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How To Play Land Vs Sea

Land vs Sea

Hello there, hex fans! If you’re here then your mind is already turning to Land vs Sea. Which is great because it is an awesome game! The full review can be found on the previous tab on this page, and this bonus piece is all about how the game works. So let’s dive right into the basic gameplay!

Set Up

Straight out of the box and in fact using the box! Decide which player is going to play Land and who will play Sea (and the Cartographer in a 3 player game - they score mountains and coral and everybody else competes for other features – more on this below!). Then take all the double-sided hex tiles out. Place the compass starting tile in the centre of the table and put the Volcano/Whirlpool tile to one side. Then shuffle the rest and place them in two equal stacks.

Each player takes it in turns to take 1 tile off the top of a stack until everybody has 2. Land is supposed to go first (but I’ll let you fight that out between you!). The reverse side of each tile is hidden but you can look at both sides any time. Place a marker of each type on the score track (which is part of the box insert) and it’s time to begin!

Take A Turn

On your Land vs Sea turn, you are going to place one of your tiles into the shared map space. The edges of your tile must match the edges of any adjoining tiles in terms of territory type (so land touching land or sea touching sea). Then you replenish your hand by taking a tile from one of the stacks.

If the tile you place features a compass, you’ll get to place your second tile immediately after your first. You then replenish your hand by taking two tiles. If the tile you lay down has a sword on it, you can steal a tile from another player who will then replenish back up to two tiles at the end of their turn. Note that you can’t steal during the last turn, you cheeky land lubbers!

If you enclose an area of your own territory type, you’ll get one point for each tile within it. You’ll also get bonus points for any “X” marks on those tiles. If you enclose an opponent’s area, they’ll get the main points, but you’ll get to keep the X mark bonus points for yourself! Jubby as one of my dearest pals would say!

If you manage to make a perfect hex shaped hole where all edges are of one territory type, the volcano/whirlpool tile gets dropped into it which will mean mega bonus points for whoever encloses that area.

Play continues until all the tiles are used. Whoever has the most points at the end of Land vs Sea is the winner!

Advanced Modes

Once familiar with the place and pick flow of the game, you may well be ready to include some extra crunch! And if you’re ready to get your feet wet and your pants sandy, there are a number of modules from which to choose:

Mountain and Coral – unless a third player is acting as the Cartographer (who will be scoring these features), you’ll get bonus points for creating chains of connected Mountains and coral tiles;

Caravan and Ship – if you create trade routes in the sea/over land by connecting tiles depicting ships/caravans, any player will immediately score 2 points for each ship/caravan added to the chain even if it isn’t part of their territory (but you might be handing majority bonus points to your opponent at end game!);

Waypoints – this extra token can be placed on any tile (that hasn’t got a waypoint token or has been scored) when enclosing and scoring another area. It acts as a bonus X mark and gets returned to the player when that area is scored.

If you play with 4 players it is the basic 2 player set up (with any added modules you like) but in two teams instead. The 3 player mode has a Cartographer scoring for Mountains and Coral, leaving Land and Sea to battle it out over trade routes and waypoints.

So there we have it! You are ready to place and pick your way to victory in Land vs Sea! I hope this guide helps you in your first few battles. One tip – look hard at each tile before you place it. Not because it helps the game play, but the illustrations are so fantastic you won’t want to miss a single one!