- 1 Introduction
- 2 Basic strategy
- 3 God powers
- 4 Phases of Game
- 5 Tier Ranking
- 6 Link to Guide
There are in total 42 gods in BGA Santorini. It does not mean there are only 42 strategies for the god matchup. Every matchup is composed of two gods. You not only need a specific strategy on your gods, but also on how to use your god well to counter the opponent’s god. A good example is Pegasus vs Hades, in this situation, Pegasus should never jump to an alone level-3 or it will immediately lose 1 worker (because Pegasus can never win the game by that level-3 worker). Also, attempting to win by moving from the corner is never good against Hippolyta (because she can block it and you will immediately lose 1 worker).
In the review provided, I (Santorini Full Guide Developers) would write a comment on every god, on how to use it well, and the strategy to counter it well. Beware that Santorini is a two-player two-god game, simply reading “how to use” could not help you much on that god, since you need to know how to counter different gods under different matchup.
Here are some basic tips and jargons (especially for newbies) that might be used in the review
Get familiar with your board
We define spaces to inner space and perimeter space (which includes corner space). Every inner space has 8 neighbouring spaces, but a perimeter space only has 5, and a corner space only has 3. That’s why winning always occurs in perimeter space. Opponent has fewer options to block your winning in corner space (Only 3).
Stages in your turn and winning condition
You can win by moving up to a level-3. Realizing there are 4 stages in your turn, start of the turn, move stage, build stage and end of the turn, you should know that victory can only happen at the move stage. This could be an easier explanation of why being thrown to a tower by Charon, or Zeus building a level-3 below him cannot yield a win. Also, moving to a level-3 from level-3 cannot win since it is not a moving “up”.
For the explanation of stages, start of the turn and end of the turn are the stages where some power may happen here. Move stage is the stage where one of your workers must move. Build stage is the stage where your moved worker must build. If you cannot do what is required in these two stages, you need to resign.
(Remark: The official explanation of the Charon case is the word “forced” by Charon does not fit the winning condition “move”, but I just think that using turn explanation is a better understanding for all gods, especially for the Zeus case)
Mostly we need to move up to win. There are three common strategies in the early game. The first one is level-2 blocking, by building up the level-1 your opponent just built. In the mid-game, level-3 blocking is a common strategy too, by towering up every level-2 your opponent builds.
Another one is no interaction strategy, by building up a level-1 simply next to yourself that is far away from your opponent, ignoring your opponent’s action and building for your victory. This strategy is best to be used by some fast builders.
Level-1 forfeiting Strategy
The third one that I commonly use against fast mover is this one. Level-1 forfeiting. It means building a block next to you, such that if your opponent goes up that block, he needs to build for you. That can happen when your C4 worker builds at C5. This strategy will make you stay with your opponent in most stages of the game.
I would call this “Corner-L” strategy. If you have a worker on level-2 and you are in the corner, and there are two level-2’s next to you, forming exactly a “L-shape” in the corner, in most of the cases, you win. For example, you are on level-2 on E5 and there are two level-2’s on E4 and D5. This is because if the opponent worker moves to D4, you can build a third level on E5 and you win. If the opponent knows that and stays away however, you can move your second worker over to D4 and build at the corner. This makes you block that space and get the victory. If your opponent tries to block you when you are coming over there by moving into that space, then you still win because now he is in that space.
Grounded and ungrounded
When you are on the upper level with your opponent on the ground. You would like to ground your opponent. However, your opponent would like to be ungrounded and may build some level-1 next to your area of level-2’s. In this case, simply move your worker and build up the level-1 so that your opponent can be kept grounded.
The powers can be classified to these catorgies:
- Opponment blocking: Blocking the opponment from moving, building, winning or using their god power.
- Opponment forcing: Forcing the opponment to move, build or lose.
- Player move: Give more options for the player to move, change their times of moving or increase their number of workers.
- Player build: Give more options for the player to build or change their times of building.
- Winning conditions: Provide more winning methods for the player or steal the opponment's win.
- Others: Not mentioned categories, such as Chaos.
Phases of Game
Early game means the situation when most of the workers are on ground and level-1.
Mid game means the situation when workers are on both ground, level-1 and level-2. It could be an advantageous position, 50-50, or disadvantageous position.
Late game means the situation when most non-domed spaces are level-2.
These are just some abstract ideas and have no clear definition.
- Tier S: These gods can definitely win if the opponent is not a counter.
- Tier A: These gods have no big counter other than Tier S gods.
- Tier B: These gods are good most of the time, but might have a hard time against some of the few gods.
- Tier C: These gods are actually still good, when used by experts, but can be easily countered by many gods. Thus, you require a very good skill to control them well.
- Tier D: These are the bad gods that nearly 80% of the matchup they are in a disadvantageous position.
Link to Guide
Remark: This guide is based on 1v1 but not a 3-player or 4-player game.