How To Play: 51st State: Master Set – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Mastering 51st State requires a fine-tuned balance of robust resource management, savvy card synergy, and adaptability to rival strategies. Understanding rules, set up, and victory conditions paves the way to dominating this post-apocalyptic realm.


Welcome to a crash course on ‘How to Play 51st State: Master Set,’ a game where every move requires strategy, foresight, and a smidgen of diplomacy. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll not only get a rundown of the essential game rules but also unearth the most effective strategies to claim victory over your fellow survivors. From mastering the intricate dance of resource management to expertly planning synergistic card combos and remaining fleet-footed in the post-apocalyptic political arena, this guide possesses the blueprint to elevate your gameplay from scavenger to ruler of the 51st State.

What’s in the box

  • 300+ cards
  • 1 rulebook
  • 4 player boards
  • 1 main board
  • 50+ resource tokens (wood, brick, steel, fuel)
  • 40 worker tokens
  • 80+ contact/attack tokens
  • 30+ shield tokens
  • 10 development tokens
  • 1 first player marker
  • Distance tiles
  • Moloch tokens

How To Play 51st State: Master Set: Rules Summary

Setting Up the Game

  1. Each player chooses a faction and receives a corresponding board, marker, and 20 workers.
  2. Shuffle the main deck and deal 4 cards to each player.
  3. Place the contact, development, and score tokens within everyone’s reach.
  4. Randomly select the first player who gets the designated token.

Gameplay Dynamics

  1. Starting with the first player, take turns deploying locations, making deals, or razing cards (turn cards into resources immediately).
  2. Actions often have activation costs, such as paying resources or using workers.
  3. End your turn by drawing up to the hand limit and passing play to the left.

How to Achieve Victory

  1. The game ends after the fall of the central base or 4 full rounds.
  2. Tally the points from locations, razing, and any bonuses from private objectives.

Navigating Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If you draw mutation or chance coordination cards, follow the specific instructions listed on them immediately.
  2. When multiple players control factions aiming for similar objectives or locations, a compromise must be negotiated or a battle engaged, following the game’s specified mechanisms.
  3. Should the deck run out, shuffle the discard pile to recreate the main deck without interrupting the current game phase.

Best 51st State Master Set Strategies

The Cornerstone of Triumph: Mastering Resource Management in 51st State

When delving into ‘How To Play 51st State: Master Set,’ understanding resource management stands out as the backbone for outwitting your opponents confidently and meticulously. Firstly, let’s explore:

Comprehensive Planning

  1. As each round begins, prioritize which resources will fuel your short-term goals. Visualize your actions, anticipating potential resource shortages and surpluses to maintain streamline progress.

Efficient Use of Deals

  1. Strategically establish deals to ensure a steady resource income. Optimize your collection efficiency by matching deals with resources most often squandered.

Adaptive Strategies

  1. React flexibly to the shifting sands of the game’s dynamics. If a critical resource becomes scarce, pivot your strategy towards new building combinations that maximize utility from the available pool.

Resource management is not merely about accumulation, but making well-timed, calculated decisions, keeping a close watch on the opponent’s moves. Adequately mastered, resource affluence empowers you to swift victory, proving its significance in ‘How To Play 51st State: Master Set.’

Mastering the Art of Synergy in 51st State

In ’51st State: Master Set’, uncovering the right mix of cards to create powerful combos is as thrilling as it is strategic. Your ability to recognize and utilize card synergy can catapult you from a humble outpost to a dominant force. Let’s dive into some top strategies to maximize your card combinations.

Recognize Synergetic Opportunities

  1. Examine your starting faction and its associated capabilities. Each faction has inherent synergies that can guide your early game.
  2. Scout out cards that naturally complement each other, focusing on those that convert resources, bolster your production, or multiply your actions.

Plan Your Combos Meticulously

  1. Build a robust engine by linking cards that directly feed into each other’s strengths, setting the stage for turning a single move into a cascade of actions.
  2. Stay alert for cards in the market that fit into your growing synergy web. Timing their acquisition can be as important as the combos themselves.

Remain Flexible

  1. While stickling to a preconceived synergy plan is good, remaining adaptable is crucial. Be willing to pivot your strategy based on the fluctuating card market.

Mastering the Art of Adaptability in 51st State: Master Set

Victory in 51st State: Master Set often comes down to how well you can adapt to the strategies of your opponents. Furthermore, staying one step ahead requires keen observation and flexibility. Here’s how to keep your strategies potent and reactive.

Analyze Opponent Moves

  1. Pay close attention to the deals and building patterns your rivals adopt.
  2. Gauge the pace at which others are accumulating resources and adjust your plan to disrupt their accumulation or protect your own.

Optimize Your Reactions

  1. Keep versatile cards in hand that let you change direction if the current game flow demands.
  2. Consider using spoils and negotiations to specifically counter strategies that threaten yours.

Strategic Flexibility

  1. Embrace a balanced approach that will allow you to swing between aggression and defense as necessary.
  2. Remain alert to new opportunities that arise from opponent’s constructions and play right off them.

Mastering the Post-Apocalypse: Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked through the strategic depth of How To Play 51st State: Master Set, it’s clear that success in this game is not left to chance. It’s about the careful balance of resource management, the cunning combinations of card synergies, and the crucial flexibility to adapt to your opponents’ strategies. Remember, each decision could pivot the power in your favor. So, gather your friends, spread out your faction board, and arm yourself with these strategies to rebuild civilization and claim victory in the wasteland of the 51st State. Good luck, fellow leaders!

Want to know what we think of 51st State: Master Set? Read our detailed review of 51st State: Master Set here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.