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Evade Customs, Outwit your opponents and secure your fortune in this strategic board game for 2-5 players set in 18th Century Cornwall.
Evade Customs, Outwit your opponents and secure your fortune in this strategic board game for 2-5 players set in 18th Century Cornwall. Missed the Kickstarter? Don't worry!
Evade Customs, Outwit your opponents and secure your fortune in this strategic board game for 2-5 players set in 18th Century Cornwall. Missed the Kickstarter? Don't worry!
652 backers pledged £30,736 to help bring this project to life.

Cornish Smuggler Immortalised in Essen: The Game!!!


Hello Cornish Smugglers,

Just a very quick update to let you know that Cornish Smuggler (the game you helped to make!!!) has been immortalised in Essen: The Game which is currently on Kickstarter.

Fabrice Beghin, Frédéric Delporte, Etienne Espreman & the team at Geek Attitude Games have made...

Essen: The Game

( that everyone can live or relive a crazy day at Spiel, the famous German Game Fair in Essen. You'll all remember that after the successful funding of Cornish Smuggler, we were a big hit at Essen. At the fair, we were approached by the guys who went on the form Geek Attitude Games to ask whether they could include Cornish Smuggler in a new game they were designing. We said YES!!!!

We though you guys would like to check it out - and to see how your game is becoming part of history!!

With 5 days to go, Essen: The Game is 92% funded, so maybe our support can help to push them over the edge.

There's a really great Undead Viking review which you can see here, but otherwise check out their project as this is a game that definitely deserves to fund;)

Thanks for taking a look!


Waggle On Cornish Smuggler!


Hello Cornish Smugglers!

As you might have noticed, it's been a little while since our last update and we've been pretty busy!!! We've been blogging about our progress over on, so you should head over to have a look at our 'Behind The Scenes' section to see a month-by-month report of what we've been up to. Also, for those of you on Twitter and Facebook, you'll see we try to update you as regularly as possible on there.

Cornish Smuggler has been going from strength to strength over the last year. We've just returned from the UK Games Expo 2014 where we first launched our Kickstarter campaign one year ago (with not much more than a final prototype and bags & bags of enthusiasm!!). Thanks to YOUR help and support, since then, we funded successfully, delivered the game on time and on budget (pretty much!) and fulfilled the stretch goals you all helped us reach - an amazing soundtrack, the exclusive Kickstarter laser cut ships and beautifully commissioned artwork. This year we had the pleasure of returning to UKGE as nominees for Best New Boardgame. We were up against very stiff competition (from very well established publishers like Queen Games, Mayfair, Asmodee and Fantasy Flight Games) and the prize eventually went to the game Splendor. We were really excited to be nominated and this shows that all of your guys obviously had such well-placed confidence in what I'm doing and in a small independent publisher like Grublin Games (and everyone who now works here!)

Over the last year, Cornish Smuggler has also had sell-out success at Essen SPIEL13 (and is now being immortalised in a new forthcoming game called Essen: The Boardgame), been nominated for Best Thematic Boardgame (in the Club Fantasci International Awards) and are now stocked at Waterstones (a large UK bookshop chain) as well many, many independent FLGS around the UK, Germany and the USA.

At our stall at the Expo, we also presented our newest game, which has just gone LIVE on Kickstarter. Waggle Dance is quite a different game from Cornish Smuggler - it's a more classic, euro-style worker-placement where you use dice as worker bees to build a better hive, to collect pollen and to fill your hive with HONEY. Like Cornish Smuggler it's got excellent artwork, a strong thematic and you'll see we're still really passionate about producing something that we know you'll love to play. The game design for Waggle Dance is by Mike Nudd who I (Henry) have known for a number of years and has been making some amazing games all this time, everything else is Grublin Games and I think you might be impressed;)

In less than a week we have already attracted over 130 backers and raised almost £4,000 of our £15,000 funding target and we know that some of you guys have followed us to this new game (thank you!!). We're amazingly passionate about this game and you'll see we've put a lot of work into it so far - if you haven't checked out the project page yet, you should DEFINATELY head over to

Once again I'd like to just say thank you to all of you for supporting Cornish Smuggler.  Seriously, you guys made all this possible not me and for that I remain eternally thankful.





For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Cornish Smuggler Has Landed!


Hello Cornish Smugglers!

This was the update that was supposed to go up last night - massively busy day yesterday and I'm afraid it ended in a state of satisfied exhaustion because (as some of you may have seen from our fb update)....CORNISH SMUGGLER HAS LANDED!!!!!!!

Our ship landed in Southampton yesterday, meaning that we will be shipping out everyone's copy VERY SOON!!!! (as in this week!!!)

Now the timescale for posting does still depend on how closely customs decides to inspect our games, but we should be looking at ~3days to clear, then ~36 hours to get everything loaded onto a lorry at which point our small army of helpers will be unloading, packing and shipping out all of your copies with an inhuman speed and accuracy=)

Moved anywhere since June? 

Please let me know ASAP if you have changed address and haven't told us yet, or even if you just want to doublecheck which address we are sending to then, we'd be more than happy to confirm for you (I'm a huge fan of doublechecking and I love speaking to you all=). Once we've posted everything out it's much harder to fix so if you're in any doubt then give me a shout! (

Shipping Times

I'll be contacting you each individually with tracking numbers once your copy has been posted so you can each personally follow the progress of your copy Cornish Smuggler, but to give you the best idea right now of when you can expect your Cornish Smuggler to arrive, these are the maximum postage times that we're looking at:

  • UK: 3 days 
  • Europe and the US: 5 days
  • Everywhere else: 8 days 

Please bear in mind that also we've got lots of people helping out, we're not going to be able to post all copies on the first day - I've been thinking about the fairest way to go about this, so I think what I'll do is be posting out in order of when people supported the campaign, rather than doing things by country, or pledge level. If you are urgently waiting for your copy (e.g. for a birthday present etc.), then let me know and I'll prioritise (assuming everyone else is cool with that?=)

Reprinted Reference Cards, 'L' shapes and Addendums

As you all know, the 500-Essen copies were missing one of the Goods Shapes and had some misprinted reference cards. Also, horror of horrors there was a small loophole found in the game! Luckily, this really was a small loophole and was easily fixed with an addendum, which you can view HERE (if you see black squares on the addendum then try opening it in a different viewer, e.g. Chrome, I.E., Foxit etc.)

Just so as to clear up any confusion, when you receive your copy(ies) of Cornish Smuggler, you'll notice that there are re-printed cards, an errant Goods Shape and a copy of the Addendum so that you have the perfect copy=)

Exclusive Ships

As everyone who we met at Essen knows...I ran into a couple of problems colouring these ships. Before anyone says anything, no I wasn't trying to do these with felt-tips, 00 paint brushes or anything else like that;) - the original plan was to just dye them, but a combination of the colours being patchy and the dye inconsistently swelling the wood (if they all swelled the same then we'd be fine...but they didn't - remember these ships are push-fit) meant that I've been doing a lot of experimenting with these.

However, now that a solution has been found I thought you might like a sneak preview of what your exclusive ships are going to look like! 

 The eagle eyed of you will notice that there isn't a pink ship here - don't worry, they'll be arriving in the next few days;)

So what have I been up to for the last month?

Since the start of this campaign, getting Cornish Smuggler as good as it possibly can be (in terms of game play, production quality and mechanic/thematic tie-in) has been my #1 priority and I'm so enormously proud with everything that has been achieved.

However, there's always been another side to this (check out my bio). More than just wanting to just get a game idea out there, this has also very much been about creating something which is sustainable, provides employment and allows me to take control of my own situation by creating something which is sustainable. 

Looking at this naively, this means making sales - sorting out distribution and generally getting money in as we do have things that we need to pay for (e.g. rent, wages etc.), but this has always been about much, much more than just that. This is about retraining, skilling up and specialising so that future games can be made even better, but in a way that gives something back and this is exactly what I wanted to do right from the start. 

This whole process has been an incredibly steep learning curve and a real rollercoaster at times, but it has happened, we've created some jobs and have met so many friendly, intelligent people along the way - honestly, if you'd asked me at the start of this year how things would look now, then I wouldn't in my most optimistic dreams have thought we'd be in this place and with an absolutely bloody amazing game to show for it!=D

I know I keep saying this, but this is what Cornish Smuggler, this Kickstarter and every single one of you guys have enabled - Thank You for this and for all your kind messages throughout this campaign.

I Can.Not.Wait for you all to get your copies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll post updates here and on facebook as and when I get more information as to shipping times, but as always if you have any questions then just ask - I've got all the time for you all and I'll be more than happy to answer=)


ESSEN WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hello Smuggling Kickstarters!!!

WHAT A WEEK!!!! This week has been a dream come true...I really don't know what other words to use here....WOW!!!!

Ok - last Wednesday Cornish Smuggler simultaneously landed in both England and Germany. The Essen copies (all 500 of them) sailed through Customs, landed in Dusseldorf and were delivered to Essen on Monday. The UK copies (all 6 of them) threw up something suspicious, raised a couple of eyebrows and got raided by the customs...a nervous three day wait ensued and on Saturday Cornish Smuggler arrived.

So, I got everyone round my house and we tentatively opened up the box...

A really strange mix of emotions this - I know that in the photos I should be looking ridiculously happy, but to be honest at that point I was terrified! What if something had gone wrong, a piece was missed out???

Luckily everything looked TOTALLYLOODYAMAZING!!! There were only two problems that I could see, one of the Goods Shapes was wrong (certainly not even close to a game breaker) and four of the Action cards had the wrong REP cost for hiring characters (also not close!)

Just quickly - all of this has now been fixed for every copy except the Essen handouts where we'll be handing out the errant Goods Shape with each copy (I just went and made a load more;) - for the misprinted cards...I'll have replacements for these to post out to those that would like them and we'll be letting everyone know about this as we hand them out so no-one gets a bad surprise=)

Sunday and Monday was all just prepping for Essen - seriously, nothing else. Organising last minute meetings - I have a list of every games distributor (like every distributor in the world!) and I've been trying to sort out Essen meetings with them for the last three months now! I'm meeting with ~30% of them at Essen - the ones that I couldn't get past the info@ email stage with are also going to be getting a meeting, they just don't know this yet;)

Then we had the drive over - left Penzance at 4pm on Monday, arrived in Essen at 1pm Tuesday. The less said about that the better I think...not recommended!

After booking in, we went pretty much straight from the hotel to the stand - unpacked all the boxes, went a little bit crazy over Cornish Smuggler and just BEING AT ESSEN!!!!! Each of these copies cost ~£7 each to fly over so I was really aware how important it was that each copy was perfect! Queue build the stand - had to take it all down again as the organisers had delivered all our games to the wrong booth...but had also forgotten to number any of them so we didn't realise either!=/ Follow stand take down and quick re-build in another stand - rebuild stand - each copy at Essen costed £7 each to fly over!!!

Yesterday we had Press day - (I'm rushing now as I've got to get to the showground!) Met a whole load of retailers and (some) journalists (sadly they weren't told about the indie press room that we were put into - it turns out that Essen is quite a lot more political for publishers than I expected! Then back to the booth to meet more people - a quick walk around with our mouths hanging open just looking at all the coolness! and then back to the hotel for answering emails, changing the pre-order to real orders on the grublin site (we had our first flurry of full price orders last night btw!!!!) and then BED! all the madness happens...

Finally - 2500 copies of Cornish Smuggler shipped tomorrow - slightly (very very slightly) later date (26th Nov) due to overbooking on shipped - all shipping prices are rising by ~3% from the 1st November, so there has been something of a mad rush at the end of October to ship everything out of China...don't get me started!

From the people I've talked to already - the retailers, other publishers, the adventurous press who discovered the indie room, the folks who wondered over to our booth when we were setting up and stood there with giant grins on their faces; there's a definite feeling here that Cornish Smuggler is the sort of game that is a) made by experienced designers or b) is published by large publishers - Grublin is tiny and this is our first (and I know that I go on about this but it's true!) and we seriously, seriously couldn't have gotten here without you.

So, I wanted to add a shout out to this update asking for your support - any retweeting, facebook sharing, talking about Cornish Smuggler online via BGG or any other boardgaming site you visit would be AMAZING!!!

I've uploaded some more images of Cornish Smuggler at Essen to BGG so if you felt that the pictures were good and you think you would like to 'thumb' (I'm not allowed to prompt you directly here!) them then that would be really, really helpful and amazing!!!!!!!!!

You can see Cornish Smuggler live this morning on the BGG Essen video cast (BGG main page on the right)

Also, if you see any reviews of Cornish Smuggler then I'd love to see them also (and I'm guessing everyone else would to?) so please feel free to post them in the comments and let's see what kind of waves Smuggler makes this week!

YOU GUYS ROCK!!! Seriously - dream come true stuff and I really, really wish you were all here to share this!!!

p.s. I'd like to say Congratulations to Rus & Luan on the birth of their new baby boy Rio - YOU GUYS ROCK AS WELL!!!