Faction Strength: 5
You need to pay Priests (instead of Workers) when transforming Terrain spaces. Pay 1 Priest and get 2 Victory points for each step of transformation.
After building the Stronghold, you may immediately and only once trade up to 3 Workers for 1 Priest each (Ordination of Priests).
The Darklings have both a blessing and a curse: they cannot Transform terrain with workers – only with Priests. However, they gain two (2) Victory Points for each Spade they generate in this way. Their game board differs only slightly, but significantly, from other Factions: they gain two (2) priests as income from the Sanctuary instead of just one (1).
Because of your need for priests, you are pretty much forced to build a Temple on the first turn. However, if you manage to get the Priest Bonus Tile and/or burn Power for a priest using the Action square, you can delay this for a turn or two. With your first Temple, you should take one of the following Favor Tiles:
Why? Simply because Power is the most flexible resource, and Dwellings are the most commonly built structure. The earlier you get these tiles, the more benefit you get from them.
- Try to get a Sanctuary instead of a Stronghold early, as it will give you a better Priest income.
- If the Round Tiles encouraged you to build at least 2 Trading Posts, try to upgrade them to Temples later.
- Time your Stronghold for when you have excess workers, and with an appropriate Round Tile for VPs. Use the converted priests to either Transform further for area scoring, or to dominate the Cult Track.
- Upgrade shipping when necessary to connect structures for area scoring.
Recommended Starting Locations
H-8 & G-11 (except against brown)
C-3 & E-5 (less desireable vs. mermaids)