What supporting warriors should I pick for my army?
There seem to be two major types of starting armies in Lands of Conquest. Conventional armies focus primarily on expansion. The idea is to claim as many towns as you can early at minimal point cost. Imps, Goblin Volunteers, Shades, and Standard Bearers are typical picks. Goblin Volunteers are nice because you can move them the first turn and push them the second turn for a total of 16" movement and not feel bad about it in the least!
Non-conventional armies are designed to wreak havoc early. For instance, you might pick warriors that are both speedy and deadly, and send them after someone else's captain immediately. You might be able to take your opponent out early with an army like this. Or you might fail and realize that you have no gold left! Standard Bearers in formation with formidable Knights Immortal, or beefy mounted warriors are examples of this.
The game has begun. What should I focus on generally?
You should focus on these three things, not necessarily in order of importance.
1. Protect your captain and keep him healthy.
2. Attack or be planning an attack on your opponents' captains.
3. Increase your incoming gold supply by conquering settlements.
The game is seldom won by the criteria of conquering all of the settlements. More often it will end when players' captains are eliminated. The player who controls the money has the best chance of winning the game. But luck can sometimes turn things around.
When should I buy warriors and which ones should I buy?
Typically players will buy defenders for a settlement when they see someone coming to invade it. You can usually get away with this, but not if the "Shortage of Troops for Hire" card comes up at the wrong time for you! Which warriors to buy and how many is entirely a matter of personal preference.
When should I upgrade?
Forts offer the following advantages over towns:
1. You can fit more warriors in them.
2. You gain protection from Range Combat attacks.
3. Your captives held in them may not attempt to escape.
Castles offer the following advantages over forts:
1. You can fit even more warriors in them.
2. You gain additional protection from invaders.
3. You can place Command Towers in them.
If you think that you can benefit from these advantages, then go ahead and upgrade. Otherwise, save your gold for buying troops. (But keep in mind that you might not get another chance to upgrade for a long time)
How do I use the cards effectively?
You cannot know what cards you will be drawing so keep an opportunist attitude. "Lasso" and "Skateboard" are examples of cards that may make you consider altering your plans for that turn.
What is the fastest way to get rich?
Capturing an opponents' warrior and sending him to the galleys via the "Sold into Slavery" card is the quickest path to fortune, if you can manage it.
Later in the game I never seem to have enough actions. What do I do?
Purchase a Command Tower by all means if you have a castle to place it in. If not, try to deploy your warriors in formations. You only need two warriors to make a formation in this game. Or consider purchasing a warrior with the Command ability.
All my warriors are sitting in settlements earning me gold and I never have anything to do!
While "build-up" stages are common in MKLoC, you can get more out of your men by placing your weak warriors in towns that are difficult for your opponent to reach. This is basic strategy in the game Risk and you can apply it to some extent in this game also. Your stronger warriors defend your borders and go out raiding and pillaging as you see fit.
Healing seems too weak in this game. Why would I ever buy a healer?
During "build-up" stages you often do have time to get a wounded warrior healthy. In a regular game of Mage Knight Rebellion, your opponent would just come over and whack your healer, but in MKLoC they might have to leave their post in order to do so, thus losing out on gold. In any case, an injured captain is worth healing even when it takes awhile. (the restriction on healing was added after playtesting revealed that unrestricted healing tended to make games repetitive and stagnant)
What good is the beast?
In addition to the "Beast Gone Wild" card that gives the beast Charge for one turn, the beast can remove ghost tokens by entering ghost towns, and can block lines of fire. Typically, the beast becomes less of a factor as the game progresses and players have better things to do with their actions.
What are some cute mini-strategies?
Here are a few that I often see.
The 'Stall': When your opponent clearly has a superior warrior than you do contending for the same settlement, an Imp can fly back and forth from one edge of the town to the next so that neither of you can legally occupy it and gain gold for it. Eventually you will fail your break away roll, but by that time you have probably justified the gold you spent on the Imp by the gold you prevented your opponent from gaining. Demoralized warriors that will die soon anyway are also good for this.
The 'Share': Both you and an opponent have one warrior of equal strength contending for a settlement, but neither of them has range, and neither of you is willing to bring his warrior into base contact first. Consequently, neither of you can gain gold for that settlement until the situation changes. There is nothing wrong with this in a two-player game, but in a game of more players, the two of you will discover that you are losing gold in relation to everyone else. You may want work out some kind of compromise...
The 'Suicide': Weakened warriors really become a liability if they do not have Battle Fury or Berserk. To prevent your opponent from capturing your death-bound warrior and cashing in on all that gold with "Sold into Slavery", push him to death!
The 'Surprise': Newly-purchased warriors come into play with an action token, but that doesn't mean that you cannot use them the following turn if you do not mind the push. Or place one next to a warrior of yours that has Magic Levitation and send him off to glory. Also, it is legal to place newly-purchased warriors in base contact with warriors just barely outside of the settlement, that are controlled by an opponent!
The 'Feint': By marching warriors out towards an opponent's settlement, you can force him or her to spend their gold on defenders for that settlement. Then when you see that your opponent is low on gold, you send some other warriors after your true target--his captain!