No matter what new board games you throw at Master C he still keeps coming back to his two board game true loves. Snakes and Ladders and Ludo. Don’t get me wrong, some vintage ones like Stop the Train and Jump the Queue will sometimes hold his attention, but he will still keep going to the double set of S&L and Ludo that we have on the living room shelf and ask to play with me or his sister. I’ve been on the look out for other similar games that might capture his interest and as there seem to be several games that work on a variant of Ludo I thought it may be a safe direction to go in, and that’s exactly what I did with Coppit.
The version of this I picked dup in a charity shop was one by Spears Games from the 1980s although Bonn seems to recall his Nan having a different version in the house when he was growing up.
Comparisons with Ludo
When you open the game up, there is a definite resemblance to Ludo, with the concept of a home base for each colour. Just looking at the board there are a few obvious differences – the biggest being that this is a game for six players rather than just four. Or at least my version is. Somewhere online I remember seeing a version for four players, but I’m damned if I can find it again.
The second difference is that rather than go around the board in a prescribed direction, you are free to choose which direction you move your playing pieces in.
Aim of the game of Coppit
This second difference makes sense when you understand what the aim of the game is in Coppit. Rather than standard playing pieces each player has four cones, or hatsas they are known in Coppit. These all start off in your home base. Now, what you are trying to do is to be the last player standing, whilst all players try to capture other players hats. In other words, it’s a “running fight” board game.
You simply capture hats by landing on them (with an exact throw of the dice). Once you’ve captured someone’s hat you then need to get it back safely to your home base. The twist is that someone else can then capture your hat, and hence all the hats under it. This in turn might also result in them freeing one of their own already captured hats.
What we thought of Coppit
It’s actually great fun to play as with the aim being to be the last one standing you need to try to attack other player’s hats. But, in doing so you are putting your own hats at risk. There are 12 “safe” spaces on the board, but it’s impossible to stay on these all the time.
I’ve played Coppit as both a two player game and a three player game, and there’s no doubt that it works best with more players. Although, be warned, that if you try playing with your two children they will probably gang up on you and make sure you go out pretty sharpish!
History of the game
Reading up on Coppit it seems that the game was originally invented in Germany in 1927, and there it went under the name Fang den Hut, which translates to English as Capture the Hat. The game’s German roots mean it’s no surprise that the game was mainly released by Spears Games, a company best known for producing Scrabble, but a company which had German origins.
Getting hold of Coppit today
As far as I can tell, there are no modern versions of Coppit in production today. I’ve seen a few versions in charity shops, but eBay is probably the best place to find a vintage copy. Amazon has a few, but they seem to be priced significantly higher than eBay.