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Subject: Otto's play is pathetic: what am I doing wrong? rss

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David Hytch
United Kingdom
Godalming
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I received my copy of the game recently and after a quick 2p (me vs me) to check I understood things I then had a go at my first solo game, me vs Otto. In my experience AI players should beat me on the first game, but...
Final score: Me $128, Otto $61. So I must have done something wrong, surely?
My thoughts on why Otto did not perform: Otto had the Specialty Shop Farmhouse and scored max $30 for this.
o Otto did not expand, spending most of the game with control of only 3 areas. I pegged Otto back early by placing my farmer on his (I'm guessing Otto is male) mature field twice. This forced Otto to waste actions by kicking me out and limited his income. It also had the added benefit of draining Otto's cards so that he had to waste more actions buying lumber from the market and/or logging.
o Otto struggled to buy like type cards for his Specialty Shop this forced him to take grain on two occasions that used up space with no income.
o Otto was not aggressive since his actions were largely, restock cards, harvest or go to market to fill an empty field. Often the harvest/market cycle made little or no profit.
o Combination of the above allowed me to steal the oil strike card on the last turn (since I always go second) because Otto could not defend, that was a $42 swing.

Related to this is a separate rules post on AI rule clarifications which may resolve my issue, so why was it so easy to beat Otto?
 
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Frank M.
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campanadave wrote:
I received my copy of the game recently and after a quick 2p (me vs me) to check I understood things I then had a go at my first solo game, me vs Otto. In my experience AI players should beat me on the first game, but...
Final score: Me $128, Otto $61. So I must have done something wrong, surely?
My thoughts on why Otto did not perform: Otto had the Specialty Shop Farmhouse and scored max $30 for this.
o Otto did not expand, spending most of the game with control of only 3 areas. I pegged Otto back early by placing my farmer on his (I'm guessing Otto is male) mature field twice. This forced Otto to waste actions by kicking me out and limited his income. It also had the added benefit of draining Otto's cards so that he had to waste more actions buying lumber from the market and/or logging.
o Otto struggled to buy like type cards for his Specialty Shop this forced him to take grain on two occasions that used up space with no income.
o Otto was not aggressive since his actions were largely, restock cards, harvest or go to market to fill an empty field. Often the harvest/market cycle made little or no profit.
o Combination of the above allowed me to steal the oil strike card on the last turn (since I always go second) because Otto could not defend, that was a $42 swing.

Related to this is a separate rules post on AI rule clarifications which may resolve my issue, so why was it so easy to beat Otto?


You probably did nothing wrong. The problem is that there were several changes from the prototype I developed the solo version of the game on and the final published version -- i.e. Additional card, new text on some cards, and changes to the set up rules. These changes have had a detrimental effect on the way the AIs play.

Sadly, I do not currently have the time necessary to do the play testing necessary to revise the 3 AI characters. I do hope to do this sometime in June or July and will post an update in the files section here.

In the mean time, I suggest giving the AI characters some "common sense" better action selections based on your current game conditions. Sorry for the unforeseen problems!
 
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Stephanie Kwok
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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We did do some minor changes to the cards but I didn't know it would have such a big impact on the solo mode. This is sadly due to inexperience with solo games and not enough time to sit down and work things out clearly with Frank.

Hopefully he will have time later to do some fixes. We greatly appreciate all the time Frank has put in to developing the solo mode for us.
 
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David Hytch
United Kingdom
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Thanks again both. I will try again adding some human intelligence into the AIs actions, ie if there is something etching that doesn’t make sense such as buying non mature plants in October I will mature them. This seems a good starting place rather than strictly following process.
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Steve Crane
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If there is any chance that they get revised, if you could upload them to BGG once sorted it would be brilliant
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Frank M.
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MrVarnor wrote:
If there is any chance that they get revised, if you could upload them to BGG once sorted it would be brilliant

I certainly will. Unfortunately, it will be at least June before I have time.
 
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