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A Study in Emerald» Forums » Variants

Subject: A thread to discuss solo variants. rss

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The Dave
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Hey all - I have submitted a file for approval that outlines two sets of rules for playing A Study in Emerald solo. The game play is obviously radically different, since there are no opponents. With that said, my goal was to create a set of rules for each faction that would keep the thematic flavor of that faction's goals and present a challenge to players who want more ASiE but can't get the game to the table often enough.

In one variant you play as Moriarty. The board starts off with a double agent token in each city, one of which is Sherlock. Your goal is to reveal and assassinate Sherlock before he and his traitorous Restorationists can set off a revolution. You're aided by three like-minded tentacle lovers and you may call on the powers of some of the Great Old Ones to help you in your mission.

In the other variant you play as Sherlock. Starting in London, Sherlock must pull off the assassinations of as many Royalty as possible before the War Track reaches its crescendo. You will have to be savvy in the agents and cards you choose to help you, and Loyalist Events may bring about vampires, zombies, or the loss of your once-trustworthy agents. Can you push your VP far enough to incite a revolt before the Great Old Ones become wise to your agenda?

Anyways, I wanted to start a thread here for any questions, comments, or suggestions. If you're super interested in trying this out before it's officially approved, geekmail me your email address and I can send it to you the old fashioned way.

Cheers!
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Markus Weihrauch
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Wow - this sounds like an awesome idea! Definitely need to check it out. How many times have you tried it out to playtest your idea?

Thanks for sharing this!
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The Dave
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JoystickZ wrote:
Wow - this sounds like an awesome idea! Definitely need to check it out. How many times have you tried it out to playtest your idea?

Thanks for sharing this!


Thanks! Ever since I first played ASiE, I can't get it out of my head. I wrestled with the goals of each variant for a few weeks, and then finally got out the game and started messing with it.

I've played each variant, as currently written, between 5-10 times (I only recorded my last 4 for each, once I felt good that the rules were stable). I've won more than I lost, but I also haven't been playing on with the more difficult options.

I wanted to post it here once I felt the rules were stable, and then I figure it can be a living document type of thing - as people try it and give feedback, I can make modifications as needed.

I'm glad you're interested
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Jason
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Awesome! I was hoping someone might come up with solo rules cos this is a game I'm struggling to get to the table. I look forward to giving it a go as soon as I get a chance. Thank you Dave.
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The Dave
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Gorgisimo wrote:
Awesome! I was hoping someone might come up with solo rules cos this is a game I'm struggling to get to the table. I look forward to giving it a go as soon as I get a chance. Thank you Dave.


Awesome! Please let me know how it goes. I'm looking forward to feedback!
 
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rob
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Yep just what I was looking for too. Haven't had a chance to review yet but thanks for posting.
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The Dave
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rob nawa wrote:
Yep just what I was looking for too. Haven't had a chance to review yet but thanks for posting.


No problem! I'm hoping that some people find this to be a fun way to play the game when they can't get some friends around the table.

Let me know how it goes!
 
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rob
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It's just a question of time for myself at the moment. I would love to playtest a bit and try to contribute a bit more but it's not likely to be possible for a month or 2. I will continue in the land of concepts with it for now. Anyway, the work is appreciated and anyone else who has ideas it would be interesting to hear. I hope to really get involved in the bones of the game and see what hopefully balanced and fun ideas come out of that. Theres got to be a sleek and enjoyable solo model in there somewhere*

*not saying that you haven't found it I just couldn't comment without playing it and mucking around obv.
 
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David Crater
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I'm super interested in this, but I'm new and dumb. Where did you submit the file? I'd love to have a look.

 
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The Dave
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Daventhal wrote:
I'm super interested in this, but I'm new and dumb. Where did you submit the file? I'd love to have a look.



A Study in Emerald Solo Rules

I think this should work. Enjoy!
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David Crater
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Thanks! I'm lucky enough to have 5 people who love the game, but they aren't available nearly as often as I get the urge to play. This'll be great to try out.
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Sascha Klein
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Awesome, Solo Rules for this game i will try them tonight. Thank you
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The Dave
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sascha36 wrote:
Awesome, Solo Rules for this game i will try them tonight. Thank you


No problem! Let me know how it goes
 
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Sascha Klein
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Perhaps its too Late or i'm Not Clear with the Rules. I play with One Agent or with all Four agents ?
 
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The Dave
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sascha36 wrote:
Perhaps its too Late or i'm Not Clear with the Rules. I play with One Agent or with all Four agents ?


If you're playing the Moriarty variant, you'll be controlling the four agents Moriarty, Evno Asef, Baron Ungern-Sternburg, and Wilhelm Steiber. The use of the 4 Agent Action Points can be spent across any or all of those four agents. Does that clarify it? If not, let me know
 
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Mark Schlatter
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Just tried the Sherlock variant and scored 31 points before the War Track hit the top. Overall, I found it very thematic with a good emphasis on playing Sherlock (do I assassinate or reduce the chance of war?) and handling events (I saw everything except Zombies). Gloriana and the Washington ruler were hidden, but I managed to take out most everyone on the eastern side of the board. The starting deck with Nadar and Freemasons seemed just powerful enough to get going.

Two things that made me ponder: First, city cards seemed to clog my deck instead of help. That may be due to my focus on assassination --- the next time I play, I may try for cities with good points and helpful effects (e.g., Paris). Second, the consequences of assassination with anyone except Sherlock seemed harsh. I never picked up a Hired Assassin card because the movement of 4 on the War Track scared me, and when I used agents I typically sacrificed them rather than move up 2. (And I honestly didn't want to see Sane tokens since I could not mitigate the effect.)

Some formatting issues: it would have been helpful to me to number your pages and separate the scenarios.
 
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Thomas Lajeunesse
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Hello,

Better late than never...
Thank you for these two variants, since these are actually two distinct set of rules to play the game differently from both sides (I agree with Mark who suggested that this could have been two distinct files).

First I've tried the Sherlock variant (restorationist side)

There was some questions arising but I managed to continue playing while choosing to ask them after the game. Here they are, as I understood and chose to play them... to be confirmed :
-> City cards. You get them by assassinating the royalty in the corresponding city, but you don't get the city points, since you already got the assassination points.
-> Continuity of the previous question : The 35 VP score to be obtained is made by totaling Revolution track points, points from royalties assassinated, and controlled agents with VPs (such as Louise Michel, Errico Malatesta...), and there's nothing else that could be added to it.

My feedback :
I enjoyed myself. I mostly controlled the tracks for War not to rise : I assassinated as soon as possible the The Hague royalty, and with this city card and Sherlock, it was quite easy to maintain the War track very low, and to prevent events from being triggered. I also claimed mostly agent cards from agents with bombs, leaving the action cards in place in order not to get this +2 War track effect when both cards are taken from the city space (agents could be taken out by the Pinkerton event, actions cannot therefore they secure the city spaces). I took only a few action cards, the most useful being The Third Section to get rid of city cards I didn't really want in my deck, and the Infernal Machines to help with the high value royalties. By keeping the deck small and with the help of Mrs Hudson and The Freemasons to make it cycle even faster, Sherlock was coming back rapidly, which allowed to minimize the number of sanity tokens to be drawn, as well as controlling the War track.

Then I went with the Moriarty variant (loyalist side)

I'm sorry to say I failed to see the fun in this one. It seemed too oriented on just killing RAs which is not the only aspect of the full game, and too many questions arised. Here they are :
-> What is the point in taking 12 specific double agent tokens (a list is given), taking one out to be replaced by Sherlock, before dispersing them in the 12 cities, since these agents will never be used for their characteristics ? The only thing to know is if this is Sherlock or not. You could just take Sherlock plus any 11 Double Agent tokens from the box... (actually, this makes sense with the optional rules, but with the obvious strategy I used, which is explained below, the weight of it on the game doesn't seem to justify the bother since they will usually be killed before coming into effect)
-> In the rules, you forgot to say when a new permanent card is revealed after the visible one has been taken. Is it immediately ? At the end of the turn ? Or when both cards have been taken from a city space ? And if this is the latter, do you reveal a permanent each time this arises even if there is still one to be taken ?
-> If you take both cards in a city space, do you get the +2 War track ?
-> The goal of this game is only to kill Sherlock, so if the War track is at its highest, no ending the game, right ?
-> The RAs never assassinate the royalties, and hiding them only brings the Revolution track down, right ?
-> The city phase only moves adjacent revealed non-blocked RAs, plus Sherlock wherever he is, and increase the Revolution track if there is this symbol on it, right ?
-> You never use Sanity tokens ?

What was my strategy ? I just revealed RAs one at a time, killing them before revealing another. I also avoided to go to the top of the War track because I didn't want all the RAs revealed and moving around, gathering for protection of Sherlock. I started with the lower defense cities, going up (Constantinople and Cairo...), usually revealing and then killing the RAs there in the same turn. When I revealed Sherlock, I just went to a low defense city which hasn't yet been drawn from the city deck, and gathered my agents there, doing nothing but preparing my hand discarding non bomb cards, or playing the ones that decrease the Revolution track, while waiting for him to come there like an obedient sheep to the slaughterhouse...

Somme suggestions :
-> I'm not really convinced by this Agent Action Phase idea. It seems too artificial, and brings some balance problems. For instance you can keep a permanent card never to be bought. That way, you could always move an agent anywhere on the board just with two of these AAP points (one to put the agent on the card, one to put it back on the board), and therefore you can reposition two agents each turn and easily make them follow Sherlock as soon as you have the killing hand...
-> It would be more fun if the RAs were attacking the royalties and we would have to protect them, instead of restricting the focus to only chasing Sherlock.
-> City phase : use both Revolution increase and War decrease icons. With the agents we have in the deck, it's too easy to raise the War track...
-> Containing the Revolution track is easy, and advancing the War track even easier (I finished with Revolution at space 1, and War at 9 VP, and that's only because I voluntarily avoided raising it to 12 VP)

Some ending words...

Despite these comments I hope you won't find too harsh, I found this quite interesting and look forward to any developments that may come.

Thank you for all this work.

Thomas
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Andrei Ivushkin
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Any chance to improve solo variants based on suggestions above? Thanks
 
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Bill Eldard
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wil_low wrote:
Any chance to improve solo variants based on suggestions above? Thanks

Also, the variants require owning the first edition of A Study in Emerald. We have the second edition; can the variants be modified accordingly?
 
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