How To Play: Barrage – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Barrage is an immersive strategic board game where players compete to harness the power of hydroelectricity. With careful resource management, skillful worker and dam placement, and tactical decision-making, players strive to outmaneuver opponents and acquire the most victory points.

Mastering the game requires a deep understanding of resource optimization, effective worker and dam deployment, astute action selection, and strategic project choices. Furthermore, dominating the competition entails engaging in fierce rivalries, controlling resources, and disrupting opponents' plans to gain the upper hand.

Players must carefully allocate resources, strategically place dams and workers, and seize opportunities for expansion while being mindful of opponents' moves. Reacting and adapting to changing game dynamics is key to success. Timing is crucial, and maximizing energy production and collecting victory points are central to claiming victory.

*Drumroll, please* Armed with this quick summary, you now possess a robust overview of the game mechanics and winning strategies of Barrage. Embrace the challenge, explore diverse paths to victory, and let your strategic prowess shine as you chart your course to become the ultimate master of hydroelectric power!


Welcome to the comprehensive strategy guide to dominate the world of Barrage! In this guide, we will outline the game rules and provide you with the most effective strategies to secure victory in this thrilling game of resource management and strategic planning.

Barrage is a highly immersive board game where players compete to harness the power of hydroelectricity. As aspiring engineers, your objective is to construct dams, optimize resource allocation, and generate enough energy to outmaneuver your opponents.

*Drumroll, please* This guide will equip you with in-depth knowledge on the best way to play Barrage. Not only will we walk you through the fundamental game rules, but we will also delve into some advanced strategies to outsmart and outshine your opponents. From resource management to worker and dam placement, action selection timing, project selection, and intense interaction with your rivals, we’ve got you covered.

Unlock the secrets to success and discover how to navigate the challenging landscape of Barrage. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the game, this guide will arm you with the strategic tools needed to emerge as the reigning champion.

What’s in the Box

  • Game Board
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 16 Workers (4 per player)
  • 4 Starting Dams (1 per player)
  • 44 Project Tiles
  • 20 Power Plant Cards
  • 60 Action Cards
  • 70 Resource Tokens
  • 80 Money Tokens
  • 12 Indicator Tokens
  • 12 Difficulty Tiles
  • 6 Expansion Tiles
  • 12 Building Site Tiles
  • 4 Offshore Plant Tiles
  • 4 Evaluation Tiles
  • Engineer Tokens
  • Research Track Tokens
  • Action Track Tokens
  • Hastened Track Tokens
  • First Player Marker
  • Rulebook

How To Play Barrage: Rules Summary

Setting up
  1. Assemble the game board and give each player a player board and their corresponding color workers and starting dam.
  2. Place the project tiles face-down as a draw pile.
  3. Shuffle the power plant cards and place five of them face-up near the game board.
  4. Separate the money and resource tokens into their respective supply piles.
  5. Set the evaluation tiles, building site tiles, expansion tiles, and offshore plant tiles in designated areas on the game board.
  1. Play proceeds in rounds, consisting of several turns. Players take turns performing one action each.
  2. Actions include constructing dams, buildings, and projects, activating power plants, researching, developing, or passing.
  3. Constructing dams and buildings requires certain amounts of resources.
  4. Projects require the allocation of workers and possibly additional resources to initiate them.
  5. Power plants generate energy when activated, scaling with the number of dams and certain construction types present.
Resource Management
  1. Manage your three main resources: water, money, and energy.
  2. Water is essential for tasks such as constructing dams and activating power plants.
  3. Money is needed for construction and certain actions.
  4. Energy production is crucial to running your projects and earning victory points.
Dam and Worker Placement
  1. Strategically place your workers on the board to optimize resource production and block opponents.
  2. Position your dams strategically to control water flow and generate energy.
  3. Blocking opponents’ access to resources or hindering their construction plans can provide a competitive edge.
Victory Points and Game End
  1. Victory points are earned through various accomplishments, such as constructing projects, energy generation, and controlling critical areas.
  2. The game ends after a specific number of rounds determined by the number of players.
  3. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Now that you have a summary of the rules, you’re ready to dive into the world of Barrage and embark on your journey to hydroelectric glory!

Best Barrage Strategies

Resource Management and Optimization

Resource management and optimization are crucial elements in developing a winning strategy in Barrage. Effectively managing and maximizing the use of water, money, and energy resources is key to outmaneuvering opponents and achieving victory. Here are some strategies to consider:

Prioritize Water Conservation
  1. Focus on constructing efficient dams to conserve water.
  2. Strategically block opponents’ access to water sources.
  3. Utilize special abilities to manipulate the flow of water to your advantage.
Budget Wisely with Money
  1. Invest in research and development to unlock powerful abilities.
  2. Balance spending on projects and expansions to maintain a healthy economic position.
  3. Consider opportunities for earning extra money, such as selling excess resources.
Optimize Energy Generation
  1. Plan the placement and activation of power plants to efficiently generate energy.
  2. Strategically choose actions that maximize energy output and minimize waste.
  3. Consider synergies between power plants and other projects to boost overall energy production.
Balance Resource Usage
  1. Ensure consistent allocation of resources across different areas of development.
  2. Adapt resource allocation based on changing circumstances and opponents’ strategies.
  3. Consider the long-term impact of resource investments on overall strategy and potential returns.

By effectively managing and optimizing your resources in Barrage, you can gain a valuable advantage over your opponents and pave the way to victory.

Worker and Dam Placement

Strategic worker and dam placement is a vital aspect of winning in Barrage. Carefully considering where to deploy your workers and dams can significantly impact resource production and overall control of the game. Here are some strategies to optimize your worker and dam placement:

Priority Placement Zones
  1. Identify key areas on the game board that offer strategic advantages, such as high-resource or action-rich zones.
  2. Focus on placing workers in these priority zones to maximize resource generation and action availability.
  3. Consider opportunities to secure exclusive control over certain zones by efficiently utilizing dams.
Blocking and Interfering
  1. Strategically place dams to redirect the flow of water and manipulate opponents’ resource production.
  2. Use dams strategically to block opponents’ access to crucial resources or disrupt their plans.
  3. Employ workers to occupy spaces that deny opponents access to valuable actions or critical areas.
Timing and Efficiency
  1. Optimize the timing of worker placement to ensure efficient resource utilization.
  2. Coordinate worker placement with the activation of power plants or other actions for maximum impact.
  3. Consider the opportunity cost of placing a worker or constructing a dam in certain areas versus other potential opportunities on the board.
Adapting to Board State
  1. Continuously assess the evolving board state and adapt your placement strategy accordingly.
  2. Monitor opponents’ placement choices and adjust your own positioning to mitigate their advantages.
  3. Flexibly adapt worker and dam placement based on changing priorities and opportunities that emerge during the game.

By strategically placing workers and dams in Barrage, you can gain a significant advantage in resource generation, control of key areas, and disruption of opponents’ plans, leading you closer to victory.

Action Selection and Timing

Mastering action selection and timing is crucial for achieving victory in Barrage. Choosing the right actions at the right moment and effectively managing the sequence and timing of your moves can give you a significant advantage over your opponents. Here are some strategies to optimize your action selection and timing:

Planning Ahead
  1. Plan your actions in advance, considering short-term and long-term goals.
  2. Prioritize high-impact actions that align with your overall strategy.
  3. Consider the game’s resource progression and timing opportunities for maximum efficiency.
Seizing Strategic Initiatives
  1. Avoid getting caught in a reactive gameplay mode by taking proactive measures.
  2. Strategically initiate actions that disrupt opponents’ plans or control valuable resources.
  3. Securing important actions before opponents can act can provide a significant advantage.
Timing Synchronous Actions
  1. Coordinate the activation of power plants or other actions to amplify their impact.
  2. Balance the need for immediate gain against potential benefits of delayed actions.
  3. Consider the consequences of triggering chain reactions or creating opportunities for opponents.
Adjusting to Changing Game Dynamics
  1. Stay flexible and adapt your action choices to the evolving board state and opponents’ strategies.
  2. Observe opponents’ actions to identify tactical advantages or areas of vulnerability.
  3. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities and adjust your timing accordingly.

By carefully selecting and timing your actions in Barrage, you can gain a significant advantage, exert control over the game’s flow, and strategically maneuver your way to victory.

Strategic Project Selection

Selecting strategic projects is a critical aspect of achieving success in Barrage. Choosing the right projects can maximize your resource generation, energy output, and overall efficiency. Here are some strategies to optimize your project selection:

Evaluating Resource Requirements
  1. Thoroughly assess the resource requirements of potential projects.
  2. Focus on projects that align with your resource production capabilities and game objectives.
  3. Prioritize projects that will provide significant benefits within the given resource constraints.
Exploiting Synergies
  1. Identify projects that synergize well with your existing infrastructure and resource generation.
  2. Strategically select projects that enhance the efficiency of your power plants, dams, or other existing systems.
  3. Consider the long-term benefits of project synergies and how they align with your overall strategy.
Considering Scoring Opportunities
  1. Pay close attention to scoring opportunities presented by projects.
  2. Strategically prioritize projects that have a multiplier effect on victory point accumulation or can help you achieve specific objectives.
  3. Keep track of the potential return on investment of each project in terms of victory points.
Balancing Expansion and Stability
  1. Strike a balance between expanding your project portfolio and maintaining stability.
  2. Consider potential risks of disruptions or resource scarcity when choosing ambitious and expansive projects.
  3. Evaluate the impact of new projects on your existing infrastructure and ability to optimize resource utilization.

By strategically selecting projects in Barrage, you can optimize resource efficiency, capitalize on synergies, and ultimately move closer to claiming victory over your opponents. Make thoughtful choices, consider long-term implications, and adjust your strategy as the game progresses.

Interaction and Competition with Opponents

Interaction and competition with opponents play a crucial role in achieving victory in Barrage. Understanding how to strategically engage and outmaneuver your opponents is essential for securing valuable resources and gaining control over the game. Here are some strategies to enhance interaction and competition:

Resource Competition
  1. Identify opponents’ resource needs and aim to secure resources of high value or scarcity before they do.
  2. Strategically block opponents’ access to critical resources through dam placement or worker occupation.
  3. Employ negotiation or trade strategies to secure resources or alliances when mutually beneficial.
Disruption Tactics
  1. Use dams or special abilities to disrupt opponents’ resource production or strategic plans.
  2. Seize opportunities to hinder opponents’ activation of power plants or their ability to complete crucial projects.
  3. Employ blocking techniques to deny opponents valuable actions or prevent them from occupying lucrative spots.
Strategic Alliances
  1. Consider forming temporary alliances with opponents to achieve mutually beneficial goals.
  2. Negotiate trades or resource exchanges that help both parties advance their strategies.
  3. Be cautious not to rely excessively on alliances and be prepared to adapt if betrayal or shifting alliances occur.
Risk Assessment
  1. Monitor opponents’ moves and assess their potential impact on your strategy.
  2. Evaluate risks posed by opponents’ projects, worker placement, and potential disruptions.
  3. Anticipate opponents’ actions and aim to counter or develop contingency plans.

By engaging in strategic interaction and outmaneuvering your opponents’ actions in Barrage, you can claw your way to victory. Be mindful of their strategies, adapt to their moves, and capitalize on strategic opportunities to secure your ascendancy.

Master the Power, Claim the Victory!

Congratulations on reaching the end of this comprehensive strategy guide for Barrage! Armed with the knowledge gained from understanding the rules and the best winning strategies, you are now poised to dominate the world of hydroelectric power.

Remember, in this game of resource management, worker placement, strategic decision making, and intense competition, careful planning, adaptability, and skillful interaction with your opponents are key to securing victory.

Use the strategies outlined in this guide as a starting point, but also embrace your own creativity and intuition as you navigate the complex world of Barrage. Experiment with different approaches, adapt to evolving dynamics, and optimize your resource allocation to become a formidable force in the game.

Now, it’s time to unleash your strategic prowess, harness the power of hydroelectricity, and lay claim to victory. Good luck, and may the currents of success guide you on your Barrage journey!

Want to know what we think of Barrage? Read our detailed review of Barrage 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.