How to Play Famous Flagships

Table of Contents

  1. Welcome
    • Let's get started!
  2. Setup
    • Defender vs challenger
    • Deal 3 steering cards to each player
    • Wind speed and the windrose
    • Pennies modify the wind speed
    • Choosing your starting position
  3. On Your Turn
    • Play a steering card to move
    • Score points for dots and pennies
    • Return pennies to the supply
    • Add new wind to either side
    • If run out of pennies in the supply...
  4. Once Both Yachts Have Moved
    • Swap played card with your opponent
    • The yacht with the lowest scort starts
  5. Winning the Race
    • Play to 50 points
    • The highest scoring yacht wins<
    • Thank you!

Looking for the rules to our Famous Flagships yacht racing card game?

Let Coach show you how to play!


So you have your heart set on being a famous racing skipper, do you? Well stick with me and I’ll teach you how to trim a sail and tame the wind.

Click the bottle cap to continue… »


The most prestigious yachting regattas are tests of skill between two rival skippers: a defender and a challenger.

In Famous Flagships, the two skippers maneuver their yachts using a set of six steering cards. Deal three steering cards face-up to each player.

A yacht’s speed depends on its position against the wind. A wind at your back is nice but you sail fastest when it’s at your side. The dots on the windrose card indicate how fast you’ll go.

But the wind’s always changing. New gusts show up on the windrose card as pennies. At the start of the game, add 15 pennies to the windrose card as shown.

With the race about to begin, the defender chooses a starting position, followed by the challenger. Once both yachts are ready, the defender makes the first move.

On Your Turn

On your turn, play a card to move your yacht around the windrose. Your yacht moves the number of spaces and in the direction shown on your card. You cannot end up in the same space occupied by your opponent’s yacht.

Score points based on the number of dots and pennies at your new location. Keep a running tally of your points on a shared scoresheet.

Once you’ve recorded your points, remove the pennies from your new location and return them to the supply in the center of the windrose.

Your move has displaced the wind around you, however, and summoned up new gusts. Take two pennies from the supply and add one to each of the spaces to either side of your new location.

If there arent’t enough pennies in the supply, take what you need for wind displacement from the location(s) of your choice.

Once Both Yachts Have Moved

Once both yachts have moved, the skippers swap played cards with each other. It’s important to keep this swap in mind when deciding what to play.

The yacht with the lowest score will start the next round. If the score is tied, continue in the same order as the previous turn.

Winning the Race

The game continues until the end of the round in which one or both yachts reached 50 points.

Once that occurs, the winner is the yacht with the highest score. If the score is tied, continue playing additional rounds until a winner can be declared.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to an old skipper’s tales, champ. If you keep an ear to the wind and an eye on your sails, you’ll be famous in no time.

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