If you haven’t played Clans of Caledonia, then keep in mind that this is an asymmetric game (clan powers) with a variable map set up and a lot of ways to score points. If you have though, and are looking for potential new strategies…. here are some of my thoughts
During the Game:
Starting Position; Yes, there are a lot of decisions in Clans of Caledonia, but for me a good starting position is key. Think about the resources your clan favours in the game, think about the port locations, and give yourself plenty of freedom from the other players (particularly on the cheaper or more essential land parcels). Money is fierce in this game and being one step further from the cheap land might cost you the whole strategy!
Clan Powers; Which clan you play as is another important factor in this game. Yes your choice will be limited each game, but the importance is not in picking the clan. They are broadly balanced in their power. However, the combination of your clan and strategy is essential. If your clan has an advantage you will likely want to maximise it. Play to your strengths – and in particular go for bonuses and contracts that play to those strengths as well.
Contracts; The biggest contributor to points; I have seen it said that most games of Clans of Caledonia score 50%+ of the points from contracts. If you aren’t completing contracts from as early as possible in the game then you are missing a trick. In particular, there can be a tendency from players to build their engine one turn longer than necessary, or to permit for greater concentration of assets in the early game. Instead, you should diversify and pick contracts that are achievable. However, watch out that another player hasn’t got the upper hand on completing that contract early.
Glory; So you mastered contracts – glory and not resources or towns will be the tie break. Position yourself in these to areas and with an engine to support, you should be on to a good chance of winning.
Engine Building; This is a game that accelerates at the finish and you should be aware of it. Think about player order and opportunities, because it may be that by your next turn a lot has changed on the board and this could mean that key land or contracts go quicker than you think. Build up your engine, but watch out for what others are doing. The one advantage in an engine building game is that it becomes fairly obvious by the late game what is most rationale for your opponents and they know what you are likely to do to…
Expanding Across Water; This is something I have found really helpful in a couple of games. In your early expansion you can secure cheap land by travelling across water. There is an art to using this multiple times (once is probably wasteful given the investment), but I have found this mutliple times as a useful way to get to cheap land ahead of opponents and to move at greater pace across the map!
Using Ports; Using ports can be a differential in trading and in accessing harder resources. Position yourself at the start of the game to make use of one or two of the ports and then work your way across the board if the other ports could also benefit you. Watch out though, because sometimes the board set up will make the cost of the journey too high!