Tips & Strategies (9)

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Tips & Strategies (9)

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6
Belgium
I play green
Baron / Baroness
18 of 18 gamers found this helpful
“Neutral merchants”

The rules already have the 2-player rule to use the unused game colors as neutral merchants (starting at locations 14-15-16).
You can add it also as a house rule in a 3-player or 4-player game (unused colors as neutral merchants (location 14 and/or 16), move them like smuggler/governor, pay encounters at the general supply).
Just to add some more difficulty.

Great game by the way.

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8
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Tactician
Guardian Angel
29 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Songs of Faith and Devotion”

Regarding the Mosque tiles (both Small and Great): each tile has two devotions you may perform to receive a benefit tile which will last until the rest of the game. The tiles require, at a minimum, two of a particular good to be in your wheelbarrow (incrementing to a maximum of five), of which you pay 1 to the Mosque to acquire the benefit. Savvy merchants will quickly realize that it gets much tougher to acquire these tiles as other players reach them first. It can pay off to go for early Mosque visits, when having a non-expanded wheelbarrow loaded with the right goods will still net you one or more benefit tiles — and potentially, their Mosque’s ruby if you complete both.

Combine with a 0-movement bonus card, or a visit to the Police Station to send your relative, and you can hit both sides of a Mosque within two turns.

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8
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Tactician
Guardian Angel
28 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“Relatively Speaking”

One of the most powerful and most overlooked abilities in the game is the option to drop off an assistant at the Police Station to send your relative to another tile and perform its action. If you find yourself mostly stuck in one corner of the board due to loading up on Warehouse goods, or trying to game the Black Market for Jewelry, then having your relative go visit one of the Market tiles could save you a lengthy round trip. If you’ve just visited an appropriate warehouse but want to show your merchant’s devotion at a Mosque tile too far to reach, your relative is an excellent substitute — this may allow you to shut down an opponent’s strategy to reach the Mosque first and make the devotion action tougher for you!

While your opponents’ ability to encounter your relative and send him back to the Police Station to gain a benefit (3 Lira or a bonus card) can be somewhat annoying, and you may balk at handing them an advantage, proper tactical use of your relative can shave precious turns off your route through the bazaar. You may even find yourself in a situation where an opponent pounced upon your relative almost immediately, allowing you to retrace your steps, pick up your assistant at the Police Station, and dispatch your relative again to obtain an advantage. Be sure to thank your opponent for being so helpful!

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8
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Tactician
Guardian Angel
37 of 39 gamers found this helpful
“Total Recall”

Placing your assistants along the board to get yourself to the remote corners can leave you spread out, and opponents’ turns might thwart your return-trip strategy for picking up your wayward workers. Never underestimate the Fountain! You can travel here, even without an assistant left to exploit, and recall all of your workers to you in one move.

Some people think of the Fountain as a last-ditch effort, but it is more useful to see it as a means to pivot strategies when necessary. All of your workers are scattered on one side of the board, but your next moves are on the other? Visit the Fountain and bring them home again, and you will be refreshed and ready to work the other end.

A similar but smaller-scale option can be exercised with the Yellow Mosque tile, which allows you to pay 2 coins to recall any one of your assistant tokens, once per turn. Judicious use of this tile can expand your options considerably, and allow you to spend your way into your endgame without needing to detour.

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4
Advocate
Reviewed My First Game
30 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Teach using the theme!”

I often find myself teaching people to play games, and this one is no exception. I often play with inexperienced gamers and have found that the mechanics can quickly become confusing and drain away the enthusiasm of your group, but if you teach the game using the theme as the basis of why you do things it has made a world of difference!

teach from the perspective of Merchants of Istanbul in the crowded bazaar vying for dominance in the eyes of all! You’re not above exploiting your shady relatives for a leg up, nor trading favors with the local governor, much less the local smuggler. The Gems are the key to winning they day and every move must get you closer to obtaining that single prize.

Trust me it works wonders.

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4
Advocate
Reviewed My First Game
38 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“The Goal Is To Get GEMS!!!!!”

I have have had the fortune of playing this game in all kinds of groups, from casual social gamers to the obsessed power gamer, and they all have 2 things in common

1. They love the game.

2. There are always a few people who forget that the goal is to collect Gems, and instead spend their time building an inventory of cards and/or resources—GET THE GEMS!! From my experience, the first player who starts buying the gems from the Dealer or the Palace tends to win.

Now go forth and win.

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4
Advocate
Reviewed My First Game
30 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“"Analysis Paralysis"”

This game can lead to planning your play 3-5 moves ahead, especially if you are playing with more that 2 players. The more crowded the board gets the more often those brilliant 3 move plans are ruined. Suddenly players find themselves staring at the board as their hopes and dreams crumble before them.

DON’T GIVE IN TO THE PARALYSIS!!!

Nothing makes a game like Istanbul worse then taking it from a 30 minute race through the Bazaar into an hour long trudge. If you find that players are struggling with Analysis Paralysis, add a turn time limit-

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1
“Don't ignore the smuggler”

It may not sound sexy, to have an encounter with the smuggler, but there’s a great move hidden in this rather bland rule. Encountering him, you can get a gem/diamond/blue thing (whatever you want to call it), and that’s the rarest resource in the game. For 2 lira, it’s yours. Get it fast, and get to the 3 warehouses, double back to the sultan’s palace and you get a ruby for dirt cheap before anyone else has thought of it.

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1
“Cash grab strategy.”

If playing the base game with some deep thinkers or players new to the game, just go for the throat and use the simplest strategy available. Money all the time. Warehouse, warehouse, market, repeat, maybe go gambling at the tea house if it’s well placed for you, throw a relative back in jail and take the money, then raid the gem dealer’s store again and again. You can rack up 3, maybe even 4 rubies before anyone’s caught on to what you’re doing. The vulnerability is that you can stall out at 4 gems and have to switch it up to win, which takes time and allows the others to perhaps get back in the game, but the pressure is on them, not you.

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