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Jeremy Avery
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My scores are going up and up, but that doesn't mean I don't have the occasional hilarious fail!

Disheartened Warrior (gives stockfish/oil if player declares a failed Raid after the second roll) was my first play. I was thinking that a longboat strategy that intentionally failed in order to gain sword, stone, and either stockfish (for feeding) or oil (for surrounding bonuses) could be a nice way to set up strong pillages. I thought I'd support that with Emigration. I was setting up to grab a knarr to support the Priest (gain an oil when you use a knarr trading action), and then hit a crucial decision point. And promptly made the wrong decision.

I drew Warmonger. It was so full of potential, that I wanted to make it work with my Disheartened Warrior, but after having already built/bought two longboats and emigrated one, I wasn't really in a great position to get three more longboats...



But I tried anyways.


What resulted was an over-focus on securing the three more longboats I needed, which, in turn, put me behind on filling up Shetland Islands early. I lived to regret that! The strategy was working: fail a raid, then plunder and recover vikings, then pillage. Trap cards got me greens for support. But not all those awesome tiles could help my incredible loss in tempo when I was trying to get those longboats.

If only I had drawn Warmonger before Priest!

Final state of affairs. Eight Occupations drawn, but only three really utilized...


FINAL SCORING
32 . Boats
21 . Emigration
18 . Exploration boards
.. . Sheds and houses
.. . Sheep and cattle
04 . Occupations
.. . Silver
28 . Final income
-----------------
103
-16 negatives
-----------------
87 FINAL SCORE


Blech.


Let this be a lesson to you all: you have to keep your focus. Taking early explores and then letting them languish is no kind of strategy. Wasted occupations are a massive loss of tempo.

Most important lesson: even when posting terrible scores, this game is still a blast to play!
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Andrew Brooks
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Great report! It's fascinating how Odin has a setup and execution flow to it where you spend the first 2-3 turns prepping in hopes of hitting your stride once the actions starting rolling in. The thing is that it's really hard to evaluate how effective some more experimental strategies will work out in that execution phase. Or, likely in your case, the setup just took too long and the execution ends up a turn too short.

I've found that board development with exploration is the most reliable setup. Income and bonuses can build momentum to the point that you can pretty effectively fill the main board + 3 exploration boards when supported with whaling and pillaging. Anything fancy that takes action and money away from board development for a little more setup runs the risk of not being fully realized. I've come to view several strategies in that regard (emigration, livestock, houses) which isn't to say those aren't powerful actions they just require more setup so it's hard to evaluate whether they will pay off until you get into the late game.

It does seem like you have to be very deliberate in the solo game with your actions so that you don't end up getting in your own way. I often plan part of my next turn during the current turn so that I can make sure to actually have access to the right actions when I need them. I'm anticipating that it'll be possible to score higher in a 2-player game where you can potentially spam the same action every turn (assuming your opponent has divergent plans).
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Jacob Walker
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dotKeller wrote:
I've found that board development with exploration is the most reliable setup. Income and bonuses can build momentum to the point that you can pretty effectively fill the main board + 3 exploration boards when supported with whaling and pillaging. Anything fancy that takes action and money away from board development for a little more setup runs the risk of not being fully realized. I've come to view several strategies in that regard (emigration, livestock, houses) which isn't to say those aren't powerful actions they just require more setup so it's hard to evaluate whether they will pay off until you get into the late game.


My experience in solo play so far has been that emigration and late game exploration leads to pretty consistently high scores. If I'm going to go this route (doing the same thing over and over again, no matter how good, will get dull) I tend to spend the first few rounds focusing on my home board to get income and bonuses, and the next two rounds on emigration and the subsequently necessary "fleet maintenance". Once round 5 hits I snap up Labrador, and Newfoundland in round 7. This usually leads to scores of 120+, and depending on the occupations I get, perhaps much higher. In one game in which occupations made the emigrations and fleet maintenance side easier, I scored 160+ (I'd give an exact breakdown if I had it nearby, but I had something like 78 points in emigrations alone).

I think if you are going to go the emigration route, you must do it early and often. The sooner it gets done, the better the net points, and the easier your feasts. This lets you focus on converting your larger (and free) harvest goods into more useful tiles.
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Andrew Brooks
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eagleeye42 wrote:
My experience in solo play so far has been that emigration and late game exploration leads to pretty consistently high scores ... Once round 5 hits I snap up Labrador, and Newfoundland in round 7. This usually leads to scores of 120+, and depending on the occupations I get, perhaps much higher.


This is what I love about this game, I have grown to appreciate very early (round 2/4) Greenland and Iceland (the flip side of Labrador and Newfoundland). Your path and mine seem to be comparable strategies: grab them early and churn out income and bonuses or grab them late and fill them up for points. If Odin is as tightly balanced as I suspect it is then neither of these routes should be superior. Things can break down a little in solo though if the game is largely balanced for multiplayer (as with Fields). I don't mind that though since it presents an optimization puzzle to solve. I'm curious to figure out if early/late game C and D exploration boards proves superior.


eagleeye42 wrote:
In one game in which occupations made the emigrations and fleet maintenance side easier, I scored 160+ (I'd give an exact breakdown if I had it nearby, but I had something like 78 points in emigrations alone).

I think if you are going to go the emigration route, you must do it early and often. The sooner it gets done, the better the net points, and the easier your feasts. This lets you focus on converting your larger (and free) harvest goods into more useful tiles.


I likely had the same experience as you with Refugee Helper. I played a solo game where I migrated every round other than 2 and 6 which resulted in a score of 163. I agree in that case that emigrating was incredibly powerful (because of the occupation) but normally I find it to be a trickier option. My point was that focusing on board development allows you to see immediate results (increased income and bonuses) whereas focusing on other paths doesn't benefit until late game so it's harder to evaluate how effective those actions will be. That's why I've tended to favor board development, it's easier for me to see immediate results versus playing out a game and seeing if a strategy worked or not. I'm not making the case for either being better. Now that I've had positive results with exploration-based (income/bonus heavy) board development strategies I've started experimenting with other paths.
 
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