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Subject: Automa rss

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Jay K
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Inspired by the AI built for Scythe, which I own and find to be an excellent solo player experience, I thought that this great game deserved the "Automa" treatment. Automa being the name given to Scythe's automated opponent.

I do now have the guts of a solo game which retains the key elements that makes Warrior Knights the great game we all love, but does not create fiddly, time consuming bookkeeping.

I believe that I have managed to streamline several elements of the game to make it run smoothly and allow a complete game to be played in a reasonable timeframe.

In essence I create fixed action card decks comprising of 2 cards for each AI player and my "Automa deck" details the 6 actions each AI will take ordered from 1-6. Therefore no creating and searching through 6 action decks every turn, but I have retained the randomized nature of when each player gets to act. The Automa deck also details the preference for each noble, which are used in tie breaker situations, whether a captured city will be occupied or razed, which, if any, advancements to purchase and whether the AI will start an expedition and how much it will invest. Automa decks are also built during set up and are linked to Mission cards (if you own the expansion). Missions are now visible (obviously!) and the Automa cards will make the AI play to achieve its Mission!

Setup is made reasonably easy. There are a deck of setup cards each unique which detail the hex on the board to place the AI stronghold and then have a list of hexes at which nobles are to be placed. If a spot is taken simply work down the list until an empty spot is found.

There will be some rule changes clearly. Sieges work a little differently for the AI, and there are some other advantages they receive when compared to the player e.g. always receiving 4 crowns for a Levy Tax action and having no limit to the number of advancement cards they can hold.

I have also produced simple diplomacy cards which have 5 coloured squares on them. Each AI has 5 of these cards and one is selected during set up. You place 5 cubes left to right on the card. Each cube represents one of the other AI or the player with the position of the cubes indicating the "relationship" between the 2 parties. So for example the green AI may have a diplomacy card showing from left to right: Red, Black, Yellow, Purple and Blue. Purple and Blue are far more likely to be targeted for attack by green than Red or Black.

I am considering changing the diplomacy order during the game if an AI is attacked, receives a charge or office that make it a target (e.g. traitor to the crown) and where it is subject to a green or red event. However, as mentioned above it is important not to significantly increase the bookkeeping as a result and so I am also considering randomised specifically timed changes to diplomacy or not changing them at all!

I have also decided to apply armies randomly to nobles and to keep the strengths secret from the player. This is good for making attacks have an element of surprise, but when event cards such as "The Baron with the highest level of English mercenaries gains 5 votes" comes up, it makes sifting through the cards a bit of a pain.

The final thorny issue is that of the Assembly. How do I get the AI players to vote in a meaningful and fun way. I am still working on how to crack this particular nut. I want this to be a fun mini-game without it requiring lots of additional work by the player, or needing loads of additional rules.
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David Gotteri
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This sounds awesome. If you want someone to beta test for you, let me know.
I'll have a proper read tonight and offer some thoughts back.
David
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Alexandros Boucharelis
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Hi Jay,
these are fantastic news and i encourage you to complete this awesome idea of yours. I will wait for your solo masterpiece as long as it takes because only the idea of soloing this boardgame beast through an AI deck excites me!
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Shaun Austin
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Looking forward to it!
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Jay K
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I will be continuing the development discussion over at the 1 player guild for those interested in participating. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1656849/warrior-knights-aut...
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Jay K
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I have a fully playable demo version now and I am tweaking some of the cards to make the Assemblies feel more realistic. It is attempting to balance a multiplayer feel to the game whilst making the "new" elements sufficiently interesting. I must have printed off well over 300 "cards", don't worry there aren't that many in the game, but I keep tweaking the design and contents of the card.

What I really need is a good graphic designer to make the cards more intuitive.

Still playtesting continues and I am happy with 80% of the design. Rules are about 70% complete.
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David Gotteri
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Nice one! I'm not a graphic designer but would happily offer opinion on layouts, wordings, etc, if you want?
Msg me if that helps.
Thanks
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Jay K
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IdBass74 wrote:
Nice one! I'm not a graphic designer but would happily offer opinion on layouts, wordings, etc, if you want?
Msg me if that helps.
Thanks


Thanks. Let me get to a working prototype and I will let you know.
 
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James Hébert
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I just saw this and your ideas sound terrific.

I'll keep checking this space for your beta/final too. Anything I can do to help, just ask. I'm sure others here feel the same!

James
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Jay K
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Thanks I have posted this on the other thread.

Haven't spent much time on it recently. I need to tweak the files and test it again. GM me if you want the file and I will send it to you with the rules
 
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