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Subject: Can you play solo as any faction? rss

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Geoffrey Wilson
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I was a tad disappointed that A Distant Plain wasn't designed for solo play as Government or Warlords. (I minor blemish on a great game.)

Will Fire in the Lake let you play as any of the four factions solitaire?

Thanks!
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Mark Herman
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something wrote:
I was a tad disappointed that A Distant Plain wasn't designed for solo play as Government or Warlords. (I minor blemish on a great game.)

Will Fire in the Lake let you play as any of the four factions solitaire?

Thanks!


Yes
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Geoffrey Wilson
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Great! Thanks!
 
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Brian Train
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I don't understand.
Volko went to a great deal of trouble to write four bots for all four players in ADP; why couldn't you just play as any one faction you want, and let the other three run as bots?

For that matter, you could have all four run as bots, and be spectator to a zero-player game....

Brian
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Geoffrey Wilson
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ltmurnau wrote:
I don't understand.
Volko went to a great deal of trouble to write four bots for all four players in ADP; why couldn't you just play as any one faction you want, and let the other three run as bots?

For that matter, you could have all four run as bots, and be spectator to a zero-player game....

Brian


The solitaire game has some rule changes from the multiplayer game: victory conditions, the actions a bot can take. Also, though I admittedly haven't tried it yet, it seems the balance would be off if you played solitaire as Warlords or Gov against the bots. (Too difficult for the player.) By my understanding, the game wasn't designed and playtested for a solitaire player to be the warlords or Gov, correct? That doesn't make it impossible of course, but I'm happy to hear that Fire in the Lake is designed with solitaire play for any of the four factions in mind. (Again, a minor blemish on A Distant Plain out of all its goodness!)
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PC Principal
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ltmurnau wrote:
why couldn't you just play as any one faction you want, and let the other three run as bots?


Setup, p. 19:

Quote:
Then assign each a Faction:
1-player—Coalition or Taliban


Rule 1.5, p. 4:

Quote:
The 1st player plays the Coalition (tan) or the Taliban (black)


I also was slightly disappointed that you can't (by strictly following the rules) solo the Warlords (or the Government).
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Brian Train
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I suppose you're right, by strictly following the rules you can't do that.
But there is nothing stopping you from trying out a solo Government or Warlords; I mean, lightning won't strike you or anything like that (however, your children will grow up to be a disappointment to you.)
If you apply the same "who won by getting the closest" logic, you should be able to figure out on your own if you won or not - I am guessing this is just what Mark and Volko did for Fire in the Lake.

Brian
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Volko Ruhnke
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Quite so, nothing stopping you from paying as Govt or Warlords against the others -- the bots are there. We just didn't test nor optimize them for those player roles. My guess is that playing factions other than Coalition or Taliban would make solitaire, if anything, easier on the player, as the bots would not be picking on the player as much.

We did go farther in FL -- by "we", I'm including solitaire systems developer Oerjan Ariander (Father of Bots) -- and tried and tested to make all four solo roles equally challenging and viable. In part this was possible, I think, because we are getting better at designing the solitaire system as we go.

vfr
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Bob Hansen
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Volko wrote:
Quite so, nothing stopping you from paying as Govt or Warlords against the others -- the bots are there. We just didn't test nor optimize them for those player roles. My guess is that playing factions other than Coalition or Taliban would make solitaire, if anything, easier on the player, as the bots would not be picking on the player as much.

We did go farther in FL -- by "we", I'm including solitaire systems developer Oerjan Ariander (Father of Bots) -- and tried and tested to make all four solo roles equally challenging and viable. In part this was possible, I think, because we are getting better at designing the solitaire system as we go.

vfr

If the bot design is getting better does that mean that the previous game bots may be enhanced? Perhaps new versions being released in a C3i or here on the geek as a resource?
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ltmurnau wrote:


For that matter, you could have all four run as bots, and be spectator to a zero-player game....

Brian


Perhaps we should submit a correction to the BGG page under number of players: "0-4"

It could be the Spinal Tap of the boardgame world: "This one goes to zero!"

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Paul Kime
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Well, ...it's one lower.
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Oerjan Ariander
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Volko wrote:
We did go farther in FL -- by "we", I'm including solitaire systems developer Oerjan Ariander (Father of Bots) -- and tried and tested to make all four solo roles equally challenging and viable. In part this was possible, I think, because we are getting better at designing the solitaire system as we go.


"Father of Bots"? Only for the CL and FL ones, surely... modest

No doubt we're getting more experienced with the bot designs; but a major difference was the basic realization that no matter what rule 1.5 says about which factions the players should pick first, most players will pick any faction they want to anyway!

When designing the CL bots, we assumed that NP Government or M26 would always be accompanied by NP Syndicate or DR respectively (since that was what rule 1.5 required), so I at least never even considered that GovBot might need to take down a player Syndicate or that M26bot might want to attack player Directorio. (Same for ADP, too.) In FL we didn't make any such assumptions, which almost automatically resulted in more self-reliant bots.

Later,
Oerjan
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Oerjan Ariander
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kixdsky wrote:
If the bot design is getting better does that mean that the previous game bots may be enhanced? Perhaps new versions being released in a C3i or here on the geek as a resource?

Probably released here on the geek first, and if the variants survive the comments and critisisms recieved they might be included in a reprint or C3i.

I'm working on updated CL bots, and have a quick-and-dirty fixes for GovBot and M26bot that work reasonably well for 3-player games with NP Govt or M26; but getting GovBot to attack player Syndicate enough to give a solo Mob player a challenge will probably take a fairly major redesign.

Unfortunately, there's a fair bit of conflict between updating the bots for the older games and developing new games... especially since I was between jobs during the CL and much of the FL developments, so I had plenty of time for playtests. Now I have a job again, which is very nice from the pay-rent-and-buy-food point of view but severely restricts how much time I can spend on game development (or even on posting stuff here on BGG) I suspect that Volko faces similar time constraints too, though he's obviously more active here than I am

Later,
Oerjan
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Kevin Walsh
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Oerjan wrote:

"Father of Bots"? Only for the CL and FL ones, surely... modest

Nothing to be modest about there. The Syndicate and Directorio bots are fearsome opponents.
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Volko Ruhnke
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kixdsky wrote:
Volko wrote:
Quite so, nothing stopping you from paying as Govt or Warlords against the others -- the bots are there. We just didn't test nor optimize them for those player roles. My guess is that playing factions other than Coalition or Taliban would make solitaire, if anything, easier on the player, as the bots would not be picking on the player as much.

We did go farther in FL -- by "we", I'm including solitaire systems developer Oerjan Ariander (Father of Bots) -- and tried and tested to make all four solo roles equally challenging and viable. In part this was possible, I think, because we are getting better at designing the solitaire system as we go.

vfr

If the bot design is getting better does that mean that the previous game bots may be enhanced? Perhaps new versions being released in a C3i or here on the geek as a resource?

Yes!

We already tightened Andean Abyss Non-player Rally a touch in C3i. Oerjan Ariander has an AA Govbot in work. I have offered a Govbot Train variant for A Distant Plain elsewhere on BGG. And we intend similar small improvements to the Non-Players in the reprints in prospect, now that all 3 volumes sold out at GMT.

Thanks for asking! Volko
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Eric Guttag
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Geoffrey,

Yes, and as a playtester who did lots of solitaire play, the bots (all of them) are vicious! Plays great no matter which faction you choose to be.
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