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Subject: Solo mode not challenging enough rss

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Scrumpy Jack
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I've yet to lose against the pirates in solo mode, as simply buying low cost blob or empire has let me win every time. (4 out of 4 so far, which isn't much but at 100% easy win, I'm not compelled to give it more time).

What have folks tried to increase the difficulty, aside for the obvious changing the starting scores?
 
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Juan Crespo
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I concur. I've played both the Pirates and Nemesis challenges at least 5 times and have yet to be beaten.

Even reducing your hit points won't completely make it more satisfactory. The big issue is that there's a clear lack of decisions in term of how to tackle them. You only hope to beat them before they beat you, and their only chance in beating you comes down to luck of the draw. It's a little disappointing, but at that price tag, what the heck!
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Scott Burns
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I've considered a rule that states: When the Pirates destroy any bases, give them authority equal to the strength of the strongest base destroyed.
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Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
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I started my solo experience against the Nemesis beast. I don't consider myself a bad player, and I think it took me 5 times until I beat it. Even knowing how I beat it, I still ended up losing another 4 times in a row or so. To make it easier, I started by starting with 5 cards instead of only 3. This made a huge difference actually not only because your first turn is better, but you get through your initial deck that much faster, and I started winning maybe 70%+ of the time.

Honestly, I've played against the Nemesis Beast maybe 15-20 times, and only won twice using the rules given. I don't understand people who say it is way too easy and who never lose. Either those players are very good, or I'm not as good as I think I am, or we aren't using the same rules :-).

For the Nemesis Beast, every turn the Beast will deal more base damage than the last. By the 10th turn, the beast is doing 10 damage on the turn, and in total the beast has done 55 damage to you (unless green cards are drawn). Generally, I've found that I have about 10, maybe 11 turns to win. When my hands are getting messed with via discards, or putting cards on top of my deck, this makes things tougher. Also, 11 turns only gets you through your deck maybe 4 times? This varies based on how many cards you can scrap, or cards you can draw, which is certainly important, but you just really don't get to use your good cards that many times.

I switched over to the Pirates Solo challenge, and was able to beat it both times I played it. It didn't seem very close also. So I agree with the original poster that the Pirates Scenario isn't too hard. I would say switch to the Nemesis Challenge.

I've seen people post on Boardgamegeek both that the solo scenarios are too hard and they're too easy. I guess I say that Nemesis is really hard, and pirates is easy. This is just my experience with the solo game thus far.
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Juan Crespo
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I’m also starting to suspect that I play the game differently than other folks that find it really difficult to beat. I wonder, what could I (or them) be doing wrong? Here’s a non exhaustive list of things that others might be playing differently:

When I’m attacked, I destroy a base if possible, and apply the remainder damage from the base defense to my authority. Destroyed bases get discarded, not trashed. The bosses don’t have any bases so all damage is applied directly to their authority. I also draw more cards when a card instructs the opponent to lose a card, and add 3 damage if instructed to destroy an enemy base. I apply all applicable primary and ally abilities, even for bases that were played in a previous turn.

I usually concentrate on getting bases the first turns, while the Nemesis is still weak. Depending on those bases faction, I prioritize which ships I get. Going heavy on blue is really good at the beginning, as it gives you extra authority and trading power. Another key thing is that I don’t trash cards at all early, as you get the most bang for your buck at the end to deliver a crushing blow.

With the pirates I just try to knock em out before they do the same to me. Not a lot of specialized strategy there. A string of unlucky draws and you're out.
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Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
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Sure, we can try to figure out if we're playing differently in any way.

"When I’m attacked, I destroy a base if possible, and apply the remainder damage from the base defense to my authority."
I agree.

"Destroyed bases get discarded, not trashed."
I agree. One thing that could make a difference is when I end my turn, I draw my new hand. If there aren't enough cards in the discard pile, then I shuffle, and draw however more I need. The Nemesis then takes a turn, and can kill any bases I have in play. This means that the base goes into the (empty) discard pile, so I won't get to play that base again this time through the deck. This is one of the disadvantages of having bases if you're unlucky and draw the base your last time through your deck just before you shuffle. I'm not 100% sure this is correct, but based on the rules, you finish your turn by drawing, and if your deck is gone, you shuffle your discard pile.

"The bosses don’t have any bases so all damage is applied directly to their authority."
I agree.

"I also draw more cards when a card instructs the opponent to lose a card"
Do you draw a card, and then discard a card?

"and add 3 damage if instructed to destroy an enemy base."
I agree.

"I apply all applicable primary and ally abilities, even for bases that were played in a previous turn."
You only apply the ally ability if you have another base/ship of the same faction in play, right? So if you have one blue card, you only get the primary ability, but if you have two blue cards, you get both primary abilities and both ally abilities. I agree that bases provide the basic ability and ally ability every turn the base is alive.

I assume you're playing with 5 card hands? You each have 50 authority to start? Every turn you are scrapping one card from the trade row and adding to the Nemesis Beast strength? Each basic ability and ally ability you are only applying at most once in a turn, right?

Besides what I've listed, I'm not sure what other major differences in play there could be between how you play and I play.
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Juan Crespo
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Yep, apparently we're playing correctly. I start with a 3 card hand for the first turn, and five cards from there on... It might just be that the solo game is just swingy, and hinges on the boss's draws and the available cards on the display.
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Henry Allen
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Are you both playing with a single deck?
Playing with or without promos?

It's been a while since I played solo but interestingly, in 2p co-op, we've found the beast fairly beatable but have gotten spanked by the pirates. With bad draws the pirates can easily slap tons of damage on you early and often while the beast is much more predictable with its slow ramp-up.
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Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
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I'm playing with a single deck, and I'm playing with the Merc Cruiser, though it's rarely a factor.

I must say the two times I played pirates, the draws were pretty favorable. I should try it again and see how challenging it is. I agree that the beast is probably more predictable with the slow ramp up. With 2-p, doesn't the beast start with a couple of cards already, so instead of doing 1 damage on turn one, it does 3 damage?
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Scrumpy Jack
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my account only applies to pirates. is nemesis harder to beat?
 
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Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
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My experience is nemesis is harder than pirates. I think I read on somewhere that other people had a harder time with pirates, so who knows.

But yes, I would give the Nemesis a try and see what you think. I played it twice again last night, and just barely won both times. Both games I started with 5 cards though instead of the 3 you're supposed to start with, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have won either if I'd started with just 3 cards.
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Scrumpy Jack
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nemesis is a KS exclusive correct?
I have pirates from the BGG store. perhaps nemesis will turn up in the next BGG promo
 
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Matt Schoonmaker-Gates
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I'm not sure what is a KS exclusive or not. I just bought the game on Amazon, and I bought the "expansion" on Amazon for another $10. It came with Nemesis, Pirates, the Merc Cruisers, and a bunch of gambits.

I've heard of BGG Promos, but I'm not sure what they are or how they work. Where are they located on the BGG website?

Also I just played the pirates solo again, and I won fairly easily again and I don't feel like I even had great draws or cards.

Edit:
I just saw this on the website, which describes the Nemesis solo challenge. You don't need the card to play it, just the rules. http://starrealms.com/star-realms-promo-card-roundup/
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