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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solo rss

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foldedcard
United States
Pennsylvania
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While learning the game I came up with a simple solo system to simulate a 2 player game. It's not really very well tested at this point, and probably leaves a bunch of ambiguous edge cases, but it was interesting enough and gave a good enough feel of a 2 player game that I thought it worth sharing. In my testing I used Maeoni Viper (me) vs Coal Roarkwin (AI). Other combinations may work less well.

Setup

Choose a Phoenixborn for you and the AI opponent. Setup as you would for a 2 player game. Face all of the cards and decks towards you to avoid neck strain

Gameplay

Player Rules: You will play following all the normal rules except you will always take the first turn in a round.

AI Rules: At the start of the round the AI will discard any unused cards from the previous round and draw 5 new ones. Do not reveal the cards, keep them face down. Re-roll all used dice and any unused dice that are showing a class or basic symbol.

Main actions: on its turn the AI will choose from the following actions in order from highest to lowest priority --

* Play a card: reveal the top card from the AI's hand. If it is the first reaction spell revealed set it aside face up for use over the remainder of the round. Otherwise pay all costs to use it unless the card is would provide no useful effect or cannot be played. If the card would have no effect or the Phoenixborn lacks the resources to pay for it (even after meditating) set the card aside face down and draw the next card from the AI's hand. The face down cards that have been set aside can only be used as a meditation side action or for other actions that require cards to be discarded.

* Summon: use an unexhausted ready spell to summon a conjuration and pay any costs (meditating if necessary).

* Attack: combine all unexhausted units to attack your Phoenixborn. Use any side actions (including dice power actions) that would be beneficial to the attack and meditate if necessary to do so.

* Pass: When all other options are exhausted the AI will pass.

If the AI's Phoenixborn is attacked, the AI will use as many blockers as possible arranged to minimize the amount of damage that will be passed through to the Phoenixborn (if more than one such arrangement, assign units such that those with the highest attack would survive). The AI's Phoenixborn will never guard its units, but it will assign unit guards if it will prevent the death of the attacked unit (if more than one unit guard is available, choose the one with the least remaining life that ensures the survival of the attacked unit).

Just a couple of design notes. I hate complicated decision trees for AI opponents and this one is right at the limit for me. I also dislike AIs that use dice rolls to decide actions. If the game is too easy I suggest adding another card to the AI hand and/or more dice rather than adding more complexity. If there's any ambiguity about what the AI should do in a given situation, or something ridiculously broken, let me know. I don't expect to play this variant very often so won't spend a lot of time on fixing it.
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JM
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Wow, I am looking for the solo variant for this for the long time since I cannot play most of the time with other people. I will definitely try this.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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Andy Dunks
United States
Providence Forge
Virginia
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Yes, thanks for this. This may get me back into the game.

One issue, though: Doesn't the fact that the AI uses all 5 cards every turn (which I like, for the simplicity of it) make for a significant disadvantage for an AI using defensive decks, especially ones focused on making the opponent run out of cards first? If so, any ideas for a fix?
 
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Erik Ellis
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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Thanks for putting this together!

1) When would Pheonixborn special abilities trigger? Before the Attack step and/or when the condition has been met?

2) When would the AI trigger the Dice Power Ability? As a step prior to the Pass step?
 
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foldedcard
United States
Pennsylvania
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@Erik and Andy: All good questions. I haven't had a chance to play the game solo for a while, but I'll give this all some thought when I next play. Re 5 cards per turn causing the AI deck to run out: one option is to shuffle up (forces you to be more aggressive to win and compensates for the dumbness of the AI). I think the optimal use of dice powers and abilities is probably character dependent. Ideally there should be a script for each.

Another interesting approach to solo would be to battle a set of conjurations instead of a Phoenixborn, maybe with a deck of one shots and reaction cards to spice things up.
 
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