Part 4: Player Strategy Guide
Player 1 controls four rough and ready nations. These are not, at least at the start of the game, the civilised leaders of Dara Happa: Pelorian peasants; chariot driving nomads; werewolves; and outlandish beast riding nomads. Despite this they start the game in a more powerful position than any other player, with lots of units in good positions (the Pelorians), and a good chance to be the Jenarong Emperor (the Hirenmador Chariot Lords) or even the Pelorians with the number of Accoutrements they pick up.
The main tactic of the Pelorians is to run away, strategically. That is to say, in such a way that they block movement of their enemies and allow the Hirenmador, and later the Praxians, to move where they need to move. The Hirenmador need an avenue to escape to Pent, while the Praxians need a chance to kill other Horse nomads en route to the Hungry Plateau. There are not many tactics with the Telmori, who are limited by a lack of units, but that can cause annoyance to other players if used effectively.
The Call to Heroes is a chance to score lots of Victory Points but is hard to do and requires some hard thinking about what others may be able to sacrifice. The Pelorians should gain some advantages in the last few turns when they form the New Moon Queendom and their terrifying Crimson Bat devours their enemies, or drives them mad.
Player 2 controls some wild nations: Storm barbarians on a chaos killing crusade; the inhuman Aldryami plant people of the deep forests; the bravest of the Horse Nomads; the squamous hordes of the Empire of Wyrms Friends. They begin the game in a weak position, with only the blond haired Hyaloring horse people in Saird and Sylila. They have a few options, but none of them are very good. As long as they can survive, they have a reasonable chance to score a few points.
Player 2 needs to remember that almost everyone else hates the Aldryami: Pelorians, Hirenmador, Telmori, Praxians, Carmanians, Theyalans, Veshtargos, Balazarings, Digijelm, Soldiers and Alkothi all get points for killing them. Player 2 has two huge invasions - Arkat's crusade to destroy Gbaji, and the dragon armies of the Youf. The Youf invasion, then disappearance, with the Call to Heroes will probably decide the outcome of most games as there are lots of Victory Points at stake.
Player 3 needs to act fast - they are invaders, raiders, mercenaries. They start with the Theyalans, most likely spreading out into the hills of Talastar and Brolia, and remaining in the hills for the rest of the game. Because they score for areas possessed and for dieing while fighting, they should always spread themselves thinly with risky attacks that might result in Death (and Victory Points) or Conquest (and Victory Points for Area possession).
The Veshtargos, brutal horsemen who appease Deshkorgos and his minions, need to charge across Pelanda and conquer parts of it before there are too many Pelandans, and then they need to run away, killing people as they go. The Balazarings are out for plunder and opportunities to loot. They will not make a huge difference but may harass someone, or pick up 2 Victory Points by retreating into a scoring area. The Carmanians need to attack hard and drive their armies into Dara Happa whenever the chance arises, possibly picking up 18 points for capturing territory, let alone all the points they get for killing people. They have to consider the results of the Call to Heroes carefully, especially balancing points gained from, for example, being the Shah of Carmania.
Player 4 lurks in darkness, controlling the forces of the underworld, darkness and death. The Pelandans, in the West, need to bide their time until they have sufficient forces to invade Dara Happa without being cut off from their homelands and losing their culture, and before the Carmanian invasion.
The Alkothi are sat right in the middle of the action and can keep attacking and keep coming back, but they will feel hemmed in by their restricted mobility. There are points to be scored by killing people in Darjiin. The Soldiers too, will feel hemmed in, but need to force their way South to fight the Barbarians, or North East to capture Rinliddi, or South East to capture Vanch. They might even try North West so that Darsen is controlled by a Digijelm friendly nation. The Soldiers and Alkothi are good candidate to march to their glorious deaths killing dragons in the Call to Heroes but need to consider what others might do.
Player 4 has a good chance of some Imperial Nation points, with either the Alkothi or the Soldiers, and also has some involvement in the Call to Heroes, although less likely to win than the Player 2 or 3. The inhuman Digijelm, known to some as Trolls or Uz, need to avoid contact with others as much as possible as they have little to gain and can often slip into their target areas when they are empty. They can move about, scoring their points for capturing their areas, then hiding in the mountains or behind the deathline after the Dragonkill.