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Preview: Rule the Waves, Britannia!

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

The 17th and 18th century saw the British navy develop into the force behind the expanding empire. The British navy was everywhere around the world getting into it with the French Dutch and Spanish navies not to mention the Pirates. Take the role of the captain of a British ship and do battle with the world in Rule the Waves, Britannia! by Catastrophe Games.

In Rule the Waves Britannia the player will have to go through 5 journeys without being sunk. Going through the game a player will have the opportunity to sink a lot of other ships. They all shoot back so a player has to be careful. When you tally up your score at the end your rank will depend on the amount of ships that you have sunk.


To set up the play area for Rule the Waves, the player will select randomly or otherwise a British ship and then place it in the middle of the play area and to the right of it goes a HP tracker and ammo tracker card. The journey cards are going be where players track their progress through the game. The event deck is where all the action is packed this is where all the pirates and enemy ships are.


Once a player has their ship and journey card selected they will draw the first event card. Event cards can be one of two things an open water card which can enhance the players ship it can enhance the enemy ships. The other card players will draw is the enemy ship cards. Defeating enemy ships is how you score points in Rule the Waves. Enemy ship cards will have stats on them like damage, hit points accuracy and evade. These are the stats a player will use in battle.


The battle starts by flipping over an event card with an enemy ship(s) on it. The player has a choice at this point either they will escape the battle or stay and fight. A player rolls a d20 to escape if they get the evade rating or higher on their ship then they escape and move a space along the journey card. If the player does not manage to escape then the enemy ship gets an attack roll against the British ship. To attack an enemy ship a player decides how much ammo to use (1-3). Then a player rolls a D20 to meet or exceed the ships accuracy rating. If the roll is a hit then the player reduces the enemy ship by the amount of ammo expended. For example if a player spent 2 ammo and rolled a hit the enemy ship would take 2 damage.

If you are into odds then this game is for you.

This game is a fairly quick game where players are constantly pressing their luck. Deciding how much ammo to use against a ship for each roll adds in a bit of resource management. Ship battles at sea are hard and this is represented by ships accuracy values being 10 or higher. The odds even go down to the ship a player picks for each adventure making sure your ship has what it takes for each journey. After a player completes a journey they set aside the ships sunk and the ship the player used. This changes the odds as there are less ships and more open water cards.


Rule the Waves Britannia! is a fun solo game that will have you trying to defy the odds and sink a ton of enemy ships through 5 adventures. If you are into odds then this game is for you. There are rules for 2 player variants of this game but I think its best solo. The game features historical ships and pirates adding to the flavor of the game. Prepare to be a little frustrated the odds are stacked, it took me a little bit to get the hang of it but there are some clear strategies that will help players along the way.


Players: 1-2

Year Published: 2023

Recommended Ages: 14+

Time to Play: 60-90 minutes



A pre-production copy of Rule the Waves Britannia! was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for preview purposes by In a Catastrophe Games. The pictured game is a working prototype and the final product may differ from what is pictured here.

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