Nothing sucks worse than being bad at the game you’ve just shown your friends, so we thought it might be good to give you guys the inside loop on how to build a winning strategy in Mined Out!
In the game, there are a lot of things to consider to win – and although players compete in their own individual mines, watching other players and forming a strategy that can be pulled off before they end the game is an important skill to have.
But we’ll look more at that later on – first, let’s look at the easiest way you can get points in Mined Out!
At the end of each game, you can earn two points for each card in your mine that hasn’t collapsed – essentially meaning that you can simply walk the length and breadth of your mine without mining anything and still get a nice 24 points at the end. If you pick up a few gems along the way, this can quickly boost – but unless you spend gems to get supports or upgrades, you might find that this is not enough to beat the competition.
Supports will help you get gems from the two cards that a single support is adjacent to – meaning that the potential haul from those cards is infinite, as long as nobody drops any dynamite on them. Each support costs two yellow gems – a potential of 4 points, which may seem like a lot, but is won back by securing two mine cards, and any gems that you pick up from those cards after the support is placed. And if an enemy chooses to throw dynamite at your card – well, you’ve lost 2 points, but so have they! And the support will still hold up the other adjacent card!
Gems are the bread and butter of Mined Out, and will give you a lot of the information that will help you make your decisions during the game. For instance – if you only see one green gem (one point) on a card, you might skip it, and choose to keep that card uncollapsed for two points. But the two biggest facets to understanding gems are knowing where they might be, and knowing when to use them:
There are gems of all types on every layer of the mine – i.e. if you’re lucky enough, you can find yellow and red gems on the top layer, and green gems at the bottom – but you might as well find only one or two gems on a card. Averages of each gem and gem density are distributed unevenly between layers, with each colour gem appearing more frequently on it’s own row, and gems generally becoming denser towards the bottom. Statistically speaking, you will always need to look around for the gems that you need, but will very rarely not be able to find the right ones anywhere.
In terms of spending gems on upgrades, the point return on an upgrade will always be one less than the gems spent – for example, if you spent the green and red gem required to buy a shovel (together worth 4 points) the shovel itself is only worth 3. Considering the action points required to buy an upgrade, this may sound like a bad deal, but each upgrade can give you a cutting edge towards winning the game.
The other thing to consider when buying upgrades is the order in which you buy them, as this can form one of the biggest parts of your strategy.
Simpy put, there are three categories of upgrade, with the humble shovel falling into two of them:
Movement: The Shovel and Ladder upgrades have an emphasis on movement, helping you move down for 1 point instead of two, and allowing you to move upwards respectively. These two cards are good for two general strategies: getting to the bottom, where you’re more likely to find red gems, and giving yourself better access to the gems needed to buy upgrades, if you want to rush to the finish line.
Efficiency: The Shovel and Coffee both allow you to do things faster than usual or in less time (depending on how you look at it) meaning they’re great for both Rush-based and Exploration-based strategies. The Coffee is expensive, but if you can time it just right, it will allow you to get the most point-potential out of your mine whilst your competitors are still grinding away!
GEMZ: During the game, it’s a totally legitimate strategy to want to just hoard your gems forever – but if you want to do this, the Mine Cart is a wise investment, especially early on. Simply put, the Mine Cart allows you to hold 10 of each gem, rather than 6, meaning that if you can fill up your inventory (which is possible!) you can get – wait for it – 60 points worth of gems. Which is a LOT.
If there’s a double-edged sword in Mined Out, then dynamite is it – when you use dynamite on an opponent’s card, they will lose the two points that uncollapsed card will have gained them, but you will lose the two points that the dynamite will have given you. In addition, most games that use dynamite end in retaliation – which can be devastating unless your strategy is bulletproof.
However, timing your dynamite use can be important in stopping other players from getting a quick advantage on you. Maybe they’ve just uncovered a card with all three types of gem on it, or they’ve supported two cards with lots of valuable gems on them. Whether you’re using it to stop people stacking up too many gems, or finishing the game early, timing your dynamite use is crucial to making it effective.
Want to get a copy of Mined Out! Find us here, on Kickstarter!