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Poseidon, God of the Seas, was having a disagreement with Zeus, his brother. Both were after the love of Amphitrite but she had not yet chosen a suitor. Poseidon hosted a dinner for Amphitrite and dazzled her with his vast stores of gold.
In his rage, Zeus invaded Poseidon's lair deep in the sea and tried to steal all his gold while Poseidon was away. Fortunately, Poseidon's son Triton was on duty watching the lair and blew his trumpet to alert Poseidon of the invasion.
To protect his gold from Zeus, Poseidon ordered it hidden throughout his watery kingdom.
Today, people still seek Poseidon's gold, thought to bring not only wealth but also good health to those who possess it. In a competition held at Mykalessos, teams of determined sailors compete to see who can locate the most gold.
Kraken and Sea Serpent monsters patrol the deep for thieves that would have Poseidon's gold.
Can you survive the dangers of the deep and the treachery of rival Captains to gather enough of Poseidon's Gold to win the competition?
This is a game about rescuing treasures from the bottom of the sea using submarines. Each player takes a thick card that depicts their submarines and their contents and three wooden submarines that start in the player's port. The 'board' is made from a set of 116 hexagonal tiles that are made from 1/8' expanded PVC and coloured in four shades of blue. The darkest shade is the deepest water and the lightest shade is the shallowest water.
The board is constructed using one of the styles shown in the rulebook which are symmetrical and allow a similar start for each player. Rather than just use one hex for each area of the board the designer has decided to place more hexes to represent the different levels. So a depth one tile on the plan of the board is represented by all 4 tiles, whereas the depth 4 tiles (the deepest) just have one tile. The result is a 3D terrain, with the highest stack including the shallowest tiles.
The rest of the board construction is the face-down placement of the treasure tiles, which are valued at 1 to 5 points, depending on the scenario. The submarines start from the players' ports and each player has 12 action points to use. These are all summarised on a separate player aid and allow movement to an adjacent tile at the same level (1 point), a change of depth (2 points), loading or unloading of a diver 2 (points). Divers need to leave the submarine to recover the treasures and when they are out of the submarine they can dig down a tile for 3 points.
When moving to a new depth, the rectangular submarines are rotated through 90 degrees to show their new depth. This makes it very easy to see the position of each submarine. Submarines wouldn't be very exciting without having torpedoes on board and these are simulated in a clever way. For the expenditure of 6, 8 or 10 action points, a sub at the same depth and on the same tile can fire a torpedo. The number of action points used affects the chance of sinking the enemy sub. The chance on a normal six sided die is 1 or 2 on the 6 action point torpedo to 1 to 4 on the most expensive one.
The reason for sinking the enemy sub (apart from the fun!) is that the player has to start his new sub back at his port and the treasures from the holed sub are left on the tile at the depth where the sub was destroyed. This allows another player to retrieve the treasures. As these are always kept secret from other players until a sub reaches port, you never know whether your successful strike on a sub resulted in a good haul of treasure or a minor one.
The final aspect of the game to point out is the use of sea monsters. The first part of a player's turn is a die roll to determine which of the two monsters move (1 hex) and in which direction. A single throw determines this and with a number of submarines on the board, the chances are a sea monster will soon be in the same hex as a sub. This results in the loss of the sub (which re-starts at a port) and the treasure is dropped where it was lost.
The game ends when the last treasure is returned to port, which is often the 5 point treasure that is furthest away from the player's starting position. When this happens, points are assessed for treasure collected, and in some scenarios for sinking enemy subs.
Despite the slightly anti-intuitive set up of the board, the game works well. It finishes in about 45 to 60 minutes and plays pretty well. The feeling is one of trying to gauge when to go for the treasures, when to try to sink other subs and when to lay a trap for well laden submarines trying to return to port. The system surrounding the depth of the seas does work and it is pretty easy to see what options are available. Variations exist in play for random exploration points, specifying one sub as an attack sub or playing in teams.
What I have left until last is that this is a new game produced by the designer in very limited quantities. The A4 box is packed with 2 inch diameter hex tiles and of a high quality. The rules, player aids and treasure tokens are all in several colours, which are slightly spoilt by the addition of a felt tipped cross that shows where the treasure should be placed. This should not detract from a pretty good game with good player interaction and enough variety in the game to allow replays not to be repetitive. Doug Borrensen has spent considerable resource and effort in producing this game and he explains his rationale on his website www.wilcotgroup.com . Good luck to him and I admire the dedication involved in producing his own game.