Caylus Magna Carta Strategy
I’ve taken CMC to the last two game sessions and played. I’ve enjoyed going back and revisiting it (which I don’t think I could do with regular Caylus in a group of new players).
In revisiting the game, I still worry about cube bullying, although I did just fine with a building spam strategy. I got a few castle tokens, mainly via my church, but also got 14 points off of buildings and ~5 gold from my mine. I lost out by a point to the player who built the 14 point blue building. The nice thing is that the strategies seem much more fluid, because of the card flow. It really matters which pink buildings are absent, and which buildings get built early. Despite all my writings about Caylus, I’ve never really gone into CMC strategy.
I don’t think I can get 6,000 words out of it, but a few thoughts:
- Passing and getting der castlegeld is a great deal.
- That being said, there are early buildings that you should consider. In particular, the peddler (buy 1 or 2 cubes for 1/2 dollars, owner can buy one). Getting that out is like a free worker each turn that you don’t have to rush (turn $1 into a cube of your choice whenever someone else places a worker). That’s not as good as one of the wood production buildings early, but it will be great the whole game.
- If you start a turn with no cubes, you better have gotten a great deal for it. It’s a terrible position. Cubes let you threaten to build something and deliver to the castle. If you are cubeless, your opponents should claim production spaces and bully you around. On the other hand, starting a turn with little to no money (and cubes) isn’t horrible. You slap down a worker or two, and can then build buildings or pass and deliver first. (In other words, I’m not convinced that cash is king in CMC)
- Pay attention to what is missing at the start. If the quarry is missing, the game will have a much different flavor because (at the start) only one person can get stone a turn (via peddler). If the quarry and money spot are missing (2-3 player) cash will be incredibly tight.
- Don’t draw cards just because. Particularly if you have a large selection. Dump your hand and replenish if you can.
- Having lots of money isn’t as necessary, except in one situation … jockeying to pass last (to control the provost). Then you can temporize by drawing a card).
- Don’t rush to build the 2nd copy of a wooden production building out (unless you are just going to convert it to a residence). For the stone production buildings, it’s not so bad.
- The Blue buildings are nice, but not overwhelming. The 14 point building costs you 3 gold, 5 stone, and a residence, which is 6 points plus lost income.
- How the non-production buildings come out will change the character of the game. Games can be gold rich or poor (mine/bank), cash rich or poor (depending on church, traders and lawyers). React accordingly. If it’s a cash rich game, get your church out ASAP. If it’s a cash poor game, your trader should be a priority. Etc.
- In a cash rich game, there’s a lot more risk in placing workers near the provost. He moves more.