The Barracks is a direct upgrade of a ‘basic’ available Action, namely Donate which normally allows you to trade in 5 Gold for a point. The first usage of the Barracks isn’t great – you’ve spent 1 turn to buy it, 1 turn to activate it, and 6 Gold for that first point. However each time you can use it after the first represents a marked upgrade on the Donate action. Naturally it combines nicely with the Broker or the Gold Mine, allowing you to funnel that extra Gold into points, and again the earlier you can get it the more use you will get from it. A common strategy is to use the Barracks in combination to grind out 2-3 points over the game, hitting 7 points before the opponent can score a final objective.
The Market is another building that upgrades one of the ‘basic’ available Actions. It doesn’t have a direct impact on resource generation, or scoring, and so its advantage seems somewhat situational. That advantage comes when you consider that it allows you to (almost) treat all of the 6 spaces that grants resources as being any of your choice. It requires a bit of planning to use if you want to rearrange your resources for that building that you want, but for objective scoring it can be crucial. Imagine holding 7 Gold and scoring the Banker objective, only to switch it up to 7 Food and score the Hoarder objective later.
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