles with a lightly colored blue that had to be placed a certain way for North, South, and West. The map is divided into these three zones. You have to acquire two differently colored weather stations (green and yellow, for example) and race for the first one to reach the finish line. Another way to win, as one of our rules lawyers pointed out, is to acquire three differently colored weather stations before the other players. That happened in our game and brought the game to a swift finish.

After acquiring my first weather circularly colored marker, I proceeded with the clipper ship to the Southern part of South America. The going became tough, because the wind directional tile draws did not yield helpful arrows. At this point I was behind the lead ship that had already acquired two weather stations of different colors. One frustration became the weather station placed on the border of zones North and South that could not be obtained because of its incorrect color. I liked the feature of the weather station remaining permanent so all players could acquire the needed color. Arrows were placed to harass the lead ship, but that ship headed nicely for the final West zone and ultimate victory.

The game box and rules said the game would take about 45-60 minutes' playing time. That level held. It seemed impossible to catch the lead ship, although I placed a backward wind direction to create some chaos. The lead ship player simply placed one of his wind directions to counteract that force. The lead ship reached his third weather station and won the game. That player showed me how the placement of certain laterally left or right arrows would bring second place more quickly.

Would we play the game again? Yes, indeed. As more strategy develops about harassing other players with faulty wind directions, the game becomes more spirited. The Roaring Forties may never be the same, because we learned the importance of wind directions and what it must have felt like to man those yards in the glorious days of clipper ship travel.

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