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Subject: 2-Player variant using an Automa rss

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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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During the development of the Automa solo system that's part of Between Two Cities I wrote down some very simple rules for using an Automa so that 2 human players could play using the normal 3-player game rules.

I never got around to testing those rules and since the included 2-player variant was playtested thoroughly and was very well received I tossed my 2-player variant out, and thought that I’d post it here on BGG later on once I had playtested it.

However during the Between Two Cities Kickstarter a lot of interest has been shown in using the Automa system for a 2-player variant, so therefore I’m posting my rules now.




Rules for using an Automa for playing 2-players

The Full mode Automa rules can with a few modifications be used for playing Between Two Cities with 2 human players. An Automa takes the place of the third player and it shares a city with each of the human players. There’s no Automacity with special placement and scoring rules instead all three cities use the normal rules.

During setup place a randomly drawn duplex tile in each of the Automa’s cities.

While playing the left column on Automa cards are used to assign tiles to the city on the left of the Automa, and the right columns are used to assign tiles to the city on the right.

The rules for building tile assignment of the Full Mode Automas are used to assign tiles to cities. During Round 1 a tile is first assigned to the city to the left of the Automa and during Round 3, the Automa first assigns to the city to the right.

After the Automa has made its assignments the human players assign tiles to their cities as in a standard game, and then they each insert the two assigned tiles as they see fit into the city they share with the Automa.

The current tile set of the Automa is always face up, while the tile set of the human players are face down.

For Round 2 the Automa doesn’t assign any duplex tiles (it does this during setup) and each human player only performs steps 1-3 of Round 2 once instead of twice.
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Andrew Watson
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mortenmdk wrote:
... during the Between Two Cities Kickstarter a lot of interest has been shown in using the Automa system for a 2-player variant, so therefore I’m posting my rules now.

Rules for using an Automa for playing 2-players

... There’s no Automacity with special placement and scoring rules instead all three cities use the normal rules...

For Round 2 the Automa doesn’t assign any duplex tiles (it does this during setup).

I just had a quick play through, pretending to be two people. I didn't miss Automacity at all. Don't get me wrong, it's an essential part of the excellent solo game, but it's good to have all cities using the same scoring rules.

I would change the description of Round 2. The human players add duplex tiles to their cities. This step is not repeated (since it gives the human-shared city two duplex tiles). In this, the 2+A game resembles the multiplayer game more than it resembles the solo: the duplex procedure runs only once in 2+A, just as it runs only once in multiplayer.

My impression, right after a grand total of one play, was that 2+A may be lacking one of the best features of the game (including the solo game): the need to balance out my cities, not to favor one at the expense of the other. I favored the city I shared with Auto over the city I shared with "the other human", since the former was "my city", and the latter "his city".

A little more thought suggests that I was wrong, both in the way I played and in the way I regarded Automarta and her role in the 2+A game. If both humans favor the city they share with her, she might well win. (She didn't, but it was a weird game, with the tile draws suggesting that I should have shuffled better.)

If I was teaching B2C to one other person, I would certainly use 2+A. That person would learn B2C, play multiplayer B2C, and get a feel for the solo game. I would emphasize that Automarta is an opponent as well as a partner, and that if she wins, we humans both lose.

Would I use 2+A with other player counts? If there were 4 of us, and the others wanted to see Auto in action, I might well use 2+A. I'd have us sit HHAHHA for a total of 6 players and 6 cities. Each human would have one Human partner and one Autopartner.

Thanks, Morten, for this variant of a variant, and for posting it.

Andrew
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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AndAgainMA wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
... during the Between Two Cities Kickstarter a lot of interest has been shown in using the Automa system for a 2-player variant, so therefore I’m posting my rules now.

Rules for using an Automa for playing 2-players

... There’s no Automacity with special placement and scoring rules instead all three cities use the normal rules...

For Round 2 the Automa doesn’t assign any duplex tiles (it does this during setup).

I just had a quick play through, pretending to be two people. I didn't miss Automacity at all. Don't get me wrong, it's an essential part of the excellent solo game, but it's good to have all cities using the same scoring rules.

I would change the description of Round 2. The human players add duplex tiles to their cities. This step is not repeated (since it gives the human-shared city two duplex tiles). In this, the 2+A game resembles the multiplayer game more than it resembles the solo: the duplex procedure runs only once in 2+A, just as it runs only once in multiplayer.

My impression, right after a grand total of one play, was that 2+A may be lacking one of the best features of the game (including the solo game): the need to balance out my cities, not to favor one at the expense of the other. I favored the city I shared with Auto over the city I shared with "the other human", since the former was "my city", and the latter "his city".

A little more thought suggests that I was wrong, both in the way I played and in the way I regarded Automarta and her role in the 2+A game. If both humans favor the city they share with her, she might well win. (She didn't, but it was a weird game, with the tile draws suggesting that I should have shuffled better.)

If I was teaching B2C to one other person, I would certainly use 2+A. That person would learn B2C, play multiplayer B2C, and get a feel for the solo game. I would emphasize that Automarta is an opponent as well as a partner, and that if she wins, we humans both lose.

Would I use 2+A with other player counts? If there were 4 of us, and the others wanted to see Auto in action, I might well use 2+A. I'd have us sit HHAHHA for a total of 6 players and 6 cities. Each human would have one Human partner and one Autopartner.

Thanks, Morten, for this variant of a variant, and for posting it.

Andrew

Awesome, I'm very happy to hear that you've tried it out.

I agree that you need to consider Automarta as a player that can win just like the two human players or you'll lose a lot of the similarity with the 3-player game.

Using the system to turn a 4-player game into a 6-player should also work, and a 3-player could be turned into a 6-player. But I think that it would be hard to use it in a fair way with 5 or 6 players unless you add another copy of the game.

Quote:
I would change the description of Round 2. The human players add duplex tiles to their cities. This step is not repeated (since it gives the human-shared city two duplex tiles). In this, the 2+A game resembles the multiplayer game more than it resembles the solo: the duplex procedure runs only once in 2+A, just as it runs only once in multiplayer.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here?
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Andrew Watson
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I obviously didn't do a good job of explaining what I meant about Round 2: the duplex round.

mortenmdk wrote:
The Full mode Automa rules can be used for playing Between Two Cities with 2 human players.

The Full mode solo rules specify that Round 2 is a do-twice loop (the rules I'm looking at say "Repeat steps 1-3 once)".

In 2+A mode, there is no repeat or loop in Round 2. In this, 2+A resembles multiplayer, and is different from Full mode solo.

As you can see, I'm having trouble saying this without being some combination of obscure, geeky, and cumbersome. I think it needs saying, so that someone following the Full mode solo rules doesn't repeat/loop in Round 2, and then have too many tiles left over in Round 3.

Cheers,
Andrew

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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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AndAgainMA wrote:
I obviously didn't do a good job of explaining what I meant about Round 2: the duplex round.

mortenmdk wrote:
The Full mode Automa rules can be used for playing Between Two Cities with 2 human players.

The Full mode solo rules specify that Round 2 is a do-twice loop (the rules I'm looking at say "Repeat steps 1-3 once)".

In 2+A mode, there is no repeat or loop in Round 2. In this, 2+A resembles multiplayer, and is different from Full mode solo.

As you can see, I'm having trouble saying this without being some combination of obscure, geeky, and cumbersome. I think it needs saying, so that someone following the Full mode solo rules doesn't repeat/loop in Round 2, and then have too many tiles left over in Round 3.

Cheers,
Andrew


Ah, now I understand. Good point. I've updated the rules in the OP.

Thanks.
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Andree-Anne B.
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I know this thread is super old but I'm hoping to find an answer.
We just got the game and we want to play with the 2 players+automata rules (that is now included in the box) but I don't know why, we have a very hard time understanding how the first round is suppose to go and I couldn't find for the life of me any video of someone playing with these rules (we're both very visual person I guess) We ended up arguing over the rules and never starting the game snore

So I have a few questions if someone can help me clarifying the rules (and sorry if my English is not perfect, it's not my first language)

During setup
When stated that Automa put a duplex tile "in each of Automa's city" it's one share with Player 1 and one share with Player 2; So the game starts with 2 duplex tiles on the table on each side of Automata, right?

We then draw 7 tiles each, do the real players still choose two tiles to put under their city token and put the remaining cards face down to eventually pass them around like a regular game.

We then proceed to assigning a tile on each of Automa's city following the Automa's card flipped up, using the left column first. He will be left with 5 tiles facing up. And each of his cities will already have 3 tiles assigned (the duplex+1 tile)

Then Player 1 assign his tiles, one with Automa's city and he starts the city with Player 2 with one of the chosen two tiles from the initial draw.

Then Player 2 assign his tiles, like player 1. Now each of Automa's city have 4 tiles assigned and the shared city with Player 1 and 2 has 2 assigned tiles.

And there it's where we're a bit confused. We then pass along the 5 tiles to the left. Do Player 1 ends up with the 5 tiles from Automata that were facing up? Or is it only the two real players that swap the 5 tiles facing down and Automata keeps his facing up tiles without any changes. It's where I'm really not sure how it's suppose to go.

Rinse&repeat until 1 card is left and discard it.

for Round 2, both Player 1 and 2 pick 3 duplex; they each place 2 (one with Automata and 1 with the "real" shared city). Automata do not play on this round and we do not repeat. The 3rd duplex is discarded. Round 2 has ended.

Round 3 starts has round 1. We draw 7 tiles, choose 2, Automata plays according to his card and we go around to the right this time. (Automata's card is used as usual, the right column will now be used first instead of the left one when assigning tiles)

-------------------------------

Please tell me were I'm wrong with these rules (or help me clarify where I'm confused )

I drive tested this alone and everything seemed fine, until the phase that we need to pass along the tiles, I really do not know what happens with the Automata's pile that is always facing up. I swear I read the rules several times and couldn't figure it out blush

Many many thanks in advance!

 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Before I get started, please note, that it's a long time since I've played this game.

korinsama wrote:
I know this thread is super old but I'm hoping to find an answer.
We just got the game and we want to play with the 2 players+automata rules (that is now included in the box) but I don't know why, we have a very hard time understanding how the first round is suppose to go and I couldn't find for the life of me any video of someone playing with these rules (we're both very visual person I guess) We ended up arguing over the rules and never starting the game snore

So I have a few questions if someone can help me clarifying the rules (and sorry if my English is not perfect, it's not my first language)

During setup
When stated that Automa put a duplex tile "in each of Automa's city" it's one share with Player 1 and one share with Player 2; So the game starts with 2 duplex tiles on the table on each side of Automata, right?

That is correct.

korinsama wrote:
We then draw 7 tiles each, do the real players still choose two tiles to put under their city token and put the remaining cards face down to eventually pass them around like a regular game.

Yes.

korinsama wrote:
We then proceed to assigning a tile on each of Automa's city following the Automa's card flipped up, using the left column first. He will be left with 5 tiles facing up. And each of his cities will already have 3 tiles assigned (the duplex+1 tile)

Technically, the duplex tile is placed, not just assigned, but in practical terms, though, that makes no difference at this point.

I'm not sure whether the 3 is a typo. It's only 2 tiles for each of the 2 cities. 1 duplex tile + 1 normal tile.

korinsama wrote:
Then Player 1 assign his tiles, one with Automa's city and he starts the city with Player 2 with one of the chosen two tiles from the initial draw.

Then Player 2 assign his tiles, like player 1. Now each of Automa's city have 4 tiles assigned and the shared city with Player 1 and 2 has 2 assigned tiles.

These 2 steps are done in parallel as in the normal game.

And there it's where we're a bit confused. We then pass along the 5 tiles to the left. Do Player 1 ends up with the 5 tiles from Automata that were facing up? Or is it only the two real players that swap the 5 tiles facing down and Automata keeps his facing up tiles without any changes. It's where I'm really not sure how it's suppose to go.

korinsama wrote:
Rinse&repeat until 1 card is left and discard it.

Yes.

korinsama wrote:
for Round 2, both Player 1 and 2 pick 3 duplex; they each place 2 (one with Automata and 1 with the "real" shared city). Automata do not play on this round and we do not repeat. The 3rd duplex is discarded. Round 2 has ended.

I'm not sure whether I'm reading you correctly here, but each player assigns 2 duplex tiles to the city shared between them and only assigns 1 tile to the city they share with the Automa.

korinsama wrote:
Round 3 starts has round 1. We draw 7 tiles, choose 2, Automata plays according to his card and we go around to the right this time. (Automata's card is used as usual, the right column will now be used first instead of the left one when assigning tiles)

Yes.

korinsama wrote:
I drive tested this alone and everything seemed fine, until the phase that we need to pass along the tiles, I really do not know what happens with the Automata's pile that is always facing up. I swear I read the rules several times and couldn't figure it out blush

Reading the rules now, I can see that this isn't clear. The intention is that you pass the tiles along as normal. This has the consequence, that tiles are revealed when the Automa gets them.

I hope this clears up your questions. If not let me know.
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