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

Quick Summary

Caylus is an intricate and strategic board game that takes players into a medieval world where resource management, building construction, and castle influence drive their path to victory. With its carefully crafted mechanics and thoughtful gameplay, Caylus offers a deeply immersive gaming experience.

In Caylus, players must strategically place their workers, gather resources, construct buildings, and gain influence in the castle. Thoughtful planning and strategic decision-making are essential as players navigate the ever-changing dynamics of the game.

The game requires players to balance short-term goals with long-term strategies. Maximizing resource potential, constructing buildings strategically, and positioning influence in the castle are key factors in achieving success in Caylus.

Caylus rewards players who can adapt to changing circumstances, anticipate opponents' moves, and plan for a variety of paths to victory. The depth of the game allows for numerous strategic approaches, providing endless possibilities and ensuring each playthrough is unique.

Embark on a medieval adventure, outwit your opponents, and emerge as the victor in Caylus. With its immersive gameplay, rich strategy, and intricate mechanics, Caylus is a must-have for fans of strategic board games.


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Caylus! This guide is designed to provide you with a complete understanding of the game, from its rules and mechanics to the best strategies for achieving victory. Whether you are a beginner looking to improve your gameplay or an experienced player seeking advanced tactics, this guide has you covered.

In the following sections, we will delve into the intricacies of Caylus, starting with an outline of the game rules and components. We will then explore various aspects of the game, including worker placement, resource management, building construction, castle influence, and long-term planning. Each section will provide essential tips and strategies to help you gain an edge over your opponents and increase your chances of success.

Caylus is a game of skill, strategy, and careful decision-making, where every move matters. By following the strategies outlined in this guide and adapting them to changing game situations, you will be able to strengthen your gameplay and enhance your overall performance. Whether you prefer calculated moves or bold tactics, this guide will empower you to maximize your potential and emerge as the victor in Caylus.

What’s in the Box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 5 Player Screens
  • 125 Wooden Buildings
  • 80 Resource Cubes
  • 49 Denier Coins
  • 25 Wood Tokens
  • 25 Stone Tokens
  • 20 Cloth Tokens
  • 20 Gold Tokens
  • 15 Certificate Tokens
  • 44 Bonus Tiles
  • 10 Franc Building Tiles
  • 1 Starting Player Marker
  • 1 Provost Marker
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Caylus: Rules Summary

Game Setup
  1. Place the game board in the center of the playing area.
  2. Give each player a player screen, denier coins, and wooden buildings.
  3. Distribute resource cubes, tokens, and bonus tiles based on the number of players.
  4. Place the Provost marker on its starting space.
  5. Prepare the buildings and set aside the starting player marker.
  1. On your turn, you place your workers on different locations on the board.
  2. Select an unoccupied building and pay the cost to activate it.
  3. Gain resources, construct buildings, gain influence in the castle, or activate other abilities.
  4. Resolve building placement if multiple players have workers on the same building.
  5. Use the Provost marker to determine which buildings will produce resources or grant bonuses.
  6. Pay attention to the current position of the Provost, as it can affect the gameplay.
Building Construction
  1. Select a building site and pay the required resources.
  2. Place the constructed building in your personal area or a general supply if gray.
  3. Gain the benefits associated with the building, including income, prestige, or bonuses.
  4. Strategically plan the construction order to maximize your potential advantages.
Resource Management
  1. Gather resources by placing your workers on designated resource spaces.
  2. Utilize collected resources for building construction, fulfilling bonus objectives, or activating abilities.
  3. Consider the scarcity and demand of different resources to optimize your decision-making.
  4. Manage your resource reserves and plan for future needs and possible exchanges with the Exchange Office.
Castle Influence
  1. Allocate workers to gain influence in the castle.
  2. Advance in influence tracks to unlock privileges that aid your strategy.
  3. Use your influence to potentially manipulate the Provost marker or gain other advantages.
  4. Monitor rivals’ influence levels and strategically respond to their advancements.
End and Scoring
  1. The game ends after a specified number of rounds or building constructions.
  2. Calculate final scores based on accumulated prestige points, bonuses, and additional criteria.
  3. The player with the most points is declared the winner and emerges victorious in Caylus!

Now that you have a summarized understanding of the rules, you are ready to embark on a strategic journey through the world of Caylus. May your decisions be wise, and your path to victory be paved with careful planning and expert gameplay.

Best Caylus Strategies

Mastering Worker Placement: Key Strategies for Success in Caylus

Worker placement is a crucial mechanic in Caylus that can greatly influence your chances of victory. Here are some key strategies to help you make the most out of your worker placements:

1. Utilize Early Resource Gathering
  1. Direct your workers to resource gathering spaces early on to secure essential materials.
  2. Focus on obtaining the most scarce and vital resources to give you an advantage in later gameplay.
  3. Consider prioritizing areas that give you multiple types of resources in a single placement.
2. Prioritize Constructing Key Buildings
  1. Identify buildings that offer substantial benefits and prioritize their construction to gain an early advantage.
  2. Balance your focus between buildings that generate income, buildings that grant bonuses, and those that augment your influence.
  3. Observe your opponents’ strategies and strategically block their access to key buildings by occupying those spaces before they can.
3. Maximize Castle Influence
  1. Allocate workers to castle spaces early to gain influence and unlock advantageous privileges.
  2. Strategically invest in garnering various favors like faster building construction or exclusive resource acquisition to strengthen your position.
4. Plan Ahead for Provost Placement
  1. Consider the impact of Provost movement and strategically manipulate its placement to your advantage.
  2. Avoid situations where the Provost blocks your workers or disrupts your strategic plans.
  3. Anticipate your opponents’ Provost placements and adjust your own strategies accordingly.
5. Leverage End Game Scoring Opportunities
  1. Pay attention to the end game scoring conditions and adapt your strategy to exploit point-generating opportunities.
  2. Invest in buildings, resources, or influence that align with the end game scoring conditions to secure additional victory points.
  3. Strategically allocate your workers in the final rounds to optimize your chances of scoring bonus points.

By implementing these worker placement strategies, you can navigate the intricate mechanics of Caylus and increase your chances of emerging victorious. Remember to adapt your strategy based on the evolving dynamics of each game, and don’t be afraid to experiment with new approaches!

Mastering Resource Management: Tips for Success in Caylus

Effective resource management is a key component of victory in Caylus. Here are some essential tips to help you optimize your resource allocation and gain an edge over your opponents:

Prioritize Scarce Resources
  1. Identify the resources that are most in demand and prioritize their acquisition to give yourself a competitive advantage.
  2. Focus on obtaining resources that are crucial for building construction or gaining influence in the castle.
  3. Strategically plan your resource allocation to ensure a steady supply throughout the game.
Balance Resource Extraction
  1. Manage the extraction of resources in a balanced manner to avoid depleting any one type too quickly.
  2. Allocate workers to gather a variety of resources, allowing you to take advantage of the different benefits they bring.
  3. Consider timing your resource extraction strategically to ensure availability when you need them the most.
Invest in Production Buildings
  1. Construct buildings that provide ongoing resource generation to create a sustainable economy.
  2. Balance between income-generating structures and those that grant unique bonuses or enhance your influence.
  3. Calculate the long-term value of production buildings and invest accordingly to secure a reliable resource stream.
Strategic Use of Exchange Office
  1. Make efficient use of the Exchange Office to convert surplus resources into those that are in high demand.
  2. Monitor the needs of both your opponents and the building market to maximize your resource exchanges.
  3. Use the Exchange Office strategically to provide resources to other players in exchange for other benefits or cooperation.
Adjust Resource Allocation to Game Conditions
  1. Be adaptable and modify your resource allocation based on the evolving game situation.
  2. Analyze your opponents’ strategies and adjust your resource acquisition to counter their moves or exploit vulnerabilities.
  3. Make strategic decisions based on your progress, available options, and the changing landscape of the game board.

By implementing these resource management tips, you can optimize your strategies in Caylus, ensure a steady supply of crucial resources, and position yourself for victory. Remember, flexibility and adaptability are key to successfully navigating the ever-changing dynamics of the game!

Maximizing Success: Optimal Building Construction Strategies in Caylus

Building construction is a crucial aspect of your path to victory in Caylus. Here are some key strategies to help you optimize your building placement and make the most of their benefits:

Identify Key Buildings
  1. Analyze the game situation and identify the buildings that offer the most lucrative benefits or strategic advantages.
  2. Balance your focus between income-generating structures, those that aid in gaining influence, and those that facilitate resource management.
  3. Prioritize the construction of buildings that complement your overall strategy and provide a competitive edge.
Dominate in Building Influence
  1. Invest in buildings that grant significant influence in the castle, securing privileges and making it harder for opponents to gain power.
  2. Stay vigilant, deciding when to invest more workers in solidifying your influence and prevent rivals from gaining an upper hand.
  3. Monitor your opponents’ influence levels and counter their expansion plans accordingly.
Strategic Blocking and Denial
  1. Strategically block key building spaces that are essential to your opponents’ strategies.
  2. Consider occupying or blocking areas where crucial buildings need to be constructed to impede your opponents’ progress.
  3. Allocate your workers in a way that denies your rivals certain actions or forces them to make suboptimal choices.
Diversify Building Functions
  1. Construct a mix of buildings with different functions to ensure a well-rounded strategy.
  2. Combine income-generating structures with those that provide valuable bonuses or enhance your resource management capabilities.
  3. Strive for synergy between your buildings, aiming for combinations that amplify their individual benefits.
Adapt to Changing Strategies
  1. Observe your opponents’ building placements and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  2. Stay flexible and adjust your building construction plans to counter rival strategies or capitalize on emerging opportunities.
  3. Rethink the composition of your buildings if the game dynamics shift, unlocking alternative paths to victory.

By employing these optimal building construction strategies, you can establish a powerful stronghold, boost your resources, and position yourself for victory in Caylus. Remember to analyze the game state, anticipate your opponents’ moves, and customize your building placements to suit your unique path to success!

Gaining the Upper Hand: Castle Influence Tactics for Victory in Caylus

Gaining influence in the castle is a pivotal aspect of achieving victory in Caylus. Here are some key tactics to consider when seeking to enhance your castle influence:

Strategically Occupy Castle Spaces
  1. Claim influential castle spaces early on to secure advantages that aid your overall strategy.
  2. Focus on positions that grant bonuses, additional workers, or beneficial privileges throughout the game.
  3. Consider the impact of occupying certain spots to disrupt opponents’ plans and restrict their access to valuable castle benefits.
Maximize Privileges
  1. Strive to accumulate prestige points necessary for unlocking and leveraging influential privileges.
  2. Choose privileges aligned with your strategy, such as faster building construction, exclusive resource gathering, or lower Provost impact.
  3. Monitor the privilege pool closely, seizing opportunities to claim privileges that align with your current game state and objectives.
Maintain Influence Majority
  1. Keep a close eye on your opponents’ influence levels and make strategic moves to outpace or limit their progress.
  2. Marshal your resources and workers to solidify and expand your influence when needed.
  3. Strategically respond to opponents’ influence gains, wisely choosing when to make a move and counter their advancements.
Timing Provost Movement
  1. Use the Provost position to your advantage by timing its movement to hinder your opponents’ actions or safeguard your own.
  2. Aim to keep the Provost within favorable positions that restrict rival choices or block their crucial moves.
  3. Anticipate opponents’ reactions to Provost placement, maximizing its impact on rival strategies.
Adjust Strategies based on Influence Trends
  1. Adapt your castle influence strategies based on the ever-changing dynamics of the game.
  2. Analyze the influence trends among players and adjust your actions to maintain a competitive advantage.
  3. Consider altering your influence goals and tactics if opponents outpace or hinder your castle influence progression.

By implementing these castle influence tactics, you can strategically navigate the intricacies of Caylus, establish dominance in the castle, and position yourself for victory. Consistently evaluate the game state, adjust your approach, and make insightful decisions to control the castle and secure your path to triumph!

Mastering the Long Game: Long-Term Planning and Strategy in Caylus

Long-term planning and strategic thinking are crucial in Caylus for securing victory. Here are key tips to guide your long-term planning and optimize your strategic approach:

Set Clear Goals and Objectives
  1. Establish clear objectives early in the game that align with your chosen strategy.
  2. Define your priorities, whether dominance in castle influence, efficient resource management, or constructing specific buildings.
  3. Keep your endgame in mind as you make decisions throughout the game, progressing strategically toward victory.
Allocate Workers for Long-Term Benefits
  1. Allocate workers based on long-term planning, considering potential future benefits over immediate gains.
  2. Balance short-term productivity with the need to invest in building placement, castle influence, and resource management.
  3. Strategically withhold workers when necessary, saving them for actions that have a lasting impact on your overall strategy.
Anticipate and Adapt to Changing Circumstances
  1. Anticipate rival strategies and future developments to adjust your long-term plans accordingly.
  2. Monitor opponents’ actions and make informed moves to counter their progress and maintain competitiveness.
  3. Stay flexible, adjusting your strategy based on evolving game conditions, opponents’ moves, and opportunities.
Optimize Building Synergy
  1. Strive for synergy in your building placements, capitalizing on combinations that augment each other’s benefits.
  2. Select buildings that yield cumulative advantages or enhance other aspects of your strategy.
  3. Plan ahead to secure the necessary resources and placement opportunities to activate building synergies effectively.
Evaluate and Utilize Alternative Paths to Victory
  1. Remain open to alternative paths for securing victory, adapting your strategy as new opportunities arise.
  2. Analyze endgame scoring conditions and adjust your plan to maximize points in various categories.
  3. Assess the progress of your opponents and make calculated decisions to capitalize on lesser-explored victory routes.

By incorporating long-term planning and strategic thinking, you can navigate Caylus with confidence, prioritize your game objectives wisely, and position yourself for victory. Keep a keen eye on the big picture and make informed decisions that pave the way to success!

Conclusion: Master the Art of Strategy in Caylus

Congratulations! You have now learned the core rules and strategies of Caylus, equipping yourself with the knowledge needed to navigate this intricate medieval world. By implementing the various strategies discussed in this guide, you can embark on a journey towards victory, outsmarting your opponents and building an influential dynasty.

Remember, success in Caylus lies in your ability to effectively manage resources, strategically construct buildings, gain influence in the castle, and plan for the long term. Each decision you make and each action you take can shape the outcome of the game.

Now it’s time to gather your resources, place your workers strategically, and make careful choices. Adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the game, consider the moves of your opponents, and seize every opportunity that comes your way.

We hope this guide has not only provided you with a comprehensive understanding of Caylus but also ignited your passion for exploring the depths of strategic gameplay. Now, go forth and conquer the medieval realm, crafting your path to victory with wisdom and cunning!

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