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Vom Kap bis Kairo
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Store:  Card Games, Strategy Games
Theme:  Train
Genre:  Auction & Bidding
Format:  Card Games

Vom Kap bis Kairo

Your Price: $12.00
(Worth 1,200 Funagain Points!)

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Card Game, 2003

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Gunter Burkhardt

Manufacturer(s): Adlung Spiele

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Product Description

In 1850, most countries in the world already had several hundred kilometers of railway tracks in use. 20 years later, the railway tracks covered the American continent; and in 1902, with the opening of the Trans-Siberian Express, Asia was also covered. But a railway connection through the African continent from Cape to Cairo was still missing.

Each player must try to build a railway network through 8 landscapes of Africa first. To do this, the players must bid for the optimal route at an auction. Thus the route can be built with the least possible track and the train can reach its destination quicker.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Card Game, 2003

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Gunter Burkhardt

  • Manufacturer(s): Adlung Spiele

  • Artist(s): Jurgen Martens

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 30 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 105 grams

  • Language Requirements: Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English). Game components are language-independent.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 7 reviews

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A light and pleasant game, very good value for the money
September 20, 2002

I got Vom Kap Bis Cairo as a gift for buying recently a lot of games in Paris boardgames caf/shop OYA, which I thank from here once again. It was my first cardgame aside the traditional cards, of course and it took me some time to decide to play it with my wife.

Once the rules translated to Portuguese (my language), with the helpfull tips of the reviews above about a decent version in english (the original one is, no doubt, horrible) I began to play.

Of course it is not a game which can be confronted with the standart games, namely the awardness boardgames like Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Torres, etc., but it gives good fun and pushes the players another, and another and another try (until you win).

Its a light and pleasant game to play as an intruduction to a serious gamming night, or to play quickly (but calmness) after dinner during the week (at least for my way of living).

It takes 15 to 20 minutes, it makes your brain work (a little), it forces you to manage capital and cards and take decisions, its fun, the game itself tells a story you can feel while you play (the construction of a railway in Africa), you relax and, better, you forget your television.

What more can we ask from a 9/10 USD (10 Euros) game ? It worthes every dollar (or every euro) it costs. A must have to complete that light part of your games collection and to play with your friends, family and kids. It works also very good with people which doesnt like games very much.

Another Adlung winner
June 07, 2002

Adlung Spiele is a company that specializes in publishing card games. Many of these are just lame variations on games that everyone already knows, but there are occasional flashes of genius in its releases. Perhaps the most famous of these are Verrater and Meuterer, both of which are essentially board games packed into a deck of cards. Vom Kap bis Kairo is very much of this same caliber, being deep and fun to play while still remaining relatively easy to learn.

There is a very strong element of bluff to this game. There is blind bidding on terrains, which make it either easier or harder for a player to advance. There is also a 'chicken' element to the game when players determine whether to pay for additional track or to let the next player take his chances with a card draw that could give that player between 0 and 3 track sections more to work with.

The tension level of this game is pretty high, as money becomes more and more scarce, with the cash influx being minor compared to the constant outlay for terrain and track.

While not for all tastes, this is a meaty little game and well worth mention to fans of auction and bluffing games. Recommended.

Great filler - use a good translation though!
February 21, 2002

Boardgamegeek has a link to a much improved set of translations that clear up all the difficulties. The game is never going to be played as the only game in an evening (not in our group anyway!) but will, I'm sure, hit the table after 10pm on a regular basis!

That boardgamegeek file can be found at:

great filler but the English instructions miss the mark
December 26, 2001

As previously noted, the English instructions leave a bit to be desired. That said, I had no problem interpreting what the instructions meant. The game is simple but contains some tough decisions. It plays quickly--15 mins--and leaves you wanting more. It plays well with two players and plays even better with 3 or 4--great value for the money. The theme fits but is not integral. Luck plays an integral part, but the bidding mechanism helps to negate this aspect of the game. Overall, this is a must-have for those necessary breaks between heavier games and a great introductory game for non-gamers.

Great stocking filler
November 18, 2001

Just received this game and I think it represents great value for the money. The mechanics are interesting: first one auctions land to build one's track over, secondly the track gets built. In the building phase, resources are progressively added until one player has enough to build over their next piece of land, but either player has the option of making up for missing resources by buying them, thereby completing their own track, so there is plenty of tension and room for agonizing. It plays quickly, and I find it very satisying. At the price, it's hard to go wrong. The theme doesn't feel particularly strong, however.

A simple, but entertaining card game.
February 16, 2003

Other reviews here have captured the rules flaws and corrections to the English translation by the game publisher. I only want to emphasize that proper translation is critical.

That having been said, Vom Kap bis Kairo is a lite, filler-type card game that is entertaining, but doesn't quite live up to the hype I had read when it was released. There's really not much strategy here, despite the card auction mechanism, and as in most every card game, there is the 'luck of the draw' factor.

Still, as others have mentioned, it's good entertainment value for the money. The cards are attractive. I would have preferred the inclusion of player aids for tracking scores and bids, but that's just personal taste.

All in all, not a bad game. While it won't reach the top of our group's play list, it will certainly emerge from time to time as a quick filler game.

Decent game with flawed rules
November 25, 2001

Vom Kap bis Kairo is a game that has been receiving very good buzz from Essen. While its a reasonably enjoyable game, the English rules, as printed, make it nearly unplayable. Rather than give a complete overview of the rules, Ill just quote those passages that are most misleading.

Lets start with the rule for determining who wins the cards that are auctioned off during the land buying phase. To quote:

'Beginning with the highest bid, the terrain cards which were just bought by a player are placed face up in front of his train.'

In reality (I think): Each player takes just a single card. The above rule gives the impression that the highest bidder takes multiple cards.

Next, heres the rule for determining how many track pieces it takes to cross a terrain with your train:

'To build across a terrain, [the player] requires the amount of track pieces shown on the terrain card lying in front of his train.'

In reality (I think): Lets say you have a mountain card in front of your train containing three track pieces Based on the way the rule above is written, it sounds as if you need three tracks to cross the mountain. Not so--you need nine track pieces for any mountain card, regardless of the number of tracks displayed on it.

Finally, heres the rule for counting how many tracks you have available to you in front of your train:

'[Count] the number of tracks shown on the terrain card in front of [your] own train.'

In reality (I think): Each player counts the number of tracks shown on ALL the face-up terrain cards in front of his or her train.

Well, there you have it. With these corrected rules, the game is pleasant enough. But Id give Gunter Burkhardts other new Essen game, Kupferkessel Co., a try first. It hasnt received much attention, yet I think its a much better game.

Other Resources for Vom Kap bis Kairo:

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