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Subject: Starting Off a Solitaire Game rss

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Brad Andrews
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While I have had one success, I have lots of solitaire failures.

What are the key steps those of you who have succeeded take in your solitaire plays?

What are the early steps you usually take, regardless of the cards you get?

Which cards are the best and why?

Brad
 
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Tommy Rikberg
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The basis for a good game, be it solitaire or multi-player, is to be efficient with your actions. In a solitaire game this is a bit easier since you can let resources accumulate on the board without risk of anyone else taking them. To save actions pick spaces where resources accumulate as few times as possible. The other way to get more done is would be to grow your family as soon as possible. In fact I think you'll find that it isn't the number of actions that limit your points, it's the fact that there are so few resources. In particular wood is in very short supply.

I usually end up feeding my family mostly with fishing (twice in a game, one being just before the first harvest), lots of bread and a bunch of sheep (if they come out early). Baking bread is pretty efficient when there is no competition for plowing, getting grain and sowing/baking. Before the first harvest I like to sow two fields with grain to get the food engine started. Also I like to pick up four reed before the first harvest to be ready for building two rooms quickly.

The most useful occupations and minor improvements in a solo game are those that give you more building resources (preferably wood or clay) or allow you to use fewer resources for expanding and renovating your house. If you are playing a series of solo games, where you start subsequent games with occupations in play, for example the minor improvement Clay Pit (prerequisite: 3 occupations; gives three clay when you use the Day Laborer space) is excellent, doubly so if you also have the occupation Seasonal Worker (grain from Day Laborer space; from round 6 one vegetable instead).

I always aim for a 5-person family living in a stone house with at least 5 rooms.
 
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Mark McEvoy
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I think the most common opening is grain,plow,grain,plow,grain,plow,sow,fish. Then variability starts with what people do on turn 5 (by which time some resources have accumulated nicely).

A handful of occupations can make it worthwhile to change this; Seasonal Worker (take 1 grain when you take Day Labourer action) and Field Watchman (plow a field when you take the grain action) most prominently.

There is a case to be made for cutting your first 8 actions down to 2 grains, 2 plows, and a sow (using the other three actions to get some food for the first harvest and perhaps establish a less immediately-beneficial occupation). The problem is, in the first four rounds, most of the improvements are not worth the actions taken to get the goods to pay for them. Since the resource piles just accumulate, you better have a real reason to take resources now rather than later such as to be worth wasting a valuable action.
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Jeff Bridgham
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thatmarkguy wrote:
I think the most common opening is grain,plow,grain,plow,grain,plow,sow,fish. Then variability starts with what people do on turn 5 (by which time some resources have accumulated nicely).

A handful of occupations can make it worthwhile to change this; Seasonal Worker (take 1 grain when you take Day Labourer action) and Field Watchman (plow a field when you take the grain action) most prominently.

There is a case to be made for cutting your first 8 actions down to 2 grains, 2 plows, and a sow (using the other three actions to get some food for the first harvest and perhaps establish a less immediately-beneficial occupation). The problem is, in the first four rounds, most of the improvements are not worth the actions taken to get the goods to pay for them. Since the resource piles just accumulate, you better have a real reason to take resources now rather than later such as to be worth wasting a valuable action.


Doesn't this leave you two food short for the first harvest? That would make you spend two of your harvested grains to make up for it, which doesn't seem very efficient.
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Brad Andrews
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jebry wrote:
thatmarkguy wrote:
I think the most common opening is grain,plow,grain,plow,grain,plow,sow,fish. Then variability starts with what people do on turn 5 (by which time some resources have accumulated nicely).

A handful of occupations can make it worthwhile to change this; Seasonal Worker (take 1 grain when you take Day Labourer action) and Field Watchman (plow a field when you take the grain action) most prominently.

There is a case to be made for cutting your first 8 actions down to 2 grains, 2 plows, and a sow (using the other three actions to get some food for the first harvest and perhaps establish a less immediately-beneficial occupation). The problem is, in the first four rounds, most of the improvements are not worth the actions taken to get the goods to pay for them. Since the resource piles just accumulate, you better have a real reason to take resources now rather than later such as to be worth wasting a valuable action.


Doesn't this leave you two food short for the first harvest? That would make you spend two of your harvested grains to make up for it, which doesn't seem very efficient.


It also doesn't allow for occupations and other things that are highly useful. Even 2 turns of plow & sow actions can eat up valuable time.

Brad
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Mark McEvoy
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jebry wrote:
Doesn't this leave you two food short for the first harvest? That would make you spend two of your harvested grains to make up for it, which doesn't seem very efficient.


Yes, that does leave you feeding your family 2/3rds of your newly harvested grain. No, it's not very efficient, but nothing in the solitaire game that early is both efficient and forward-thinking. Spending actions on direct food (Day Laborer) is slightly more efficient immediately but leaves you less infrastructure for your farm going forward.
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Jeff Bridgham
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thatmarkguy wrote:
jebry wrote:
Doesn't this leave you two food short for the first harvest? That would make you spend two of your harvested grains to make up for it, which doesn't seem very efficient.


Yes, that does leave you feeding your family 2/3rds of your newly harvested grain. No, it's not very efficient, but nothing in the solitaire game that early is both efficient and forward-thinking. Spending actions on direct food (Day Laborer) is slightly more efficient immediately but leaves you less infrastructure for your farm going forward.


Actually, I tried it not long after I posted this and I found that you are, of course, correct. It is not efficient, but it is more efficient than just getting food! Good call!
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