- 1 Introduction
- 2 Game Strategies
- 3 Specific Matchup
- 3.1 Aphrodite
- 3.2 Apollo and Charon
- 3.3 Ares
- 3.4 Bia
- 3.5 Double builders
- 3.6 Dionysus
- 3.7 Eris
- 3.8 Eros
- 3.9 Hades
- 3.10 Harpies
- 3.11 Hecate
- 3.12 Hippolyta
- 3.13 Hypnus
- 3.14 Iris
- 3.15 Limus
- 3.16 Maenads
- 3.17 Medusa
- 3.18 Minotaur
- 3.19 Nyx
- 3.20 Persephone
- 3.21 Poseidon
- 3.22 Scylla
- 3.23 Siren
- 3.24 Tartarus
- 3.25 Urania
- 4 Conclusion
When I first look at Clio, I thought she would be very weak. After all, what can you expect from a goddess who loses her power early on? However, I find her surprisingly hard to defeat due to the different strategies she can use. So how to get the most out of her?
Place a coin over the first 3 blocks you build. Opponents treat blocks containing coins as if it contains only a dome.
Firstly, the coin placing is forced, so Clio cannot save coins for later use. Secondly, it only happens when she builds a block, so if she completes a tower, she might place a coin in her fourth build. Lastly, blocks with coins are treated as only a dome for opponents, so killers like Bia cannot kill workers on it.
This is the most important stage of the game for Clio! Where she places the first three blocks will determine the flow of the game. I will go over some main possibilities, but feel free to use any other strategy you come up with. We have (at least) the following strategies for Clio:
- A level 3 all for herself:
This strategy consists of building three times in the same square thus having a level 3 with a coin on top of it. If Clio is able to reach a level 2 neighboring this level 3, there is nothing (unless the opponent has a specific power) the opponent can do. If you try this strategy, it would probably be best to get the level 3 in a central square since there are more adjacent squares.
If you think about it, this strategy turns Clio into a weaker version of Pan. For starters, Clio has to “waste” three moves to build a level 3 (this gives time for the opponent to do something). For the rest of the game, Clio will be playing with one goal: reach a level 2 neighboring her coin. As soon as she does it, she probably wins. Pan is trying to do the same but he has the advantage that any level 2 he moves to will probably work.
In conclusion, I do not recommend this strategy. A much better variation of this strategy would be one in which Clio could use the opponent's blocks to build a level 3 and thus still get a coin in another square (the downside is that the level 3 will most likely be in the perimeter).
- Winning in a corner I (Corner-L-coin strategy):
This strategy consists of building in D4, D5 and E4 (or equivalent). After creating this barrier, there is no way for your opponent to reach E5. Then, Clio will build twice in E5, move to E5, build over a coin (say D5) and finally move to that “destroyed coin” (D5) and build in E5 and it is impossible for the opponent to defend. Note that this strategy requires that Clio builds 7 times, i.e., Clio can win in 8 turns! (in comparison, a Mortal alone needs 6 turns).
As an example of this strategy in action, consider the following game (https://boardgamearena.com/archive/replay/200901-1002/?table=110124065&player=87335675&comments=84688684;). The matchup is Clio vs Castor & Pollux.
After 6 turns, Clio needs 5 more turns to win and as amazing as it seems, there is very little Castor & Pollux can do (I don’t see a way to defend this position).
As we could see from this example, this is a very powerful strategy Clio could employ and if the opponent isn’t careful enough, she will win like shown above. About this specific matchup, Castor & Pollux should have kept his workers close and shouldn’t have wasted time not building.
In general, in order not to be caught in this strategy, the opponent shouldn’t be afraid to build in another area of the board and start his own winning threat. If Clio comes to defend, she won’t be able to use the corner. If Clio ignores this, the opponent might be able to win faster than her. Before any matchup with Clio you should ask yourself “Can the opposing god overcome the corner-L-coin strategy?”
- Winning in a corner II (Straight line-coin strategy):
This strategy has the same idea as the previous one which is to win in a corner. This time, the builds are in C4, D4 and E4 and as you can imagine, it is very hard (although possible) for the opponent to defend E5. The disadvantages of this strategy with respect to the previous one is that the corner is not completely surrounded. On the other hand, there is a coin in C4 which is more central and it will be much more useful than a coin in D5 if this quick win strategy does not work for Clio. This strategy is not as aggressive as the previous one and it is probably more suited to play against a god which you fear it can win in less than 8 turns if you do “nothing to defend”.
- Central coin straight line formation:
This is the strategy I usually use since I consider it to be the best against most powers. Here, Clio places a coin in the center and the other two in C2 and C4 (or equivalent). Besides creating a barrier in the board (it is very hard for the opponent to “travel” from one side to another, since they have to go via C1 or C5), it gives a very good control of the whole board. Having control of the center is usually very good in Santorini, and Clio can easily achieve that by playing with this strategy. WIth this formation, Clio won’t get a quick win, but it will definitely be very hard to defeat her.
- Central coin X formation:
This strategy is similar to the other in the sense that its goal is to control the center of the board. One coin is placed in the center (C3) and the other two either go to B2 and B4 (or equivalent) or B2 and D4 (or equivalent). The two sub strategies are not quite the same, and Clio should apply the one she thinks it suits more for that matchup. Just like the previous strategy, a coin in the center is fundamental not only to hamper the opponent’s movement but also to control the center of the board. This strategy is more aggressive than the previous one, as Clio can go for some dangerous attacks in the corner (she only needs one worker to do the corner-L strategy). But nothing comes without a price. The coin placement leaves more possibilities of attack to the opponent, and Clio must calculate which god will exploit it better.
- Random coins:
Sometimes the opponent might build in squares in which Clio can place her coins, and this coin is at least at a level 2, which is good! This said, sometimes Clio might be preparing a coin formation and the opponent might make a move which makes her change her mind and build elsewhere.
There are a lot of ways to play with Clio (and that’s why I find her so interesting) and these strategies are not rules. Every game is a different game, and some other coin formation different from the ones previously mentioned might be better. It is not easy to determine the game flow in the 3 first moves, but Clio should think wisely at the first three moves since they might be the most important of the game!
Clio must at all cost avoid building over her coins! However, since most times the opponent won’t consider that possibility, Clio should always look for opportunities to “sacrifice” her coins in order to get a winning position. Don’t forget that Clio ideally shouldn’t build over her coins, but this doesn’t mean that she can’t.
At this point, blocks next to Clio’s coins might be better for her then they are for the opponent (at an early stage of the game, blocks next to Clio’s coins might actually help the opponent to defend). Since there are not many available squares, the opponent might actually not be able to go to a square next to a coin since they would not be able to finish their turn.
Clio will be weaker in this matchup as if she starts next to Aphrodite, she must end her turn neighboring her, even if she is standing over a coin.
Apollo and Charon
Clio might be an interesting choice to defeat Apollo/Charon since they cannot use their power on Clio’s workers standing over coins. It will still be difficult, but you can give it a try.
Ares cannot remove the block containing a coin, since he views it as a dome. Clio can build a barrier (with her coins), and build in squares where it is hard for Ares to reach. She is good in this matchup.
Bia cannot kill Clio’s workers standing over coins. Thus, if Clio wants, she will always have 3 safe squares, making Bia even weaker in this matchup. Placing a coin in the center might be especially good against Bia.
It can be tough for Castor & Pollux to win this matchup, he should start by attacking immediately. If possible, with the workers next to each other. It won’t be easy for Demeter to break in, which proves Clio’s strength.
Hephaestus is also a balanced game. Clio should try to separate Hephaestus as he is much weaker like that. Prometheus should be good against Clio.
Hestia is much weaker in this matchup! First of all, if Clio builds her three first coins outside of the perimeter, Hestia has 3 less squares to use her power. Secondly, if Clio moves to a level one (coin) in the center, it is very hard for Hestia to move up to a level 2 outside of the perimeter.
Terpsichore is also good against Clio. At first, she has to be careful because she is obliged to build twice and this may benefit Clio (she can try to complete a tower somehow). After that, things may get complicated for Clio.
Clio will be better in this matchup, especially because Dionysus cannot control workers standing on coins.
Eris cannot control Clio’s workers standing over coins. Does this mean that Eris is weak in this matchup? More than usual, but the matchup is still playable.
The central coin straight line formation works especially well against Eros, which will have a very hard time connecting his workers. Clio should win this matchup without too many complications.
Clio cannot move down, even if she is standing over coins. It might be tricky for Clio, but she will win if she plays well.
Clio must be extra careful where she places her coins against Harpies. For example, the corner-L-coin strategy takes her probably more turns than against most. Moreover, central coins might not be exactly what she wants since the center is a bad square to be against Harpies. This is a tricky matchup and must be played carefully on both ends.
This is a funny matchup where Clio may deliberately lose her turns (she tries to guess where Hecate is and moves or builds there) so that she can place coins in better positions.
Clio is very strong in this matchup. The straight line coin formation should work perfectly in this game.
Clio cannot move her highest worker. Still, she has an edge in this matchup.
Iris is another example of a god which becomes much weaker against Clio since she cannot jump over Clio’s workers standing over coins. In this matchup I would recommend Clio to build her coins in the center.
I do not recommend this matchup at all as Limus will win without even trying. Clio cannot build next to Limus. This means that if Limus “covers” everything outside of the perimeter for the first three moves, Clio will be forced to place all of her coins in the perimeter. As if this wasn’t already bad enough, later in the game Clio might be forced to build over her coins.
Maenads does not win by surrounding Clio on a coin. Coins in the center will be very effective in this matchup. Just like against Bia, Clio can have at most three safe squares, which will complicate things for Maenads.
Medusa does not kill Clio if she is standing over a coin. However, this matchup is trickier than it seems as Medusa’s initial moves might force Clio to build coins in worse squares than she would normally. If Clio goes for the corner-L-coin strategy, Medusa will create a winning threat first and Clio will most likely be lost.
Minotaur cannot force Clio to a coin (since it is a dome to him). Building coins in the center is once again an effective strategy. Minotaur will have to work hard in this one.
This is probably one of the trickiest matchups with Clio and you need to be aware of the rules. Since at night (odd number of complete towers) Clio has no power and squares with coins become normal squares, Clio’s coins can be built on (so removed). On the other hand, if Nyx moves to a coin during the night and her worker is still there when day comes, it cannot move until the next night!
So as you see, a night can be very dangerous for Clio as she will most likely lose a coin. But the opponent must be careful not to let a worker over a coin before the day comes. The corner-L-coin strategy might be what Clio should aim for. If night comes, the easiest way for the opponent to defend the corner is probably to step into the coins (building over them can give the victory to Clio) and this worker might get trapped.
If Clio can only move up by moving to a coin, she must do it. This will be a very tough match for Persephone, the corner-L-coin strategy might already be enough.
Poseidon is very strong and better in this matchup, but it might be tricky if not played correctly.
Scylla cannot force Clio if she is standing on a coin. This makes things much more difficult for Scylla, which is probably the one standing worst.
Siren cannot force workers over coins nor against coins (just like Minotaur) so she is severely weakened (I would recommend central coins). However this does not mean that Clio should take the win for granted.
If Clio moves to the abyss, she loses, even if the abyss is over a coin.
I do not recommend this matchup as Urania can just ignore Clio and build in the corners and win. If Clio tries to build coins in the corners (she can only build two at most), Urania still has a lot of squares to play with and Clio will be left with coins terribly placed.
Clio is one of the most versatile powers of the game (I would only not play her against Limus or Urania). The fact that Clio alone can place her coins in 2925 different ways (excluding rotations and reflections) is just insane. This means that she can use a lot of different strategies just for the same matchup! Clio is surprisingly strong for a god which “only has a power for the first three turns”. She can go against most powers and the game turns out to be balanced.
Tier ranking: A