Material World Analysis

Sun Jun 18 11:06:15 PDT 2000
Note that the following assumes a rules modification for use fees which had been published at the Strange Magic Games website. The site has since gone off the web, but the FAQ describing this rule has been preserved at Web-Grognards and for convenience the rule is also reproduced here:
Instead of a Use Fee for gathering resources from a Territory, require the placement of an additional Caravan. This way, it is possible to differentiate Territories controlled by a player from those with Trade Routes just passing through. (Territories with Population, as they do not require a Use Fee under the old rule, also do not require an additional Caravan under the new rule.)
It also assumes that the board edge forms a large sea border (the rules says that this is the case, but the rules also say that there are only 7 large sea areas whereas when you apply the first rule, you will count 9).

If you assume no military activity, there is an optimal economic programme for each side (each programme completely compatible with all the others by the way). Following this programme reveals on what turns what VP awards would be achieved by each were they all to take their turns simultaneously (this is the only way to get a true measurement of the relative merit of each side – in an actual game, for example, the players going first and second might very well buy a Housing Factory on Turn 1).

Powers are ranked from most powerful (Germany) to least (Russia). Each entry is the game turn in which the side will achieve that level of victory:

					Victory Levels
Rank	Player Side	1	2	3	4	5	6
----	-----------	-	-	-	-	-	-
I	Germany		4	7	8	8	10	12
II	France		6	7	8	9	11	11
III	Turkey		4	7	9	10	12	12
IV 	England		4	6	10	12	14	14
V	Russia		5	6	11	13	14	14

The large number of ties – Germany, Turkey and England tie for the first gold award, England and Russia for the second, Germany and France for the third, Germany and Turkey for the sixth – make the player order crucial. For this reason, it is suggested that player order in Material World always be the reverse of the power ranking listed here, i.e. Russia should always play first, England second, Turkey third, France fourth, Germany fifth. In addition, in a game with varying levels of ability, more experienced players should play powers which appear lower on the power rankings.



  1. Buy Pop
  2. Infrastructure Level II and Food Factory
  3. Large Boat in North Atlantic Ocean and Develop Wheat Dot
  4. Small Boat off Arawak and Caravan for Arawak (Coffee)
  5. Use Fee for Arawak and Large Boat for SE Pacific
  6. Caravan to Incas and Use Fee (Drugs, Gold)
  7. Large Boat for SE Pacific and Caravan to East Indies
  8. Use Fee for East Indies (Spices) and Caravan to Bahia
  9. Use Fee for Bahia and Consumer Level II
  10. Housing Factory
  1. Buy Pop
  2. 2 Small Boats to Africa
  3. Caravan to Ivory Coast and Use Fee
  4. Caravan to Zululand and Use Fee (Gold)
  5. Caravan to Zanzibar and Use Fee (Ivory)
  6. Develop Cotton Dot and Food Factory
  7. Caravan to Niger and Use Fee (Masks)
  8. Consumer Level II and Consumer Level III
  9. Housing Factory and Education Factory


  1. Buy Pop
  2. Small Boat in East Mediterranean and Food Factory
  3. Caravan to Egypt and Use Fee
  4. Small Boat in Red Sea and Develop Wheat Dot
  5. Caravan for Abyssinia and Use Fee (Masks)
  6. Caravan to Zanzibar and Caravan to Scinde
  7. Use Fee for Scinde (Carpets) and Caravan to Congo border
  8. Caravan to Congo and Use Fee (Ivory)
  9. Consumer Level II and Consumer Level III
  10. Housing Factory and Education Factory
  1. Buy Pop
  2. Small Boat in Northeast Atlantic and Food Factory
  3. Small Boat in Northwest Atlantic and Caravan for Vinland
  4. Vinland Use Fee (Furs) and Caravan for Mississippi
  5. Use Fee for Mississippi and Small Boat in Gulf of Mexico
  6. Caravan to Mayas and Use Fee
  7. Caravan to Tlamat and Infrastructure Level II
  8. Use Fee (Gold) and Large Boat in Northeast Pacific
  9. Large Boat in Northwest Pacific and Caravan to Nippon
  10. Use Fee in Nippon (Tea) and Develop Wheat Dot
  11. Consumer Level II and Consumer Level III
  12. Housing Factory and Education Factory
  1. Buy Pop
  2. Caravan to Ukraine and Use Fee
  3. Caravan to Caucasia border and Food Factory
  4. Caravan to Caucasia and Use Fee (Carpets)
  5. Caravan to Persia and Infrastructure Level II
  6. Caravan to Persia and Use Fee
  7. Large Boat in Indian Ocean and Caravan to Bengal
  8. Bengal Use Fee and Caravan to Burma
  9. Develop Cotton Dot and Use Fee for Burma (Drugs)
  10. Caravan to China and Consumer Level II
  11. Use Fee for China (Tea) and Consumer Level III
  12. Housing Factory and Education