Joining a Guard 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 bottom feeding 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 same platinum penalty as the Royal Guard. (I.e: -2%, no double penalty.)
Joining a Guard takes 24 hours (48 total for Elite Guard) and can only be done after day 5 of the round. Once you are in, you cannot leave for 48 hours. Additionally, performing any actions on a Dominion out of the range of the Guard you are joining will reset the application to 24 hours.
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.