Author: Jean du Poel

Publisher: Goldsieber 1996

Spiel des Jahres 1996
- Special Award -

G@mebox Star



Carabande was until today (1997) the first and only game made by Jean du Poel which was made available for a large portion of the german gamers, since it was published by the reknown german publisher "Goldsieber Spiele". At the Essen-Games-Convention in 1996 the game was awarded the "Germany´s Game of the Year - Special Price for best Ability Game of the Year" for being the best "Dexterity"-Game (Geschicklichkeitsspiel - Sorry but I don´t know a better translation) of the year. It was also priced third in the contest for Germany´s Game of the Year, after "El Grande" and "Entdecker".

The game itself is very unusual for a normal boxed boargame. Basically it is concerned with car-races, and it is made for 2 to 8 players. Before the races start, the players have to build a racing track from the included polished wooden pieces (straights and turns). The rules for the race itself are fairly simple: One after another the players place their "cars" (round, coloured wooden pieces) at the starting line and move them off by "snipping" them with their fingers. The first player which completes 3 rounds wins the race and gets 10 Championship Points, the 2nd gets 6 points etc. But beware: The wooden track pieces have boundaries on one side, but they are open on their other side. Thus an able player may move his car with ease through the turns, but it is possible for the car to slip of the track as well.

To my mind, the game is very exiting to play. The players run around the table where the track is placed, they fight viciously for the pole position and the best positions on the track and there is more than one player laughing when the leading driver shoots his car out of the track (which costs him a round). The game can be fascinating for many hours, since the tracks can be varied and by the championship mode there is quite a fight on each track. The game also is based on an idea which is quite different from traditional boardgames, and it´s quile nice looking.

A bit after the release of Carabande, Goldsieber also did put out an expansion called the Carabande Action Set. This expansion was very popular, since it included some new road pieces which actually could be used as obstacles (ramps etc.). This expansion set was sold out rather fast, and thus it has grown very collectible. It fetches prices of 100 US$ and more...

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany