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Subject: Strongest/favourite solo play faction rss

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Travis Vandenberg
Canada
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I just got IS yesterday as well as the WCWBF expansion. I had played it against friends 4 times before and did well with each of the factions. I played probably 8 solo games over the past two days (I was super excited about the game) and it seemed like the Barbarians and Egyptians held up substantially better in solo play than the Romans and Japanese did. With the Barbarians and Egypt, I just broke 100 with the base game and got 160 and 176, respectively, with decks I built with the expansion, while I did much worse with the other two factions. Here's why I think those two are stronger:

Barbarians: Obscene amounts of Raze production combined with Hall of Trophies lets you stockpile raze for a huge push at the end. If you get three Raids down and Captivity (free worker every time you raze), you can keep razing for 3 VP and one worker (4 if you get that common building for razing too) an almost endless supply of cards due to your high worker count. This is fairly easy to achieve based on the crazy number of black cards the barbs get, meaning more raze tokens.

Egyptians: The engine doesn't always come together as smoothly but if you can play two Sphinxes, you can just keep building faction locations and ditching gold to score 4 VP with Slaver each time. With the new free gold open production, and Gifts for the Pharaoh (storing resources and producing up to 5 of what's stored), you can easily get 20 gold and even use Goldsmiths to snag an extra 5 VP. Since a number of the faction buildings don't use foundations, you can often just draw through your faction deck and ignore the common deck more than you can with other factions. Sure, their worker production is pretty weak but if you can snag a few pink commons over the game, you're set.

I'm not sure if the other two factions have some crazy combo as well but from what I've seen, it doesn't seem to be the case. Has anyone else had similar experiences? I really don't want my games to always come down to Egypt vs. Barbarians.
 
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Travis Vandenberg
Canada
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I take back my previous comment =) I just broke 150 with Romans thanks to New City (one worker each time you build a faction location) combined with the bonuses of Administration, Headquarters, Roman Fortress and Gardens. As long as I had some good card draw, my stone production carried me through.

However, I still have trouble seeing how Japanese can score as high. They have no way to cheese out 3-5 VPs at a time like the other factions and instead require a one-to-one trade with food to get their VPs. Perhaps if you got lucky and snagged Mill (1 VP and 1 gold each time you build a red) right off the start from the common deck, you could get a high score but does anyone know any other way they can compete?
 
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Siddharth Venkatesh
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I score highest with Romans and Atlanteans solo.

With Romans, if you get New City, Headquarters, Administration out by round 3, you are pretty much guaranteed to score at least 150 points. If you get any of the grey building bonus features as well, then 200+ is possible.

Atlanteans score very high too but are a little more luck dependant. The main source of points for them comes from point scoring action buildings that you double and any of the color based feature bonus and then double it. I think Grey is their favorite color and in the campaign mode, I have the achievement that lets you keep a common card from game to game and I keep the building grey bonus card. I've broken 200 points with them in campaign games and that is with 4 rounds instead of 5 but with bonuses that come from the achievements. My highest non-campaign score with them is 175 or so.

I haven't played the Japanese solo much because I've mainly been playing an Atlantean campaign so I can't say whether they are underpowered solo or not.
 
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Travis Vandenberg
Canada
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Yeah campaign can be absolutely crazy. War actually became a positive event (aside from losing a worker) because it took away a useless province from me and let me trade raze tokens for 5 VP each as barbarians. I hit 220 VP in 4 rounds with that event up. In terms of regular solo, I could see Atlanteans being frustrating as you would lose a lot of common buildings to the AI. I did find that once Romans got the building engine up, it worked pretty well.

However, I can't figure out what engine Japanese can use. The deal engine is alright if you can get two Dojo's up and Diplomacy School placed during the first two rounds but you're still ditching resources in a 1 for 1 trade with that. Also Daimyo's Castle seems like a pretty strong VP generator but it's so hard to build efficiently early on and I can rarely sacrifice my workers to get samurai. The apples --> VP buildings seem so lame in comparison to what the other factions have.
 
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