This section introduces an automated opponent called Wakhan. Thematically, this opponent represents some radical ideology (theological or philosophical) that has taken hold across the region and that transcends traditional loyalties.
Wakhan can be faced by one or two human players. However, this is not a cooperative variant and only one player (or Wakhan) can win the game.
When setting up a game with Wakhan, make the following adjustments:
Include Wakhan as a player when determining the size of the deck.
Shuffle the deck of 24 AI cards and place them in a stack face down.
Wakhan will use a spare set of player cylinders. Wakhan does not take a loyalty dial and will instead place her gifts on her aid card. Place Wakhan's pieces to the right of the player who choses their loyalty last. Wakhan will take the first turn of the game.
Wakhan must pay all costs, including bribes, just like a regular player.
If Wakhan's court cards have a Special Ability that says she "may" do something, Wakhan always will.
Wakhan is not loyal to a coalition; rather, Wakhan is effectively loyal to all coalitions. Wakhan can hold loyalty prizes and patriots belonging to different coalitions. Nevertheless, she will always assume a single pragmatic loyalty.
Wakhan's Pragmatic Loyalty is always the leftmost loyalty on the AI card that is not shared by any other player. This loyalty is used to determine the regions in which she rules (and who can attack her tribes), as well as the blocks she places, moves, and battles.
Frequently, Wakhan will have to chose a specific court card. To decide which card to chose, Wakhan will always pick the card with the highest card pri- ority as described in the list on the right.
Example: Wakhan must betray a card. First, following the standard rules, it needs to be a card where she has at least one spy. Wakhan will first look for cards with her spies on her opponent's courts.
If there is more than one option, she will prioritize those that match the favored suit. If there is still more than one option, she will look for patriots of the dominant coalition etc.
On Wakhan's turn, draw an AI card and place it face up to the immediate right of the AI card draw deck
in a discard pile. You will use this face-up card and the back of the card now on top of the draw deck to make decisions for Wakhan. If the draw deck is empty, reshuffle the entire discard pile (including the card just drawn) to create a new draw deck and draw again.
Wakhan then performs two actions. To determine which actions Wakhan takes, look at the central Actions section of the drawn AI card; start at top action and work down, performing each valid action in turn until Wakhan has performed the allotted two-action limit. If Wakhan still
has an action left after performing the bottom action, start again at the top and work your way down again until two (non-bonus) actions have been taken.
Remember: as per the regular rules, actions taken with cards in the favored suit are bonus actions and do not count against her two-action limit. Remember too that each of these cards can still only be used for a single action per turn.
If Wakhan is able to purchase the Dominance Check and score the most victory points, she will use her action to do that, regardless of the actions listed on her AI card.
Once both actions are used, or if there are no valid choices available, Wakhan will take any available free actions from the court cards in her tableau that have not yet been used for actions.
When taking bonus actions, Wakhan will always start with the leftmost, unused card on her court and take the leftmost action on the card, skipping any actions that cannot be taken.
Remember too that each of Wakhan's court cards can still only be used for a single action per turn.
Wakhan's Core Action
Wakhan does not use the two core actions like a human players. Instead, she has one core action:
When Wakhan takes the radicalize action, she will purchase one card from the market and then attempt to play it immediately. This counts as a single action.
When radicalizing cards, Wakhan will consider:
If there is a Dominance Check in the Market: Wakhan only purchases a Dominance Check event card if she will score the most points from the check.
However, when a Dominance Check is in the market, Wakhan will choose the cheapest Patriot loyal to the dominant coalition, or, if no coalition is dominant, she will chose the cheapest card with the most spy and/or tribe impact icons. If there is a tie, use the highest card number.
If there are specific instructions: Follow them. Ties are decided by the cheapest card in the market with the highest card number breaking any further ties.
Otherwise: Use the red and black arrows. The red arrow will point to either "Top" or "Bottom" on the back of the top card of the draw deck and determines which market row to purchase from.
The black arrow will point to a number between 0 and 5 on the back of the top card of the draw deck. This tells you which column to purchase from. If that card is not a valid choice, pick the next valid card to its left; if Wakhan exhausts that row then switch to the original position in the other market row.
Remember, like a human player, Wakhan cannot purchase a card she has paid a rupee to this turn!
After purchasing a card from the market, Wakhan will play the card if she can afford to bribe the player ruling the region associated with that card. If she cannot pay the bribe, she will discard the card.
Wakhan should play the card to the left side of her court if the red arrow is pointing to top or the right side of her court if the red arrow is pointing to bottom.
When playing a card, Wakhan will resolve the impact icons as normal with two modifications:
Place spies on the highest priority cards associated with the played card's region where Wakhan does not have the most spies.
Place roads on consecutive borders following the region priority on the AI card. If roads remain to be placed after going through the these regions, resolve the priority a second time.
Wakhan's Card-based Actions
Most of the actions on Wakhan's AI card are card-based actions. Unless otherwise noted, these actions will always follow the same restrictions as those taken by players e.g. Wakhan cannot tax a player unless she rules a territory where that player has a court card and that player has some rupees outside of their tax shelter.
When selecting which card on her court will be used to take the listed action, Wakhan will al- ways used the highest priority card among those that could legally take the action.
Many actions on the AI card will list a set of instructions and conditions which must be true in order for the action to be taken. If these conditions cannot be met, the action is skipped. If no conditions are stated, Wakhan will use the following default behavior when resolving the action.
Wakhan will buy the cheapest gift she can afford to buy, placing it on her aid card. Remember: this Gift will count as influence in all three coalitions.
Wakhan will build armies in the leftmost region as listed on the AI card that she rules. She will spend as much of her money as possible.
Wakhan will betray the highest priority card with a loyalty prize where she also has a spy. She will always take the loyalty prize.
Wakhan will battle in the region where another player has pieces (tribes and loyal roads/armies) and she has at least one army. If multiple regions fulfill this condition, use the leftmost region as listed on the AI card.
Once the region is chosen she will try to destroy tribes, armies, and roads in that order. If no region is chosen, she will battle on the highest priority court card where she and another player have spies.
If multiple players can be targeted in a battle action, use the red arrow to deter- mine which player is targeted.
Wakhan will always tax players instead of market cards if able. She will always tax from players with the most rupees first. If both players are tied, use the red arrow to determine which player is targeted.
If no players can be taxed, she will tax from the market, taking rupees from the leftmost market cards and using the red arrow to determine ties.
Wakhan only moves armies and does not require any roads to facilitate movement.
When moving, Wakhan will try to move her armies to adjacent regions where other players have tribes, using the region priority on the AI card to determine the choice between equally viable origins and destinations.
She will seek to have only as many armies as there are tribes in that region. Wakhan will not move Armies if doing so would cause her to lose a ruler token.
When discarding cards from Wakhan's court during cleanup, discard non-political cards first, then non-patriots, then non-leveraged cards, then cards with the most player spies more than Wakhan spies, fewest spies, lowest rank, not matching the favored climate, and then lowest card number.
Dominance Checks and Victory
Wakhan will claim VPs and victory just like a regular player. Remember that Wakhan is loyal to all coalitions so will be in the running no matter which coalition is dominant.