The Tunnel (1st edition)

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General info and comments

Spielbox Issue 6 2009
Expansion symbol

Originally released in Spielbox in 2009.[1]


Tunnel token
  • 4 land tiles
  • 12 tunnel tokens



The four land tiles are mixed with those of the basic game. Every player receives the tunnel tokens corresponding to his or her color. In games of two, each player may use three sets of tokens; in games with three players, each may use two sets.[2]

All the rules of the basic game apply, with the following additions.

Playing the Game


Claim tunnels with tokens

During his or her turn,[3] a player may place one of his or her tunnel tokens on any currently unclaimed[4] tunnel opening, including on the land tile which has just been placed. Independent of this, the rules for deploying a follower remain the same. [5]

When is an underground tunnel finished?

As long as there is no tunnel token claiming a tunnel opening, the road leading to it is “broken off,” without being complete. [6] The road remains incomplete even when a tunnel token is placed on the tile. Only when the second tunnel token of the same color is placed on another unclaimed tunnel opening (which may or may not be on the same tile) are the tunnel “entrance” and “exit” defined, and the tunnel finished. [7] The road then runs underground through the tunnel, but is not completed at the tunnel exit. The road is completed in the usual way, such as by reaching a crossing.

The colour of the tunnel tokens is only important for linking two tunnel openings. Indeed, the tunnel is built for everyone; for example, a thief of another colour can score a road which goes through a finished tunnel. In extreme cases, a road may lead underground several times in a row.[8]


Only the visible segments of a completed road are scored.[9] [10]

The following sequence, for example, would score 6 points (or 12 with an inn):

  1. tile with a road leading from a city gate
  2. tile with a curved road
  3. tile with a tunnel portal
  4. tile with a tunnel exit
  5. tile with a straight road
  6. tile with a crossing

After scoring, the tunnel tokens remain where they are, so that at most five tunnels (or six with tunnels from other expansions) can be built.

Other Expansions

Tiles from other expansions, such as The Princess and the Dragon and Abbey and the Mayor which also depict tunnels, can also be used with the rules for the Spielbox tunnel expansion; as such, the openings can be claimed with tokens. In this case the road leading through the tunnel does not count as continuous, contrary to the stated rules.

Tile from The Princess And The Dragon showing a tunnel
Tile from Abbey And Mayor showing a tunnel

Tile distribution

Total Tiles: 4

Tunnel C1 Tile 1.jpgx1
Tunnel C1 Tile 2.jpgx1
Tunnel C1 Tile 3.jpgx1
Tunnel C1 Tile 4.jpgx1


For Icons licensing and explanation please visit Icons page.

  1. Icon Double Arrow Black.png For The Tunnel we have three sets of rules to draw on: those originally published in Spielbox; a set on Hans im Glück’s website; and, based on that, an English translation on the Spielbox website. I have used those of Hans im Glück as a basis for this section, although I will point out any differences between versions as necessary.
  2. Icon Double Arrow Black.png The rules published in Spielbox say that in games of two, each may take two sets of chips.
  3. Icon World Black.png A specific time during the turn is not stated, indicating that the token can be placed at any time during the turn. (10/2014)
  4. Icon World Black.png The rules say "unoccupied”, but I feel it is worth making a distinction between occupying (with a meeple) and claiming (with a token).
  5. Icon Double Arrow Black.png This last sentence does not occur in the published Spielbox; it clarifies that a player may both deploy a follower and place a tunnel token in the same turn.
  6. Icon Double Arrow Black.png This and the next section are greatly revised from the rules published in Spielbox, clarifying a number of issues.
  7. Icon World Black.png The rules only mention that the tunnel entrance and exit are “defined” but I feel it is worth making a distinction between a road being completed, and a tunnel being finished. The Spielbox English translation does not, and is potentially confusing.
  8. Icon World Black.png The Spielbox English rules add that a road may “[pass] behind other roads underground.” I’m inclined to think that this is a mistranslation of “hintereinander,” or “in a row.”
  9. Icon World Black.png It would seem logical that if the “entrance” and “exit” of a tunnel are on the same tile, they should only count as a single point for scoring, just as two segments of a city on a single tile only count as 1 tile for scoring purposes.
  10. Icon World Black.png Although not specifically stated, the finished road with tunnel tokens is scored during the normal scoring phase, as the rules do not indicate anything to the contrary. (10/2014)