Just when you've gone through the rules and a couple rounds of play and you think you're getting the hang of it, a curveball is thrown at you and other players, and you're forced to rethink conventional strategy.
Playing safe in this game is not necessarily a prudent option, as you will often find yourself somewhere in the middle of the pack while an opposing player has been making what seemed like reckless strides forward in their conquest and is now about to claim victory. In short, be aggressive and plan at least a couple turns ahead with contingencies.
Also be aware that this game has the potential to use almost every figure and tile piece, especially in a 4 player game, so be mindful of your surroundings. Also be prepared to spend at least 2 hours per game, even with only 2 players, and as long as 3 to 4 hours if it's going slow.
Is it worth $80 on Amazon? Well my friends and I split it, so that is a definite yes. There are also optional rules/map markers that supposedly drastically change gameplay but I have not used them yet. This alone almost makes for a second similar but separate game, which is very good. But unless you are willing to put in the time to learn the base game's varied subtleties, you may want to save your money for something else.