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Subject: I am the worst solo Le Havre player EVER! Please help me ease the pain... rss

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Chris Buhl
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As the title says, I am terrible! I've read a bunch of strategy posts here, but I always end up with the same score, low 200's. I am openly pleading for help! How do good players approach the game? How do you get started? What do you focus on? In my last game, I built all but one building, and had a couple of special buildings as well. I still ended up with 209. I've heard of scores in the high 300's. How do you do it?

Thanks,

Chris

EDIT to say: I still love this game!
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Chris Linneman
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In my few solo plays, I've discovered:

You rarely want to take goods from the offer spaces. Try to get goods from buildings instead. You should usually use an offer space only 1-2 times during the game. Maybe 3 times for wood.

This means you want to start using the Marketplace ASAP. So take wood, then build it as your first two actions. Then use it, get the resources to build a craftsman building like the Fishery, jump back to the Marketplace, rinse and repeat.

The special buildings are not very useful in the solo game. They give alternative ways to get Francs or resources but with no blocking in the solo game (except blocking yourself!) and since you will own nearly all the buildings they are usually more trouble than they're worth.

You should try to build nearly all the buildings. Let the town build cheap ones like the Clay Mound or the Smokehouse. Buying buildings is inefficient and you should probably never do it (except to buy them from the town). Using the Construction Firm is great if you can come up with the 2 food. It saves you an action, which is always worth 2 food. As soon as you have 8 Francs (which might be a while if you are going into debt) you can buy it and save yourself the entry fee.

Some players prefer building the Wooden and Steel ships but ignoring the Iron ships. This is because Iron ships use a lot of Iron you could be transforming into Steel later. I tend to agree with this.

Don't be afraid to take loans. They are generally profitable since actions are scarce in Le Havre. You want to spend as few as possible gathering food. I noticed a marked increase in my score when I changed my round priority from "get enough food for the end of the round" to "get enough X to build Y" or "get enough coke to make X amount of steel."

In addition to building, you will want to make at least one good shipment using the Shipping Line. Because steel is scarce and you will be using it to build Steel ships and perhaps Luxury Liners, the most practical shipping good is coke. Visit the colliery many times, visit the cokery once to turn it all into coke, and ship about 12 (on 2 Wooden and 2 Steel ships) at a time. If you can do this twice, great!

Because many of the buildings are removed in the solo game, the strategy is pretty much limited to a building/shipping combo as I have described above. This makes the solo game of limited interest to me. Playing the game multiplayer opens up a lot of strategic options.
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Chris Buhl
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QBert80 wrote:
In my few solo plays, I've discovered:

You rarely want to take goods from the offer spaces. Try to get goods from buildings instead. You should usually use an offer space only 1-2 times during the game. Maybe 3 times for wood.

This means you want to start using the Marketplace ASAP. So take wood, then build it as your first two actions. Then use it, get the resources to build a craftsman building like the Fishery, jump back to the Marketplace, rinse and repeat.

The special buildings are not very useful in the solo game. They give alternative ways to get Francs or resources but with no blocking in the solo game (except blocking yourself!) and since you will own nearly all the buildings they are usually more trouble than they're worth.

You should try to build nearly all the buildings. Let the town build cheap ones like the Clay Mound or the Smokehouse. Buying buildings is inefficient and you should probably never do it (except to buy them from the town). Using the Construction Firm is great if you can come up with the 2 food. It saves you an action, which is always worth 2 food. As soon as you have 8 Francs (which might be a while if you are going into debt) you can buy it and save yourself the entry fee.

Some players prefer building the Wooden and Steel ships but ignoring the Iron ships. This is because Iron ships use a lot of Iron you could be transforming into Steel later. I tend to agree with this.

Don't be afraid to take loans. They are generally profitable since actions are scarce in Le Havre. You want to spend as few as possible gathering food. I noticed a marked increase in my score when I changed my round priority from "get enough food for the end of the round" to "get enough X to build Y" or "get enough coke to make X amount of steel."

In addition to building, you will want to make at least one good shipment using the Shipping Line. Because steel is scarce and you will be using it to build Steel ships and perhaps Luxury Liners, the most practical shipping good is coke. Visit the colliery many times, visit the cokery once to turn it all into coke, and ship about 12 (on 2 Wooden and 2 Steel ships) at a time. If you can do this twice, great!

Because many of the buildings are removed in the solo game, the strategy is pretty much limited to a building/shipping combo as I have described above. This makes the solo game of limited interest to me. Playing the game multiplayer opens up a lot of strategic options.


Thanks! I'll try this right now. If I had more opponents for this one, I'd play it a lot. For now, it's mostly solo.

Chris
 
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Chris Buhl
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QBert80 wrote:
In my few solo plays, I've discovered:

You rarely want to take goods from the offer spaces. Try to get goods from buildings instead. ... If you can do this twice, great!


Thanks for the advice! I just scored 346! And that was my first try. I'll give it another go soon!

Thanks,

Chris

EDIT TO SAY: I managed to ship 12 steel once, 9 steel and 3 cattle twice, that's what did it. I was amazed at how much taking loans just didn't hamper me! Eventually, I paid them off and took a huge stack of fish, so for two turns I had enough food (with all the ships). That was just a great tip.
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Scott Agius
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My best score in the solo so far is in the early to mid 400's, i wrote down my plays for one of the games that i think got me around 440 so if theres an interest i may post it on here, i was trying to refine my strategy at the time and knowing everything i did would hopefully help me improve it to perfection but there is a danger i play the solo too much and lose interest in the game.

Some points mentioned here are the key, coke is defintiely the resource to get a vast amount of because it's much much simpler. Also, I don't think the iron ships are necessarily to be avoided, in my games i usually end up with all of the ships but i'm still toying with whether to actually build the iron ships or just buy then outright. And whether to have a shipping action on the last turn rather than buy the luxury ship because selling the 3 steel and one coke plus other goods would be worth more than the luxury liner offers.

I need to get back in to the swing of the solo game and get my strategy finalised.

Lastly, i play without the special buildings, once i've finished that scenario i'll play with using the specials.
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Julian Steindorfer
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QBert80 wrote:

In my few solo plays, I've discovered:
The special buildings are not very useful in the solo game. They give alternative ways to get Francs or resources but with no blocking in the solo game (except blocking yourself!) and since you will own nearly all the buildings they are usually more trouble than they're worth.


I disagree with you, the special buildings can give you pretty big advantages, that´s why i think they shouldn´t be used in a solo game , so that points are better compareable.

 
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Chris Buhl
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Nebenerwerbsbauer wrote:
QBert80 wrote:

In my few solo plays, I've discovered:
The special buildings are not very useful in the solo game. They give alternative ways to get Francs or resources but with no blocking in the solo game (except blocking yourself!) and since you will own nearly all the buildings they are usually more trouble than they're worth.


I disagree with you, the special buildings can give you pretty big advantages, that´s why i think they shouldn´t be used in a solo game , so that points are better compareable.



Yes, some of the specials seem to be terrific. Haulage Firm, Windmill and Mason's Guild spring to mind. Especially, it seems, the Haulage Firm. Some are just a complete waste though. And some seem, well, so-so. I'm thinking of a potential fish restaurant strategy, but it's a lot of actions for the francs you get.
 
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Chris Buhl
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aaxiom wrote:
I've got you beat... My highest score is 191. I'm improving.

But the big key for me is that I have fun.


Yes, I was playing a lot and really liking it. Then I played a two player game, and realized how much fun it is with at least one other player, and just haven't been able to get back into it solo again. I managed to get a lot better at it though, but don't let my scores fool you. I was making a major mistake in how to use one building. I'm guessing I could legitimately have scored in the low 200's.
 
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Maaike Fest
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QBert80 wrote:
This means you want to start using the Marketplace ASAP. So take wood, then build it as your first two actions. Then use it, get the resources to build a craftsman building like the Fishery, jump back to the Marketplace, rinse and repeat.


Thats great if the marketplace is on top, but what to do when it is much lower in the stack? The marketplace is only on top in the short game.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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maaikefest wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
This means you want to start using the Marketplace ASAP. So take wood, then build it as your first two actions. Then use it, get the resources to build a craftsman building like the Fishery, jump back to the Marketplace, rinse and repeat.


Thats great if the marketplace is on top, but what to do when it is much lower in the stack? The marketplace is only on top in the short game.


The Marketplace is ALWAYS on top as it has the lowest ordinal number. In the solo short game, it even is not available for building as it is a start building.
 
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Maaike Fest
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Ponton wrote:
maaikefest wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
This means you want to start using the Marketplace ASAP. So take wood, then build it as your first two actions. Then use it, get the resources to build a craftsman building like the Fishery, jump back to the Marketplace, rinse and repeat.


Thats great if the marketplace is on top, but what to do when it is much lower in the stack? The marketplace is only on top in the short game.


The Marketplace is ALWAYS on top as it has the lowest ordinal number. In the solo short game, it even is not available for building as it is a start building.


I believe I have been wasting 10 solo games in the last few days with unecessarily hard rules *sigh*

Well, if anyone wants to try the solo game on the hard level, my highest score has been 170 so far shake
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Tony Russell
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The solo game has really been kicking my trash, too. Before reading Qbert80's comments, I had never gotten out of the 100s. Tonight I scored 219 and was ecstatic. I can definitely sense now what I need to do to--I'm still a little offer space happy and loan wary--but this was a big improvement for me. Thanks for the advice. I look forward to breaking the 300 mark.
 
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