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Paperback: Unabridged» Forums » Variants

Subject: Unabridged Solo Mode variant rss

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Lawrence Love
United States
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I just got the Unabridged expansion last weekend have enjoyed it so far. One of the smaller changes was the introduction of the optional Unabridged Fame cards.

Per the rulebook, these Unabridged Fame cards replace the Fame cards from the base game. These new Unabridged Fame cards work essentially the same, except there is now a wider variety of costs/values associated with them. In multi-player mode, you are supposed to group the Unabridged Fame cards into three piles, based on their values. From there, you can shuffle each group so they appear in random order or you can stack them in either ascending or descending order, depending on desired difficulty.

In the base game, the Solo mode and the Co-op mode work the same. You start by arranging a set amount of Fame cards in an overlapping pyramid, so that the more expensive cards are underneath and cannot be purchased until you buy enough Fame cards to uncover them. Each turn you take, you must either buy a Fame card or place a wooden cube on any of the uncovered Fame cards. The crux of this mode is that you must buy all the Fame cards before any of them gets 5 wooden cubes assigned to them. It’s an all-or-nothing paradigm. You either buy all the fame cards or you lose.

In my Unabridged Solo mode, rather than using the pyramid, I use the new 3-pile approach. What this does is it takes advantage of the new costs/values presented by the Unabridged Fame cards.

The other rule change is that rather than having the game end as soon as one Fame card reaches its cube limit, for any Fame card that has reached its cube limit, I award that Fame card (and its Fame Points) to the imaginary “Automa” opponent. This continues until all the Fame cards have been purchased, by you or by the Automa.

Once all the Fame cards have been purchased, you tally all the Fame Points you’ve obtained and compare against the Fame Points acquired by the Automa. The player with the most Fame Points wins. In this mode, it’s imperative that you don’t let the Automa get all the high-value Fame cards.

I personally, play with a 3-cube limit, but as with the original Co-op mode, you can use 3, 4, or 5 cubes, depending on how difficult you want it to be.

I’ve only played 3 times (2 wins, 1 loss) so far, but I’ve enjoyed this new Solo mode over that of the original. It’s more or less the same, but what makes it more interesting (IMO) is that the Automa can actually accumulate its own points, which eliminates the all-or-nothing win/lose dynamic.

Additionally, the 3-pile concept provides you a better opportunity to buy one of the more expensive Fame cards in the event that you happen to have a high-scoring word earlier in the game. Based on the old solo/co-op rules, if you have a 13-point word (for example) in the early rounds, but are still working on uncovering the 5-point cards, you’d have to “waste” 8 of the 13 points to simply buy the 5-point Fame card instead. Given the nature of the 3-pile structure, you’d still be limited to only buying the uncovered Fame cards, but this way, more point values are exposed by default.

As with the base game, Solo mode and Co-op mode are essentially the same, so you could also apply these small rule changes to play an Unabridged Co-op mode.
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