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Subject: Struggling When Playing Solo rss

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Richard Derr
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I'm trying to figure out if I'm missing a rule on my solo play throughs or just in serious need of advice.

When playing solo you now need 25 points to win, but with the automa getting points from the influence map you really need to score at least 30 points to win. This is assuming I get all 6 of my stars down. My first question is does it sound like I'm playing the influence map correctly?

For context, I usually fill 4 or 5 orders, plus use the bonus tokens to get myself a few additional points. I score a few additional points through visitor cards and other actions. This will get me around 23-27 points. Then the Automa scores its influence map points and always jumps over me in points.

Is there a solid strategy I'm missing or does beating the automa rely heavily on what special workers are available and what visitor cards I pull?
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Sounds like you are playing the rules correctly.

It is usually possible to beat the automa in any game, it is not dependent on which cards and which special workers are drawn. It is dependent on how you use the cards you do draw. This game is as much about utilizing your cards effectively as it is about placing your workers. It is important to take whatever cards you draw and set yourself up to use them in a later turn if necessary. Also keep in mind on the Tuscany board that many 1-2 players spaces .have a bonus on them (that trigger when you place a worker on them). Using those effectively, plus using your bonus tokens to effectively use the 3+ player bonuses when necessary are also key to victory
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Richard Derr
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I played two more times and managed to win one and tie the other. I think my issue was that I was trying to play the expansion like Viticulture. I was too focused on filling wine orders and taking advantage of the many other ways to eek out points.

It's been a ton of fun figuring out how all these different pieces work together.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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rderr27 wrote:
It's been a ton of fun figuring out how all these different pieces work together.


I'm happy to hear that .
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rderr27 wrote:


It's been a ton of fun figuring out how all these different pieces work together.


One man's fun is another man's frustration. cool

It's great that so many people enjoy games like this, but they really are not for me. If I have to work to understand the game play then it's not fun for me. It's OK, really. You can't please everyone all of the time.



 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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lucky henry wrote:
rderr27 wrote:


It's been a ton of fun figuring out how all these different pieces work together.


One man's fun is another man's frustration. cool

It's great that so many people enjoy games like this, but they really are not for me. If I have to work to understand the game play then it's not fun for me. It's OK, really. You can't please everyone all of the time.





I don't think he's referring to figuring out the game play, I am pretty sure he is talking about figuring out the strategy of how the different mechanisms interact with each other.
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Richard Derr
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
I don't think he's referring to figuring out the game play, I am pretty sure he is talking about figuring out the strategy of how the different mechanisms interact with each other.


Indeed, it was about trying to figure out the strategy. The rules are fairly straightforward. I was only unsure about the automa set up in the influence map because at the time it seemed to be giving an unruly amount of points.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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rderr27 wrote:
For context, I usually fill 4 or 5 orders, plus use the bonus tokens to get myself a few additional points. I score a few additional points through visitor cards and other actions. This will get me around 23-27 points. Then the Automa scores its influence map points and always jumps over me in points.


How are you doing this? I've tried several times and no matter what I do, it takes me at least 3-4 years to actually make my first wine. Do you concentrate on getting more workers then work on wine/other sources of points?

Between taking several turns getting my wine engine going and getting screwed by the Automa, I can barely make 15 points, and this was before I found out that the Automa gets stars on the influence board. Generally, I know by year 5 whether or not I have a slight chance on getting 25+ points (usually not).

I know cards are important, but with only 3 workers and unknown spots being taken by the Automa (at least with real players you can guess at what spots will be taken, so you can at least plan for that) I find it very difficult to make any headway with cards/wine production.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Deathstroke wrote:
with only 3 workers


This may be part of your problem! Taking the bonus worker from the wake up chart in year one or two, selling a field for some cash and getting at least one extra worker very early will help your situation.
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
Deathstroke wrote:
with only 3 workers


This may be part of your problem! Taking the bonus worker from the wake up chart in year one or two, selling a field for some cash and getting at least one extra worker very early will help your situation.


I don't usually take the extra worker from row 7 because that means you have to take row 1 on the next year (and I don't like not having any row bonuses early in the game). I do train (if able) in the first and/or second year.

I guess those moves are scripted - if you don't get some extra workers in the first or second year, then you're pretty much screwed.

Of course, by using workers to get extra works, you're delaying your wine production, which can be crippling as well.

My main problem is that I can't seem to get everything up and running in 7 years - there is never enough time to get your workers, get your grapes, get your buildings, and get your wine/point cards.

I'll try a few more times, but I have a feeling that I'm never going to truly enjoy this game solo. I do love it with actual opponents (so far I don't have a favourite player count).
 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Deathstroke wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
Deathstroke wrote:
with only 3 workers


This may be part of your problem! Taking the bonus worker from the wake up chart in year one or two, selling a field for some cash and getting at least one extra worker very early will help your situation.


I don't usually take the extra worker from row 7 because that means you have to take row 1 on the next year (and I don't like not having any row bonuses early in the game). I do train (if able) in the first and/or second year.

I guess those moves are scripted - if you don't get some extra workers in the first or second year, then you're pretty much screwed.

Of course, by using workers to get extra works, you're delaying your wine production, which can be crippling as well.

My main problem is that I can't seem to get everything up and running in 7 years - there is never enough time to get your workers, get your grapes, get your buildings, and get your wine/point cards.

I'll try a few more times, but I have a feeling that I'm never going to truly enjoy this game solo. I do love it with actual opponents (so far I don't have a favourite player count).


There's no problem going to 8 years until you get the hang of it. Put two bonus action tokens on a wake-up chart space of your choice and you're good to go for an 8-year game.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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mortenmdk wrote:
Deathstroke wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
Deathstroke wrote:
with only 3 workers


This may be part of your problem! Taking the bonus worker from the wake up chart in year one or two, selling a field for some cash and getting at least one extra worker very early will help your situation.


I don't usually take the extra worker from row 7 because that means you have to take row 1 on the next year (and I don't like not having any row bonuses early in the game). I do train (if able) in the first and/or second year.

I guess those moves are scripted - if you don't get some extra workers in the first or second year, then you're pretty much screwed.

Of course, by using workers to get extra works, you're delaying your wine production, which can be crippling as well.

My main problem is that I can't seem to get everything up and running in 7 years - there is never enough time to get your workers, get your grapes, get your buildings, and get your wine/point cards.

I'll try a few more times, but I have a feeling that I'm never going to truly enjoy this game solo. I do love it with actual opponents (so far I don't have a favourite player count).


There's no problem going to 8 years until you get the hang of it. Put two bonus action tokens on a wake-up chart space of your choice and you're good to go for an 8-year game.


Thanks for the suggestions. I will give that a try!
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Deathstroke wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions. I will give that a try!


Great. I hope it makes it fun for you. I want people to enjoy our games, not get frustrated by them .
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Deathstroke wrote:


I don't usually take the extra worker from row 7 because that means you have to take row 1 on the next year (and I don't like not having any row bonuses early in the game). I do train (if able) in the first and/or second year.

Of course, by using workers to get extra works, you're delaying your wine production, which can be crippling as well.


Keep in mind that most of the bonuses are actually not that great to get in the first few years. victory points don't matter til the end game, vine cards are not that crucial until you have a few order cards and know what you need to plant, visitor cards are rarely useful until you have a bit of an engine going and know what you need and/or what you can spare.

In short, other than extra workers and order cards (so you know where you are headed) the rest of the bonuses are better mid to late game anyway. Even getting your wine engine going too early can be a mistake because until you have some order cards you risk getting the wrong engine going. Taking that year 7 row is way better in the first few years, leaving you the ability to more strategically choose the order of your late game bonuses, when a card or two can make a huge difference.
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