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Russian Railroads» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solitaire variant I have been experimenting with rss

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Joe Salamone
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I haven't tested this enough yetn and I'm still tweaking, but here is the basic idea:

* You set the game up on the 2-player side of the board.
* You use only 1 player board for yourself. There is not opponent to keep track of. Starting tokens are the same as the 2-player game, except you start with only 1 rouble.
* You start with a #1 locomotive. The pool of available locomotives consist of two #2, two #3, and one each of #s 4 through 9.
* At the beginning of the game, all action spaces are available. After the first round, you need to block all action spaces you used in the previous round. I use neutral workers to mark these blocked spaces.
* If you use the engineer action, then the engineer action gets blocked for the next round (just like any other action space).
* If you purchase an engineer, the ability to purchase another is blocked in the next round.
* If you use one of your purchased engineers to take an action, you immediately need to block a corresponding action space on the board for the current round. (I am working on a table showing which engineers block which actions).
* You may place a worker on the "first player" action space in order to make one of the spaces that would normally be blocked in the next round available for use. This could even allow you to purchase another engineer in the next round if you choose to unblock that space. However, unlike the normal rules, you cannot subsequently move this worker off the 1st player space and place it on another action space.
* The object is try various strategies and attempt to beat your previous high scores. You get the 40 point engineer bonus if you purchase the majority of the engineers (same tiebreaker as the normal game). Otherwise, you get 20 points.
* You could adjust the difficulty by randomly blocking several action spaces right at the beginning of the game, making them unavailable in the 1st round and/or starting with 0 roubles instead of 1 (or by any other method you find suitable).
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Decatur
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Looks cool. How's it working?
 
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Joe Salamone
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I only tried it a couple of times. Mechanically, it seems okay (but I need to tweak which actions get blocked). I just didn't feel a lot of tension. I think it would be better with an A.I. or some other way of putting pressure on the player to make good decisions.
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Next Game Please
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Have you tried using a deck of cards to represent the various placements and drawing as many cards each time you place a worker. You could also vary the "start" player. Keep it simple. AI's can become quite complex.

I'm going to try this out, adding new cards whenever you can use new actions - mostly the rails from memory.
 
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Ken Bush
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The solo variant that comes in the German railroads box is quite good. All you need is the rules, and a card representing each worker placement space, which could easily be a deck of cards marked up.
 
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