I've been playing Village often with my girl (2 player game only) - it is more a matter of making more points than actually competing (as in blocking the other player). I have not, so far, played the game with more than 2 players.
However, what I noticed is that the "easy" way to get points is selling on the market. Can it actually be beaten? I've tried, at the beginning of several games to do something different, like "in this game, I will settle for politics" - or religion, or whatever. At mid-game, no matter what, I have to resort to create and sell some goods to keep up with the points.