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For tips on how to play nautilus, see Tips_nautilus

Object of the Game

  • During the six rounds of the game, place your divers in order to gain the upper hand in the five great domains that are:
    • Science
    • Exploration
    • Navigation
    • Engineering
    • War
  • The player who has won in the most domains will be declared the winner at the end of the game.


  • The game board is placed between the two players.
  • The Diver cards are shuffled then placed in a pile at the front of the Nautilus, face down.
  • The special cards are shuffled then placed in a pile at the back of the Nautilus, face down.
  • The Domain cards are shuffled. Five of them are placed face up on the five empty spaces of the game board.
  • The remaining cards form the draw pile which is placed next to the game board, face down.
  • One of players gets the Nemo token, thus becoming the first player of the round.

Preparation of the Round

  • Before starting a round, each player gets 5 Diver cards, which they look at secretly.
  • Then the first player draws two special cards.
  • After having looked at them, the player keeps one and gives the other to their opponent.
  • Some special cards can be played at the beginning of the round and others during the round.

Round Overview

  • To start, the first player places one of their Diver cards face up, along the Nautilus and in front of a Domain card, either on their own side (bottom) or on the side of their opponent (top).
  • Then, it's up to that opponent to do the same and so on until the 10 spaces (5 on each side of the Nautilus) have been filled by a card.
  • Some Diver cards have movement arrows:
    • horizontal (#7 and #8) or
    • vertical (#6 and #9).
    • When they are played, these cards MUST cause a movement action, unless there is no possible movement matching the direction of the arrow.
  • At the end of the round, the value of the Diver cards placed face-up, on both sides of the Nautilus, will determine who gets the Domain cards in play.

End of the Round

  • The round ends as soon as all 10 spaces on both sides of the Nautilus have been filled by a card (Diver or special).
  • The Domain cards are then awarded.
    • A player gets a Domain card when the value of the Diver card on their side is higher than that of the one on the opposite side.
      • There is one exception to this rule: the Diver card of value 1 (with a crab on it) always wins against the card of value 14.

End of Game and Scoring

  • The game ends at the end of the 6th round, when the pile of Domain cards is empty.
  • Each player takes the pile of Domain cards won during the game.
  • In each of the 5 domains (Science, Exploration, Navigation, Engineering, War), the players will compare their totals: two stars are worth 2 points, one star is worth 1 point, an ink blot removes 1 point from the concerned domain.
  • The player with the highest points score in a domain wins that domain.
  • The player who wins most domains wins the game.

Game Options

Domain cards


  • All collected domain cards by players are visible (by default).


  • Collected cards by player are visible and collected cards by opponent are hidden.

Some Features of This Adaptation of the Game

  • Duration of the game is 6 rounds by rules, but in this adaptation the game can proceed less than 6 rounds.
  • It can happen when one of the players has won 3 of 5 domains at end of one of the rounds.
  • Player wins the domain at the end a round if:
    1. They have gained 4 or more score points in the domain (during all previous rounds including current round). OR
    2. They have gained 3 score points in the domain and domain card with -1 point(ink blot) already was played off (already in hand of one of players).
  • It was done to end a game and not to play superfluous rounds when one of the players has already won a game.
  • At the end of the game, each player gets 1 victory point for each domain won.
    • Domain won by player when one of two conditions was executed, see above.
  • Total score of a game is the number of domains won by each player.