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Subject: Never Surrender - A Solitaire Scenario for Churchill rss

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Timo Aho
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NEVER SURRENDER
A Solitaire Scenario for Churchill

Introduction
I love Churchill. It's easily one of the best games I've ever played. I wanted to make a solitaire variant because I don't like having to look through multiple hands of cards. To me it feels like playing a multiplayer game by myself. This is my attempt to fix that "problem".

Unique Bot behavior
Bots (Roosevelt and Stalin) in this scenario behave according to the letter of the current conference (A, B or C). This helps to make each solitaire experience completely different.


During a Bots turn, you will draw the top card of his deck and perform actions based on the value and attribute of the card drawn. This same mechanic will be used to determine whether or not the Bot will debate.

Picking Issues
Bot Sheets show the logic behind choosing issues. If certain conditions are not met, or if issues are already taken, remaining issues will be chosen randonly using a die and the Issue Picker.

Secret Agenda tokens
Secret Agenda tokes are used for placing Clandestine Networks and Political Alignment markers. You simply flip over a tile and place (or remove) tokens in that country or colony.

The reason for this is that I wanted the Bots to have a plan instead of just placing tokens randomly all over the place. The plan of each Bot is determined by the tokens they get during setup.

Winning conditions
The player will WIN if BOTH of these apply:
1. Both axis powers have surrendered.
2. The player has the most victory points.

Otherwise the player will always LOSE.
The player will also LOSE immediately if at the end of any conference, the difference between highest and lowest score is greater than 15 victory points.

The scenario is basically rigged against the player so winning will not be easy.

Download
If you are interested, please try out this scenario. I would love to hear your feedback, especially regarding how to improve the behavior of the Bots. Thanks!

>>> Download Never Surrender v1.0 <<< (paper size: Letter)

P.s. At some point I will post a session report (with pictures) of me playing this scenario.
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Tod Andrew
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Can't wait to try this - it looks great.
Well done!
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Mark Herman
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Looks like fun, thanks for taking the time to post this.

Mark
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Gordon J
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Wow, looks well done.
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David Janik-Jones
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Nice design work. I'll also download and try.
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Wendell
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Looks very interesting. Victory conditions look tough - which I think is good.
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Alex delenca
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Wow - this looks amazing. I was trying to hold out but now I may have to really get Churchill. :p
adding to Xmas wish list...
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Timo Aho
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Thank you for all your nice compliments. Now I really hope this scenario doesn't suck

A word of warning. I've only played Churchill a couple of times so I don't fully understand the game just yet. These Bots probably need a lot of tweaking. For example, if there is a scenario-breaking "cheat" that lets you win every single time, please let me know and I'll try to fix it.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that you should definitely keep a running score because of the "greater than 15" lose condition at the end of each conference.

delenca wrote:
Wow - this looks amazing. I was trying to hold out but now I may have to really get Churchill.
adding to Xmas wish list...
Just go for it, you won't regret it
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Mark
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Very nice! I am going to give this a try.
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Ben Bosmans
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Great effort there.

I stated it before but the current Churchill bot (and VP) system simply was not convincing at all for me. We all like Mark, but when it doesn't click, well I can't fake it either...


I am a pure solo player for 95% of the time and there are so many great solo games out there that I didn't see me playing an artificial mechanic with a full card view all the time.

I hope to find some time to give this a try between solo sessions of the CoH expansion, which is the real successor to Ambush, the Father of all solo wargames.

Please keep us informed of further tuning and feedback !!! I am willing to come back any time when someone can fix this.



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Ken
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Finished trying this out today.

Very well done! I found it very challenging.

I ended up losing to the US by 9 points with both Germany and Japan surrendering.

One question I had was your intent with advancing an issue for the bot on priority 2 (An issue picked with the Issue Picker). Was your intent that the player would have to keep track of which issues the US/Russia picked and they would only advance those that THEY picked?

Example....say the US picked Global to be on the table. Will Russia advance that issue even though they didn't pick it? Or does the fact that it is ON the Russian picker list trump who actually put the issue on the table?

I played it that the bot didn't care who placed it on the table as that made the most sense to me and worked well.

I highly recommend this scenario to everyone. I'm looking forward to playing it again and trying to figure a way to stop the US.
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Mark
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kmikolaj wrote:
One question I had was your intent with advancing an issue for the bot on priority 2 (An issue picked with the Issue Picker). Was your intent that the player would have to keep track of which issues the US/Russia picked and they would only advance those that THEY picked?

Example....say the US picked Global to be on the table. Will Russia advance that issue even though they didn't pick it? Or does the fact that it is ON the Russian picker list trump who actually put the issue on the table?

I played it that the bot didn't care who placed it on the table as that made the most sense to me and worked well.
I played this the same way, that it didn't matter who put it out there. In turn, I found a lot of fighting over A Bomb, Global, and Pol/Mil.
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Randy Mauldin
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Very nice. Not to put more work on you, but any chance you might also do a Churchill bot, so you can play any of the three participants solo?
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Mark
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FWIW, I put a never surrender play in the Sessions forum, although with a slight misreading of the victory conditions.
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Timo Aho
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kmikolaj wrote:
Finished trying this out today.

Very well done! I found it very challenging.
Thanks for testing. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

kmikolaj wrote:
I played it that the bot didn't care who placed it on the table as that made the most sense to me and worked well.
You played it correctly. I guess I could try to make the rules a bit more clear. Writing rules is difficult by itself, even more so for non-native speakers.

Randy Mauldin wrote:
Very nice. Not to put more work on you, but any chance you might also do a Churchill bot, so you can play any of the three participants solo?
My ultimate plan is to make three scenarios - one for each side. But first I want to fix all the issues with this Churchill scenario so it will be easier to copy-paste stuff.

Simply making a Churchill Bot and teaming it up with one of these Bots might not work that well. I think that in order to make this challenging (aka fun) for the player, the Bots need to work together against the player. For example in this scenario, the Bots rarely compete on Pol-Mil locations (although it can still happen). If they did compete, I think it would be too easy for the player.

I also considered maybe making the Bots slightly different each time. For example here the US Bot focuses on the Pacific theater. But when the player is USSR, maybe the US Bot could focus more on the European Front, forcing the player (USSR) to push more for Berlin and Japan surrender (required for scenario victory)? And I think Churchill Bot would probably have to behave very differently depending on which side the player chooses. I don't know..

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we could have only 3 Bots and the scenario would be fun and challenging regardless of what side the player chooses. Needs testing I guess.

LeroyJS wrote:
FWIW, I put a never surrender play in the Sessions forum, although with a slight misreading of the victory conditions.
Cool, thanks. I'll check it out.
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Randy Mauldin
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What is meant by "favored Issue"?
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Timo Aho
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Randy Mauldin wrote:
What is meant by "favored Issue"?
Those are all the issues listed under "Debate Issues" in the Bot sheet.

I'll fix the wording in the next version to make it more clear.
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Christopher Peters
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Gave this two quick test drives over the weekend. Enjoyed it immensely.

I roll for conference each time (1/4 A, 2/5 B, 3/6 C) and it's extraordinarily difficult (in a good way) if you get a run of "C" conferences. Keeping an eye on that 15 point spread is an interesting balancing act too. In my final game, where I had that run of "C" cards, I had a bear of a time winning the war while the bots were stockpiling Pol/Mils.

Anyway, great fun - the chit-pull idea with regards to the opposing spheres of influence is a great idea and one I'm already incorporating into using with the bots in the game.
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Eddie Meister
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Any thoughts on how this would work if I played with another human? Obviously one of us would have to be Churchill. The other player could be either Roosevelt or Stalin. Then just use one bot?
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Wendell
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vidbot wrote:
Any thoughts on how this would work if I played with another human? Obviously one of us would have to be Churchill. The other player could be either Roosevelt or Stalin. Then just use one bot?
Yep, that's how it's done - any of the three bots will work.
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Francisco Colmenares
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wifwendell wrote:
vidbot wrote:
Any thoughts on how this would work if I played with another human? Obviously one of us would have to be Churchill. The other player could be either Roosevelt or Stalin. Then just use one bot?
Yep, that's how it's done - any of the three bots will work.
I think he means the specific bots made for this particular scenario.
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Andy Waller
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Not sure I completely understand the bot behaviour.

How does a bot ever get to play the PASS chit?

From your rules:

If US Debate PASS, USSR Debate PASS, Bots will never debate an issue and will always pass on their turn.

I have no idea what this sentence means or is trying to get me to do. I thought a pass chit can only be played if you have debated an issue. In any case there seems to be nothing to tell me if I should or should not be playing the pass chit after a debate contribution.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Sorry for being dense on Debating an Issue. Does the bot debate if EITHER (a) or (b) is satisfied or only if BOTH conditions are met (e.g., they'd never debate if they drew a 3 or higher card and they'd never debate if it wasn't a favored issue)?
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Jimmy Okolica
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Walter, thanks. Playing it that made a lot more sense.

One other question. The scenario doesn't say what to do (or I missed it) if there's a tie on picking agenda issues. I had it happen twice (and once it was a three way tie). Common sense says the U.S. picks itself if they're involved in the tie, but I wasn't sure what to do otherwise. My guess is that they pick whoever is behind on VPs but I wasn't sure.

Other than that, I absolutely loved this!! I was playing the tournament scenario (any reason it wouldn't work for the short or long scenario?) and got a run of C cards. So, I'm focused on trying to get the Axis defeated and the U.S. seizes the initiative, wins two conferences and a global issue. They're now up 13 points. In the third conference, I win it along with a Pol Mil and Global Issue (I won the agenda and initially had it on a 5 on my track and took it with my first action). I kick the Americans out of SE Asia and move the global issue from the U.S. to me. I also breakthrough on the western front. Outstanding! I've finally gotten myself into the driver's seat... then I check VPs. Shit! I'm 18 points ahead of the Soviets. Game Over! I LOVE IT! BEST SOLO VARIANT I'VE PLAYED.


edit: now get busy on the other bots and/or supporting 2-player.
 
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Darren Mac
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Resurrecting an old thread, but I would love to see similar scenarios featuring the other two players.
Very well done!
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