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Mombasa box image


Mombasa is a strategic board game for 2-4 players where players compete to build trading empires in 19th century Africa. Players invest in companies, expand their trading posts, and manage their resources to earn the most profit.

7.85 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
2 - 4
player count
2 - 4
Recommended player count
75 - 150 mins
play time

How Complex is Mombasa?

3.9 / 5

Mombasa has a moderate complexity level due to its multiple mechanics, but the rulebook is well-organized and the gameplay flows smoothly once players understand the different systems.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of Mombasa?

2.5 / 5

Luck plays a minor role in Mombasa as players have control over their actions and can mitigate the impact of luck through strategic planning. However, the order of the cards drawn can affect gameplay.

How much Player Interaction does Mombasa offer?

3.5 / 5

Mombasa has moderate player interaction as players can block each other's actions and compete for the same resources, but there is no direct conflict or player elimination. The game also encourages players to focus on their own strategies.

How much Replayability does Mombasa offer?

4 / 5

Mombasa offers high replayability due to the variable setup of the board, different company combinations, and the changing market conditions. The game also has multiple viable strategies to explore.

Why you should play Mombasa

Unique gameplay

Mombasa offers a unique gameplay experience that combines elements of deck-building, worker placement, and area control.

Strategic depth

The game offers a high level of strategic depth, with players needing to carefully manage their resources and make smart decisions in order to succeed.

Beautiful artwork

The game features beautiful artwork that captures the feel of colonial Africa, with vibrant colors and intricate details.


With multiple paths to victory and a variety of different strategies to explore, Mombasa offers a high level of replayability.

Engaging theme

The game's theme of colonialism in Africa is both interesting and thought-provoking, adding an extra layer of depth to the gameplay.

Well-balanced mechanics

The game's mechanics are well-balanced, with no one strategy or approach dominating the game.

Challenging gameplay

Mombasa is a challenging game that will test even experienced gamers, making it a great choice for those looking for a more intense gaming experience.

Why you should avoid Mombasa


Mombasa can be quite complex, with a lot of different mechanics to keep track of. This may be overwhelming for some players, especially those who are new to board gaming.


The game can take quite a while to play, with a typical game lasting around 2-3 hours. This may not be ideal for players who prefer shorter, more casual games.


While the game's theme of colonialism in Africa is interesting, it may not be appealing to all players. Some may find the theme uncomfortable or inappropriate.

Limited player count

Mombasa is designed for 2-4 players, which may not be ideal for larger gaming groups.

Lack of player interaction

While there is some player interaction in Mombasa, it is not as prominent as in other games. This may be a turn-off for players who enjoy more social or competitive games.

Where to find the Rules of Mombasa

You can find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the Mombasa files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for Mombasa

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of Mombasa.

Focus on building your trading companies

In Mombasa, the goal is to build up your trading companies and expand your influence across Africa. Make sure you are investing in the right companies and expanding them as much as possible.

Keep an eye on your opponents

Pay attention to what your opponents are doing and try to anticipate their moves. This will help you stay ahead of the game and make strategic decisions.

Manage your resources carefully

Resources are limited in Mombasa, so it's important to manage them carefully. Make sure you are using your resources efficiently and not wasting them on unnecessary actions.

Plan ahead

Mombasa is a game that requires long-term planning. Make sure you are thinking ahead and considering how your actions will impact your future turns.

Don't neglect the bookkeeping

Mombasa has a lot of bookkeeping involved, so make sure you are keeping track of your cards, money, and trading companies. This will help you make informed decisions and stay on top of the game.

Advanced Strategies for Mombasa

Diversify your trading companies

In the early game, it's important to focus on building up one or two trading companies. However, as the game progresses, it's a good idea to diversify your portfolio and invest in multiple companies. This will give you more options and flexibility in the later stages of the game.

Pay attention to the market

The market in Mombasa can be unpredictable, but it's important to keep an eye on it and adjust your strategy accordingly. If a certain commodity is in high demand, it may be worth investing in that trading company or stocking up on that commodity.

Use your cards strategically

The cards in Mombasa can be incredibly powerful if used correctly. Make sure you are using them strategically and not wasting them on actions that won't benefit you in the long run.

Plan for the endgame

The endgame in Mombasa can be intense, with players vying for control of the different regions of Africa. Make sure you are planning ahead and positioning yourself to make a strong push for victory in the final rounds.

Take calculated risks

Mombasa is a game that rewards players who are willing to take risks. However, it's important to take calculated risks and not make reckless moves that could backfire. Make sure you are weighing the potential rewards against the potential risks before making any major decisions.


Stock Holding
Variable Player Powers
Simultaneous Action Selection
Hand Management
Open Drafting
Area Majority / Influence
Worker Placement
Deck, Bag, and Pool Building
Action Queue
Turn Order: Claim Action
Victory Points as a Resource