Tips & Strategies (10)

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Tips & Strategies (10)

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52 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Some tips”

1 Resources – resource cubes are the most important thing in the game; you can never have too many resources, there are so many places you can trade them for points and points are good 😉 .
Once you have resource lead its easier to play. You can always win favor in castle (so you control it) and adapt to the situation (most buildings will require a right mix of cubes to use efficiently)

2 Buildings – building have the best resource to point ratio in the game, for 2 cubes you can get 2-6 points immediately and many more when other players use it (don’t forget that if they don’t you can place your guys there for 1 no matter how many ppl passed; try to avoid placing on your own buildings unless they are really better than other choices)
Watch out for stone buildings giving resources, they are overpowered – extra resource for owner is huge, and 3 resources are great as well
try to get them early and not let opponents do it too easily

3 Money – money is important but easy to underestimate resource
you start the game with loads of money, but this amount will quickly dry
each turn you get 2 cash, each of 6 workers costs at least one cash, and it is nice to move provost form time to time
– watch other players money, if they’re low they will need to pass early/skip provost movement
– watch your money, try to have some surplus to place all guys and move provost if necessary
– don’t waste money, moving a provost if you don’t have to is a waste, buying cubes on 2:1 basis is also bad (unless you really need this cube or its late game and you earn a ton o money)
– you can never have too much money, if you have a load of money use bank/church to convert them to points on 1:1 basis (assuming worker cost 1) or buy cubes
– don’t pass if trading post is not taken and price to place doesn’t exceed 3
– money = control, if you can place more guys and still have money you decide where provost ends its movement

4 Favors
Points – this track is pretty straightforward, the more you use it the better it is; you need to focus on it to make it great
Cash – the money you get gives you flexibility, it is harder to use but even first favour of 3 money can save you when you’re broke
if market (cube > 6$) is built early it is less profitable as money is even better when opponents dont have it
Resources – this track is too week, first places are fine, but last are awful; one gold isn’t really worth it, other cubes even less; maybe i haven’t seen a good use of it but i cant think of one
i’ll take it only if i desperately need that one food cube for sth important and have a favor to spare(but probably wont get more than 1)
Build – this track can win the game, with 2 players it is a must!, the more players the more it can be ignored, but even with 5 it can still be quite usefull
first two spaces are weak, but all other are great (and additional wooden building early is nice)
if you advance on this track early (and you should if you don’t ignore it) the turn after dungeon scoring you can use favor (best from tournament) to place stone production, even if there is no mason; with tournament you’ll place it as early as you can get
same applies to residences, you don’t need to fight for lawyer (it doesn’t even have to be built)
and prestige buildings, if you have enough batches you’ll get a chance to build one at the end of the game and no one can stop you
remember you can always use previous fields of the track, stone buildings give really nice points for little cost

to counter this track build as much as you can from traditional sources, especially lawyer and mason need to be early to even the scales
buildings force the ones from this favor to be placed further down the road; also number of buildings is limited, so if all stone are on the board no easy points for owner of this track

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“Castle and favors”

The player who build most elements the castle during a given turn earns a royal favor. I a pretty common case of a tie in numbers the first player to accomplish castle development gets the favor. So the following guidelines can be derived:

1) Try to place your worker as the first one on the castle spots.

2) If you could do 1) but you see that any other player may build more castle elements during the current turn – don’t hurry, the worker order does not mean too much for you.

3) If another player has their worker in the castle and you can top them – it is usually a good idea to do that.

4) If another player has their worker in the castle and you can build the same number of castle elements or less – consider not improving the castle at all, but waiting for the next turn instead.

5) If you are to build castle elements and you could construct many of them – consider constructing only the number of elements that is enough not to be topped by other players.

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My First Heart
51 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Mine gold!”

Place your worker on the gold mine as frequently as you can. (You can also use the building allowing you to buy gold and sometimes you can even use the resource giving favor track, but do it with care as there may be better options.)

If you have gold you are able to construct buildings that give you most victory points. Even if you do not build them each gold cube is converted into three points at the end of the game. So in fact each worker on the gold mine square is worth at least three points.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
51 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Play Monopoly”

The idea here is to corner the market on essential buildings. There are three pairings of buildings that you want to set your sights. If you make sure you are the sole owner of one or more of these pairings you stand to be well rewarded both by getting the perpetual cheap activation and prestige point when an opponent is forced to use it in order to increase their own score. The pairings are as follows:

~Stone Farm(two food and one cloth) and Park(two wood and one food)-the resources that these two buildings provide are very essential throughout the game. Besides that both buildings can enable you to collect goods and use those same exact goods to build at the castle on the same turn. Opponents will find it tiresome and slow going if they do not use these buildings thus scoring you prestige points on turns when you don’t the goods yourself.

~Both Architects buildings-For those of you who have played this game it seems fairly obvious why owning both of these can be a great investment. In order for you opponents to make the big prestige points by building blue buildings they have to go through your architects first. The 1 prestige isn’t near as nice as what you get for prestige buildings but then again you yourself won’t be using these buildings every turn.

~Mason and Lawyer-In the same league as owning both Architects these two are necessary in the long run to further a players prestige points. Cornering these two forces your opponent to give you prestige just to some of the basic things in the game; no player can live off of neutral and wooden buildings forever.

Of course since you own these buildings you should try and utilize them as much as you can yourself but like I said earlier you won’t be using them every single turn so why not look forward to you opponents giving you prestige while they try and catch up. Trying to get all three sets is extremely difficult and depending on how many players are at the table getting just one of these can be hard but the intricacy of obtaining these buildings is what makes Caylus such a blast to play

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“Tournament tiebreaker”

The rules of Caylus specify that under standard conditions only the prestige points determine the player order at the end of the game, and consequently a draw is possible. But in a tournament play it is sometimes required not to allow draws; not necessarily for the first place: if two players are to advance to the next round and the 2nd and 3rd places are tied a way to determine who is “better” is needed. Below a tiebreaker proposal is described, I hope it well fits into the general game theme.

1) If the prestige points are tied among several players the “overflow” deniers and cubes are counted (i.e. ones remaining after grouping deniers by four and cubes by three; in other words deniers[mod]4 and cubes[mod]3) . So: players get 3 tiebreaker points for each overflow denier (i.e. 0, 3, 6 or 9 points) and 4 points for each overflow cube (i.e. 0, 4 or 8 points). The player with more tiebreaker points is considered better.

2) If there is still a tie, the player who has more houses in the castle among the tied ones is considered better.

3) Final tiebreaker: if there is still a tie the player who occupies the lowest (the greatest number) position on the turn order track among all still tied players is considered better.

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Advanced Reviewer Bronze Supporter
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“Stone monopoly”

This is probably the simplest of the strong strategies in Caylus.

1) Build the “wooden” quarry (cost: 1 wood, 1 food, you can easily do it during the first turn!) as soon as possible.

2) Build the lawyer or if it is already built goto 3).

3) Use the lawyer to convert the “neutral” quarry to residence.

– Your quarry will be used in fact every turn giving you points (or stones if you use it).
– Limited amount of stone will slow the game down making your residence more profitable.

The counterstrategy in the case when someone builds the wooden quarry early is not building the lawyer (letting the player with the quarry do that) and then keeping him (the lawyer!) occupied with converting another neutral buildings to residences for 2-3 turns.

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51 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Watch the building order!”

One of the mistakes my gaming group makes most often is forgetting the building order. Specifically the order in which you get your resources. It is very easy to forget that you are actually going to get that one more resource cube AFTER you get to build something you need that cube for.

There is one place this mistake happens very often – favor space. You need 1 cloth and 1 cash to use it and it is very easy to forget that all the resources you are going to get this turn are going to come way too late. If you want to use the favor spot you need to remember to stash one cloth one turn earlier.

This means wasting an action in a game where actions are one of the most valuable resources.

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Advanced Reviewer Bronze Supporter
52 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“'Free Market' variant”



1. General note: This variant adds much more player interaction to the game. While it does not change the general game rules and “only” adds a few of them, it radically changes the gameplay. It is recommended for advanced Caylus players who want to add more economic aspects to the game.

2. Main rule of the market: Players are allowed to trade goods between each other. Both instant and delayed transactions are allowed. There are no fixed exchange rates. Both the involved players have to want to trade something for the exchange to happen.

3. Instant transactions: Players can exchange goods immediately.

4. Delayed transactions: They happen when at least one of the players promises another to give him some goods in future. Valid delayed transactions are e.g.: “We will trade one cloth for two wood next turn.” or “Give me one cloth now and I’ll give you two deniers as soon as I sell my food.” If one side of a delayed transaction refuses (or is unable) to keep their word, the other side (player) may request to subtract 6 prestige points from the debtor. A delayed transaction may be canceled if both sides agree to do so.

5. Deniers and cubes: Deniers, food, wood, stone, cloth, and gold can be the subject of trade at any time.

6. Favors: When a player earns a royal favor he may sell it immediately. (“Your majesty, I want nothing but please give some money to my poor friend!”) When a favor is sold the buyer may chose only the money and goods tracks (no prestige or buildings). The favor fully counts as a buyer’s one; let us say player A earns two favors, player B earns one favor and B buys one favor from A – then A can use any favor track, B must use either money or goods track and any track other than the first one.

7. Markers order:
7.a. Players may trade (exchange) places of their markers on the turn order scale only between turns.
7.b. Players may trade (exchange) places of their markers on the bridge only when the turn resolution comes to the point of resolving the bridge.
7.c. Players may trade (exchange) places of their workers in the castle at the end of town resolution before building in the castle starts. To perform this both players must have workers placed in the castle. They can only switch their locations, withdrawing a worker in favor of another player is not allowed.

8. Goods not listed above cannot be traded.

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Advanced Reviewer Bronze Supporter
51 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“Longer version”

If you want to play a longer-lasting version of the Caylus game you may use the following rulings:

* Parts of the castle are scored only when they are fully built.
* The game ends at the end of the turn when the Bailiff token reaches the very last town space. (It is thus possible that one – or even more – part of the castle remains unscored at the end of the game).

Using these rulings make building right town structures more profitable than it is in the standard game while developing the castle has a bit lower priority.

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Marquis / Marchioness
31 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“iDevice Universal App for Caylus - $4.99”

There is now an app that brings the boardgaming fun of Caylus to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, for what (to me) seems like a very reasonable $4.99. It is by bigdaddyscreations (who have previously released two well regarded apps in Neuroshima Hex and Army of Frogs).

The graphics look very impressive. I may have preferred something that looks closer to the real board, but I imagine I’m in the extreme minority. The main path will be easily recognizable to anyone that has played the game. On an iPhone/iPod Touch, there is a bit of scrolling needed due to the size of the board, but I think this was a better idea than trying to force everything onto the screen.

If you’re looking to carry Caylus with you wherever you go, you’ll really enjoy the app. Another plus, the developer is very active on boardgame chat forums and is readily supporting the game and will be ensuring the initial bugs get programmed away.

There are AI characters to play against (solo-mode), as well as pass-and-play and online (asynchronous).

Currently, there is not an Android version, and it sounds like this unfortunately is not coming anytime soon.

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