This is a complex but mid-weight Euro game with worker placement and a gear mechanic that means the workers age (and improve) until you remove them for the action! It’s a delicate game where you try to balance all your workers moving simultaneously around the board only to remove and re-place them.
If you haven’t played it – check out the review. If you have and want my initial thoughts, then here’s some of the things I focus on.
During the game;
Free Goods (Architect); So of all the technologies available I have to say that for new players I would tend towards the one that gives you additional food from the track that already gives you food and wood. This may allow you to recycle these workers faster, or get that additional food that means you don’t take the negative victory points for not feeding your people.
Pick a God, any God; You will go up many of the tracks during the game, but I always think that it helps to pick a track you will lead/ get towards the top of. You will need some points from this track each time (and some resources) during food days – positioning for the resource or points just prior to food day is important to your success.
Chain Bonus; This is a game about getting resources, getting buildings / techs and then getting more resources and going again. This is a game therefore about cycling through this quickly and efficiently. Learning which things chain together successfully will take many attempts but trying to find these chains is important!
First Player (food!); If you cannot find something useful, or indeed if you need food, you may well want to take that first player action. You get back the piece at the end of the turn, and so the costs is at least negligible in this way. However, I would look for at least four food tokens on the well before thinking about taking this solely for food.
Efficiency; This is a game of efficiency – putting down one piece a turn is slow. Picking them up all at once is much more effective (if you can truly make use of everything you pick up!).
Pick up?; However, the real question is do you pick up the workers now or leave just one or two behind to keep going on the gears. Ideally you never pick up just one piece, but it doesn’t mean you want to pick up all the pieces in one go!
Speeding up time; When you take the first player token you get the choice to bump the calendar faster. Whether you want to is a choice of your current standing – do you believe you are in the lead and would benefit from speeding up the game, or do you want more time to run the efficient engine you have built? It’s hard to tell and even harder to compare!
Watch others; This is a game where other players actions matter – they can block, they can shift gears faster, they can place skulls or buy buildings. This is not a solo player game played in parallel. Be aware of what other players are going for throughout the game!