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The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Solo Play Session rss

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Brad103
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Skaneateles
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Played my first solo session of this game and I think it went rather well! I ended up with a score of 43 points after 18 rounds of play. I think this is a pretty good score for a solo game, but I also think I got pretty lucky on my card draws (as you'll see below).

Short Solo Review
I really enjoyed this game as solo. My main reason for getting this game was finding interesting card combos to play, and whether playing solo or with others, the combos work just as well. While I have other solo games I enjoy playing, I think this may be my new go-to solo game. Mainly because its quick to set up, quick to play, and quite fun!

A few notes about the session:
- In the first round I was able to make a complete chain to get Uranium
- By round 3 I was able to make my first bomb, a 6 pointer.
- I was lucky enough to draw a Double Agent for round 4, and with him I was able to make 4 point bomb immediately.
- At this point I started drawing lots of factories, and for the next 7-8 rounds I was able to bring back my Double Agent and my high yielding Enrichment Plant.
- In the final rounds I pumped out as many bombs as I could, followed by loading just two bombs before the deck ran out.

Below I have detailed each of the 18 rounds.
-Chains are listed as input(s) -> building (if applicable) -> output.
-A number followed by an abbreviation is a sideways played Personnel card. EX: (2Sci)
-An abbreviation followed by an xNumber is Personnel provided by a buildings output. EX: Engx2
-Anything enclosed by (parenthesis) is a single card, this helps know which cards were played. EX: (Factory)
-Anything enclosed by [brackets] is a landmark card. EX: [Uni]

-Legend-
Lab = Laborer
Eng = Engineer
Sci = Scientist
Espionage = Espionage Agent
Agent = Double Agent
Plant = Enrichment Plant
Uni = University
corn = Yellow Cake
colonist = Uranium
nuclear = Bomb Points/Score

-Round 1-
Chain 1: (1Sci) (2Eng) -> (Mine) -> cornx3
Chain 2: (1Sci) cornx3 -> (Plant) -> colonistx2
Totals: cornx0 colonistx2 nuclearx0

-Round 2-
Chain 1: (1Eng) -> (Uni) -> Engx3
Chain 2: Engx3 -> (Mine) -> cornx3
Chain 3: (1Sci) corn1 -> (Plant) -> colonistx1
Totals: cornx2 colonistx3 nuclearx0

-Round 3-
Chain 1: (Espionage) -> Cardx1
Chain 2: (2Lab) -> (Factory) -> Cardx2
Chain 3: (1Sci) cornx1 -> (Plant) -> colonistx1
Chain 4: (2Sci) (1Eng) colonistx4 -> nuclearx6
Totals: cornx1 colonistx0 nuclearx6

-Round 4-
Chain 1: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Chain 2: (1Sci) (2Eng) colonistx3 -> nuclearx4
Totals: cornx1 colonistx0 nuclearx10

-Round 5-
Chain 1: (1Eng) -> (Factory) -> Cardx2
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx3 nuclearx10

-Round 6-
Chain 1: (1Eng) -> (Factory) -> Cardx2
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx6 nuclearx10

-Round 7-
Chain 1: (1Sci) (2Eng) colonistx5 -> nuclearx7
Totals: cornx1 colonistx1 nuclearx17

-Round 8-
Chain 1: (2Eng) (1Lab) -> (Factory) -> Cardx3
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx4 nuclearx17

-Round 9-
Chain 1: (1Eng) -> (Factory) -> Cardx2
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx7 nuclearx17

-Round 10-
Chain 1: (2Sci) (1Sci) -> (Factory) -> Cardx3
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx10 nuclearx17

-Round 11-
Chain 1: (1Sci) -> (Uni) -> Scix2
Chain 2: (1Sci) Scix2 -> [Uni] -> Engx1
Chain 3: Engx1 -> (Factory) -> Cardx2
Chain 4: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx13 nuclearx17

-Round 12-
Chain 1: (2Eng) -> (Factory) -> Cardx2
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Plant) -> colonistx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx16 nuclearx17

-Round 13-
Chain 1: (2Eng) (1Sci) colonistx4 -> nuclearx6
Totals: cornx1 colonistx12 nuclearx23

-Round 14-
Chain 1: (1Lab) -> (Uni) -> Engx2
Chain 2: (Agent) -> (Uni) -> Scix3
Chain 3: Scix1 Engx1 colonistx4 -> nuclearx5
Chain 4: Scix2 Engx1 colonistx3 -> nuclearx4
Totals: cornx1 colonistx5 nuclearx32

-Round 15-
Chain 1: (1Lab) -> (Uni) -> Engx2
Chain 2: (1Lab) Engx2 -> [Uni] -> Scix1
Chain 3: Scix1 Engx2 colonistx2 -> nuclearx3
Totals: cornx1 colonistx3 nuclearx35

-Round 16-
Chain 1: (1Sci) (2Eng) colonistx3 -> nuclearx4
Totals: cornx1 colonistx0 nuclearx39

-Round 17-
Chain 1: (2Sci) (2Eng) -> nuclearx2:Loaded
Totals: cornx1 colonistx0 nuclearx41

-Round 18-
Chain 1: (2Lab) (1Sci) -> [Uni] -> Engx1
Chain 2: (2Lab) (2Lab) -> [Uni] -> Engx1
Chain 3: (2Sci) Engx2 -> nuclearx2:Loaded
Totals: cornx1 colonistx0 nuclearx43

-Final Round Image-


Disclaimer: I do hope I got all the rules correct on this
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Christopher Dong
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I have been disbarred as a rules lawyer, but it looks like you have played it right. Or, I am making the same rules mistakes as you are and thus the reason for my disbarment. The Factory, Double Agent, 3U Enrichment Plant combo is killer.
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Joseph Propati
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Can you please explain this combo in more detail? Is it legal?

The Factory, Double Agent, 3U Enrichment Plant combo!
 
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Brad103
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kingspud wrote:
Can you please explain this combo in more detail? Is it legal?

The Factory, Double Agent, 3U Enrichment Plant combo!


In solo play, the Factory lets you take as many cards from the discard pile as the card states (2 or 3), only restriction is taking another Factory.

The Double Agent lets you play 1 card from your hand for free. The rules say 'including the resources like Yellowcake' (unlike in multiplayer where its only the personnel that's free).

And the Enrichment Plant I was using - which cost 3 Scientists, 5 Yellowcake, and gave 3 Uranium - became free because of him.

So, playing the Double Agent (no cost) let me play that Enrichment Plant (no cost). And on the next round I could just use a Factory to bring them both back into my hand and repeat the process.

As far as I know it is legal, and likely main the method to become a "True Scientist" 40+ score.
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Joseph Propati
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OK, huge difference in game play when you actually use the correct solo rules!

I know no one is going to believe this but I just got a score of 54!

Now with the rules as stated I feel like I'm cheating in a way because the factory card make the game so easy to get points! You just keep using the factory card to search for the double agent and 3 uranium Enrichment Plant!!! This combo is just amazing and turns the game into a Uranium generator!

I played the rules as stated and got 54! WTW!!!!
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Dusty C
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How long did your first play session take? I set up the game, looked it over, tried playing and got completely overcome by analysis paralysis. I ended up putting it away after playing a single hand with intention of bringing it out again when I have less going on around me (wife & 3 kids).

I do appreciate the level of detail that you went into. I want to find a great solo player game that is satisfying and fun, but at first glance I wasn't sure that this was it.

I will get it to the table again.
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Joseph Propati
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BeardedOne wrote:
How long did your first play session take? I set up the game, looked it over, tried playing and got completely overcome by analysis paralysis. I ended up putting it away after playing a single hand with intention of bringing it out again when I have less going on around me (wife & 3 kids).

I do appreciate the level of detail that you went into. I want to find a great solo player game that is satisfying and fun, but at first glance I wasn't sure that this was it.

I will get it to the table again.


I know what you mean, I felt totally lost when I first started playing. Its really about the combos and when to use workers as opposed to using the actual card production process. I'm going to put a play through video together real soon to try and show game play mechanics. Stay tuned!

PS: Here's a little hint to get a high score. When you get the double agent & Uranium enrichment plant [3], the double agent let's you play any card for free so use it with the [3] enrichment card. Then once those are in your discard play the Factory card to bring back the double agent and uranium enrichment cards again and again! This will get you a bunch of uranium through out the game which in turn helps you build bombs! Try to save your Factory cards just for this purpose.
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Brad103
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BeardedOne wrote:
How long did your first play session take? I set up the game, looked it over, tried playing and got completely overcome by analysis paralysis. I ended up putting it away after playing a single hand with intention of bringing it out again when I have less going on around me (wife & 3 kids).

I do appreciate the level of detail that you went into. I want to find a great solo player game that is satisfying and fun, but at first glance I wasn't sure that this was it.

I will get it to the table again.


The game took about 35 minutes to play after setup. I took a picture after every round with my phone and later did the write up based on those. So no extra time was taken to write anything down during play.

With this being a kickstarter I read through the rules often and watched what videos i could find to learn as much as I could before hand. I also played a few multiplayer games before this session.

I didn't run into any analysis paralysis till late game. At the start I was just playing casual, wasn't going for any specific score, just wanted to see how it played. But then I got that combo and started really trying to play my best.

Thanks for the appreciation. I wanted to do the detailed write-up to hopefully help teach the game, through the breakdown of chains, and show some strategy with those chains.

I have a few solo player games, but most I don't bother playing because of setup time and length of game. This one I can just shuffle and play, and it's short enough to play a quick round between other tasks. I find it rather enjoyable as a single player game
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Alex Johns
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I've probably played about 15 games solo so far, one just now while at my desk on lunch. took about 20 minutes including setup and some people coming over to chat. I'm familiar with the combos, now it's just hoping the cards come up in the right order so I can max out scoring.
FYI, it didn't. scored 33. low side of average scores when playing. got a bunch of factories early, and no double agent, so burned some as workers to get some cake going, as you never know when the Uranium generator of the double agent card and 3 uranium enrichment plant will come up. by the time it did, I was already two bomb cards into my score the hard way.
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