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The Caribbean Islands map has 42 regions and 8 bonus zones. No spoils on this map tends to be more luck-dependent, because the small zones grabbed at the beginning cannot be fought by turning in spoils and can be hard with just the normal deployment. Escalating tends to move the fastest while flat rate games can take a longer time due to extended board navigation.
Bonuses: Balanced. Complexity: Simple. Features
Chained/Unlimited Spoils 2-5 Players
show: 2 Players
This map is a very even 2 player map. Each player starts with 14 regions, so even if the player going first takes 2 regions you get the same amount of troops. First off, you should get the British or Espanola bonus zone because they have the least amount of regions. Going for anything else will most likely lead to the other player getting a bonus zone first and being able to consistently break your bonus. It is a lot like most other classic-style 2 player games. An exception to this is the manual deploy setting; with the first player getting 28 troops, decimating your singles for a region count advantage and hiding behind some neutral regions is a possibility, even if he does not find and annihilate your troop stack(s).
show: Flat rate, No Spoils, and Nuclear Spoils
Normally, if not on a seemingly suicide mission, one would start out trying to capture the British zone, which is worth 2 troops and which has 3 regions (2 of which are borders). If you manage to snag this zone before anyone else gets one, set up a good defense (mainly by deploying troops on the borders until they are difficult to be defeated by another player) and be ready to assault when needed. Unless you have at least one region in the bonus, you should not go for it.
Leeward, Cuba and Spanish are not good choices to go for because they have a lot of regions, and by the time you've captured one someone else is bound to have a bonus all ready to break up yours. Venezuela, Windward and Bahamas are bad choices in games with 5 or more players, but in 3 or 4 player games they could be worth going for. Try not to capture them in the beginning (Unless you have a vast majority of the regions needed) because there is a large amount of regions needed to get the bonus of 3 troops. If you do happen to capture Windward, try to take Guiria so you have one less border to defend. You could also expand the border to Caracas - As long as you have Margarita. Espanola is a good choice to go for (Dependent on the situation) because it requires only 4 regions, but has 3 defending points. If you happen to get Kingston, it would be smart to put troops on it in the long run to keep the player on Barbados alive and harder for someone else to kill. If nuclear spoils are in play, spreading out troops makes more sense than large troop stacks on one region, to prevent an opponent(s) from taking out your entire defensive or assault troops. Because bonus zones can be breached without going through adjacent regions, assaulting for a region count advantage can be a more viable ploy than trying to capture a bonus zone.
In large multiplayer escalating games, spread out your troops and do not stay in one spot. This map is not easily navigated unless you are spread out (meaning you have regions in all areas of the map). It is not easily navigated because there are many 'bottlenecks' - regions you must go through to reach a certain area. There are no real specific regions to have that would put you at an advantage, but having regions in the Spanish would be beneficial because of semi-quick navigation from east to west (And vice versa). In small multiplayer escalating games, try for a small bonus zone and at the same time stay spread out for the reasons above. There are a lot of regions where you can trap someone in between two of your regions which makes it difficult for their escape and for another player to eliminate a the trapped player. An example of this is owning Florida and Long while your opponent is on Andros.
show: Team Games
Teams should try to capture either the British and Espanola zone by reinforcing accordingly, and if successful, you should gain the upper hand as well as deployment advantage. Windward and Bahamas are also recommended, as long as you do not have to assault your partner's troops too much to the point where he could be eliminated.
show: Additional Notes
Two and three players will each start with 14 regions; 28 manual deployment troops.
In four player games, each player begins with 10 regions; 28 manual deployment troops. Five players result in 8 regions; 16 manual deployment troops. Six players begin with 7 regions; 14 manual deployment troops. Seven players begin with 6 regions; 12 manual deployment troops. Eight players will each begin with five regions, or ten manual deployment troops. Other Related Strategy Guides