This section contains additional detail about Cards.  What are the card rules? When can you trade in? When can you place? How does this impact how I play?  These topics are covered here.

About Cards

A card represents a victory or a string of victories during a round of game play. After you have accumulated a number of cards, you can trade the cards in to receive additional armies.
You receive cards in three circumstances:
When you conquer at least one territory during your turn
When you eliminate another player from the game
When a team member transfers one or more cards to you
Depending on the game’s trade-in values, conquering a single territory can have more impact on your game than holding down a continent.
You should always check the trade-in settings for your game and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Viewing Cards and Settings
Trade-In Values
Maximum Card Accrual
Owned-territory bonus

Viewing Cards and Settings

At the top of the Cards screen you will see the cards that you currently own. Each card has a symbol and a territory name. If you currently own the territory that the card refers to, the card will also have the text (owned) under the territory name. The game’s card-related settings are described under your cards

Trade-in options

For trade in, there are three options. Two of these suck, see if you can guess which ones those are.

1. Turn start - this means that the only time you can trade in a set is at your turn start. if after your turn, you get the star you need, tough. You better hope that you are alive on the come back so that you can cash in. say you just killed someone who had 5 cards. Awesome. You still can't cash. And now you are a huge target for the next guy. And on it goes.
2. Anytime - this is by far the most common method. you can trade in your cards at any time. It can be in the middle of your turn, the middle of an attack, or even someone else's turn.
3. Your turn only - this means that you can trade in anytime during your turn, but as soon as your turn is over, you are stuck with your cards. Did you just hit that needed star for a CDS with 3 owned!!! Tough. You can't trade in until the next round. I hope you live and I hope you still own those cards...

Set placement options

1. Turn start - this is probably the most common army placement rule. For whatever time you cash in your cards, you can only place them at the start of your next turn.
2. Immediately - this is the setting that leads to the most aggressive play, and strings of kills. You can cash in any time during your turn and immediately place your reinforcements (popularly know as reos). So if you kill someone and their cards gives you a set, you can trade in and use those reos to rebuild your forces and continue the fight.
There are a couple of different methods used for card trade-ins.

Card values

1. Based on symbols - this means circles, diamonds and stars. This is the most common method. A common acronym for holding one of each is CDS for holding circles is CCC and for having a wild just replace the letter with a W.
2. Increasing - there are two types, slow increasing and fast increasing (there is also resetting increasing but that is rarely used). What this means is that the first trade in is worth 4 reos and then each subsequent trade-in is increased, either by 1 (slow) or by 2 (fast). In conjunction with this, many times continent bonuses increase with each card trade in. This means that for every turn in, each continent increases in value. this option is not always checked with increasing games.
NB: increasing continents - so in increasing continent games initial continent values are halved (and then rounded up so a standard 3 continent becomes worth 2 as 1.5 rounds up). Every time that a set is traded in, the value of the continent increases. So after 10 trade ins, that 3 continent is now worth close to 30 reos a turn. This changes your strategy considerably. It becomes more important to bust continents and make sure that you hold your continents. There are numerous strategies and player preferences with this that we may delve into later.
3. Flat trade - usually set at 5, this means for every trade-in you get a base of 5 reos.

Now this is the first component of card values, the next is just as important:

Territory bonuses

Territory bonuses can be integral in determining how aggressively you play. Higher bonuses relative to average army counts per player can really swing the game in the favor of the player that can maximize their bonuses. On the other side, many people get caught up trying to own territories when there is only a standard 2 bonus. If the bonus is small, treat them like a shiny nickel you find in the street. It is nice, but not worth kicking someone's ass over. Yet all the time I see people killing 5+ armies to get an owned bonus of 2. That math just don't add up. With territory bonuses there are two key concepts to consider:

1. On territory - with this setting, the territory bonuses for the card trade in is placed directly on the territory that the card was for. Big tip - not everyone knows this, but it can really benefit you, especially if you have limited fortifications. If the parameters are right (trade anytime and bonus on territory) and you have two card territories that are adjacent to each other then you can grow your single stack with both bonuses. Here is how - attack from the first card-owned territory to the adjacent card-owned territory. Before you advance your troops - cash in. It adds the bonus armies to the territory you just conquered AND to your advancing stack. So when you go to move your troops into your newly conquered lands, you get the benefit of both owned territory bonuses. If this needs clarifying let me know.
2. Not on territory - with this setting, the territory bonus armies are added to the pool of army reos for you to place wherever you like. So if you trade in a CDS worth 10 and own 1 of the territories with a bonus of 10 not on territory, then you get to lay down 20 armies wherever you want. This is preferred for those who like faster games.

Max cards - typically this is set at 5. What this means is that when you hit this number, you cannot start your next turn until you get below it. So if you end your turn with 4 cards, and get a card taking you to 5, you must trade in to get less than 5 before you can start your next turn. If you have 4 cards and you conquer another player who has 4 cards, then suddenly you have 8. Things can get a little tricky here. you do not have to trade in immediately (if the rules allow it) if you can trade in during your turn, and you do then this takes you down to 5 cards - but due to a bug or oversight, you must trade in AGAIN to get your total cards under 5. This is the only instance in which the max cards does not apply to the standard turn start provision. so in other words, if you get in this situation, make sure that you get everything owned that you can before you trade in as you will have to trade in immediately again.

Trade-In Values

When a player has a set of three cards that are either all the same or all different, she can trade them in for additional armies. Wild cards can be substituted for any of the other cards to make a set, or can be traded in together to make a set of 3 wilds.There are two basic card trade-in options.
Graduated or revolving scale 
In this trade-in option, the type of set traded in does not matter; all sets have the potential to yield the same number of armies. There are four different options for the graduated or revolving scale:
a) 4, 6, 8, 10, 4 ... : This option is a revolving scale. The first trade in is worth 4 armies, the next is worth 6, then 8 and then 10. After 10 armies are reached, the next trade-in is worth 4, and the cycle continues.
b) 5, 5 ... : All card trade-ins are worth 5 armies no matter when they are traded in or what type of set.
c) 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 ... : This is a graduated scale. The first trade-in is worth 4 armies. Every trade-in thereafter is worth 2 more armies than the previous.
d) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... : This is a graduated scale identical to the one above except that each trade-in is worth 1 more army then the one previous.
Type of set 
Each set of cards can be worth a different amount. By default, circles are worth 4 additional armies, diamonds are worth 6, etc.

Trade-in Time

There are two different options for when you can trade cards in: any time or at the beginning of the turn.
Trade-in only at the beginning of the turn
Players can only trade in cards at the beginning of their turns, before placing armies.
Trade in anytime 
Players can trade in cards at any time they have a set: it does not have to be the players turn. Note, however, that the armies received from the trade-in can only be placed on the board at the beginning of the player's turn. The potential exception to the rule is owned-territory bonus armies. See Owned-terri­tory bonus .

Maximum Card Accrual

The game creator selects the maximum card accrual when creating the game. Possible values are 5, 6, 7 or 8. When a player reaches the maximum accrual number, they are forced to trade in a set of cards at the beginning of their next turn.
If trading in a set does not bring the player below the maximum card accrual, they will be forced to continue trading in sets until they have less than the maximum card accrual. This scenario is possible when a vanquished opponent’s cards are transferred to the conqueror.