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The Oracle of Delphi» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing solo rss

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Patrik Strid
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This is my first attempt of coming up with a solo variant. I have appreciated a lot of other variants posted here in BGG, I guess its my way of paying forward... hopefully someone will find it useful.

OVERVIEW & PURPOSE
My intention is to get a gaming experience solo as close to how a multiplayer session would be. I find it important to keep the ghost player part as simple and straightforward as possible to be able to fully concentrate on my own strategy.

With this variant the ghost player will act based on a dice and complete one task after another and at the same time narrowing down the available options.

SETUP
Setup as normal for a 2-player game with the following exceptions:
1. Only place ONE Statue per City Tile (Variable Game board setup #7).
2. Setup your own individual play area as normal, but the ghost player only needs some parts as follows:
a. The same Zeus Tiles as you have. Line them up in a row, first the “Shrine” tiles, then the “Offering” tiles,
then the “Monster” tiles and finally the “Statue” tiles.
b. Place the three Shrines below the corresponding first three Zeus Tiles.
c. No need for the Player board, the Ship tile, the 6 Gods, the Shield or the Ship.
d. Keep the 3 Oracle Dice.
e. The ghost player will also roll the Titan’s Die.


COURSE OF PLAY
You are the starting player. Your first “Consulting the Oracle” is done during the setup as normal. Play through the following steps until either you have completed all your tasks and returned to Zeus or the ghost player removed all his/her tiles.

1. Play your turn as normal (checking Injury Cards and performing actions).
2. Consulting the Oracle. Roll your 3 Oracle Dice.
3. Roll the Oracle Dice of the ghost player together with the Titan’s die.
a. Move one of your Gods 1 step according to his/her Oracle Dice if applicable, as normal.
b. Manage the effect of the Titan’s Die on you, as normal.
c. Always give one Injury Card to the ghost player, as a round counter.
d. The Titan’s Die also specifies which action the ghost player takes
- the position of the lined up Zeus Tiles. I.e. a rolled 3 will point to the third remaining tile.
The ghost player performs that action as described below.


During the final round, don’t forget the Injury Card to the ghost player for a correct count of rounds.

THE GHOST PLAYER ACTIONS
All choices are made based on the location of YOUR boat. Choose the item or location closest by sea. If multiple choices are tied for being closest, you may choose.

1. “Shrine” tiles. Explore the Island closest to your boat.
a. If the image match ANY of the remaining “Shrine” tiles for the ghost player,
place 1 of his/hers Shrines on the Island Tile and remove the Zeus Tile.
b. If no match, the ghost player takes 2 Oracle Cards
(used for breaking ties in end scoring only).
c. Note that if you already revealed a matching Island Tile without placing your
Shrine there, the ghost player just places his/her Shrine there instead.

2. “Offering” tiles. Load a matching offering closest to your boat and make that offering to
the matching Temple Island.

3. “Monster” tiles. Fight a matching monster closest to your boat and defeat that monster.
Remove the equipment card with the position matching the Titan’s Die. Refill the display.

4. “Statue” tiles. Load the statue closest to your boat and raise it to a matching Statue Island
closest to your boat.



VARIANT
Instead of rolling one set of Oracle Dice for you and another set for the ghost player:
Any time but the very first, you roll your 3 Oracle dice AND the Titan’s Die:
a. Manage the effect of the Titan’s Die on you as normal.
b. Give one Injury Card to the ghost player (the round counter).
c. Move one of your Gods 1 step according to your own Oracle Dice if applicable.
d. Perform the ghost player action as normal.
e. Then it’s time for you to check your Injury Cards and perform your Actions.


END SCORING
Normal procedure with breaking a tie on Oracle Cards and Favor Tokens.

ALTER DIFFICULTY LEVEL

* A compact board makes it easier to beat the ghost player than a big with a lot of shallows.

* Add or remove tasks for you or the ghost player to give the player with less tasks an
advantage.

* Rearrange the order of the Zeus Tiles - letting the “Statue” tiles be somewhere at the first 6
location could get it harder.

* Make the “Offering” and/or “Statue” ghost player actions in two steps - first time only
loading, second time the final drop-off, i.e. “make the offering” or “raise the statue”.
Store the offering/statue on the Zeus tile in the meantime. This will effectively change the
ghost player from having a minimum of 12 turns to 15 or 18 turns.




CONCLUSION

I would like to know what you think of this variant (if you ever try it) and please share your results and any thought or ideas for improvements.

Without any alterations listed above, the first try for me ended even after 13 rounds, 2 Oracle card each, but I had 3 Favor Tokens left. The best score for me is winning after 10 rounds.


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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
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This is very similar to a solo variant that has been brewing in my mind since I bought the game a few days ago. I like that it remains as close to the multi-player game experience as possible. (Some of the other solo variants posted here stray farther, such as hitting you with setbacks at certain times.)

The variant brewing in my head had the AI complete whichever statue/offering had the pickup and dropoff points closest together on the map. But I think I like your idea better, of making it relative to the player's ship.

I had been thinking of just laying out the AI's Zeus tiles randomly, and completing the next one in the sequence each round. Your titan die approach gives you some information about which will might be completed next, which I like.

However, near the end of the game, if there are only 3 Zeus tiles remaining, and you roll a 5, does the AI do nothing? That makes the game have a variable number of rounds (yay) but seems like it might run too long. It would also have the psychological effect of slowing the game clock down near the end, whereas if anything I would prefer that it feel like it is speeding up. Re-rolling over and over until you get a 1-3 doesn't sound fun. Maybe just complete the leftmost tile if you roll higher than the number available?

Hmmm. It seems like if you could peek at the outer edges and find one of the AIs shrine islands, you could avoid that area of the map, thus denying the AI any hope of completing its shrine tiles. My idea was that when the AI was going to attempt to complete a shrine tile, it would start flipping islands, stopping only when it found a match. Unfortunately, this would bring the game back to a fixed number of rounds.

You never really said how the round counter is used. I guess it is purely informational, to know how quickly you finished?

It would be interesting to try this solo against 2 AIs instead of just 1. I definitely plan to try it with your variant-variant of laying out the tiles in a random order, for variability.

Thanks for posting this!
 
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Juego Dios
United Kingdom
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I wonder if this would work for adding another player to two player sessions.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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JuegoDios wrote:
I wonder if this would work for adding another player to two player sessions.

I would think that it would.
 
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