A simple fun game – focusing on taking and controlling regions of the map. Not much to it, but easy to learn and extremely fun. I have written more about the game in my review, but if you are looking for some thoughts on tactics here are my initial observations:
During the Game:
One of the First Three; I would say that at any time that you are picking a race in the game you should be careful about paying too many victory points for them. Beyond the first three races the cost of selecting that race is quite high and there’s a high chance that you won’t be able to earn back the difference over a cheaper race in the small number of turns you will be using them for.
Balance; This game is strongly effected by the time and way that you switch races. So it’s important to balance a strategy of edging out the last points of your first race with the opportunity to score large numbers of points once you have two races on the board. However, go to early and you might get a weaker race or find your last couple of turns are difficult to survive.
Early Water; If you have the power to grab the water (or if it’s there to chose from) then this is a great early power – lots of points throughout the game available for a region that no one can take from you!
Grab the Mountains; If you can the mountains are a strong defensive hold – hard to dislodge later in the game and often avoided by other players. Tactically getting these early can bring a lot of value to you over the game but be careful not to expend too much yourself on these!
Fight to the Lake; If you can get to the centre of the board then you have one less border to worry about (normally), and that can allow you to build a shield to a lightly defended centre. Keeping back areas of lower defense but protected land is key to building a points base.
Kill the Leader; Above all else this game balances when players attack the leader. This can frustrate some players or lead to king making, but played well this will be a cut-throat game with lots of shifts in power. You should always think about who is leading and what you can do – particularly against the race in decline.
Attack the Decline; This links to the above – attacking the declining race allows for more land, damage to your opponent, and little retaliation (at least at first). They won’t attack with that race or through that race! This is an opportunity for you to grab cheap land (and an opportunity for your opponents!).
Get of the Coast; Unlike the lake, the coasts are dangerous – new races come in from the coast and land held here can be easily taken from you. Watch out though because building out in a line can end up with you getting cut off and not being able to defend your land!