Captains of the Golden Age

Created by Golden Age Games

Captains of the Golden Age
E7ebeae5edabb7298fc2906bc6005d72 original
412 backers pledged €25,102.00 on Kickstarter

We've created a 0% luck, all skill board game, set in the golden age of trading and piracy. Trade pepper and rule the Trading Company!

Raised in Kickstarter
€25,102.00 / 412 backers
Raised in BackerKit
€2,783.40 / 429 backers

Learn About Our Project:





Captains of the Golden Age is set in a fictional 'East-Indies' where pepper is worth more than gold. Four competitive captains seek to control the Mighty Trading Company. You sail around the globe in search of cargo to upgrade your precious ship. Add sails to travel far and wide, expand your cargo-hold to earn and carry more cargo, upgrade and fire your cannons to damage other ships, or board other ships with your crew to steal their cargo! Wherever you go and whatever you choose; the captain who controls the pepper trade controls the Mighty Trading Company!

Our main goal when we created this game was to replace luck, chance and randomness by player interaction and a high replayability.


'Nox Games Attic' (the well known Dutch board game reviewer) made a review / gameplay video of Captains of the Golden Age. It is now on his youtube channel. Check it out!



All game rules in one place, four languages in the same booklet!
The first print run will be in English, German, Spanish and Dutch.

Here is the link to the drivefolder with the gameplay part of the manual:

Please do realise this is still an early concept version (not proofread or translated yet) and while the rules themselves will not change, the wording and artwork probably will, and we will add an overview of all icons used in the game and an introduction to the story.



In this game you play a captain who sails around the seven seas, the game board is the map you use to navigate your ship. All places of interest are clearly marked: Smugglers' Cove in the middle (purple), the Republic (orange), the Orient (pink) and the four Resource Islands: Cloth Weaver (yellow), Copper Smelter (red), Sawmill (green) and Rum Distillery (blue).


Always be wary of the Notorious Pirate! Clever Captains hire him in Smugglers' Cove and use his spyglass to choose an Island to block. Unsuspecting Captains get jumped while they load their cargo.


Your ship is your home. You live on it as you sail around the seven seas. You can repair and upgrade your ship in the enormous ship wharves of the Republic or the Orient. Keep her clean and tidy and she'll be good to you. There are four Captains in the game, each has their own legendary ship:

The Yellow Galleon of the 'Extraordinary Explorer'
The Blue Junker of the 'Pesky Privateer'
The Red Frigate of the 'Brutal Buccanneer'
The Green Flute of the 'Mighty Merchant'


Your captain is needed (turned face down) in the heat of battle while attacking another ship. Captains are well rested again (turned face up) when visiting The Republic or The Orient. Captains even earn a free reinforcement card for you while resting!


*Note that the Green and Red captains are work in progress!
*Note that the Green and Red captains are work in progress!


These shares represent the seventeen rulers of the Mighty Trading Company. Each share gives a unique one-time bonus. Shares can be bought for pepper in the Republic and you get a free bonus share if you are the first to maximize a ship segment. The Captain who is the first to own four shares becomes the ruler of the Trading Company and wins the game!

8x Single reward shares
5x Double reward shares 
4x Max segment bonus shares


At the enormous ship wharves of the Republic and the Orient, captains can upgrade their ship with new segments, provided they carry the right cargo in their cargo-hold to pay for them.

20x Sail segments
20x Crew segments
20x Cannon segments
20x Cargo-hold segments


All Captains have their own deck of reinforcement cards. A Captain can hold a maximum of seven of these cards in their hand. Other players can't see the cards in your hand or deck, only the amount of cards you have in your hand is visible. Reinforcement cards can be played to increase the number of segments on your ship, but just for a single turn. Sail cards allow you to sail further, cannon and crew cards help change the tide of battle in your favor and cargo-hold cards will allow you to temporarily carry more cargo.

20x Sail reinforcements
20x Crew reinforcements
20x Cannon reinforcements
20x Cargo reinforcements

Reinforcement card deck of the 'Extraordinary Explorer'
Reinforcement card deck of the 'Extraordinary Explorer'


These wooden pieces represent the four types of cargo you can load on your ship at the four islands, as well as pepper. With different types of cargo you can upgrade your ship, or you can trade cargo for valuable pepper in the Orient.

20x Yellow 'Cloth' pieces 
20x Blue 'Rum' pieces 
20x Red 'Copper' pieces 
20x Green 'Wood' pieces 
20x Black 'Pepper' pieces

Pieces are playtesting prototypes, final pieces will all have their own shape and color
Pieces are playtesting prototypes, final pieces will all have their own shape and color


This limited edition character card will only be printed in the very first run of Captains of the Golden Age and never be produced again! Every backer will receive one pledge parrot with every copy of the game.


You might have seen him in our promo movie!
You might have seen him in our promo movie!


We decided to unlock both of our planned expansion sets, in tiers, to all our existing backers. FOR FREE !!

CAPTAINS AND CHARACTERS The complete 'Captains and Characters' expansion set features 12 unique characters to serve on your ship. They can be hired in Smuggler's Cove. Each of them gives a unique benefit when used. This expansion set will have a retail value of 15 euros.

CAPTAINS AND COMPETITORS The complete 'Captains and Competitors' expansion set will be a 5-6 players extension featuring 2 coloured wooden ship pawns, 2 new ship boards, 2 unique captain cards, 2 quick reference guides, 2x20 ship segments and 2x20 reinforcements cards. This expansion set will have a retail value of 25 euros.

Unlocked stretch goals will be added FOR FREE to each pledged copy of the game
Unlocked stretch goals will be added FOR FREE to each pledged copy of the game


A quick sneak peak into some of the characters we unlocked so far, lets make it to the 25k to have all 12 unlocked!

Note that Character artwork is in progress and texts are not final
Note that Character artwork is in progress and texts are not final

The 'Infamous Innkeeper'You may rest (turn face-up) your captain and character cards if your ship is in Smugglers Cove.

The 'Shady Smuggler'You may swap one of your resources with one resource (not pepper!) of a player on a tile next to you. (at the end of your sail phase)

The 'Artful Assasin'You may turn a character and a segment (of your choice) of a player on a tile next to you face-down (at the end of your sail phase)

The Tricky TravelerYou may take the Pirate's Spyglass from a player on a tile next to you. (During your harbor phase)


Here you find the different pledge levels with corresponding rewards. Every copy of the game includes the limited edition, kickstarter exclusive pledge parrot.

*Note that because we ship from Europe there are different shipping costs added to the pledge amount based on where you're ordering from. Shipping within Europe costs 8 euro. Shipping outside Europe costs 20 euro. 










Each turn consists of five phases: Sail, Load, Trade, Combat, and Cards. 

SAIL: During the sailing phase you move your ship across the board based on the amount of sails you have on your ship. You may sail less tiles than you're able but you must move at least 1 tile. Sail cards may be played to temporarily sail further. 

LOAD: You load cargo when you arrive on one of the four Islands. You load Cloth at the Weaver, Copper at the Smelter, Wood at the Sawmill and Rum at the Distillery. The maximum amount of cargo you may load onto- and carry on your ship depends on the size of your cargo-hold. Cargo-hold cards may be played to temporarily carry more Cargo.

TRADE: In the trade phase you may trade, buy, upgrade and repair. You can trade 1 cargo for 1 cargo of another type at Smugglers' Cove, you can trade cargo for as much pepper in the Orient and you may trade pepper for as much cargo in the Republic. You can repair any damaged segments on your ship and buy additional ones only at the Orient and the Republic. You can also buy shares for pepper in the Republic, you immediately receive the one-time bonus the share provides. When you buy your 4th share you win the game!

COMBAT: If you sail to a tile with the ship of another captain on it, you may decide to attack with your cannons or board with your crew.
You will need to turn your face-up captain card face-down to do so.
Any difference in cannons determines how many segments of the losing captain get damaged by the winner and any difference in crew determines how much cargo the winner steals from the losing captains' cargo-hold. Both captains may play Cannon or Crew cards to change the tide of battle in their favor. After this attack, or even when the first player decided not to attack, the player that was already on the tile may also decide to attack with cannons or board with crew.

CARDS: Players can earn reinforcement cards in three different ways; by sailing to a sea-tile, activating their Captain card and/or buying a share that gives a bonus card. Before your turn ends, you may choose as many cards from your deck as you've earned this turn and put them in your hand. After this, the turn ends.



Because we got some backer requests for a Gameplay video, we shot one today. Please don't keelhaul us because of its low quality, it was the best we could do on such short notice. Hope you like it!




The largest chunk; 85% will be used for the actual production of the games in the factory. The more pledges we receive, the more games we can produce!

Kickstarter fees take up 10% of the pledges and includes admin and payment handling fees.

5% of the funds raised will be used for our promotion at the biggest BoardGame convention of the world; 'Spiel' in Essen Germany, from 13-16 October 2016. This includes promotion beforehand and at the event. 

Come meet us at our booth!



Nearly eight years ago, while still in University, we decided to develop a board game set in the Golden Age of trading and piracy. We mainly wanted to develop a game with 0 % chance, a lot of player interaction and high replayability. It all started out as a fun hobby project, but as more and more people started to like the game so much we decided to take it more serious and this is where we are today.

Over the course of eight years we play tested it a lot with hundreds of testers: friends, family, total strangers, boys, girls, young people, old people. We made Captains of the Golden Age a fun experience and easy understandable for everyone. Up to now we always played with hand-made versions of the game, revising it through the years. Now the game is finished and polished and we need this Kickstarter project to realise our dream and produce the first batch of 1000 games. 

We invite you to check it out and pledge whichever level you feel comfortable pledging. 

Thank you very much in advance.

Niek and Aron
Niek and Aron


Latest Updates from Our Project:

Games have arrived
8 months ago – Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 04:27:23 PM

Ahoy Captains,

Your games have been unloaded and delivered safely into our warehouse in Rotterdam. Your pledges are assembled and boxes are being labeled as we speak, and they will be sent out to you this Friday. Thank you again for your patience. We are very happy that despite some delays we are able to ship in time for christmas! 

This will be one of our last Kickstarter updates, but keep following our progress and all future updates on our FB page: This is very exciting for us and we are very curious to your reaction when you get the game so it would be very nice if you post a picture of it on our FB page or like, share, comment, etc!

If you have any questions about the shipment, the game, the rules, or just want to let us know what you think of the game, please do not hesitate to contact us on

Best regards,

Captain Nick and Captain Dick



Finalize your shipping address!
8 months ago – Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 01:02:03 PM

Ahoy captains!

This is it! We’re finally getting ready to ship! We will lock down shipping addresses in 48 hours. That means you have two days to update your shipping address in your BackerKit survey. If you need to recover your survey, go to and enter your email address to have your survey sent to you again.

For backers that have not answered surveys yet, you will still be able to get your rewards if you answer your surveys after the lockdown date but they may ship out later than the backers that have responded on time. We’re currently aiming to ship rewards this month. If you need to change your shipping address please make the changes in your BackerKit survey in the next two days. Thanks!

The container with your copies is only 150 miles away from the Rotterdam harbour as you can see in the picture below! 

Thank you all for your patience!


Captain Niek and Captain Dick


Shipping update
9 months ago – Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 09:39:36 PM

Ahoy captains!

Your game is underway to Rotterdam in the Thalassa Doxa (follow the ship on vessel tracker), it is planned to arrive there the 19th of November (if it is not attacked by the notorious pirate). We expect the games at our fulfillment partner on the 24th of November (this is the guy who packs and sends the game to you). Your game will arrive at your doorstep end of November, beginning of December (depending on your location).

Thanks for you patience, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!

Kind regards,

The Captains!

Backerkit deadline extended
10 months ago – Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 04:52:01 PM

Dear backers,

We are very happy almost all of you have filled in their backerkit survey and are ready to receive their copy of the game. Sadly 33 backers still haven't filled it in, so we have extended the deadline to fill in your surveys until the 15th of October!

Please do so, because we really like to send every last one of you a copy of Captains of the Golden Age!

Production update: The manufacturing is expected to be finished by the end of next week.


The Golden Age Games team

Production update: Custom Ship Pawns
11 months ago – Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 12:28:24 AM

Hi Guys,

Do you like the ship pawns that we exclusively designed for this game??

We do! And don't worry, they will be painted.

Cheers, The Golden Age Games team