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

Innovation demands mastering its cards, adapting strategies flexibly, and understanding the timing. Key components include 105 Innovation cards, 5 Decree cards, and a rulebook. Success hinges on anticipating opponents, seizing scoring opportunities, and enjoying the strategic journey. How To Play Innovation becomes easy with practice, experimentation, and fun.

Hey, fellow board game enthusiasts! If you’ve ever found yourself amidst a game of Innovation, scratching your head and wondering, “How on earth do I win this thing?”, you’re in luck. Today, I’m breaking down not just the basics on How To Play innovation, but the top-notch strategies that could lead you to victory lane. We’re talking game rules, secret tactics, and all. So, buckle up, and let’s get into it.


What’s in the box

  • 105 Innovation cards
  • 5 Decree cards
  • 1 rulebook

How To Play Innovation: Rules Summary


To start, you need to sort the Innovation cards by age and form eight separate piles. Each player gets two level 1 cards to form their starting hand. Also, each player places one level 1 card in front of them to start their board. This is your first active card. Put the special achievements aside. Now you’re ready to dive into the ages!

  1. Sort cards by age and make eight piles.
  2. Give each player two level 1 cards for their hand.
  3. Each player places one level 1 card to start their board.
  4. Set aside special achievements.


Players take turns, and on each turn, they can do two actions. These include drawing a card, playing a card, activating a card’s dogma, or achieving. You draw from the pile matching the highest age card on your board. Cards you play go onto your board and can activate for effects. Achieving means claiming achievements with your points. Plan and adapt your strategies!

  1. Each player does two actions on their turn.
  2. Actions include drawing, playing, activating dogmas, or achieving.
  3. Draw from the pile of your highest age card on board.
  4. Play cards to your board and use them for effects.
  5. Use points to claim achievements.


Winning at Innovation means being the first player to claim a set number of achievements. The game ends immediately when someone does. The number of achievements needed depends on the number of players. Keep your eye on the prize and be the innovation champ!

  1. Be the first to claim the required number of achievements.
  2. Game ends immediately when someone wins.
  3. Number of achievements needed varies by player count.

Special Rules & Conditions

Some cards have powerful effects that can change the game rules. Pay attention to these cards and use them to your advantage. Also, if you draw the last card of an age, the next age begins. Remember, it’s all about using what you’ve got to outsmart your friends. How To Play Innovation involves quick thinking and strategy. Enjoy the chaos!

  1. Some cards can alter game rules.
  2. Drawing the last card of an age advances to the next age.
  3. Adapt and use every card to your advantage.

Best Innovation Strategies

Master Your Deck: The Key to Dominating in Innovation

Winning at Innovation isn’t just luck; it’s about knowing your cards inside out. Here’s how:

Understand Each Card’s Role

  1. Study the cards to know how each can change the game. It’s not just what they do, but when they do it best.

Recognize Synergies

  1. Look for card combos that work well together. Some cards are just meant to be.

Anticipate Your Opponent’s Moves

  1. By knowing your cards, you can guess what your opponent might play next and plan accordingly.

Remember, ‘How To Play innovation’ starts with the cards. Know them well, and you’re halfway to victory.

Mastering Flexibility: The Key to Victory in Innovation

Innovation isn’t just about knowing your cards; it’s about adapting your strategies on the fly. As the game progresses, so must your approach. Here’s how:

Assess Your Opponent’s Moves

  1. Watch their plays closely. Adapt your strategy to counter theirs effectively.

Shift Your Focus When Necessary

  1. If your initial plan isn’t working, don’t be afraid to pivot. Sometimes, focusing on a new color or age can turn the tide.

Utilize Your Achievements

  1. Don’t just chase achievements blindly. Use them to press your advantage or to catch up when behind.

By staying flexible, you keep your opponents guessing and give yourself the best chance to innovate your way to victory.

The Secret to Victory: Mastering Timing in Innovation

To clinch victory in Innovation, timing is everything. Here’s how you can perfect it:

Recognize Key Turns

  1. Identify turns where you can make a game-changing play.

Optimize Card Plays

  1. Play cards at the moment they’ll have the most impact.

Seize Scoring Opportunities

  1. Grab points when they’re up for grabs, but don’t rush. It’s all about the right moment.

Seal the Deal with Innovation
As our game nights wrap up and the laughter dies down, one thing remains clear – playing Innovation isn’t just about who has the best strategy; it’s about enjoying the journey with friends. After countless rounds and more strategy swaps than I care to admit, the key takeaway from Innovation is this: Stay sharp, adapt, and remember, it’s all in good fun. Whether you’re a first-timer curious about How To Play Innovation or a seasoned player looking to sharpen your game, keep experimenting with different strategies and, most importantly, keep the banter going. May the best innovator win!

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