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Subject: Automa "Trainer" Idea rss

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Redd

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I had an idea (I know, run for cover)...just wish I was creative enough to put it together.

What if someone put together a set of Scythe Automa "puzzles" to teach the Automa system where you are presented with multiple representations of game states (much like the examples in the Automa rules) where you choose the best or correct Automa option? Then you'd look and see if you got the correct one and why.

Basically like the solo puzzles for Neuroshima Hex or Chess moves ones you've likely seen before. I enjoy those and likely others do too. Would be a great exercise for time between games too to hone your skills. Actually, there was even an app for Neruoshima Hex puzzles just like that.

Just thought it would be interesting to throw out there.

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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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ReddWolf wrote:
where you choose the best or correct Automa option?


Keep in mind that there is no "best" move for the automa, there is only ever one possible correct move in any given situation. The rules are very specific and there is no "choosing" involved, following the decision steps in the Automa rules will always lead to the same answer.
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Redd

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reverendunclebastard wrote:
ReddWolf wrote:
where you choose the best or correct Automa option?


Keep in mind that there is no "best" move for the automa, there is only ever one possible correct move in any given situation. The rules are very specific and there is no "choosing" involved, following the decision steps in the Automa rules will always lead to the same answer.

Agreed, but seems to be a learning curve to figure out that correct move. Perhaps I should have said "attempt" to choose the best/correct option. As a trainer I meant to train players to choose the correct move. If you choose an incorrect move, then you check the answer/explanation and either got it right or get some training on how to choose correctly via explanation if you missed.

Although there is only one correct move, it seems a lot of people are making the wrong ones (at least from reading the discussions) or are still questioning their moves. By options I mean it takes a bit of practice to figure out which one (closest/reading/etc) of the valid ones are correct hence some practice examples for trainers.

I'm sure after many plays it will be instinct, but was just an idea as an aid for new players to train that instinct.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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It is a great idea, I agree! Just wanted to point out that there is always one correct answer in case there was some confusion.

If I had the time I would consider putting something together, but I am afraid I am too busy playing games...
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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I like that idea .
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The automa rules (in particular those concerning movement/placement of units) are a bit intimidating at first glance. I guess it is a requirement of the automa system itself, which in turn is brilliant and challenging. I would vote for an official instructional video ala "automa for dummies" XD.
That would surely help many of us who still feel like we might be placing units incorrectly while playing solo...

The automa rules are well written, but I feel they lack more examples and a sample play through several game turns.
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Sumit K
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I recommend this video. He explains the automa actions really well and I managed to play my first autometta game after. I lost....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey9b43f8joE
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Marcus S
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I like this idea.... I may start to record scenarios of situations I come across while playing. Might take some time, because i am not going to manufacture situations, but rather recording actual scenarios i encounter that could be confusing.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Shu1984 wrote:
The automa rules (in particular those concerning movement/placement of units) are a bit intimidating at first glance. I guess it is a requirement of the automa system itself, which in turn is brilliant and challenging. I would vote for an official instructional video ala "automa for dummies" XD.
That would surely help many of us who still feel like we might be placing units incorrectly while playing solo...

The automa rules are well written, but I feel they lack more examples and a sample play through several game turns.


I hope that Lines who helped design the Automa will do a video, he's much better at that kind of thing than I am.
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Lines J. Hutter
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mortenmdk wrote:
I hope that Lines who helped design the Automa will do a video, he's much better at that kind of thing than I am.

I thought of doing one, but then others showed up doing Automa videos and playthroughs so I thought it wouldn´t be neccessary to do another one.
Instead of a trainer, I thought that a collection of movement examples might help. Not sure though.
Thoughts?
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Lines J. Hutter
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Shu1984 wrote:
The automa rules are well written, but I feel they lack more examples and a sample play through several game turns.

I´m trying o figure out what´s missing.
Did you watch some of the Automa tutorial / playthrough videos? Did they help and if not, why?
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Sumit K
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I am not the original poster but I think what helped me the most was understanding the automa is like a giant blob that is slowly growing bigger with each move. If the game went on forever, the automa would have 1 unit (character/worker/mech) on each hex and take up 8 + 4 + 1 spaces total. These spaces would all be connected in someway and it will not make islands.

Apart from the Factory move, the blob cannot grow randomly bigger, it just grows one hex at a time always staying connected to the blob that is growing.

Move character/Move Mech -- these are pretty much identical, move closer to the enemy (the player).

Move Encounter -- find an encounter around the "blob" and move the character there.

Move Worker -- move closer to the factory and stay where there are a lot of other automa pieces.

Move Factory -- Only exception to the blob analogy. Jump to the factory (eventually it will jump back through an encounter move)

Combat Move or Worker Move -- attack player if they are next to the blob, either an undefended worker or a the closest mech/character.

This blob concept will naturally have the automa move towards the center of the board since it is trying to get closer and closer to the enemy player and the only way to do that is to go through the factory (if it is directly across). If it is beside each other it will try to stay closer to the player and will eventually get closer to the middle as it expands slowly.


Hope this helps but I may have confused people :\
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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gain wrote:
I am not the original poster but I think what helped me the most was understanding the automa is like a giant blob that is slowly growing bigger with each move. If the game went on forever, the automa would have 1 unit (character/worker/mech) on each hex and take up 8 + 4 + 1 spaces total. These spaces would all be connected in someway and it will not make islands.

Apart from the Factory move, the blob cannot grow randomly bigger, it just grows one hex at a time always staying connected to the blob that is growing.

Move character/Move Mech -- these are pretty much identical, move closer to the enemy (the player).

Move Encounter -- find an encounter around the "blob" and move the character there.

Move Worker -- move closer to the factory and stay where there are a lot of other automa pieces.

Move Factory -- Only exception to the blob analogy. Jump to the factory (eventually it will jump back through an encounter move)

Combat Move or Worker Move -- attack player if they are next to the blob, either an undefended worker or a the closest mech/character.

This blob concept will naturally have the automa move towards the center of the board since it is trying to get closer and closer to the enemy player and the only way to do that is to go through the factory (if it is directly across). If it is beside each other it will try to stay closer to the player and will eventually get closer to the middle as it expands slowly.


Hope this helps but I may have confused people :\


This is moderately inaccurate in several ways.

1 - It will not necessarily grow one hex each turn. Move Worker actions can end up placing workers on a space with a mech or character, that currently does not have a worker. These types of moves will result in no extra hexes for the blob. This also makes the 8+4+1 spaces total inaccurate too. This is the maximum number of hexes it can have, but usually at least some workers will be on hexes with combat units.

2 - The Automa most definitely will create "islands" sometimes. Keep in mind that a moving unit still counts its own neighborhood for valid hexes. One example being if you have a single mech on the board and it is already the closest to an enemy unit. If you draw a "Non-Combat Move Mech" card it can leapfrog itself one space further towards the enemy if one of the spaces in its own neighborhood is closer to an enemy unit than its current space. This will leave a gap in the "blob" and create an island that can potentially grow by having other units move into its neighborhood.

3 - Move Factory is not an exception to the "blob", as the factory still needs to be in the neighborhood of an automa unit to be a valid hex for the character to move to. It cannot leap there unless the blob is adjacent to it.

The idea of the "blob" is an interesting one to help people wrap their head around the Automa, however it creates some misleading assumptions, as your post reflects. There is always a danger to creating heuristics to replace rules.
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Sumit K
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reverendunclebastard wrote:

This is moderately inaccurate in several ways.

1 - It will not necessarily grow one hex each turn. Move Worker actions can end up placing workers on a space with a mech or character, that currently does not have a worker. These types of moves will result in no extra hexes for the blob. This also makes the 8+4+1 spaces total inaccurate too. This is the maximum number of hexes it can have, but usually at least some workers will be on hexes with combat units.

2 - The Automa most definitely will create "islands" sometimes. Keep in mind that a moving unit still counts its own neighborhood for valid hexes. One example being if you have a single mech on the board and it is already the closest to an enemy unit. If you draw a "Non-Combat Move Mech" card it can leapfrog itself one space further towards the enemy if one of the spaces in its own neighborhood is closer to an enemy unit than its current space. This will leave a gap in the "blob" and create an island that can potentially grow by having other units move into its neighborhood.

3 - Move Factory is not an exception to the "blob", as the factory still needs to be in the neighborhood of an automa unit to be a valid hex for the character to move to. It cannot leap there unless the blob is adjacent to it.

The idea of the "blob" is an interesting one to help people wrap their head around the Automa, however it creates some misleading assumptions, as your post reflects. There is always a danger to creating heuristics to replace rules.


#3 ah damn it I have been playing Factory wrong!
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Marcus S
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Another example where the automa does not remain as a "blob" is when combat units move closer to enemy units (i find combat units, and specifically mechs move more as a blob because they have similar "goals": "closer to enemy combat unit"), they can potentially leave a gap behind them, which workers may not bridge. Sometimes I find a separation between combat units and workers because they have different "goals". Workers stay nearer their base if all automa combat units have moved adjacent to enemy combat units.
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Redd

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Lines42 wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
I hope that Lines who helped design the Automa will do a video, he's much better at that kind of thing than I am.

I thought of doing one, but then others showed up doing Automa videos and playthroughs so I thought it wouldn´t be neccessary to do another one.
Instead of a trainer, I thought that a collection of movement examples might help. Not sure though.
Thoughts?
I think a collection of movement examples would be a great benefit also. Best video I've seen is the one linked earlier, but I find it challenging to follow the digital numbers for pieces to keep track of what's going on (maybe that's why I prefer board games).
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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CarcuS wrote:
Another example where the automa does not remain as a "blob" is when combat units move closer to enemy units (i find combat units, and specifically mechs move more as a blob because they have similar "goals": "closer to enemy combat unit"), they can potentially leave a gap behind them, which workers may not bridge. Sometimes I find a separation between combat units and workers because they have different "goals". Workers stay nearer their base if all automa combat units have moved adjacent to enemy combat units.


That should only happen in very rare circumstances. When they move closer to enemy combat units they still need to end in a valid hex, i.e. a hex that is in the neighborhood of an automa unit. If the highest priority choice for moving closer to an enemy unit is only in the "closest to home base" mech's own neighborhood and not adjacent to any other units, then they will leave a one space gap (moving into a hex in their own neighborhood). This is very rare though. "Closer to enemy unit" does not override the need to end in a valid hex (i.e. in the neighborhood of an automa unit).
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Redd

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gain wrote:
#3 ah damn it I have been playing Factory wrong!

The Factory still gets confusing for me also. Figured out I'd been playing it wrong in a previous thread too...Automa WILL move away from the Factory if it can deny you something else on the board and can't get the Factory card. shake
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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CarcuS wrote:
Workers stay nearer their base if all automa combat units have moved adjacent to enemy combat units.


The workers will also end up moving generally towards the factory though. Given that, after the "in the neighborhood of the most automa units" clause is satisfied (which doesn't include the base or units in the base towards the count of "most units", the base just has a neighborhood for determining "valid" hexes), the next priority is closest to the factory.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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ReddWolf wrote:
gain wrote:
#3 ah damn it I have been playing Factory wrong!

The Factory still gets confusing for me also. Figured out I'd been playing it wrong in a previous thread too...Automa WILL move away from the Factory if it can deny you something else on the board and can't get the Factory card. shake


Specifically the Automa character (only), if it cannot take (or already has) a factory card with a factory/encounter move, it will move to an encounter token in the neighborhood of an automa unit if possible. If neither the factory card or an encounter token are reachable, you skip to the next possible move action.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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It is very important to remember the general rule that all Automa movements will always end in a "valid hex", i.e. a hex that was in the neighborhood of an Automa unit before it began moving. There are no exceptions to this! A moving unit can, however, count spaces that are in its own neighborhood before it moves as "valid".
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Marcus S
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
CarcuS wrote:
Another example where the automa does not remain as a "blob" is when combat units move closer to enemy units (i find combat units, and specifically mechs move more as a blob because they have similar "goals": "closer to enemy combat unit"), they can potentially leave a gap behind them, which workers may not bridge. Sometimes I find a separation between combat units and workers because they have different "goals". Workers stay nearer their base if all automa combat units have moved adjacent to enemy combat units.


That should only happen in very rare circumstances. When they move closer to enemy combat units they still need to end in a valid hex, i.e. a hex that is in the neighborhood of an automa unit. If the only choice for moving closer to an enemy unit is only in the "closest to home base" mech's own neighborhood and not adjacent to any other units, then they will leave a one space gap (moving into a hex in their own neighborhood). This is very rare though. "Closer to enemy unit" does not override the need to end in a valid hex (i.e. in the neighborhood of an automa unit).


In my experience this is not extremely rare as you make it out to be. I believe we are talking about 2 different scenarios.
1. The situation you describe where there is only one automa mech, and it is both the closest to the automa base, as well as closest to the enemy units, it will move outwards to it's own neighborhood, thus it separates itself from the group is a rare occasion. I agree with you there.
2. The situation i am referring that is more common in my experience is where there are multiple automa mechs, and you do the Non combat mech move multiple times in a row without a Worker move. These 2 (or more) mechs, will essentially leap frog each other towards the enemy units. Eventually the combat blob will reach the enemy unit that is closest, and essentially begin to surround that/those hexes with enemy units on them, which leads to workers not moving out as far as these combat units.

Given this is very dependent on the board situation, i find this happening relatively frequently, which could be in part because i tend to play a bit more passively, and so the automa combat units quite often cross over to my side of the factory, and usually there are not enough Move Worker cards to really cause the sprawl of workers to move out as quickly/as far as the combat units do.
Once the combat units cross the factory, and are adjacent to my combat units ready for combat, most of the workers (maybe the odd one) do not typically cover that distance, or it just takes some time.
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CarcuS wrote:

2. The situation i am referring that is more common in my experience is where there are multiple automa mechs, and you do the Non combat mech move multiple times in a row without a Worker move. These 2 (or more) mechs, will essentially leap frog each other towards the enemy units. Eventually the combat blob will reach the enemy unit that is closest, and essentially begin to surround that/those hexes with enemy units on them, which leads to workers not moving out as far as these combat units.


We are indeed talking about 2 different things! I have definitely seen scenario #2 happen in games where I have "turtled" a little more.

For clarity for those reading the thread, workers will still move to those "blobs" of mechs if possible (i.e. it satisfies the "adjacent to the most units" and "closest to the factory" conditions) however the proximity of those "blobs" of mechs to enemy units does often (usually?) make this unlikely due to the "not adjacent to any enemy units" condition of Move Worker actions.

Cheers!
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Marcus S
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On reflection, these scenarios are probably less frequent when playing against more than 1 automa (I have yet to try this), or if the automa and I do not start on opposite sides of the board.
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Sumit K
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CarcuS wrote:
On reflection, these scenarios are probably less frequent when playing against more than 1 automa (I have yet to try this), or if the automa and I do not start on opposite sides of the board.


Yeah, I never had a case where I only had 1 mech and had 2 mech movements so the mech jumped around. That probably happens in the first phase of automa where it cannot cross rivers/lakes and by the time it can cross rivers/lakes it has 16 power, 4 mechs and his faction has unlocked an artifact to give it +15 power in combat.
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