Rules & How To Play
Old Salt Overview
In Old Salt, players take on the role of a Naval Strategist or Fleet Admiral and steer the outcome of battles and skirmishes from the war table. Issuing commands and directives to be carried about as soon as their fleet's receive the signal.
In the base game of Old Salt, players begin the game with 3 islands under control. The first player to seize control 6 islands or be the last ships sailing is victorious.
There are 6 factions for players to explore but we recommend playing with factions once players feel comfortable with the base game mechanics that we'll highlight further down the page.
This is a Naval-Strategy game designed for both the beginner strategy gamer and the seasoned war table enthusiast.
Page 19 in the rulebook discusses ways for players to sync the game's complexity to the group around the table. Since the goal is enjoyment, we came up with ways to remove or add in new mechanics for gamers to enjoy.
At the start of a players turn, they will receive income in the form of coin tokens.
Coin tokens are spent to seize islands, use faction abilities, and also fire cannons at your enemy.
If a player controls zero, one, two or three islands, their income is three coins.
If a player controls four islands they will receive four coins.
If a player controls five islands, they receive five coins.
At six islands controlled, the player automatically wins.
Move up to 3 ships each up to 3 tiles from its starting position. To sail additional tiles, sail over awakened tradewinds as shown in the example on the right.
There are also 2 levels of movement. Base game movement allows a player to sail in any direction, each tile they move.
Advanced movement allows a player to sail straight or turn slightly left or slightly right when they sail. This adds a level of strategy on placement and fleeing or pursuing enemy targets.
Ships can fire cannons at a variety of distances but the further out the target, the harder it is to hit that target. Each attack costs 1 coin unless otherwise stated by a rule or ability.
Use the tables to the left to see what your ship needs to roll in order to hit its target.
1+ means a player needs to roll a 1 or more in order to hit the target, 2+ means 2 or more, etc. The 6th side of the die is blank which is an automatic miss which is why the 5 does not have a + sign.
For the Grunt, Leviathan, Zealot and Hazard ship types, each have a firing range of 5 and use the top example for any targets they attempt to hit.
The Marksman ship has a shifted range and cannot attack at close range (4 tiles or closer) but can attack targets with precision at 5 tiles out.
Types of Attacks
Ships have a broadside (wider part of the ship) and a stern/bow (skinny part of the ship). It's important to know which way your attacking is facing against a target and which way a target is facing the attacker.
If you are firing at a target's broadside, they will get 1 free return fire against your ship.
If you are firing at a target's stern or bow, you must minus 1 to the value of the die roll since you are firing at the skinnier part of the ship.
If you are firing at a target and they are in your broadside area, you may spend 2 coins to fire 3 times.
Seizing Islands (from an enemy)
The ship in the left example belongs to the Eternal faction (Blue and Grey banner with a circular symbol). This ship is attempting to seize an island that belongs to the Forgotten faction.
In order to seize an island from a rival faction, a player must have a mast that belonged to the faction. This is considered battle glory for the faction attempting to wrestle control away from another faction. Without this mast, the island is impossible to seize.
Once a player has this mast, they will pay 2 coins and the mast to exchange control of the island.
Seizing Islands (uncontrolled)
Similar to the example above, the ship in the left example belongs to the Eternal faction (Blue and Grey banner with a circular symbol). This ship is attempting to seize an island that does not currently belong to any player.
In order to seize an island that is not currently controlled by a faction, a player must have a mast from a destroyed ship earned from battle. Without this battle mast, the island is impossible to seize.
Once a player has a mast from any opponent, they will pay 2 coins and the mast to seize the island.
Options, options, options.
A player is able to sail, fire, seize islands in any order and repetition as long as the player does not exceed the maximum sail range, number of fires, or go in debt with coin.
This allows players to maximize what Old Salt has to offer them and come up with creative combinations of actions.
We advise new players to play at least a two rounds of Old Salt without faction abilities. As soon as players are comfortable with the ship abilities, sailing, firing and seizing islands we suggest adding the factions into play.
Each faction has 3 unique abilities that make up their kit. Exploring a faction's kit is a lot of fun and a core reason why Old Salt has such a high replayability.