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Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar» Forums » Rules

Subject: Playing solitaire without using any bots rss

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Foster Caldaroni
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Has anyone played this game solitaire but without using any bots? Playing all four factions yourself? How well does it play like that? I'm really trying to wrap my head around the bot battle/movement to threat rules from the rule book. But they just aren't making sense to me. Are the player aid flowcharts clearer on the bot battle/movement procedure then the rule book? I haven't received my game yet so I don't have the bot flow charts with me.
 
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Tim Royal
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fosterc1981 wrote:
Has anyone played this game solitaire but without using any bots? Playing all four factions yourself? How well does it play like that? I'm really trying to wrap my head around the bot battle/movement to threat rules from the rule book. But they just aren't making sense to me. Are the player aid flowcharts clearer on the bot battle/movement procedure then the rule book? I haven't received my game yet so I don't have the bot flow charts with me.


Personally, I've always learned the COIN games by simulating four real players first, *then* bringing in the BOTs. That's not a universal mandate by any means (folks familiar with COIN games often can just jump in, because they understand the common underpinings of the system).

The Bots, while fantastic, are a meta-layer above the game for me that I found initially problematic to incorporate into my learning sessions.

So, I took on all four roles, put myself into all four each to understand capabilities, motivations, and the big question of how I would approach working with and against the other players. This turned out to be the optimal approach for me.

Once I understood that, then the bots wee more understandable, as their 'logic' and pattern made more sense and I could understand the flow better.

But that's me. I think, actually, for Liberty or Death, even the designer suggested that was a meritable approach.

Either way, they're stunningly great games and I hope you enjoy them as much or more than I have.
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Bob S.
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I will echo Tim's response. This is my first owned COIN game; while I've played others, those were explained by other folks.

I've only played the game (so far) solo without the bots. I've heard/read recommendations elsewhere that it can help to learn the system to play all four factions yourself without using the bots. As Tim noted, this provides a way to start getting a feel for what each faction is after and what is afforded by their various combinations of commands + special abilities.

I just finished a game a few minutes ago (The Great Revolt, 52 B.C.), using the shortened deck (so two Winter cards). No one made their victory condition at the final Winter, so we went to who had the best (smallest) margin between what was needed and what was achieved. I was surprised to find that the Aedui won, being only one point off. I say "surprised" since I had felt more focused and "active" with the other factions; the Aedui seemd to have "snuck in" and had the best margin (one allied tribe shy of victory).

So: I recommend playing the game yourself. Forget the bots for now. Learn the rules, commands, SAs, and mechanics; see what happens when you make the decision for that faction in that situation. It's a highly enjoyable and replayable game!
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Greg
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I have only played twice, once with the Playbook scenario, where I followed it but continued to play a full game after the programmed sequences at the start. Then I played a full game solo from the start of the 53 BC scenario. As others have mentioned, I think it's a good idea to learn how all the factions would work if operated by a person and learn the whys of what they do.
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Scott D
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Even if you play by yourself as all four factions, the bot flowchart a can be a good guide for what move you might consider making. Don't worry so much about the specific way the bot would implement a command; just use the flowchart as a guide like, "Okay, in this circumstance the bot would choose the event/rally/battle/etc."
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Foster Caldaroni
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Is the game still fun to play as all four factions, or will it start to get boring and bog down?
 
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Benji
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Since Andean Abyss, i have enjoyed playing the COIN games solo by playing all four factions. The different victory conditions make it easy to put yourself in each factions shoes and leads to interesting and very enjoyable storytelling.

Personally, i found playing against three bots was too much work (on the verge of "getting boring and bog down"). I have used a bot in a three player game (which worked well), but i find a ratio of 1:3 between playing my faction and just following charts not very exciting.

My preferred ways of playing COINs are either solo, playing all four factions, or VASSAL for multiplayer (which lets secret diplomacy shine and has no time constraints). I find both exciting, multiplayer a bit more so, of course...
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Scott Key
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Solitaire without bots is quicker.
I don't find it boring at all, but I solitaire lots of games that have no AI. Generally when you're stuck as to which action a faction should choose, revert to a bot suggestion, which does improve the quality of the experience.
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Oliver Ludwig

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Benji68 wrote:

My preferred ways of playing COINs are either solo, playing all four factions, or VASSAL for multiplayer (which lets secret diplomacy shine and has no time constraints). I find both exciting, multiplayer a bit more so, of course...


Actually I believe all negotiation has to be open, so there isn't really secret diplomacy by the official rules.
 
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Benji
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Muramasa84 wrote:
Benji68 wrote:

My preferred ways of playing COINs are either solo, playing all four factions, or VASSAL for multiplayer (which lets secret diplomacy shine and has no time constraints). I find both exciting, multiplayer a bit more so, of course...


Actually I believe all negotiation has to be open, so there isn't really secret diplomacy by the official rules.


And i would always play ftf games by those official rules. Still, andean abyss (by Vassal) was a lot of fun using secret diplomacy (hoping that Volko won't fine us for playing wrong).
I admit that there are many aspects in Falling Sky that need to be open, and that it would probably work better with strictly open negotiations over VASSAL too. But it may depend on the game.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Nope, no fines!

The main purpose of the open negotiations rule is to speed play, rather than any concern that secret negotiations will unhinge the game.

Therefore, I encourage groups to adjust that to taste: if a group playing either via Vassal or in person finds secret negotiations to add to the enjoyment, then they should by all means allow them!

Best, Volko
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TechRaptor Travis
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I've played with various mixes; all players, 2 players controlling 2 each, players with bots, solo with bots and all solo and they all hold up.

My least favorite way to play is with 2 players controlling 2 each, because it takes away a lot of the tension that makes this game so good, although it is still enjoyable to play this way, just less so when compared to the others.

Playing solo as all four factions keeps the tension and really lets you see just how deep and compelling this game can be from every angle.
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Luke Heineman
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I've just hit the first winter in my second game, and I'm on the fence for abandoning the bots. The Roman bots don't make sense to me when it comes to marching. Or I'm playing them wrong. Seems they get bogged down attacking the Germans for the first part of the game . . . it doesn't make sense that they would go there from the start of the 53BC scenario.

The rest of the bots I'm fairly comfortable with, but Roman march is particularly confusing. I've reverted to using the bots for deciding whether or not to take the event, then following their logic chains unless I feel the outcome doesn't make sense.
 
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Volko Ruhnke
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lukeheineman99 wrote:
I've just hit the first winter in my second game, and I'm on the fence for abandoning the bots. The Roman bots don't make sense to me when it comes to marching. Or I'm playing them wrong. Seems they get bogged down attacking the Germans for the first part of the game . . . it doesn't make sense that they would go there from the start of the 53BC scenario.

The rest of the bots I'm fairly comfortable with, but Roman march is particularly confusing. I've reverted to using the bots for deciding whether or not to take the event, then following their logic chains unless I feel the outcome doesn't make sense.

Hi Luke,

That approach to the bots sounds fine to me.

For what it's worth, the Roman bots strategy (we have to pick a strategy for them) is premised on the idea that -- unless someone is winning -- the Germans are relatively easy victory pickings for the Romans. Andrew, for example, always makes sure as Romans to subdue the Germanic Tribes quickly.

But the Roman bot will only do that if no other Faction is at 0+ Victory margin (and if they can reach them without too much Harassment, are not already sitting on enemy Allies, etc.). At the start of the 53BC scenario, for example, the Belgae are at 0, so Roman bot should go after them first. In the 54BC scenario, they can't reach Germania in the first March, so are likely also to go for the Belgae first. In the 52BC scenario, Legions start already located with enemy Allies, so are likely to fight them first.

Best, vfr
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Luke Heineman
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Volko wrote:
At the start of the 53BC scenario, for example, the Belgae are at 0, so Roman bot should go after them first.


Either I overlooked this or one of the factions were able to take control away from one of the Belgae regions before the Romans acted . . . I don't remember.

Thanks for the explanation for why they go after the Germans. It seems for the most part I'm playing the Romans correctly then. . . but definitely still prone to overlooking a few rules. I feel like by the end of this second game I should have most things down.
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Don
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This is the part of playing solitaire without bots that I need to work on - what is the motivation of the players, and who is ahead? I've been lazy adjusting the victory track pieces and sometimes a faction sort of sneaks up with a victory - I'm not sure if I'm favoring them exactly, but who is about to win should factor into everyone's turn!
 
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