Best Positions at Game Start

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    • Best Positions at Game Start


      This is a trick question actually. Someone asked this in the chat the other day. My answer was there is no such. Each has certain advantages, and an experienced player will build his empire properly, while an inexperienced one will make numerous mistakes. But you can make your choice work for you, if you know what kind of player you are.

      I think the best thing to do is to play each position at some point. Learn each position, so that in the future you can best understand other's player's motivations. This is extremely important. If you fail to see things from another player's point of view you will often do things they get you involved in a war, or too many wars too early.

      But here are some of the finer points for each position. Be aware, that this is from the viewpoint of having few players around you. When you have more players in an area, you have to be doubly careful.

      Some discussion of player types is in order.


      These players take as much as they can, sometimes not leaving a garrison. The less experienced ones can often be taken advantage of as they often forget to garrison their own capital. Experienced players will protect their borders better, use the tougher mercenary units to start, but switch to colonials as time goes by. Don't worry about trying to find these players. They usually find you. They will attack other players and always attack without warning. They often have been known to sack many capitals just to build up a supply of silver, not caring how many wars they're in. Inexperienced ones will cover their mistakes using gold, making them almost impossible to defeat.

      These players always play as a conquerer in game and rarely, if ever colonize. They may win as early as day 20 or even day 15, if enough other players quit, and they just want to take their win and go on to the next game.


      These folks are usually the most dangerous. They can win by any method in the game, doing often what's most expedient in the game, based on the other players. These are most likely to extend a game if they are enjoying it.


      A slow, methodical player, who defends what he has, expands slowly and carefully, usually at an AI's expense. They rarely attack other players. They are the ones most likely to use anonymous posts in the newspaper to gather support to attack an extreme aggressor. They tend to be rabid colonizers and can win as early as day 30.


      These people play the game using historical information to guide them into what they think they should be doing. No game can match what happened historically in the real world, simply because it would be impossible to keep such a game fair and balanced. Players who play using this as their reasons for why they are attacking someone also tend to fall into the CLUELESS category, which is explained as well.


      Most players fall into this category on their first game or two. The smart ones read forum posts like this ahead of time or during a game to find out what to do best in a game.

      And now for the actual locations in game. Each location will have the type of player listed, who is best suited to that location.

      MUSCOVY/NOVGOROD (extreme aggressor)
      If you have either of these positions, the first order of business, is to take the other one out. I call this phase I. If it's already taken by another player, and you know the player, you may be able to work things out. But Russia doesn't become Russia if you don't have both of these.

      Next on the agenda and part of phase I, is PSKOV, SMOLENSK, KURSK, RYAZAN, KAZAN, & PERM, usually in that order. During this time, you should be exploring the Russian steppes and colonizing every single province back there, just to keep other players out. Explore them, then explore north of NORWAY, SWEDEN & FINLAND. You should have this all done by day 10, or 15, the latest, if you had to deal with a player early.

      After taking out those countries and colonizing the steppes, you move on to phase II. Take THE LIVONIAN ORDER, CURONIA, LITHUANIA, UKRAINE, CRIMEA, THE GOLDEN HORDE & NOGAI. Lithuania, Uraine and Crimea may have players so these may be more difficult, unless they haven't expanded past their initial borders. If you've managed to do all of this, it's probably day 25 and you're close to winning the game.

      But if you've done most or all of this you could go further by attacking CIRCASSIA, SHIRVAN & THE TIMURIDS.

      ENGLAND/SCOTLAND (defensive aggressor)

      Similar to Muscovy/Novgorod if you are in one of these it's best to start by taking the other one out. To continue phase I here take out WALES, CORNWALL, and all of Ireland. Also take the 4 islands north of the main island, and you should explore and colonize Iceland. Consolidate, before others get to them and use them as a forward base to attack you.

      Be sure to first and foremost build a fort in your capital and always garrison, as your capital in either position is too exposed.

      From here, your options are entirely up to you. You can either go to the new world and colonize like mad, or choose a direction and start taking mainland territory.

      SERBIA/BULGARIA/the OTTOMANS (extreme aggressor)

      Similar to the first four nations listed, with the same goal. After that initial business is concluded take BYZANTIUM, WALLACHIA, BOSNIA, ALBANIA, EPIRUS, & ATHENS.

      Phase II has you having the choice of HUNGARY, THE OTTOMANS, & NAPLES. All 3 coupled with MOLDAVIA, TRANSYLVANIA, CROATIA, KARAMAN & CANDAR should leave you in an excellent spot. Adding the islands nearby is also good.

      The Ottomans are slightly different, as they should take KARAMAN and CANDAR first, just to keep others from moving in and using as a base to take them. Moving on to BULGARIA & SERBIA should be part of their phase I.

      MOROCCO/IFRIQIYA/MAMLUK/HEJAZ (defensive aggressor)

      If dealing with AIs in the other positions, then treat like the prior groups. If players, then tread carefully as one of them will likely be working off the first premise. Explore all of Afrika early and often, and colonize as much as you can.

      Afrika is yours to win, or lose.


      Too close too each other, with no where to go, except to colonize. Castile can easily get squeezed here. If you have one, and AIs all around you can play as a defensive aggressor. The capital for Portugal is too exposed and needs to be defended as with England and Scotland.

      Clear out and consolidate Spain as phase I along with exploration and colonizing as many islands on the way to the new world as possible.

      Phase II should be continuing exploration & colonization, along with subjugation of the natives of the New World.

      SWEDEN/NORWAY & DENMARK (defender or defensive aggressor)

      The last of the natural pairings of enemies/neighbors. Kill the others & move on to SAMI, FINLAND and the small German states. Like England and Scotland you must build defensively in your capital and get a fortress going right away, because there will always be a case of a player just waiting to sack your capital for the silver.

      Colonization of the provinces to the north can be key for needed resources. If there are no active players in the British Isles, head there next, before going to the New World, with Ireland being the priority.

      From this point, colonization of the New World should be easy.


      These are the Slavic nations of Europe, whom historically always had more aggressive neighbors historically, Germany to the west, and Russia to the east, who would beat on them over and over again throughout history.

      No where to go, and on top of each other. POLAND has the worst starting position in the game as they have 6 potential enemies adjacent to them at the start. Their capital is exposed at the start and should be defended or moved.


      All of these taken together are the heartland of Europe. I have often felt than any true tournament that the designers put together should be nations from this group, to put players into natural conflicts right away. Each of these positions has at least 2 or 3 other nations that can be their doom, and failing to gain a proper alliance with the right people can get you killed just as easily as any aggressive player.

      BRANDENBURG (extreme aggressor)

      Priority here is POMERANIA, SILESIA, and then all the tiny Germanic city states. Those have a tendency to become a bit of a nuisance if one waits too long.

      Other priorities can be BOHEMIA, BAVARIA & the PALATINATE. If you have taken all of this, you've established Germany of the second reich, or world war one era Germany. Continuing on to AUSTRIA, SAVOY, VENICE, SWITZERLAND and all the small northern Italy states turns you into the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither holy nor roman, but that's neither here nor there.

      You should note that this is more than the 30 possible players of any game. How you do, is up to you, and what you make of it.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by marzohnne ().