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Mike Pelletier
United States
Texas
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OK, so this is the first time I've attempted to do something like this. I got this game a few weeks ago and love it, but getting it to the table with other people will, I fear, prove to be difficult. So I tried a couple of solo variants I've found, including Tom's popular variant from the first edition of TtA and Derek's for this version. They are fine variants, but what they lack for me is a sense that I am playing against another person rather than a set of extra rules designed to simulate the accumulation of culture for me to gauge myself against as I play.

So I set out to develop a set of artificial intelligence conditions that would dictate what the dummy player's action priorities would be using actual game rules. This variant isn't for everybody...it requires you to set up the dummy player's board just like you were playing a live opponent. It also requires you to filter through a set of conditions for every single civic and military action. So it takes a long time to play this way...but in the end I think it feels more like a game against an opponent than a means to enjoy the game mechanics while playing something different than the rules intend.

This set of rules is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But that's where you come in. I'd like to ask anyone reading this forum post who likes to play solo to playtest these rules and provide your feedback. One problem I keep having as I've been trying to tweak the rules is that the AI player tends to run low on farm production, which hampers its ability to generate population in the worker pool. So if anyone has any ideas on how adjust the sequence of action choices to make this variant play better, please let me know.

Edit: I've deleted the rules from this post because the file has been approved and is posted here: Pelly's solo variant for Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization. They are much easier to follow on the document than they were posted on this thread.


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Bradley Gackowski
United States
Illinois
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Thanks for the effort, Pelly! I am playing through your solo variant now. It is a testament to the fundamental quality of the AI system that I am getting a bit frustrated (it is my first game, but still ^_^). I ran into the Reign of Terror card in Age 1, where in my game the AI has to lose one population. He has no cube in the worker pool, so where does he lose the population from? I couldn't find a solution in your guide.

Thanks!
 
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Jorge
Switzerland
Lausanne
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Thank you really for your effort, Pelly!

- First Round: why are you listing the "Technologies"? There are no technologies in the A-deck.
- First Round: although I don't like exceptions for specific cards, how about separating the "Engineering Genius A" from the rest? Sometimes, I even put it higher than a leader.
- Colonization: sometimes the AI will bid 1/2 units. Which units does it bid? There should be a preference, like "1. units not participating in a tactic; 2. strongest/weakest unit"
- Colonization: even if the AI passes the player MUST bid 2x level to get the Colony, right?
- Aggression: is the AI respecting the MA limit when playing bonus cards?
- Aggression: I am trying to understand the principle behind the whole mechanism "play bonus cards, then shuffle and reveal a tactic, discard even if the Aggression succeeds". If the AI has no bonus cards nor tactics in hand, then even an aggression of strength difference of 1 should succeed. Shouldn't the AI play bonus cards and discard subsequent military cards to match/exceed the aggressor's strength?

AI turn questions:

1.a) It should be "Research and/or build the highest ..." Sure, there is the "research tech" in step 7, but what if the AI has, say, Organized Religion in hand and it can solve the happiness issues?
1.a.) There should be a preference also in case of multiple solutions like "1. What provides the required happiness; 2. The cheapest"
1.a) Why not Arenas?
1.b) Which military units should be disbanded? There should be a preference, like when bidding for a Territory.
1.b) Why destroy an Urban Building first? Usually, mines are the first to go with human players. Also there should be an obvious clause "non-temple/theater/arena building".

Card questions:

- Columbus: which Colony should be played if multiple in hand? Random? Or keep an order like Vast/Inhabited/Strategic/Developed/Wealthy/Historic? (For Age I colonies)
- Raid: I reckon it should it be stated something like "AI first destroys a random Urban Building of the highest Age as mentioned on the card, etc", just to make it clear.
- Annex: should the colony be dictated by the AI's needs? Say, if the AI has discontent workers, it may be inclined to choose Vast/Inhabited/Developed/Historic over Strategic/Wealthy.
- Ravages: what if the AI has two "oldest" wonders? (Great Wall/Basilica). Should the Wonder be chosen based on happiness needs?
- Terrorism: usually a human player would destroy the highest-level one. Should the player choose a random one among their highest-level buildings?

I haven't read the entire turn sequence, so I might be back.
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Mike Pelletier
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Thanks for the feedback...I got no bites on this after I posted it so I put the AI aside for a while. I'll pull it out again and take your thoughts into consideration as I play through and tweak it. Post more if you get the chance to finish working through the turn sequence. I'll hopefully have an updated version in a week or two, depending on my time and whether I can come up with some viable solutions.

Thanks again!
 
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Mike Pelletier
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Version 3.0 file has been submitted to BGG for approval. Check the file link soon.
 
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