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Subject: Solo Variant from Box of Delights rss

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Box of Delights
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The King Is Dead Solitaire Rules

Setup
Set up as per 2-player.
You are the 1st player and the 2nd player is The Saxons.
Shuffle the Saxon hand of action cards and place in a face-down stack to form the Saxon Action Deck,

Taking Actions
You are always the first player to act.
The Saxons will do nothing until you Pass.
As soon as you Pass, you may NOT play another Action Card during this Power Struggle. Instead, reveal the top card of the Saxon Action Deck. Perform this action, on behalf of the Saxon player, in such a way as to, in priority order:

(1) remove a faction majority in the Region being contested
(2) remove a faction majority in another Region
(3) minimise a majority to the narrowist of margins (e.g. reduce a 2-0 majority to 2-1 before reducing a 4-1 majority to a 4-2 majority; or add to a 2-1 majority before adding to a 3-1 majority) Note: the Saxons will always reduce or increase an existing majority before creating a new majority.

In the case of equally viable options, act upon the Region(s) that are nearest the top of the order, starting with the region below the one being contested.

The Saxons will then summon 1 follower from the board, using the same logic as described above, before resolving the Power Struggle.

Note: when the Saxons play "The Crown", place the Saxon crown on the current region (or the next if the current already has a crown) and swap it with the first region with no Faction majority (and no crown). Do nothing if there is no such region.

Winning The Game
If an INVASION occurs, you immediately lose the game.
If the game ends without an Invasion then determine the winner as per the regular rules.

I am finding this variant suitably tough (!). If you find a strategy that guarantees a win, or if you have any rules questions, do let me know.

Enjoy! Ricky, Box of Delights
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Tom
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Thanks for designing this. This seems to be working as a solo variant with one question.

When the Saxon plays a card and performs the action, when does he take cube(s)?
a)only AFTER the power struggle is resolved?
b)after taking an action AND after resolving the power struggle.

I was playing the variant that he took TWO cubes each phase; one as part of the action, the second as per your rules after resolution but this seemed too powerful.

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TomAquin wrote:
Thanks for designing this. This seems to be working as a solo variant with one question.

When the Saxon plays a card and performs the action, when does he take cube(s)?
a)only AFTER the power struggle is resolved?
b)after taking an action AND after resolving the power struggle.

I was playing the variant that he took TWO cubes each phase; one as part of the action, the second as per your rules after resolution but this seemed too powerful.



Good question. Just like a regular player, the Saxon player summons just one cube after playing an Action card. This is before the Power Struggle. So apologies, I wrote this up wrongly blush Editing now...
 
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Tom
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ricky2002 wrote:
TomAquin wrote:
Thanks for designing this. This seems to be working as a solo variant with one question.

When the Saxon plays a card and performs the action, when does he take cube(s)?
a)only AFTER the power struggle is resolved?
b)after taking an action AND after resolving the power struggle.

I was playing the variant that he took TWO cubes each phase; one as part of the action, the second as per your rules after resolution but this seemed too powerful.



Good question. Just like a regular player, the Saxon player summons just one cube after playing an Action card. This is before the Power Struggle. So apologies, I wrote this up wrongly blush Editing now...


Good to hear. As feedback so far I can say I felt the Saxon too powerful when able to remove two cubes each round while he was too weak if he could not remove the single cube prior to the power struggle resolution.

 
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TomAquin wrote:


Good to hear. As feedback so far I can say I felt the Saxon too powerful when able to remove two cubes each round while he was too weak if he could not remove the single cube prior to the power struggle resolution.



Agreed! If you manage to give the variant a go, let me know how you get on?
 
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Tom
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I played three games this afternoon and lost them all to a Saxon Invasion.

The variant worked well and I acknowledge a victory seems difficult (well, that's my excuse for my performance).

Houserules I used:

1)sometimes it did not matter to the AI which cube to place or take. The Saxon always took or placed the colour whose faction was in the lead.

2)sometimes all remaining regions where tied and the Saxon still had to complete the action of the card he had turned over. (ie in completing the action he was going to make a majority in one or more of the regions). I made him do that to the last region(s).

3)Garrison and Ambassador cards. Priority went to the current region (followed by the next and the next) with no regard to how the receiving regions may be affected (ie do not worry if a majority is broken in a later region except that Houserule #2 may apply.)

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Tricky huh ?! Nice house rules. You are making it a little harder. This is how my rules would play:

1) choose to your own advantage

2) you create a majority in the region after the current.

3) as per the rules

Thank you for giving it a go! I'll give your rules a try!

Cheers, Ricky
 
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Michael Bacon
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Thank you for this GREAT variant to one of my favorite games, which is now even better .
Thanks for teaching me Mage Knight.

The Saxons played the crown when I already had a crown token on the current struggle. I think your rules should be modified to say that the next region is swapped in this case.
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valzi wrote:
Thank you for this GREAT variant to one of my favorite games, which is now even better .
Thanks for teaching me Mage Knight.

The savings played the crown when I already had a crown token on the current struggle. I think your rules should be modified to say that the next region is swapped in this case.


Thanks Michael. I'll look into that idea! I want to be sure to balance simplicity with playability.
 
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Michael Bacon
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I read through this thread several times, trying to determine what I was supposed to do, then did what seemed most in the spirit of the ai. If you don't want the rule as I stated it, you might consider a general rule that said the ai does the closest thing possible to what it should normally do. I find that much more complicated though.
 
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valzi wrote:
I read through this thread several times, trying to determine what I was supposed to do, then did what seemed most in the spirit of the ai. If you don't want the rule as I stated it, you might consider a general rule that said the ai does the closest thing possible to what it should normally do. I find that much more complicated though.


Your rule makes sense. I think this is what the intent already was, using this rule: "In the case of equally viable options, act upon the Region(s) that are nearest the top of the order, starting with the region below the one being contested."

But it should be qualified. Let me edit the rules to that effect. Thank you !
 
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Oh, how did I miss that? Yes, that covers it clearly and that's probably subconsciously how I reached my conclusion.
 
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Tried this with König von Siam and lost three times to the British in seven, seven, and eight rounds. Thought I was in really good shape with two rounds to go in the last game, but the Brits pulled off a devastating "1 vs. 1" switcheroo and that was that. Overall a bit humiliating but fun.
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Hello,

Thanks for creating this variant. I just bought the game and haven't had a chance to play yet, but I love solitaire games so this will defiitely see table time.

My question - it says under bullet 3 of "Taking Actions" that the AI will "minimise a majority to the narrowest of margins", but then goes on to say that the AI will also add to a majority. Does this mean the AI will do either or both, depending on the cirumstances? Sorry if this question makes no sense. Like I said, I haven't played the game yet.

Thanks again!
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Magnus Maximus wrote:
Hello,

Thanks for creating this variant. I just bought the game and haven't had a chance to play yet, but I love solitaire games so this will defiitely see table time.

My question - it says under bullet 3 of "Taking Actions" that the AI will "minimise a majority to the narrowest of margins", but then goes on to say that the AI will also add to a majority. Does this mean the AI will do either or both, depending on the cirumstances? Sorry if this question makes no sense. Like I said, I haven't played the game yet.

Thanks again!


Good question. It is confusing me as well!
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Dave in Ledbury wrote:
Magnus Maximus wrote:
Hello,

Thanks for creating this variant. I just bought the game and haven't had a chance to play yet, but I love solitaire games so this will defiitely see table time.

My question - it says under bullet 3 of "Taking Actions" that the AI will "minimise a majority to the narrowest of margins", but then goes on to say that the AI will also add to a majority. Does this mean the AI will do either or both, depending on the cirumstances? Sorry if this question makes no sense. Like I said, I haven't played the game yet.

Thanks again!


Good question. It is confusing me as well!


I also don't get that.

But I think I have an even more basic question about our intent when playing the Saxons turn.

Is it:

1. To try to play the Saxons as well as we can so they win?

or

2. To follow the Saxon rules to the letter but always as poorly as possible; in effect to solve the puzzle of following the Saxon rules such that we, the human player win?

In short, the question is whether we are dividing ourselves and playing each side as well as we can, or solving the puzzle within the given parameters.

If #1 is the case, then the Saxons should always win. In the matchup of...

ME

vs

ME with a huge advantage (Saxon invasion is a victory)

...the latter should always win.
 
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Magnus Maximus wrote:
Hello,

Thanks for creating this variant. I just bought the game and haven't had a chance to play yet, but I love solitaire games so this will defiitely see table time.

My question - it says under bullet 3 of "Taking Actions" that the AI will "minimise a majority to the narrowest of margins", but then goes on to say that the AI will also add to a majority. Does this mean the AI will do either or both, depending on the cirumstances? Sorry if this question makes no sense. Like I said, I haven't played the game yet.

Thanks again!


It means it will seek an action that will, as a result, not have a larger majority on the board.

The rules offer a couple of examples in, "reduce a 2-0 majority to 2-1 before reducing a 4-1 majority to a 4-2 majority; or add to a 2-1 majority before adding to a 3-1 majority"

So, consider the first example. If we have two regions with these majorities:

Region A: 2-0
Region B: 4-1

If it were to add 1 to A, it would make it 2-1 (a 2 majority is now a 1 marority).
If it were to add 1 to B, it would make it 4-2 (a 3 majority is now a 2 majority).
So, it goes for Region A because that makes it a 1 majority which is smaller than option B, which would make a 2 majority.

If the majorities were the other way around, like the second example:

Region A: 1-2
Region B: 1-3

then adding to Region A would make it 1-3
but adding to Region B would make it 1-4,

so, it chooses Region A once more, because this creates a 2 majority, versus added to Region B, which would create a larger 3 majority.

Does this help?!

R
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doctoryes0 wrote:


Is it:

1. To try to play the Saxons as well as we can so they win?

or

2. To follow the Saxon rules to the letter but always as poorly as possible; in effect to solve the puzzle of following the Saxon rules such that we, the human player win?


It's closer to option 2, and not option 1.

You don't take on a split-personality and try to play both sides or try to make decisions in any way for the Saxons. You only follow the rules as dictated, and in order to try to win. The Saxon 'AI' is prescribed, so you just follow it.

Hope this helps!

R.
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Hey to you, Ricky,

I discovered this splendid game some three weeks ago, the game itself reached my door last week, in the meantime I translated the rules into my native language and had some great time playing your solo variant...

The paradox is - I haven´t played the game in 2, 3 nor 4 players yet, still waiting for my gaming partner to read the rules

I played 10 games, first 6 I lost, from the last 4 I won 3...
It is indeed a tough version, since your rival has always the last word and doesn´t let you take another turn. You must take care of everything you do, and of course remember your Saxon opponent´s cards.

From my experience, you have to simply use every advantage you get and try to guard some regions, that are inevitable for your region (Scott, Welsh, Romanobritish - S/W/R) cards. Remember, that your S/W/R factions can use their own region card only if there´s any region under their control OR if it´s their home region. Thus, always watch for those home regions, they mean a lot! You have to simply try to gain big majorities in the regions to have a chance to win a region for yourself (S/R/W).

whenever it should come to a power struggle in a region, where there is a tie of different faction numbers, don´t hesitate to use the crown card and swap it with some region with a big majority of some faction...

it´s very important to gain as many regions as possible in the beginning of the game, it really makes a difference - plus your warrior soul will get depressed otherwise and you start making mistakes whistle

sometimes it does depend from the card, that the Saxons get and a simple might help or destroy your plans in a power struggle. You need to pray well, my friend
usually I am starting with the use of the particular card (one of two), where you can add three cubes to the board, one from each faction...it´s good to influence the country from the beginning

well, that´s my words, I spoke the truth
wishing good games to everyone

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