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Tavarua is a 1-6 player competitive surfing board game. In Tavarua you are a surfer in a surf contest. You’ll need to pick a board, paddle out, look for waves, and ride them in to score points!
Tavarua is played over a number of short rounds. In each round waves advance towards shore, players simultaneously select then resolve actions by playing cards, and a wave card is revealed and resolved. Rounds continue until there are no more wave cards in the wave deck, at which point the game ends and one player claims victory.
The goal of the game is to win the grand champion trophy, by having the highest scoring waves. You score points by catching and riding waves, but you may only keep your top two wave scores for each board type. General gameplay involves looking for a wave to ride, paddling to the wave, catching the wave, riding the wave, then scoring the wave. When the game ends, three trophies are given out, whoever gets the Grand Champion trophy wins!
Looking For a Wave
At the start of each round all the wave tiles advance one space towards the shore. When looking for a wave to catch, you’ll need to remember that you can only catch a broken wave. Waves are either unbroken, or broken. Waves with a die number less than their space in the break are unbroken. Waves with a die number equal to or higher than their space in the break are broken.
Paddling to a Wave
Paddling moves your surfer in the channel. You can play any card to paddle, the number on the card determines how many spaces you move.
Catching a Wave
You can only catch the wave that’s in the same space in the break as your surfer is in the channel. To catch a wave, you’ll need to play a card. The number and direction on the card will shift your balance. When catching a wave you’ll want to look at the top card of the wave deck to determine which card to play. You want to play a card that will shift your balance so that you do not wipeout during the Wave / Score phase. You now move your surfer/surfboard onto the wave tile (standing your surfer up) and finally move your played card over to your score pile.
Riding a Wave
Once you’ve caught a wave you are considered to be riding it. While riding, your goal is to maintain your balance, while maximizing scored points. Cards you play will both shift your balance, and count as your score for the wave. The higher the number on the card, the more points it’s worth, however the more difficult it will be to maintain your balance. After you play and shift your balance, a wave card will be revealed, and it too will shift your balance. Be careful: if your balance token moves one or more spaces off the nose or tail of your surfboard, you’ll wipeout!
Scoring a Wave
When riding a wave: cards played are not discarded, but placed into your score pile. The numbers on the cards determines the score value of that wave. When you stop riding a wave you will score it during the “Wave / Score” phase of that round. To score a wave take one of your color score tokens, with the board you’re currently riding, and place it on score track at the number equal to your wave score point value, then discard all the cards/tokens in your score pile.