Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

BattleLore (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Ava's Solo Rules Workshop rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm going to keep hammering out a solo variant that's challenging and relatively elegant to play. This thread will be updated with research and findings.

Here's the current rules draft (updated 12/29/2013):

Set Up

1. Select Scenario Cards (non-campaign)

- Dummy: shuffle scenario cards, pick 1.

2. Resolve Scenario Cards

- Dummy: you need to pick the best place for the ford for them.

3. Army mustering

- Dummy: you need to draft an army fitting for the scenario to give you the most challenge; alternatively, we all can work on coming up with army cards that will fit each scenario, and you can select a random card.

4. Army placement

- Dummy: Shuffle unit cards and deal to three separate piles so that units are evenly balanced. Add decoy cards to each pile to fill up the spaces in the corresponding section. (Note: spaces across dotted lines count for the center in this case.) Place the cards in their spaces according to section and to the scenario card.

Play

Throughout all steps: if the dummy has a current Lore card, and has enough Lore to play it, play it and discard it in the applicable situation as soon as possible.

1. Command Step

- Dummy: draw 2 command cards and treat them as one card; that is, you will execute all movement for both cards before executing all attacks for both cards.

- Dummy: turn over 1 Lore card if there is not presently a current Lore card. If the Lore card has no applicable units, or has more time counters than its Lore cost, discard it and turn over a new one to be the current Lore card until this is no longer the case.

2. Movement

- Dummy: Execute all movement for both command cards.

3. Combat

- Dummy: Execute all attacks for both command cards.

4. Lore upkeep

- Dummy always gains 1 Lore at the end of its turn.
- Dummy: place 1 time counter on the current Lore card if any.

5. Discard

- Discard both command cards.

So far this has led to a challenging and yet winnable session. More playtesting is necessary, however.
21 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Session 1
Set Up

1. Scenario Cards

- This was where the slaughter began. Dummy was the barbarian demon worshippers, and they drew Treasures of the Shadow Peaks:

Quote:
Enemy units roll a maximum of two dice (before modifiers) when attacking a friendly unit that occupies a hill hex. VP Step: Gain 1 VP for each pair of hill and forest hexes occupied by friendly units. A pair consists of 1 forest hex and 1 hill hex that is not part of another pair.
The priority was B2.

I chose Barrow Mounds of the Gatesmen:

[q]During your Attack Step, each friendly Rune Golem unit that occupies a hill hex and did not move during your Move Step may perform a ranged attack instead of its normal attack with an attack value of 3 and a range of 2-3. VP Step: Gain 1 VP if a friendly Rune Golem occupies a hill hex on your half of the game board. [/b]

It feels easier for the barbarians to gain VPs, at the cost of not pushing forwards aggressively. This meant I needed to go on the offensive; which I did not. Woe.

2. Army mustering.

- Picked the card involving the Chaos Lord (because I love the Chaos Lord, even if in the solo placement he usually ends up on the first row).

- Picked the card involving the Roc Warrior (same reason).

3. Army placement.

Random turned out rather well for the dummy, since this gave it an even spread of units across the board, and two command cards makes better positioning not as necessary.

I let my guard down and did not place as many units as I should have on the side with both VPs.

Game Play

Two command cards made early position less relevant for the dummy; as long as units were spread equally. Two Lore cards and the fast accumulation of Lore meant that thematic pain sometimes accompanied the initial rounds.

I did an additional tweak: on my turn, I rolled a die before each step; if it landed on the crown side, I drew two cards from the Lore deck and tried to pick one that would work. This was wonderful, as swarm came up at the worst time for me.

Conclusion

The question now is whether enough challenge was present. I didn't bring my A game to the table, and regretted it.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Campo
United Kingdom
Manchester
lancashire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
4. Army placement

- Dummy: Add decoy cards until you reach 18 in the deck, and then shuffle and place in the indicated hexes on the dummy's scenario card.

i don't see the point of dummy cards here

id say set up your army 1st then equally distribute his army cards face shuffled face down no decoys

its probably very rare but with random decoys could you not end up with 1 section with no armies?

i fancy giving it a try i was beaten by a teenager at game club the other night lol
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Smith
United States
Paducah
Kentucky
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was thinking about some solo variant rules. A few of the things that I considered:

1. Use one of the pre-built armies. Take matching cards with appropriate number of dummy cards. Shuffle. Place in their starting hexes at random.

2. For dummy player, remove Lore cards. They can still gain lore and use to remove poison counters and stun counters.

3. I like your idea of drawing two command cards for their turn and issuing them both. This may make up for their removal of lore cards. - As far as which troops to command with these cards, if there are move troops in a section than can be commanded, start with the unit on the furthest back line and furthest to the left. Roll 1 die. If it rolls a valid result for this troop, he is chosen, if not, he is ignored. This doesn't have to done for every unit, just enough to narrow down to the right number of troops in a section. Same could also be done with a coin. Heads are always chosen, tails are ignored.

4. For all choices concerning if the unit attacks another unit or moves into a hex, the above can be used if desired. Heads on a coin or valid die roll results in them attacking the first/closest enemy unit. Other result and they move close to a victory point hex. This could also be done as just they progress to what ever is closest to that unit at all times. They could always advance/pursue if able. This could also be done by simply picking their "method" at the beginning of the game. Are they "aggressive" and try to eliminate units, or are they "strategical" and try to hold victory point locations.


I'm not as worried about making the AI act like a human. I'm more concerned with simply making it fun and offering a challenge to the player, so they might do some "dumb" things from time to time. The 2 command cards a turn might make them fairly challenging and I like this. I'll keep playing with a few things, and I will share any ideas I have. I would like to see a good solo variant to BattleLore 2nd Edition here.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Milarky wrote:

i don't see the point of dummy cards here

id say set up your army 1st then equally distribute his army cards face shuffled face down no decoys

its probably very rare but with random decoys could you not end up with 1 section with no armies?
Good point about the rare time with a section with no army units. That would be pretty broken.

I still like the decoys out there so that I don't even know what the placement of the units are until revelation time, so to prevent the "section with no units" issue, I'd split the cards evenly by section, fill in each of these three decks with decoys to fill in the rest of the spaces of that section, and deal them out.

But that's just me.

Quote:
i fancy giving it a try i was beaten by a teenager at game club the other night lol
Time to brush up on your BattleLore then.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RichardGSmith wrote:
I was thinking about some solo variant rules. A few of the things that I considered:

1. Use one of the pre-built armies. Take matching cards with appropriate number of dummy cards. Shuffle. Place in their starting hexes at random.
I was thinking of coming up with more pre-built armies, so there's a wider selection. That would be neat for normal play as well.

Quote:
2. For dummy player, remove Lore cards. They can still gain lore and use to remove poison counters and stun counters.


This is a valid approach. I prefer to keep in the Lore cards if possible because they capture a lot of the flavor of the army they're attached to.

Quote:
3. I like your idea of drawing two command cards for their turn and issuing them both. This may make up for their removal of lore cards. - As far as which troops to command with these cards, if there are move troops in a section than can be commanded, start with the unit on the furthest back line and furthest to the left. Roll 1 die. If it rolls a valid result for this troop, he is chosen, if not, he is ignored. This doesn't have to done for every unit, just enough to narrow down to the right number of troops in a section. Same could also be done with a coin. Heads are always chosen, tails are ignored.
I like this, this adds more automation rather than my current set-up where I need to make intelligent decisions for the opposing army. I think using your randomization plus the two command cards would adjust the difficulty appropriately; two command cards played intelligently is a huge challenge to overcome.

Quote:
4. For all choices concerning if the unit attacks another unit or moves into a hex, the above can be used if desired. Heads on a coin or valid die roll results in them attacking the first/closest enemy unit. Other result and they move close to a victory point hex. This could also be done as just they progress to what ever is closest to that unit at all times. They could always advance/pursue if able. This could also be done by simply picking their "method" at the beginning of the game. Are they "aggressive" and try to eliminate units, or are they "strategical" and try to hold victory point locations.
Right --- come up with simple AIs for certain units. Flesh Rippers I can see being downright aggressive for instance.


Quote:
I'm not as worried about making the AI act like a human. I'm more concerned with simply making it fun and offering a challenge to the player, so they might do some "dumb" things from time to time. The 2 command cards a turn might make them fairly challenging and I like this. I'll keep playing with a few things, and I will share any ideas I have. I would like to see a good solo variant to BattleLore 2nd Edition here.
I'd love to see your ideas!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Session 2
Man, that was brutal. I think my strategy meshes too well with the barbarians, and not enough with the humans, whom I've been playing through these sessions.

Slaughtered again (16 to 5) due to the Treasures of the Shadow Peaks rewarding "turtling", which doesn't come naturally to a fierce army like the barbarians. Then again, forging into that territory is a frightening prospect with the increased damage probability of the barbarian units.

I didn't play any counter cards on the dummy's turn, mostly because I didn't remember to; had I done so, I would have been slaughtered far sooner.

Lore accumulates very quickly for the dummy, with extra rolls from the two command cards and a constant uptick in Lore at the end of the dummy turn. By turn five the dummy was able to play any Lore card, given the right situation.

The difficulty is high with these solo rules, and rather unforgiving. Screw up once, and the double command card advantage will really stomp all over you. I definitely made mistakes during game play.

So far I've noticed that the barbarian scenario cards seem to offer opportunities for quick VP gain, while the human cards do not. Is this due to the better mobility of the humans (with pursuit on both non-elite melee units), along with their ability to boost combat rolls (either repeated rolls through the archers, or flanking through the knights).

Maybe if I play the barbarians next time the humans will slaughter me.

The set up at the beginning with evenly spread enemy units shuffled into appropriate numbers of decoys per section gave a decentish position to the dummy army.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Note: set up, play, AND clean up take a little over an hour. I'm impressed. If I leave the game out, this would take less than an hour.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Smith
United States
Paducah
Kentucky
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
By using the two command cards a turn AND lore cards, the dummy player seems far over powered as an opponent. If you are wanting the dummy player to have lore cards, how about this suggestion:

1. At the beginning of the game, draw the top Lore Card from the dummy players deck. He will perform this card as soon as he has enough lore and as soon as he can, even if it is not optimal. Once this card is used, draw a new Lore card and repeat.

2. Draw one Command Card from the top of the deck on the dummy players turn. He performs this command.

3. Also at the beginning of the game, pick the dummy players strategy as discussed above (aggressive/strategic) or use the random determination of coin/dice.

This would keep the dummy player on a similarly equal footing as the player, but keep them in the "beatable" area. This might be too easy, and if so, some things can be increased, but I believe it will keep it from being too difficult.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good suggestions, Richard! I'll try them today or tomorrow.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Session 3
This was a successful session!

First I tried the following adaptations for Lore card play:

Dummy: turn over 1 Lore card, play whenever able, do not turn over another card until it's unexecutable (no applicable units) or played. Accumulate only 1 Lore per turn. Only 1 command card drawn and played.

This resulted in a lopsided victory. I wiped out nearly the entire enemy army before they had even scored half of their points. Too easy, unfortunately; the dummy got stuck on some unfortunate cards that had few opportunities for play.

Second try was much more successful:

Dummy: turn over 1 Lore card, play whenever able, do not turn over another card until it's unexecutable (no applicable units), played, or has more time counters than its cost. Accumulate only 1 Lore per turn. 2 command cards drawn and played. At the end of turn, place one time counter on the current turned-over Lore card.

This resulted in a very close game. I played to the best of my ability, and won by 1 point.

I really like this iteration.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Martin
United States
Fort Leavenworth
Kansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Based on your post in the General forum, I've been playing something similar. I ditched lore for the AI dummy completely however, and just went with the training scenario rules - when the AI accumulates 4 lore (from die rolls, etc), it can trade them in for 1 VP. Other than that, I didn't have the AI collect any lore cards or free lore during the lore phase.

I figure the 2 command cards balance out the loss of lore. Overall, I felt it was good. Not fiddling with the dummy player's lore lowers the book keeping, which is a big plus, and the game I played like this was close, with the AI winning.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tracy Baker
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for your work on this, Ava! I'm itching to play this but can't seem to get a session together, so I plan to check out these solitaire rules soon.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dwsw
United States
Springfield
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Would these rules work for version 1 Battlelore?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yannick Carriere
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Are there any updates on this solo version? Recent play testing that could be reported? I'm interested in trying this solo soon, so I would love updated info if there is any. Thanks in advance.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Decatur
Georgia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm having enormous fun with this variant -- thank you Ava!

I found the given rules were a bit too easy for my taste -- I was having a blast, but never losing -- so I tweaked a couple of things that seem to have made it just right for me.

First, instead of moving units with both of the rival's command cards, then doing the Attack phase, I've been resolving movement and attack with one card, then movement and attack with the other. Because with the original rules the rival would sometimes "run out" of units to order.

Secondly, I use an alternate system of deciding which rival units will move and attack. With the current rules, which gives priority to the rival's back-row units, the rival fatally reaches his VP spots later instead of earlier. What I do is move whichever units can fulfill these basic priorities:

1. Occupy a VP space, preferably with infantry.

2. Thwart the player's VP condition (if there is one)

3 Attack the most wounded player unit within reach, preferably with non-infantry. Position the unit to be in range of VP, if possible.

4. Attack player's weakest healthy unit within reach, preferably with non-infantry. Position the unit to be in range of VP, if possible.

================

Even though you have to choose which unit fulfills the priority condition, I've found it much quicker and more intuitive to do it this way.

Thanks again for a fantastic variant!

9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Campo
United Kingdom
Manchester
lancashire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
with the advent of undead any one pursued any more solo variants?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darth Heisenberg
Spain
Death Star
A galaxy far, far away
flag msg tools
"Apology accepted, Captain Needa."
badge
"Say my name"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Ava for this solo variant, I ordered the game today and intend to try it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls