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Subject: Solo Variant - Solaria's Mission - feedback wanted rss

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A K Vikhagen
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Hi,

I have uploaded a solo variant for Solarius Mission, you can find it in the files section:
Solo Variant

This is a thread for feedback on this variant - I hope you will download and try it!

The concept is quite simple and takes it outset in the main interaction that players have in Solarius Mission - action dice selection and area control. I have found it to be fast and quite easy to remember, but it needs more playtesting.

I still haven't won against it, but the last time I played I was three points from winning. This could indicate that it needs to be adjusted so that it's even more difficult - but I would love to hear your opinion!

Considerations on strategy
Solaria's dice selection is difficult to predict, but her actions are not - the color and value distribution of the action dice on the wheel will give you a prediction of what Solaria will do next turn. For instance, if there are mostly turquoise dice on the wheel, it's time to settle that planet lying next to you before Solaria does it for you! If there are low value black dice then she might do nothing or at best upgrade her engines and that's it.

Update 3 Jan:
I have found with some more plays that Solaria adapts quite well to the dice pool, which means that she scores lower when you score lower due to poor dice on the action wheel. This is a good thing.

Also, there is some strategy in the black dice - it is crucial to deny Solaria to upgrade to a five engine, since she then most likely will win the maintenance scoring, effectively making a 12 point difference. It could be worthwhile to "hate-draft" black dice and then convert them if necessary. Every time she has maxed out the engines she have won the maintenance scoring.

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Mike Keller
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Thanks so much for this great input!

I will try it (after christmas) and let you know what i think about...

Sounds not so easy at first read, but after 3 times, it sounds definitly interesting...need to try
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A K Vikhagen
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Thanks!

Looking forward to hearing your feedback - I'm not that good at the game I think, so it will be interesting to hear from someone experienced!

I have made some language corrections for the next revision, but I haven't uploaded it yet. Nothing major, but I mention that all references to tiles in the rules refer to outer space tiles.

 
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Mike Keller
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Hi tilde.

I just played the Solo Variant. It has some nice Ideas in it, but i had a hard time to realy understand, what Solaria is doing:
Is it meant like this, that when Solaria Colonizes,builds or fulfill Missions, that she puts Outposts as long as she has some, meaning nearly every turn in the first few rounds?
Because it sounds realy strange to me sentences like this:

Brown (station): Build a space station if possible.
If Solaria can build an outpost, build a station
on the tile closest to you that does not already
have her outpost token. Choose the hex
closest to you. If she can not build an outpost,
choose the empty hex closest to you. If all space
stations are built then perform Turquoise
(colonise) instead of this action.


I see its realy hard to define where she is doing something, but maybe there could be a easier system to this.

As soon i have time, i will give it a try and report what happend...

Greets,
Mike


 
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A K Vikhagen
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Freakgeims wrote:
Is it meant like this, that when Solaria Colonizes,builds or fulfill Missions, that she puts Outposts as long as she has some, meaning nearly every turn in the first few rounds?

Yes. She will take the lead early on. In all my plays she has built all outposts before the end of the game. In this way, she is similar to the Lacerda bot in Vinhos.

Freakgeims wrote:
Brown (station): Build a space station if possible.
If Solaria can build an outpost, build a station
on the tile closest to you that does not already
have her outpost token. Choose the hex
closest to you. If she can not build an outpost,
choose the empty hex closest to you. If all space
stations are built then perform Turquoise
(colonise) instead of this action.


I see its realy hard to define where she is doing something, but maybe there could be a easier system to this.

Yes, it's hard to describe what I want the bot to do. Outpost building comes first, then taking areas from you comes next. I've actually had her block me in a very nasty way, especially when she can not build an outpost. I will consider putting some bullets on those formulations, or being more verbose. I am also working on a second page, with examples, and then a third page with some graphics that will serve as a player aid and her player board.

Freakgeims wrote:
As soon i have time, i will give it a try and report what happend...

Greets,
Mike


Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it!
 
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Mike Keller
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Hei tilde.

Thanks for your work on the solo-variant. I think the dice choosing mechanic of Solaria is very nice!

I worked out a solo-variant with Solaria's ship flying trough space, just by dice roll. It depends on where she stops with her ship, if she can colonise, build or fulfill mission.
It works fine, the only thing is, the points are quite "unstable", so one time you win clearly, another time, you lose badly.

It's fun anyway to see her flying around and "doing" stuff...
I will post it here, as soon i have time to writhe it down.
 
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A K Vikhagen
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Great - I'd love to see your variant! For my variant I kind of imagine that she has a cloaking device..

I uploaded a revised version a couple of days back but it still hasn't been checked for approval - if it doesn't show up soon I will upload it again.
 
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Mike Keller
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Sorry that it take so long, but there appeared some other games to play and test meeple
I try to finish it this weekend...
 
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A K Vikhagen
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No probs - take your time

I'm planning to test a three player setup and use two bots, Solaria and Solorius, just for the fun of it. The overhead is not that bad, so it's not a big problem to handle two bots once you are used to it! Should be interesting.
 
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Dylan Bradshaw
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36 me to 40 Solaria

We may have played an extra round, I can't tell if I forgot a hub one time

However, very tight game scoring wise! The variant runs very smoothly once it gets figured out. I could easily remember most of the rules. Thanks for putting this together
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Dylan Bradshaw
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1. Does Solaria have to follow building rules for outposts (one of each before second one)?

2. For the space station that copies an already built space station, how about having Solaria build a random space station from her stack when she places one on the board? In this case the player could copy one of her stations and not just their own.
 
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A K Vikhagen
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dylanbradshaw wrote:
1. Does Solaria have to follow building rules for outposts (one of each before second one)?

2. For the space station that copies an already built space station, how about having Solaria build a random space station from her stack when she places one on the board? In this case the player could copy one of her stations and not just their own.


Glad you liked it! She follows your score somewhat, since you are competing for the same dice. The normal difficulty setting seems to create even scores.

1. Yes

2. Yes, about the space station that copies, the original idea was that you can only copy stations in play so that you could only copy your own space stations, but that is a very good idea - will add it to the rules on the next revision!

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Dylan Bradshaw
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Another very tight match.

Me 38 - Sol 35

Very fun and thinky. Ran smoothly.

First player changes as per normal game right? I played that way.

A tip for the rules. Fist off, I should say I have been playing Mikes uploaded rules. I think you should add in the "landing" section some kind of hierarchy of what happens. In the rules, you list an order of what may happen when Solaria lands on different spaces, but you didn't specify the precedence. I.e. there are many places on the board that have an empty planet space, next to a commercial hub and sometimes, next to a planet. All three conditions are met for three different options for "landing.". You should simply write that the order in which you wrote the landing steps takes precedence over where you land, or something more clearly worded! Hope this helps

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A K Vikhagen
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Thanks - good feedback! Did you play the normal difficulty?

Is the next paragraph directed towards Mike's variant? The order of what happens is decided by the color of the action die that Solaria selects, so there is already a precedence - or do you mean something else?

 
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Dylan Bradshaw
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Yes - I was referring to Mikes variant. I will try yours next.
 
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A K Vikhagen
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dylanbradshaw wrote:
Yes - I was referring to Mikes variant. I will try yours next.


Got it - maybe it's better to post feedback for his variant in the corresponding files section
 
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Dylan Bradshaw
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Yeah that makes sense. My impression after reading the comments initially was that you and Mike worked somewhat collaboratively on this variant. Therefore, I thought it appropriate to post here. Now I see that there are some major differences between the two. Thanks
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Mike Keller
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Thanks for giving it a try!

You can change the playerorder or stay 1. player the whole game.
If you stay 1. player, you don't have any doubble-turns = smoother gameplay.

Actually the order i wrothe it is also the preference of what she will do after the flight:
If she lands on a Planet (also 3/4) or Portal it is clear what she is doing.
If she lands on a free hex, check the next 3 option in the numbered order:
1. Check if the ship is on a free hex next to a commercial hub.
2. Check if the ship is on a free hex next to an (or more) unexplored/uncolonized planet(s).
3. If no commercial hub nor a unexplored/uncolonized Planet is next to it, build a space station.

I hope it's clear like this

Enjoy!
 
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Dylan Bradshaw
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Very clear. That is what I assumed you meant. The first three are clearly in order in the rules. The confusing one was the empty planet spaces. Because most of these are adjacent to a planet, commercial hub, there aren't many times when Solaria will land on an empty planet space without meeting one of the first here requirements you listed. This is clear though now.
 
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