Jeremy Avery
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Some of you are probably worried about me. "What happened to that Feast for Odin fellow?"

Well, while it's true that my 25-days-and-42-plays streak came to an end, no harm was in fact done to my fleet. It's just that I haven't had time to do write-ups.

Today's draw I was excited about: Bean Farmer (At any time, change two beans into one peas, one mead, one stockfish.). I was excited for three reasons: 1. Uwe loves beans, and Bohnanza is an old family favourite. 2. I wanted to try a house strategy again, and this felt like a good engine for it. 3. The last time I got Bean Farmer I did terribly!

My first in-game draw was helpful: Helper in Time of Need (In non-harvest rounds, gain beans/wheat/lettuce for 1/2/3 whaling boats.).

My overall strategy was to get to 3 income quickly on my main board, surrounding the mead for additional small red support, then Shetland for quick 3 income and the beans. Then an emigration to save on oranges and reds, then all out focus on houses until end game cleanup on my main board.

So I opened with whaling boat, Shetland (and immediately surrounded the bonus beans), and longhouse (and immediately surrounded the beans!). Henceforth I was rolling in beans. I used Bean Farmer every single time I could, using the small orange and red bits to feed and to stock my two longhouses and one stone house. I did the knarr/longhouse action twice to allow emigration and get cards into play.

The "problem" with the solo game, of course, is that you are always in your own way, so I needed some additional things to do. I did a mix of one-off animal pick ups (with a Weekly Market 4 actions for that awesome blend of things), some whaling, some trapping, and realized that I could be covering my main board at the same time as stocking those houses. I flipped sheep, cow, whale meat, then did fur and linen into clothing, then knarr-traded that along with skin and bones and oil. I covered my main board to 7, then 9, then 18 in successive rounds.

Two emigrations to close things out (because I didn't have time to do anything else), and I finished with my best solo score ever, and finally broke the 140 point barrier!

03 . Ships
54 . Emigration
06 . Exploration boards
44 . Sheds and houses
13 . Occupation
03 . Silver
21 . Income
144 Subtotal
-02 Sheds and houses

Obviously quite happy with breaking the 140! This is my 43rd play, and here's what I saw for the first time:

- I took an exploration board without intending to finish it. I took Shetland and only ended up gaining the meat, the three income, and the beans. I covered all the -1's, but left the rest of it alone.

- "Weak cards" work. Bean Farmer seems like a weak card (a common complaint with this game is the number of "weak" cards); after all, it takes 8 squares of oranges and changes them into 2 orange squares and 5 red squares. It's all about finding ways to utilize what they do, and have the rest of your decisions work in tandem.

- Sheep, Cow, Weekly Market 4, convert animals to green is a nice progression, getting you two silver, a card in play, and also allows some additional tiles for a knarr trade.

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