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Subject: Solo - Peaceful strategies? rss

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Simon Maynard
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Are there strategies for playing peacefully in the solo game?

Given that you can be eliminated in a solo game, and given the bot's propensity for war, falling behind in military strength can be punishing.

My recent attempt ended in abject failure. I started by picking a low value territory that had a little expansion room. My plan was to press my military early on but then slide across the matrix towards a utopian government. Very quickly after my shift of focus I was overtaken militarily and it wasn't long before I was wiped out. All to often I was the only available territory that could be expanded in to.

I wonder if a deeply peaceful strategy is not possible in solo mode? Perhaps you need to ensure you stay strong enough so that there are always more attractive options for your stronger neighbours to expand in to? But then that surely precludes going anywhere near a utopian government...
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Joshua Nash
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For a peaceful variant, you'd have to change the AI deck up. Perhaps replacing one or both cards that have war on them with either military or tech advancement.

Also, consider what I do: After placing the tokens on the map, I sometimes reconfigure them to have them spread out. For example, instead of setting up right next to a bot in Mexico, I moved myself to the tip of South America. This can give you room to build up before the fighting starts.
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Simon Maynard
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Perhaps you could simply prevent player elimination (as per the multilayer game)?

I guess though that really I'm just trying to find out if it's possible to play the solo game peacefully as it is...
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Joshua Nash
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I suppose you could do that. But then you would potentially wind up with neutered bots that can't do anything.
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Simon Maynard
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In order to play as peacefully as possible (given the current rules for a solo game), I guess you would need to start with one of the lowest value territories to reduce the likelihood a civ-bot would expand into your territory.

However, even that is not enough because if you fall behind everyone the next weakest civ will only be able to expand into your territory (once all the empty territory has gone). You would need to at least keep pace with the civ-bot with the weakest military.
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Simon Maynard
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I tried the above strategy last night and it didn't work well. The trouble is that technological superiority is not that important in the solo game. Technology progression is not very useful for the bot; only two technology levels have any significance for them:

8 (Navigation) - Allows the bots to expand anywhere on the map rather than merely to adjacent territories.

14 (Nuclear Energy) - Bots get 4 points for successfully waging war rather than 2.

Similarly the value of moving up the technology track is weakened for the human player because they can derive no benefit from increasing the number of actions they can play at once (as they play all their actions before the bots anyway).

Gaining the military advantage is all important in the solo game.
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Simon Maynard
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Well, I just tried a game but changing the rule that allows the last cube of the human player to be removed from the map.

The long and short of it is that I got hammered. I got into the Utopian government as soon as I could but the 7 points I was getting a turn at that point didn't make much difference when the civbots were getting 5 points a turn plus all their territorial points as well. In addition, the last few rounds they were getting 4 points from waging war too. I finished 4th and one civbot had been eliminated by the end.

So, it certainly didn't feel like I was unbalancing the game (in my favour) by changing that rule. It did at least allow me to pursue the Utopian strategy (otherwise I would certainly have been eliminated).

I might need to make another modification to the rules: The CivBot action card that allows them to expand and wage war I could modify to only allow them to expand. That would limit the CivBots ability to wage war to once (at most) per round.
 
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Joshua Nash
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Fried Egg wrote:
Well, I just tried a game but changing the rule that allows the last cube of the human player to be removed from the map.

The long and short of it is that I got hammered. I got into the Utopian government as soon as I could but the 7 points I was getting a turn at that point didn't make much difference when the civbots were getting 5 points a turn plus all their territorial points as well. In addition, the last few rounds they were getting 4 points from waging war too. I finished 4th and one civbot had been eliminated by the end.

So, it certainly didn't feel like I was unbalancing the game (in my favour) by changing that rule. It did at least allow me to pursue the Utopian strategy (otherwise I would certainly have been eliminated).

I might need to make another modification to the rules: The CivBot action card that allows them to expand and wage war I could modify to only allow them to expand. That would limit the CivBots ability to wage war to once (at most) per round.


Ouch! Yes, the game can be brutal.

Perhaps I missed the rule, but I didn't realize that civbits get extra VP for waging war. I know regular players do, but I was under the impression that civbots only get VPs according to their AI cards.
 
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Simon Maynard
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Yep, I double checked; it's right there in the rules:
Quote:
Wars are waged only if the Civbot can win them. War is declared against the Civilization (human or Civbot) with the most VP among those that can be defeated.
In case of tie, the Civbot attacks the human player in turn order. If more than one territory of the same enemy can be attacked, the Civbot attacks the territory having the highest number.
The Civbot gains 2VP (or 4VP if it has developed nuclear energy).
 
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Joshua Nash
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Fried Egg wrote:
Yep, I double checked; it's right there in the rules:
Quote:
Wars are waged only if the Civbot can win them. War is declared against the Civilization (human or Civbot) with the most VP among those that can be defeated.
In case of tie, the Civbot attacks the human player in turn order. If more than one territory of the same enemy can be attacked, the Civbot attacks the territory having the highest number.
The Civbot gains 2VP (or 4VP if it has developed nuclear energy).


Why would you do this to me?!

Oh well, might need to put some asterics next to my wins.
 
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Simon Maynard
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JPN38 wrote:
Oh well, might need to put some asterics next to my wins.

I know what you mean; I've had some very close victories where a few points could have made all the difference.
 
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Simon Maynard
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So, tried another game where the CivBots can't eliminate your last territory but this time with all bots on Chieftain level. I also went for the Egyptians who seem most suited to a peaceful strategy. This time I came very close, being beaten by the top civ-bot by only 2 points!
 
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Joshua Nash
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Nice!
 
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Andy Kent
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Hi Simon

I wondered if you had got anywhere with a peaceful strategy against the civbots? I have tried several games now at varying levels, but as it is a game of gaining VPs, and you get most of them from territories, I have always had to play to increase my military to stay strong and prevent invasion. It's beginning to be repetitive...

TDM
 
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