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Subject: Solo mode: Beat the Rival, simple version rss

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Beat the rival, or just beat your best score.

Use 2-player setup: rival gets 5 guilders, 5 workers, as normal. You’re the first player.

On the first round, the rival takes 5 cards at the beginning (3 from the left pile, 2 from the right), and stacks them face down. He’ll play 4 cards in a round, as normal, so there will always be one card remaining in his stack; and on subsequent rounds he’ll draw 2 cards from the left, 2 from the right.

After dice are rolled, you get any required threat markers, but the rival does not. The rival will always move ahead on the reputation track if he can afford it.

You play as normal. On the rival’s turn, flip over his top card. He takes one action per card:

If the card color matches a canal segment he can build, and he has enough money, he buys that segment. (He picks the longer canal if there's a choice and he can afford both.) If the color is right but he doesn't have enough money, he takes deniers from the supply equal to the highest die on the board. His turn is over.

If the above doesn't apply, look at whether he has an empty house. If he has no empty house, he will build one with the card, discarding a worker of the appropriate color. If he has no appropriate worker, he takes 2 workers from the supply of that color. His turn is over.

If he does have an empty house, he will try to recruit the character on the card. If he has enough money, he'll pay it, recruit the character, score 6 points, and his turn will be over. If he doesn't have enough money to recruit, he takes deniers from the supply equal to the highest die on the board. His turn is over.



You can just stack the rival's houses and characters in a single pile as you play.

If you play a card that would eliminate a rival recruit (or house with a recruit), his last-recruited house/character is eliminated, and he loses points equal to any lost character's VP value.

If, through your activated characters, the rival ends up with 3 threat tokens of a given color, he suffers the consequences. (If Fire, roll to see if he loses a house or canal. If the latter, he takes from the shorter canal. If Pest, remove the latest recruit, and he loses points equal to his or her VP value.)

The rival scores all relevant canal bonuses and statues.

There is no check for majorities at the end of a round. Majorities are scored only once, at the end of the game. If there is a tie for a majority, the rival wins it.
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Ken Thibodeau
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Did you play it? What is your win/loss ratio? I'm curious because it seems difficulty could be tweaked easily by increasing or decreasing the number of VPs per housed characters.
 
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fardoche wrote:
Did you play it? What is your win/loss ratio? I'm curious because it seems difficulty could be tweaked easily by increasing or decreasing the number of VPs per housed characters.


I've played this version a few times, but never quite beat it. You're right that it's easily tweaked, however you like it.
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John Teer
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Been digging this variant quite a bit but tweaked it a little and it seems to work pretty well. I haven't been giving the AI 6 pts. after recruiting and don't give him vp's for his characters at the end of the game, but instead add up the cost value for each of the characters the AI recruited and use the total cost value as the AI's vp's. I've played this way a few times now and each game has been pretty tight. Just an idea. Thanks for the variant!
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Madfiddler wrote:
Been digging this variant quite a bit but tweaked it a little and it seems to work pretty well. I haven't been giving the AI 6 pts. after recruiting and don't give him vp's for his characters at the end of the game, but instead add up the cost value for each of the characters the AI recruited and use the total cost value as the AI's vp's. I've played this way a few times now and each game has been pretty tight. Just an idea. Thanks for the variant!


Yeah, that seems simpler. I'll try it next time!
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alexander stark
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I've try this variant today, and here is the final score using both scoring system by Wretched Git and Madfiddler:
Me: 51 VP
AI (Wretched Git scoring): 61 VP
AI (Madfiddler scoring): 52 VP

One question. I don't see any mention about giving 1 VP to AI for each built house as usual. Do I have to do it? The previous scores already included the six houses the AI built.
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John Teer
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Cool. I've been giving the AI 1 VP for each house. Hope it's working for you. It feels pretty balanced and challenging each time I've tried it with cost value converted into VPs. Cheers!
 
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alexandermagno wrote:
One question. I don't see any mention about giving 1 VP to AI for each built house as usual. Do I have to do it? The previous scores already included the six houses the AI built.


I haven't been giving the rival those one points in my plays.

Regarding the issue mentioned elsewhere about scoring the actual character values instead of 6 points: I have played that way before, but I think it just introduces more unforeseeable randomness. I think the range of scoring you can expect from the rival would be inconsistent.

On the other hand, it does make it more fun when you're targeting his houses...
 
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Rich Dunn
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When playing the rival, do you utilize the abilities of the characters which are placed in houses?
 
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yortek wrote:
When playing the rival, do you utilize the abilities of the characters which are placed in houses?


I had a version that did that, but it becomes too complicated. You spend half your time thinking about what the rival should do, which isn't fun. So, no, the rival just gets the points.
 
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Rich Dunn
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I agree, using the characters abilities would indeed complicate things. I am anxious to give the variant a try. Thanks!
 
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John Teer
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I've now played converting the cost value of the characters into VP's a half dozen times over the past couple weeks and each game has been tight, tense, and a lot of fun! It's my go to solo game now. I can also knock out a game in about 30 min. I think Wretched Git has created an awesome and excellent variant to use but I reccomend at least giving the tweak a try.
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Brett Freedman
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Great solo variant!

The rival beat me 43-42 when I lost all my guilders due to a raid on the last turn and was unable to maintain my prestige lead.

I used Madfiddler's character VP scoring. I think the cost of acquiring the character cards mitigates the randomness. Did not score VP for Rival houses at game end.

But this was my first game ever of Bruges. As I get more experienced (and hopefully better), I may need to tweak to help the rival.
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