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A Feast for Odin» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Value animals for solo game rss

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Marcel Van Assen
Netherlands
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I have played the solo game now 5-10 times, and I tried several strategies. The only strategy that does not seem to work for me involves animals.

I just don't understand. Those involved with creating and testing the game must have attempted to make the game as balanced as possible. When looking at the occupations, many of them e.g. involve ships, but I see relatively few involving animals. My conclusion would then be that animals must be powerful enough by themselves (otherwise more occupations would have been constructed involving animals). So, I conclude that (i) I miss something - there IS a way to make a lot of points with animals in the solo game, or perhaps (although unlikely) (ii) animals are a viable strategy in the multi-player game but not in the solo game.

You see, in the solo game I can buy a sheep in round 1, but then this place is occupied in round 2 and the other place where you buy sheep require too many peeps (imo), and then if you have 2 sheep, they breed so slowly. And the payoff for having sheep (wool) is not high either, and costs a lot of peeps as well... Plundering with ships is much easier, less peep-intensive and gains seem just as high or higher, AND makes emigration easier, AND more occupations involve these ships.

Likely, I make some error, please help me out.

I know another thread also deals with animals, and some responses tell what you can do with animals. I see (or perhaps not well enough), but I really do not see how these strategies involving anmals outbeat other strategies, particularly not if your first one/two occupations involve animals (but even then).

Thanks for your help!
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Aernout Casier
Netherlands
Nijmegen
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Just played a solo game with the Bosporus traveller and went for animals for the very first time. I admit I invested many a Viking, but they gave me close to 30 points in the end, not counting the 5 sets of spices I managed to place on my boards.
 
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Brian Petersen
Denmark
Copenhagen
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4 solo games ago I went early cattle. 1 in first round and 1 in second. Grabbed bear Island and labrador. I think I only took milk action once, but ended up upgrading all cattle during the game.

For occ I had 100b and the rest was garbage.

I ended with 149 points.

Question is if I would had gotten more if I didnt grab cattle. Idk
 
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Bob Boberson
United States
Utah
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If you have 3 sheep and 3 cows towards the end of the game they can cover most of your home board's negative points once you flip them. That's pretty good imo.
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Aernout Casier
Netherlands
Nijmegen
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Armsved wrote:
...ended up upgrading all cattle during the game.

Facepalm moment of the day. I remember wanting to try out upgrading cattle when I first read about it. Was too enthralled by the game to actually do so now
 
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Marcel Van Assen
Netherlands
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Thanks. More than 140 points in a solo - I did not achieve that yet so I consider that a succes indeed.
 
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Thibaud Dejardin
France
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I do think having 2 cows is incredible in solo game.
When you have 3, you can get 3 milks for only one viking.
And let's not forget: the cows can be upgraded in the biggest green tiles of the game! They soak up a lot of negative points.

Sure, it does cost few vikings in the biginning, but it does give you 1.5 victory points each turn, without any pawn used.
 
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Marcel Van Assen
Netherlands
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Yes, I see, thanks. Sheep, however, require 3 vikings for 3 wool.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
United States
San Leandro
California
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Combining animal breeding with longhouses seems a natural strategy to me. Got 97 in a 2-player game today with no emigrating, exploring, or raiding/pillaging. I needed a lot of 3- and 4-viking actions early on to get things going, but it worked a lot better than I expected.
 
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Philip Morton
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Combining animal breeding with longhouses seems a natural strategy to me. Got 97 in a 2-player game today with no emigrating, exploring, or raiding/pillaging. I needed a lot of 3- and 4-viking actions early on to get things going, but it worked a lot better than I expected.

Not sure I'm seeing the synergy. Aren't there only a couple of places per longhouse where you can place milk (or wool) without covering up the bonuses?
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Jefferson Krogh
United States
San Leandro
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It's a bit indirect. The first time I went for animal breeding, I noticed I ended up with quite a bit of leftover food; more than usual. I bought one longhouse, filled it very easily, and thought that maybe I should go all in on that next time.

(Speaking of food, milk is a good one to use for the feast, since you can spam it without serious penalties. That frees up narrow tiles for the corners and narrow parts of the longhouse.)

In the first longhouse you get, two milk and a couple of small orange food tiles and a couple of silver will get you the food bonuses. Get those early on (round 2-3), use the food bonuses from the first longhouse along to help get the bonuses from a second longhouse, and then just repeat. Then in the last round, you should be grabbing one more longhouse, and since you won't get the bonuses, you can spam the milk and wool and fill it quickly.

I used the 4-viking action to build a longhouse + knarr a couple of times early on. If I were smarter, I would have emigrated the knarrs right away, freeing up more food for filling longhouses and scoring a few more points.

It's not super obvious, and I don't yet see a way to get much more than 110 points, but I think that the "stay at home" strategy is not completely doomed.
 
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Bill L
United States
North Brunswick
New Jersey
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Whoa...for some reason it never occurred to me to upgrade cows. I guess they were in their stalls so I wasn't seeing them as part of my "goods" pile.

My first solo play I scored 95 points and ended with 4 cows and 1 sheep. Used the 3 milk action. Seemed productive.
 
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Pablo Castaneda
United States
Guaynabo
Puerto Rico
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I've tried animals in the solo game, they can be really good, but require a bit of setup, this strategy might be viable for multiplayer since the crucial actions are usually not high priority for people not going for animals:

Turn 1:
Inventory: Mead, Peas, Flax, Beans

1 W - Get beans and silver
3 W - Buy a cattle for one silver
1 W - Get one milk
1 W - Trade beans -> milk, milk -> wool

Place wool: 0,0 for two silver income

Feast: Peas + Mead + Beans

Turn 2:
Inventory: 2 x Silver, Peas, 2 x Flax, Beans, Grain, Milk, Cattle

4 W - Get spices, silver and 2 x milk
2 W - Buy cattle and milk
1 W - Trade milk -> wool and get one good from a mountain (setup for getting ore or silver next turn)

Place spices 0,3 just above the mead bonus
Place wool 0,7 just above ore bonus

After Income place one silver on 1,6 to get ore bonus

Feast: Peas, Milk, Flax

Turn 3:
Inventory: Silver, Wood, Flax, Beans, Grain, 2 x Milk, 2 x Cattle (P), Ore

3 W - Get a sheep
2 W - Buy one sheep for a silver
1 W - Trade cattle -> clothing, milk -> wool
2 W - Trade clothing -> hoard and get three goods from a mountain get at least one or silver

Place clothing 2,0
Place ore (income) 0,2 to get mead bonus
Place wool 3,4
Place ore-silver (mountain) 2,5 to get wood bonus

Feast: Beans, Milk, Grain

After this you should have: 2 x Sheep, Pregnant Cattle, 4 Silver Income, Mead Bonus, Wood Bonus and Ore Bonus, two occupations in hand and one in play.

And from now on you get:
Turn 4: Pregnant Sheep, Sheep, 2 x Cattle: Trade sheep
Turn 5: Pregnant Cattle, Cattle, 2 X Sheep: Trade cattle
Turn 6: Pregnant Sheep, Sheep, 2 X Cattle: Trade sheep
Turn 7: Pregnant Cattle, Cattle, 2 x Sheep: Trade whatever you need

As you can see this sequence ignores ship related actions but not early home board setup. Got 153 points in solo game and I'm pretty sure I made some mistakes during turns 4-7.
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Dan Silverman
United States
Waltham
Massachusetts
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Where are you getting points from? You're covering negatives, but are you just getting points from emigrating on turns 4-7? Or houses? Or what?
 
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Pablo Castaneda
United States
Guaynabo
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Yes what I've described is more of an economic setup to get points in later rounds:

60 points emigration
18 points income
10 points stone house
17 points long house
38 points exploration
7 points animals
3 points whaling ship

I don't think there is a viable strategy for just breeding animals.
 
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Ryan Feathers
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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pcastaneda wrote:

Turn 1:
Inventory: Mead, Peas, Flax, Beans

1 W - Trade beans -> milk, milk -> wool



Unfortunately this looks to be illegal. You cannot upgrade the same tile twice unless you go to one of the double upgrade spots.

Without that early tile to generate income, I'm afraid the rest of your opening breaks down a bit.

EDIT: Ignore everything of the above, I messed up. I missed the fact he used a worker to get a milk, so he had both a beans and a milk tile already.

Still with that being said, I agree that solo breeding strategies are starting to be discovered and worked out with great scores to boot. I've seen a few 170+ now with a heavy breeding strategy (I'm defining this as having both pairs of animals breeding by Round 3).

In my opinion the main way to make it work is to get one animal started breeding in Round 2 with the other in Round 3 like Pablo described above. That way you have a new animal every other round that you can upgrade to put on your board(s) and get more income and bonuses unlocked which seem to be the keys to achieving very high scores.

I will agree though that animals are but an economic base to work off of. You really need to figure ways to utilize their large space covering to gain points. To that end I personally like to grab some exploration boards and so achieve points and higher income through them. In particular Iceland handles large tiles well and if you get it in Round 4 you can fairly easily net 28 income (4, 8, 8, 8 in rounds 4, 5, 6, 7) plus the 16 points plus the 4 silver that is on it Round 4 of a solo game for a total of 48 points and that's not even trying to factor in the points gained from the island's bonuses. From there working in Newfoundland's 38 points and bonuses is a good idea as that board too can handle an animal or two being placed on it.

Really the key idea is that animal breeding provides you with many large tiles throughout the game, and if you can figure out ways to take advantage of that you can get a really nice score. Like most routes in this game, breeding turns out to be quite the viable path but I would agree it is the hardest to figure out and master in my opinion.

 
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Todd Gardiner
United States
Seattle
Washington
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pcastaneda wrote:
Yes what I've described is more of an economic setup to get points in later rounds:

60 points emigration
18 points income
10 points stone house
17 points long house
38 points exploration
7 points animals
3 points whaling ship

I don't think there is a viable strategy for just breeding animals.


You should not be getting ANY points for animals. They should be upgraded to green or blue tiles at the end of the game, then placed on your negative points.
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Pablo Castaneda
United States
Guaynabo
Puerto Rico
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Well, if all the negative spots are covered, what is the point in trading the animals?
 
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Ryan Feathers
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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pcastaneda wrote:
Well, if all the negative spots are covered, what is the point in trading the animals?


Well there wouldn't be one....but the point is you're playing poorly if that is the case. The best way to maximize the return on the effort you've spent breeding is to turn those large tiles into stuff that can cover slews of negatives. You know exactly how many and what animals you will be getting, so you can assuredly manage to plan out your space so you'll have room to put upgraded animals.

 
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Pablo Castaneda
United States
Guaynabo
Puerto Rico
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I agree, during that game I probably emigrated too early and missed the chance to explore an additional island, I also could have spent less small tiles on the main board use animals to fill those spots and get a few more house tiles.
 
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