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Subject: A new more color selecting HAL (solitaire) [WIP] rss

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Jorik
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I've been thinking about the solo mode and was bothered by the often random color choices that HAL makes in the standard solitaire version so I came up with a new version. This is intended to remove the random tile draw of the AI making it more prone to try to match colours with the existing tiles.
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Setup is as normal for solitaire.

HALs turn is a bit different then normal.
After you have taken your turn flip two building tiles for HAL
Then flip a card and build one of the two buildings following the standard procedure with the following additions:
When upgrading/adding a floor do the following checking to see if any apply:
If there’s a tile with the same colour and a higher value build this
If there’s a building of the same colour with a lower value build this
Otherwise build the highest numbered tile
If you have two tiles of equal value build yellow if available otherwise red.

When exploiting do the following checking to see if any apply:
If there’s a tile with one or more adjacent colours build this
If both tiles have colors adjacent to the exploitation pick the highest value tile
If both are unequal to the tiles adjacent pick the highest value
If both are of equal value pick yellow if available otherwise red

Afterwards shuffle the remaining card back in the pile.

the rest of the solo rules apply as to endgame etc.
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I’ve play tested it once and somehow I want to incorporate the whole “zoning”/neighbourhood effect as well but I’m thinking about that wether or not this would be too intricate. Will update the OP as I go along. it probably means to add a line about adjecent tiles in the choice line.

have fun trying ot out and do not hesitate to ask for feedback or give ideas/critisism (at worst I'll ignore it )

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I also found the solo variant a bit ...lacking.

Actually, it felt almost completely random, because the AI can build on top of other buildings at no cost regardless how large the difference in numbers or colour.

I'm going to test your variant, but I feel it doesn't go far enough, yet. Imho, the difference in numbers is actually more important than the difference in colour.

The human player is paying a lot of VP to build a low number building on top of a high numbered one, while a difference in colour only costs a single additional resource.

Wouldn't it be better to instead (or in addition to drawing two tiles) draw an additional card and use a priority list to pick the card that is used for the building action?

It would be even better if the AI also needed to pay VP for a numerical difference, but that's tricky because IME the AI tends to have low VP during the game and win because of a high number of bonus VP in the endgame scoring from cards accumulated from building on top of other buildings...
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Jorik
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Thanks for the feedback, I almost forgot that I had written this
Quote:
Wouldn't it be better to instead (or in addition to drawing two tiles) draw an additional card and use a priority list to pick the card that is used for the building action?

so you mean to say draw two cards and then apply the same choices to the card as you would to the tiles?
drawing two cards in addition to the two tiles would mean that the chance of matching the colour of the previous building goes up quite a bit (I'm not willing, nor able, to calculate the odds though )

Quote:
It would be even better if the AI also needed to pay VP for a numerical difference, but that's tricky because IME the AI tends to have low VP during the game and win because of a high number of bonus VP in the endgame scoring from cards accumulated from building on top of other buildings...

having the AI pay would indeed be harder and add another factor to the whole hog as you'd have to rule what happens when he can't pay for the card that is chosen by the flowchart (that i haven't made but it's there in text) and what happens when the AI can't pay for both tiles?
it could be tried though.
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Thanks for the reply!
HerrJork wrote:
so you mean to say draw two cards and then apply the same choices to the card as you would to the tiles?
Yes, that was the idea.
HerrJork wrote:
what happens when the AI can't pay for both tiles?
it could be tried though.
There's a another proposal for a solo variant here.

While I think this other variant requires too much effort, as written, I like the idea to let the AI start with 60VP (that are at the end substracted from the AI's score). It would be easy to extend it to assume the AI has unlimited VP and allow it accumulate 'negative' VP to pay for building up.

I'm currently just afraid this would result in an AI that's too weak. But that's what playtesting is for, right?

I'm planning to test both variants, first without modifications, and then introducing a change or two to see if it improves gameplay or not.
I'll report back
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