The deep waters of the Oceans are hiding many secrets and unknown forms of life. Among sharks, whales, corals and shrimps there lives an entire civilization of Sea-folk.
For centuries the Great Kingdoms of Aquatica have been building their world, raising their kids and managing to create and prosper. But now their resources are exhausted, and they are forced to explore the Ocean Depths in search of new resources.
- Game board
- 56 Location cards
- 4 three-layered player boards
- 8 King cards
- 24 Starting Character cards
- 16 Trained Mantas' miniatures
- 6 double-sided Goal Tokens
- 27 Ocean Character cards
- 31 Wild Mantas' miniatures
Object of the Game
Aquatica is a board game for 1 to 4 players. You will be playing as one of the Ocean Kings, struggling to find resources for your realm. Your goal is to have the most Prosperity points.
To receive Prosperity points you need to explore, conquer and buy Locations, recruit new Characters and complete Goals.
At the end of the game whoever has the most Prosperity Points will have the most prosperous realm and be known as the greatest ruler of the Great Kingdoms of Aquatica!
Game Board Setup
Place the Game Board in the center of the table.
Shuffle the Ocean Characters deck and place it on the bottom row of the board. Take 6 cards from the top of the deck and fill the Character's row (as shown in the picture).
The Ocean Characters deck is composed by 3 identical sets of cards.
In a 3 or 4-player game use the entire deck. In a 2-player game remove all the cards with the symbol O in the bottom right comer from the deck and return them into the box (so that the deck has 2 copies of each Character).
Shuffle the Locations deck and place it in the middle row of the board. Take 6 cards from the top of the deck and fill the row (as shown in the picture).
Place all Wild Mantas miniatures effect side up next to the board.
On the top of the game board there are 4 printed goals. For your first game, we recommend that you play with the goals already printed on the board.
Each player takes one of the player boards and places it in front of them, face-up.
Each player chooses one of the available symbols and takes the set of 6 starting Character cards and 4 Trained Mantas with their chosen symbol.
The last player to dive in the sea is the fist in turn order.
Now take the King cards. In the Basic mode give the first player the King card number 1. The second player gets the King card number 2, the third - number 3 and so on.
In further games you may choose to draft your Kings: refer to the Advanced mode..
Every player takes their Character cards and their King card, forming their hand, turns all Manta miniatures effect side up, and the game begins.
In Aquatics you are interacting with 2 types of cards:
Character cards represent Sea-folk that will help you gain Prosperity. Together you will explore the Ocean, discover new locations and raise resources from the Depths.
There are 3 types of Character Cards:
6 starting Characters per player. You will begin your reign with them.
Ocean Characters - you will encounter them during your reign and some of them will join you.
Kings - they represent you in this game: each King has their own unique set of effects.
Location cards represent the lands that you will discover and exploit. Each Location can be bought (using Coins) or Conquered (using Power).
There are 4 types of Locations: Shark ba, Sunken ships, Ocean Volcanoes, and Decayed civilizations.
After you have bought or conquered Locations, you will go to their hidden Depths in search of resources.
Locations will not just give you resources but also effects, Mantas and Prosperity Points.
Mantas are some of the most common creatures of the Ocean. Through centuries Sea-folk has learned how to train them. Each player begins the game with their own set of 4 Trained Mantas.
But there are many Wild Mantes you can still encounter in the waters. In fact, there are 31 Free Mantas' that you can train during the course of the game.
Mantas can bring you resources and let you perform special effects.
When a Manta is ready to help you, you can see the symbol on its belly. To gain resources or perform a special effect, flip the ready Manta back up. In other words, flip the Manta on it's belly.
When the Manta is turned back up, it is tired. A tired Manta is resting cannot do anything. To make it ready again players need to perform a special effect.
The most common way to activate your resting Mantas is to use the Matrona Starting Character card.
The resources in Aquatica are represented by symbols (not tokens) on your cards, Mantas and the Game Board. The resources do not cany-over. There are 2 types of resources in the game: Coins and Power
You can find Coins in your Locations Depths and they can also be brought to you by your Mantas. Coins are used to buy new Locations and recruit new Characters to your realm.
You can gain Power in Locations' Depths and it can also be brought to you by your Mantas. Power is used to conquer new Locations.
Starting from the first player, players take turns in clockwise order.
During their turn, players must do 1 Main action and may also perform an unlimited amount of additional actions. These actions may be performed in any order you choose.
When you have finished all your actions for your turn, it passes to the player in the left.
I. Main Action
During your turn, you must play 1 of the Character cards from your hand and perform the effects shown on the card.
If you can perform all of the card's effects, you must do so. If you can't do what the cards say fully, you may still play that card and use only those effects that you can perform.
For example, Sea Horse lets you scout, gain 1 Power and conquer 1 Location. If you can perform all the effects, you must do so, starting from the first one.
After you played a Character card, put it into your personal discard pile face up.
II. Additional Actions
You can perform an additional action in 2 ways:
1. Flipping Mantas
You can use a ready Manta to perform the effect shown on that Manta. When you do, immediately resolve the effect then flip the Manta to its tired side.
2. Exploiting Locations' Depths
Each location has a number of Depths that you can exploit, shown along the left side of the card. Within the Depths you can find:
Resources (Coins and Power) - You can only gain resources from a Depth during your main action (when you are playing a card). You can use these resources to recruit Characters, conquer or buy new Locations, or to activate some effects.
Effects - You can use these before and/or after your main action.
You can only exploit the top Depth that is showing on a Location card. To gain a Resource or activate an effect, you must slide the Location up 1 Depth. This will cause the top Depth to be covered by your player board, giving you access to new Depths!
Some Depths are empty: They cannot be used for any purpose. Also, you cannot simply move those Locations up. You are blocked from exploiting those Locations until you use the raise effect.
An effect allows you to gain some benefit. You can use an effect by playing Character card, using a ready Manta or exploiting the Depths of your Locations.
During your reign in the Ocean, you will encounter different Characters. If you Recruit them they will join your realm and help you along your way. When you Recruit follow these steps:
- Choose 1 Ocean Character from the Ocean Board.
- Pay the amount of coins shown below the chosen card and put it in your hand.
- Slide all the other Ocean Character cards to the left to close the gap.
- Turn over the top card from the deck and place it on the rightmost space.
There is no limit to the number of each Ocean Character card you can have. For example, you can Recruit "The Grabber" even if you already have one
2. Buy Location
You can buy the discovered Locations from the tribes that are living there.
To buy a Location, follow these steps:
- Choose 1 Location from the Ocean board.
- Pay the number of Coins shown at the top of the Location card.
- Insert the Location into an empty slot of your player board so that the top Depth appears in the circle.
If you don't want to Buy a Location, you can Conquer it. This requires a certain amount of Power.
Choose 1 Location card from the board, pay the amount of Power shown at the top of the card, and insert it into an empty slot of your player board so that the top Depth is in the circle.
You need to have an empty space on your player board to buy or conquer a Location. You can have a maximum of 5 Location cards on your player board at a time.
Remember, that if you lack the required amount of Coins or Power, you can always use one or more of your Mantas to help.
If you have bought or conquered a Location with no Depths icons, place it on your player board so that only the row with Prosperity Points is visible.
4. Raise Location
As a King, you are trying to bring Prosperity to your realm by exploiting Locations you have discovered. When you exploit a Location, you ''raise" resources from it to your Kingdom.
By raising Locations, you can score them more quickly or move past empty Depths that are blocking your progress. However, you will lose any Resources or effects on the Depths that you raise. In other words, you must ignore all the Depth icons that you cover.
When you raise a Location, choose any Location on your player board and move it up the number of Depths indicated by the effect icon on the Character card, Manta, or a different Location card from the one you are using.
A Location is fully risen once all of its Depths icons are covered. When a Location is fully risen, you immediately receive the Wild Manta indicated by the icon at the bottom of the Location card from the common reserve. This Manta is now ready so you can use its effects during the same turn.
If you take a Manta with an effect, you can perform it immediately - you don't need to wait for your next turn to do it. Flip your Manta and use its effect during the actual turn.
If you have a fully risen Location, you can Score its Prosperity Points. You can transfer the fully risen Location to your Scoring Pile using the Score action.
Take the fully risen Location of your choice from your player board and place it in your Scoring Pile. At the end of the game, you will receive the number of Prosperity Points shown in the bottom-left comer of every Location in your Scoring Pile.
Note that a fully risen Location doesn't give you any Prosperity Points unless you score it!
Scouting allows you to explore the Ocean and find new Locations for the players to buy or conquer.
When you scout, follow these steps:
- Count the Locations in the bottom Location row (the middle row of the board). You can only scout if there are 4 or fewer Locations there.
- Take every Location from the top Location row and place them in the discard pile.
- Move every Location from the bottom row to the top row.
- Re-fill the bottom row by turning over 6 Location cards from the top of the deck.
Note, that if you can scout during your main action, you must do so.
Important: Locations in the top row require 1 less Power to conquer. (You must still pay full price to buy them with coins).
Goals are a great way to earn Prosperity Points, but you have to hurry: The faster you complete a Goal, the more Prosperity Points you will earn!
There are 4 Goals at the top of the Ocean. If on his turn a player fulfils the requirements of a Goal, they can place 1 of their Mantas (of their color) on the first available spot for that Goal (the Manta can be ready or tired). You cannot accomplish the same Goal more than once.
Each Goal Track has 5 spots, and above each spot is written the amount of Prosperity Points you earn at the end of the game if your Manta is in that spot. (The fifth spot is included for use with a future game expansion!)
When you accomplish a Goal you can only place a Trained Manta of your color on the Goal Track (not a Wild Manta).
Note that even if you accomplish a Goal, you are not forced to place your Manta on the Goal Track!
The 4 Goals are:
To accomplish this goal a player needs to have 10 Character cards in his hand (not in the Discard pile). The King card counts too.
To accomplish this goal a player needs to have 4 Locations of the same type (on his player's board and / or in the Scoring Pile).
To accomplish this goal a player needs to have 3 or more Locations in the Scoring Pile.
To accomplish this goal a player needs to have 5 or more tired Mantas in his reserve.
End of the Game
Players keep taking turns until one of the 3 game-end conditions is triggered. When this happens, every player (including the player that triggered one of the end-game conditions) takes 1 more turn and then the game ends. The 3 game-end conditions are:
- One player has accomplished all 4 Goals (and placed their Mantas on them).
- The Location deck runs out.
- The Ocean Character deck runs out.
Counting Prosperity Points
When the game ends, all players score Prosperity Points. You score points for the following:
1 Prosperity Point for each Character card in your hand (including your King), not counting those in your Discard pile.
The number of Prosperity Points shown above your Mantas on the Goal Tracks.
The total number of Prosperity Points shown on the Locations in your Scoring Pile. Locations on your player board do not give any Prosperity Points.
To help you count your Prosperity Points, we recommend that you use the Score Pad.
The player with the most Prosperity Points wins the game!
In case of a tie, the tied player with the most Mantas in their reserve wins. If there is still a tie, the one that has the lowest number written on their King card wins the game!
When you feel ready for a more challenging experience, you can try playing the Advanced Mode! Advanced Mode adds two new rules to the game:
Variable Goals: Instead of using the 4 basic Goals (that are printed on the Ocean board), shuffle the Goal tokens, take 4 at random, and place them on top of the basic Goals in any order.
Now you will have to find new ways to earn Prosperity Points!
Draft the King cards: Instead of handing out the King cards based on turn order, shuffle as many cards as there are players +1 card and give all of them to the last player in turn order.
That player chooses 1 King card to use, adds it to their starting hand, then gives the rest of the King cards to the next player going counterclockwise.
That player then chooses their King card and passes the rest, and so on. Once every player has chosen a King card, return the unused cards to the box.