Nantucket: A Historic Whaling and Town Building Game for Two

Nantucket is a micro-game style adaptation of New Bedford. Nantucket takes you to “The Little Grey Lady of the Sea” during the early American whaling industry. You need just a few cards and coins to play in whatever port you find yourself. Mix and match two cards to form the modular board. Then use your single action each round to carefully build the town and send out ships. After performing your actions, flip the coins on your ship to catch a whale. Play until the town is fully constructed, supplies run out, or the last whales are taken. Between buildings and earned coins, may the best captain win!

Nantucket will feel familiar for anyone who has played New Bedford, because it developed alongside New Bedford over a year and a half. But is a completely new experience, drawing inspiration from Adam McIver’s Coin Age, to be a deep gaming experience you can take anywhere.

About the Game

Board Game Geek page for Nantucket

Kickstarter Campaign for New Bedford, with information about Nantucket

Number of Players: 2

Setup time: 30 seconds

Learning time: Less than 5 minutes

Play time: 20 minutes

Game Mechanics: Worker Placement, Resource Management, Town Building.

Degree of Randomness: Moderate randomness from coin flipping during whaling.

Replayability: Mix-and-match buildings from 4 A-sides and 3 B-sides, multiple routes to victory in each combination.

What’s Included

Nantucket was designed for maximum portability: NantucketComponents

  • 4 Cards
  • 24 $1 “silver” coins
  • 12 $2 “copper” coins
  • First player token
  • 2 player tokens
  • DHMG “Rabbit” size box
  • Rule book

Nantucket was designed to be played with coins, players can substitute dimes and pennies for the silver and copper coins, and a few quarters to track turns. The whole game can easily fit in a pocket for portable play

How To Play

In Nantucket, money is everything. Buildings, ships, and resources are all represented by the coins, so deciding where and how to use your money is the heart of the game.

Players have just a single action each round, and there are only 3 basic actions are available at the start: launch a ship, build a building, or collect silver.

Launch a ship by placing a stack of coins by the board. The more coins you stack, the more chances you’ll have to whale. Or build a building by paying the building’s cost, then placing one of those coins to mark its ownership (heads or tails). Buildings add actions and earn points for their owners. To do either of these, you need money, and while silver is easy to collect, copper coins are harder to come by.

At the end of each round, players toss the coins on their ships and catch whales according to the results. More heads means better whales. Better whales yield copper coins that are worth points. But you can fill your ship with copper instead to catch even better whales, or use them to build more quickly.

The game ends when the entire town has been built, or when you deplete the copper coins from the supply. Then most points from buildings and copper coins wins!