If you haven’t played this yet, check out my review for why I think this is a great short game and well worth checking out.
If you have already tried it and just can’t beat those pesky Goblins, here’s some thoughts for getting big point scores in multiplayer or solo mode:
During the game:
Diversity (easy and good): Getting two of anything in one night phase is very difficult – jumping two spell levels is risky, killing two goblins in the early game is tough, and two temples is nearly impossible if they are the same type! Every dice roll can be used once, but only once, by each player. It’s easy then to get one of each, but at some point you have to take the risk to get even more of one type.
Specialism Needed: Getting more than five of one type is going to be key – as you go beyond five, then you get more points per additional success in that type. In other words, if you are going to get a lot of items / quests / goblins / spells – better to get one of them above 5, than all of them at 4!
Quests (and Legendary Items) Quickly Score: In the diversification strategy, quests and legendary items are more valuable than other successes. A small number of quests or legendary items quickly add four points each to your score – when the target is 40+ points in solo, that is a huge 10% of the target!
Risky Magic: Each spell level isn’t worth much, but you can jump 3 (or even 4 with one item) spell levels in a night. This is much more achievable than jumping the same number of goblins, quests or legendary items…so this can be left late in the game, and can make a meaningful point jump at the last turn!
Idle Early: The movement cards give you power or health if you have meeples at your home castle – if you idle and choose not to move. The earlier you idle the more this will help you. However, this will mean you have one less movement to use to get to your quests.
Move certainty – calculate ahead: If you can go one of two ways to get to that goblin, may be it’s worth leaving that for a move your opponent will choose? In other words, take the move you need the most or indeed the move that everyone else won’t benefit from!
Temples in Order: The temples are helpful, but to get the legendary items (and they are worth four points each!) you will need to do them in order. Watch out for quests that lure you to the other temples. It’s important to start these from Day 1 as the earlier you get the bonus abilities the more you can use these to gain other points!
Temples with Quests: The best result is a temple for a legendary item and a quest – use your movement wisely to get to these quests and then ensure you complete these and rest before your opponent!
Movement Quests: These are helpful bonuses in the game, but are worth more in the terms of their points. Balance up the wasted movement / loss of a meeple in the night phase with the benefit of the points – if it’s only one wasted meeple it’s probably worth it, but if two thirds of your meeples are then inactive / unsuccessful, then it’s probably not.
Kill Early: Kill a goblin as early as possible. Firstly, they are limited. Secondly they score lots of points. Most of all, though, they allow you to have a higher maximum health and hence a longer night phase in all future rounds (taking more risk and achieving more).
Use the Power!: Lastly, mitigating the dice is important and power allows you to do this. Whilst I would say gaining power in the early game is fractionally less important than health, it is important to use it wisely. Use this mainly to defend against the unexpected hit – the time you roll two faces when everyone dropped out, or the time the player before you rolled an extra face! However, if you are about to drop out (or could do) but need that last temple space – use the forge ahead power then. While you are still rolling, there’s no point in wasting the power but if you can stop rolling because of that – that is the time to use your power!