Mostly Harmless

Print-and-play projects, thrift store finds, hidden gems, snippets of conversation, images and words. Usually about board games.

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The Lost Ruins of R'lyeh

Martin Gonzalvez
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:44 am
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Deeper dive into the Resurgence solo mode

Martin Gonzalvez
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage

(Pictures of my print and play preview copy.)

TL; DR: the Mutants solo AI in Resurgence is not a BYOS. The AI does not collect resources, ammo or meds. The AI scores VP, reduces your options for Missions and Survivors, features variable difficulty levels, and can defeat you. The AI does not maintain or manage a player compound. On each of six game rounds, the solo AI resolves only the Mutant Leadership step, and the Mutant worker placement/effect resolution step.

Read on for the gory details, if you wish.

A closer look at the solo mode for Resurgence. The Mutants are not a BYOS, they are a true AI player that collects VP, occupies placement spots on the main board, and makes your life tougher as you struggle to survive in post-apocalyptic Russia.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Components: the Mutants solo AI does not use a Player Compound board, Assignment board, nor most player tokens or bag. It needs only three Leadership tokens and one VP marker from a neutral player color, all six Mutant workers, and the Mutant deck from the multiplayer game. In addition, two components are unique to the solo mode: the Mutant Leadership deck, and the Mutant Worker Placement card (double-sided). For the solo game, you will not need the Events deck, which acts as a game timer in the multiplayer game, so return it to the box.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Setup changes: set up the main board and your one player compound according to the multiplayer rules. Place the Mutants’ Leadership tokens on the “5” space of each Leadership track. The Mutants start the solo game ahead of you on the Leadership tracks, and you’re playing catch up! Remove the two blank Mutant cards to the box, then shuffle and place the Mutant deck. Locate and separate the three Mutant Leadership cards with a Hazard symbol in the upper right, shuffle the remaining Mutant Leadership cards, place face down upon the Mutant cards with the Hazard symbol. This forms a Mutant Leadership deck arranged in increasing difficulty as the game progresses. Finally, place the Mutant Worker Placement card/reference table within reach.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Streamlined Solo AI management: the Mutants do not collect resources, ammo or meds. They do collect Missions, but only to score VP and reduce your options for Missions. The Mutants do not have a compound to maintain or manage. On each round, you resolve only the Mutant Leadership step, and the Mutant worker placement/effect resolution step.

Turn sequence: the game plays over six rounds just like the multiplayer version. The six Mutant Leadership cards act as a game timer; once you draw and resolve the last one, that signals the final round of the solo game. To start each turn, flip the top card of the Mutant Leadership deck. This card contains your Leadership target values for this turn, and will resolve whether you need to advance your token or the Mutants’ tokens on the three Leadership tracks, based on how you assign your workers on the Assignment board.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Once the Leadership step is complete, move on to the Worker placement step. Before you place a worker, draw the top card of the Mutant deck, and place one Mutant worker token in each of the two districts at the Location indicated by the Mutant card. Then, consult the Mutant Worker Placement reference card to resolve the effect of Mutants placing in that location. These effects often involve a tough choice of having your resources stolen by the Mutants, reducing your available choices of Survivors or Missions, and/or the Mutants scoring VP. For example, if the Mutants place workers at Arbat, you must either lose two resources (food, scrap or fuel), or the Mutants score 3VP. If the Mutants place workers in Moscow, then they kill the two rightmost Survivors in the Survivor display, and also earn two VP. You repeat this Mutant worker placement/effect resolution two more times per turn, until all six Mutant workers have been placed. This Mutant Worker Placement reference card determines how Mutants score VP as the game progresses.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


At the end of six rounds of play, tally the Mutants VP. The Mutants score VP in a simplified/streamlined manner based on just three elements: their position on each Leadership track, their position on the VP track, and any VP they acquired from Missions stolen away from you during the game.

Adjustable difficulty: Easy mode: Mutants start on the zero space on the VP track. Normal mode: Mutants start on the 10 space on the VP track. Hard mode: Mutants start on the 20 space on the VP track.

I hope you enjoyed this deeper dive into the Mutants Solo AI for Resurgence.
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Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:49 pm
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Resurgence: Thoughts after one play

Martin Gonzalvez
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San Jose
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage

(Pictures of my print and play preview copy)

Resurgence.

Wow.

Wow, wow, wow.

Wow.

I've said before that Lost Ruins of Arnak is one of the few games that has that “X-factor” that keeps me fully engaged, questing for combos, pushing for just one more way to extend each turn and squeeze out more points from the complex interplay of worker placement + free actions on your turn? And how initially you don’t think five rounds will amount to much, but somehow your engine dramatically and satisfyingly builds up in those last two rounds and you’re pulling off breathtaking, VP-exploding combos like you’re some kind of Euro god? And how the solo AI is so easy and straightforward to operate, basically staying out of your way to allow you to focus on your own game, yet still manages to be both challenging and thrilling to play against?

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Well, imagine a game that’s got all of the above, all wrapped up in a sumptuous post-apocalyptic theme, in an alternate post-nuclear Russia where roving bands of Mutants make your struggle to survive a daily peril, where there are never enough resources, and you have to split your attention between making sorties out into the main world map, yet also building up your own home compound. Everything in this game feels modern and fresh to me, nothing feels stale or done too many times before.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


A mid-weight point salad Euro in a wonderfully thematic package, with slick, modern mechanisms (bag building, worker placement, workers of different values and different placement restrictions each round), strong and deeply satisfying feeling of engine building, gorgeous artwork, so many different vectors for replayability and prolonged exploration, with a challenging yet quick to resolve solo mode. So many different ways to score points! So easy to ratchet up the difficulty level! Won my first game on Easy difficulty, 73-64, although in hindsight I did play the Leadership steps wrong and imposed a penalty on my final score as a result.

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Oh, and very important: the rule book is absolutely, stone cold, great. Super easy for me to understand, and you know how I struggle with rules comprehension for most games. Learned to play exclusively from the rule book, no tutorial video needed!

From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Folks, if you like mid-weight Euro games, this one is the real deal. This is the promise of the post-apocalyptic mid-weight Euro game that Outlive tried to be, but never quite succeeded. Here it is! It’s already shot up into my top 10, and you can bet that I’m going to be playing this for the next few days/weeks.

Resurgence.

Wow.
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Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:22 pm
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The most disturbing thing is the smile on her face...

Martin Gonzalvez
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:36 pm
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Hope you had a Ha’ppy Cthanksgiving!

Martin Gonzalvez
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:56 pm
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Is it pronounced "Ch'uamel Up" or "Ch'uamel Cup"?

Martin Gonzalvez
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San Jose
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


Roland, Daisy and Skids race on camels to find out the horrific truth!
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Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:40 pm
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More Cthulhu family fun from FFG and Days of Wonder

Martin Gonzalvez
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San Jose
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:16 pm
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Coming soon from FFG and Stonemaier Games

Martin Gonzalvez
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San Jose
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:25 am
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My weekend print and play project

Martin Gonzalvez
United States
San Jose
California
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage


I have been dreading to start this project, because Fantastic Factories + Manufactions + Subterfuge = around 220 or so cards. But my old, beloved and much-played PnP copy of FF really needs to be updated to laminated cards and better tokens. So this is my weekend PnP project.
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Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:20 am
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I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle

Martin Gonzalvez
United States
San Jose
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: 1 Player Guild Sock Puppet of the WeekMicrobadge: Geek of the WeekMicrobadge: Solosaurus podcast fanMicrobadge: Game Foundry Fan
From gallery of DrHenryArmitage
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Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:08 pm
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