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Subject: Solo Variant rss

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Israel Waldrom
New Zealand
Dunedin
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I really liked the look of this game when I first saw it announced (being a fan of city building games in general), and seeing a copy in my FLGS recently decided to buy it. It isn't soloable out of the box, but I have developed my own solo variant that I am quite happy with, and has made this game a solid addition to my Solo Rotation. In essence, you play your turn as per normal, then you draw a chit for the virtual player and find the next clockwise legal move. That way the feel of the multiplayer game is there (it works with any # of VP's and both classic/expert) though they don't play as intelligently as a human opponent would. It is simple though and works well.



Solo Variant:
Randomly determine start player (and a side of the market board if VP starts). When playing with multiple VPs, the player will always go either first or last - all VPs play consecutively.
Set up the board for the desired number of players, and put chits for all of the VP's into the black cloth bag. (Do this even if playing in expert mode, as you will still play having your own set of chits).

Play your turn as per normal.

For the VPs turn - draw a chit, and then find a legal move starting on the next side clockwise from the last chit placement (be it either yours or the previous VP). If no legal move - redraw if able, otherwise place on first available space. When playing with multiple VPs the colour of the chit drawn is irrelevant. Tiles taken by the VP are removed from the game.

Expert mode works the same for simplicity (player and VPs have their own pool of chits).

When using the Public Services expansion, the VPs always take a special public services building when they select a standard one, with the chit determining which one is removed (counting across, and cycling if needed).

This solo variant is a beat your own high score type. For more of a challenge, have the VP(s) always start the game/round.

{edit - updated the image to better reflect the variant)
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Caitlin Tracy
United States
Hoboken
New Jersey
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I really like this variant! I would be curious to give it a try.

Have you played with 3 virtual players yet? How did it flow?

My suggestion for the advanced game would be when the virtual players go, just put the achitect tiles in the bag and draw one. That way you don't lose the interesting ability to play multiple 3's (for example) or a situation where on your turn you can't use any of the remaining numbers.
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Israel Waldrom
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I have played with 1 and 2 VP's thus far, and will give it a go with 3 VPs today. 2 VPs flowed very smoothly, and I suspect it will be the same for 3VPs. The main change with more VPs is the availability of more choice for the player early on, and the VPs tile selection will always be on the outer ring on the first cycle due to the lack of restrictions (flipped tiles).

The reason why at this stage I went with the separate chits for expert mode is just simplicity - otherwise every round you have to pull all the chits out of the bag, and then put them all back in again. I had thought about it however, and may give it a test run to see how much impact it has on the ease of flow.

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Matt Wilkens
United States
Bloomington
Illinois
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This sounds like a great idea. I plan to try it out.

What if we set up expert as defined in the rules, and roll a die for each VP to determine which architect number they use?
 
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Israel Waldrom
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The die could work, but you do run the risk of the die trying to use more of a chit than what is available. If you give it a go with the die let me know how it goes

I have also played with 3VP, and it run very smoothly as expected. The biggest difference is the extra choice of tiles for your first 1(-2) selections, which does allow you to plan a little more. So in essence I have found that it works really well no matter how many VPs you choose to use. When playing with the larger VP counts, I would recommend having the VPs start each round, as it makes for more of a challenge, and balances out the extra choice.

 
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Matt Wilkens
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Just finished an Expert mode solo game using the die for the Architects. It worked very well.

Rules:
Quote:
Before each VP selects a tile, roll a die. Re-roll 6's, and any number which has no Architects remaining.
Grab that Architect and put it in the rolled number's row/column of the construction site, using OP's rotation rule to determine which side of the board.
If that spot is not legal (urbanist, no building, etc), find the closest legal spot to put the Architect, then play as normal.


Thanks for this variant! Glad I'll be able to get this great game to the table more often!
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Israel Waldrom
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Updated the rules above to reflect the Public Services expansion, now that its rules have been released. Very simple to integrate, and looking forward to giving it a go.
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orlando lopes de sa
Belgium
Brussels - Belgium
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I found your variant very interesting. I play however this game solo in a quite similar way but slightly different when compared to your expert variant.

SETUP CLASSIC: Place the Red and Blue architect tiles in the bag.
Chose any other color for you.

IA TURN CLASSIC: Draw an architect tile from the bag. If it's BLUE, start from the top left corner going clockwise until you find an allowed placement and remove the tile. If it's RED start from the bottom right corner going clockwise until you find an allowed placement and remove the tile. To remember where blue and red start, place a blue meeple on the top left corner of the board and a red energy cylinder on the bottom right corner of the board.

SETUP EXPERT: Place the Red and Blue architect tiles in the bag. Add 2 Architect tiles value 5.
Place 2 architect tiles for each value (1 to 5) aside. Like in the expert game, these are the tiles you and the AI will draft.
Chose any other color for you.

IA TURN EXPERT: Draw an architect tile from the bag. Take the expert architect tile of the same value from the ones set aside and If the drawn tile is BLUE, start from the top left corner going clockwise until you find an allowed placement and remove the tile. If it's RED start from the bottom right corner going clockwise until you find an allowed placement and remove the tile. IMPORTANT: the drawn tile is set aside and serves just to indicate which value expert architect tile the AI will use and where he will start it's placement. This emulates a 2P game where both players have only 2 architect tiles of the same value available for draft.

Cheers
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