Faction Strength: 3
As an Action, you may build a Bridge for 2 Workers. (You may take this Action any number of times during a round. You may still build Bridges via the respective Power action.)
After building the Stronghold, each round when passing, get 3 Victory points for each Bridge connecting two of your Structures.
The Engineers must be played as an upgrading Faction, rather than a rapid-expansion one. Not only do they get very little starting resources, but they also cannot build mass Dwellings to rapidly increase their worker income. In fact, it’s actually Power which drives their economies.
Your first Dig action should be using the Power Action: Transform, if at all possible. Using your precious workers for a single Transform action is a waste. Because upgrading is so cheap, if you’re short on workers, upgrade instead of expanding – at least in the beginning.
By the fourth round of the game, you want to have a Stronghold and at least one (1) Bridge, for the bonus VPs.
Adjacency is Important!
Because you are so limited on workers, especially at the start, you need to start adjacent to another player, and having both Dwellings adjacent is far better. Yes, it’s fun to build Bridges, but don’t get stuck on that – if you get a bad start, the game is over for you. Thus, all starting locations are situational.
Situational Starting Locations
C-11 and F-11 (must grab E-11 first turn)
C-5 & E-7 (must grab D-6 first turn – don’t play against red Factions!)
F-1 & G-4 (shipping Bonus Tile almost a necessity)
My favourite opening with engineers is to build two temples and, if possible, a dwelling. This requires five workers and twelve gold. To get those, the sanctuary/stronghold bonus card is a good option. Use power to get the extra coins. You then start with a lot of power income, a priest and two bonus cards (get earth one or water one first, then earth two – the extra worker is important for engineers!)
As someone who enjoys playing Engineers, I feel I should emphasize this: **The stronghold ability is a trap!**
I, like many others, saw the “free” 3 points per bridge and thought it would be exploitable in my first game. Rushing stronghold is absolutely detrimental to Engineers’ expansion. It costs far too much of your engine-building budget to do this early. The same principal applies to the 2 workers it takes to build a bridge, which costs an awful lot of acceleration in the first few rounds.
The real faction advantage is, of course, your much cheaper buildings. I now play Engineers with the idea of getting as many resources as possible to exploit the cheaper buildings, and the rest falls into place after this. Power is useful for resources(4pw -> 7c being surprisingly good a lot of the time), but using it too early can really hamper you if you end up burning off too much Max Power to take advantage of later opportunities. As MatthijsW stated, early Temples are good for power and other resources and are a great way to start things off.
in all of these suggested starting spots your dwellings are too close toegther to have efficent expansion. i reccomend e7-f11, you have very easy town space and most importantly, almost garunteed leech