242 Open Daily games
4 Open Realtime games
  • Status: Live
  • Version: 8.0
  • Designer: Ozyman
  • Rating:
  • Rating Score: 8.57 out of 10 [28 ratings]
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Created Date: 17th Mar 2014
  • Release Date: 12th Jul 2011
  • Games Played: 0

Design Information
Territories 202
Continents 102
Advanced Features Fortify Only Borders
Border Modifiers
View Only Borders
Board Settings
Gameplay Turn Based
Available Players
2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13
14 15 16
Card Sets Worth 12,14,16,18,20,22,12
Territory Selection Automatic
Unit Placement Automatic
Starting Setup Scenario based
Capital Cities Off
Teamplay Enabled
Fog Setting Medium
Fog Override Enabled
Open Games 2 [View]
Seat Color Team Starting Cards Starting Bonus Win Condition

Board Description


The Crystal Caves had often been a place of conflict. The gems within were a topic of

conversation in every tavern for a thousand leagues, and there were many who were

willing to risk death in order to get their hands on them.

Some called it a myth, but the wise know there once existed a single gem of six

different colors the size of a mountain. For thousands of centuries the dwarf who

controlled the One Gem controlled the Caves, but over time pieces were chipped

off and lost, destroyed, or sent to far away lands.

As the wealth was scattered so was the power and many battles were fought trying

to regain absolute control. Sometimes a great hero was able to take control for a

time, but in a few generations at most, outsiders or battles over inheritance and

succession would provoke conflict and blood would flow again through the caves.

Thousands of centuries passed some in peace and some in war. Castles were

built at strategic locations, and as nearby gems were brought in for processing the

castle's workshops adapted to more expertly handle the most common local gems.

Secret tunnels were built between the castles and the gems they specialized in - too

small to attack through, but perfect for quickly moving between friendly areas. And

as troves of gems collected in the castles, a suprising phenomenon developed -

they began to act as scrying stones allowing anyone to gaze into the gems and see

into the other castles!

Now another mighty king has fallen and the Caves are once again in anarchy.

Dwarven factions have arisen, each determined to take control of the crystal caves for

themselves. Take your band of dwarves and conquer the Crystal Caves!


Castles scenario does not include watchtowers. This scenario has the least view

borders, so it is the most foggy.


Gem fragments (Crystals) are scattered throughout the caves. Control a cave territory

with a crystal in it to earn +1.


The castles provide an excellent defensive bonus (+2). But maintaining a castle is

not free, every castle you own will cost -6 for upkeep.

Fortunately castles are not just good for defense. Each castle contains a specialized

crystal workshop (indicated by the flag outside), so gems of that color are worth 4x as

much when you also hold the castle.

Castles have view borders to the other castles.

Castles also have secret tunnels (not shown on the map) that allow you to quickly

travel around your empire. The secret tunnels can't be used for attack, but if you

already control a castle and one of it's gems, you can fortify between them.

Because of the limited space in a castle, only 30 units can be garrisoned inside.

Battle Axes

Territories marked with a battle axe have a +2 to attack.

Narrow Tunnels

Narrow passages in the caves allow only 6 units at a time in them.


Players get 10 fortifies each, and can return to attack from transfer.


Cards cycle between 12 and 36, and you can hold up to 8 cards, so think carefully

about when to turn them in.


First go for some convenient gems. Once you have 3-4 of a single color try and take

the corresponding castle. Use the defensive bonus of the castle to secure one end of

your empire and try to expend. Get a few more castles (and associated gems) and

you'll be unstoppable!


+2 to defense - expected loses of about 1.62 attackers per defender

+2 to defense & +2 to attack - expected loses of about .76 attacker per defender

no bonuses - exptected loses of about .85 attackers per defender

Gameplay Settings

Gameplay TypeTurn Based
Return to unit placement from attackOff
Return to attack after fortifyOn
Number of attacks allowedUnlimited
Number of fortifies allowed10
Multiple attacksOn
Allow fortificationBordered
Allow abandonment of territoriesOff
Abandoned territories revert to neutralImmediately
Fog typeMedium
Allow override of fog settingYes
Game historyShow

Team Settings

Teamplay EnabledYes
Team VisionOn
Team Unit PlacementOn
Team Unit TransferOn
Team Factory ProductionOff


Card CaptureOn
Maximum number of cards allowed8
Card values12,14,16,18,20,22,24,26,28,30,12
Must capture non-empty territory to earn cardOn
Card deckA:18 B:18 C:18 W:2

Bonuses, Limits and Dice

Grant 1 unit per x territories owned4
Minimum bonus units per turn4
Elimination bonus24
Capturing of reserves on eliminationOn
Maximum reserve units32
Maximum units per territoryUnlimited
Auto Assign Factories
Number of sides on Attacker's Dice6
Number of sides on Defender's Dice6

Initial Setup

Initial setupSetup based
Lock seat colorsOff
Lock seat orderOff
Lock starting bonus to:Color
Allow seat selectionNone
Number of units per Territory3
Territory selectionAutomatic
Unit placementAutomatic
Neutral countNone
Neutral Factories
Use team names defined in ColorsOff
Allow players to choose seats / teamsNone