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post: Office 3, Trereife Park, Penzance, Cornwall, UK, TR20 8TB phone: +44(0)1736 448070

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Grublin is a UK registered company # 8410455

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  • The Cornish Smuggler Game Box

Buy Cornish Smuggler Here

A strategic board game for 2-5 smugglers set in 18th Century Cornwall.

  • 2-5 Players
  • Ages 13+
  • Gameplay ~30 mins per player

Evade customs, outwit your rivals and secure your fortune in Cornish Smuggler. You will have to employ strategy and risk taking to buy and sell contraband, cultivate a network of local characters, trade in secret knowledge, hidden locations, secret landings, bribes, dirty tricks and a healthy dose of cunning to evade the attentions of the Customs Officers and your fellow smugglers. The object of the game is to sell your goods at the highest prices, gain reputation and be the smuggler with the most gold.


There are many possible paths to victory in Cornish Smuggler. Throughout the game, players will have to adapt their strategy to accommodate the actions of the other players, employ the right characters, buy the right goods, discover the right secrets and make the right deals.


Cornish Smuggler doesn't have any dice and you choose how you want to play - leaving a minimum of random event and a maximum of smart, tactical game playing.


Cornish Smuggler is richly thematic, drawing on genuine historical activity and based around our research into smugglers in 18th Century Cornwall.


The game has detailed illustration throughout and can be played with a bespoke soundtrack (stream or download for FREE online).


What this game is:

Dodging the Law, employing the local vicar, building a network, discovering and using secrets, storing smuggled goods in the mayor's wine cellar, getting rich, a surprisingly accurate historical representation.

What this game isn't:

Ship racing, firing cannons, being a pirate.


In Cornish Smuggler you will need to build a network of smuggling Characters, buy contraband Goods from Merchants out at sea, sail these goods to a Port or Cove, land good without attracting attention from Customs Officers, bring these goods to a Town and sell them for the most Gold possible. To do all of this, you will be using Resources to pay for Actions and making the most of knowledge gained through Secrets Cards, the special abilities of your hired Characters and using your Secret Storehouse(s).

Resource Types

There are three different resource types in Cornish Smuggler, which can be used in many ways throughout the game:


You will need GOLD to win the game, but also to pay for things like buying Goods and hiring Characters.


REPUTATION is most valuable towards the start of the game as it generates Influence for you each turn, but also adds to your final score.


INFLUENCE is the oil that greases the smuggling wheels and is usually the cheapest way to pay for your smuggling activity. You will use this to pay for most of your Actions.

With most Actions, you can choose how you would like to make them happen. You don't have to pay all bribes in Gold and you don't have to move your Goods around using only Influence. You have a choice about how to do almost everything in the game.


Player Quick Reference Cards showing the cost of all Actions in the game.

CornishSmuggler Setup

Gameplay & Turn Sequence

Play in Cornish Smuggler happens in turns. During each turn, a player spends their resources to perform Actions, so the number of Actions that a player gets depends on the number of resources they choose to spend.

Working clockwise from the 1st player, each player takes one Action continuing around the table. This continues until all players have either spent all resources or have passed. At the end of the turn, any motivated (used) Characters are brought back into play, un-hired Characters are discarded and each player receives 1 new Influence for each Reputation counter they hold. At times you may decide it is best to Pass during a turn to stockpile your Resources and at other times you may decide it is more advantageous to stay in play for as long as possible to prevent others from gaining an advantage. Throughout the game you need to carefully monitor your resources to make sure you can pay for the Actions you want to take. At the same time, you need to keep an eye on your fellow smugglers and see what impact their moves will have on you and your network.


Evade the Customs

While you are playing Cornish Smuggler you have to constantly think about the Customs Officers. Customs Officers are not a playable character in the game, instead their movement responds to the players’ actions.

Whenever contraband is landed or sold, the nearest Customs Officers will start to move towards that location. If the Customs arrive in a location where you have goods on land, your goods will be immediately seized and moved to the Customs Warehouse in Penzance. Luckily, you have lots of tricks available to you to prevent this from happening – Customs Officers can be bribed, you can stash goods in your Secret Storehouse, you can use Influence to prevent Customs moving too far towards you when you land goods and you might even have a Character or a Secrets Card that gives you the ability to temporarily move Customs or divert their attention. If your goods (or those of other players) do get seized, you can raise a Mob (using specific Character cards) and attempt to break in to the Warehouse and take the goods for yourself.

As you progress through the game, selling smuggled Goods and making Gold, the Customs gradually become more aware of what is going on (the Discovery Level decreases), more Customs Officers are released onto the board and they become more expensive to bride. All of this is controlled by the Customs Track at the top of the board, which is activated after every sale.

General Introduction

An introduction to Cornish Smuggler by Henry from Grublin Games filmed during a very busy UK Games Expo 2014 by Efka of No Pun Show.

Detailed Overview & Setup

Take a look at jPlay 's "How To Play" video for an overview of the rules for Cornish Smuggler

Take a look : GMS Magazine Unboxing


  • • 1 Fully Illustrated 600 mm x 540 mm (23.5 x 21 inches aprox) game board
  • • 60 x Secrets Cards
  • • 60 x wooden Influence Counters
  • • 58 Gold Counters
  • • 52 Reputation Counters
  • • 50 Wooden player counters
  • • 48 x unique Character Cards
  • • 25 Customs Bribe Markers
  • • 16 x unique wooden Goods Shapes
  • • 12 x Storehouse Cards
  • • 10 Wooden Customs counters
  • • 10 x Ship Cards
  • • 5 Wooden ship counters
  • • 2 x Reference cards per /player
  • • 1 Rule Book

Cornish Smuggler is jam-packed full of high quality components. Here at Grublin Games, we pay close attention to detail and ensure all of our components are the highest possible quality, so that when you buy Cornish Smuggler, you know you're getting your Gold's worth!

Cornish Smuggler Reviews

Since its release in 2013, Cornish Smuggler has attracted a good deal of attention from reviewers and players alike. The debut game by Cornish indie startup Grublin Games, Cornish Smuggler raised over £30,000 from its Kickstarter campaign (the highest crowdfunded project ever from Cornwall) and was officially launched at Essen on October 24th 2013 to a sell out success.

We've gathered together reviews, testimonials and comments about Cornish Smuggler so that you can get a sense of what other people think of the game.

Awards & Nominations

Cornish Smuggler was nominated for BEST NEW BOARDGAME at the UK Games Expo Awards 2014 & BEST THEMATIC GAME in the Club Fantasci International Awards 2013.

Reviews Logo

Click here to read our review: "Cornish Smuggler is a solid game; it deserves to succeed. The rules are clever, the cut-throat feel is there, and the few (temporary) mishaps can be surely forgiven for this company of enthusiasts that took its plunge in the gaming industry. Thanks for the treat lads, keep on smuggling!"

4/5 STARS -

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Cornish Smuggler Soundtrack
A free bespoke soundtrack created for Cornish Smuggler

As part of the Kickstarter campaign for Cornish Smuggler, we were able to create a bespoke soundtrack for the game. Either listen using the player below, download direct from soundcloud or scroll down to find out more...

The Artists

Track listing:

Artist Details:

Tracks I, III, V, and XI, feature the tracks, Celtic Impulse, Duet Musette, Cattails, Achaidh Cheide, by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 These tracks have been adapted for use within this soundtrack

Track IV 15 Minutes of Fame - Snakeoil Salesmen © 2013 Matt Couch Recordings. Website:

Tracks XIII, XVI and XXIV feature the tracks, Fiddlers Green, The Fox and St. Anne’s Reel, and Fairmoye Lassies Set, by The Stowes. Original tracks and more info can be found here: and here

Track XII Sad Passengers Waltz – The Freak Fandango Orchestra ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Track XVIII Sailing to Ingonish by Admiral Bob Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Original track is available here: (

Tracks VII, XV, and XVII, feature the tracks, Minstrel, and Sailors Lament by Jason Shaw ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 These tracks have been adapted for use within this soundtrack

Track XXII Waves by West Barbary. Website

Track XXIII features the track Percussion by Tom Cusack ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 This track has been adapted for use within this soundtrack

Thank You

All additional composition, sound design, mixing and arranging by Luke Robinson. (

Our eternal thanks to all the artists who have contributed music for the Cornish Smuggler soundtrack - this wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Smugglers Beware! A Cornish Smuggler Addendum

It has come to our attention that some Smugglers have been doing far too much Honest Work to still be called Smugglers!

If you have noticed any such un-thematic activity then you need this addendum.

Smugglers Beware

CLICK HERE to download the addendum as a PDF.

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Ask at your FLGS

We distribute direct to a range of different Friendly Local Games Stores and independent bookshops. If you can't find Cornish Smuggler, ask in store and they will be able to order you a copy.

Order direct from us

At Grublin Games, we ship Cornish Smuggler Worldwide. You can order directly from us and we will ship direct to your door.

Buy Cornish Smuggler today!

Only £34.95
  • Free UK Delivery
  • EU delivery only £5
  • US delivery only £10
Buy it Now!