We thought it would be fun to dive into some of the strategic choices that a player could be considering when taking actions in Margraves of Valeria. These are some of the things that we’ve personally learned and implemented during the development process that you can use to get a leg up on your competition. A lot of these tips will be true for plenty of other strategy games out there. But with great power comes great responsibility, so go easy on your friends!
Once you are down to a single Citizen card in hand, you MUST activate the Recall power. This means discarding that last card, removing a card from the Citizen line, optionally buying a new Citizen for its current cost, and returning all previously used cards to your hand. It is important not to put yourself in a situation where you were planning to do a different action on your turn with that last Citizen card in your hand, but can’t. Oftentimes, timing when to do a Recall is very important. Doing it sooner than your opponents might have expected could give you a big advantage.
Know what your opponents can do. This is a good tip for any game in which what one player does can affect the other players, but it’s especially relevant in this game. All of the systems interweave in ways that reward proper planning. This includes Monsters, shipping, Citizens, Ward Towers, privilege tiles, the Tombs, etc. Every system in the game can be affected by other systems. Watch which resources a player chooses to collect or spend and it can give you a lot of insight into their next moves. Especially if you’ve paid any attention to which Citizens they’ve been collecting.
You should always be planning your next move ahead of time. While you watch your opponents take their turns, you should be preparing at least 2 plays for your next turn. This will allow you to pivot if an opponent gets in your way. During this time you should be doing calculations to account for how many resources or how much gold you will need for your next turn and then figure out which actions you will be taking to accomplish that. Doing this appropriately will allow you to have bigger turns and allow you to do more things per turn, on average. Thinking of this ahead of time will not only cause you to win more frequently, but it also makes your turns faster because you already know what you will be doing for the most part.
The shipping track should not be taken lightly. For example, sending off excess resources to snag Privilege tiles unexpectedly or to refill your coffers with gold are tools you can use to gain an advantage over your opponents. Be careful not to get too carried away, however. Using those resources to instead build Ward Towers is still something to you will want to factor into your decision.
The Ward Towers are one of the more noticeable strategies of the game, but that doesn’t make it an easy path. Timing the acquisition of the resources you need, positioning yourself to convert those to a gem without wasted movements, building it at a location that makes best use of the Guilds you have influence over, and then choosing a reward that is most useful to you at the time… these are all tense and fun decisions to make! Making sure that you end your movement at the location you want to be at the turn before you are planning to build is pretty important. Otherwise, you are taking a huge hit to your tempo.
Sometimes it’s worth your time to put your current plan on hold to seize a powerful opportunity. This could be snagging up a privilege tile you want that was just drawn, claiming a new Citizen card that can synergize well with your strategy, filling up the Hero Tombs for big rewards, or maybe even slaying a Monster out from under an opponent. Though, while taking advantage of fortuitous opportunities is something to always be mindful of, getting sidetracked too frequently could lead to problems. In Margraves, you can’t do it all even if you want to. Focusing on a strategy and only rarely deviating will often be the right choice.
Generally speaking, you’ll probably be able to maximize your score by focusing on gaining Influence over 2 different Guilds. Keeping this in mind throughout the entire game will allow you to jump on opportunities that will arise to take a useful Citizen or a desirable Privilege tile that will pay off at the end of the game. Going into a 3rd Guild will often lead to you getting spread too thin without being able to maximize on any of them. Only focusing on a single Guild is a possible route to go, but to be successful you will need to hope that you can snag basically every Citizen that comes up and you’ll most likely need to lean hard into getting a full collection of Banners. If you decide to go the single-Guild route, you will want to speed the game along as fast as you can manage before your opponents have a chance to maximize their multi-guild strategy.
Use those Knights! Utilizing the Knights scattered around the board or in your inventory is a very useful and powerful option that you should always be considering. These basically represent additional action potential. Even if you don’t need what an adjacent location can provide, you always have the option to gain 2 gold instead. Not only are Knights useful for the additional action potential that they provide around the map, but they are also useful in killing Monsters. After the Knights fight by your side, they are off to fill up the Hero Tombs. Knowing how many to send to the Tombs, and when, is another layer of strategy to hone your skills on. This includes knowing when your opponents are planning to use Knights at a location too. Moving the Knights away just before your opponents can use them can be a powerful move to mess with their planned timing and efficiency.
Some of the Monsters can provide a Gem as a reward when you kill them. These are difficult to take down but are often highly contentious because of the potential amount of time-saving. Always keeping them in mind is a good idea. If you have built up a team of strong fighting Citizens, it might be much easier for you to gain a Gem this way than through the normal method.
Resources are finite and can run out! It’s best to know what you are going to need for a few turns ahead of time to make sure you aren’t shut out of something you need. In this same vein, sometimes holding onto a scarce resource for a couple of turns could prove to be a challenge for your opponents if they didn’t plan properly. However, holding out for too long likely means that you weren’t spending them to progress yourself in the game and possibly losing points and time.
Always keep an eye out for the conditions that trigger the end of the game. While you do get some points for leftover resources, gems, and coins, the return isn’t great. You are much better off spending those items to get points throughout the game. But if you aren’t paying attention to when the game will end, you could easily be unprepared. In general, knowing how much time you have left will also let you decide which options you have time to pursue or not. No point in collecting strength if you can’t make it over to kill that Monster you had your eye on. Additionally, if you can cause the game to end before your opponents are ready you might be able to deny them quite a lot of points.