Tips for the First Game
Before the very first game of MENARA, it is advisable simply to build a tower without using the construction plan cards. Just observe the rules for placing the columns and building the temple floors. This way, you get a feel for the architecture of the temple of MENARA.
After that, look at the construction plan cards in order to get an idea of what kinds of tasks exist in which pile.
Tips & Tricks
Talk to each other! MENARA is a cooperative game. Often, it is necessary to plan several turns ahead. Only together can you act wisely enough to resurrect the ancient temple in new splendor.
Lay out the three temple floors of the temple base as broadly as possible (nevertheless, all floors need to touch at two points).
Always keep an eye on the free bases of the entire temple tower and on their colors.
Also pay attention to the colors in the camp as well as those of the other players.
Consider carefully whether you take an easy, medium or difficult construction plan card. Your decision should also depend on what tasks have already been put on the discard pile.
Try to fulfill as many difficult construction plan cards as possible at an early stage of the game. When the tower is very high, difficult construction plan cards sometimes turn out to be disastrous.
Check carefully on each turn which columns support the temple floor on which you want to place new columns. Will they be able to carry the weight of the new columns? And when you build in a new temple floor, check where its column bases are in relation to the columns on which you are going to place the temple floor.
If you are already experienced MENARA players, you can try to build higher and higher temple towers. Can you manage to build the tenth level?
A Detailed Example
Marty exchanges two yellow columns with a red and a blue one from the camp. After that, he draws the task of placing three columns.
Marty decides to place a red, a yellow, and a blue column. He is successful. Then he draws three new columns and ends his turn.
On the advice of her fellow players, Melanie does not exchange any columns with the camp. She draws a red construction plan card that requires the placement of three columns on the same temple floor.
Unfortunately, she can't do this. Consequently, she has to add the card face down to the row of level cards. Then she draws six new columns from the cloth bag in exchange for the columns of the camp. Now the temple has to be 5 levels high instead of 4.
Miriam is lucky. After also forgoing an exchange with the camp, she draws a blue card that requires the placement of only two columns. First she places the yellow column on the top temple floor, which completes this floor.
Therefore, she takes a new temple floor from the quarry and builds it in. The construction plan card indicates the dark side should be facing up.
Miriam places the second column on the newly built temple floor on the new level. After she has drawn two new columns out of the cloth bag, her turn ends.
Michael exchanges columns with the camp. He draws the task to place two columns on the same temple floor. He succeeds and, with this, fills the top level. With the placement of a new temple floor, the tower now contains five levels.
Consequently, the players have a chance to win the game, provided that the number of level cards won't exceed the number of temple levels at the end of the game.