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Race for the Galaxy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Tuning up the robot rss

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Dave B.
United States
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I got RFtG last week, along with The Gathering Storm (mostly for solo play), and I really like it so far. However, there's one issue: I haven't beaten the bot once yet, even on the easy level! I'm of the mindset that an "easy" level should truly be easy, and difficulty should scale up from there.

One possible flaw I'm noticing is that the robot tends to absolutely stampede the VP chips with its somewhat unrealistic consume actions. It seems like it's very infeasible to play a good production strategy against the bot, as there's no possibility of taking a well timed 2x consume action to weaken other players' positions before they have a chance to do the same. Once the bot gets its economy size up a couple notches, that's it, don't bother taking any more consume actions, because the bot can still 2x on the next round without having to produce first (and with some starting worlds, it's extremely likely that it will). The only time I've come close in points is when I take a highly aggressive military/settlement strategy, and largely ignore goods.

I sketched up these replacement bot actions this morning. I haven't tested it yet, so I'm not totally sure if this is how the copy (*) rolls should behave, but I'm eager to give it a try later today.

My two design goals: Make "easy" actually mean easy, and open up the possibility of production-based strategies that more closely mimic a multi-player game.

Side A: (Starting side)


IV $:
Robot - N/A (The robot will not take this action. Any Copy (*) rolls move to Settle. I might change this to prefer Develop, so the robot can try to get some 6-cost developments in play while you're farting around with your economy.)
Follow - Nothing

IV x2:
Robot - N/A (The robot will not take this action. Any Copy (*) rolls move to Produce, or Settle if Produce already has a die on it.)
Follow - Nothing

V:
Robot - Any $, x2, or Produce rolls go here. Advance the robot's economy size by 1, and flip the production overlay to side B.
Follow - Flip the production overlay to side B.

Side B:


IV $:
Robot - Advance the robot's credits by 2, award the robot VP chips equal to 1x its current economy size, and flip the production overlay to side A.
Follow - Award the robot VP chips equal to 1x its current economy size, and flip the production overlay to side A.

IV x2:
Robot - Both x2 and Produce rolls go here. Award the robot VP chips equal to 2x its current economy size, and flip the production overlay to side A after phase IV is complete.
Follow - Award the robot VP chips equal to 1x its current economy size, and flip the production overlay to side A.

IV $ + x2:
If the robot takes BOTH of these actions, award the robot VP chips equal to 2x its current economy size, advance the robot's credits by 2, and flip the production overlay to side A.

V:
Robot - The robot will only take this action on a Copy (*) roll. Advance the robot's economy size by 1. The production overlay remains on side B.


Notes:

Yes, the overlay can be flipped multiple times in a round. If the overlay is on side B, and the robot selects a Consume action, and also Produce (via Copy or by simply following your action), then the overlay will flip to side A after phase IV, and back to side B after phase V, leaving the robot ready to 2x you again on the next round. This is similar to what players can do, consuming their goods, and immediately producing them again in the same round.

Not totally sure how this should interact with starting world 7, which has a one-time-use overlay for the $ action. Seems like it might work to just put that one-time overlay on top of the A/B overlay and handle it as normal if it's activated.

Also, I have no idea how well this would mix with content from the later expansions, as I don't have any of them yet.
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Dave B.
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This seemed to work pretty well. As luck would have it, I drew world 7 (Damaged Alien Factory) for the robot. When using this world, just exclude the phase mat counters, since they're largely superfluous with this mod. Only use the "robot = " counter (and flipping it won't make a difference, because of how the mod treats the 2x and Produce faces). It's still quite a challenge, but at least the robot's production cycle is a bit more believable, and susceptible to tactics.
 
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