Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Scythe» Forums » General

Subject: Automa question for those who own both Scythe and Viticulture Essential Edition rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Trevor De Boer
United States
Comstock Park
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
April 8th, 1944
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I purchased Viticulture EE mostly to play solo because I heard great things regarding the Automa deck and how well it works. I have played 8 games so far, including the first two solo challenges, and I am a little disappointed that I am not enjoying the Automa deck as much as I had hoped I would. I feel that my chances to win any given game rely greatly on what visitor and wine cards I draw, rather than if the Automa shuts me out of a few key spots on its turn.

I am now hearing a lot of glowing reviews of playing Scythe solo with its version of the Automa deck and even though I am really looking forward to buying a copy I am hesitant in that the solo experience might fall a little flat for me somehow in regards to the Automa deck.

Can anyone who has experience with playing both games solo let me know their thoughts in this matter? Do you feel the same about the Viticulture solo experience? I am just missing something in the game play? Is the Scythe solo experience something completely different? Do they both use "Automa" decks but that is the end of the similarities between the game play? Please help me determine if I should purchase Scythe mostly for solo play.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GAF Blizzard
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
trevordeboer wrote:
I purchased Viticulture EE mostly to play solo because I heard great things regarding the Automa deck and how well it works. I have played 8 games so far, including the first two solo challenges, and I am a little disappointed that I am not enjoying the Automa deck as much as I had hoped I would. I feel that my chances to win any given game rely greatly on what visitor and wine cards I draw, rather than if the Automa shuts me out of a few key spots on its turn.

I am now hearing a lot of glowing reviews of playing Scythe solo with its version of the Automa deck and even though I am really looking forward to buying a copy I am hesitant in that the solo experience might fall a little flat for me somehow in regards to the Automa deck.

Can anyone who has experience with playing both games solo let me know their thoughts in this matter? Do you feel the same about the Viticulture solo experience? I am just missing something in the game play? Is the Scythe solo experience something completely different? Do they both use "Automa" decks but that is the end of the similarities between the game play? Please help me determine if I should purchase Scythe mostly for solo play.

I only played Viticulture solo once, but my impression from it was that the Automa deck randomly blocked some worker spots and that was it.

The Scythe Automa is much more complex and you can read some neat reports in the Sessions subforum. There is even an official-ish variant where you can print another set of Automa cards and play 1 human vs. 2 Automas.

In general, the Scythe Automa still uses a deck of cards, but it is more "goal-based" than Viticulture. Initially it is limited to a certain area of the map like humans are, but then it spreads out and tries to gain map control and secure the Factory. It attempts to keep its workers near each other like an amoeba, and will randomly try to attack nearby workers/character/mechs.

Halfway through the game, the Scythe Automa switches to a different "scheme" and alters its strategy, presumably for endgame purposes. It also occasionally does different actions depending on which faction it is using.

I don't know if I would recommend Scythe PURELY for solo play, but I certainly think it has a great solo mode. There are also 4 different difficulty levels and several options for further tailoring difficulty.

In comparison, the Viticulture Automa seems like a first experiment, and Scythe is where it really starts to reach potential.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mick Whyte
Australia
Gold Coast
Queensland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Gaf and I've played both 10+ times.

I don't agree with your feelings that it depends on visitor draws the game itself is about being flexible and keeping your options open, I've beat the automa in viticulture without playing a single visitor. If you hold to a plan early like when playing Agricola you will lose. Scythe on the other hand strongly requires a lot of forward planning as actions are limited.

They are similar in the tightness of play and that to a degree there is a predefined amount of turns (this is a little different in scythe vs the 7 year s in Viticulture) making it a bit of a puzzle. The automa in Scythe though is a lot more fluid and really feels like playing a ruthless robotic player, the automa deck really allows for it to move in very different ways,somsometimes it turtles , other times it rushes to attack or expands a lot with its workers.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave E
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
mb
I have played them both, Viticulture Automa about 5 times and Scythe over 10 times. I really enjoy them both, they are a big step up from a lot of other games that have player made solo versions after the fact.

In Viticulture the only interaction is with the Automa blocking off some actions from you. In Scythe there is a lot more interaction with the Automa. They will expand towards you and attack you. More importantly they can get stars from maxing out there power and from winning combats, its not just a pure time thing like Viticulture. So I'd say the experience is closer to playing a human player then Viticulture. However once you learn how they move and fight it can become somewhat predictable/exploitable(more so then a human player)although with the cards telling you what to do every game plays out different.

I'll also point out that the Scythe Automa was play tested at least 200 times (I believe that's the correct #). So a lot of work has gone into making it work.

With that being said both Automa was designed by Morten and his group so if you didn't like one you may not like the other.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morten Monrad Pedersen
Denmark
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
davece wrote:
I have played them both, Viticulture Automa about 5 times and Scythe over 10 times. I really enjoy them both, they are a big step up from a lot of other games that have player made solo versions after the fact.

In Viticulture the only interaction is with the Automa blocking off some actions from you. In Scythe there is a lot more interaction with the Automa. They will expand towards you and attack you. More importantly they can get stars from maxing out there power and from winning combats, its not just a pure time thing like Viticulture. So I'd say the experience is closer to playing a human player then Viticulture. However once you learn how they move and fight it can become somewhat predictable/exploitable(more so then a human player)although with the cards telling you what to do every game plays out different.

I'll also point out that the Scythe Automa was play tested at least 200 times (I believe that's the correct #). So a lot of work has gone into making it work.

With that being said both Automa was designed by Morten and his group so if you didn't like one you may not like the other.


It was 300+ playtests (not counting those we did ourselves) .

The two Automas share the same design philosophy, but because Viticulture and Scythe are vastly different games, then the Automas are also vastly different.

Whether someone who doesn't like Viticulture Automa will also not like Scythe Automa is a question I'll leave to someone, who is less biased than me , but I will say that Scythe Automa is a much more complex system than Viticulture Automa.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sky Zero
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played and own both. I have to say the Scythe solo variant truly is an incredible achievement. Many people enjoy it and I can appreciate why they do. With that said, neither game are my first reach for solo. Here's my overall thoughts:

With Viticulture, you need to understand the premise of the solo game is to min-max your score against a distribution of actions and a timer. If you enjoy this type of experience, then you will enjoy Viticulture solo.

With Scythe, you need to understand the solo game has its own ruleset and script to follow. As both a rule set and script, it's by far the best solo experience I've had in a game of this type. Unfortunately for me personally, the upkeep and action management takes me too far out of the experience.

Regardless of the game, I think both solo experiences are about as best you can expect for the genre and are a HUGE step up from the "beat your high score" of past solo games. Just know what you enjoy in a solo game before buying one mainly for the solo experience. Both may be right up your ally, a mix, or neither. Up to you to decide, just my thoughts.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.