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Scythe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Common Automa Mistakes rss

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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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In the interest of helping people play this game solo, I have compiled a bunch of common mistakes that people are making. Feel free to add your own in the comments, I will add them to the list.

Here we go:

1 - Once the Automa can cross rivers it can also use lake hexes as if they were regular hexes (for all units including workers) and will also score end game points for lake hexes it controls.

2 - Automa scores stars for hitting stars on its tracking card, plus reaching full power on the power track, plus up to two combat victories.

3 - Automa never gains or loses popularity.

4 - If executing moves correctly Automa will never have more than one combat unit and/or one worker per hex (i.e. never two mechs, two workers, or a mech and character on the same hex).

5 - Automa can only spend power it has on the track for combat, but can use multiple combat cards even though it will only have one combat unit in a contested hex.

6 - The "skip an Automa turn" symbol is only used for "easy" level and it indicates to skip the whole card, not just the move action.

7 - If Automa forces you to retreat from a hex with resources, those resources are removed from the board.

8 - When executing a "combat move" against player combat units the Automa will consider all hexes adjacent to Automa units that contain at least one player combat unit as valid. It will then pick the hex with the lowest number of units. That hex does not need to have the lowest number of player combat units on the map, only the lowest number in a valid hex (i.e. adjacent to an automa unit).

9 - Automa units "teleport" to the chosen hex, they are not limited to moving one space like player pieces.

10 - Retreating Automa workers retreat to home base, retreating Automa combat units (mech/character) return to the Automa player mat.

11 - Units on the Automa home base are considered "closest to home base" for determining the Automa unit to move.

12 - Automa never uses special abilities or mech powers from the player mat.

13 - Automa units never use tunnels.

14 - An Automa unit's current hex can be a valid destination for a move if it meets all conditions and is the best hex to satisfy tiebreakers.

15 - For a factory/encounter move the character will prioritize the factory if it doesn't have a factory card, otherwise will prioritize encounters. If it cannot either get a factory card or an encounter token, advance to the next possible move action.

16 - To find valid target hexes for Automa moves you take into account the unit that will move, i. e. its own neighbourhood can be a valid target hex. Then apply the other criteria to find the actual destination hex, not taking into account the moving unit (i.e. the moving unit doesn't count towards "most adjacent units").

17 - (Added Aug. 9/16) You score your buildings for the structure bonus tile even if you don't control the space the building is in.

18 - (Added Aug. 14/16) Tunnels are not used to determine "in the neighbourhood" of player units, i.e. If a player has a unit on a tunnel, this does not make every other tunnel "adjacent to an enemy unit" for Automa "move worker" actions.

19 - (Added Aug. 14/16) "Reading order" always starts at the top left of the board, i.e. where the star track is.

Cheers,
The Rev
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Cliff Roberts
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Good write-up, Rev. I'd add a note about how non-movement CAN be a "valid move" under certain conditions.
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Lines J. Hutter
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Great list.
Thanks for posting this!
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Jeff McLeod
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Excellent things (that I was REALLY wanting to know)! You must've inherited some mind-reading skills when you earned that Reverend title!
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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mcmugwump wrote:
Excellent things (that I was REALLY wanting to know)! You must've inherited some mind-reading skills when you earned that Reverend title!


modest

I have had some time off of work, so I have been haunting the Scythe forums (when I am not playing). These seem to be the most common mistakes that I see people making. Fantastic game, I am just hoping to help more people get their heads around the solo play. Once you have it dialed in it flows really well and makes for an excellent competitor when you don't have human players around.
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Dave Moser
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Excellent post, Rev. I stumbled over a few of those myself. Realistically, I think a post like this is most useful for people who have already tried playing the Automa a few times. Until you have, some of these clarifications don't really register, at least I don't think they would have for me. Having played a few times, though, it's a really good resource to go back to and make sure you're doing things correctly. I intend to bookmark this post so that I can refer others to it in the future. Hopefully, if other common mistakes are identified, someone will add them to this thread as well.
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Lutz Pietschker
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Excellent compliation. It's all in the rules, but playing solo it is hard to have all of them present at all times. I hate those sessions where I win and then discover that I have benefited from a mistake a few turns into the game. For me it helps to strictly follow the gives sequences detail by detail. And I must say that the set of cards that describe the Automa moves are a great addition to the game, in the first games I used them constantly. This attention to details that help during play is one of the things I like about this game.

I'd add this one which I took some time to get my head around even if the rules are crystal clear:
To find valid target hexes for Automa moves you take into account the unit that will move, i. e. its neighbourhood can be a valid target hex. Then apply the other criteria to find the actual (preferred) destination hex, not taking into account the moving unit.

This can create gaps in the group of Automa units (which will often be filled by workers since they are surrounded by many Automa units). My mistake was to take the moving unit into my hand and then promptly ignore the target spaces adjacent to that unit. Now I tilt the moving unit, then find the target, and only then move it to the new space.
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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Nice post, thanks for doing that. This will be helpful for a lot of people, I'm sure.

My biggest issue was point #11. Took me a few games to realize that "in" home base can be valid for "closest to home base".
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Stewart Graham
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Thanks for this Rev. I will refer to this in future.
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Timmi T.
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This list is great, for it helped me to evaluate what I was doing afterwards my 1st solo missions - so, thank you.

Could that be a common mistake too:

When engaging a combat, regardless of whether my units initiated it or the Automa, do I have to determine my Combat Strenght and Combat Card(s) firstly, thus before I draw the respective card, that sets up the Automa's battle strenght?

I mean, can I peep how strong she will be or do I just have to assume the worst when it's going down (7 SP + 3 Combat Cards e.g.)
robot
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Stannis the King wrote:
This list is great, for it helped me to evaluate what I was doing afterwards my 1st solo missions - so, thank you.

Could that be a common mistake too:

When engaging a combat, regardless of whether my units initiated it or the Automa, do I have to determine my Combat Strenght and Combat Card(s) firstly, thus before I draw the respective card, that sets up the Automa's battle strenght?

I mean, can I peep how strong she will be or do I just have to assume the worst when it's going down (7 SP + 3 Combat Cards e.g.)
robot


Just like any combat in the game, you need to pick your power and card before you see what the enemy does!
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GAF Blizzard
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I still remember the time I assumed the Automa would always go 7 with max power.

And then I flipped a card with 0/0/0 combat scaling. cry
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Greg Byrd
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I don't understand movement. What keeps workers, etc. from piling up on the Factory? Isn't "towards the factory" their goal? Or is the goal "Fewest Automa units then Closest to the factory"?

Thanks for posting this!
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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byrdru wrote:
I don't understand movement. What keeps workers, etc. from piling up on the Factory? Isn't "towards the factory" their goal? Or is the goal "Fewest Automa units then Closest to the factory"?

Thanks for posting this!


You have to follow the specific steps and tiebreakers for each kind of movement. Workers will never enter a hex with another worker, part of being a valid hex for a worker move is "no other automa worker". Same with combat units, they will never enter a hex with another automa combat unit. This is why they won't "pile up" anywhere.

For workers, their first priority is a space that is in the neighbourhood (i.e. on or adjacent to) the most automa units.

"Towards the factory" is never a goal, sometimes "closest to the factory" is a tiebreaker. I don't understand what you mean by "fewest automa units", that is never a step in any of the movement instructions.

I am not sure where you are getting these "goals" that you are putting in quotes, none of them are in the actual automa movement instructions. Just read the instructions for each kind of automa movement step by step and follow them explicitly, it will make sense.

Edit: I also just want to clarify that you are looking in the separate Automa instruction booklet for these movement instructions, as it seems you have a few serious misconceptions about the automa movement priorities.
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Greg Byrd
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reverendunclebastard wrote:


Edit: I also just want to clarify that you are looking in the separate Automa instruction booklet for these movement instructions, as it seems you have a few serious misconceptions about the automa movement priorities.


That's true. I was a little overwhelmed with the like three pages of the rule book that explained movement (as you might have noticed...) so I tried to break them down into simpler heuristics.

Thank you for your clarification. How about these for some rules of thumb (again, not referencing the rule book):

1. Automa Units spread like spilled water over a flat surface.
2. Workers will never enter a hex with another worker. Combat Units will never enter a hex with another combat unit.
3. Workers prioritize spaces adjacent to the most friendly units.
4. Combat Units prioritize spaces closest to enemy units (?)
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Lutz Pietschker
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byrdru wrote:
[q="reverendunclebastard"]
How about these for some rules of thumb…

They are only partially true but may serve a new player to get a first impression about the general behaviour of the Automa. Why not use the shortcut text on the Automa movement cards? They spell everything out quite precisely.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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byrdru wrote:
How about these for some rules of thumb (again, not referencing the rule book):

1. Automa Units spread like spilled water over a flat surface.
2. Workers will never enter a hex with another worker. Combat Units will never enter a hex with another combat unit.
3. Workers prioritize spaces adjacent to the most friendly units.
4. Combat Units prioritize spaces closest to enemy units (?)


2-4 are pretty good. #1 isn't really true as the units generally spread straight from home base (or close to home base) to the edges of automas territory. I would really caution against trying to come up with rules of thumb without looking at the rules, many mistakes lie down that path.

I think you are actually creating more effort for yourself by creating a second, inaccurate, set of "rules" for movement that you are just going to have to unlearn eventually anyway. I would second the suggestion above that you just use the card summaries as you play your first few games until you get the hang of it. Better to play by, and learn, the actual rules, they are much simpler than they first appear.
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Stephen Miller
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
15 - For a factory/encounter move the character will prioritize the factory if it doesn't have a factory card, otherwise will prioritize encounters. If it cannot either get a factory card or an encounter token, advance to the next possible move action.


...Which, hilariously, in my first and so far only game against the Automa, did see it leave a worker alone in the Factory as I was gearing up to take the Factory back for the three hexes at the end of the game...

Readidng through this list and, aside from occasional missing the 'skip this turn' symbols and having to work out where the cube should be because I forgot to move it for a few turns, it appears I played the Automa correctly

(As long as I'm meant to be able to steal Automa combat cards as Crimea)
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Gizensha wrote:

(As long as I'm meant to be able to steal Automa combat cards as Crimea)


You are! Your faction special abilities still apply, just the Automa's don't.
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Neilan Naicker
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Hi all, one quick Automa rules check:

When moving a worker, it moves to the valid territory in the neighbourhood of the most units. But:

A) Earlier in the rules, it's stated that units on the home base don't have neighbourhoods, implying one doesn't count them for the above check.

B) The example on the Move Worker page says "we count how many other Automata units could move to the territory in a one territory move", implying that one should count home base units.

Which is it? My interpretation is that (A) is correct based on the rules WITHOUT the ambiguous wording in the example, but I thought I'd check.

Thanks!
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Lutz Pietschker
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Darric wrote:
My interpretation is that (A) is correct

Right. And it is something I have overlooked a few times.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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PunTheHun wrote:
Darric wrote:
My interpretation is that (A) is correct

Right. And it is something I have overlooked a few times.


A) is definitely correct. The example quoted in B is just an analogy to help people grasp the idea of neighbourhoods, but it doesn't change the fact that home base is an exception.
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Neilan Naicker
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Perfect. Thanks, guys!
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Bryan Wilson
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My hard fought win last night is now meaningless. cry

Critical mistakes:
1 - Automa workers will never move on territories with other Automa workers.
(~15 pts + denying me a handful)
2 - The Automa gains stars for winning combats and maxing out power.
(12 pts + an earlier end game)
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Marc S
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Thanks for this -- very helpful. Especially:
reverendunclebastard wrote:

13 - Automa units never use tunnels.
Is the above mentioned in the rules? I tried to find it, but couldn't. I could only reason that it was an assumed rule by the way movement is explicitly described as being to specific neighborhoods and the definition of neighborhoods excluding any discussion of tunnels.
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