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Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization» Forums » Variants

Subject: Simple Solo Variant rss

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foldedcard
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This is a beat your score variant (a score of 150 is respectable, but I would expect a good player to get into the high 200s with a bit of luck). It uses a simple dummy player whose interactions with the solo player are driven through the event deck. The dummy does a good job of making sure you don't become complacent about military by randomly declaring wars and aggressions, and bidding against you on colonization.

Notation

A = current age

Setup

Setup as per a 2 player game, except that only one player board is needed. A dummy player is simulated using a strength rating token and tactics standard. The dummy starts the game with military strength of 1 and has no tactic.

Gameplay

The sequence of play is

1. Player Start of Turn
2. Player Politics Phase
3. Player Action Phase
4. Player End-of-Turn Sequence
5. Dummy Player Turn

The solo player is always the first player. The game ends after the dummy player's first turn in the 4th Age.

Player Start of Turn

Replenish card row. In the second and later turns of the game, discard all remaining cost 1 cards in the civil card row. Then flip a card from the civil deck, if it is:

* an action, remove the 6th and 10th card from the row (if present)
* a person/wonder, remove the 7th and 11th card from the row (if present)
* a government/resource/military technology, remove the 8th and 12th card from the row (if present)
* an urban/special technology, remove the 9th and 13th card from the row (if present)

When you replenish the card row, slide all cards to the left, place the just drawn card next, and fill the remaining open spots from the deck.

Play Resolve War and Make tactics available normally.

Player Politics Phase

Player may choose one from

Prepare an event. Place card on future events deck, score culture points equal to age of card, and the resolve current event. If the revealed current event card is a military bonus, tactic, war, aggression, or colonization card follow the directions under Dummy Events below. Other events are resolved normally except that the player always has the highest culture/science/happiness.

Play an aggression. Pay the cost in military actions. In defense, the dummy player draws 2*A cards from the top of the military deck, any military bonus cards drawn are temporarily added to the dummy's strength. You must exceed the dummy's strength for the aggression to succeed. Discard the military cards afterwards.

Declare a War. Unchanged.

Player Action Phase

Unchanged.

Player End-of-Turn Sequence

Unchanged.

Dummy Turn

Skip this in the first round of the game.

Perform the followings steps for the dummy in order:

Increase military. Increase dummy strength by

* 1 if dummy strength >= your strength
* A if dummy strength < your strength

If a war will be resolved this turn or on your next turn, draw A military cards and permanently add the strength values on any military bonus cards to the dummy's strength. (Discard the cards afterwards.)

Change dummy tactics. The dummy will switch to your tactics card if it will give a higher strength level. The dummy's army is always antiquated if it takes your tactic (lay the standard down as a reminder). Discard the old tactics card if it does not have a standard on it.

Resolve war. If a war was played from the current events deck on your last turn or the dummy's previous turn then resolve it now.

Make tactic available. If the dummy took a new tactic that hasn't been made available yet, put it in the common area.

Prepare event. From the third round onwards, place a military card from the military deck onto the future events deck then resolve the top card of current event deck (see Dummy Events).

Dummy Events

Cards revealed from the current event deck can trigger actions by the dummy player whether that card was revealed on your turn or the dummy's turn.

Colonization. You must decide on your bid using at least one military unit and the colonization values on military bonus cards. The dummy will then draw 2xA cards from the military deck. The dummy bid will be A plus the total of the colonization values on any military bonus cards drawn. You must bid higher than that to win the territory. If you win, pay your bid normally and take the territory. If the dummy wins, set the card aside and reduce the dummy's strength by the amount of your bid plus 1. The dummy does not gain military bonuses from colonies. (Discard the military cards drawn for the dummy after resolving the event.)

Military bonus card. Add the card's strength value to the dummy's strength. (This is a permanent increase.)

Tactic. If the military tactic card is more valuable than the dummy's current tactic, place the dummy's tactic standard upright on this card, and increase dummy's strength by the difference in the strength value of the new and old card. If no standard is on the old card, discard it.

Aggression. The dummy has declared an aggression on you. Resolve it now. You may play military cards to increase your strength as per normal rules.

War. The dummy has declared a war on you. (Discard this card if the dummy already has an active war card in play.) The war will be resolved on the dummy's next turn.

Other notes

Treat as a 2 player game for card effects but not all cards will be as valuable to the player as they are in a two-player game. For example, Gandhi has no value in blocking conflict because the dummy does not play military actions to start conflict. If you are told to replenish the card row, just slide cards then replace missing cards without removing any. Other cards may tell you to take something from the dummy:

* If it's a territory, you can only take territories that the dummy colonized.
* If it's resources equal to the value of a dummy's building, take resources equal to the value of a matching building in your empire.
* If it's the dummy's culture, just take culture points
* If it's blue/yellow tokens from the dummy's bank, just take them from the box.
and so on.

Feedback?

If you have issues understanding the rules, encounter situations that you can't easily resolve, or just find the rules don't play well, feel free to reply to this post.
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Travis C
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I really like the simple rules, and it's something I'm eager to try. Admittedly, I'd prefer a version where I can lose to the Dummy/AI. I'd be curious if something could be done where you have to be stronger than the AI to win, and then your culture is your score.
 
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foldedcard
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to_mars wrote:
I really like the simple rules, and it's something I'm eager to try. Admittedly, I'd prefer a version where I can lose to the Dummy/AI. I'd be curious if something could be done where you have to be stronger than the AI to win, and then your culture is your score.


I agree that having a win condition in addition to scoring would be good. Basing it on military strength might be too random because of the way the dummy strength randomly increases in the variant. It might also lead to an excessive military focus.



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