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Subject: Any Ideas For Solo? rss

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Jack Neal
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I know I read there was consideration for a 1-player variant of the game in one of the forums somewhere but did this come to fruition? I'm considering crafting one (no good ideas yet without adding at least a 6-sided die) but I wanted to see if anyone had done so.

And if no one has made a solo variant, ideas! Please! Thanks!
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Adam P. McIver
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I have a few pages of notes and charts around somewhere but unfortunately demand for my time elsewhere has it pretty far back on the backburner. I'd love to read others' thoughts as well!

I promise not to steal them... much!
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Emmanuel Aquin
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ad7m wrote:
I have a few pages of notes and charts around somewhere but unfortunately demand for my time elsewhere has it pretty far back on the backburner. I'd love to read others' thoughts as well!

I promise not to steal them... much! ;)


Here are my homemade and wordy rules (which I've tested). Funny, I was about to post them anyway...

Distribute coins normally.

You play against a shadow player. Flip all his coins on the same side (heads if you play tails, or vice-versa).

You always start. You MUST do at least 1 action per turn.

The shadow will try to copy your moves:
If you place 2, he places 2;
If you place 1 (and move one), he will place 1;
If you move and capture, he will capture.
If you pay 1 to place 3, he will pay 1 and place 3.
- The shadow never uses the "move" action.
- When possible, the shadow will place coins of the same value you did. If you place a 3 and a 1, for example, he will place a 3 and a 1 if he can.
- When the shadow cannot place a coin, he places a coin of the next available inferior rank. If not possible, he places the next available superior rank.
- When placing, the shadow uses these rules:
He will always cover your coins if possible, starting with your coin of the highest value (regardless of region).
If he covers your coins, he uses his biggest available coins. To cover a 4, he will try to use a 3, etc.
If he cannot cover your coins, he places his coins in empty spaces.
When placing coins in spaces, he will always choose the "smallest" region (smallest being the one with the fewest spaces).
If there is more than 1 valid target space, he will place in the region where he has the most coins.

- When capturing, the shadow uses these rules:
He will try to capture a coin of equal value as the one you captured.
If he can't capture a coin of the same value, he will capture the highest possible coin.
If you captured a covered coin, he will capture a covered coin (if possible).
If there are more than 1 valid target, he will capture from the smallest possible region.

If your turn consists of "move" only, the shadow places 1 coin (of the lowest possible rank).

If the game ends during your turn, the shadow is offered one last turn (if possible).

At any time, if there are 2 or more equally valid options for the shadow, pick randomly.

When scoring, always add 1 point to the shadow. If you play more than 1 game in a session, add 1 additional point per game (2nd game, he gains +2, third game he gains +3, etc).

Feedback will be most welcome!


E

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Jack Neal
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Play both sides optimally - flip a coin - there's your points. : )

I kid...

There's the dilemma of complicating a great design, adding components, etc., not to mention the fact that a regular Joe will beat an AI to death.

Nothing complete here at all...

The key change in mindset for me would be playing against the map or a scenario versus playing against another opponent. This opponent - the game actually - would be asymmetrical. Think Pocket Civ with pocket change.

I'm picturing a similar map to the PnP one with a few minor modifications suitable for a couple d6 lying around. The player would have the starting amount of coins but there is no opponent per se.

- Numbered regions with with probability and AI VP for getting rolled. This could be a modified version of the map or plain tokens to place on an existing map.

- A simple chart for game events. The game would have different actions and phases than the regular two player game - the most significant in that turn order is random.

Chart ideas include:

* Abundance: Player takes her turn as normal.

* Sabotage: A unit in the rolled region changes allegiance to another tribe. Switch the highest ranked coin in that region from yours to another ones.

* Barbarians: A rival tribe enters the map in a rolled region. If there is a blank space then the highest ranked AI coin is placed. If all spaces are filled then the lowest ranked AI coin is placed on the highest one of yours.

* Famine: A player coin in the rolled region is permanently removed from play. Player chooses which of her coins starves.

Points at the end are your points minus any AI coins (rank x 2) AND the VP for the AI on the board. If you are in the positive, you win.


Thoughts?


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Jack Neal
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Arbitrary testing - far from perfect: I used 2 dice of one color and 1 die of another. Each region gets a rolled # and a VP amount for the AI.

Regions
Northwest - Copper Peaks - Roll of 6 with x1 VP.
Central - Forests of Coindor - Roll of 8 with x2 VP.
Southwest - Plains of Kashe - Roll of 7 with x3 VP.
Central - Silver City - Roll of 9 with x1 VP.

Rolls of 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 - Player turn.

Events
* Sabotage: Roll of 1-2. A unit in the rolled region changes allegiance to another tribe. Discard the coins above the highest opponent coin.

* Barbarians: Roll of 3-4. A rival tribe enters the map in a rolled region. If there is a blank space then the highest ranked AI coin is placed. If all spaces are filled then the lowest ranked AI coin is placed on the highest one of yours.

* Famine/Invasion: Roll of 5-6: A player stack in the rolled region is permanently removed from play. Player chooses which stack starves. If a stack cannot be removed then a rival tribe's lowest ranked coin is placed.

* If an event can't be performed, move down the list.

Opponent Scoring
Standard region control rules apply. The AI receives the additional modifier. For example, the Silver City going with an AI coin of 4 would get the majority bonus of x2 and a additional x4 bonus for 32 points. That's a lot of points.


- - - - -

Impressions
1. 10 plays Initial messing around. A fair amount of randomness that evens out a little. The events are harsh but need to be to counteract player intelligence.
2. A 1 hex region does not work well for rolls at the moment. Consider solo map but work with the stock one.

Game ends when map is filled or either side runs out of cash.

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Jack Neal
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WIP

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Emmanuel Aquin
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Raiderjakk wrote:
WIP



Adding dice to a coin-slapping game seems unnatural. Have you thought of replacing dice with coins?
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Alan Stewart
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Amiral wrote:
Adding dice to a coin-slapping game seems unnatural.

You're taking a player away from a two-player game. That's kinda unnatural as well. Have you thought about just adding another player to your solo rules?

I *like* the idea of using the *even* distribution of a die to randomize things up. It makes it interesting thinking about strategies to mitigate what's going on. Of course it also confounds the strategies since there's no way to assume what the dice will do to counter YOUR moves.
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Jack Neal
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Amiral wrote:
Adding dice to a coin-slapping game seems unnatural. Have you thought of replacing dice with coins?


I have somewhat.

For the events, it would be easy enough to just designate two other coins as heads/tails and decode a chart as well. I've reduced the above chart to three items and I may very well bring it down to two and if that ends up being so then you are correct. :-)

Regions could be dealt with similarly, however, the probabilities of having a protracted land war in Asia are diminished with two coins.

Excellent point though.
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Jack Neal
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EverywhereGames wrote:

You're taking a player away from a two-player game. That's kinda unnatural as well. Have you thought about just adding another player to your solo rules?


I am. It's a different tact than Admiral's (which I actually prefer at this moment).

The problem with modelling another player is you often give the strategy of the game away. Throw in an extensive decision tree and it defeats the purpose of having another player. That's one of the reasons I enjoy PocketCiv so much. You aren't playing another player - you're scraping by to survive against the unknown.

Quote:

I *like* the idea of using the *even* distribution of a die to randomize things up. It makes it interesting thinking about strategies to mitigate what's going on. Of course it also confounds the strategies since there's no way to assume what the dice will do to counter YOUR moves.


I don't think the game should be symmetrical in directly countering your moves. It would be nice if it does and if there is a rule-set that does that with the given components then awesome! Short of that, asymmetry is a novel way to deal with it.

* * * *

I'm surprised no one commented on the Risk map actually. Latest contortion:


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Jack Neal
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Nations is a good example of a solo AI that is so-so for me. The opening sequence is too strong and the actions during the turn itself nominally affect the strategy but that's an entirely different discussion.
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Alan Stewart
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Raiderjakk wrote:
I'm surprised no one commented on the Risk map actually. Latest contortion:

I hadn't noticed that it was a Risk Map. I was just really liking how you'd managed to apply big hexes to the real world and make a pretty cool map of it. I think I prefer the first configuration but the second one looks like it could be interesting too.
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Jack Neal
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For those still following along, I can get the rough statistical outcomes of what I am looking for in terms of coins to get four numbered regions and three events.

Region coins: 0, 1 & 1, 3.
Event coins: Famine & Peace, Barbarians & Peace, Allegiance and Peace.

I could throw in three coins for region to get 1/3/3/1 ratio but I think that's a bit more involved than I want.

I am leaning toward a four zone map and using the event coins - if all events get thrown then they all happen. Its a bit tricky. More playtesting this weekend.


Thanks!
 
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Jack Neal
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Something like this (to playtest)...

 
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Jack Neal
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Beginning chart/map/coins below.

It still needs some tweaking but it is better than it was before. The main handicap is that the AI only goes a region at a time. I either need to double up on region rolls or come up with another mechanism. I consistently win by a thin margin and I think this is why.

It plays well on the base PnP map as well.




 
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Jack Neal
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Took a break - still fiddling with rules a little bit. I should have a file PDF by the end of this week. Thanks for the feedback thus far. I know this variant isn't everyone's cup of tea but for when you have spare change in your pocket it works out pretty well.

Thanks much - Jack

Edit: If anyone who created maps would like to have the "solo" treatment by having their map numbered, let me know.
 
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Jack Neal
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Latest changes:



1. Doubled up on rival turns. This makes for a tighter game.
2. Added region markers. They are .5 cm markers from 1-4 to use on any map for solo play.
3. The chips in the lower middle (helmet, cattle, flag, and #'s) are event chips.
4. All charts and turn order reminders are on same sheet as solo game.

Questions welcome, if any. This thread looks like its pretty much run out of steam.
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