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Tips & Strategies (9)

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
22 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“Forget the expansios”

If you are fortunate to have the Decennial Edition with all the expansions thrown in – that’s fine.

But if you have only the base game, or if you want to buy the game itself then you can easily forget that the expansions exist. The base game is so well designed that altering it in fact makes it worse.

Note that I am generally a big fan of game expansions! El Grande is just an exception – it’s a game I have all expansion for, but I play the base game only.

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6
Norway
Novice Reviewer
I play red
6 of 6 gamers found this helpful
“Don't underestimate the intrigue cards”

It’s a easy mistake for beginners of El Grande to look at the intrigue actions and think that they are less powerfull then cards that let you put out more caballeros. This is wrong! The intrigue cards are often the most powerful, especially in the later stages of the game. Moving one or two caballeros from one region to the other will easily tip the scales of power, either to your advantage or your oppononents mutual disadvantage.

So always take a extra look at the intrigue cards and consider the powerful moves they allow.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
17 of 19 gamers found this helpful
“Peripheral regions can be rewarding too!”

I’ve noticed that many players new to El Grande tend to fight furiously for the central regions while the peripheral ones remain nearly empty. I admit that the central regions can earn many victory points. But often taking one’s nobles from any of these “rich” provinces and distributing them evenly among the peripheral ones would get the clever player twice as much. So watch the others fight for Castile, and go for Galicia and Seville in meantime.

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2
My First Heart
11 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“Improving 2-player Game”

When laying out the 5 available cards, group them into two groups (one group of 3, one group of 2).

When you win in the bidding, the entire group you choose becomes unavailable to the other player. (You still only get to use one card… not every card in the group.)

This variant restores a fair amount of the tension for action cards.

This game is still much better with 5 players, but this variant adds some fun and interest to the otherwise somewhat bland 2-player game.

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6
I play red
Strategist
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
11 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“Score Early.... Score Often”

Anytime there is a scoring card up that you alone get points from, take it. The scoring that happens between scoring rounds can make a huge difference.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
17 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Fight for the tower”

The tower itself count as a “region” during the scoring phase. Not a very valuable region, but you may get a few points from it. Then all the cubes from the tower are to be moved to “normal” regions. So – if played wisely – they may count twice! But remember: in order to use the tower effectively you must keep in memory how man cubes have already been played there. It requires a little effort but it pays back a lot!

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8
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Knight-errant
Tinkerer
17 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Don't obsess with long-term plans”

The shape of the game can change massively between your turns and players who fixate on one or two key regions can become massively stuck. The key to El Grande is to be flexible. For instance, if other players pile into your home region, be willing to move your Grande and/or your caballeros from there; or if you can never get the King to somewhere that helps your plan, change your plan. Stuff like that.

It is possible to plan how you use your power cards across a number of turns, which helps, but in my experience the people who do best at the game are the ones who are most willing to let go of tricky positions and play each turn as it comes.

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8
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Knight-errant
Tinkerer
13 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“Be wary of the mobile scoreboards”

It is very tempting to grab the “8-4-0” scoreboard and place it on your home area and, if this works out, it can indeed provide you with a lot of points. However, more often than not this is like painting a huge target onto your forehead; in most games I have played, anyone who did this quickly lost control of that region. I’m not saying it’s a bad move, but you need to be ready for the inevitable challenges.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
18 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“Low / Medium / High ”

This is a basic but pretty strong tactics of playing the numbered cards determining the turn order and number of called nobles:

* Play low-numbered cards (and call more nobles to your court) during turns 1, 4, and 7.

* Play medium-numbered cards during turns 2, 5, and 8.

* Play high-numbered cards (and gain more freedom of choosing your action just before scoring) during turns 3, 6 and 9.

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