I realize that I haven't figured out the optimal strategies in this game yet. My first game, my first two turns I built two different craftsmen. Which allowed my opponent to place a second monument on their first turn. Then on turn two, upgrade both. Their turn three they took Xango and it just couldn't keep up.
So then I realized I needed to slow my own progress down so as to not help my opponent too much. It was closer but still Xango seemed to turn the game. Third game was drawn out and I only missed winning by one point.
Is there any good strategies against Xango in two player game? I am thinking build craftsman but leave price at three then take Anansai. The thought there is to slow them down enough.
I've never played 2 player so take what I say with several grains of salt.
But nothing you said indicts Xango. You built two different craftsmen on the first two turns. Why? Sounds like it allowed your opponent to easily grow his or her monuments.
This is not a building game. One doesn't build craftsmen to establish a source of income and then turn the income into VP and win. In most cases, you build craftsmen to either help yourself grow your monuments or to make it harder for your opponents to grow their monuments. Building two craftsmen early without planning it through is sort of the equivalent of calling craftsman early in Puerto Rico and then being surprised when it doesn't go well.
It's almost like our buddies over at Splotter Spellen were making a little joke on the word craftsmen....
I did say "in most cases" above, by the way. This game is too rich and too difficult to say anything more definitive than that. No doubt there are combinations of Gods in play, early auction actions by opponent, and terrain layouts where the exact correct thing to do is to build craftsmen to establish a source of income.