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Imperial Settlers» Forums » Variants

Subject: Some ideas to improve the Solo Campaign mode. rss

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josh dempsey
China
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陕西
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"Oh uh ... Yes it's a ... it's ... it's for the children. I'm a ... I'm a role model."
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First I'd like to say that I love the solo campaign. It makes playing solo all the more enjoyable, but I do have a few ideas to improve it.

The Event table is great. It adds needed variety to each game. I think having special unlock-able Events would make it even better. For example; if you successfully complete 3 different quests in a certain Event category a special Event is then unlocked. This special Event could then be selected instead of rolling randomly on the Event table. This special Event would have more difficult/interesting rules, as well as a much more difficult but rewarding quest.

I love the Achievements. It gives a real reason to collect Victory Points instead of only trying to beat your high score. A way to improve it would be to change its current form into a tech tree. Of course many more new achievements would need to be made to fill out the new tech tree.

The only thing I don't really like is the Province table. I really like the idea behind it. As your Empire grows you become more powerful but it becomes more and more difficult to control until eventually your Empire falls and you lose the campaign. But that just doesn't happen.

First of all there is no real benefit to acquiring provinces. Sure the traits are mostly good, but what you pay in Control and Upkeep Costs far exceed any benefit you would get. So actually as you acquire more and more provinces you become weaker, not stronger. Gaining one stone every round, but having to pay one wood every round (plus 5 or more VPs at the end of the game) isn't a good deal.

Second of all there is no threatening penalty to losing all of your provinces. Say I lose all of them. So what? I still have my achievements. As easy as it was to "win" a solo game without achievements, now that I have some its practically impossible for me to lose. In fact, I have never lost a solo game before. Granted I have only played it a dozen times or so, but I've never lost.

There is no reason to keep provinces, they don't help you and there is no incentive to keep the ones you've got. So I propose that first, get rid of the Upkeep Costs. Then the provinces (for the most part) actually benefit you. Second, make losing provinces something you really don't want to happen. For example, when you lose a province, you lose its benefits, other provinces' Control Costs go up, and you lose a random achievement. Losing Achievements is the only way you can lose the game by the way. That way I actually want to get more provinces, because I become more powerful, and I also want to keep them, because losing them would suck. Eventually this problem would snow ball resulting in my defeat. This scenario is what is described in intro.

Anyway, let me know what you think of my ideas, and/or post your own here as well.
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Matt Williams
United Kingdom
Penkridge
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I like some of your ideas, the tech tree for the achievements sounds good - more achievements would also be welcomed.

The idea of special events is interesting - I would be particularly interested in hear what ideas you had for these events.

I can see where you are coming from with the provinces, there is almost an incentive to just dispose of them as soon as you get them unless they provide a tangible benefit (which most do not). The game should clearly discourage you from doing this with more severe penalties.

One thought I had was to increase the strength of the dummy player for each province lost, this way it would be harder to win and it could prevent players from simply refusing to pay the upkeep. Eventually you would be forced to lose one but you would not be happy about it.

You could boost the dummy player by giving them a certain number of cards at the start of the game, or by drawing extra cards each round so they get more than 2, thus making it harder to raze all their cards. You could even just increase the cost of razing. Alternatively you could give them the ability to attack in other ways - stealing faction buildings or resources. There is a lot of scope here and I feel that it could really make the game more interesting if it was actually possible to lose.


 
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josh dempsey
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Hey there Matt,

thanks for the feedback and showing and interest in my ideas to improve the solo campaign.

Unfortunately I have been really busy these past few months and haven't had time to play Imperial Settlers, let alone think about improving the campaign rules.

I'm thinking the campaign end conditions should be changed from losing all of your achievements to losing all of your provinces. Much like a game of Risk, if you are wiped off the map, you lose.

Achievements would never be lost, but losing provinces would increase the control cost (I think this could be thought of as your empire's moral) of all remaining provinces. Your empire doesn't like it when you lose, and think you weak.

Individual upkeep costs would be pooled together to form an Empire upkeep cost. This would function much like the quests do, instead of paying a cost every round, you would have a cost that needed to be paid before the game ends. Im still trying to work out the specifics. Story-wise, I picture this upkeep cost as sending supplies to the other provinces to help defend against invasion. If they don't get enough supplies, the province(s) is lost to the enemy.

I have no specifics about those special events yet, I'm sorry to say.

I also agree that the A.I.'s difficulty should increase as the campaign progresses. Perhaps it can also get bonuses of some sort every time you lose a province.

I made some notes when I play tested some of these ideas to varying degrees of success. Later when I have time (hopefully soon) I will post those.
 
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josh dempsey
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UPDATE for new campaign rules.

Im playing as the Barbarians, and I just won my 6th or 7th province. The difficulty is definitely scaling up. The last two games were pretty close, and I see foresee my empire starting to fall in two or three more games. Which is good, because I was hoping the empire would start to collapse around game 10 or so.

As soon as I finish the campaign, and tweak the rules a bit, I will type up the rules and post them here for others to try out.
 
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Joel Thompson
United States
Clearlake
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What if the province table was replaced with a printable map? Instead of getting random provinces each game, a player would start with a province on the coast, and then each game they wold conquer an adjacent province. If a player loses, they lose a province on their border. Maybe that province could be harder to claim than others, since the virtual player conquered it.
Instead of upkeep costs and events making the game harder, what if the virtual player got harder every game as their empire expands? As you already suggested, there could be an achievement technology tree and unlockable quests too.
I think it'd be really cool to make alliances with other border factions, and at the end of each game, I could deck build with other factions. If I was playing as the Egyptians and the Romans were the border faction, I could switch an Egyptian card type with a Roman one for the next game.
 
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