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Subject: Solo players: What's your first move? rss

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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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I'm one of the players who is struggling a bit to establish a well-scoring strategy.
My first solo game, I scored a whopping 6 points. After 6 solo attempts, my high score is 85, which is more respectable, but I see posts from people who are regularly scoring 120+ and make it sound easy.

I have seen a few posts that give general strategy advice, but this is a very specific question.

What are some solid first-turn action choices?
How do you maximize the value of those first 6 Vikings?

I know that your Starting Occupation can steer you in certain directions, but let's assume for a moment that you didn't start with one that needs to hit the table immediately.
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Don Quichotte
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Of course it depends on the occupations, weapons and particular mountain strips available, but I often take the following two actions:
1. first row action: take 1 resource from a mountain strip and upgrade the orange 2x2 tile to red 2x2 (milk)
2. second row action: take 3 resources from a mountain strip and upgrade the red 2x2 tile (milk) to green 2x2 (wool), which I place in the bottom left corner of the home board.

The main idea is to get that 2 coin income as soon as possible. If I can manage (there are several ways) to get the 2x1 red tile bonus from the very first round, it's even better. On the other hand, I think (just saying from the top of my head as I don't have the game in front of me right now and I've played the below mentioned strategy only once), focusing on an animal heavy strategy would make your first round look quite different.
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Chris
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Here's a good one:
1) 1 mountain resource + upgrade your 2x2
2) 3 mountain resources + upgrade your 2x2
3) 2 stone 2 wood --> 2 chests 2 runestone
Note: this is often not possible due to mountain strips drawn.

End result is you can get 3 income, surround mead, and get an occupation draw.

I am partial to anything that can get me to at least 2 income on round one. So a 2x2 tile (or better if you're lucky) seems good. Occupation draw seems good too as the game is early enough that you can tailor your strategy to accomodate it. I often take the 1 occupation + 1 silver action for this reason. This does feel like a bit of tempo hit though. Round one whaling seems ok too. You're good if you succeed, but even on a fail you still got a spear, a wood, and an occupation draw.
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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Helpful consistent suggestions so far.. the double-upgrade of beans was something I hadn't noticed, and I was stuck on either an inefficient sheep+early-wool path, or laying a snare and relying on dice, for the first 2 income..

Keep 'em coming.
 
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John Wimbush
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If I draw a second harpoon:

1 wood + 1 ore (2 v)
whaling boat (1 v) cost 1 wood
add ore to boat
whaling + occupation (3 v) (already on -2 and up to -2 from harpoons)
If successful have skin and bones on homeboard for 2 silver income, oil for later and whopping great slab of blubber for conversion
If failure - have 1 wood and extra harpoon for next round when new occ or starting occ can be played and 2 vikings to come up with plan B, probably 2 mead and 2 silver to get next round off to a flyer
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Jonas Vanschooren
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Get 2 wood from mountains
Get a coin
Get a boat using your 2 wood
Emigration
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Ryan Feathers
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I too have tried a variety of different openings and have found a few different ones right now that all seem pretty good.

The safest one that I like quite a bit has already been mentioned: 1 Viking to take a wood and upgrade beans to milk, 2 vikings to take 1 woood and 2 stone and upgrade milk to wool, and 3 vikings to craft the 2 wood and 2 stone into 2 rune stones and 2 chests. Put all your tiles on your board to get 3 income and the mead bonus.

This gets you another occupation drawn to help dictate strategy going forward. This also gets your income started up nicely. With all the blues on the outside as well, there is plenty of room to place some greens during round 2 making it reasonable to go huntings/snaring/whaling to get a bunch of green tiles to keep working on homeboard development. The downside here is that you need the right mountain strip (have to have one that offers 2 wood and 2 stone in the first four spots). The other thing I don't like about this one is that you don't have any extra resources being carried over into round 2 to utilize which makes things tough. Still this is a pretty safe and nice opening.

DotKeller recently alerted me to another nice opening. He sent 1 Viking to grab 2 wood and then went hunting with 1 Viking. With 1 Viking he then grabbed a stone and upgraded the game meat to skin and bones. He also had 1 Viking grab one card and occupation, and liking both occupations he sent 2 Vikings to put both into play.

He put the skin and bones down and then put the hide right above the mead bonus. Collected 2 income and used that to surround the mead bonus.

I really like this opening if you have early occupations that you like. This also gives you 2 occupations in play, as well as carrying forward some stone and wood (hopefully, depends how successful your hunt was).

Of course this relies on passing the hunt which you can't guarantee. I'd particularly favor this type of opening if you drew a second bow and arrow during the 1st round weapon draw, or if you really liked your first occupation. (In this example Dot Keller had woodcutter as the starting occupation, so got it into play before grabbing the wood, granting himself an extra silver in there).

Still, even if you fail the hunting you could always rely on the fall back of sending 2 Vikings to trade the wood in for a blue chest and silver at the crafting spot to cover that space. This would require you to have 2 vikings left after hunting though to manage that....so it depends on the ordering. Still the bit of risk seems like it could be worth it--plus if you do fail, well you're playing solo and you can always just take a mulligan and restart, right?


Finally, one other opening I recently tried and really liked, but it turns the risk factor up to the max:

1 Viking grabs 2 wood
1 Viking builds a whaling boat
3 Vikings go Whaling
1 Vikings goes hunting

This opening seeks to do some of the same as the above. Here you take the skin and bones and hide and position them as before, using the 2 silver you get from income to immediately surround the mead. You enter round 2 already possessing a whaling boat, as well as having whale meat, game meat, and and oil barrel sitting around as tiles you can work on upgrading and placing on your board to hopefully hit 5 income by the end of round 2. You still get the card draw too.

The obvious downside here is the luck involved. You may have to spend some of that wood to be successful in hunting or whaling, and so to pass both requires some good fortune. However, even if you fail the whaling not all is lost--you'll get another wood, still draw the card, and have another spear for future whaling actions. You should easily pass the hunting now with the extra wood to help out, and you can use the last 2 Vikings to switch into the above opening by sending 1 Viking to upgrade the game meat and grab another resource, and then send the last Viking out to grab a card and a silver or perhaps craft some flax to linen, or any other 1 Viking action that is looking good.

I think these are my three favorite openings thus far and I pick which one I'm going for depending on my opening cards, weapon draws, and how much risk I feel like going with. I prefer the bottom one if I succeed as I have lots of tiles to work with to reach 5 income by end of round 2, but if I have a starting occupation I want to make early use of, the middle option can be really strong. Finally if I don't like my draws and I just want something safe, the crafting option to get to 3 income works--as I say I just don't like the fact it doesn't accomplish much else. I prefer the other openings since they manage 1 less income but in return they carry forward some resources and occupations in play or they carry forward lots of extra tiles that you can upgrade and get into play during round 2.





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Cliff Fisher
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It's dependent on my starting occupation, but generally it's some combination of:

* Grab stuff from Mountain Strips - if your occupation card is important enough to want to play it first round, dig enough to get stone
* Play that card and get a coin (again, if necessary)
* Double-convert beans to wool to get the 2 income space
* Build a longboat or a knarr (this can wait until round 2 if you need to spend more vikings building up resources)

You can do all of that in multiple ways - the 4 viking spot to take resources, double upgrades, AND play a card... use the smaller resource + conversion spaces to double convert if you don't need to play a card... etc.

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Jonas Vanschooren
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Ranior wrote:


DotKeller recently alerted me to another nice opening. He sent 1 Viking to grab 2 wood and then went hunting with 1 Viking. With 1 Viking he then grabbed a stone and upgraded the game meat to skin and bones. He also had 1 Viking grab one card and occupation, and liking both occupations he sent 2 Vikings to put both into play.

He put the skin and bones down and then put the hide right above the mead bonus. Collected 2 income and used that to surround the mead bonus.

I really like this opening if you have early occupations that you like. This also gives you 2 occupations in play, as well as carrying forward some stone and wood (hopefully, depends how successful your hunt was).


Very nice opening move, for those times the stars align perfect this is certainly one to try.
 
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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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So many good ideas in this thread. Can't wait to try a few of them out.
Of course, that's just turn 1, but I'd like to figure some of the game out on my own...

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Ossian Grr aka "Josh"
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I was able to pull off the beans->wool + stone/wood->jewel+chest maneuver in my solo game this evening, and it gave me enough momentum to get a 97-point game. Oh so close!

Don't worry, I won't be posting a "What's your second turn?" question
But I will keep trying.
I think I still have a weakness for overdiversification and need to focus more, is all...

Anyone else who wants to chime in with alternate first-turn moves is welcome.
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James Ferguson
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I think that is your issue. You are trying to do to many different things.

If you aren't going to be breeding every other round and using the animals don't bother getting any of them.

I do very heavy crafting. In a four players game I was able to score 163 with almost all pure crafting, I was able to get my home board completely full by round 6! And was dumping coins to buy boats and instantly emigrated.

For solo you have to do two things... So I do pure crafting / longship and pillage

Also I have never explored in a single game.... I'm trying to force myself to tey a different path but it works so well I always seem to gravitate back to it lol
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D B
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned breeding as an opening move. Let's say first round you:
1x worker for beans & coin
2x worker for sheep (pay 1 coin)
3x worker for sheep

Yes, you won't make any income or place anything on your board until round 2, but due to sheep breeding you can convert your second sheep once the first is pregnant in round 2, that's 8 board spaces. Over the course of the game this will give you a total of 4 sheep you can convert for 32 total spaces, 40 spaces if you don't care about keeping your pregnant sheep in round 7. That is a massive end game lead over the 2x runestone, 2x chest, bean convert, mead bonus combo that I see posted a lot as a solid opener (14 spaces). Especially considering you can do that opener in round 2 instead. You won't miss much money either, since converting sheep will skyrocket you ahead in currency around mid game. Did this my first solo game and ended with a score of 118.
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Northern Polarity
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There are some things you aren't accounting for in the sheep analysis, so I wanted to clarify those points. I do want to see some more discussion about potential breeding openings, but your examples are a tad misleading:

Fubang wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned breeding as an opening move. Let's say first round you:
1x worker for beans & coin
2x worker for sheep (pay 1 coin)
3x worker for sheep

Yes, you won't make any income or place anything on your board until round 2, but due to sheep breeding you can convert your second sheep once the first is pregnant in round 2, that's 8 board spaces.


It costs an upgrade to turn the sheep into 8 board spaces, so I'd call the red sheep closer to 6. Also worth noting that there is a non-0 difference between green and blue tiles, so this can limit your future turns. Since the crafting opening gives you 3 income and a mead on the board, that's only maybe a theoretical point or two worse than the single sheep, while leaving much more options open in the long run.

Fubang wrote:
Over the course of the game this will give you a total of 4 sheep you can convert for 32 total spaces, 40 spaces if you don't care about keeping your pregnant sheep in round 7. That is a massive end game lead over the 2x runestone, 2x chest, bean convert, mead bonus combo that I see posted a lot as a solid opener (14 spaces). Especially considering you can do that opener in round 2 instead.


Breeding in general seems to be underrated as a strategy, but this logic doesn't really make sense in an opening move discussion. You mention that you can just do crafting round 2 instead with a breeding opening, but by that logic, you can also just breed round 2 when you craft round 1. The end-game relevance of breeding isn't relevant for this discussion, and what really should be discussed is the differences between breeding round 1 and crafting round 2. I've demonstrated that the difference between these two builds is 3 silver + a mead vs a sheep, and it's arguable which is actually better at that stage in the game.


Another interesting comparison is breeding vs crafting when considering exploration boards and such. You mentioned that a breeding opening gets you 40 eventual spaces, while a crafting opening only gets you 14. Something to consider is that getting early tiles leads you to unlocking bonus goods potentially many turns in advance, which also translates into bonus tiles. If the crafting opening leads you to get just even an extra turn of bonus goods on exploration islands, those bonus goods could easily sum up to 40 tiles. As a result, it's really not as clear cut of a comparison as it seems.

My hope is that all paths are balanced such that the occupation cards that you draw should really dictate the path that you take, but all things considered equal, it seems like some strategies are clearly more efficient than others (whaling / pillaging) just by raw numbers. Hopefully these aren't better enough that it's worth ignoring your occupations to use these actions.

I think I ended up going on a pretty hard tangent, so back to the original discussion, does anyone else have interesting crafting openings? I played around with these during the grizzled viking challenge, and have a decent one shamelessly copied from some other post on the forums.
1 viking: coin + beans
3 vikings: cow
1 viking: milk
1 viking: 2 upgrades: beans to milk, and milk to wool.

Place wool on home board for 2 income.

There are then some different options for turn 2: You can get another silver somehow to either buy a cow for 2 actions or a cow + sheep for 4 actions, and then get a sheep during round 3 to complete the breeding. Staggering the animals is better so you aren't too crunched on upgrade actions, but I'm not sure what the ideal approach would be here.
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Travis Vandenberg
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Spukky wrote:
Get 2 wood from mountains
Get a coin
Get a boat using your 2 wood
Emigration


I tried this method and then found myself absurdly behind for the rest of the game due to no income and a lack of spaces. Has it worked for you?

I like getting the 2 wood, building a longship and then pillaging. If you're not greedy, you can often just settle for an 8 and take the blue 2x2 to get two income.
 
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Travis Vandenberg
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Fergiejjr wrote:
I think that is your issue. You are trying to do to many different things.

If you aren't going to be breeding every other round and using the animals don't bother getting any of them.

I do very heavy crafting. In a four players game I was able to score 163 with almost all pure crafting, I was able to get my home board completely full by round 6! And was dumping coins to buy boats and instantly emigrated.

For solo you have to do two things... So I do pure crafting / longship and pillage

Also I have never explored in a single game.... I'm trying to force myself to tey a different path but it works so well I always seem to gravitate back to it lol


You're telling me you scored 163 points in four player without taking a single exploration board? No sheds too? I guess if nobody is using longboats to pillage you can go crazy with it... I might have to try that out.
 
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Ryan Eways
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Wow! This thread helped me a lot! Here's two others that are nice:

Risk 4/5 Income: 3 +Mead

If Starting with 2 Bows

1 V to 1 Resource/1 Upgrade to green barrel
1 V to Hunt (requires succes)
1 V to flax ~ cloth
2 V 3 upgrades (meat, cloth, barrel)
1 V your choice! (I usually take the time to grab an extra occupation.)

In order place pelt, rune, and skin and bones VERTICALLY. The cloth rests on top.


Risk 5/5 Income: 3 +Mead +Wood or +Ore

If starting with 2 Bows.

1 V to Hunt (requires success)
1 V to 1 Resource/1 upgrade meat to skin and bones
1 V to flax ~ cloth
1 V to 2 upgrades (cloth, skin and bones)
2 V to craft with 1 wood

In order place Small Chest, Spices, and cloth VERTICALLY. Surround the mead with your silver and blue fine fabric. Last, you can position the pelt above the wood or the ore. Of course, keep in mind, choosing the wood will pretty much guarantee an increase in Income before the next round.

 
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Travis Vandenberg
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QTZLgenerous wrote:

Risk 5/5 Income: 3 +Mead +Wood or +Ore

If starting with 2 Bows.

1 V to Hunt (requires success)
1 V to 1 Resource/1 upgrade meat to skin and bones
1 V to flax ~ cloth
1 V to 2 upgrades (cloth, skin and bones)
2 V to craft with 1 wood

In order place Small Chest, Spices, and cloth VERTICALLY. Surround the mead with your silver and blue fine fabric. Last, you can position the pelt above the wood or the ore. Of course, keep in mind, choosing the wood will pretty much guarantee an increase in Income before the next round.



I think you have an extra cloth in here. You upgraded the cloth to the 4x1 blue (silk?) so you no longer have it. Still a pretty good setup nonetheless.
 
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Ryan Eways
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I think you have an extra cloth in here. You upgraded the cloth to the 4x1 blue (silk?) so you no longer have it. Still a pretty good setup nonetheless.[/q]

Nope it's all there!
 
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Travis Vandenberg
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QTZLgenerous wrote:

I think you have an extra cloth in here. You upgraded the cloth to the 4x1 blue (silk?) so you no longer have it. Still a pretty good setup nonetheless.


Nope it's all there! [/q]

Mind elaborating on what I said then? Where are you getting both a green and a blue 4x1? Regardless, you can still make your play and get wood, but you're just not as set up for the next income.

To respond to the OP, my first move with the new Lofoten island is the following:

-4 vikings to double upgrade/four resources, upgrading your beans and mead
-1 viking to build whaling boat
-1 viking to take Lofoten
-Place rune stone and wool on Lofoten, feast with a coin, peas, flax

It may not seem very impressive but it gives you a starting income of 2, a boat, an island, and a fish every turn for feasting. You can follow up the next turn with some whaling and in a solo game you can even fill all of Lofoten and have 2 income on the main board by the end of T2, giving 6 income total, wood, stone, fish, hide bonus. An absolutely crazy start IMO.
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Brendan Slade
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My first move has been
1 viking: 2 mountains resources (2 wood)
3 vikings: Longboat
2 vikings: Trapping

Place fur on bottom left to get 2 income ready to add ore to boat and go pillaging next turn.
 
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Murphy M
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Here is mine: both in solo and multiplayers.

2 vikings: 3 resources(usually wood) and 1 upgrade(2x2 to milk)
1 vikings: 1 resources 1 upgrade(2x2 to woof) OR 2 upgrades(also upgrade 2x1 to oil).
3 vikings: longboat and 1 card.

The benefit is you can go both exploring and pillaging in the 2nd round. Usually you get iceland(best island I think) and pillage once with 2 vikings. You can probably earn 3 silver + 1 oil + 1 ore + 1 stone from Iceland If you successfully get the E shape (need power 10) treasure.
 
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Allen Cordell
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jozxyqk wrote:
I'm one of the players who is struggling a bit to establish a well-scoring strategy.
My first solo game, I scored a whopping 6 points. After 6 solo attempts, my high score is 85, which is more respectable, but I see posts from people who are regularly scoring 120+ and make it sound easy.

I have seen a few posts that give general strategy advice, but this is a very specific question.

What are some solid first-turn action choices?
How do you maximize the value of those first 6 Vikings?

I know that your Starting Occupation can steer you in certain directions, but let's assume for a moment that you didn't start with one that needs to hit the table immediately.


Watch the solo playthrough by Slickerdrips, it’s an eye-opener and you’ll begin to see the 100-point plus possibilities unfold.
 
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Jefferson Krogh
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alphasixty wrote:

Watch the solo playthrough by Slickerdrips, it’s an eye-opener and you’ll begin to see the 100-point plus possibilities unfold.


Is that here on BGG?
 
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Colin
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
alphasixty wrote:

Watch the solo playthrough by Slickerdrips, it’s an eye-opener and you’ll begin to see the 100-point plus possibilities unfold.


Is that here on BGG?


It sure is: https://boardgamegeek.com/video/117890/feast-odin/feast-odin...
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