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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42» Forums » General

Subject: Solo Expansion rss

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Gene Abercrombie
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Uwe said that the Solo Expansion was to be at Origins starting Friday for review, but I did not get a chance to stop back to his booth. Did anyone get to see it? Impressions?
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uwe eickert
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We had it set up and were playing it every night in the Boardgame room. We were too hectic during the day teaching and selling games. Sorry, survival money to stay in business and pay the booth bills came first!
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Gene Abercrombie
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Test
Uwe, when are you expecting to ship?
 
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uwe eickert
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whistleGene, I will let you know when we get the translated text back. We are play testing until the very end to make sure all is balanced. We are open to taking 3-4 more volunteers who own AtB 2nd edition to play test during this process. If interested, contact me directly thru my email, not here. I am working at least 12 hrs each day, along with Gunter, Addison, Dave and others to get this done.

Here are some details of what we have been working on.
1. I have spent almost 3 months just rewording the orders, working on syntax subtleties. Next we refined the layout of each sentence. Our goal is that the player can quickly scan (once they get to know the system - even subconsciously) all Tactical Situational Conditions. Then we have offset the AI Tactial Responses, so that a focus shift brings only these to the forefront.
I am almost satisfied with the results (if that is even possible), but we are still tweaking layout details. I will be sending our editors the final cards this weekend for feedback.

2. We have put a lot of effort into AI Counteractions and Default Orders. We have worked closely with our Army contacts to simulate order progressions. We want the AI to respond in an intelligent and intuitive manner.
No unit has any pre-programmed orders or restrictions at the beginning of the game. This is a MAJOR change in a boardgame's AI core.
We are adhering to Agent Based Logic reacting to situational and conditional parameters.

So you can see that we are really putting a lot of effort into the AI. At this point, the AI beats most of our play testers over 50% of the time. Playing either side....

We have also designed firefights for two players, each with an AI partner. Guess who you have to worry more about?!

That being said, I feel that we should not rush this last stage of the system development.

Uwe
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Gerald Clarke
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Sounds great! Take your time!
 
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Gene Abercrombie
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uweeickert wrote:
whistleGene, I will let you know when we get the translated text back. We are play testing until the very end to make sure all is balanced. We are open to taking 3-4 more volunteers who own AtB 2nd edition to play test during this process. If interested, contact me directly thru my email, not here. I am working at least 12 hrs each day, along with Gunter, Addison, Dave and others to get this done.

Here are some details of what we have been working on.
1. I have spent almost 3 months just rewording the orders, working on syntax subtleties. Next we refined the layout of each sentence. Our goal is that the player can quickly scan (once they get to know the system - even subconsciously) all Tactical Situational Conditions. Then we have offset the AI Tactial Responses, so that a focus shift brings only these to the forefront.
I am almost satisfied with the results (if that is even possible), but we are still tweaking layout details. I will be sending our editors the final cards this weekend for feedback.

2. We have put a lot of effort into AI Counteractions and Default Orders. We have worked closely with our Army contacts to simulate order progressions. We want the AI to respond in an intelligent and intuitive manner.
No unit has any pre-programmed orders or restrictions at the beginning of the game. This is a MAJOR change in a boardgame's AI core.
We are adhering to Agent Based Logic reacting to situational and conditional parameters.

So you can see that we are really putting a lot of effort into the AI. At this point, the AI beats most of our play testers over 50% of the time. Playing either side....

We have also designed firefights for two players, each with an AI partner. Guess who you have to worry more about?!

That being said, I feel that we should not rush this last stage of the system development.

Uwe


Thanks Uwe! I sent you an email.
 
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Gene Abercrombie
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Saw this on the Conflict of Heroes group on Facebook and thought I would repost here! Really looking forward to this.


"I’ve noticed some frustration over delays in the Conflict of Heroes Solo game being delayed, and wanted to point folks out to a story that just came out in the June issue of “Meeple Monthly.” The article is titled, “Deep Blue of Board Games—A.I. in ‘Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear’.” Knowing not everyone gets this magazine, I thought I’d summarize the contents.
The article begins with Uwe Eickert revealing the design protocol that has led to so many successful releases at Academy Games. To summarize, they analyze the elements and flow of a game to locate the “most fun” parts—the things that could be said to cause the drug dopamine (a pleasure reaction) to be released by the body, and, once they have defined these “Dopamine Action” points (DAs), they work to make sure the game provides plenty of the fun stuff while minimizing, summarizing, or removing entirely stuff that is not fun.
That may sound absurd or absurdly simple, but give it some thought the next time you are finishing something like “1775” and say, “Let’s play again.”
Uwe says he realizes that social interaction is one of the key elements of what makes board games successful and also understands that a solo game will lack this key element. So, he elected to compensate with CoH Solo by increasing the rate in which DA events take place. (When you don’t get to laugh with—or at—your friends, the game has to work harder to make you feel good about the experience).
Making the CoH Solo game meant literally reworking many of the mechanics of the game itself—this is not just your standard CoH game with some die-rolls built in for variability, but a game system that included a functioning “artificial intelligence” (AI) model, and he wanted the AI actions to be tactically sound, which again required something more complex than just random die rolls. But, they wanted anything “complex” to be either simple or seamless—a daunting challenge. Even with such high goals, they really thought they had the engine built and were ready to go to production in December of 2012, and that is why the game went into “pro-order.”
Except then, a new member joined the team—with a skill set seldom found in boardgames. As Uwe tells us, “That was when Gunter Eickert joined in and applied his Biomedical Engineering background. He suggested that we use an Agent Based logic system, based on work he had seen on ‘T-Cell reaction to bacteria invasion models.’” Say what?
After some explanation, Uwe saw the beauty (and superiority) of the logic and made the difficult choice to scrap most of what they had already done in order to use this new system...realizing that he wanted an engine that would work well for not only Awakening the Bear but all the present and future titles in CoH. Now he has it. The AI Orders for units are based on logical reactions to battlefield circumstances... and all handled without charts and complex rules.
Further, the AI has variable personalities and scenarios can designate card sets for offensive, defensive, and “aggressively defensive” stances.
Uwe says the team is very proud of the result and already working to apply it to other CoH games, including upcoming titles for Guadalcanal, D-Day airborn operations, and even some modern-day situations (which merit their own story).
I hear they expect to start shipping CoH Solo by late August, and I’m sure looking forward to seeing it."
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Gerald Clarke
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This sounds like something so innovative as to be unique and, if so, very interesting to say the least and well worth the wait!
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C Stoffa
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They are taking pre-orders. Supposedly shipping in March 15.

https://academygames.com/pre-order-atb-solo-expansion
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Dan Buman
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tubelo wrote:
They are taking pre-orders. Supposedly shipping in March 15.

https://academygames.com/pre-order-atb-solo-expansion


Coolness! Where did you see a March 15th ship date?
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C Stoffa
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In an email from academy games. Printer in jan, ship in mar.
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The preorder website seems to be open still, even though it is May now... so can we preorder it still, or is it just a mistake?
 
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uwe eickert
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You can still pre-order both expansions, until we get the games in-country. Then the game prices increase 28% to the MSRP. Some supporters have also noted that our pre-order prices increase over time. For those of you that pre-ordered more than once by mistake, we have all orders on record and charge you only at your lowest pre-order price, not the last pre-order price.

We are told that both the Solo and the Firefight Generator expansions will be air mailed to us this month, so that we will have copies on hand that can be picked up at Origins. The rest are being shipped via ocean.

The condition for picking up the air-shipped games is that we be allowed to open each game at the show to inspect all components.
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Doug Click
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I am actually getting a little excited about finally getting these in my grubby little hands.
 
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Thanks for the clarification Uwe, I actually bought a copy of the game today and I'm going to pre-order both expansions, as I see on the website that then it is one shipment cost (and living in Europe that's a serious amount).
 
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Andrew B
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borsook wrote:
Thanks for the clarification Uwe, I actually bought a copy of the game today and I'm going to pre-order both expansions, as I see on the website that then it is one shipment cost (and living in Europe that's a serious amount).


Actually that's only true for the US. Shipping to Europe is an extra 8$, but that's not that much. I'm really excited to get both of these expansions as well.

The news about Storms of Steel second edition is also great, I'll preorder that as soon as it shows up.
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andrewbwm wrote:
borsook wrote:
Thanks for the clarification Uwe, I actually bought a copy of the game today and I'm going to pre-order both expansions, as I see on the website that then it is one shipment cost (and living in Europe that's a serious amount).


Actually that's only true for the US. Shipping to Europe is an extra 8$, but that's not that much. I'm really excited to get both of these expansions as well.

The news about Storms of Steel second edition is also great, I'll preorder that as soon as it shows up.

Oh, that's a bummer... good to know that, so I might just get the solo one then. Thanks for the info!
 
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