Waves of Wealth and War.
In this Grand Strategy board game of ambition and empire, players take the role of governors and vie for dominance over the Great Sea in an age of compasses, charts, and sails. Incorporating original mechanics designed to give players the ultimate freedom to decide how they want to play, Waves offers a myriad of possibilities while rewarding thoughtful and focused play. Players can build merchant fleets to haul as much wealth as possible, relying on prosperous trade agreements between other players to gain an economic edge. They can rouse a rabble of smugglers and rogues to deprive opponents of much needed taxes and undercut the competition with stealth and agility. They can bribe, argue, and threaten their way to the position of Magistrate, governing with guile. They can muster a navy of mighty frigates and blast the enemy to splinters. But no matter how you may decide to govern your port, the winds of change will come. And when the tide turns, will you ride it into the light of triumph? Or will it smash you in defeat upon the rocks?
Waves of Wealth and War features a unique round structure. At the beginning of every turn, Governors simultaneously purchase upgrades to their Ports, hire Sailors, and buy Ships. In this way, everyone has an opportunity to build and make progress before setting sail, ensuring that no one is left completely in the wake of the others simply because he or she was unlucky when the first dice were cast.
Then, the Command Phase begins, where Governors take turns moving their Fleets across the Great Sea, trading with allies, firing on foes, plundering merchant vessels, Smuggling, and the like. This turn order is determined by the Political aspect of the game, meaning that it is subject to the choices of the players, their strategies, and their cunning.
After each Governor has had the opportunity to Command his or her fleet, the final phase begins: the Empire Phase. In this final, dramatic stage, Governors tally the worth of the turn which has just passed, awarding Empire Points to those who performed above and beyond the rest Militarily, Economically, and Politically, culminating in an election which not only declares the order of turn for the following round, but grants the winner the choice of enacting one of several powerful political policies.
But wait, there's a foul smell on the breeze... after all this, Pirates are coming to raid the towns! Every Governor must struggle to keep the Port alive, repairing the fortress and stationing brave soldiers to keep watch over the walls.
At last, the winds of change sweep across the Great Sea, passing the fortune of the Weather Gage and imbuing a new Governor's fleet with the mystical favor of Nature itself. A Governor who possesses the Weather Gage gains the ability to Command the entire Fleet a second time -- a tremendous advantage! But beware: the Governor passing the Weather Gage is no longer in the good graces of the fickle winds, losing the ability to Command Ships at all. Many a sailor has been stranded in the open sea, doomed to be the prey of a wandering Privateer.
With this turning of the tides, the new round begins. Wealth pours into Governors' coffers according to their prior investments, and another chapter in the story sets sail.
There are seven different varieties of Ship that can be acquired in Waves of Wealth and War.
Sloop – The Sloop is the smallest Ship available, and each Governor starts the game with one. They cannot carry much wealth, sustain a lot of damage, or sink many ships, but they can turn the tide in a battle and are cheap to construct. They can be modified to carry Wealth in illegal compartments that make them ideal for smugglers, and the Sloops of War Ship Specialization can make them sturdy combatants.
Hold: 1 Gun Score: 1 Minimum Crew: 10 Maximum Crew: 20
Type: Merchant Cost: 2 Wealth
Pinnace – A messenger Ship designed to ferry messages across a large fleet, the Pinnace is the wolf of the Great Sea. It is fast and sleek and versatile. It can carry a modest amount of Wealth and can easily sink many merchant vessels, but it is somewhat fragile. Like the Sloop, it can be modified to carry Wealth illegally, making it the Ship smugglers choose first. The Interceptors Ship Specialization also makes it impossible to flee from a Pinnace in combat, and its low cost means that many can be sailed into battle.
Hold: 2 Gun Score: 2 Minimum Crew: 10 Maximum Crew: 30
Type: Warship Cost: 3 Wealth