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SantoriniPowerCharon

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Charon.jpeg

Introduction

Charon is thought to be unimportant in Greek mythology, being just a ferryman on the river Styx. However, without him, the underworld will probably be in chaos. Here, just like his role in the underworld, Charon also seems pretty harmless to beginners. But I can tell you he is really useful, being able to steal wins from opponents! So how to harmness his power to reign the world of Santorini?

God Power

Before your Worker moves, you may force a neighboring opponent worker to the space directly on the other side of your worker, if that space is unoccupied.

Category

Opponent forcing

Explaination

Charon can only use his ability before he moves, not after. Moreover, the ability of Charon is to force (and not move), therefore being forced to level 3 doesn’t imply a win.

Game Strategies

Early Game

At the beginning of the game, Charon might not seem very good. In order for Charon to be effective, you need to stay close to your opponent (just as Apollo), and preferably in central squares (this way it is easier to use the Charon’s ability). You can start by building in the perimeter without worrying if your opponent moves there, because you can just force him out of there. You can try to build the following formation:

Charon-1.jpeg

This way, if the opponent moves to the central square C3, Charon can force him into a terrible position (the corner), by forcing C3 > E5, and then building in D4. And if this wasn’t bad enough, the opponent also gets trapped in the corner. This is an optimal situation, but just to give you an idea of why you might want to avoid building in the corners. But don’t get me wrong, building in the corners can also favor Charon, since there are a lot of strategies you could try.

Mid Game

This is probably the phase in which Charon becomes stronger. Your opponent might be trying to create his own threats but similar to Apollo, you not only can ruin his plan, but also get advantage of what he has done. Consider the following example:

Charon-2.jpeg

Due to the great position of Charon’s workers, he has nothing to worry about. The opponent might foolishly moves his worker to e4 and threaten to win on e3, yet Charon can calmly replies by throwing it to c2, move up and make a double attack! Then the game is over. Not only did the opponent’s attempt to win fail, but it also provided a win for Charon. How annoying is this?

But in order to emphasise the importance of the location of Charon’s workers, consider the following position, which is similar, but Charon has his workers badly placed:

Charon-3.jpeg

The A3 worker is still able to defend the lower left corner, but the same cannot be said about the E3 worker. The opponent wins by first building on e2 (forcing Charon to move to d2) then on d5. Here, Apollo would still be able to hold this position on the right side, but maybe not on the left one. Therefore, you can see the differences between Charon and Apollo.

Late Game

If you were able to reach this phase of the game against Charon, congratulations. But jokes aside, this is the time where Charon weakens, although he is still very strong. Similar to some gods, the presence of domes affects Charon’s ability. He becomes weaker with more domes on the board (unlike Apollo, which becomes stronger). So this might just be the way to try to defeat Charon: since it is hard to create winning attacks, you can try to slowly weaken him. I can tell you right away that this won’t be easy, but it might be your only chance.

Specific Matchups

Aphrodite

Aphrodite might be able to put up a fight against Charon, but the fact that Charon is able to “control” where Aphrodite has her workers, this will be a different game for her and she will have a hard time.

Apollo

I consider Charon to be the ONLY power who has a clear upper hand against Apollo. Apollo wants to stay close to his opponent, but this will be very hard against Charon. Apollo’s only hope would be to play in the corners, but if Charon doesn’t mess up, he will never lose. You saw that throughout this section, I compared Apollo and Charon several times. That is because their abilities look alike. The difference is that it might be easier for Apollo to use his ability but it might be more destructive for Charon to use it. In this matchup Charon is clearly better, but overall is hard to tell which god is stronger...

Bia

This is a funny one since Charon’s ability should sometimes be avoided since it would give Bia the kill. But if for some reason, Charon loses a worker, Charon should still be stronger, assuming there are enough blocks on the board. Then, isn’t he hilariously powerful?

Domers (e.g. Asteria, Atlas, Selene)

The more domes there are, the harder it is for Charon to use his power. But in this case, it is very difficult for the domers to dome the board without losing first. I still think Charon holds the upper hand.

Clio

Recall that Clio’s coins are seen by Charon as domes. In particular, Charon cannot force any workers from or to there. This means that, if Clio plays wisely, she will have at least 3 safe squares. Therefore, Clio might be a good choice to defeat Charon.

Double builders (e.g. Demeter, excluding Terpsichore)

These ones are tricky because, just as with Apollo, you will wonder how Charon possibly trumps over these gods. Well, I hate to be the one to tell you the bad news, but Charon is in fact better. The case with Terpsichore is slightly different, since by moving both workers, she might be able to create several threats, though she also needs to be careful not to get trapped.

Hypnus

This could be a balanced game as Hypnus restricts Charon’s ability in many ways. I would even dare to say that with correct play Hypnus might beat Charon.

Morpheus

It won’t be easy for Morpheus to play against Charon, i.e., Charon is a good counter for Morpheus.

Poseidon

Another very strong god which doesn’t scare Charon. Of course I’m exaggerating, but this matchup turns out to be balanced with a slight edge for Charon since he can just throw Poseidon’s grounded worker up and destroy his whole setup.

Triton

Triton is also one of the strongest powers of the game. How does Charon cope with it? Quite well I would say, with chances to both sides.

Urania

An interesting matchup in which Charon cannot take advantage of Urania’s threats (if she carefully uses her ability), so Charon might have a hard time defending all of Urania’s threats on corners of the board.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you have every reason to fear Charon and there is, as far as I know, not a clear way of how to beat Charon. His power seems harmless, but it is incredibly powerful. He is one of the strongest gods of the game.

Tier ranking: S

Charon is one of the gods that are overlooked, but very useful. Choosing him is usually the right choice unless Urania is one of the choices.