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A Feast for Odin» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Dominant strategies? rss

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Trevor S
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I'm curious what people think about whether there are any dominant strategies in the game? I'm 10 games in with most of those being solo. I haven't quite figured out if there are dominant strategies or if here are just strategies that are easier to execute.

So far, my scores have varied wildly from game to game, anywhere from high 50s to low 100s. I've tried out a completely different strategy in almost every game. I've been most successful by far with raiding/pillaging and abusing the spots that let you upgrade unique green tiles. I've also done very well on heavy emigration. On the flip side, I have gotten my ass handed to me when going for a heavy whaling/hunting/breeding strategy. Are here things that you really should only dabble in?

Thoughts?
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Jeremy Avery
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I'm very happy to report that, in my experience, playing off your Occupation cards has been the difference maker in all my multiplayer games and my solitaire games. I say happy because the Occupation cards are what provide a lot of variability, and if they didn't make a difference, it would make the game too samey.

To answer your question more specifically: I've played 20 times so far, 1p, 2p, and 3p, and I've had high scores so far with Whaling + Exploration, All-Out Emigration + Grey Tile forging/buying, Exploration + Bonus + Income, Crafting + Explore, Pillage/Plunder + Explore. I have had high scores/wins with one Expl. board, two Expl. boards, three Explore boards, and anywhere between 0-2 Houses. I've won with zero Emigration all the way up to six Emigration. I've seen high scores with full player boards, and mostly empty player boards. I've seen high scores from low income and high income strategies.

But most of the high scores and wins I've seen have had 4+ Occupations in play being used for their advantages. This variability makes me...

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Marco Teti
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It's nice to know that there are so many different strategies to go by. The game seems to have so many options (don't have it yet) and there will likely be a 'dominant' strat. Needless to say the game looks impressive. I don't have any 'euro' style games in my collection.

I've read some great things about it as a solo game and I eager to get it once it's available again. As it is most sites don't have it in stock.
 
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Jeremy Avery
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SgtTenor wrote:
It's nice to know that there are so many different strategies to go by. The game seems to have so many options (don't have it yet) and there will likely be a 'dominant' strat. Needless to say the game looks impressive. I don't have any 'euro' style games in my collection.

I've read some great things about it as a solo game and I eager to get it once it's available again. As it is most sites don't have it in stock.


Out of curiosity, if you haven't played it, how can you so sure there will be a dominant strategy? The playtest group for Uwe Rosenberg's games includes some high-profile designers and developers...
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Marco Teti
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familygaming wrote:
SgtTenor wrote:
It's nice to know that there are so many different strategies to go by. The game seems to have so many options (don't have it yet) and there will likely be a 'dominant' strat. Needless to say the game looks impressive. I don't have any 'euro' style games in my collection.

I've read some great things about it as a solo game and I eager to get it once it's available again. As it is most sites don't have it in stock.


Out of curiosity, if you haven't played it, how can you so sure there will be a dominant strategy? The playtest group for Uwe Rosenberg's games includes some high-profile designers and developers...


I may have to re-read my posts of late. I didn't mean that there 'will be', I could see that there likely could be.

Needless to say, since you already played 20+ games, I will defer to your opinion on the matter. Again I hope this will become available for reprint or whatever. The game looks fantastic!
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Jeremy Avery
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SgtTenor wrote:
familygaming wrote:
SgtTenor wrote:
It's nice to know that there are so many different strategies to go by. The game seems to have so many options (don't have it yet) and there will likely be a 'dominant' strat. Needless to say the game looks impressive. I don't have any 'euro' style games in my collection.

I've read some great things about it as a solo game and I eager to get it once it's available again. As it is most sites don't have it in stock.


Out of curiosity, if you haven't played it, how can you so sure there will be a dominant strategy? The playtest group for Uwe Rosenberg's games includes some high-profile designers and developers...


I may have to re-read my posts of late. I didn't mean that there 'will be', I could see that there likely could be.

Needless to say, since you already played 20+ games, I will defer to your opinion on the matter. Again I hope this will become available for reprint or whatever. The game looks fantastic!


Well, we are agreed that we both hope you are wrong then!

I'm not a deep enough strategist to be able to comment on the viability and strength of strategies in a pure numbers sort of way. I just don't have the head for the maths. I play mostly by intuition, and just like exploring strategies. The only thing I feel quite certain of is that good Occupation play matters. If I am right, that, in turn, makes it less likely that there is a dominant strategy, since the combination of Occupations really change how a player approached strategy.
 
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Jonathan
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It's definitely one of the stronger solo games out there. I'm loving exploring different strategies (there's a lot there to play with).
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Somehow I managed to score just 55 points against a first-time player today (he got 130+). So while there might not be any dominant strategies, there are clearly some very weak ones (the best I could come up with was too much whaling & upgrading through trade, not enough income). And I had to put up with the other player whining about how badly he was doing, how poor his die-rolling was, and how I was obviously beating him; right up to the point where I actually showed him the totals on the score sheet).
 
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Northern Polarity
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After playing the game for a while now, I don't really think of deciding which tile generating actions (whaling, pillaging, etc) to take as strategy anymore: these actions are more like tactics since they all have different purposes and are roughly equivalent in efficiency to each other. For example, hunting/whaling/pillaging/snaring are all in the "generate lots of tiles to fill in larger areas" space, while making linen and crafting runestones/chests would fall under the "generate small tiles non-efficiently to fill in small areas and/or be next to green tiles" space.

To me, Feast for Odin is a game where the strategy comes from deciding what your end-game point sources are, and the tactics comes from figuring out how to fulfill those point sources. Overall strategy comes from deciding whether or not to go for exploration boards / housing / emigration, and generating points out of these choices via tactics. From that perspective, there's a clear dominant strategy, and that's to get some amount of exploration boards. From the solo challenge and experience, it seems like with helpful occupations, exploration board strategies will be be a good 20-30 points above non-exploration board strategies: we previously had a challenge where we couldn't use any ships and maxed out at ~150, whereas most challenges that allow enable exploration boards will max out in the ~170-180 range.

That being said, that's not as bad as it sounds. For one thing, filling exploration boards is probably the hardest thing in Feast for Odin to do correctly, so there is a ton of tactics in figuring out to do so. Furthermore, there isn't a dominant strategy in picking which exploration boards to fill and how many to get. Check out the scores in Scenario 15https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/227433/feast-odin-scenari..., where Ranior and I pursued 4 different island paths and still managed to be within 5 points of each other.

RDewsbery wrote:
Somehow I managed to score just 55 points against a first-time player today (he got 130+). So while there might not be any dominant strategies, there are clearly some very weak ones (the best I could come up with was too much whaling & upgrading through trade, not enough income). And I had to put up with the other player whining about how badly he was doing, how poor his die-rolling was, and how I was obviously beating him; right up to the point where I actually showed him the totals on the score sheet).


The two main viable strategies for 100+ points in Feast for Odin are to either prioritize home board development or exploration board development. For a score of 55, my guess is that this was an issue with your tactics, where maybe you spent too many resources on a knarr early game to get the trading action, or got sidetracked by houses/emigration instead. Whaling + trade are great actions/tactics, although they'd normally be used via getting whaling early and spamming it, and then buying a knarr in the mid-late game to mass upgrade your green goods.
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