Vast is big asymmetric game that builds out from a simple set up and then collapses back in on itself. If you haven’t played it, check out the review for thoughts on the game, but if you are trying to adjust your play strategy, check out my thoughts on each of the characters below:
During the game:
The Knight; Grit is your key – you are going to need all, or at least all but one of those tokens to be able to fulfill your quest to kill the dragon. Why? You will need the bomb and plenty of strength but if your cave player is doing a good job then you are going to need to go through walls too! You can get those tokens by getting grit, and you can get grit by getting through those side-quests; each giving you more grit than almost anything else you can accomplish. As the Knight then you should focus on one of those quests and complete it, redraw a new quest and focus on a new one for next turn. Also, I would say that you should try to get the mighty axe (note the thief should steal this if you get close!) but this axe helps do extra damage to the dragon when you go for the kill! Balance your grit with opportunities to kill the dragon and searching. It’s risky because of encounters, but treasures help and you get bonus grit. Watch out though, because too much and the cave will win.
The Dragon; Next up in the game and you want to avoid the Knight but explore the cave and kill the goblins. Killing the goblins offers you one way of getting to waking up, and in combination with searching the cave and laying tokens you should be able to get two cubes a turn towards your target. The more you can accelerate this the more control you will have because you draw more cards. Watch out for the knight though, because he will be trying to catch you napping, and watch out for the thief who might try to take your gems or treasure. The thief is easy for you to kill with claws or to keep out with firewalls. The dragon is also important to stop the cave – the ability to light up a tile the other side of the map will really hurt the cave’s chances of hiding those crystals!
The Goblins; Your mission is to kill the knight. It will be tricky, because even if the dragon isn’t attacking you, you will retreat every time you hit the knight and you will have to get the goblin clan back out. You have three clans which allows you to keep cycling though – keeping that key clan out, but sending the smaller one back once overpopulation kicks in! Rotating the clans, keeping stocked with monsters is key. Also, get a few good secrets into your hand for the final showdown – you are going to need hexing to slow other players and ambush to get that final hit!
The Cave; You are the clock, keep the game balanced and keep the crystals on the edge of the map and you will do well. You don’t have much control, but do remember that the first tile you lay in your turn is a crystal – if that’s sub-optimal then utilize the omens to get the crystal in the right place. Also, take gambles and keep the crystals at the edge. Others will explore, but if they forget to keep finding them then the cave will collapse really quickly because you only need half of them! You also have the ability to place encounters or ambush near the Knight and perhaps ambush or vaults near the Dragon. Treasures are good for each – so use them to help the struggling player.
The Thief; You have probably the least control but the greatest sneaky ability. The more the other players hang around near the entrance the more you can rush in, pickpocket and rush out. The more they spread out, the more you need to pick up a couple of treasures before you head out. Don’t run too many though because then you are a really valuable target.