There are three mini-games in Assassin’s Creed 4: Fanorona, Morris and Checkers. All three games have difficulty levels of beginner, intermediate and expert. The location you play each game determines the difficulty. Most people are probably familiar with Checkers, but the other two games may not be as commonly known. Nevertheless, let’s take a quick look at each of these two games, with tips to help you score some wins.
Expert: Ile à Vache
While Fanorona is definitely its own game, if you’re familiar with the strategies behind Checkers, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty learning the ins and outs of the game. Your pieces can travel along any of the lines on the board. These lines create diamond and cross-shaped areas. In a diamond, your pieces are relatively safe. They can only be attacked from four sides, and you can easily control advancement. If you stop your piece on a cross, it can be attacked from all angles, making it much easier to lose.
At the opening of the game, your best option is to move a piece diagonally. If you want to mix things up, a horizontal move will also work, but try to avoid moving your pieces vertically. Moving vertically basically leaves your pieces open to attack against a skilled opponent. You can get away with this in Nassau, but once you reach Kingston and Ile à Vache, you’ll be at a severe disadvantage.
The best strategy you can use is similar to Checkers. Force your opponent into a trap. The best way to do this is by taking over the center of the board, cornering an opponent along the outside edges. You can also allow an opponent to deliberately take a piece, only to set them up so you can take multiple pieces. Again, these strategies are all similar in nature to Checkers.
Men’s Morris (6/9/12)
Beginner: Arroyos or Crooked Island
Intermediate: Andreas Island, Corozal, or Salt Key Bank
The object of Morris is to create mills, which consist of three of your pieces in a straight line. Once you’ve created a mill, you can take any of the opponent’s pieces as long as they are not already part of your mill. This is a fairly straightforward game that is divided into three playing phases.
The placement phase is fairly self-explanatory and consists of taking turns putting your pieces on the playing board. Try to focus on placing your pieces on intersections to give you the best placement for forming mills and blocking your opponent’s mills.
Once all of the pieces have been placed, the game enters the movement phase. As with most other games, players take turns moving their pieces in an attempt to form mills. You can only move a piece to a neighboring space that’s empty. During this phase, the best strategy is to attempt to build multiple mills at a time. Doing so will force the opponent to make a choice as to which mill they want to block, allowing other mills to complete.
When one player has only three pieces remaining, the game enters the flying phase. At this point, the player can move their pieces to any open spot on the board. Of course you’ll want to keep them relatively close to one another in an attempt to form a mill. With any luck, by the time you’re down to three pieces, your opponent won’t have many pieces left, and you’ll only have to form one or two mills to win the game.