When the King awards you a favour in Caylus, which track should you choose?

When is one track more beneficial than another?

What circumstances make a particular favour track more or less useful?

4 Answers 4


The real (and boring) answer is: it's going to vary, depending on the specific circumstances of the game you're playing.

My answer: the victory point track is very strong, and a good default option. The build track is also extremely strong, as can be guessed from the fact that you don't even get a bonus the first time you move on it! The money track is not so great, but sometimes it's exactly what you need if you're finding it hard to get funds any other way. In my personal experience, the goods track is the weakest. It's usually possible to get goods through normal actions, and the gold at the top end of the track is less good than just getting 5 victory points... unless you've set up a bunch of exciting things to spend your gold on. But that seems like a lot of extra hoops to jump through.

Other people's mileage may vary, naturally!

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    I won my last game of Caylus, by a wide margin, by hammering the victory point track (plus money as my secondary track). Everyone else was going crazy building buildings, so I let them get on with it and completely ignored that side of the game. It's a bit of a truism that, in Caylus, it's usually really good to be doing something that all the other players aren't :D Mar 3, 2011 at 23:53
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    I tend to go for the building track myself if nobody else does it first. If someone does do the building track first, I take the VP track, but I also make sure to build the architect to reduce the advantage of the player who went for the building track.
    – Apreche
    Apr 8, 2011 at 12:04
  • I think the circumstance of the game influence a lot the value of the track. You just mention : "if you're finding it hard to get funds any other way." I think they are a lot of different circumstances that influence the track choice that you don't cover. You could improve your answer by addressing them. Sep 4, 2013 at 16:29

Timing is really important in that game. A lot of building can only be build once. If you are at a particular moment when a specific choice allow you make a important move, at that time you will go for a line that is not necessary the best to develop. For the rest of the answer, I will assume that you are not in one of those situation.

Of course, since each track get better and better, you have interest to develop a few track to their end, instead of just starting all.

Victory point

Since everything is ultimately convert to victory point, I will use that track as the reference. So you should develop this track unless you are in a particular situation making another more interesting. At the end of the game when you know you won't have conversion opportunity, you should go for this line (unless you can make a building that gave you more points).


With the conversion ratio at the end of the game (1 for 4), this track is worth a lot less the that the victory point. However, when the bank and the church are available, you are able to convert money to a lot more victory point, but you should only get as much money as you will be able to convert (plus what you need for each turn up to the end of the game).


This line was never useful as a fully developed line in the game I played. I assume it became useful when green building start to replace existing resources and no new resources building has been build.

When I have several favors and I am short of a resource for a big building favor, I use this line to get it. It is also useful if you need that resource to build a particular building before another player. But those two situations are really rare.


This line give you a lot more bonus when the corresponding building are not available. How ever, you need to develop it early in the game, so you have to guest what the other players are going to do.

If you have the choice of using a building in your normal turn or via a favor, the bonus of the favor is very little compare to the other line and none for the fifth square.


The Building Track. The smaller buildings are good for increasing your gain in future turns, but the real goal for this strategy is the large buildings at the end that score massive points.

The Money Track has usually ended up as my secondary because of the need for money, and I hate playing my pieces just to get money. If you have a game where you're doing fine financially then you can ignore this track, and it would be best to be in this position, but not always easy to achieve.

The VP track doesn't seem very good in the early stages of the game, since it doesn't produce any gain in future turns, so it doesn't help your game economy. There is a strategy to hammer the big VP points at the end, but you'll have to commit to it early on to be able to get through the small stuff.

The Resource Track I've found mainly useful for the gold, that you need to buy the big buildings at the end.

You have to gauge your position, and it's weaknesses and strengths (relative to others) after you're into the game a few turns and choose a strategy.

Building Strategy: 1. Building 2. Resource if you don't need money, otherwise money.
VP Strategy: 1. VP 2. varies based on position

  • Obviously I disagree about the VP track. With no context, I think it's the best track: 5 victory points is obviously better than a gold or 7 money... unless of course you have a plan to use that gold or money to get secure more than 5 VPs! But that takes more effort and planning, and it's more susceptible to other players seeing what you're trying to achieve and doing what they can to sabotage it. The VP track is a solid, dependable all-rounder that does nothing flashy except help you win more. Which can often let you slip beneath the other players' radar! Mar 9, 2011 at 6:57
  • @thesun, it's like in Puerto Rico, money is better at the beginning, and VP better at the end. Buildings or money early in the game can put you in a position to earn more, while VP just sits there. Near the end VP is better (and I realize that you have to move up that track to get the 'good' VP at the end). Mar 9, 2011 at 16:07
  • @Lance: Totally. I'm not saying it's unequivocally the best track, there are definitely pros and cons, I just don't think it can be dismissed out of hand. The building track is definitely very strong, especially if the other players don't realise how strong lots of cheap building can be! Mar 9, 2011 at 16:46
  • @thesun, I definitely think the VP track can be a strategy, and I probably just haven't played it enough to get a grip on it. Mar 9, 2011 at 16:55
  • Could you detail what you mean by 'how the game is going'? Which circumstance make you favor which track? Mar 9, 2011 at 21:15

In the games I play, players tend to go for the building track. They use the track to build the best buildings early, such as those that provide great resources. They rack up victory points when people visit them in later turns, as they are often want to do.

  • As I say, I avoided the building track in the last game I played, because it seemed like every other player was building buildings (the normal way) as fast as possible. You're less likely to make a killing if everyone else has tons of other buildings to use their men in! But yeah, if buildings are being slow to come into the game then the building track is a great way to take control. Mar 7, 2011 at 6:43
  • I know what the track do, the question is about which track is better or worst in which game. Mar 7, 2011 at 18:54
  • It's unclear to me why this was downvoted. While I didn't use the term "best", I did directly address the question.
    – neontapir
    Oct 31, 2013 at 3:54
  • I didn't downvote, but I expect the reason is that you've only partially addressed the question, and in a somewhat ad-hoc way. Really the question is about when different tracks are more or less useful. As written, it sounds like your answer is "the building track is what you should go for, always, because that's what my friends do." Which isn't a great answer. It would be interesting if you could expand your reasoning a little more. Nov 1, 2013 at 15:20
  • Thank you for the feedback. I concede, it's not a complete answer. Based on my experience on other Stack Overflow sites, I'm surprised no one helped me refine this answer at the time. Unfortunately, I haven't played Caylus since shortly after this post, so I'm not in a position to comment further.
    – neontapir
    Nov 5, 2013 at 15:26

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