Hey folks, today we’re shipping off. We’re setting sail on behalf of the emperor. He wants us to make sure the whole world knows who he is and what he does. There have been some rumors of something that lives beyond the horizon. Either way, we’re a captain of an Imperial Red Seal Ship. Today, we’re looking at Tsuro of the Seas and the expansion Veterans of the Seas by Calliope Games.
Tsuro of the Seas is a 2-8 player abstract game with route building, tile placement, player elimination, and a little bit of dice rolling. It’s a follow up to the original game, Tsuro, but adds sea creatures to the mix. It plays in about 30 minutes. The game comes with the rules, the game board, 2 dice, 8 ships, 10 daikaiju tiles and 56 wake tiles. Tsuro of the Seas: Veterans of the Seas comes with 5 Cannon tiles, 2 tsunami tiles, 1 portal tile, and 1 whirlpool tile.
Wake tiles make up the route building of this game. Each wake tile connects to all other wake tiles. There are 4 paths on a wake tile, and this is the path that your ship will travel. Veterans of the Seas adds cannon tiles and the portal tile to the wake deck. Cannon tiles let you destroy a Daikaiju that’s in your path or adjacent to your tile. The portal tile doesn’t move and can’t be destroyed. Instead, anything that runs into it and redeployed on the board. Roll both dice, and replace on that coordinate of the board. If there’s not tile there, place one nd pick a wake to start on.
Daikaiju tiles are the sea creatures. Veterans adds the whirlpool and one tsunami tile to the deck. Daikaiju have numbers on the tile, these are in a compass pattern and a curved arrow in the top corner. When moving these creatures, you’ll roll a dice and move them based on what number was rolled and what way that arrow is pointing. If a Daikaiju runs into a wake or a boat, it destroys that. If it runs into another Diakaiju it destorys that too. The whirlpool destroys anything it touches, or anything that runs into it. When the Tsunami tile is placed, it only moves in one direction, and that’s toward the two arrow. Place the other Tsunami tile at the edge of the board that the 2 is pointing at. Anytime a ship that enters the same row as the tsunami tile, it has to roll a die. If you roll equal to it or beat it, then you’re safe. If you fail your roll, your ship is sunk.
Let’s look at set up. Each player selects a ship color. They draw 3 wake tiles. Now, it’s time to place the Daikaiju. You’ll start with 6 to 4 daikaiju depending on how many players. Draw a daikaiju tile, and roll the blue and gold dice. You’ll notice numbers 1-6 in blue and gold on the side of the game board. This tells you where to place daikaiju. Once all the daikaiju are placed, players will pick their starting point on the board. Then the game begins.
On a players turn, they start by rolling both dice. If the roll equals 6, 7, 0r 8 the daikaiju are on the move! For each daikaiju roll a die and follow the arrows. You might have noticed there are no 6s on the daikaiju. If you roll a 6 for their movement, add another daikaiju to the board. Next you place a tile and follow the wake line. Then you draw a new tile and it’s the next players turn.
Players are eliminated if they run into a daikaiju, if a daikaiju runs into the player, a player runs off the board, if you run into the same row as the tsunami, or fall into the whirlpool. So, plan you wake tiles carefully. You can’t place a tile and make an endless loop either.
What do I think about this game? It’s currently a favorite of my son. He likes placing the tiles and following the wake line with his ship. I like the route building aspect of this game and the daikaiju. It’s an easy game to play, and it actually gets harder with more players. It looks cool when you’re getting the board more full of tiles. This is one of the easy games to get people into different types of board games. The only thing, as with other player elimination games, is the wait time after being eliminated. The box insert doesn’t hold everything in place. The tiles still slide around a lot when moving and shelving the box. I haven’t solved this yet with any of my typical solutions. I like the components. The ships are nicely detailed, the tiles are chunky, and the board is a nice fold out. If you’re looking for a route building game, this is a good one to get into. It’s a follow up to Tsuro, and if you take out the daikaiju you essentially have the original game. So buying Tsuro of the Seas is like Tsuro+.
The expansion adds to the game some ways to deal with the daijaiku. It also adds some other dangers. I like the cannons and the tsunami that is included in the expansion. Overall, the expansion adds just enough to the game without adding too much. It only adds a hand full of tiles to the game, no additional ships. I’m okay with that, as the base game already supports 8 players. The price is under $10, so it not too badly priced. I’d suggest the expansion if you really like the game and want to add just a little bit more to it.