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Subject: What to do, crazy hand for both sides... rss

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Tomasz Janowicz
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Hi.
I have played scenario 1943 against Allied Erasmus. After turn 7 Japan won, but because I still learning this game, I keep playing. So, new turn, all reinforcments done and I deal Strategy cards. And here we are:

USA:


JAPAN:


Bot has only 1 Military card, I have ZERO. So the rest Bot cards I have to play as an OC. But here is few questions.
How to meet PoW target (OC only attack one battle hex)?

With Erasmus is really hard to keep up with progress of war, because it`s not taking any risk if You look at the charts. In scenario 1943, both sides are balanced, and becasue my movments, Bot never attack 2 or 3 haxes. Was to risky, my reactions.

Here is another question: Default condition says:" play a card as an OC to take an objective."

Do I roll dice to determine HQ or I making the best target for AI? If I roll, and all targets to risky/hard, what then?

Another question: I have(Japan) "Inter-service Rivalry" card. Because it`s my decision, I can play right now, so make operations for Bot more difficult.
So my logic (or not whistle) tales me, "Why AI always have to play MIL actions cards first"? If Bot has same card, beacuse is Political, it`s gonna use it on the end. Why not to use it first before any Military operations, and make my defend reactions hard?

I`m wrong here, or I just miss something...so many rules , easy to make a mistake??

And what will be the best option, to play Bot hand in this turn, with those cards from the picture above?

EotS is great game, but very offten I have a feeling, that it`s not SOLO game, but only 2 players game. Looking at the map I see many options for AI, but charts won`t let me do this actions. Or I playing his movment wrong . Help!

Thank you and sorry for my English.

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John Steidl
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Hi Tomasz,

I think it's important to remember that a bot AI is not a solitaire game system. A bot AI, as in EotS, is intended (more or less) to model human decision making following the standard multi-player game rules. But in a game of any complexity, it's not possible to fully model the decision making of an expert player in an AI of manageable size.

If you're at a point where you're often finding better plays for Erasmus than his AI is suggesting, you might want to try giving him the benefit of your wisdom for a more competitive game. A good example of this is in the timing of card play. ISR, WiE, China ECs, surprise attacks and intercepts are all good examples of situations where a lot of contextual information and judgment goes into the decision.

To get the most out of continuing your current game, you might want to consider switching sides and playing the Allies yourself. Either way, it's hard to offer specific advice without more knowledge of the strategic situation. But, in general, a very high priority for the Allies on Turn 8 is to take a "bomber base" if they haven't already, since you'll need it to start strategic bombing on Turn 9. Marcus is often the easiest since the Japanese usually don't have enough ground forces to put something there. Whether you need to worry about Progress of War depends entirely on where the track is and what has been played. Once the B-29s are bombing, that gets you +1 PW a turn, so you can often afford to ignore PoW if PW is at least 3.

This is a tough offensive hand for the Allies, with only one EC and the special condition on Oboe. Vengeance is a good early play to reduce the reaction range of CFHQ. If the Allies are already in positive WiE territory, you can use those as OC attacks to pick off the naval units that are creating reaction stacks. This might force the Japanese to move naval units to recreate the stacks, which will give you a chance to use the Sub. Or if the Japanese are under ISR, the US can use OC plays to go after air units instead of reaction stacks. (Best is reaction stacks made with a CV/L since you are accomplishing both goals at once.) Eliminating ZOIs is critical for the Allies to have any hope of a blockade victory, and is also important to prepare for a possible invasion of Japan.

20th Bomber Command is a good FO card if the China box is open for your B-29 on Turn 9. That would give you the option to play it either way. Of course it's the only 3OC for the Allies, so they might need it for something else this turn.

The Allies should also be looking for opportunities to grab a port/airfield combo anywhere forward. The Japanese can't defend everything and you may find Jolo or Leyte undefended. In that case a 2OC is perfect for trying to sneak somebody in there late in the turn, since the JP will need to roll both SR and intel.

The Japanese hand is actually great. ISR early is good if they are not already under. Then you have a ton of defensive cards to play as appropriate.

Hope that helps a bit. It sounds like you're ready for a human opponent, and there are plenty of folks who play via Vassal and/or ACTS. Or come over to the CSW forum and join the staff game to further develop your game.

All best.
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Tomasz Janowicz
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@John
BIG THANKS!
And thank you for all your videos, I seen them all...3 times whistle.

You help me a lot. Good advise about Japan ZOIs. My bad that I look and try to play EotS same way as D-day Tarawa.

I`m not ready for human player yet. I read rulebook too often and scratch my head.

Again, big thank you mate for yours points and suggestions.


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Mark Herman
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John has already posted a great reply, so not much to add. I heartily endorse the changing sides idea. I find that Erasmus does competent things, but there will be future versions that play better.

One change I am going to implement in the Card instructions is if you are using a military event as an OC, you should substitute in an event card that Erasmus is not going to use (last two cards) if it has the same OC value.

As far as what to do with the cards, note that many hands in EotS evolve, you have several draw card opportunities, so start moving forward with an Allied attack that readdresses the VP differential in such a way that could win if it were successful, such as retaking Northern India or capturing a port in range of Tokyo, etc. Then figure out a two card combo to start down that path. If you can play an event to get a draw card after that, then do so and see how that changes your options.

My hope is to play this scenario today as a friend is in town.
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Peter Kossits
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Mark, have you considered splitting up the bot's deck into Military, Political, Reinforcement and Reaction mini-decks and then pulling from those decks according to a die-roll/date to avoid awkward hand combinations for the bot? Die roll can be used to determine the likely LogEval without user having to see cards in advance and count.

Worth thinking about. You might even be able to keep the bot's hand face-down if you do this and allow the player to pull for the bot from a hidden deck - since you can fix the desired order of the hand without exposing the cards (Mil cards on top, Political and Reinforcement cards towards the end when the bot wants to play those).

Also for reaction cards, how about making the player do a reaction die roll for the bot instead of showing those cards to the player in advance? Bot makes its die roll; it can pull a reaction card from its mini-deck. Would add a lot of missing suspense to battles if the player doesn't know in advance whether a reaction card is present.
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Mark Herman
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peterk1 wrote:
Mark, have you considered splitting up the bot's deck into Military, Political, Reinforcement and Reaction mini-decks and then pulling from those decks according to a die-roll/date to avoid awkward hand combinations for the bot? Die roll can be used to determine the likely LogEval without user having to see cards in advance and count.

Worth thinking about. You might even be able to keep the bot's hand face-down if you do this and allow the player to pull for the bot from a hidden deck - since you can fix the desired order of the hand without exposing the cards (Mil cards on top, Political and Reinforcement cards towards the end when the bot wants to play those).

Also for reaction cards, how about making the player do a reaction die roll for the bot instead of showing those cards to the player in advance? Bot makes its die roll; it can pull a reaction card from its mini-deck. Would add a lot of missing suspense to battles if the player doesn't know in advance whether a reaction card is present.


These are all interesting suggestions that I hope you pursue. I have used much of your feedback on ways to improve Erasmus and the CDSS rules, so thanks for all your posts.

Erasmus is meant to fill in an important blank for both the solo player and as an interactive tutorial. How to integrate the rules into a cogent set of plans that are executable by someone starting out with the design. For the most part I think they have been successful in this regard. That said, they are not Ambush where every move is an unknown set of circumstances that you need to deal with. This is not a problem, but a feature of how I wanted to publish the second edition.

I am currently continuing to play with Erasmus and making improvements that I will eventually publish in a v1.1 as promised in the 2nd edition CDSS rules. They will be freely available, so I am not doing it for the money, but I am committed to making the system the best it can be.

Right now Erasmus plays a competent and legal human game. I personally am not trying to do what a computer or a referee does. That is not to say that this is uninteresting, just not what I am trying to accomplish. I will leave that to others if they are so inclined.

But I encourage folks to give me thoughts on how to improve Erasmus as a player.
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Peter Kossits
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Unfortunately, I lack the EotS know how and expertise to do a decent job at trying to come up with a variant, so it's not something I would attempt. It seems the community of players who do have that expertise are not really interested. It's a bit of a shame.

I think you need to increase the "fun factor" and reduce the workload of the solo a bit to encourage people to play it. Let there be some surprises thrown at the player (beyond a good/bad combat roll) every now and then. A hidden bot deck would help with that.

There is a solo player guild on here where those of us who enjoy solo games log our plays and discuss them. EotS has fallen right off the map. There were a few plays logged in July-Aug and pretty much none since. Haven't really seen any plays logged where anyone made it to the Late War charts.

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