OBJECTIVE OF BORNEO: The objective of Borneo is to be the player with the most Victory Points when the game comes to an end. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 5 Players

MATERIALS: 1 Game Board, 60 Shipment Cards, 14 Harbor Cards, 20 Merchant Cards, 16 Mission Cards, 5 Rank Markers, 5 Summary Cards, 1 Pirate’s Cove, 1 Pirate’s Ship, and a Rulebook

TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Board Game

AUDIENCE: Ages 10 and Up


Players play spice merchants in the East Indies in the 17th Century. Every merchant is part of companies, and they must compete to move up within those companies. Players must try to complete missions, in order to score the most victory points they can at one time. The profit from spices and harbors can add up as well!


Firstly, place the game board in the center of the playing area. The cards are sorted by the symbol on the back into two different groups, the shipments and the harbors. Each player is given three matching merchants, including the summary card that matches their chosen merchant. The shipment cards are then shuffled and three are dealt to each player. They are then placed on their assigned space on the board. 

In order to supply the harbor deck, it depends on the number of players. With three to four players, the harbors with a five are removed. If there are five players, the harbors that have a three or four on them are removed. The remaining harbor cards are shuffled and placed on their spot on the board. 

The first player is chosen by the group. Beginning with them, each one will place a merchant in an empty space underneath a company. The next two placements are completed in reverse order. Finally, if there are five players, all of the missions are used. If there are three to four players, then the missions with a five are removed from the game. They are sorted, depending on value, and placed on the upper portion of the board. 


The game is played throughout a series of turn, which occurs in a clockwise fashion around the group. During their turn, a player will complete a mission, change companies or advance within a company, play a shipment card and distribute spices, and draw two cards from the shipment deck. All of these are completed in that order. After all actions have been completed, then the player on their left will complete their turn. 

When a mission has been completed, it is placed in front of the player who finished it. In order to complete a mission, the player must first choose a mission to complete. They will then discard all of the spices from their warehouse that is required to complete the mission. Cards in their hand cannot be used, but the cards must come from their warehouse. 

Players may choose to either switch companies or advance within a company. In order to move their merchants, they will simply add their merchant to a different company. To advance their merchant, they will choose a merchant that is higher than theirs and attack them. The attacker will choose a shipment card, and the defender must play one of equal value in order to win the battle. If they lose, then the attacker earns a promotion.

Players will play shipments and distribute spices. Finally, the players will draw two cards from the shipment deck. They will discard any additional cards that they have, ensuring that they only have six cards in their hand. Gameplay continues in this manner until the end of game conditions are met. 


The game comes to an end when one of two things occurs. If the draw deck is empty, or if the harbor deck is empty, then the game comes to an end. Each player then has one chance to finish their mission, beginning with the player on the left of the last player. Each player will then choose a mission and complete it with what they have available. 

The points are then tallied for each player. Every shipment card is worth a victory point, harbors are worth a victory point, and the missions that are completed are worth the amount that it says! The player with the most points when the game comes to an end, wins! 

Nakoa Davis