How To Play: Tobago – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Learning How To Play Tobago involves understanding strategic treasure placement, utilizing amulets wisely, anticipating opponent moves, comprehending rules and winning strategies, and procuring necessary components. This adventure game is a delightful mix of strategy, luck, and group dynamics, offering a comprehensive and engaging experience for players.

Hello fellow adventurers! Embarking on the search for hidden treasure in the world of Tobago might seem daunting at first, but worry not. In this guide, we’ll dive into not just the rules that weave this intricate adventure but also sprinkle in proven strategies to ensure your victory. With a personal touch and experiences from countless game nights with friends, this is your treasure map to success in Tobago.


What’s in the box?

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 4 ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles)
  • 1 Amulet
  • 1 Ghost Pirate
  • 40 Trees in four different types (Palm, Mango, Cactus, Pine)
  • 60 Clue Cards
  • 40 Treasure Cards
  • 20 Statues (4 sets, each containing 5 different statues)
  • 2 Treasures (Gold and Silver)
  • 32 Hexagonal Terrain Tiles (divided into different types: Beach, Jungle, Mountain, River, etc.)
  • 15 Amulets
  • 3 Doppleganger Cards
  • 3 Gold coin Pieces
  • 4 Silver Coin Pieces
  • 4 Victory Point Tokens
  • 12 Clue Tokens

How To Play Tobago: Rules Summary

Whether you’re a seasoned board gamer or new to the hobby, Tobago offers an intriguing mix of strategy and luck as players seek treasure on a mysterious island. The game’s unique treasure-hunting mechanism, coupled with its engaging gameplay, makes it a favorite among many. Below, I outline the essential rules to get you started on your own adventure in Tobago.


  1. Assemble the game board by connecting the modular island pieces. Each game can have a new island configuration, adding to the replayability.
  2. Place the Amulet, Compass, and Palm Tree pieces on their respective spaces.
  3. Distribute the vehicle pawns, and one color-coded treasure map card deck to each player.
  4. Shuffle the treasure clue cards and create a face-down draw pile.


  1. Players take turns drawing and playing a treasure clue card, narrowing down the possible locations of a treasure on the island.
  2. When a treasure’s location becomes specific enough, a treasure hunt commences, and players move their pawns towards it.
  3. Reveal treasure clues one by one and split the treasures equally among the players who reached the location or contributed clues.


  1. The game ends when all treasures are found. Players then count their treasure values.
  2. The player with the most treasure value wins the game. In the event of a tie, the player with the most amulets wins.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Amulets provide special abilities like additional moves, protection from certain cards, or the power to adjust clues.
  2. Players must be mindful of the curse cards that can appear during treasure division, potentially costing them their shares of the treasure.

Remember, strategic thinking, planning, and a bit of luck are essential. The use of amulets at the right time can turn the tides of the game. Don’t forget to anticipate your opponents’ moves and plan accordingly. May the winds be ever in your favor as you explore the secrets of Tobago.

Best Tobago Strategies

Mastering the Art of Strategic Treasure Hunt Placement

The key to winning in this game hinges on effectively placing treasure hunts. First and foremost, keeping your opponents guessing is crucial.

1. Vary Your Strategies

  1. Mix up your placements to avoid predictability.
  2. Consider less obvious spots that may be overlooked.

2. Use Misdirection

  1. Place some treasures in locations that hint at other destinations.
  2. Use this to throw competitors off your trail.

3. Secure Strategic Points Early

  1. Invest early in locations that offer multiple movement options.
  2. This allows for adaptable responses to opponent moves.

Mastering Amulets: The Game-Changer in How To Play Tobago

Amulets in Tobago can dramatically shift the power balance, making their clever use pivotal. Integrating these strategies can transform them from helpful to game-winning.

Optimal Acquisition Timings

  1. Grab an amulet during the earliest rounds when they’re plentiful, setting you up for the mid to late game.
  2. Monitor amulet stock; swing by when they start to dwindle, ensuring you don’t miss out.
  3. Focus on amulet-heavy areas when few treasure hunts are active, optimizing your movements.

Defensive Versus Offensive Use

  1. Use defensively to nullify an opponent’s curse, protecting a crucial treasure hunt’s progress.
  2. Offensively, employ them to disrupt an opponent’s carefully planned treasure retrieval, especially if they’re about to win.

Timing Your Moves

  1. Wait for a high-stakes moment for maximum impact, like when multiple players are close to claiming a treasure.
  2. Utilize an amulet just before your turn to secure a strategy no one can block.

Master the Game by Anticipating Your Rivals’ Moves

In the tight, twisty races of finding treasures in Tobago, the key to outmaneuvering your opponents lies in prediction and preemption. Turning the tide to your favor requires not just a keen sense of observation but a strategic application of your insights into opponents’ strategies.

Predicting Treasure Moves

  1. Consider not only where treasures can be placed but where your opponents are likely to expect you to place them.
  2. Analyze the current clues to narrow down potential treasure locations.
  3. Observe the areas your opponents are strengthening their presence and plan accordingly.

Preempting Amulet Acquisition

  1. Keep a close watch on amulet locations and who might reach them first.
  2. Strategize your movements to either secure an amulet before others or force players to choose less optimal paths.

Psychic Deterrence

  1. Feint moves toward certain objectives to misdirect opponents’ responses.
  2. Don’t just play the game on the board; engage in psychological warfare by threatening plans you might not intend to follow through on.
  3. Use your actions to sow doubt among your rivals, making them hesitate or make mistakes.

Mastering the Mysteries of Tobago

Concluding this strategy guide, remember that Tobago isn’t just an ordinary board game; it’s an adventure waiting to unfold. Through the countless games I’ve played with friends, I’ve found that beyond the strategies, the real treasure of Tobago lies in the laughter and camaraderie shared around the table. Every game is a unique journey through its cleverly designed mechanics where anticipation, strategy, and a bit of luck weave together to create memorable experiences. So, gather your fellow adventurers, dive into the mysteries of Tobago, and let the hunt for treasure begin. Whether you’re plotting your next move over a hidden treasure or strategizing the best use of your amulets, keep in mind that how you play—the decisions you make, the risks you take—shapes the legend you’ll become on the island of Tobago. Happy exploring!

Want to know what we think of Tobago? Read our detailed review of Tobago 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.