James Boutilier
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I want it to be different enough & offer enough of a challenge to warrant a purchase, and "not just" a substitute for when you "want" Race, but don't want the hassle.

So, SOLO-PLAY only. Not a solo game, but seems many like it solo, as a challenge to get the best score in shortest rounds (and suggestion it feels different, but still complete without a Robot AI).

QUESTION: If you have RftG, and on the lighter side - Helionox... does Jump Drive actually serve a purpose in the collection?

It needs to offer a true challenge, and stand on it's own, out from the crowd. Yes...I'd be buying it for the RftG world, but can they BOTH exist together and yet offer a DIFFERENT play experience MORE THAN just a "faster, lighter" game when you don't feel like committing to RftG but want RftG? (a day when Helionox would simply provide the deeper experience and come back to RftG another day...skip Jump Drive?)

THANKS

 
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Tony Go
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jgb7 wrote:

QUESTION: If you have RftG, and on the lighter side - Helionox... does Jump Drive actually serve a purpose in the collection?


I'm going to say no. RftG is a wickedly good tableau game where the cards in Jump Drive feels almost superficially connected. You almost always have a decent option that will net you points. Probably the most fun you can have with JD as a solo game is to take all the cards and figure out how to get the most points- playing with all the different permutations of cards. That really makes it clear that "luck of the draw" is the only thing that separates this solo experience from a puzzle game.

Ultimately, as a solo game you will eventually arrive at the same conclusion, but getting all cards from the start just gets you there faster.

-

But do you want to know something interesting? In researching for designing a solitaire game, I concluded that the journey to purchase is significantly smaller than most other games.

Looking at solitaire games using the "purchasing funnel" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchase_funnel) as a lens, would suggest that you are in step 3 (not, as most people would think: step 2). Because solo games limit the amount of questions like "Who am I going to play this with?" and "When will this hit the table", down to "Will I try this?" and Jump Drive is under the impulse purchase territory and seeking an alternative use for the product outside of what is advertised allows you to more readily gloss over any negative factors associated with the core multiplayer design, someone in your position will in all likelihood just buy the game to see for yourself.

This is why you rarely see dedicated solo experiences at a more common $40 - $60 price range.

Sorry to go off on a tangent! I hope at least the first part of my response was helpful.
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James Boutilier
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Ha ha ha. Thanks !
Actually, 1st half = helpful.
Second 1/2 = cautious reminder of my first board game sell-off.

Still searching for that something different. I don't solo for the "faster" gameplay experience, or "testing/learning" like many. It truly is my only way to play, and I want as much depth as possible -- but, I don't like an expansive game, I mean, not so much into larger minis games (see what I did there? )

Thanks kindly meeple
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Kevin B. Smith
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Horror Leader wrote:
Probably the most fun you can have with JD as a solo game is to take all the cards and figure out how to get the most points- playing with all the different permutations of cards. That really makes it clear that "luck of the draw" is the only thing that separates this solo experience from a puzzle game.

Ultimately, as a solo game you will eventually arrive at the same conclusion, but getting all cards from the start just gets you there faster.

If I understand that, then I think I disagree.

So I do agree that if you had access to all the cards all the time, it would be a pure optimization puzzle to find the most efficient series of rounds. However, to me that's almost a meaningless statement, like saying that the point of solo The Voyages of Marco Polo would be to allow you to lay out the city bonuses however you want, to take whichever 4 goal cards, pick any one character, and then set all your dice to specific values instead of rolling them. Doing so would give you the best possible score, but would eliminate exactly what it is that makes it an interesting game. Same here.

Which cards you have in your opening hand will completely change which direction you start off in, and which cards you get in the next few rounds will change where you go. The trick is is making the most of what you do have, and in trying to predict what cards you are most likely to see in the future.

I have seen strong wins with variations on brown, blue, green, Trendsetters, military, and other strategies. And I have seen strategies change mid-game, or be a mix. Since you don't see all the cards, there are absolutely many paths to victory.

I have won (hit 50 points) in 5 rounds, and I have also played games where it has taken me 8, 9, or even 10. This is not a point salad where you can do just about anything at any time and still remain moderately competitive. The card combos matter here--for me, they matter even more than RftG.

Personally, I don't find the decisions obvious. For a given tableau and hand of cards, I often struggle to decide what to play. Not every round, of course, but I would guess that at least half the time, I'm choosing between 2 or more plausible options. And at least a couple times a game, I face an excruciating decision.

Now, to answer the original question(s):

If you have RftG, and on the lighter side - ... does Jump Drive actually serve a purpose in the collection?
I think YES. To me, playing Jump Drive only feels somewhat related to RftG. If they had different art, icons, and themes, I might not have even considered them to be related (other than both being tableau-building games where you pay by discarding cards).

JD is a snowball engine-building game, so for me it is more like a light version of Saint Petersburg or Phoenicia than a light version of RftG.

I want it to be different enough & offer enough of a challenge to warrant a purchase, and "not just" a substitute for when you "want" Race, but don't want the hassle.
Here, I'm not certain. For many people who love RftG, JD is just too light. And, being a light game, I suspect a lot of solo gamers won't feel satisfied by it.

For me, the answer to your real question lies more in the "how engaging and replayable will I find JD?" and less in the "how does JD relate to RftG"?
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James Boutilier
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Kevin, also thanks.
You often post really solid replies to my (numerous) soloing questions

But what is a snowball engine? Compared to others?
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Kevin B. Smith
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jgb7 wrote:
But what is a snowball engine? Compared to others?

It's like a snowball rolling down the hill. It starts out very small, and grows slowly. But once it gets going, as it gets bigger, it gets bigger faster. Something like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth

So you might only be earning 0 or 1 VP for the first 3 rounds, but in round 7 you might score 25 VP.
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David B
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peakhope wrote:
jgb7 wrote:
But what is a snowball engine? Compared to others?

It's like a snowball rolling down the hill. It starts out very small, and grows slowly. But once it gets going, as it gets bigger, it gets bigger faster. Something like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth

So you might only be earning 0 or 1 VP for the first 3 rounds, but in round 7 you might score 25 VP.


I've seen nearly 40 in a single round.
 
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Todd McCorkle
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Is it possible to have a non-snowball engine? What would an example of that be?
 
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John
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Race seems like less of a snowball engine as you can stall - e.g. if you are playing a military strategy and you have a round where you don't have a big military world to play. In Jump Drive you always score at least as many points as you did last time but in Race you can score 20 points one round and none the next.
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Glenn Chambers

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kusinohki wrote:
Is it possible to have a non-snowball engine? What would an example of that be?

A "non-snowball" engine would be where you build one thing to make money so you can buy something else to earn points (in whatever form). In particular, you need to do one or the other on a given turn.

There's a game called 504 where the money maker is chosen from a set of nine kinds of module, and the victory point generator is picked from one of the remaining eight. In a discussion of the game the concept of using the same module for both was shot down because it leads to a runaway leader that ends the game too quickly, before anyone else can catch up.

It's only slightly unfair to say that a runaway leader is the entire point here. 504 and it's ilk are intended to be marathons. This game is a sprint.
 
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