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Subject: Optimal Settlement Placement Challenge - SPOILER ALERT rss

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Dr. snowMan
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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** This thread contains math and settlement placement strategies than may provide ruinous insight into how to place buildings and settlements.**

For the my own amusement, and the solo game challenge, I have spent a little time trying to find the optimal layout of settlements and desirable buildings. This approach could also give you insight into how to play 2p games, but once you add a 3rd player I doubt you could get enough high-value buildings to ensure the layout used here is the best.

The challenge is to find a higher score. So far I have worked out what I think is the best France score. The goal was to optimize only the red-settlement points, not counting the yellow building points. Can you do better?

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Best France score, Red points only: 251. Uses a checkerboard approach.


I am also pretty sure that by swapping out a few buildings with high red values (~6) but low yellow values in exchange for low-red high yellow you can boost the total red+yellow score. I haven't worked on this yet. To do this challenge, just count the red+yellow points of buildings adjacent to settlements. Don't count things like Quarries that you hide off to the side.

Challenges:
Find top Red France score
Find top Red Ireland score
Find top Red-Yellow France score
Find top Red-Yellow Ireland score
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David Jones
United States
Wilsonville
Oregon
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Honestly, not much much a spoiler. I figured out three turns into my first game what the optimal pattern needed to be. The difficulty is having the land and the time to execute it optimally. My only criticism might be that you claim it to be optimal without offering a rigorous proof. Sure, it seems obvious, but the problem with that pattern is that cloister buildings have the highest red values but have to remain chained together. You can't execute your pattern and keep them connected. Are you sure that scoring cloisters two or three times isn't better than scoring other buildings four times? I would be curious to see how a plus sign of cloisters surrounded by residences would perform.
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Dan F
United States
Kent
Washington
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You lost me at "this thread contains math" I like the idea of this however I do agree with davypi in that there should be more proof, ie: pattern X produces these point totals whereas Y produces these, over a few plays etc...

I would also be curious to see the settlement value with the cloister buildings, and I must say this as well as your challenges brings a good reason for a solo play which I have been lacking lately.
 
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Robert Bracey
United Kingdom
London
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I don't think the original post is very useful but I was thinking about this as a general problem. What if you restricted yourself to things which are actually possible. You can apply a basic set of limitations for the 4 player game:
5 settlements
10 buildings
3 clearances
At least 2 start buildings
No more than 3 'D' buildings

I came up with this arrangement

Druid’s House
Festival Ground X Round Tower
Estate X Grand Manor X Castle
X Brewery X Clay Mound
Malthouse Farmyard Chapel Cloister Office

Which gives 117 settlement and 77 victory points without including the settlements.
However if you look at the buildings and resources I suspect that in practice this is impossible to achieve.
Any comments? What I'm going to work on is something that can be built.
 
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