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13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solo variant rss

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Mark Morrise
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Here's a solo variant that I've played more than 10 times. The AI player, "Boris," beat me four tims and I beat him five times.

Boris plays USSR. Shuffle the cards and draw one card face down as Cuba in the neutral zone. Deal two cards to the US player and one card to Boris to hold as his last card (for Aftermath Prestige). The US player goes first.

US PLAYER
On the US player's turn, if a US card is played, play normally. If a USSR card is played, Boris places red Influence cubes on the card equal to the cubes in the header up to a maximum of two cubes, and that battleground moves one step toward the USSR sphere of influence. Then the US player takes the Command action.

If at the end of the US player's turn there are two cards of the same DEFCON color in the USSR sphere of influence, the card with the highest number of USSR Influence cubes moves to the neutral zone.

The US player finishes their turn by drawing a new strategy card, except the last strategy card, which is played by the USSR.

USSR PLAYER (BORIS)
Boris draws the next Strategy card.

USSR Card: If Boris draws a USSR card, he places it in the USSR sphere of influence and places Influence cubes on it equal to the number of cubes in the header (for Military) or number of cubes in the header up to a maximum of two cubes (for Politics and World Opinion).

US Card: If Boris draws a US card, the US player first may use the Event on the card. Then Boris places the card in the USSR sphere of influence and places Influence cubes on it equal to the number of cubes in the header (for Military) or number of cubes in the header up to a maximum of two cubes (for Politics and World Opinion).

UN Card: If Boris draws a neutral UN card, Boris places the card in the neutral zone and places Influence cubes on it equal to the number of cubes in the header (for Military) or number of cubes in the header up to a maximum of two cubes (for Politics and World Opinion). Doing so, however, does NOT shift the card to the USSR sphere of influence; the card stays in the neutral zone.

Also, if Boris draws a UN card, and if the US player has at least one card in his sphere of influence with one cube or no cubes, Boris will place up to two cubes on the US player's cards, as follows: 1 cube on each card with no cubes; if none, 2 cubes on a card with 1 cube. If more than one card qualifies, the preference is: (1) military (orange), (2) political (green), and (3) purple (public opinion).
Optional rule: To make Boris a more challenging opponent, and if the US player has at least one card in his sphere of influence with one cube or no cubes, when Boris draws a US card (rather than a UN card) he will place up to two cubes on the US player's cards, as follows: 1 cube on each card with no cubes; if none, 2 cubes on a card with 1 cube. If more than one card qualifies, the preference is: (1) military (orange), (2) political (green), and (3) purple (public opinion).


At the end of Boris's turn, if there are two cards of the same DEFCON color in the USSR sphere of influence, the card with the highest number of Influence cubes is moved to the US sphere of influence.

END OF GAME
The last strategy card is played by USSR. That is the end of the game, except that all of Boris's remaining Influence cubes, if any, are placed on the Cuba battlefield, which moves one step towards the USSR sphere of influence.

Score just as in a normal game, including Aftermath Prestige and checking for nuclear war. In determining Aftermath Prestige, the US player uses the last card in their hand, and Boris uses the card set aside for him at the beginning of the game.

If anyone has suggestions on how to improve this solo variant, I would love to hear them!
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Hi Mark

Thank you for making this variant.

When two defcon symbols of the same kind makes Boris move a battleground to the neutral zone and there's a tie for influence cubes on the cards, what card will he then move?
 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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I played this once today. I won 8-5, but I made a mistake and allowed myself one round too many.

It didn't use the two optional rules.

Overall it seems to work fine.

The one point I'd like to see changed is that Boris never places more influence cubes on any battleground. I think that the game would be more exciting if you couldn't feel safe, once you have dominance. This goes particularly for the military battlegrounds.

Have you considereding an approach to this?
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Mark Morrise
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mortenmdk wrote:
Hi Mark

Thank you for making this variant.

When two defcon symbols of the same kind makes Boris move a battleground to the neutral zone and there's a tie for influence cubes on the cards, what card will he then move?

The first card in reading order. (I don't think it matters which card.)
 
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Mark Morrise
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mortenmdk wrote:
I played this once today. I won 8-5, but I made a mistake and allowed myself one round too many.

It didn't use the two optional rules.

Overall it seems to work fine.

The one point I'd like to see changed is that Boris never places more influence cubes on any battleground. I think that the game would be more exciting if you couldn't feel safe, once you have dominance. This goes particularly for the military battlegrounds.

Have you considereding an approach to this?

Try the first optional rule, which does have Boris place cubes on battlegrounds in your sphere of influence. This could be expanded. I am open to suggestions on how to do that.

By the way, I am using both optional rules for every game I play, and they seem necessary to balance the game, so perhaps I should not designate them as optional.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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markmorrise wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
Hi Mark

Thank you for making this variant.

When two defcon symbols of the same kind makes Boris move a battleground to the neutral zone and there's a tie for influence cubes on the cards, what card will he then move?

The first card in reading order.


Thanks.

markmorrise wrote:
(I don't think it matters which card.)


I think you're right. Good point .
 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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markmorrise wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
I played this once today. I won 8-5, but I made a mistake and allowed myself one round too many.

It didn't use the two optional rules.

Overall it seems to work fine.

The one point I'd like to see changed is that Boris never places more influence cubes on any battleground. I think that the game would be more exciting if you couldn't feel safe, once you have dominance. This goes particularly for the military battlegrounds.

Have you considereding an approach to this?

Try the first optional rule, which does have Boris place cubes on battlegrounds in your sphere of influence. This could be expanded. I am open to suggestions on how to do that.

By the way, I am using both optional rules for every game I play, and they seem necessary to balance the game, so perhaps I should not designate them as optional.


OK, I hope I can get it to the table again and if so I'll use the two optional rules and report back here.
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Mark Morrise
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mortenmdk wrote:
markmorrise wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
I played this once today. I won 8-5, but I made a mistake and allowed myself one round too many.

It didn't use the two optional rules.

Overall it seems to work fine.

The one point I'd like to see changed is that Boris never places more influence cubes on any battleground. I think that the game would be more exciting if you couldn't feel safe, once you have dominance. This goes particularly for the military battlegrounds.

Have you considereding an approach to this?

Try the first optional rule, which does have Boris place cubes on battlegrounds in your sphere of influence. This could be expanded. I am open to suggestions on how to do that.

By the way, I am using both optional rules for every game I play, and they seem necessary to balance the game, so perhaps I should not designate them as optional.


OK, I hope I can get it to the table again and if so I'll use the two optional rules and report back here.

I updated the rules to incorporate the previous optional rules as standard and added one new option rule to increase the difficulty of Boris.
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MS-06 Zaku II
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Where is the latest rule?
 
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Mark Morrise
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ah3Dog wrote:
Where is the latest rule?

The first post in this thread.
 
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Justin
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Okay, I must be losing my mind. How does Boris draw the last strategy card? The way I'm playing, I end up taking it.
 
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Mark Morrise
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joestin wrote:
Okay, I must be losing my mind. How does Boris draw the last strategy card? The way I'm playing, I end up taking it.

The rules should say that when there is only one strategy card left, the US does not draw it to add to the US's hand, and instead it is played by USSR.
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Justin
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markmorrise wrote:
joestin wrote:
Okay, I must be losing my mind. How does Boris draw the last strategy card? The way I'm playing, I end up taking it.

The rules should say that when there is only one strategy card left, the US does not draw it to add to the US's hand, and instead it is played by USSR.


Ah! That's it. I'll give it another go. I played it through twice trying to figure out what I was missing. Thank you!
 
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Justin
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Just played twice with rules correct I'm pretty sure. Won both, but they were close. The tug of war tension is definitely there. I like it.
 
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Dave Capozzi
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Question on the optional rule. US has one card in her sphere of influence with one cube, and a second card with no cubes. Is the intent of your priority list that:

a) Boris would place one cube on each of the two cards, or
b) having not really met priority 1 (there is only one card with no cubes), Boris places two cubes on the card with one cube, or
c) Boris can satisfy part of priority 1, so one cube is placed on the card with no cubes and that is that?

Seeing as you state that Boris will place "up to two" cubes, I am inclined to think I should be playing per c).

 
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