Kap bis Kairo / From Cape to Cairo
by Günter Burkhardt
Jon Schultz did this translation of Adlung’s original English translation,
with the help of the members of the Spielfrieks e-mail list found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks.
special thanks goes to Frank Hamrick for his proofing of this copy. The intent
is to have a set of English rules that cover all aspects of play and handle any
questions that arise from the original quite poorly done) translation.
card game for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up
Playing time 30 minutes
4 trains (in 4 colors)
4 tenders (in 4 colors)
50 terrain cards (5 types of terrain with 0-3 track pieces on the front and 1
track piece on the back)
1 terrain map (showing all 5 terrain types)
1 overview card (with drawings; this translation refers to this card, so keep it
1 rule booklet
for the game:
In 1850 most countries in the world already had several hundred kilometers of
railway track in use. 20 years later, track covered the American continent. Then
in 1902, with the opening of the
Express, Asia was also covered. But a railway network through the African
continent from Cape to Cairo was still missing.
of the game:
Each player must try to be the first to build a railway network through 8
landscapes of Africa. Players will bid for these landscapes (terrain) at an
auction. Factors to consider are the track required to cross the terrain, the
number of track pieces included with the terrain, and the payment you’ll
receive for successfully building across the terrain. The first player to
successfully lay track across his 8th terrain is the winner.
ready to start:
needs a pen and paper
the trains and tenders by color and deal as a pair to the players. Put any left
the terrain map card on one side of the table visible to all players
the trains in the starting position (see drawing 1 on the overview card)
tenders remain face up in front of each player to show which train belongs to
all the terrain cards and stack them face down in the middle of the table
player draws a chart with two columns on his paper (see drawing 3 on the
overview card) and enters 100 pounds starting capital in the left column. During
the game, players may have more than 100 pounds, but must never have less than 0
This shows how many tracks are necessary to build across the different terrain
least 10 tracks to cross a river
least 9 tracks to go over a mountain
least 8 tracks to go through a desert
least 7 tracks to go through a village
least 6 tracks to cross a savanna
are 5 different types of terrain
terrain card shows 0-3 track pieces on the left and a coin with the value of
the terrain on the right
track pieces help you build across terrain
value on the coin is awarded (in pounds) when a player successfully lays
track across that terrain
The game is played in two alternating phases:
as many cards from the terrain stack as there are players
cards are now auctioned
player decides secretly how many pounds he wants to bid, which in turn will
determine the order that players will choose from the terrain cards
the bid in the right hand column of the chart, and cover it with your hand
to keep it secret
note the new capital (the current capital minus the amount bid) in the left
column of the chart (see drawing 3)
the players have recorded their bids, all reveal to determine the order. The
highest bidder takes the terrain card of his choice, then the second
highest, and so on until the low bidder takes the last remaining terrain.
on determining bid order: If
2 or more players have placed the same bid, the player with the least
remaining capital chooses first. If the remaining capital is the same, then
the players each draw a terrain card from the stack. The card with the
highest valued coin determines who chooses first (repeat if necessary).
These cards are then placed in the discard pile.
terrain cards are placed face up in front of each player’s train. Terrain
cards bought in later rounds are always placed in the last row behind
terrain that is currently on the table (see drawing 2). This creates a
terrain column for the train to cross and determines the order in which
terrain must be developed. For example, in drawing 2, the blue player must
first build track across a desert, then a mountain. In the same
manner, the red player must first cross a river, then a desert.
phase (see back
side of the tender — though the translation is horrible):
the track-building phase the players may build across the terrain cards lying in
front of their own train.
terrain cards have to be built in the direction the train is travelling,
i.e. in the sequence in which the player bought them.
player who won the auction in the previous land buying phase takes the top
card from the terrain stack and places it face up on the table. He then
decides whether he wants to build.
across a terrain requires the amount of track pieces shown on the terrain
map card (i.e. 6 for a desert, 7 for a village, etc.)
successfully build, the following may be used in any combination:
total number of track pieces shown on the terrain cards drawn from the terrain
total number of track pieces shown on all terrain cards in front of a
c) 1 or
more bonus track(s) (see “The river”)
d) Missing track pieces may be
purchased for 10 pounds each (subtracted from a player’s capital)
a player cannot or does not want to build, he must pass and the
player to his left is next.
player takes another card from the terrain stack and places it face up next
to the first card drawn. He now has the advantage of using the track pieces
from both cards drawn to help him build across his terrain. If he
also passes, play continues to the player on his left, who draws another
card, and so on, until a player successfully builds across a terrain.
of the track-building phase:
a player decides to build (even if you have the required track, you do not have
to build), he adds the value of the terrain card (found on the coin) to
his capital. He then flips the terrain card over, exposing the “track”
side, and moves his train on to the card (see the yellow or green trains on
revealed cards drawn from the terrain stack are discarded, whether or not all
of them were actually needed to cross the terrain. Any used bonus cards
(see “The river”) are also discarded. Any terrain cards that lie ahead
of your train remain in place, even if they have been used for track pieces
(see the yellow train in drawing 2. His first terrain has been crossed, but
a savanna still lies ahead, with 2 track pieces on the card ready to use).
The track pieces on these cards can be used again at any time to pay for
one player has no terrain card left to develop in front of his
train (see the green engine in drawing 2), the track-building phase ends
immediately and a new land buying phase (auction) begins.
all players have terrain cards left to develop in front of their trains, the
track building phase continues with another round. The player who built last
draws a new card from the terrain stack and chooses whether to play or pass.
Play continues as normal in the track-building phase until one player has no
terrain left to develop, at which point a new land buying phase (auction)
is possible for a player to develop multiple terrain cards over the course
of a track-building phase (i.e. before going back to a land buying phase).
This requires several rounds to do so. Each time you build, you can only
ever traverse one terrain card with a single build, even if you had
enough excess track pieces to cross two or more.
If at any point in the game the terrain stack from the middle of the table is
used up, the discard pile is shuffled and the cards are placed in a new stack.
a player develops a terrain, all other players whose trains are directly
in front of a river receive a bonus track (see the red train in drawing
2). Note that you only receive a bonus track when a river is the very
next terrain in your column. You do not receive bonus tracks for
river terrain further down your column.
track is taken from either the discard pile or the draw stack. The card is
flipped over to the track side, and sits in front of a player until he is
ready to use it. Each bonus track is worth exactly one track piece and can
be used as described in the track-building phase. Bonus tracks can be used
sparingly, and do not have to be spent all at once.
player may never have more than 5 bonus tracks.
of the game:
soon as one player has successfully built across his 8th terrain card, he
has won the game.
capital is useless and counts for nothing.