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Nexus Ops, Part 4
Alien Strategy

Strategic Approaches

Now it's time to contradict our previous opening statement by offering two packaged strategies for Nexus Ops. Consider these guidelines rather than five-step programs for victory.

First Strike

If you have good luck finding Rubium mines early on -- say, you come up with two of the four two-point mines in a four-player game -- you're in a strong position to out-produce your opponents.

In a four-player game, you're concerned with the players to your immediate right and left. Ideally, you want to crush one of them while holding off the other with diplomacy or delaying tactics. The best target is the player to your left because you take your turn immediately before him -- it's easier to force him to react to you rather than the other way round.

In a first-strike strategy, you bend every resource to attacking the player you've targeted for destruction. Build and attack, build and attack. By pushing the fight onto his tiles, you deny him income while increasing your own. The opponent must be knocked off balance right away and never given a chance to recover.

At the same time, you need to be careful with your forces. The front line is a long way from your bases. If you squander an army by fighting a poorly-chosen battle, you'll lose all your momentum while waiting for reinforcements.

The big risk is that your other neighbor, seeing that the bulk of your force is fighting someone else, may decide to do the same thing to you. Encourage him to attack the player directly opposite you.

A three-player game is likely to develop into a two-against-one alliance. In that situation, you want to be part of the two, not the one.

Grab the Monolith (King of the Mountain)

The Monolith offers big advantages if you are its sole occupant -- you collect two Energize cards every turn, and your Rubium Dragons can strike anywhere on the board from a Monolith perch. In this strategy, you try to keep things quiet with your neighbors while turning every resource to acquiring the first Rubium Dragon and seizing the Monolith. You'll be low on units, but you can count on all those Energize cards (when you get them) to sway battles your way.

You become a wild card (literally) in the game -- no one knows what capabilities and surprises are face-down in your hand. You'll also be in a strong bargaining position, because anyone can play Energize cards during a battle. Clever use of Energize cards can buy you allies when you need them.

The trick is staying alive long enough to capitalize on your advantages. The early game is tough and calls for skillful diplomacy and bluffing with your units.

That should be enough to get you started. Now it's time to experiment with your own strategies!

Read other Nexus Ops Articles:

What You Get

Rules Overview

Alien Tactics

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