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Kings & Things» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Solo Kings & Things - first test rss

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Jim Fardette
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Kings & Things Solo


This Session Report is my first test of the Kings & Things Solo rules I am working on. I love this game. It is easy to teach, fun to play and has great replayability. Sure, it's old. So am I.

I will post a copy of the rules in the Kings & Things files. If you want to give it a try and provide feedback, it would be a great help. My goal is to have a set of rules that are simple and useful, without bogging down in every possible detail. I also am striving for a play balance of about 60-40 in favor of the bot. I don't want it to be impossible to win, but I want it to be challenging.

Victory Conditions-

Player captures bot Citadel - Major Victory
Player builds Citadel and survives 10 turns - Minor Victory
Player survives 10 turns without losing base tile - Minor Defeat
Player loses base tile - Major Defeat

Setup-
The setup is pretty straightforward; three columns of tiles with the bot starting at one end and the player at the other. I think of it as a waterfall, with the bot moving down towards the player's start area and picking up steam as it moves ahead. The bot gets one army in each column, and one Special Character (SC in the future) to lead each army. It also starts with a Citadel in its base hex. Sea tiles are removed from the game and not used.



Turn 1-

The bot goes first each turn and adds a face down item from the cup to his Citadel location. Ignore gold collection and events. Then each army activates and attempts to conquer the next tile in its column. The bot never switches columns; each army is a separate entity. I roll a d6 plus 1 per 2 turns (rounded down) for reinforcements from the cup, then sort out all bluffs, events and other things that cannot be used by the bot. Treasures I exchange at their cash value (i.e., a 20 GP treasure chest is returned to the cup and 4 new pieces drawn.) Other items are exchanged on a 2:1 basis until the bot has only real Things or usable Magic.

The bot then chooses its 2 weakest pieces and leaves them as the garrison. Flying creatures are the tie-breaker since they will prevent the player from sending a flying army overhead to the bot's rear areas. If there are at least 3 Things left in addition to the SC, the bot attacks the next tile. Otherwise it remains in the current tile with the garrison. Use normal rules for conflict, and the bot will retreat from battle any time a bot SC is present and it is outnumbered or attacked by the player. Then the player takes a normal turn.



Turns 2-4

The bot continued to march down the board, slowly growing more powerful. I was fortunate and drew a number of Special Income counters which helped me grow my economy and army. With all of the income, I was able to build my Citadel on turn 4.



The big fight. The bot was stopped in the left hand column when he took too many casualties and I was able to counterattack and kill the SC. This basically has the effect of securing that column; the bot no longer attacks and instead receives one reinforcement to the garrison of the weakest tiles in that column, with proximity to the bot Citadel as a tie breaker. I then fought a large battle against the bot in the middle column and was able to drive him back and defeat him on the following turn.



Turns 5-7

The bot had grown very powerful in the right hand column, and due to having too large an army (the limit is 10) had to discard a number of weaker characters each turn. I was able to use the Dust of Defense to delay him for a turn while I finished off the bot in the center, then regrouped my forces to stop the Forest King and his huge army.



The end

By a combination of very useful reinforcements and using my remaining gold for more, I was able to amass a large army to face the bot. In the climactic battle on turn 8, the tide was turned against the Forest King and he was forced to retreat one tile. With two turns to go and three tiles away from my Citadel, the bot could not win. I also was too weak to go after his Citadel so the ending was assured: a Minor Victory. All Things rejoiced!


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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
mbmb
Cool! Gonna have to check out your variant. Haven't played Kings & Things in a looong time.
 
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David Gotteri
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Very much... DITTO! :-)
 
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Jim Fardette
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I tried to upload the rules file to the Kings & Things forum, but it returned an error message saying that uploads were disabled for this item. No explanation was given. Any suggestions on what would be the appropriate place to post the file? I guess I could always just cut and paste the text directly into a comment box but would rather not do it that way if a better way is out there.
Thanks!
 
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David Gotteri
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not sure publicly but if you want to geekmail them to us please do!
 
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Kristopher
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Hey, buddy, can you spare a role?
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
mbmb
That's odd. I get the same message.

Yeah, cut and paste it into a Variant Forum Post - at least it will get it out there for other people to try out. Then contact an admin and find out what gives.
 
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Jim Fardette
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Lhowser wrote:
That's odd. I get the same message.

Yeah, cut and paste it into a Variant Forum Post - at least it will get it out there for other people to try out. Then contact an admin and find out what gives.


I sent one of the admins a note. I want to be able to post the rules and then go in to edit them as feedback comes in, not just a one time post. To be honest, I can't figure out why the admins would ever lock a game. Player generated content is one of the big reasons BGG is so popular so why limit it?
 
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Jim Fardette
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jfardette wrote:
Lhowser wrote:
That's odd. I get the same message.

Yeah, cut and paste it into a Variant Forum Post - at least it will get it out there for other people to try out. Then contact an admin and find out what gives.


I sent one of the admins a note. I want to be able to post the rules and then go in to edit them as feedback comes in, not just a one time post. To be honest, I can't figure out why the admins would ever lock a game. Player generated content is one of the big reasons BGG is so popular so why limit it?


Well, at least we have an answer...

"The publisher, Games Workshop, has requested (via their lawyers) that no uploads be allowed for their games here.

You will find that the upload file function is disabled for all GW games here on BGG." yuk

Kings & Things is probably too old and too niche to get the BGG community up in arms about their unfriendly policies. Anyways, if anyone is interested in this variant please send me an email and I will send it to you.
 
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Jim Fardette
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Kings & Things Solo - The Waterfall v1
Overview

In this variant, a single player takes on a set of automated rules (the bot) which will attempt to move towards him and win the game. The bot is intended to be relentless without being reckless. It receives reinforcements each turn and attacks whenever possible. It will retreat from battle in the face of overwhelming force but otherwise seeks to advance each turn. The game lasts 10 turns if not ended early by a Major Victory.

Victory Conditions
Victory levels are as follows:
Bot Major Victory - The bot captures the players' base tile. The game ends immediately.
Bot Minor Victory - The player survives 10 turns but is unable to build a Citadel in his base tile.
Player Minor Victory - The player builds a Citadel in his base tile and survives 10 turns.
Player Major Victory - The player captures the bots' Citadel. The game ends immediately.


Setup
Remove all Sea tiles from the game. Place random tiles in three columns, 6-7-6 in length. The bot gets a Citadel in the topmost tile of the 7 column, and control of the 3 adjacent tiles. The player starts with control of the bottommost tile in the 7 column, and the 3 adjacent tiles. The bot receives on Special Character (SC) in each tile adjacent to the Citadel, and two Things with each SC as part of its starting army. The player receives starting gold, a tower on his base tile and Things as per the regular game rules (including the opportunity to exchange Things).


Special Rules
1. Game length and Sequence of Play:
• The game ends after 10 turns if the conditions for a Major Victory are not achieved. The bot goes first each turn, the player second.
• Bot Sequence of Play
o Bot draws and places (without looking at it) 1 Thing from the cup and places it face down in the tile with its Citadel.
o If any columns are inactive (the SC leading the bot army in that column has been killed), draw 1 Thing from the cup, redrawing if necessary until a real Thing is drawn. Place the Thing in the tile of that column with the fewest Things; using proximity to the Citadel as the tie breaker.
o Starting with the left most active column, roll a d6 for reinforcements. Add to this number 1 for every 2 turns played so far, rounding down. This number is the number of Things that army will draw from the cup. (for example, on turn 3, if a 4 is rolled, a total of 5 Things are drawn from the cup)
o Exchange Things as follows: Treasures are immediately traded in and their gold value used to purchase additional Things. Bluff creatures, Events, Special Income counters and other void Things are exchanged back into the cup at a 2 in, 1 out rate. A single leftover Thing is placed in the cup.
o At the end of this procedure, add the drawn Things to the army in the space currently occupied by the SC in that column. If this number is greater than 10, discard the weaker* Things to get down to the limit of 10. The SC does count as one of the 10.
o If more than 5 Things are in the tile, place the weakest 2 in the 'garrison'. They will be left behind when the army advances. Flying Things are selected over equal strength Things for the garrison. The rest of the army attacks the next tile in the column (or explores) according to the combat rules.
o Repeat this process for each column

Examples of play:

In the left column, led by the Elf Lord, the bot rolls a 1, adds 0 (1 per 2 turns, rounds down to 0 on turn 1). The new Thing is a bluff. It takes 2 Things to exchange for a new Thing, so it is simply returned to the cup and there is no further activity in this column.

In the center, the army of Baron Munchausen rolls a 5, and draws 3 real Things and 2 bluffs. The 2 bluffs are exchanged for 1 new Thing, which is also a bluff. When added to the starting force of 2 things, the Baron now leads an army of 6 (counting himself). He leaves the two weakest Things behind as a garrison and explores the next tile down the column. The bot follows normal exploration rules and conducts combat against any defenders, conquering the tile.

On the right, the Forest King rolls a 2, draws a bluff and a magic golem. The golem is placed with the army, the bluff returns to the cup. The Forest King is not strong enough to advance and ends the bot's turn.

The player conducts his turn as normal, attempting to explore in the left column. His army is defeated, leaving it uncontrolled. He upgrades his tower to a keep at the end of his turn.

The board will look something like this at the end of the first turn (there should be a control marker in the space with Baron Munchausen):



2. Combat Rules

The bot will attack with his army where eligible. The bot will not attack with less than 4 Things (after deducting the garrison); if not enough are present to attack then the bot will add the newly recruited things to the army and wait until next turn. If the bot has enough Things in his army, he will attack or explore depending on whether the next tile in his column is uncontrolled or player controlled.

If the next tile is uncontrolled, the bot explores, follow the normal rules for generating defending forces and conduct combat. The bot always fights the first round. The bot will continue to attack until it is victorious or until it becomes outnumbered. When outnumbered, the bot will withdraw back to the tile it attacked from at the end of any combat round.

If the next tile is player controlled, the bot may attack a player tile, which is conducted as above, with one exception. If the total strength of the player army (simply add the combat value of all Things, plus any spells in place such as the golem, balloon, etc) is greater than that of the bot, the bot will withdraw from combat. The bot will withdraw at the start of combat if necessary, or at the end of any round of combat after the odds have shifted. If a player uses magic during a combat round to shift the odds, that round is still completed.
The bot garrisons never retreat.

3. Other Special Rules

• Neither the bot nor the player use bluffs. The sole exception to this is bot garrisons; creatures in garrisons are always considered real, even if the bot no longer controls the appropriate terrain. All things on the board are placed face up, except for the bot Citadel garrison. This garrison is only revealed when the player attempts to attack the bot Citadel. These Things remain face up after the battle, but new additions to the garrison are placed face down as normal.

• If the player attacks the bot Citadel and there are unusable Things in the Citadel garrison, they are exchanged at a 1:1 ratio before combat. Continue exchanging as needed until the garrison contains only valid Things, then fight!

• The bot armies move one tile towards the player each turn. They are dependent on the SC leading them, and if he is killed for any reason that column becomes inactive.

• When determining which bot Thing is weaker, use the following criteria: if the Thing is magic, it's value is 2+ the combat value of the Thing. If ranged, it's value is 1+ the combat value. If it has charge, it's value is double the combat value. These factors are used for determining which characters remain behind in a garrison as the army advances, and also when deciding which Things to lose during battle. As a tie-breaker, eliminate a Thing that has already attacked during the current round of battle before eliminating a Thing that has not yet attacked.

• The SC is the most valuable in the army, no matter its strength. It will always be the last casualty chosen because its loss will greatly reduce the bot's chances of winning the game.

• The bot does not use Events, roll for new Special Characters, and will only use combat magic. Combat magic is active during the next battle in whichever army it is drawn for, and disappears at the end of the battle. It is placed with the army but does not count against the size limit of 10. If a creature such as the firewall, golem or balloon, it will always be chosen as the first casualty whenever possible. See special magic rules below.

Events & Magic Changes

Since some of the magic and events effects will not apply in this variant, the following rules apply to the bot. The player is free to use magic and events as normal, unless restricted below.

Magic
The Bow, Firewall, Golem, Elixir, Sword and Talisman all have their normal effects.
Balloon- The bot will not use the Balloon to fly during movement; it will use the bot in combat to give three creatures of strength 3 or less the Ranged ability.
The Lucky Charm will always be used by the bot to add 1 to his reinforcement roll, effectively being exchanged for one more Thing from the cup.
The Elixir, Dust of Defense, Fan and Dispel Magic spells are exchanged at the usual 2:1 rate along with Events, bluffs, etc.

Events
The Big Juju cannot create a Sea tile, since they are out of play in this variant.
The Dark Plague, Terrain Disaster and Teenie Pox do not affect garrisons. Special Characters controlled by the bot are immune to the effects of these events, although their armies are not.
The bot is immune to Defection, Vandals, Weather Control, and Willing Workers.

Special Characters
The Assassin Primus cannot be used to kill a bot SC. The bot will always use the Assassin Primus to kill the strongest player Thing on the board. Roll for ties.
The Marksman cannot use his special power to target a bot SC. The bot will not use the Marksman's special power.

 
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Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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Hey, buddy, can you spare a role?
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters.
mbmb
Wow. This doesn't look like a solo variant. This looks like an entirely new game!
 
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Jim Fardette
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Just tried to make something that would provide a challenge without being too process driven. If the bot is strong it attacks. That's about it!
 
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