Dejun King
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I really like this game but due to my limited gaming group get togethers (probably once or twice a month) this game does not get to the table as often as I would like it to. This has led me to try and construct a simple yet pleasant racing style solo play where you as the player race to complete your 12 favors before the "timer" runs out. So far this variant has worked well for me and I am really enjoying it so I decided to share to see what others might think of it.

REVISION "03"

Setup: First prepare the game board just as you would if it were a 2 player game. Second set up your player board as normal. Then take a second player board and put it within reach. Place on this second player board one oracle card of each color (shuffled and face down in a small deck)then place the 6 God chips in any order of your choice on the cloud track in an arranging of your choosing.

Example:
Poseidon (Blue) placed on cloud level 1 (cloud closest to thrones)
Artemis (Green) and Ares (Black) placed on cloud level 2.
Apollon (Yellow) and Aphrodite (Red) placed on cloud level 3
Hermes (Pink) placed on cloud level 4

Timer duration: 15 rounds
Difficulty setting: Hard
(this is just one of the many setups that can produced in this variant)

Timer and difficulty rating can be determined by the player during set up using the following chart:

Easy 21-(max.)rounds
Normal 18-20 rounds
Hard 15-17 rounds
Insanity 14-12 rounds

Gameplay: You will be first player and preform all actions as if you would in a 2 player game. Once you have preformed your actions by using all of your oracle dice you will (as you would in a 2 player game) end your turn by consulting the oracle. This is where the variant will take effect. Draw the top card of the second players oracle dice deck. From the revealed card move the matching God chip ahead one space closer to his/her throne then shuffle the card revealed back into the six card deck to reset. After you have advanced a God chip you will roll the titan die just like you would in a 2 player game and turn structure will continue in this manor until the end of the game. At the beginning of your second turn (and every subsequent turn there after) you will have the privilege of advancing a single God chip on your player board ahead a single space. (note that the God you advance at the beginning of your turn will not be available for advancement during your next turn preventing you from abusing a single God's power.) God chips on the 2nd player board will stop their movement once they have reach their throne (chip remains on the throne for the rest of the game). Immediately after a God chip reaches its throne on the 2nd player board the matching oracle dice card will be removed from the six card deck and a one time God specific penalty will be implemented (For those not looking for conflict in their game this penalty can be skipped and the God chips can simply be used as a timer). Once all God chips on the 2nd player board reach their thrones before you complete your 12 favors and return to Zeus you lose the game.

God Specific Penalties: As mentioned above if ever a God chip on the 2nd player board reaches their throne a one time penalty is immediately implemented.

Poseidon (Blue)- Remove all the contents of your ship (statues and cubes) and place your ship back at the Zeus marker. Any contents that were on your ship are removed from the game (this should still leave enough statues and cubes in the colors you need available to complete your favors, if not place the cube destroyed in its respective area furthest away from the Zeus marker)

Artemis (Green)- Take all face down Island tiles (regardless if they have been viewed previously by the first player) shuffle them and place them randomly back on the board face down.

Ares (Black)- Destroy all but one monster tile on each of the areas containing monster tiles (if an area containing monster tiles currently on has one monster on it disregard that area and leave the single monster in that area) You choose which monsters to destroyed from each area.

Apollon (Yellow)- Discard all oracle cards(if able) Then for each oracle card discarded this way advance the matching God chip on the second player board ahead one space. (God chips can only move one space during this penalty i.e. if you discard more then one blue oracle card Poseidon still only moves one space).

Aphrodite (Red)- Gain 3 injury cards.

Hermes (Pink)- Lose all of your favor tokens.

So there it is. This is the variant I have been playing with and so far it has served me well but any and all opinions on how to better it are welcome in the comments. One final thing I forgot to mention is that I use the Pillar as a one time use re-roll option (re-roll pillar must be spent directly after the consulting of the oracle phase before advancing a God chip on the second player board) Once this pillar is used it is removed from the game. Please let me know what you think of this variant and if it can be improved in any way and thank you in advance for your feedback
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Lester Dizon
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Very cool. I just played this game with a friend recently and it got me thinking about a solo variant.

I like your timer mechanic. I hadn't come up with one yet, though I was trying to come up with one that would give a variable number of turns each game within a certain range. It kept getting too complicated.

Will give this variant a go this weekend!
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Dejun King
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I am very excited to see how this worked for you! I will keep checking in to see the outcome and your opinions of this solo adventure
 
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Lester Dizon
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I played one game using these rules this weekend. I liked it a lot! I was able to finish with 6 or 7 turns to spare but I had my map configured to the compact beginner setup.

Your rules are a nice balance between keeping the player decisions similar to a multiplayer game while minimizing the amount of work to facilitate solitaire play.

One thing I would want to think about is how to activate some of the negative effects sooner. It feels like they kind of pile up towards the end.

Will give it a few more plays this week with larger map builds.
 
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Dejun King
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Thank you so much for the kind reply! I agree that you kind of get bombarded at the end but this is (in my opinion) how I like it. Thematically to me it feels like the Zeus is noticing your inability to complete the tasks in a timely manor and continually punishes you for taking so long lol.

But I see how this is not some peoples cup of tea so may I propose possible a staggered God "timer" layout using a difficulty setting?

During set up of the 2nd player board (with the knowledge of what each God penalty is) you may place any number of the God tokens on any of the "white" clouds of your choosing, maintaining a timer that does not exceed 24 turns.

Example:
Poseidon (Blue) placed on cloud level 1 (cloud closest to thrones)
Artemis (Green) and Ares (Black) placed on cloud level 2.
Apollon (Yellow) and Aphrodite (Red) placed on cloud level 3
Hermes (Pink) placed on cloud level 4

Total Timer of 15 turns.

This is just one example of the many variations that can be had with a staggered "timer".

To help with the timer set up you can use the following as a difficulty setting:

Easy 21-24
Normal 18-20
Hard 15-17
Insanity 14-12

(these are just random ranges but hopefully through plays being logged in this thread we can modify to a more accurate difficulty chart)

Let me know how this goes when testing
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Jeff Forman
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This is a very cool idea. I tried it out last night.

I set the "timer" to super easy mode - so all of the gods on the 2nd board at their starting positions.

This is very unlike me. I had what I could only describe as a miraculous game. I completed all of the tasks and returned to Zeus in the 9th round. You know when all the dice hate you? Well, this was the opposite of that and...no, I'm not washing the clothes I wore last night ever again. :-)

Although I never got close to any of the penalties in this solo variant, I do really think this works and works well. Next time, I'll try it on hard or insanity mode and see what happens.

Thanks for coming up with this solo variant! Well done!
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Dejun King
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Thank you very much, I am glad you enjoyed it even without the conflict the variant adds and finishing within the 9th round that is superb my friend well done! If you do decide to amp up the difficulty please let me know (as I am interested to hear) what you think when you do start running into the penalties. I do like this variant as well but sometimes am not settled on the penalty effects. I tried to just have them do the opposite of the benefit you would receive but some of the penalty effects seem a bit wonky and out of place so I am interested in anyone's feedback about some good penalty effects we could assign to the Gods for when they reach their thrones. Thanks again and Happy Gaming to all
 
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Tom Teaches
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First of all, I just wanted to say thank you for the great idea for a solo variant. I really loved your ideas. As I was playing your variant I felt as though I had a lot (too much?) of control over what the "other player" was doing. For example, choosing which God advances up the track felt too powerful to me. I also didn't feel as though the punishments were punishing enough (whoda thunk?) for my solo-needs and wished the punishments happened throughout the game, rather than at the end. These are the modifications I made to make things a little more difficult and slightly more out of my control, while giving me a new challenge each time... If that makes sense.

Setup:
I only put out one of each color cube (as opposed to two for the "two-player" setup). This made things a little more difficult as cubes didn't always feel as close and readily available as they did in a two-player set up where I was the only one picking up cubes.

Similarly I only put out one of each monster. In a traditional game there are 8 places where monsters get placed during setup -- so you can randomly select two spaces to leave empty -- I have been leaving the two spaces that appeared to be exploding volcanos empty.

For the "other player" I took one card of each color from the oracle deck and placed this near the other player board. After a quick shuffle the God matching the first card drawn was placed on the cloud closest to their throne. The second card drawn was placed on the second closest cloud, and so on until the bottom level was filled with the God matching the last card. This "timer" allows for 21 rounds (as opposed to the original 18 as proposed in this post), however that is the maximum number -- it may go down to 18 if the player is not careful... Keep the mini-deck of oracle cards near that board!

Gameplay Changes:
After taking your turn randomly select one of the oracle cards (from the small stack of six you put next to the other player board). That God advances. If a God ever reaches a throne, execute a punishment as described below, then remove that card from the deck. It will no longer be drawn.

After moving the other player's God, roll your three oracle dice along with the Titan's die. The Titan stuff happens as per usual, and this roll of the oracle dice is your opportunity to bump up one of your Gods. Once that has happened re-roll your three oracle dice and place them on your board to set up your next turn.

Finally, if at some point you reveal an island tile that matches color of the "other player" then you will need to randomly select one of their oracle cards and advance that God.

I guess I should point out, every single time I randomly select one of the oracle cards, I shuffle them and also randomly chose them. This keeps them from all moving up the track evenly and can make for some fun unpredictable advancements you will need to keep an eye on.


Punishments:
These occur once the God has reached their throne, (as proposed by the original variant here.)

Blue -- Your ship sinks. Place your ship back on Zeus' space. Any statues are returned to their home, and any cubes are placed on the space(s) farthest from Zeus. Yup, it's mean, but if you notice that Poseidon creeping up, you need to prepare! I'm toying with the idea that you would also need to change your ship tile... my concern is that in some cases this might feel like a reward.. thoughts?

Yellow:
Discard all of your Oracle cards. If you have no oracle cards, you're lucky I suppose!

Green:
Shuffle all of the island tiles (revealed stay revealed, unrevealed stay unrevealed) If you haven't seen or revealed any island tiles, I might just ignore this, and feel blessed. To avoid the fiddly factor I might just leave tiles I already have a shrine on...

Red:
Take 3 injuries.

Black:
Randomly select one of your previously destroyed monsters. That monster goes back on the board on the monster space that was previously left open (one of the explosive volcanos) that is farthest from your ship. You must remove that matching companion card from the game (If you had taken a hero, you must lower your shield strength by 2). If the removed monster was one of the required colors then you must refill that same monster. If the removed monster was one of the colors you chose, you may kill any other monster instead... If that makes sense... If you haven't destroyed any monsters yet, then you may skip this as well.

Pink:
Lose all of your favor tokens. If you have no favor tokens, you may skip this.


I know it's silly to skip punishments -- but to me that kind of ups the strategy. For example: If you know you're about to lose your favor tokens, you're kind of forced to use them... if that makes any sense...

Too Tough?
I've been toying with the idea that you can spend one of your oracle dice (actions) to lower a God on the other player's board... I think that might remove some of the tension of the timer... but I suppose this could be one way to make things easier if you feel like this is too difficult? Thoughts here?



Anyway -- I hope it doesn't look like I changed too much! I seriously loved the idea and simply wanted a more punishing challenge, and wanted to share what I had come up with. We fellow solo-gamers have to stick together -- right? Or is that counter-productive.... hmmmm....
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Dejun King
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Xander, thank you for your reply this was really helpful and no one posting to this discussion should feel bad for wanting to add something as that is what this thread is for, making and fine tuning a great solo variant for everyone who enjoys this game to enjoy solo.

I tried thinking of a way to use the oracle cards to make a randomized God chip progression so thank you for the small deck idea, I have integrated it into the original post along with some more of your ideas and/or tweaks to your ideas.

Two points I did not take from your suggestion is the revealing of an island tile matching the second players color which advanced the God chip (ignored this just to stay as simple as possible but also integrated this somewhat in Apollons penalty) also I really do not want to stray from the 2 player set up as even with the penalties being applied I still want this variant to feel like a 2 player game where you run into little snags rather than full on punishment lol (I appreciate your feel for a punishing game and by no means do you have to stick strictly to these rules so I encourage you to just take this variant as a skeleton and modify it to an enjoyable experience for yourself.)

Other than implementing the small six card deck for the second player board please check out Blue, Black, Yellow and Pink's new penalties and let me know what you think. Also if anyone else would like to give any other ideas this variant is open to adding anything that advances the game play to an enjoyable experience
 
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Dejun King
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also if anyone has a good penalty for the green god I am open to suggestions as the current one i agree seems to fiddly with removing all undescoved island tokens, shufflig and replacing in a random order. What does everyone thing is this ok? should it be changed? if so do you have any suggestions? One thing id like to avoid is destroying progress of the player (such as destroy a shine you have already built) any progress you have acheived up to the penalty should remain unaltered other than that please feel free to suggest away as this variant keeps getting better and better with every suggestion submitted
 
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Lester Dizon
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I don't think the current Green punishment needs to be replaced. Especially if you randomize the placement of the opponent god chips in the beginning (as I have been doing with dice rolls in the beginning. This makes the timing and severity of the punishments variable with each game's setup.
 
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Dejun King
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Thank you for your input Lester the feedback is always appreciated and its good to hear that other people think that this is not as clunky or fiddly of a penalty as I had thought. (the masses opinions out weight the few) Thank you again for the reply and we will leave the rules at REV. 03 for now have you had a chance to look at the implementations of the new revisions do you think it made the variant better or worse or...
 
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Lester Dizon
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I'll have to give the newer revisions more plays. I have been sticking with the older ones but playing with different map configurations to experiment with the map's role in difficulty and fun.

I will definitely post when I have a chance to try the newer changes!
 
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Charlie Webb
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This looks great! I need to set down with this game tonight.
 
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Dejun King
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Unbored_Gaming wrote:
This looks great! I need to set down with this game tonight.


Thank you, please let us know how your experience with this variant goes I always like getting Oracle of Delphi players first impressions
 
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Dave Richards
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Thanks for this.
This is a wonderful solo variant. Very easy to implement, but really gives the race feel that is so important to the game. And the ability to adjust the difficulty is great!
Thanks again!
 
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Dejun King
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storkace wrote:
Thanks for this.
This is a wonderful solo variant. Very easy to implement, but really gives the race feel that is so important to the game. And the ability to adjust the difficulty is great!
Thanks again!


You're very welcome I am glad you enjoy it
 
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This is very clever -- thank you!

One question: You talk about "the pillar," but I assume you still put all the pillars in the cities, right? And can you get the "re-roll" bonus more than once (with different pillars)?

 
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Dejun King
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Thank you and I am glad you enjoy the variant. When I talk about "pillars" I mean these



They came in the first print run of the game but serve no real purpose so I just integrated them into the game the best way I thought my gaming group would enjoy to play them.

HAPPY GAMING
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Francesco Arce
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Great Solo variant!! I had a really fun game on normal difficulty. I will try Hard next time. Thanks!
 
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Dejun King
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Hey, so glad you enjoyed the variant! Can’t wait to hear how your attempt an increased difficulty turns out
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