What are Bulrah?
The Bulrah are a race of lizard creatures who were once sentient but
lost their power of speech long ago. Today, they are traded as beasts
of burden by the humans.
When it is my turn to start an auction, can I pass?
No, you must bid at least zero on something. You cannot choose to pass.
What if I run out of city markers? Can I keep building?
No. You may only build as many cities as you have markers for (10), so plan carefully.
It seems like I often have to pass during the Build phase.
Is this right?
YES! Experienced players pass at least half of the time during their build phase, even if they have resources available to spend. It is often to your advantage to save your cards and gold until you know you can claim a city. Otherwise your routes are very vulnerable.
Why would I ever trade route cards when they are so valuable
It is true that route cards aren't traded as often as some assume. However, don't forget that you can always trades gold, the Eyes of Shamesh, the Pirate Queen, Rights of Passage, and (most importantly) favors.
If I run out of gold, what do I do?
You can always bid zero on a Right of Passage and sell it back to the bank. However, this is sometimes difficult and can leave you stuck for a turn or two. It is wise to leave a few gold in reserve at all times, or see if someone will trade or loan you some cash.
Is it worth it to build on another board? It seems very difficult
With first time players, the natural tendency is to build exclusively on your own map while you learn the game. This can be a decent strategy, but against experienced players it rarely wins. The game is designed so that “perfect” play will allow you to control all 10 of your home cities, which means you can never score more than 10 victory points. Well executed play on multiple boards can easily exceed 10 points.
But how can I keep control of a foreign city? It seems impossible.
Claim ALL of the routes instead of just the majority to make your cities more secure.
Seek permission to build cities on other maps. Then you're less likely to be attacked.
Save your cards until you can claim a city. Lone routes are extremely vulnerable.
Establish your foreign cities early, and be willing to offer tribute to protect them.
Focus on the three-route cities. They are the easiest to claim and defend.
Don't despair if a city falls. It can often be reestablished, gaining you more gold.
It can be very difficult to maintain cities against an opponent who is determined to wipe you out, which is why diplomacy and timing is such an important part of play. Here are some approaches to consider:
Going first seems like a disadvantage. What can I do?
If you find yourself with the Shah, a good play is to bid 0 on him. You will most likely win for 0, which allows you to give him to someone else and still have your Camel face up for subsequent auctions.