How To Play: Mombasa

So, you wanna win at Mombasa, huh? Mastering this board game boils down to nailing three key areas: expanding those companies wisely, managing resources like a pro, and optimizing every card in your hand. Get these strategies down, and you'll be the one gloating at the end of game night.

Hey there, fellow board game enthusiasts! Welcome to your go-to guide for conquering Mombasa, a game that’s as challenging as it is fun. In this post, we’ll break down the game rules and share top-notch strategies to help you dominate the gameboard. Whether you’re new to Mombasa or looking to up your game, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started with an overview.


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game board
  • 4 Player boards
  • 4 Company track boards
  • 1 Market board
  • 96 Wooden resources (24 bananas, 24 coffee beans, 24 cotton, 24 wood)
  • 60 Worker tiles
  • 30 Action cards
  • 4 Diamond action cards
  • 12 Expansion cards
  • 4 Starting hand cards
  • 18 Loan cards
  • 10 Share certificates (2 for each of the 5 companies)
  • 4 Exploration markers
  • 1 First player marker
  • 60 Coin tokens (values 1, 2, 5, 10)
  • 12 Bonus markers
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Mombasa: Rules Summary


First off, let’s get everything in place. Setting up Mombasa right sets the stage for a fantastic game. Here’s how:

  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Give each player a player board, starting resources, and a set of starting cards.
  3. Distribute the shares of the four companies randomly among the players.
  4. Prepare the market by placing the resource tokens in their respective places.
  5. Shuffle the exploration tokens and place them face down on their designated spaces.


Now, let’s talk action. The game flows with each player taking turns, strategizing their moves to expand influence and gain wealth. Follow these steps:

  1. Players choose cards from their hand for their future actions and place them face down.
  2. Reveal the cards simultaneously and take turns performing one action at a time.
  3. Actions include expanding company outposts, trading in the market, or going on expeditions.
  4. After all players have completed their actions, they draw cards to replenish their hand.
  5. The round ends with players adjusting their positions on the income and diamond tracks.


Getting to the top isn’t just about being rich. You gotta be smart. Winning in Mombasa involves:

  1. Gathering the most wealth in the form of cash and shares value by game’s end.
  2. Strategically expanding the companies you have shares in for maximum profit.
  3. Making wise investments in both the trading and exploration aspects of the game.

Special Rules & Conditions

Last but not least, let’s touch on some special rules and conditions that can twist your fate in the game:

  1. If you run out of actions but still have cards, tough luck. Plan better next time.
  2. Trading posts cannot be built where another player already has one. Find your own path!
  3. Some exploration tokens provide immediate bonuses, while others give long-term advantages. Choose wisely.
  4. Keep an eye on the bonus tiles. They can turn the tide of the game.

Best Mombasa Strategies

Mastering Company Expansion and Control in Mombasa

Gaining the upper hand in Mombasa isn’t just about having the most resources; it’s about smartly expanding and controlling companies. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to victory.

Strategic Placement

  1. Start by placing your trading posts in areas that offer a range of resources. This diversity is key.
  2. Expand into areas with less competition to easily gain control.

Resource Management

  1. Use your resources to buy shares in companies strategically, focusing on those with potential for growth.
  2. Balance your resource collection to support your expansion efforts.

Card Optimization

  1. Choose the right cards to support your expansion strategy. Some cards offer bonuses for trading posts in certain areas.
  2. Keep an eye on your opponents’ strategies and adjust your card choices accordingly.

Master the Art of Resource Management in Mombasa

Winning in Mombasa isn’t just about having a strategy; it’s about managing your resources like a pro. Here’s how you do it:

1. Optimize Your Trades

  1. Always be on the lookout for trade opportunities that net you the most profit. Timing is key.

2. Diversify Your Portfolio

  1. Don’t put all your resources in one basket. Diversify to mitigate risks and maximize gains.

3. Plan for the Future

  1. Stack your resources wisely, anticipating future market changes and adapting your strategy accordingly.

The Ace Up Your Sleeve: Mastering Card Hand Optimization in Mombasa

Winning in Mombasa isn’t just about luck; it’s about smart card hand management. Here are key strategies to keep you ahead.

Know Your Cards

  1. Always be aware of what cards you have and plan multiple moves ahead.

Strategic Discards

  1. Discard wisely. Every card you throw away could be a missed opportunity.

Maximize Card Usage

  1. Use your cards in the most effective way possible. Don’t just think about the present, but also how they can benefit you in future turns.

Seal Your Victory in Mombasa!

So, there you have it, folks – the inside scoop on clinching that win in Mombasa. Remember, it’s all about smart company expansion, keeping a tight rein on your resources, and playing your cards right – literally. Now that we’ve gone through the ropes, and I’ve shared tales from our game nights that had us laughing till our sides hurt (and me, somehow always ending up with the least coffee beans), it’s your turn to hit the board. Keep these tips in mind, and soon you’ll be the one schooling your friends on How To Play Mombasa. May your trading posts prosper, and your influence spread far and wide across the African continent. Good luck, and happy gaming!

Want to know what we think of Mombasa? Read our detailed review of Mombasa here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.