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Subject: Solo scores? rss

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Jimmy Okolica
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This is more a question for the designer or someone with a bunch (20ish) solo plays.

Is there any reasonable way to come up with target scores for the different eras? I think somewhere you mentioned 67 for just era 1. Can you give targets for era 2, 3, and 4? Do those targets still make sense if you start in a later era?

Somehow I completely missed this game until last week. I've already played it solo twice (I won't post my scores since I just realized I was taking goods from buffers) and can't wait for more plays. If it stands up to repeated plays (and multiple player plays), this has real potential to be my 2016 Game of the Year and in my top 10 heavy games of all time.
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Didier Renard
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I thought I read somewhere they didn't have time to include solo rules.
How does it actually play solo ? Any rule adaptations ?
 
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Tim Puls
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Here are some scores (as far as I remember. ) you can aim for.
without colonies:
only era 1: 60+
only era 2: 125+
only era 3: 210+
era 1-2: 135+

Would like to know your best scores.
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Jimmy Okolica
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boulou wrote:
I thought I read somewhere they didn't have time to include solo rules.
How does it actually play solo ? Any rule adaptations ?


Solo plays just like regular without having to worry about paying fees for moving on a space where somewhere else's steward is. It's just like playing "nice" with other people where you work together to not step on each other's toes. The only difference is that you're always start player so you're always the one to place the tiles.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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wredo wrote:
Here are some scores (as far as I remember. ) you can aim for.
without colonies:
only era 1: 60+
only era 2: 125+
only era 3: 210+
era 1-2: 135+


Thanks so much. Any guesses on eras 1-3, 1-4 or 2-4?

Quote:
Would like to know your best scores.


I'll post them as soon as I play a game without cheating blush It's a very addictive game.
 
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Any reason you play without colonies Tim?

When can we expect some solo scenarios?

Just played era 1-3 (with colonies), 226 Points (but I'm not sure, if I used my storage correct all the time, probably not).
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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Played last night with my partner and the final was 324 to 288. We played the whole thing (era 1 - 4) and went two different strategies. The Laborer Colony was in the game and I went for citizens as early as possible, eventually winding up with only 2 farmers (and 2 merchants) in a community dominated by citizens (6 employed?). Amanda decided to stay rural and only got 1 citizen on her way to the community house (where she never employed her merchants). When we totaled up, she led in the buildings/improvements/dollars with lots of improvement points and a small lead in dollars (104 to 94), but I thrashed her in worker points. The only bad part was that we started around 8:30 at night and didn't finish till 2:30 blush Hopefully, future games will be shorter.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Played again last night Eras 2 - 4 and scored 350 (18 points over my earlier play - I mis-remembered my score earlier)...

Buildings: 167
Embassies: 42
Improvements: 13
Dollars: 8
Subtotal: 230
Farmers: 14
Citizens: 42
Merchants: 64
Subtotal: 120
TOTAL: 350

So, while the game played out differently (I didn't go for a money strategy), the final score was very similar. Some initial thoughts:

1. Inter-game variability is smaller than I initially thought. Since all places come into the game and come in close to the same time (think 'Gric's random order of actions within a stage), as a solo game, not only are the actions available close to the same time, they'll be available close to the same spot on the map.
2. The big inter-game variability comes from Colonies in play, Improvements drawn (if you're drawing them), and, surprisingly, the order of the market cards. None of these define a long term strategy. They're like an average 'Gric Occ or Minor -- they help but don't define a strategy.
3. Solo scores will only be higher than multi-player scores if players are playing nasty, i.e., creating separation between stewards and then trying to put buildings where they're unavailable to the other player. The thing is that doing this means they're only going to be useful once. In the case of Stables or Storage Houses, maybe that doesn't matter, but in most cases, players are going to want to put places where they'll be useful multiple times and with market jumping, that means useful to both players. As far as paying fees to other players, I didn't see it in my 2-player game. There are enough other options. With 4 (or even just 3) players? Possibly.
4. Bottom Line -- I don't see Colonists solo being like 'Gric solo. It doesn't have the same degree of inter-game variability and it doesn't have the potential for optimization that 'Gric does (due to 'Gric's accumulator spaces). It's been a long time since I played Loyang, but I suspect it'll be similar to Loyang in the sense that scores will be similar between solo and 2-player and so will inter-game variability.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Teiwaz wrote:
Any reason you play without colonies Tim?

When can we expect some solo scenarios?

Just played era 1-3 (with colonies), 226 Points (but I'm not sure, if I used my storage correct all the time, probably not).


I think scenarios would be interesting, but not just for solo play. They'd work just as well for multi-player games. Basically, they'd be variable goal cards that could be turned up at the beginning of the game. If a player gets at least X amount of thing Y by Era Z, they either get money or a one-time benefit or a free building of some sort. It would make the game less sand-boxy as it would drive everyone in a certain direction, so I could see some people liking it and other people not. However, as a variant, I think it'd work.

I know it's way too early, but I'd like to see expansions. One of my two big issues is that the same places come out every game. If only a subset of the Era 1, 2, 3, 4 buildings came out each game (like the colonies) AND players knew which ones were coming out and the beginning of the game, I think that'd be neat. It wouldn't be necessary to add too much, maybe 3 - 4 places and 2 buildings per era. Alternatively, it could be a whole new arc, like artwork in Roads & Boats. :shrug: It's definitely something that would take time to develop -- probably talking about something that wouldn't be ready till next Spiele. If Colonists ends up being a 1-year wonder (or if it never takes off at all), then there's no reason for the effort. However, I think there's room for this game to grow quite a bit.

By the way, my other issue is that the game is mostly serial. It's not like R&B where players can (often) take actions simultaneously. Players are mostly disengaged until their turn. That's not to say other players' decisions don't impact them. However, it's hard to plan ahead. So, I don't think a 2-player game is twice as long as a solo game, but it's probably 50% longer. My suspicion is that with 3 or 4 players, with more stewards on a board that hasn't grown at all, game length will be even worse (so maybe 3-player is 2.5 times as long as a solo game and a 4-player game is 3.5 times as long as a solo).
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Johan Ek
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Just played my first era 1 solo. Only got 40 points, since i made some rookie-mistakes (mainly forgetting to send farmers home in redistribute-phase).

Will try again tomorrow!
 
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Jeremy Avery
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Jimmy, you say this game has limited variability, but then say that the game has cards that function like decent Occ/M.I. cards from Agricola, which makes it seem like it should be quite variable.

Can you expand a bit? I'm trying to decide whether or not to jump in on this one.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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familygaming wrote:
Jimmy, you say this game has limited variability, but then say that the game has cards that function like decent Occ/M.I. cards from Agricola, which makes it seem like it should be quite variable.

Can you expand a bit? I'm trying to decide whether or not to jump in on this one.


So, I'd say variability is higher than 'Gric with only average strength minor improvements. The same action spaces come out each time (just like 'Gric), but (1) the order varies and (2) the spatial constraint varies. In addition, the different shared colonies provide even more variability. When I say it's limited, I was initially thinking it'd be like Roads and Boats where every game was on a different map. That's not the case. It really is a resource conversion action selection game where there's no blocking of actions and action selection is constrained by adjacency. So, at this point, I'd say it's much closer to 'Gric than R&B and has more variability than 'Gric.

Also, I got to play a 3-player game this weekend. It was a teaching game for two of the players. We only played 2 eras but we were done in 2 - 3 hours. So, my initial pessimism on play time may be wrong. I still think with AP-prone players (of which I'm one), it could be a very long play. But with non-AP players or with AP players once they're comfortable with it, I think the 4-hour full game play time might be achievable.
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Raymond J Dennis Jr
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wredo wrote:
Here are some scores (as far as I remember. ) you can aim for.
without colonies:
only era 1: 60+
only era 2: 125+
only era 3: 210+
era 1-2: 135+

Would like to know your best scores.


This is a good base, is there a reason for no Colonies in the solo game? Do you have scores based on with colonies/ I would imagine that it would depend on the colonies in play. Do you perhaps limit the number of colonies available in the solo game? Really looking forward to some different solo rules and scenarios.
 
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Raymond J Dennis Jr
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Just tried this also. I got 39pts so you did abetter then me! I used the introductory map.

I think what I am going to do is try this on all three maps(Easy, Medium, hard) Era 1 , then Era 2 , Era 3, and then Era 1-2 shooting for the point totals that the designer posted. Still the game is much better with the Colonies. Hopefully we will get some scenarios soon.


Pielso wrote:
Just played my first era 1 solo. Only got 40 points, since i made some rookie-mistakes (mainly forgetting to send farmers home in redistribute-phase).

Will try again tomorrow!
 
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Chad Weaver
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My first play, all 4 Eras: 392 points. Altruist, Storekeeper, and Scholar were my key colonies (also started with Trader and added Lord in Era 3). Plenty of storage and free stuff/bargains with second-level Altruist. One thing I wasn't clear on: does the Altruist Ambassador provide me with a discount on Improvements? What if I play two Improvements on one turn due to Institute, does it work for each one?

My points were 129 Buildings (CH, Textile Mill, Casino, 3 Factories), 18 Embassies, 45 Improvements, 80 Dollars, 16 Farmers, 24 Citizens, and 80 Merchants. Storekeeper Colony encouraged picking up cheap Factories which made for inexpensive places for Merchants to work at game end.

Also maybe everyone figured this out already, but I stood up my Employed Colonists and left the Unemployed on their sides--easier than the balance card for tracking and easy to count points at the end.
 
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Donny Behne
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FuzzySilk wrote:
wredo wrote:
Here are some scores (as far as I remember. ) you can aim for.
without colonies:
only era 1: 60+
only era 2: 125+
only era 3: 210+
era 1-2: 135+

Would like to know your best scores.


This is a good base, is there a reason for no Colonies in the solo game? Do you have scores based on with colonies/ I would imagine that it would depend on the colonies in play. Do you perhaps limit the number of colonies available in the solo game? Really looking forward to some different solo rules and scenarios.


A solo game is a normal game. Deal four colonies, play however many eras you want to. There are no modifications needed.
 
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William Verdoni
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I got 38 for my first era and 88 for my second era.
I think those are find considering I just dived in ,to doing the scenarios and figured it out as I went along. It began to click during era 2 :)
 
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