A Player’s Guide to Cascadia: Strategies, Rules, and Tips


Cascadia is a game that’s all about creating the most harmonious ecosystem. It’s a tile-based game where you’re trying to match habitats and wildlife in a way that scores you the most points. The game is pretty new, having come out in 2021, and it’s already got a lot of people excited with positive reviews most places.

It was created by Randy Flynn and published by Flatout Games, the same folks who brought us Calico. I find the artwork to be genuinely stunning, thanks to Beth Sobel, and it really brings the Pacific Northwest (one of my favorite biomes) to life. The game has won awards, and it’s easy to see why once you start playing.

Quick Tip for Cascadia

Always keep an eye on the wildlife scoring cards – they can really change up your strategy!

Rules for playing Cascadia

So, you want to know how to play Cascadia? First off, you need to understand the rules. The game is for 1 to 4 players, and it usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play. The goal is to create the most diverse and well-populated habitats. Each player builds their own ecosystem with tiles and tokens. You score points by placing tiles and wildlife tokens in patterns that match the scoring cards. There are five types of habitats and wildlife, and each type scores differently. You’ve got to balance between expanding your habitats and placing wildlife in ways that’ll score you big points at the end of the game.

Equipment and Setup for Cascadia

Setting up Cascadia is pretty straightforward. You’ve got a bunch of hexagonal habitat tiles and wildlife tokens. Each player starts with one habitat tile and one wildlife token on it. You’ll also have a pool of tiles and tokens to draw from, and four wildlife scoring cards that tell you how to score points with the different animals. If you don’t have the game, you could technically make your own tiles and tokens, but the real deal has some beautiful artwork that adds a lot to the experience.

How to Play Cascadia and Game Mechanics

The game mechanics are simple but deep. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Setup: Lay out the starting tiles, shuffle the habitat tiles and wildlife tokens, and reveal the wildlife scoring cards.
  2. Gameplay: On your turn, you pick a pair of habitat tile and wildlife token from a shared display and add them to your ecosystem. You can place them anywhere, but you’ll want to match habitats and create patterns with the wildlife.
  3. End of the Game: The game ends when all the habitat tiles have been placed. Then, you score points based on the size and diversity of your habitats and the patterns of your wildlife.

How to Win at Cascadia

Winning at Cascadia is all about planning and flexibility. You need to keep an eye on the scoring cards and adapt your strategy as the game goes on. Sometimes you’ll focus on expanding a particular habitat, other times you’ll chase after a specific animal pattern. It’s a balance, and sometimes you have to sacrifice points now for more points later.

Best Strategies for playing Cascadia game

There are a few strategies that can help you win at Cascadia. One is to focus on a particular type of habitat or animal that other players are ignoring – this can give you a monopoly on those points. Another is to be flexible and take what the tile and token display gives you, rather than forcing a strategy that’s not working. And don’t forget about the endgame – sometimes it’s worth taking a lower-scoring move if it sets you up for big points at the end.

One of the best strategies in Cascadia revolves around careful planning and adaptability. Players should focus on creating contiguous habitats for scoring opportunities, keeping an eye on the available wildlife tokens to ensure they can match them with their corresponding habitat tiles. It is also crucial to be flexible in your strategy since the random nature of tile and token draws can disrupt plans.

Optimizing the use of special habitat and wildlife scoring tokens can lead to high scoring opportunities, as they offer unique criteria that can significantly boost your points if used effectively. Additionally, one should pay attention to the patterns and needs of their opponents to predict the tiles and tokens they might take, and potentially block their strategies.

Balancing the expansion of your landscape with the wildlife’s specific scoring conditions is the key to mastering Cascadia and becoming the most harmonious habitat creator in the Pacific Northwest.


Let’s talk scenarios. Say you’re in a situation where you’ve got a lot of one habitat but not much wildlife. You might want to start focusing on getting more animals into your ecosystem. Or maybe you’ve got a bunch of different animals but they’re not forming the patterns you need. In that case, you might need to start being more selective with the wildlife tokens you take.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Cascadia game

  1. Q: Can I move tiles or tokens after I’ve placed them?
    A: No, once they’re down, they’re down for good.
  2. Q: What if there are no good options in the display?
    A: Sometimes you have to take the best of a bad situation. Remember, flexibility is key.
  3. Q: How do I know which wildlife patterns to focus on?
    A: Look at the scoring cards and see what’s available in the display. Try to plan a few moves ahead.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t forget about the nature tokens – they can be wildcards for your wildlife patterns.
  • Keep an eye on what other players are doing. If someone’s going heavy on bears, maybe you should focus on salmon.
  • Remember, it’s not just about the big moves. Sometimes a small move can set up a big play later on.

For more info on Cascadia, check out these links:

Alright, that’s a wrap on Cascadia. Remember, the key to this game is balance and adaptability. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be creating thriving ecosystems in no time. Happy gaming!