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Eminent Domain: Microcosm» Forums » Variants

Subject: Simple solo dummy rss

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Atsushi Kojima
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Hi, I've been playing this rather simple dummy player variant and had a quite a bit of fun. Thought I'd share it to see if someone here would enjoy.

Dummy player only takes Colonize, Warfare and Research domain card (I'll call this "basic domain card" for the time being). He'll simply ignore other domain card. At the dummy player's turn, he takes the leftmost basic domain card found in the supply. If he found none, he takes it blind from the deck.

He then immediately plays the card unless that's a non-basic domain card. At this point, count up how many of the same card is in his discard pile to determine the next action. (i.e. Dummy player played Colonize, then there's 2 more Colonize card in his discard pile. Proceed to the next step with a notion of number 3. Please note it's not the symbol but a domain card that says Colonize)

If the dummy player is playing Research, he simply takes the same amount of technology. If he's playing Colonize, take the bottom card of the corresponding planet deck and add it in to his colony. If he's playing Warfare do the same as Colonize but add it in to his spoil. The symbols for colonize and warfare is simply ignored during this acquisition.

That's pretty much it. Score the same way as you would in normal 2 player game. There are few cards that loses its value, also your strategy needs to be slightly adjusted, but I found this way of playing solo is quite simple yet retains the feeling of playing the actual 2 player game.
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Seth Jaffee
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atsbomb wrote:
Hi, I've been playing this rather simple dummy player variant and had a quite a bit of fun. Thought I'd share it to see if someone here would enjoy.

Dummy player only takes Colonize, Warfare and Research domain card (I'll call this "basic domain card" for the time being). He'll simply ignore other domain card. At the dummy player's turn, he takes the leftmost basic domain card found in the supply. If he found none, he takes it blind from the deck.

He then immediately plays the card unless that's a non-basic domain card. At this point, count up how many of the same card is in his discard pile to determine the next action. (i.e. Dummy player played Colonize, then there's 2 more Colonize card in his discard pile. Proceed to the next step with a notion of number 3. Please note it's not the symbol but a domain card that says Colonize)

If the dummy player is playing Research, he simply takes the same amount of technology. If he's playing Colonize, take the bottom card of the corresponding planet deck and add it in to his colony. If he's playing Warfare do the same as Colonize but add it in to his spoil. The symbols for colonize and warfare is simply ignored during this acquisition.

That's pretty much it. Score the same way as you would in normal 2 player game. There are few cards that loses its value, also your strategy needs to be slightly adjusted, but I found this way of playing solo is quite simple yet retains the feeling of playing the actual 2 player game.
Thanks for posting this. I'm glad you're enjoying Microcosm!
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Walt Gottlieb

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This sounds great! But one question: when the dummy player uses Research, does he ever make you return your technologies, and does it matter which technologies he takes?
 
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Jonathan Rowe
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atsbomb wrote:
At this point, count up how many of the same card is in his discard pile to determine the next action. (i.e. Dummy player played Colonize, then there's 2 more Colonize card in his discard pile. Proceed to the next step with a notion of number 3. Please note it's not the symbol but a domain card that says Colonize)
How does this number determines the Dummy's next action?
 
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Jonathan Rowe
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Some further thoughts on the Solo Dummy AI:

Set up the game as usual; you always go first and the AI goes second.

All colonies are played face-up (revealed). Any "peek" effect by you or the AI has the effect of REVEALING the card in question. If the AI "peeks" at your colonies for any reason, turn one of them upside down; that colony is now considered to be at -1 defense against the AI.

The AI draws the leftmost card that is COLONISE, WARFARE or RESEARCH. It ignores POLITICS and SURVEY and will draw from the deck instead if there are no eligible cards in the supply.

The AI might draw a POLITICS/SURVEY card from the deck or be prohibited from drawing from the deck (eg the deck may be exhausted or you may have POLITICAL PARTY in your discard pile) in which case he draws the leftmost POLITICS/SURVEY card; the AI will choose a POLITICS card in preference to SURVEY and will only draw a SURVEY card if there is no other option available.

The AI attempts to play the card it drew. If this isn't possible (for instance, if it lacks the icons to use COLONIZE or WARFARE successfully or it already possesses all the TECH cards), the AI takes back its entire discard pile into its hand instead.

COLONIZE: The AI claims the most valuable card it can as a colony, based on the icons in its hand, its TECH and its existing colonies. It will choose a revealed planet over a face-down one, but otherwise draws the top-most planet. It places its own colonies face up (revealed) so it can access their icons. If it cannot colonize, it draws back its discard pile.

WARFARE: The AI conquers a planet card as Spoils. It will choose one of your colonies in preference to an unclaimed planet (if it can conquer more than one of your cards, it conquers an upside "peeked" planet in preference to other or, failing that, the one with the highest defense; if still tied, you choose). If it attacks an unclaimed planet, it will conquer a revealed planet in preference to an unrevealed one. If this isn't possible, it reveals the easiest planet and attempts to conquer that (eg the level 0 planets in preference to level 2 or 3).

RESEARCH: The AI claims a TECH that matches the icon on the REVEAL card - or forces you to discard that TECH if you already have it. If the AI already owns this TECH, it will always force you to discard a TECH, but you get to choose which.

POLITICS:
The AI will rarely pick these up, but if it does its action will be to discard them into its discard pile and draw back the rest of its discard pile. The AI always leaves POLITICS cards in its discard pile (but see below).

SURVEY:
On rare occasions, the AI draws and plays a SURVEY card. It does not play it but as its action draws back all the other cards in its discard pile, including POLITICS cards.

OPTIONAL: THEMES FOR THE AI


At the start of the game, shuffle the TECH cards and draw one for the AI. The AI starts with that TECH in play and these additional rules apply:

WARFARE:
The AI will always choose WARFARE cards in preference to other types of cards, or cards with WARFARE icons if there are no WARFARE cards available. It breaks ties by choosing the leftmost card as usual. It will always use RESEARCH to claim back the WARFARE TECH if it loses it. If it possesses the WARFARE TECH, it will use RESEARCH to acquire the MOBILIZATION TECH as its next priority.

COLONIZE:
The AI will always choose COLONIZE cards in preference to other types of cards, or cards with COLONIZE icons if there are no COLONIZE cards available. It breaks ties by choosing the leftmost card as usual. It will always use RESEARCH to claim back the COLONIZE TECH if it loses it. If it possesses the COLONIZE TECH, it will use RESEARCH to acquire the MOBILIZATION TECH as its next priority.

RESEARCH:
The AI will always choose RESEARCH cards in preference to other types of cards, or cards with RESEARCH icons if there are no RESEARCH cards available. It breaks ties by choosing the leftmost card as usual. It will always use RESEARCH to claim back the RESEARCH TECH if it loses it. If it possesses the RESEARCH TECH, it will use RESEARCH to acquire more TECH as its priority rather than depriving you of TECH (as it usually does); draw its TECH randomly.

MOBILIZATION:
The AI will always choose WARFARE or COLONIZE cards in preference to other types of cards, or cards with WARFARE/COLONIZE icons if there are no WARFARE/COLONIZE cards available. It breaks ties by choosing the leftmost card as usual. It will always use RESEARCH to claim back the MOBILIZATION TECH if it loses it. If it possesses the MOBILIZATION TECH, it will use RESEARCH to acquire the WARFARE or COLONIZATION TECH as its next priority (choose randomly if both are available).

CAPITAL:
The AI will always choose cards with the CAPITAL icon preference to other types of cards. It breaks ties by choosing COLONIZE/WARFARE/RESEARCH over POLITICS and POLITICS over SURVEY; if there is still a tie it chooses the leftmost card as usual. It will always try to colonize/conquer planets with the CAPITAL icon in preference to others. It will always use RESEARCH to claim back the CAPITAL TECH if it loses it. If it possesses the CAPITAL TECH, it will use RESEARCH normally.
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