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Subject: Perfect Glass Road Solo rss

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Isaac Childres
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So first of all, I realize the Roofing Company building has been removed from the game because of its brokenness, but that got me thinking: just how much could I break Glass Road using it?

The premise of this post is that by including the Roofing Company in the game, having the perfect action card draw every round and having the perfect buildings come up in the offer every round, what is the maximum number of points someone could score in the solo game?

This is the perfect solo session, engineered to be such as an interesting thought experiment.

In case you were not aware, the Roofing Company, which allows players to exchange 1 brick for 2 of any resource, in conjunction with with the Sandstone Factory, which allows players to trade 3 sand for 1 brick, and any building that allows a 2-for-1 trade to sand (Sand Pit, Sand Producer or Sand Screening Plant), can create a loop of infinite resources. Essentially, a brick can get you 4 sand, and you can turn 3 sand back into a brick, netting 1 sand in each loop. 3 loops gets you enough sand to make 1 new brick, which can be turned into any 2 resources. With enough trading, you basically have infinite resources.

So I decided the best way to maximize points was to get the Roofing Company engine chugging as soon as possible and then build as many high-valued buildings as possible. Points were then essentially limited by the number of builds I was able to make.

You can build a total of 18 buildings in the solo game if the Builder is the last card played at the end of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th rounds and the other 3 build cards are played as much as possible (remembering that you only get to play 2 cards in the first round).

It took me the first 2 rounds (or 5 builds) to set up the engine, which left me 13 builds (disregarding resource costs) to get the highest score possible. It was a little trickier than I initially assumed, but I think I was able to completely maximize the score. Here's how I did it:

Round 1:

Carpenter (remove the bottom left forest) - build Clay Lake in one of the empty spots (-2 water, +6 clay).
Notes: I'm going to need a lot of clay to pull this off, and this is the best way to get it. Also note that the placement of almost all the buildings doesn't really matter.

Builder (pay with food from the brick wheel) - build Swamp Hut (1 pond to 2 charcoal anytime) next to Clay Lake, build Sand Producer (1 wood to 2 sand anytime) above Swamp Hut.
Notes: The Swamp Hut is one of the few ways to get charcoal without first getting brick (which you need charcoal to make). This makes it the best option for the next building, as it will also prove useful at the end of the game. I went with the Sand Producer for the 2-for-1 sand building because it is easy to build. The Sand Screening Plant would be worth more at the end of the game, but its resource cost makes it less effective. I could have built the Sand Producer before the Clay Lake to get an extra clay, but it turns out to not matter in the long run.

Use Swamp Hut twice to remove 2 ponds and gain 4 charcoal (I really only need 2, but whatever).
Use Sand Producer once to get that all-important first glass.



Round 2:

Feudal Lord - +1 clay, +1 wood.

Cultivator - build Roofing Company (1 brick to 2 of any resource anytime) above Sand Producer.

Supplier - +1 food on the brick wheel, build Sandstone Factory (3 sand to 1 brick) next to the Roofing Company.
Notes: I've got the engine set up, but I don't quite have infinite resources yet because I don't have enough sand to kick-start it. This will be remedied shortly.



Round 3:

Woodcutter (remove bottom right forest) - +2 wood.

Long notes: Use Sandstone Producer to turn this into sand and use the engine to immediately attain infinite resources. Well, almost. You see, due to the nature of the resource wheels, it's impossible to use the engine to max all three basic resources on the brick wheel. You have to keep 1 resource at zero so that you can use the brick to power the engine without the wheel turning, causing you to lose more resources than you gain when you convert the brick. In addition, the engine can't maximize sand because you have to spend 3 sand to maximize brick, so the best you can do is 4 sand. If that doesn't make sense, break out the resource wheel and physically try to use the engine to max all your resources - you'll see what I'm talking about.

So anyway, we will max everything but the charcoal on the brick wheel. Having zero charcoal doesn't actually hinder us that much because we still have all the resources we need to build whatever we want. It'll just hurt us in end game scoring for some buildings that want us to have charcoal - namely the Warehouse and the Coal Facility.

But worry not! Remember our Swamp Hut? If we have 4 ponds at the end of game, we can use that after all our builds to get max charcoal for free. Yay!

Pond Builder - +1 pond right of the Roofing Company.
Notes: This placement is important.

Carpenter (remove other lower right forest) - build Pottery (1 point per clay) in lower right. Our first point building!

Builder (cost doesn't matter) - build Glazier's Workshop (1 point per used glass) and Clinker Plant (1 point per used brick) in lower right.
Notes: These are two of the most important buildings. Since we have infinite resources, they turn high-cost buildings into a win-win. Not only to we gain massive points from the building itself, we also gain points for the refined resources used.



Round 4:

Slash-and-burn Farmer (remove forest in second row) - +2 whatever.
Notes: I just wanted to get rid of another forest. The last 2 will get taken care of by the Carpenter.

Any 2 cards
Notes: We've now gotten to the point where all cards other than the build cards are absolutely useless.

Supplier - build Village Church (1 point per empty adjacent space) above the pond.
Notes: This placement is important.

Cultivator - +1 pond left of the Village Church, build Water Mill (1 point per water) on the lower left pit.
Notes: The pond placement matters. Hopefully you can tell what I'm doing by now.



Round 5:

Carpenter (remove right forest) - build Slipway (1 point per wood) left of the Pottery.

Builder - build Mason's Guild (3 points per brick) and Glassworks (3 points per glass)



Round 6:

Any 1 card

Supplier - build Storehouse (1 point per lowest food) above the Pottery.

Cultivator - build Warehouse (1 point per resource above 3) in upper right corner.
Notes: You could play the Pond Builder again here and use the Cultivator's second action to now surround the Village Church with ponds. It's not going to matter here in a second, though.



Round 7:

Any 2 cards

Carpenter (remove last forest) - build Water Tower (ponds in all adjacent spaces) above the remaining pit.
Notes: This gets us the water around the Village Church and turns out to be one of the highest value buildings left due to its high brick cost.

Builder - build Coal Facility (1 point per lowest charcoal) and Winery (useless) in upper left spaces.
Notes: now use the engine to maximize resources (except the brick charcoal of course). The player board should now be full of buildings except for 4 ponds surrounding the Village Church. Use Swamp Hut 4 times to clear the ponds and gain 7 charcoal. Now every resource is maximized (except the 3 sand).



End game status:

All that's left to do is tally the points earned for each building:
9 - Glassworks
2 - Glassmaker's Colony
9 - Mason's Guild
7 - Coal Facility
4 - Water Tower
8 - Warehouse
4 - Winery
8 - Village Church
4 - Sandstone Factory
3 - Roofing Company
7 - Storehouse
7 - Water Mill
0 - Sand Producer
7 - Slipway
7 - Pottery
0 - Clay Lake
1 - Swamp Hut
9 - Glazier's Workshop
20 - Clinker Plant
Total: 116

Well, that was fun! I hope you enjoyed my thought experiment, and if you have any suggestions on how to squeeze out more points, I'd love to hear them.

(Edit: I realized I had to cut the total by 1.5 because sand has to stay at 4. You could also drop wood to get 2 more sand, but the points are the same either way.)
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Clay McConnell
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Bravo! Well done sir! thumbsup
 
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