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Subject: A nice solo session rss

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rtw mtw
Singapore
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I had a nice solo session although it was too late at night for me to complete the remaining 7 solo games in the series. All credit goes to Steve99 for pointing out several important moves for a good solo game:

1) Letting resources get as large as possible before taking them
2) Trying to use just one action to get all needed animals
3) Above all, getting the grain food engine up and running ASAP by the second harvest if possible and definitely by the third

I played two occupations (baker and clay mixer) in stage 1 and got two additional grain. Resisted the temptation to take any non-food resources in that stage. Got a field and sowed immediately. Off to a rough start having to take a begging card for the first harvest despite having a cooking hearth (thanks to the clay mixer). But the baker saved me a baking move and reduced the feeding penalty at harvest.

By stage 2, grabbed all accumulated wood and reed and expanded to three rooms and two stables. Took family growth almost immediately after the round card came out and coupled it with a fishing rod improvement. Got another field. Had to slaughter three out of six sheep taken during this stage to feed family at harvest.

Starting stage 3, got a third field and sowed grain. Grabbed accumulated clay and reed, and upgraded to clay hut. Got lots of food from fishing.

Come stage 4, played farm steward occupation and took family growth with minor improvement to add in a reed hut. This allowed me to grow two more family members at almost the same time. No worries about food. Got veggies, a fourth field and sowed. Took stone and got a stone oven. We're in business!

Still no fences by stage 5. Played a carpenter occupation, also got drinking trough and clogs improvements. Extended to four stone rooms. Finally, one family member can move from the reed hut to stone hut. Plowed a fifth field and sowed.

Last stage. Got wood and fenced up three pastures. Sacrificed one wood in previous stage to get clogs which gave more points than four pastures otherwise. Populated all pastures with sheep, boars and cattle.

Final score: 52
Breakdown: 1 begging card, 5 fields, 3 pastures, 5 grain, 2 veggies, 8 sheep, 7 boars, 5 cattle, no unused spaces, 2 fenced stables, 4 stone rooms plus 2 bonus points from clogs, 5 family members, stone oven (3 points), cooking hearth, reed hut and drinking trough (all three at 1 point each)

Not the highest possible score but a great improvement in play over my earlier games. laugh
 
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Matt R
United States
Keller
Texas
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I think this is a fairly common "opening", but if it helps, I almost always do the following the first four rounds of the game:

Rounds 1 - 3: Plow 1 field and get a grain
Round 4: Go fishing (get 4 food) and sow.

That way, on that first harvest, I've already gotten 3 plowed fields, have 4 food, and have 3 fields sown (= 6 grain).

The negative is that two of the grain fields I've now sown I have to eat two of them "raw" from that first harvest (i.e. 1 grain is = to 1 food) in addition to the 4 food I got from fishing, but it gives me 1 grain going into the second stage that I can bake after getting the clay oven.

I can't say what I do the rest of the game as it depends on the order of action cards coming out and the cards I have.

Of course, sometimes I deviate from the standard opening I use - that is why this game is fun to play solo - even if the first four rounds are somewhat "scripted".

Don't forget that wood only adds 2 per round and that you need 3 food per family member (children still only require 1 food).

Also, remember that when you buy the ovens you can bake bread - that way you get the improvement AND you get to bake bread.
 
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rtw mtw
Singapore
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Focusing on plowing and sowing during stage 1 is definitely a great idea. I think the only time I'll deviate from that is to play occupation cards that contribute directly to food. But given the feeding requirement, paying food for a second occupation within stage 1 is a risk. Still, if it can help me avoid a begging card, I'm all for it. Some occupations may not contribute directly to food but can give bonus resources to set up oven buying in stage 2. Those are great as well.
 
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Matt R
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Keller
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Yep - that is why this game is continually fun for me to play even solo - there is enough randomness that you can't really approach the game with a particular strategy every time.

And, there are definitely times where you want to play an occupation card first time (seasonal worker comes to mind - but there are others).

 
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Bas van der Meer
Netherlands
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For stage 1 I normally stick to plowing 2 fields, getting 2 grain and sowing it, while using the other 3 remaining actions for playing a useful education and getting enough food (fishing & day worker).

During stage 2 I will try to get something to cook in or bake bread with, baking some bread and preparing to get my house extended.

During stage 3 I try to get my family increase as soon as possible. Normally I will also get some sheep in this stage, some of which I will most likely consume to feed my family.

But of course, it depends a lot on which cards you have. I never tried the plowing 3 fields/getting 3 grain/sow/fish -> eat 4 fish + 2 grain during stage 1 strategy, to me this looks like you would be a bit too much restricted in your actions during this stage.
 
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Matt R
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Keller
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dilago wrote:
But of course, it depends a lot on which cards you have. I never tried the plowing 3 fields/getting 3 grain/sow/fish -> eat 4 fish + 2 grain during stage 1 strategy, to me this looks like you would be a bit too much restricted in your actions during this stage.


Yes, it does depend on which cards you have, and it is somewhat painful eating two grain that first harvest. However, it does let the resources pile up another round, and having 3 plowed fields with sown grain (even though you ate 2/3 of your first grain harvest) really is nice so you can concentrate in stage 2 on resource grabbing, house extending, and getting oven(s) and baking.
 
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