From The OpenDominion Encyclopedia
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Joining a guards is a way to narrow the range of dominions which can target you for invading, espionage, and magic. This can be useful for defending from bottomfeeding as well as not letting much smaller dominions perform ops on you.

As a member of a guard, only other dominions within the guard ranges (see below) can target you.

  • No guard: from 40% to 250%.
  • Royal Guard: from 60% to 166%, -2% platinum production.
  • Elite Guard: from 75% to 133%, +25% exploration costs and the platinum penalty Royal Guard.

Joining a guard takes 24 hours (48 total for Elite Guard) and can only be done after day 5 of the round.

Leaving a guard is instant.

Attackers often join Elite Guard.

Some Explorers join the Royal Guard, but never Elite Guard due to the explore cost penalty.