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Subject: Solo Sessions, including some questions rss

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Andrew Watson
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I've played the solo rules a few times now. Here's my experience of the levels, and my questions. Scott, if you're reading this, I'd be particularly interesting in your answer to Q2.

Level 1 (L1). Beat Junior, I think by about 6 points. I like Scott's design for Junior. He isn't very smart; that's a good thing, since it makes his turns very simple and quick. He gets two components rather than just one when he goes to the Garage or Shop; that fits with him being the son of the boss at "a mismanaged, third-tier agency".

L2. Beat Junior by about the same margin, but it seemed tougher. It is an advantage to go first. Which leads to a thought about Loop Inc. with 2 or more: it's good to have the scoreboard, so that the player with fewest points can go first in rounds 2 and 3.

Q1. On L2, does Junior go first in all rounds? Or does he go first in the first round, with the lowest score rule determining the start player in rounds 2 and 3?

Q2. As we move up to a new solo level, does Junior keep advantages from lower levels? In particular, as we move to L3, does Junior still have the L2 advantage of going first? I played that he did.

L3. Now Junior gets a head start on components for each TM (Time Machine). He won.

L3F. As L3, but incorporating the Futures mini-expansion. I thought of calling this L2.5, since the addition of a Future Trip card, and the removal of a BC trip card, make it easier on the human than L3. I lost on a tiebreaker: I was 3 ahead on the scoreboard before reluctantly hitting my score with the Ad penalty I incurred on the last round.

I like L3F. My two favorite stretch goals are Solo and Futures, and L3F combines them. The Future trips are interesting in terms of Scott's card text, and lovely in terms of KM's art!

L4. Might try it.

L5. You have got to be joking! Has anyone actually tried this? I suspect that Scott was particularly busy and grumpy when he made up the rule about taking the penalty when Junior tears time.

L6, L7. Might try them, probably without L5.

Q3. What is your experience of the solo game?

Q4. Have you tried any of the mini-expansions in the solo game, despite the explicit statement that it "uses only the retail version of the game"?

By the way, I do use the new Anomaly cards from the first stretch goal.
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Scott Almes
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Q1: Yes, at L2 Junior will go first during all rounds.

Q2: All of his level upgrades are cumulative.

Q3: I quite like it. Finding out the best way to stop Junior's snowballing time machines is fun! And, his time machines can look quite ridiculous towards the end...

Q4: With an exception of the Anomolies, I think the other mini-expansions give the player too much of an advantage, or play clunky. For the Performance Goals, since Junior doesn't have a true brain it doesn't seen fair. You can use the Waste Memos, if wanted, or the Office cards. The Waste Memos will make the game harder and the Office cards a bit easier. The Butterfly Effects also need some decisions to be interesting. And, as you noted, the Futures Cards make the game a bit easier

So, I found it easier, rules-wise, just to say: use the retail version instead of having a chart of which ones to use and which ones not to use. I do normally add in the Anomolies, though.

Thanks for the writeup on the solo game! I'm glad you found a level/flavor that works for you.

Oh, and Level 5 is indeed crazy. It's basically like watching out for landmines. You have to pay a LOT of attention to where Junior is going, and not go a place he is likely to try to go that day. And you better not get any tears yourself! Plan carefully!
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Andrew Watson
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scottbalmes wrote:
I found it easier, rules-wise, just to say: use the retail version instead of having a chart of which ones to use and which ones not to use. I do normally add in the Anomolies, though.

Thanks for the writeup on the solo game! I'm glad you found a level/flavor that works for you.

Oh, and Level 5 is indeed crazy.
Scott, thanks for your rapid reply. I can see that it was best to specify that the solo variant designed for use with the retail version, thus making things as simple as possible. But it was inevitable that some BGGers would complicate things by mixing the solo variant with stretch goal mini-expansions anyway.

Next time I play Loop Solo, I'll try L4F. Junior gets extra components from Garage and Shop (per L1), goes first in each round (L2), and gets a head start building TMs (L3). What makes it L4F (rather than L3F) is that there's an additional BC card; this puts back in to the game the BC card I took out to use the Futures rules. I feel ready for L4F, having beaten Junior on L3F yesterday evening.

Thinking about it, L5 isn't as bad as I at first thought it was. I almost always manage to avoid Tear penalties, and have never incurred more than one. That's sometimes thanks to Anomaly cards.

Thanks again for adding the solo variant.
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