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Subject: First Game - Solo, Patriotic Crimea vs. Autometta Nords rss

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David Arlington
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OK confession time... I've had this game about three weeks now and have been a bit intimidated to play it. BUT... there is this Achievment Sheet that is taunting me with the place for "The First Winners Each Year." and I realize I have 10 days before I'll lose any chance of filling in that line for 2016 forever. So, last night I decided it was time to get to it!

I was afraid that this big game would end up on my tabletop multiple nights, but I actually did get it set up, play the complete game to a conclusion and put it all away on the same night. There should be an achievement for that!

I took Crimea Khannate because (a) I always take Yellow where possible and b) the leader is a woman. I like my female characters in games. I took the advice for a first solo game and took the opposite side of the board Nordic Kingdoms as my opponent and used the Autometta AI (the EASY version). I picked at random the Patriotic player mat.

Once I got it all set up, I realized what was in front of me. I had a WHOLE bunch of differently shaped cubes all over a huge board. I was playing a faction where I had a ton of choices what to do and no idea what I SHOULD be doing. I was limited to doing some things only every other turn. I was playing against an elaborate AI that is tricky enough to have generated several videos and FAQs about how to run it.

Wait! Am I playing Scythe or Fire in the Lake?

In any case, that comparison actually helped a bit because I took the same approach as I did to the first time I played FITL. I just decided to take some actions and push some cubes (and plastic) around until some sort of plan appealed to me and when I was doing the AIs turn, I didn't get all hung up on whether I was playing it 100% correctly first time out. The AI still managed to beat me quite handily, 72-52, but I already see several areas where I easily could have improved that score. Some details after the image of the ending position:



1) The Nords got their first two Stars placed when they hit 16 Combat Power and the 10th space on the Autometta Star Tracker card on the same turn.

2) I got a Star when I completed an Objective, controlling three Tunnel territories. That was pretty easy for Crimea once I had Riverwalk because my path out leads right to a Tunnel territory and from there it was easy to get units to two other Tunnel spaces before the AI could cover any/all of them.

First Game Mistake: Crossing my character over a River to get an Encounter token and then realizing that due to the faction Riverwalk rules, that was a one-way trip and I had no way to get back again (EDIT: the same way I came in).

3) Got my second Star when I built my fourth Mech which I needed to do to uncover the Crimea Wayfare ability that let my character un-strand herself by transporting to one of the unused Faction home bases. I picked the lower right expansion home so I could get to the Factory (the Nords had already been there by now) without having to cross any more rivers.

4) Got my third star (now 1 ahead of the Nords) by winning a Combat when the Nordic Mech attacked my character but did not play any Combat cards.

5) The Nords tie me with their third Star from the Star Tracker card.

6) Fourth Star for me came when I built all my Workers.

7) Nords 4th Star from the Star Tracker card.

8) Complete my final Enlist action for my fifth Star.

Another First Game Mistake: I did a Produce with intentions to complete upgrades for my sixth star, but that dipped my Popularity down to the Bottom Tier. Before I could get my next turn, where I would have raised my Popularity back up again, the Nordic AI attacked me in Combat.

I guess I'm so used to trying to WIN in Combat that I didn't realize the end effects of me winning that Combat. I actually should have THROWN that Combat to the Nords. Instead, I was happy I won when the Nords again played no Combat cards. UNTIL I realized that that gave me my sixth star (for winning my second Combat) and the game would be over with my Popularity still at SIX. Game over. I lose. IF my Popularity had only been one higher, I would have had 66 coins at game's end instead of 52.

If I had thrown the Combat to the Nords, they would have only had five Stars and I would have gotten another turn to boost my popularity and gain some more coins. I COULD have won if I had LOST Combat. That was a pretty cool insight to have after the game.

Other things I think I learned:

- I didn't use Crimea's special ability to use a Combat Card as a single resource of any kind often enough.
- I should have tried harder to get and take the Factory space. I never got there. And the Nords got 9 coins at game's end for holding it.
- I should have tried to control more spaces in general.
- I took the middle option on almost all the Encounter cards. If I had taken just one or two of the top Popularity gaining options, I could have been in the next Popularity Tier.

Well, now I have only NINE days to get that Achievement for winning a game in 2016 accomplished (I may have to take this game to Game Night so SOMEONE can fill that in before 2016 is over!), BUT I did get THIS Achievement filled in last night:

"The First Players to Place All Six Stars and Not Win" - a dubious Achievement but I'll take it!

ADDENDUM EDIT: Looking over everything I can find about the Automata, I am pretty sure I only made one real mistake running the AI. Once the Nordic Character had claimed the Factory card and then moved to pick up an Encounter token elsewhere, it would NOT have moved back to the Factory on future Factory/Encounter Automata moves and chosen something else. I don't think that would have changed the outcome of the game in any way, because I'm sure the AI would have just moved in a Mech at some point instead. So, I feel pretty good about my running the AI now.


Dave
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Jason Brown
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If you have Riverwalk unlocked, you should never be stranded on a peninsula. The terrain on the ability only represents the tiles you can cross to, not from. Every faction has two terrain types they can cross to and every peninsula has at least one of those terrain types across a river.
 
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David Arlington
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Well, it's not that I was stranded, I just couldn't go back the same way I came in. That's what I forgot.

To get off that peninsula, I would have had to go north to the farms that are/were right by the Nordic Home area and all their units that could/would have attacked.

Dave
 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Thank you for taking the time to post about our Automa. Hope you'll get your win before the end of the year .

Quote:
I just decided to take some actions and push some cubes (and plastic) around until some sort of plan appealed to me and when I was doing the AIs turn, I didn't get all hung up on whether I was playing it 100% correctly first time out.


In my opinion that's very good advice for players starting out with Scythe+Automa.
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Jay M
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Love the Doc Savage avatar and username. thumbsup
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David Arlington
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Race Bannon wrote:
Love the Doc Savage avatar and username. thumbsup


And I have to give creds to Race Bannon! LOL

Dave
 
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David Arlington
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mortenmdk wrote:
Thank you for taking the time to post about our Automa. Hope you'll get your win before the end of the year .


Well, I DID get to write in a win for 2016, but not against the Automa. I actually won my first multi-player game (5 player game). And I would say that this solo game here that I played against the Automa gave me some good insights about the game that I used when I got to play against live humans!

Dave
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Henry Clark
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Single player is quite a good challenge - I won my first game using the easy mode, but I've lost my next 3 against the normal mode - the first of those was a complete drubbing, but the next 2 Inactually thought I'd won until I added the score up!
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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DocSavage2001 wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
Thank you for taking the time to post about our Automa. Hope you'll get your win before the end of the year .


Well, I DID get to write in a win for 2016, but not against the Automa. I actually won my first multi-player game (5 player game). And I would say that this solo game here that I played against the Automa gave me some good insights about the game that I used when I got to play against live humans!

Dave


Thanks, I'm happy to hear that playing against the Automa improved your multiplayer game. That means we've succeeded to make the solo game be like the multiplayer to a reasonable extent.

Gratz, on winning .
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