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Decided to get Caverna out last night for a solo game. I've only played it a handful of times, and all of my games have been scored in the mid 50's, not great, but I was also learning it and not really getting deep into it. Last night I really took time and figured out what I wanted to do, planned ahead, etc, and ended up with a score of 96. I was pleased, and started thinking about what to change to get higher. I know this a complaint with a lot of people about the solo play in this game, it's a puzzle, everything is available to you, and you just have to get the pieces in the right order. No randomness, no surprises, etc. First I'm buying this, then this, then this, etc.
So that's where this thought comes in. When you are playing with other players, they are inevitably going to purchase one of the rooms you are wanting, or building your strategy around, which makes you change course. I found myself ignoring certain rooms, just because they didn't benefit what I was doing.
What if during set up, you mix up the tiles and randomly remove some of them - 5, 10, 20 - I don't know what the number would be. You could either mix all tiles together and remove say 25% of them, or you could remove 25% of green, 25% yellow, 25% of orange, whatever. Maybe 50%.
By doing this, you don't know what is going to be available, and will have to plan accordingly. Sure it's still a puzzle to figure out, but this time you have to work with the pieces you are given.
I haven't tried this yet obviously, but I feel like it might simulate a multi player experience a bit, or at least add some randomness. The next thing would be figuring out a way to randomly take away available actions each round, as if the other player is using them, but that's for later!
I have tried something out from another game but need to play 3 solo games with it to see if it can work.
Will put something in forum a let people digest and hopefully improve it.