andy hagel
United States
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Hi fellow cavepeople
Does anyone know if (and how) Cavemen: The Quest for Fire can be played solo?
I've scoured the web to no avail.

Rococo_Zephyr mentioned it in this thread Re: The Purge: # 316 Cavemen: The Quest for Fire: A tribe building game to build fire. but I haven't heard further reference

 
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Galaad Maal
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I did develop a way of playing only one tribe, so yes it can be - and reasonably enjoyably. Unhelpfully I can't remember what changes (if any) I made - I shall get it out when I get home and see if I can not a few notes for you.
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Galaad Maal
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OK - here's my basic solo variant:


___


Win conditions are the same as a 2 player game, i.e. 10+ lightbulbs, plus the conch, and invent fire.

Setup - set yourself up as per 2 player game; to set up your opponent, simply place their starting leader card face-up to one side to start their tribe.

Draw Phase : as usual.

Conch Phase : The conch passes to the left (i.e. to your 'opponent' or back to you.)

If the conch is with your opponent, you may bid for it. You bid however many teeth you wish, and to see the counter-bid roll the top card into the discard pile and look at the number of 'stones' (same check as after a hunt) - and the number of stones is their bid. If the number of stones is equal to or higher than your bid, you lose. If you win, take the conch, if you lose, leave it where it is.

If you have the conch, the 'opponent' will bid for it if either of the following are true: a) a caveman is available in the pool who will add inventing value (i.e. an elder or a thinker); b) an invention is available in the pool that the 'opponent' can afford; c) you have teeth equal or greater than the maximum the 'opponent' could bid, i.e. five usually, but modified by any inventions they possess.

To find the opponent's bid, roll a card as above. You may counter-bid higher if you wish, and pay the teeth to retain the conch. If, however, you decide not to counter you must still pay teeth equal to the bid.

If you win, retain the conch, if you lose, pass it to the opponent.

Feed phase: You pay food as usual. The opponent never pays food.

Action Phase: Actions are played in the usual order; i.e. first action for the conch holder; action of the other player; second action of the conch holder.

You are free to use your actions as you wish.

The opponent will only act to acquire cavemen with inventing skill, or inventions. If neither of these types of card are available, they will take no action. In this case, the consequence of them having the conch is simply that you get one less action this turn.

They will act with the following priority:
1. If Fire is available, and can be afforded, it will be taken, and they win.
2. If a Thinker is available, it will be taken.
3. If an elder is available, it will be taken.
4. If an invention can be afforded, it will be taken. Priority is given to the most expensive, then the card that has been in the pool longest, then random choice.

Discard phase: You choose which cards to discard.

___

It's pretty rough, and not perfect by any measure; so people please feel free to play around and improve.

The basic philosophy behind it was the recognition that there isn't a whole lot of player interaction in this game beyond tooth bidding; the rest is a race to a winning intelligence level, whilst keeping your tribe alive.

Therefore the AI needs really only to offer some level of bidding interaction; and to force the intelligence race. To this end, worrying about their food, cave size etc. has simply been removed - there is an element of strategy necessarily lost (e.g. you're not going to buy a cave you don't really need just so someone else can't), but I've found this replaced in similar ways (e.g. you are going to buy that Thinker you don't really need, so they don't - and to do that you're going to need to buy that cave you don't really need...).

Game length will depend on how long it takes for Fire to appear; and the first half of the game will be about seeking dominance in Inventing, and limiting your opponent's scope to do the same; if this race leads to both players achieving the 10+ required, it will then slip into a battle to ensure having enough teeth to win the conch when Fire turns up. There is a predictability here, but I think that's a component of the game generally, not just a solo version (discuss?) - so whether this becomes any fun for you will depend a lot on how you feel about the game generally.

Anyway, there's my few thoughts, for what they're worth.
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Ogait Lael
Brazil
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I did not understand the part of the inventons modifiers.Can someone tell me?
 
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