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Introducing The Isle of Cats NSFC expansion

1st April 2021 18

Update: For anyone discovering this post in the future, I would like to clarify this announcement was made on April 1st 2021 as an April Fools joke and is not a real expansion. Thank you to everyone who shared their reactions to it and I am glad you all had as much fun with this as I did.

Over the past year I have been working hard on a new expansion for The Isle of Cats and today I am excited to share it with you!

This video is the perfect way to learn about the expansion as it discusses the story, the full rules, introduces you to the components, and finishes with information about release dates.

The story

The end of the rescue has arrived, and it is time to head home, as you begin to raise your anchor you notice a shadow in the distance and a strange noise starts to fill the air. The Dark Hand has arrived and is attempting to take control of one of the captains, they have no intentions of letting you and the cats leave the island in one piece.

How to play in 5 easy steps

The NSFC expansion adds a new stage to the game after the 5th day has completed, up until the end of the 5th day, no rules change.

1. Role cards

Each player is given a role card at random. If you receive the hand of Vesh card then you are now an agent of Vesh and your mission is to blow up the other ships before they leave.

2. Ability tokens

After receiving their roles, players may purchase ability tokens for 5 fish each, or for 3 fish if you are the agent. The agent also receives 1 any number token for free.

3. Boat grids and screens

Place 1 screen protector around each player boat, and position the boat grid extension around your boat.

4. Propellers

Each player must secretly choose an empty space on their boat to place the propeller token. The agent of Vesh however may place the propeller anywhere, discarding any cats that may be in the way.

5. Battle!

Starting with the agent, players take it in turns to fire cannon balls at the other players by calling out grid references where they think the other players propeller may be.

Each player must announce their target and the location they have hit.

The targeted player must then remove any cats or treasures from their boat that were on the targetted space, and announce how many squares away the cannon ball landed from their propeller. If they have any ability tokens, they may use them to alter the number they announce.

  • The agent wins if they manage to hit all of the propellers on the rescuers ships.
  • If the rescuers manage to disable the agents ship, the surviving players will add up their scores following the normal rules to find the winner.

Players may place battle axes on their boats to remind them of what spaces they have previously targeted.

More details

For more details, please check out the video at the top of this post.

I can’t wait to share more information about this new expansion for The Isle of Cats with you soon!

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Chris Pottle

    1st April 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Frank…you bas****!
    Ya got me fair and square!
    But that was such a brilliant idea I might even start cutting out my own cardboard!
    Ps…I love cats so I would consider the cannonballs as ‘invisiballs’ just to make them invisible for scoring purposes.
    Good luck mate!
    Chris P


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 12:17 pm

      I’m glad to hear it!

      There’s certainly some potential in there for a fun variation if you ignore the theme, but invisiballs could work.


  • Heidi Zambrano

    1st April 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Such relief when the end came. I wish you could have seen my face curl up as each minute passed. You trickster, I am the April fool (I hope). Love everything you’re doing, keep up the wonderful work!


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks Heidi it means a lot and I’m glad you watched to the end !


  • Molly McKee

    1st April 2021 at 1:17 pm

    You absolutely got me! Brilliant! The only thing better would have been a video of my reaction watching it for the first time. (I’m glad it’s not real!) 🙂


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 1:45 pm

      How I wish I could watch peoples reactions to watching the video for the first time, I’m sure a lot of people are going to have a real roller coaster experience with this!


  • Lianne

    1st April 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Best April Fools yet – you had me bemused for a full 5 minutes of this video 😀


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 4:18 pm

      Happy to hear it Lianne, there have been some great ones this year!


  • BoardGames Herald

    1st April 2021 at 2:40 pm

    You know this is April 1st Right? I do board game news and today it’s hard to separate true news from false ones.


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 4:19 pm

      I can only imagine it’s a tricky one for you today, for this announcement, everything you need to know to answer your questions is at the end of the video.


  • Carl

    1st April 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Definitely had me going there and honestly before the reveal I was about to just close the page on account of how uninterested I am in this thematically. (I love cats, and honestly I also like to think of Vesh as being largely uninterested in the actions of these cat-rescuers rather than actively anti-cat enough to stop them.)

    That being said some of the rules given here sound like they’d make for a nice Battleship variant (or unofficial expansion) which I would totally play.


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks for sticking through to the end Carl, it’s not a theme I’d like to explore any further myself too.


  • Adam Rasmussen

    1st April 2021 at 3:07 pm

    Ha ha ha ha wow. You totally got me on this one. Starting out do stoked for an expansion before sinking into shock and disappointment, only to be left stupefied at how easily I was duped on the most prank ridden day of the year. Well played sir


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you Adam, I hope you have a wonderful day and I’m glad I got you for a few minutes!


  • Gary Baker

    1st April 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Aw my kids were disappointed Frank! Battleships meets Isle of Cats 😂 they were loving the idea. I on the other hand, I was relieved. Nice one, looking forward to the possibility of new feline fun in May.


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 10:02 pm

      Sorry to disappoint your kids Gary but I think you’re going to be better off in the long run, hopefully they’ll enjoy May’s announcement!


  • Raf

    1st April 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Good one Frank! You almost got me! I was going ok, good, nice… Just Waaaaiiit a minute. It looks too much like Battle Ships… Normally i see April Fools from miles/kilometers away… But yours was mere inches/centimeters from hitting home 😊


    • Frank West

      1st April 2021 at 10:02 pm

      Hopefully I’ll get you next time!


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