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Subject: Strategy tips / Solo strategy rss

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Jason Lheureux
United States
Grand Rapids
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Hi all;

Really enjoying the theme, look, and storytelling of this game.

However, I am having a hard time really drilling into the strategy portion of the game. All the different pieces work but I just don’t seem to see how they fit together. Early game I spend leveling up and avoiding enemies, then I start picking off low level enemies and eventually work into the objectives and missions while still trying to position myself as far away from enemies as possible.

I’ve won a few games however, the wins are just sort of happening by themselves and not really because of anything I did particularly strategic or sell. Caps are still crazy hard to come by so I’m always low on money and can’t buy much and if I’m going for a mission it still feels like luck of the dice whether or not I succeed so I’m having a hard time seeing if I am playing a game here, or if the game is playing me and sometimes I just win.

Not sure if anyone else will read this and it will make sense to them. I think this game is really cool, and expect expansions will improve it. However I’m just still trying to wrap my brain around it.
 
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Michael R

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I played 4 solo games so far and won all of them. Apart from some basic strategies, as described above, I don't feel like I did anything particularly clever to win these games. The mechanics and theme of the game make it a lot of fun, but it's really more of an adventure/storytelling experience than a challenge that requires you to make good decisions.
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Dave van Zundert
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Today I played the game and tried to favor one faction. Got the right agenda cards for it and won far before the faction dominated. I did not end the game though because I wanted to see the story through and complete some sidequests I still had. When I finally got to the end I won with 15 points But yeah, like to play it more as an adventure game then going for the win solo.

Have not played multiplayer yet so don't know how that works out but am loving the storytelling aspect of the game so far. Also once I did lose a game solo but still had a lot of fun.
 
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Andrei Filip
Canada
New Westminster
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My experience with the solo game is similar to yours. I win all the games and victory just kinda happens as a result of completing enough quests. While this might be thematic, it’s not very satisfying, at least not for solo play.
 
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Jason Lheureux
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It’s good to hear that others are having a similar experience. I can’t really describe the feeling I have and so I appreciate others chipping in. I feel like it’s in while I’m playing it but the win is pretty anti-climatic. I bet multi-player there is a lot more tension and strategy because you’re dealing with other people so I look forward to that.

Just playing for the experience and enjoying the story is fun in and of itself. I feel like when playing solo faction agendas must be discarded. I played Commonwealth and ended up with both a star agenda and a shield objective so basically I knew I would win either way so I just kind of schuffled along.
 
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Dave van Zundert
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If the factions stay equel it can be real hard to win though. So not making choices all in favor for one of them can make the game pretty difficult.
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Michael R

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Headbangert wrote:
If the factions stay equel it can be real hard to win though. So not making choices all in favor for one of them can make the game pretty difficult.


In theory, it may sound hard. But in practice, I felt it is very easy to build an agenda deck first, while advancing both factions about equally. Then start pushing just one faction as soon as you have 3/4 cards for that faction. Maybe I have been lucky, but this led to 4 easy victories in my 4 solo games.
 
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Adam Struda
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I thought it was a bit easy in my first game. One of the factions finished the game (as has happened in all of my games so far) but in doing so gave me the 11 (well, actually 13) VP for the win. However, I really haven't come close to winning in games since then. Indeed, in many games it's been obvious two-thirds of the way through that it's no longer winnable. It seems the solo game (at least for The Commonwealth) boils down to (a) getting three agenda cards for one faction, and (b) getting that faction two places ahead of the other on the tracker (assuming you can get at least two points from the other card).

The only real impediment to this is the fact that the other faction is by then closing the gap every seven (or fewer) turns. So essentially, it's a race. I think the fact it's described as a 120-180 minute game is what has thrown me. I've been spending time camping to recharge HP when it might be a better idea to just take the death as that will be quicker (and thus cycle through less of the agenda deck). Perhaps thinking of the solo game more as a 60 minute game will help me sort out a better strategy for it...

EDIT: Just went for a speedier playthrough and it seemed to work. Focused on one storyline (ignored the vault completely) and won, although ignoring most side quests meant I'd only accumulated three agenda cards (two of a faction plus uncovered tiles). Feels like I'm missing out on a lot of the story doing it this way, but I like that you have that flexibility. Beyond the video game affectations this is 'Tales of the Mage Knights' (hybrid of MK and TOTAK) really, isn't it?
 
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Anthony S
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The wins are anticlimactic and they shouldn't be, there needs to be a proper end game that kicks in along the lines of Runebound imo. I love the game, but winning does feel a bit flat.
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Adam Struda
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NulEnvoid wrote:
The wins are anticlimactic and they shouldn't be, there needs to be a proper end game that kicks in along the lines of Runebound imo. I love the game, but winning does feel a bit flat.


I get exactly what you mean. It feels like winning/losing is just whether you or the game is first to meet some conditions required to stop everything when it's starting to get interesting. A lot of game genres seem to suffer from that these days, eg engine-building worker placement games, but it's rare to have it in a narrative-driven dungeon crawler (the best way I can describe Fallout).

I guess they are very hamstrung by having to meet the expectations of the licencee. Obviously Bethseda want it be as close as possible to the video game series, but how do you translate 40 hours of wandering around a desert/ruins chatting and fighting with people into a board game with a beginning, a middle and an end?

My initial thoughts are that maybe the vault-style element is better suited to being an end game for every scenario. A final card-led battle/crawl where the equipment, skills and special items you have picked up during the game result in either a decisive win or loss against a slightly randomised 'boss (and minions) level'.

The fact that perks seem to be a better choice than skills in the solo game (quicker levelling up and no fear of someone else nabbing the perk you want) is also a concern for me. The game has a few flaws (particularly for the solo gamer) but nothing that the 20+ expansions FFG no doubt already have in development won't fix!
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Jason Lheureux
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I thought that about the story cards too. I wanted to get into the story and see it through but it’s like the game doesn’t give the solo gamer time to get through it before the game just ‘ends.’ It’s weird.
 
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Grzegorz Kurylowicz
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Gdańsk
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What do you mean "agenda cardS for one fraction"? You can have only one fraction card flipped faced up.

If faction red is winning by 4 points and you have 3 red agendas, you get 7 points, not 15.
 
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David Carroll
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You still score with hidden cards. Face-up agenda cards are only used for declaring a loyalty (ie, affecting how members of that faction treat you). For all other purposes they are a normal agenda card.
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Dante
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Gryszaq wrote:
What do you mean "agenda cardS for one fraction"? You can have only one fraction card flipped faced up.

If faction red is winning by 4 points and you have 3 red agendas, you get 7 points, not 15.


I'm pretty sure it would be 15. Not sure how you got 7.
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Angelus Seniores
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Not sure if everyone applies the rules correctly;
-For solo play you only use the agenda cards marked with the 1+ symbol on the lower left corner (11 cards: 4 of each faction and 3 neutrals.) of which you start with one in hand and can hold max 4 in hand (which leaves only 7 in the draw deck)
-each time the agenda deck cycles the lowest faction moves up a notch on the power track (or both if tied), the track only has 7 spaces and both factions start on the first spot so at most can move up 6 spaces.

Given the few cards in the agenda deck the lowest faction tends to move up track regularly so staying ahead by 4 spaces seems rather difficult (the lowest faction must be at most in 3rd space for this so agenda deck cycled at most 2 times) and given you draw agendas randomly does make it difficult to get the cards you want. Its not like there's plenty of opportunity to draw agendas as sidequests are sparse.

With only 2 agenda cycles, going into the 3rd cycle does press you for time quite a bit to get it all done.

Getting a weapon and armor is a must to fight effectively, weapons are difficult to get (3 weapons on 25 shop items, 4 weapons on 34 loot items).
So it does take quite some luck to get both early on.
 
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David Carroll
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Angelsenior wrote:
Given the few cards in the agenda deck the lowest faction tends to move up track regularly so staying ahead by 4 spaces seems rather difficult


I don't know about everyone else, but that all matches up with my experience. It's hard to make one faction stay ahead without ending the game too early.

Played this afternoon, and finally ended up with great weapon and armour, and enough useful agendas (all due to side quests). At that point I had to rush to kill 3 of a certain enemy, to push 'my' side to the end of the track (and get a 6th SPECIAL token too). I managed it, but 2 turns later it would have been impossible. It was a cool victory, but not what I would call easy.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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wildinferno wrote:
Gryszaq wrote:
What do you mean "agenda cardS for one fraction"? You can have only one fraction card flipped faced up.

If faction red is winning by 4 points and you have 3 red agendas, you get 7 points, not 15.


I'm pretty sure it would be 15. Not sure how you got 7.


To be correct he would have had 16 points:

Each agenda is worth 1 point by itself, thats 4 points for 4 agendas.

The 3 red agendas are each worth another 4 points due to red being 4 spaces ahead, thats another 12 points.

So that adds up to 16, the 4th agenda being blue does not prevent you from scoring its point of influence.
 
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Grzegorz Kurylowicz
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Angelsenior wrote:
wildinferno wrote:
Gryszaq wrote:
What do you mean "agenda cardS for one fraction"? You can have only one fraction card flipped faced up.

If faction red is winning by 4 points and you have 3 red agendas, you get 7 points, not 15.


I'm pretty sure it would be 15. Not sure how you got 7.


To be correct he would have had 16 points:

Each agenda is worth 1 point by itself, thats 4 points for 4 agendas.

The 3 red agendas are each worth another 4 points due to red being 4 spaces ahead, thats another 12 points.

So that adds up to 16, the 4th agenda being blue does not prevent you from scoring its point of influence.


Ok! I missunderstood this one. Faceup agenda is just loyality, right? I played as only faceup fraction agenda gives you extra points. You,re right And it was extremly hard to win.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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Yes, faceup agendas only apply for loyalty, it doesnt affect counting influence.
 
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Adam Struda
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Just played The Capitol Wasteland for the first time (all previous games were The Commonwealth) and it feels like a better fit for solo play - didn't seem to have as many cards advancing one or other of the factions by a small amount.

HOWEVER it provided an even more anticlimactic end game. Something was in progress that I knew would see the game end (and me get to 12 VP in the process) in five turns. There were six cards left in the agenda/AI deck, so I couldn't risk doing any encounters as I might win an agenda card, which would mean I lost (as the AI deck would then run out and advance the factions just before the victory condition).

...so I ended up spending my last five turns just moving about the map keeping out of the way of enemies and not encountering/doing anything at all. What an odd way to claim a victory!
 
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Jason Lheureux
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It’s very strange that the game is super rewarding to PLAY but winning at beat feels anticlimactic and at worst feels like something to actively avoid. I almost feel like in solo mode you shouldn’t use agendas at all and just play.
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Dan Leacy
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Angelsenior wrote:


-each time the agenda deck cycles the lowest faction moves up a notch on the power track (or both if tied), the track only has 7 spaces and both factions start on the first spot so at most can move up 6 spaces.



Whelp, been playing this wrong! I've been bumping both factions up at the end of a round...
 
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Wade Schwendemann
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Dleacy wrote:
Angelsenior wrote:


-each time the agenda deck cycles the lowest faction moves up a notch on the power track (or both if tied), the track only has 7 spaces and both factions start on the first spot so at most can move up 6 spaces.



Whelp, been playing this wrong! I've been bumping both factions up at the end of a round...


That is correct in a multiplayer game. In single player only the lower faction advances. If they are tied, both advance.
 
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Keith Reeves
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Great discussion. I really enjoyed all the comments. It is also nice to see players that can relate to my experience. I feel as well that the path to victory is rather stale too (anti-climatic). Here is what I have discovered:

Fighting any enemy early is extremely challenging, avoiding them seems the only way to go.
Fighting an enemy without a weapons will normally result in death.
Weapons and armor are difficult to acquire.
Siding with one faction over the other does not guarantee a player victory. (Anyone get beat by the Courser reaching the Railroad?)
The game play is more about the 'pick a faction' path to victory than the experience in questing in the wasteland.
Focusing on the story or quests normally results in a player loss.
Looting a dead enemy and find a companion (loot) on the corpse is lame.

 
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Aaron Day
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I have a question for all the people who have played this game solo.

About how any turns did it take to win the game? Even how many times through the Agenda deck would help.

I've only played it with 2-3 players and we have never been through the Agenda deck more than once in a game.
 
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