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Boomerang: Australia

TL;DR Rules


  • + points for difference between Throw & Catch numbers; this is an absolute value, it will never be negative points; if there is a tie at the end of the game, total Throw & Catch points are the tie-breaker
  • + points for sum of numbers in all green circles (Collections) per round; points are doubled if sum is 7 or less
  • + points for each pair of identical yellow diamond values (Animals) per round; each pair scores the value in its yellow diamond once, not twice
  • + points based on the total number of player's choice of 1 distinct blue square symbol (Activity) per round; each of the 4 distinct blue square symbols can be scored only once per game; scoring an activity for the round is always optional; point values based on the number of symbols collected for the round are as follows:
    • 0 points for 1 symbol
    • 1 point for 2 symbols
    • 4 points for 3 symbols
    • 7 points for 4 symbols
    • 10 points for 5 symbols
    • 15 points for 6 symbols
  • +1 point per letter collected throughout the game (counted only at the end of the game)
  • +3 points per complete region (groupings of 4 continuous letters) to the first player(s) to complete it (determined at the end of each round)

Card Distribution

  • 28 cards, each with a unique letter, and grouped into 7 distinct numeric regions (which also count as the Throw & Catch values):
    • Region 1: A - D
    • Region 2: U - X
    • Region 3: M - P
    • Region 4: E - H
    • Region 5: Q - T
    • Region 6: I - L
    • Region 7: Y, Z, @, #
  • Activities (blue square icons)
    • 6 of the Indigenous Culture (boomerang) icons
    • 6 of the Sightseeing (photograph) icons
    • 6 of the Bushwalking (hiker) icons
    • 6 of the Swimming icons
  • Collections (green circle icons)
    • 5 of the 1-point Leaf icons
    • 4 of the 2-point Flower icons
    • 3 of the 3-point Shell icons
    • 1 of the 5-point Souvenir icons
  • Animals
    • 5 of the 3-point Kangaroo icons
    • 5 of the 4-point Emu icons
    • 4 of the 5-point Wombat icons
    • 3 of the 7-point Koala icons
    • 2 of the 9-point Platypus icons

Full Rules

Round Set-up: Dealing

There are 28 cards in the game, with letters A-Z + @ and # on the bottom left of each card, in addition to numbers 1-7 on the top left of those cards (there are 4 of each number in the game). To start the round, 7 cards are dealt to each player; In games with less than 4 players, not all cards will be dealt this round, thus they will not be draftable for the entire round; however, the cards that were not dealt this round will always be the first cards dealt next round, so you should never not see a card for the entire game.

Gameplay: Drafting

The first card you draft in a round is referred to as your "Throw" card (i.e., like throwing a boomerang); you will score points based on the difference between the number on your Throw card in a round and the last card you draft in the round (i.e., the "Catch" card, as in catching a boomerang). Your Throw card remains hidden to all of your opponents until the end of the round (but you can see this card at any time).

After all players have selected a Throw card, the remaining 6 cards are passed to the next player. In the standard game, cards are always passed to the left; however, when playing with the "Direction Variant", cards are passed to the left in the 1st and 3rd rounds; in the 2nd and 4th rounds, cards are passed to the right.

From this point on, players will each draft 1 card from each hand, played face-up for all to see, and then pass their remaining cards; this is done until each player is passed only 1 card (their Catch card), which is played automatically, and then the round proceeds to the scoring phase.

End of Round: Scoring

There are 5 scoring categories: Difference between Throw & Catch numbers, Tourist Sites (letters), Collections (green circles), Animals (yellow diamonds), and Activities (blue squares). Their rules are described in detail below:

Difference between Throw & Catch numbers

  • This number is an "absolute value", as it does not matter whether your Throw card is greater than or less than your Catch card.
    • For example: a Throw of 7 and a Catch of 1 will score the same number of points as a Throw of 1 and a Catch of 7: 6 points.
  • There are 4 cards of each number, 1-7, in the game.

Tourist Sites (letters)

  • Each of the 28 letters (A-Z, @, and #) mentioned previously corresponds to a specific tourist site within Australia.
    • Therefore, each letter appears on only 1 card.
  • At the end of the round, cross off the letters of all sites you visited (i.e., drafted) this round; this does include your Throw card. At the end of the game, the letters you have crossed off on your map will count for 1 point each.
    • In later rounds you may have to draft the card of a tourist site (letter) that you have already crossed off; in this case, nothing happens for this site- there is no "repeat visit" bonus or anything like that...
  • Also at the end of the round, all players who have completed a full region (i.e., one of the groupings of 4 letters) on their map will each score 3 points, denoted by crossing off the "+3" symbol for that region; all other players who did not complete that region this round will scribble out the "+3" symbol for that region - once the 3 point bonus is obtained by some player(s) in a round, it is no longer available to other players in later rounds.
    • If two or more players complete the same region in the same round, all of those players will each score the 3 bonus points for the region, and all others must scribble out this bonus on their sheets.
    • The groupings for the regions are as follows: A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P, Q-T, U-X, Y-Z+@+#

Collections (green circles)

  • Some cards have green circles with different icons on them and their associated point values:
    • Leafs are worth 1 point each, Wildflowers are 2, Shells are 3, and Souvenirs are 5.
    • There are 5 Leaf icons in the game, 4 Flower icons, 3 Shell icons, and only 1 Souvenir icon.
  • At the end of the round, add up all of the values on all green collection items:
    • If this total is 7 or less, multiply the total by 2 and add the final number to your score
    • If the total is greater than 7, you just add the number to your score without doubling it (the basic reasoning here is that if you try to take too many keepsakes home, you'll probably have excess baggage fees).

Animals (yellow diamonds)

  • Some cards will also have yellow diamonds with different animal symbols on them, each type with a unique associated point value:
    • Kangaroos are worth 3 points, Emus are 4 points, Wombats are 5 points, Koalas are 7 points, and Platypuses are 9 points.
    • There are 5 Kangaroo icons in the game, 5 Emu icons, 4 Wombat icons, 3 Koala icons, and only 2 Platypus icons.
  • At the end of the round, you score the points on each yellow animal symbol for which you have a matched pair.
    • A pair of animals only scores the points for that type of animal once; if you have 2 Kangaroos (which are worth 3 points) on cards this round, you would score only 3 points, not 6.
      • Single animals are worth nothing; they must be paired.
      • Likewise, a set of 3-of-a-kind would count as 1 pair and 1 single, so would only score once.
      • However, 4-of-a-kind would count as 2 distinct pairs, netting you a total of twice their value.
  • You may score any number of animal pairs in a round, regardless of whether they are all of the same or not (i.e., you are allowed to mix-and-match, but each pair must be matched to another animal of its same type).

Activities (blue squares)

  • Finally, some cards will also have activity icons in blue squares, which are scored based on how many of that particular icon you have collected in a given round:
    • There are 4 types of activities: Swimming, Bushwalking (the hiker icon), Indigenous Culture (the boomerang icon), and Sightseeing (the photograph icon).
    • There are 6 of each of these activity icons in game (which makes 24 total activity icons on cards in the game; no card has 2 activity icons on it, so there are 4 cards in the game without any activity icon).
  • For 1 icon of a given type collected in a round, you would score 0 points; then 2 points for 2 icons of the same type, 4 points for 3 icons, 7 points for 4 icons, 10 points for 5 icons, or 15 points for 6 icons.
  • Scoring an activity for a given round is always optional, but you can only ever score 1 activity per round, and you are only allowed to score each activity once per game; so, if you pass on scoring any activity for a round (in the hope of scoring higher on one of them next round), you will lose out on scoring one of the activities types this game.

End of Game: Final Scoring & Tie-breakers

After 4 rounds, final scoring takes place:

  • Add up all of your points for each category over the 4 rounds.
  • Also add 1 point for each visited tourist site, as well as 3 points for each region bonus you have received.
  • The highest final score wins.
    • Ties are broken by the highest Throw & Catch points among the tied players.