|Number of Players
||Good Games Publishing
Part puzzle, part game. Play as either the Land or Sea (or the Cartographer in a 3 player game). Every player plays with 2 double-sided hex tiles containing a mix of land and sea shapes. They will take turns placing a tile each to make a map together. Land places tiles attempting to complete land areas, and Sea places tiles trying to complete sea areas. Completed areas will score a point per tile; land areas for Land, sea areas for Sea. Some tiles get bonus points for whoever completes the area they are in. So players may choose to strategically complete rival’s areas to gain their bonus points. Other tiles let players play their second tile, or steal a player’s tile - but not their last one!
Using 2 double-sided tiles (one side always revealed and the other always hidden until played) means there is partial information to plan around, and some surprises as well. Players will replenish back up to 2 tiles from a choice of 2 face-up tile stacks.
The strategy of the game involves careful tile placement to score from as many land or sea areas as possible, while also minimising your rivals’ opportunities to score from the tiles you play. Observe your rivals’ possible plays, and control tempo strategically with Play Again and Steal tiles. Look out for chance to score valuable bonus points in your and your rivals’ areas. Carefully pick tiles as you replenish your hand to prepare for your next turn.
The game is over once the last tile is placed. The player or team with the most points wins the game.
The basic Land vs Sea game is easy enough for light / family gamers. After you have played the basic game, you may unlock more scoring options on the tiles to add surprising depth:
1. Mountain & Coral scoring - score points for cumulative chains of connected Mountain (Land) / Coral (Sea) sections.
2. Caravan & Ship scoring - score points for Caravans & Ships added to Trade Routes on the map, and score each Trade Route you have majority in (more Caravans scores the Trade Route for Land, more Ships for Sea) at the end of the game.
3. Waypoints - bonus points you can place on the map to entice cooperation, or score for yourself.
2, 3 & 4 player modes:
You may play head to head with 2 players, or with 4 players in teams using the basic rules and any of the additional scoring options. 4 player games use Waypoints to keep alpha players directly instructing their partner.
The challenging 3 player mode uses all of the additional scoring options above in a more asymmetric game. The Cartographer gets points by connecting Mountain and Coral sections, and all players compete for bonus points and Trade Route scoring.