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Subject: Let's talk Solo Variants rss

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Claudio Coppini
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Yesterday I played a solo game where I used a die to select the card that MaXXimilian takes each turn, and...I ended losing 61 to 33! That's not even counting the fame points for Max (that would have been 71 pts total for him lol), which is something I thought doing to raise the solo challenge.

I have to admit that I played poorly, but he just kept picking up the strongest army and leader cards, and I never managed to exceed his strength.

I'll have to play a few other games, but for now it seems like randomly selecting a card for Max is already enough to raise the challenge quite a bit.

Please feel free to post here any ideas you have to keep the solo simple but making it more challenging.
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They call me Mister...
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I wondered if using the right hand side of the 2/4 player board might change things? Player starts in the bottom oasis and city. I find if you get the chance taking those two 3 strength cities next to each other on the left hand board is a strong move.

I also wonder if when Maxx's armies are taken off the board, on his next turn after taking his card, he places then (following usual placement rules) in a route toward your highest strength location? But obviously he can only take that location if his strength is higher and he has enough pieces to place in the location.

All just the beginnings of ideas, nothing tested yet as I still find Maxx a challenge now and again.
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Simon Maynard
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With the standard solo game rules, playing this game is like trying to climb over a very steel hill. Getting to the top of the hill necessitates taking one or two cities/oases from Maxx. Once you've done that, not only do you gain those immediate points, and Maxx loses those points but you've opened up the strong possibility of gaining some fame groups. It gets dead easy no matter what cards Maxx gets because you don't even need to take any more territory. You can just focus on playing cards, it's hard not to win convincingly from then on.

I will often willingly sacrifice a man or two (permanently discarding in order to adjust a die) to help me get the cards down I need and to get close to his cities/oases in order to get that crucial first conquest.

So I would like to see the shape of difficulty change in this game. It should be a tough climb until the tend of the game, not get dramatically easier once you've made your first conquest.
Quote:
I have to admit that I played poorly, but he just kept picking up the strongest army and leader cards, and I never managed to exceed his strength.

This is just the thing. Allowing Maxx to chose a random card makes the first part of the game even harder. It doesn't need to be in my opinion. I think it is the second half of the game that needs to be made harder. It should not be possible to win the game merely by conquering just one or two hexes from Maxx. You should need to go on and conquer more territory.

How about something like the following:

1) Remove the Heroism card (it serves no real function in the solo game like it does in multi player).
2) You score at the end of the game is simply a total of the points values for each city/oasis you own at the end.
3) No need to score for Maxx, your target is just to get the highest possible score (wiping Maxx from the board entirely).
4) If you achieve a fame group, it immediately boosts your strength (but has no bearing on your end game score).

It's quite a dramatic change to the game, I admit. But food for thought...
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Claudio Coppini
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>Simon

Good point about the challenge becoming easier once you manage to take a couple of cities/oasis from Max, I agree with that.

Quote:
1) Remove the Heroism card (it serves no real function in the solo game like it does in multi player).


I'm not sure how this would help?

Quote:
3) No need to score for Maxx, your target is just to get the highest possible score (wiping Maxx from the board entirely).


Well the solo already includes a beat your score challenge, so I'd prefer to keep a dummy player anyway.

Your other two suggestions probably need some testing, let me know if you try them.

Quote:
This is just the thing. Allowing Maxx to chose a random card makes the first part of the game even harder. It doesn't need to be in my opinion.


You're probably right about this, I'll try without the die but instead counting fame points for Max at the end to see how it goes.

>Ibbo

Good idea about using a different map, didn't think about that. Might try to see how it works.

Quote:
I also wonder if when Maxx's armies are taken off the board, on his next turn after taking his card, he places then (following usual placement rules) in a route toward your highest strength location?


I like the idea behind this, I've thought about ways to make Max dudes come back in the map but haven't come up with anything good yet, but I think it's something totally worth testing.
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They call me Mister...
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The heroism card can be quite limiting for the player if the player has forced Maxx to take equipment/weak leader cards and only built their own strength - when the heroism card comes out the player can no longer attack Maxx for locations. Not a massive deal but it's something.

Simon, nice analogy about the hill. I agree with you that those 3 Strength cities are really 6 Strength (-3 to Maxx and +3 to yourself at game end) but just to clarify when you say you gain those immediate points your strength doesn't actually increase does it? I've been playing it that the location strengths on the board only count when doing the end game scoring.


Hmmm, just off the top of my head, what about using the die roll to choose Maxx's card only after you have taken your first location?

 
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Simon Maynard
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Quote:
Quote:
Remove the Heroism card (it serves no real function in the solo game like it does in multi player).
I'm not sure how this would help?

This is for the following reason:

It seems to me that the Heroism card serves to allow players who have not managed to build up their strength in the early game and/or not managed to make many conquests thus car get back into the game with some late conquests (because comparative strength no longer matters). Their likely high ratio of equipment/leader cards to tapped cards is high. This is useful in a multi-player game (I imagine, I haven't yet played it multi-player).

But in the solo game it serves no purpose. Even if you haven't made any conquests by the time the Heroism cards comes out and you have more equipment/leader cards than Maxx, he won't have any tapped cards either so you'll be unlikely to conquer more than once or twice even if you have the time before the game ends. The few times I've tried pursuing this strategy it hasn't ended well.

If the solo game is to be changed along the lines of what I've suggested, you need to be able to keep conquering until the end. Something that is more viable, I think, without the heroism card.
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Simon Maynard
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Ibbo wrote:
Simon, nice analogy about the hill. I agree with you that those 3 Strength cities are really 6 Strength (-3 to Maxx and +3 to yourself at game end) but just to clarify when you say you gain those immediate points your strength doesn't actually increase does it? I've been playing it that the location strengths on the board only count when doing the end game scoring.

Yes, I only count the points for conquests at the end of the game.
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Claudio Coppini
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I thought that with the heroism card you can start conflict EVEN if you don't have enough strength (the rulebooks says "You no longer need to have more strength..."), so you can still start a conflict in the standard way.

Quote:
I've been playing it that the location strengths on the board only count when doing the end game scoring.


I think he just meant that you're never going to lose them until the end of the game.

Quote:
what about using the die roll to choose Maxx's card only after you have taken your first location?


Don't know, I'd prefer to use a consistent approach throughout the game without having to change Max behavior.
 
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They call me Mister...
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Drugo81 wrote:
I thought that with the heroism card you can start conflict EVEN if you don't have enough strength (the rulebooks says "You no longer need to have more strength..."), so you can still start a conflict in the standard way.


No Simon's correct. The heroism card changes the rule for conflict to the purple + orange - tapped cards as the new metric.

EDIT - sorry misread.

Yes, that's what Simon is saying you can start a conflict if you don't have enough strength because whilst the Heroism card is out all conflicts are measured using the purple + orange -tapped cards measurement.
 
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Claudio Coppini
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Ibbo wrote:
No Simon's correct. The heroism card changes the rule for conflict to the purple + orange - tapped cards as the new metric.


Ah ok, I guess I misunderstood the rulebook for this. Thanks!

Edit: Wait, so am I right? Bit of confusion lol.
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Simon Maynard
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I tried a game, amending the solo rules as I suggested above. I noticed that there are only 12 people of each colour and to occupy every oasis and city on the 2 player map would require 13 so the maximum points you could possibly earn is 16 (occupying all cities/oases except for one of the 1 point oases).

In my first game I scored only 7 points. Game didn't go well for me though. I kept rolling a lot of low numbers and took me a long time to get a fame group established.

I'll try it out a few more times and report back.
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Scholle
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Drugo81 wrote:
Ibbo wrote:
No Simon's correct. The heroism card changes the rule for conflict to the purple + orange - tapped cards as the new metric.


Ah ok, I guess I misunderstood the rulebook for this. Thanks!

Edit: Wait, so am I right? Bit of confusion lol.


My understanding is with the Heroism card in play you need to:

a. have more points in cards than your opponent to attack. (Orange + Purple - 90° turned.) Previously you needed more points in strength.

b. have at least three strength points, because you still need to reduce your strength by three under the Heroism conquest rules.

c. have an Era card vertical (at the time of conquest) that you can then turn 90°.

So, as an example, let's say you had two Orange (vertical) and three Purple (one vertical & two at 90°) and four White (one vertical and three at 90°), then you would have a Heroism strength of zero. (2 orange + 3 purple - 5 at 90°.) You would still be able to attack anyone who has a Heroism value less than zero (as long as your usual strength is over three), even though your Heroism value is zero.
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Claudio Coppini
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Scholle wrote:
My understanding is with the Heroism card in play you need to:


Thanks for your input.

I also understand that's how the heroism card works, but I was wondering whether you can still attack the normal way or if the new conflict conditions replace the standard ones.

Maybe the designer can chime in to confirm?
 
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Simon Maynard
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Here is the relevant section from the rules:
Quote:
As long as the Heroism card is visible on the board, these new conditions apply to all conflicts:

You no longer need to have more Strength than your opponent to conquer their region. Instead, you and your opponent each add together the number of your orange Leader cards and purple Equipment cards, and subtract the number of all of your rotated cards (from previous conflicts).

You must have a higher total value in order to conquer your opponent’s region.

If you meet this condition, you conquer the region as usual, replace your opponents Army figure(s) with your own, lose 3 Strength, and rotate one of your Era cards 90°.

I've interpreted this to mean that it replaces the old conditions for conquest meaning you cannot conquer an opponents region merely by having a higher strength. You must satisfy the new conditions.
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Claudio Coppini
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I see, but I think that the "You no longer need.." part can be interpreted as as additional and optional condition to start conflict. It makes also sense thematically that of course, if you are stronger you can still attack somebody, but even if you aren't your army is so heroic that they'll give everything they've got lol.
 
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They call me Mister...
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True but I think the important stresses are:

Quote:
As long as the Heroism card is visible on the board, these new conditions apply to all conflicts:

You no longer need to have more Strength than your opponent to conquer their region. Instead, you and your opponent each add together the number of your orange Leader cards and purple Equipment cards, and subtract the number of all of your rotated cards (from previous conflicts).

You must have a higher total value in order to conquer your opponent’s region.

If you meet this condition, you conquer the region as usual, replace your opponents Army figure(s) with your own, lose 3 Strength, and rotate one of your Era cards 90°.


I think the "Instead" and "must have" is quite telling. But it's by no means definitive.
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Claudio Coppini
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Yeah I guess you're right...

Alright then! So Simon, did you play without the heroism card? Do you just replace it with another era III card?
 
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Simon Maynard
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Drugo81 wrote:
Alright then! So Simon, did you play without the heroism card? Do you just replace it with another era III card?

I played without it and did not replace it. I didn't think it needed replacing as it can't be chosen during the game. Omitting it only caused the game to end one round earlier (after ten rounds).
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Claudio Coppini
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Cool, makes sense.

I'm thinking it would be nice to come up with a way maybe to have MaXXimilian replace one of his home die with one of your own, to reflect the multiplayer...will post here any idea I come up with.
 
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Bernd Eisenstein
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Hello!

One short thing:
If the Heroism card is revealed, the strength is not neccessary for conflicts anymore!
And you can also attack with a zero or negative value (colored cards minus rotated cards), if the opponent has a lower value.

Greetings
Bernd
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Simon Maynard
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irongames wrote:
One short thing:
If the Heroism card is revealed, the strength is not neccessary for conflicts anymore!

When you say not necessary, it seems ambiguous. Do you mean that you can rely on superior strength for conquest, even if your purple+orange-rotated cards is not greater than the play you're invading?
 
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irongames wrote:

If the Heroism card is revealed, the strength is not neccessary for conflicts anymore!


Except that it is necessary to have at least a Strength of three because you still have to reduce your Strength by three when turning a card 90°. You get that three Strength back for each 90° turned Era card during final scoring, (although this is not printed on the board final scoring summary).
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Claudio Coppini
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From what Bernd said it seems I was right?!

Bernd: is it correct that even if the heroism card is out you can still start conflict normally? That is, if you have more strength you can still attack with a conquer region action (without counting the cards value)?
 
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Bernd Eisenstein
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Hello Claudio,

Yes!
There is only one of the 2 conflict conditions active - with or without the heroism card.
slide a card to 90° is a counter for the 3 points back at game end.

Greetings
Bernd
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Simon Maynard
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irongames wrote:
Yes!
There is only one of the 2 conflict conditions active - with or without the heroism card.

I interpret that as meaning that, once the heroism card is active, having superior strength is no longer a condition for initiating conflict.
 
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