I've just started a new game of the unofficial solo campaign of mine, described here. I thought I'd share my progress in a series of 2 or 3 session reports.
Game 1: Barbarians vs the Diplomatic Poles
(diplomatic Poles won’t let you have more deals than round number and will perform and increasing number of attacks each round)
I had a very good first round draw (imho) and managed to play many production locations. The game went smooth and the Poles only got going in the last two rounds (as they usually do), in both of which they fired 6 attacks at me. Last round cost me 3 faction locations. Nonetheless, I won comfortably: 58-36.
Game 2: the Japanese vs the Raging Australians
(raging Australians have 1 more attack each round and score points for black cards)
Dojos came early on for me and the Australians didn’t draw many black cards. One Samurai died defending a dojo, but other than that, a piece of cake: 82-36.
Game 3: the Romans vs the Savage Americans
(savage Americans pick from more targets when they attack and the cards in their collection are worth more than usual)
Tough game. Couldn’t really get my building engine going and when I finally got one Administration card, the Americans razed it promptly! In the end it was close, but they got the better hand by just 2 points (43-45)!
Game 4: the Romans vs the Savage Americans (attempt no. 2)
Much better this time around, though not a walk in the park. I draw some of the key Roman cards and got none of them razed, so I built and scored enough to win. I also draw the Volcano and used it to evaporate one of the American cards (not giving them another attack for this, as I decided using the volcano is not razing). In the end Americans had 11 cards in their collection (they razed two locations of mine in the last round, getting to fire at 6 targets), but needed as many as 15 to defeat me. Final score: 75-55.
Game 5: the Egyptians vs the Ferocious Russians
(ferocious Russians attack you more and the lookout phase has lots of cards, which are worth less when they’re in the enemy collection, though)
Russians are a tough opponent simply because they almost always end up with a lot of cards in their collection. This time they had 19, as I didn’t raze their cards a lot, focusing on my affairs, trying to score as high as I could. I didn’t do very well, maybe because I didn’t draw any of the Sphinxes. But I did do just enough, winning 65-57.
Game 6: the Egyptians vs the Nasty Spanish
(nasty Spanish will destroy 1 of your faction locations each round no matter what and they score extra on gold cards)
I decided I wanted to see some more action from the Egyptians, so I stayed with them for another game. As it turned out, more were to follow.
The nasty trait is very hard to play against. Losing one faction location each round proved very costly. To make things worse, my production sucked for the entire game and in the last round, when the Spanish razed me, they got gold cards! Maybe I didn’t think this through well enough, to take on the Spaniards with a gold card heavy deck. All in all, it was a miserable 46-77 defeat.
Game 7: the Egyptians vs the Nasty Spanish (attempt no. 2)
Heh, this game was of the kind I love the most. Just to see how it goes, I used a totally different approach than usually and it worked, though I have to admit I was extremely lucky! Since the Spanish would destroy my faction locations each round, I didn’t play any until the fifth round. I had a lot of common cards played, managed to squeeze out some points from building grey cards and got a lot of deals, particularly a sword deal early on, allowing me to raze enemy cards. In the end, the Spanish collection consisted of only 8 cards and I managed to score just a point more! 37-36! The Spanish got 4 points extra for a gold location of mine I forgot to overbuild.
Though the score looks miserably, I think I had a better time than in any of the other games of this campaign so far.
Had I lost, I would probably switch to play with the Japenese faction, which should be able to pull off a better score using lots of deals. I’m not sure, though, if the rules of the campaign allow such a switch. I think they do, though, I did write that you can choose a new faction for every game and didn’t say there was an exception for rematches.
Game 8: the Barbarians vs the Fearsome Canadians
(fearsome Canadians will attack more targets, but you’ll be able to defend yourself better and they will score for brown cards)
After the last game I wanted an easier experience, so I decided to go with Barbarians. The extra defense token came in handy and together with razing a lot, I managed to hold the Canadians off for only 7 cards in their collection. There were quite a lot of common brown cards drawn in lookout phase, but in the end I won comfortably with a combination of razing and spending both workers and resources for points. Final score: 67-45.
After game number 8 I decided to call it a night. Looking back, I'm really happy about how the session went and I'm overjoyed with its entertainment value!
I'm not sure, though, if I won't have to make an adjustment in the additional rules I have for my solo games: it seems the Japanese have it too easy protecting their cards with the Samurai. I'm thinking that maybe, the Samurai should not take the hit and be discarded, but instead, a location with a Samurai should not be taken into consideration when looking for a Japanese location to be razed. Will have to play with this and see how it goes.
I'm planning to continue with the campaign tomorrow (there are still 9 nations left to beat!) or some other day soon and will report on my progress.
Hopefully, I haven't bored you to death with this. Cheers!