Tips & Strategies (13)

Add your own Tips, Strategies, & House Rules! Vote for tips that you think are useful.

Tips & Strategies (13)

Filter by: Order by:
Gamer Avatar
6
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Poland
Petroglyph
50 of 51 gamers found this helpful
“Plan your real estate in advance”

One of the ways you can earn victory points is to use dwelling cards which are worth a varying amount of points depending on what they are neighboring with. The best way to utilize them is to plan ahead where you are going to build them (and to make matters worse you can only build them in very specific moments of the game). The way it works for me is that I leave an empty spot for the dwelling to be built in the future and try to surround that empty spot with the most valuable buildings I can find.

Gamer Avatar
6
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Poland
Petroglyph
50 of 51 gamers found this helpful
“Resources vs. Dwellings”

Two main strategies I see for ora et Labora are:

1) focus on manufacturing chains (gathering basic goods and processing them into more valuable ones, ultimately Wonders)
2) focus on real estate value, especially dwellings (try to build the buildings which give most points, regardless of what they actually do and try to place them in the most profitable spots)

Of course there are lots of factors deciding which one of these is optimal in any case, but the ground rule I found is:

a) Strategy 1 (manufacturing) lets you get more points if the game lasts longer (you can manage the game length in a 2p game, because the game ends when there is a specific number of buildings left to be built). The main reason is that you can repeatedly generate points without any limit other than the game length.
b) Strategy 2 (dwellings) lets you get more points sooner, but the actual score is limited – at some point you run into a wall. If you are able to generate building materials fast and consequently build fast, you will probably be able to rush the game and leave any opponent using the manufacturing strategy behind (they won’t be able to set up their point engine soon enough). On the other hand if you get blocked out of critical building resources, you run the risk of powerlessly watching your manufacturing opponent rack up points while not being able to do much about it yourself.

Gamer Avatar
3
Rated 25 Games
51 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Fixed ending in 2-player game”

Per the rules, the 2-player game does not have a fixed ending as with other numbers of players, but instead continues until all but one (or zero) non-settlement building has been built. This can lead to long, meandering game endings unless someone is trying to force the end of the game by building buildings (which can sometimes be worth fewer points than other actions). If you prefer a fixed ending, play 6 or 8 more rounds (not 7, because it would give the first player an additional turn) and have a final settlement phase as you would with other numbers of players.

Gamer Avatar
9
Gamer - Level 7
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Petroglyph
Explorer - Level 3
50 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“beach plot early”

By a beach plot early before any one else does. There is one building that has to be built only on the water(Houseboat). It has a good power and will be in high demand, giving you a good return when you don’t use it yourself.

Gamer Avatar
2
Gamer - Level 2
Freshman
49 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Buying plots”

When buying plots try to buy the larger plots early and as much as you can, maybe the first two large plots for 5 coins. This will hopefully drive up the cost of plots for your opponents while giving you lots of free space to erect your buildings.

Gamer Avatar
3
Rated 25 Games
51 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Don't lock the wheel”

While they give you the pieces required to lock each wheel with one arm (or hand, or spinner), don’t close and lock them! There aren’t enough arm pieces to leave the wheels permanently locked. Just put the larger plastic piece through the spinner and one arm, and set it on the table. Unless you pick up the wheel (which you shouldn’t do anyway) you won’t have any issues, and you don’t have to include a tool to help you remove them.

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
51 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“Go for 12-P”

Sometimes a certain resource stacks on the wheel. If it’s one you need – no problem, get it. But what when you don’t need it too much? In principle you could need it in the future. Moreover you block other players. I’ve found that a good moment to take a resource that you don’t really need is when it reaches the 12-P amount where P is the number of players; i.e:
* 10 in a 2-player game;
* 9 in a 3-player game;
* 8 in a 4-player game.
Of course in many games you won’t have an opportunity to get that much…

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
50 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Two for the price of one”

Ora et Labora is a game of limited resources, and the most limited resource of all is time for making actions. But sometimes you can group two actions into one: you can construct an new building and immediately send your prior to work there. Utilizing this privilege as often as possible gives a substantial advantage. So when you are to construct a building make sure that you have your prior available and make sure he may do something useful in. Be prepared in advance: it’s better to spend one more turn on preparations, gathering resources etc. and then to make two actions at once than to hurry to build something that you can’t use at once.

Gamer Avatar
9
Stratagem fan
50 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Be careful on setup”

Each of the buildings are 2 sided- one for Irish variant and one for French. There is a tiny Green Shamrock or Red Fleur-De-Lis for the French variant. Make sure all cards show the same isignia as the buildings on each side of the cards are different.

Gamer Avatar
2
Gamer - Level 2
Freshman
49 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Large vs. Small plots... what to buy?”

There is a difference between the plots you buy. As a preference I found sticking to the larger plots will give you a more sizable playing area and you get more out of the coins that you invest (providing the prices are still low).

Here is a comparison –

Beach plot – For the cost you get 2 usable spaces and 2 unusable spaces (1 in Ireland). There are around 5 usable buildings for these spaces, meaning you would have to have 2-3 beaches worthwhile for all the buildings with a total of 6 unused spaces. You can always get the fishing village if you are bent on it, however just keep in mind to get the most out of it you would need to buy 2 of the beach plots.

Mountain plot – Similar to the beaches, the mountain isn’t very effective either. The only use I see for it is when you REALLY need stone and no one else has bothered to build it yet. This area offers 2 hillside, and one mountain space and a total 1 unusable space. Only 2 different buildings can be built in the mountain and there are only another 3 or 4 that need the hillside.

Large plot resource hilly side – The hilly side can be great if you want to set up a hilltop village right next to your palace and you could stagger the plot so you could get the bonus from a castle as well. Other than that, the hilly side offers 3 other spaces which are obstructed by forests and moor. These can take valuable actions to clear. And I find moor really isn’t that necessary outside of the two that you start with. I typically stay away from this side unless I can nail down some of the more valuable hill buildings.

This brings us to the last plot. This offers 3 free slots and 1 hill slot and one forest. Not a bad pick up. If you were first and managed to pick up 2 of these plots you get a total of 8 free plots, with 2 being hillside and 2 for room to expand for a nice 5 coin. This can be achievable if you build the Cloister as your first action (using prior). You get yourself 6 coins and you now have 2 new plots to set next few rounds with.

You may not start strong with the first few buildings but you are really setting yourself up for some serious mid-game acceleration.

Gamer Avatar
3
Rated 25 Games
51 of 57 gamers found this helpful
“Store the goods in a craft box”

Rather than bag the goods and pile them up on the table, store them in a craft box and only remove them as players need them. This decreases setup and takedown time as well as required table space. I use an Artbin 4006AB (http://artbin.com/crafts/default.asp?p=Details&c=STORAGE+ESSENTIALS&s=SOLUTIONS+BOXES&i=4006AB) and it is the perfect fit. I use half of each column for each good, except the 5-gold tokens fit into a 2-space and all the wood, plastic, and 5x multiplier tokens fit into a 4-space.

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
49 of 59 gamers found this helpful
“Medieval mood”

Get a few recordings of the Gregorian chant and play them during your Ora et labora sessions. This will create a great medieval mood well suiting the theme of this game.

Gamer Avatar
7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
51 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“"Monastery etiquette" ruling”

To add some flavor to the game the players are welcome to address each other as “brother” or “sister”. E.g.: “Sister Catherine, it is your turn now!”. If some of the players are much older then others they may be addressed as “Father” and “Mother”. Alternatively the winner of the previous game may be “Father” or “Mother” during the next one.

Add your own Tip, Strategy, or House Rule

You must be to add a comment.

× Visit Your Profile