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Agricola solo series is all about your occupations. Often I have a great card that will help my current game, but I am always thinking about what is the long term significance of keeping it forever. I've found the biggest problem with solo series games is the lack of wood. Without a fence builder or extra wood card, you will never be able to build 15 fences and 4 stables (which you need to keep the max number of animals).

Ideally, these are the best categories of cards I've found so far:

  • Tutor (played first) - worth up to 6 bonus points
  • Lord of the Manor - worth up to 8 bonus points
  • Church Warden - worth 3 bonus points and gives 4 free wood to start the game
  • Merchant (critical to give opportunity to play as many improvements as possible)
  • Either Hedgekeeper, fence deliveryman, forester, or some other sort of extra wood, extra free fences, or free stables card
  • At least 1 card giving additional actions (like Adoptive Parents, which gives an extra 3 actions throughout the course of the game for the low cost of 3 food)
  • 1 card that provides either extra goods (like pieceworker) or extra plowed fields (like field watchman) or extra goods on your fields (like fieldsman). These cards save actions which I consider to be the most valuable currency in the game
  • Extra stone is very very helpful through stone carrier or similar
  • Extra clay is very helpful or a card that makes all clay improvements and rooms cheaper (like clay mixer, clay deliveryman, or bricklayer)

As you can see I'm listing 9 categories, and we only get 7 so you can't obviously do EVERYTHING and you may get improvements that take the place of these occupations from time to time.

Any thoughts?

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It sounds like you've thought this through pretty carefully already (in fact half of your question is really an answer). Is there something specific you want to know? As it stands this is hard to respond to. –  ire_and_curses Feb 26 '14 at 19:36
    
To me this appears to be looking to begin a discussion instead of looking for an answer to a specific question, and so I do not believe it is appropriate for this site. –  bengoesboom Feb 26 '14 at 21:04
    
@bengoesboom I think the title is a pretty clear question. It's a really tough question, and I'd be impressed if someone can answer it. The body of the question is more conversational, but does show that the OP has put a fair bit of effort into trying to answer it. –  tttppp Feb 26 '14 at 22:53
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The question could probably be improved by replacing "Any thoughts?" at the end of the body, with "What set of occupations (and minor improvements) allows the highest score in a solo game?" –  tttppp Feb 26 '14 at 22:56
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The perfect set is probably unknowable, given the difficulty of calculating the possible permutations. However, you could check out this thread for some ideas. boardgamegeek.com/thread/499457/… –  Stephen Feb 27 '14 at 1:28

1 Answer 1

I think that stacking the deck in your favor to have the best possible outcome is in some sense, and I'm using this word ever-so-gently here, cheating. I think the fun part of the struggle is knowing that each season brings a mystery depending on the cards I have in my hand at any given time. Putting your cards in your hand so that you have an advantage against the flow of the game isn't fair to the game.

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Actually the rulebook discusses the option to choose your own cards. Solo player Agricola can be seen more as a puzzle to solve than a "game". From the rulebook: "Many Solo players enjoy choosing their own cards – even determining the order of the Round cards. You can also try the following three “contests”: restrict your Occupation and Improvement cards to only one of Deck E, I or K." –  GendoIkari Jun 9 at 20:28
    
Wow! How have I missed this? Very cool. I may have to experiment then. –  Andy Wong Jun 9 at 20:32

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