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Underlings of Underwing» Forums » General

Subject: Solo Variant - Testing & Feedback rss

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Kevin Ballestrini
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Hi all;

Mike Wokasch (of Starving Artists fame) and I have been working on a solo variant for Underlings of Underwing and it's looking pretty good. It uses many of the core mechanics from the original version but is designed to have more meat than just a 'ghost player' of the base game.

The original rules for Underwing are located here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OlwSvO3P0nEkIN7g524RIl4VPb...

The Solo variant notes are here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DLgqC529vlRVXAedLrupb8ec...

And both the base game and the solo variant are available on Table Top Simulator on Steam.

Base Game: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=727860...
Solo Variant: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=732155...

I'm looking for feedback on the Solo play and, more importantly, suggested final scores to beat each of the difficulty levels. Please comment away!

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Jonathan Pikalek
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Where are the difficulty levels described? I searched the solo instructions for 'difficulty' & didn't find anything, was this phased out of the more recent instructions?
 
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Jonathan Pikalek
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solo game score: 223
I got lucky at the end & got the balanced temp bonus & the no wild hatching bonus. Hatched 24 dragons total. If this seems infeasible, please let me know as it probably means I'm still misreading a rule somewhere.
 
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Jonathan Pikalek
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Quote:
Wild Forces fill gems from left to right, top to bottom, in order of first immediate color fit, then secondary fit (i.e., starting a color combination).

If a color combination has already been started, are the remaining unfilled colors in that combo considered immediate fits? i.e. if I place a red gem on a purple spot, is that spot now considered 'immediate blue' to the Wild Forces? If not, does it have priority over starting a new combo?

 
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Jonathan Pikalek
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I've also been messing with the mechanic of adding additional wild handlers to adjust the difficulty & came up with something that seems to be working well for me.

In addition to the standard wild handlers in the fields, I place a roaming wild handler in the hatching grounds. During the element collection phase, the roaming handler lets the wild forces pull a random gem from the bag. At the start of the movement phase, the roaming handler moves over a card, traveling left to right, top to bottom (see note below). During the assign handlers phase, the player is prevented from assigning a handler to an egg with the roaming handler.

The additional random draw makes it harder to forecast what the wild forces will do on the next turn, which I like. the extra resource for the wilds also increases the early game difficulty. The claim blocking sometimes forces me to claim cards I wouldn't otherwise or into the fields (which I otherwise avoid in solo play).

One thing I haven't decided is what should happen if the roamer encounters a card the player has already claimed - skip them to the next open card? Prevent the player from hatching a claimed egg? I've been going with the skipping solution, but I'm not sure which gives a better play experience.

Similarly, as the hatching field gets bigger, the blocking happens less often. And the additional gem for the wilds has a bigger impact in the early game & less so in the late game. These might not be problems, but there might be better solutions.
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Kevin Ballestrini
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Those are some interesting tweaks there Jonathan. Having the Roamer out there blocking the player from claiming an egg. I kind of like that a lot.
 
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Kevin Ballestrini
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jonathanpikalek wrote:
Quote:
Wild Forces fill gems from left to right, top to bottom, in order of first immediate color fit, then secondary fit (i.e., starting a color combination).

If a color combination has already been started, are the remaining unfilled colors in that combo considered immediate fits? i.e. if I place a red gem on a purple spot, is that spot now considered 'immediate blue' to the Wild Forces? If not, does it have priority over starting a new combo?



Yes; it's now considered an immediate fit. Good verbiage to add into the solo rules.
 
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Jonathan Pikalek
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Thanks. I came up with it after your feedback to my doubts on sending workers into the fields & how it was core to the standard multiplayer version. Honestly, I didn't think that such a rote AI would add much flavor, but wanted to start with something simple. When coupled with the random pull, it created some interesting moments where I had to decide if I wanted to play it safe or gamble that the wilds would pull the wrong color at the wrong time.

It has some rough edges & I've by no means conducted rigorous testing, so I don't want to over sell it. I'll continue to play around with it
 
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