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Roll for the Galaxy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solo Variant: 1P High Score rss

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Adam Gough
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I've been playing a solo variant of RFTG that seems to work well for a quick game. It's also helped me get a good handle on different strategies that different dice and worlds are good for. It plays in about 20 minutes.

Setup:

Set up a new game tableau for one player.
Have tile bag, VP chips and dice at hand as usual.

Now, all you need to do is roll your turns as in a normal game.

If you're rolling more than one die, after you've assigned, roll one home (white) die from the supply to simulate a second player's phase choice.
This is the only "AI" interaction.

Roll, develop etc as normal, trying to get a high score.

There are three "Game End" triggers. Any one ends the game at the end of the turn:

You gain 12 VP.
Your tableau reaches 12 total Developments/Settlements.
You reach 20 rolls.

I put the 20 round (roll) limit in to stop being able to coast through rounds, placing no worlds or earning no VP while only buying loads of dice or waiting for high scoring tiles to come up.

My best score after 20 rounds is 56VP.

I haven't been counting dice in the cup/citizenry or leftover SpaceDollars towards my total, but as you're only trying to beat your own score, you could if you wanted.
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Christopher Dearlove
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Chelmsford
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The problem, as I see it, is that there's no incentive to try something like a development rush. So only certain strategies are worth playing. I think you want something like an assumed opponent score profile to beat. Maybe something like your opponent is assumed to score 2 (that's not a thought through number) points per turn, you need to be ahead when the game ends. Fixing that value is hard of course, so I suggest at least to start with up it each time you win, reduce when you lose, over time reduce the adjustment. Then fix the number and report win rate (to compare players).
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Jack Neal
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You could also possibly have a random roll decide if the game ends immediately after, say, turn 15 where each turn you move on is push your luck. That might be an easy fix. I have yet to play the game.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Raiderjakk wrote:
You could also possibly have a random roll decide if the game ends immediately after, say, turn 15 where each turn you move on is push your luck. That might be an easy fix. I have yet to play the game.


That wouldn't fix the problem I see with the OP's original idea that it limits what strategies are worth trying because overall score is the measure of how well you do, in fact it makes it worse, you'll get good scores only when following high scoring strategies and get lucky with the dice rolling. First you need a different measure of success - I suggested one. That one actually permits removing the end of game cap. That's not to say you shouldn't have one. But first try a new approach to scoring, then see how it plays, then consider if you need a termination mechanism.

But I won't be the one putting in the work.
 
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Adam Gough
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Thanks for the comments. I'm still quite new to the game, so I'm still learning strategies. I can see how my system favours Settle/Consume.

I'll see what I can do to balance that.
 
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Ryan Keane
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I just tried 3 games of this variant. It was pretty fun. My scores were:
40 after 14 rounds (1 6-cost dev)
61 after 12 rounds (2 6-cost dev)
56 after 18 rounds (0 6-cost dev but 17 vp chits)

I definitely agree with Christopher that you need to be racing against an AI opponent's increasing score, kind of similar to the feel of Lewis and Clark. Planning a priori to wait to play your 12th tile or do your last big shipping action until exactly turn 20 every time just seems really dry and unlike the normal game. 2 points per turn for AI seems low though. 3 per turn is more competitive but still a bit too deterministic. And I still like to be able to compare how I did each game, so perhaps I would calculate the difference between my score and the # of rounds x 3. So my scores in those 3 games would be:
40 - 42 = -2
61 - 36 = 25
56 - 54 = 2

Perhaps the AI score should be based on what the AI rolls. For example, exploration and production rolls might give the AI 2 points, but dev, settle, and ship give the AI 4 points. When I played, to keep track of the turn # I placed each AI's die roll in a growing row of dice. So at the end, it would be easy to calculate what the AI's score is based on the dice faces.
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Ed Ray
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Ryan Keane wrote:


Perhaps the AI score should be based on what the AI rolls. For example, exploration and production rolls might give the AI 2 points, but dev, settle, and ship give the AI 4 points.


I know this has been dead for a while, but I'm 'working' on finding the best solo variation.

Just a note --- with variability relatively small, the above would result in 3 points per AI turn. (If using a white die, on average, for every 6 rolls you'd get 2 explore rolls, and one each of the other 4 phases. The math adds up to 3X2 + 3X4 = 18, or an average of 3 per roll.

 
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James Wolfpacker
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I can see an Automa like the ones in Viticulture, Scythe, and the coming one in Gaia Project (Terra Mystica) working pretty well here.

In a 15 card set I am just tossing educated guesses here:
Always have a Phase Selection (5 choices x 3)
Add Dev/Settle/No tiles (3/3/9) from the bag
Build a tile (5 yes, 10 no)
Award base vps
Reshuffle Automa Deck (10 yes, 5 no) chance in the last 6 cards.

Roll a die to get the 3rd phase selection as in the 2p game.

Give the Automa a dice pool citizenry based on the worlds/devs built including starting but they never need to be rolled, only counted for final vps based on some devs and worlds.

There is also a good chance that an Automa could be developed just based on dice rolls but it would make it more busy work than I described above. You roll their dice, assign them, roll 2 more for phase selection, and do the phases as a normal player would. For choices roll a home dice if a tiebreaker doesn't work. Line up worlds from bottom to top as built.

For a Dual Phase Die roll a home die until a phase is selected.

Explore
Take money if Dev and Settle have at least 1 tile each and 3 tiles total unless money is greater than 6.
Then roll a die: explore x 2 and ship to draw a tile and other 3 is money

For a tile draw select the least # of tiles as dev or settle, if equal then roll a die until dev or settle comes up.

Produce
Place matching goods first. Roll a D6 and count off the worlds for the extra produce.

Ship
Ship matching goods first. Roll a D6 to pick up other goods.
Choose vp if anything matches (2-3vp).
If good is $3 or $4 and money is $4 or less choose money otherwise choose vp
If good is $5 or $6 and money is $3 or less choose money otherwise choose vp

This is a very basic first rough draft, but you get the idea.

Edit: I did see the other 2 solo variants and they also look interesting. One was similar to my proposal, the other even simpler.
 
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