While we did determine that "Power Grid: The robots" won't work with First Sparks I think something like it could be made for First Sparks. And while robots aren't a good theme for first sparks, I'm sure we could come up with some theme for the "AI" players if need be (perhaps black monoliths).
The phases in first sparks have choices to make but you can create rules and randomize when a rule isn't a enough. Example: One rule for where to place new clans could be "grow in a spiral". And a general rule for it might be to always keep at minimum, 3 extra food for next round.
But the rules of First Sparks do come with a fake third player for 2 player and it does have a presence and helps balance 1st rank and 2nd rank. And I like it.
But the point of adapting the robot idea to work with first sparks is just interesting to me.
Agree on your agree with the monolith idea. With human players your clan is following you, the clan leader. With the monolith "bot" that clan is following the ideas that the monolith brought to them.
Choose each new clan member location one at a time. By default they choose the cheapest cost new clan member first. If it can decide between an animal that randomly choose where when there's a tie. I decided that perhaps they should ignore how much food they'll have left after spreading the clan unless specified by the specific rule.
Here are the rules for # of clan to spread that I have come up with so far:
a) Always 3 new clan members if possible.
b) Most clan members possible while keeping at least 3 food.
c) On odd round #s as many new clan members as he can afford. On odd round #s, no new clan members. (might combo well if the monolith player can get Fire)
d) Builds X clan members where X is the round number (max he can build is still 5 clan members a turn just like regular players).
e) Builds 2 clan members a turn and prefers to build where other clans are first and preferably on spots where the last in player order already has a clan member.
f) Builds 2 clan members each turn and builds to encircle his tribe. Spirals out.