So if you have never played Spirit Island, then check out my recent review of the game. It’s a classic co-op, with lots of variety.
However, I have put some thoughts down below on the strategies that I use to take on the game and beat the mechanics.
During the Game:
Predictability; The first advantage you have is that you know exactly where the invaders will be. Where they will build and where they will ravage. Once the pieces are on the board, they are set unless you move them. What’s more, if you do move them out of the zones that activate then their power will be much weaker. Or you can collect them into a single area so the effect only hits one place.
Play to YOUR Strengths; This is a game where you can defend, attack or simply push your enemy about. All through this, you will cause fear and lower the difficulty of winning (or win automatically). If your character isn’t good at attacking, then get on the defense. If you are skilled at causing fear, then keep causing fear every turn. If you are playing with other players then let each player work on their strengths and help cover their weaknesses.
Get Out There; Whether playing solo or with a team, get your tokens across the map. It’s going to help increase your range and power. It will also increase the power on your player board – you are stronger for each token down. Doing this consistently through the game will help ensure you have the best chance to win.
Think Fast AND Slow; (Enjoy the Daniel Kahneman reference) The cards you can chose from, and the innate power you have will be fast or slow. If it’s fast you can go before the invaders, whilst slow is after their effects. Plan for these options and plan for how they work together. Perhaps go slow at first to react to the invaders, and then fast later as you need to act before key events. Keep those fast cards circling to attack the invaders before they can trigger.
Move, Move, Blast; This is particularly true for river, but also good in teams. The tricky is to move the invaders together and attack. It’s important to make the most of your attacks (and the major attack cards). Getting the opponents into a single location and then making the most of the strong of attacks can be a neat trick for the team where you have an attack (or strong attack specialist)
Watch out for Blight; This stuff gets tricky and as the game progresses the risk of a cascade is real – if the Blight hits the same land twice it’s effects are much worse you will need to watch out for this throughout the game as blight can often be very limited (you won’t even know until you flip the card!).
Go for the Kill; Lastly, it’s important to take a risk at some point. You know your win conditions and you know the loss conditions. Sometimes you just need to clear the cities even if the towns will set you back. As soon as you clear the last objective for the win condition, it’s over and the invaders stop. This ability to push for the win can be key when the clock ticks down!