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Subject: Walkthrough for using Stubbs AI in solo game rss

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Tom Builder
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Controlling the AI in the solo game works very well but takes some time to learn how to do properly. This guide is intended to ease the learning process. All actions for Captain Stubb are fully explained. I hope this helps someone learn this excellent game.

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Setup
For the first game use the following setup.
Action buildings (8)
Bank, Dry Dock, Lighthouse, Lumber Mill, Schoolhouse, Tavern, Tryworks, Wharf
Resource building (4)
Counting House, Seamen’s Bethel, Mansion, Municipal office.

The 8 action tiles should be set in a random order because that is the order they will be built by Captain Stubb in the build building actions. The order of the 4 victory point buildings in the setup does not matter because Captain Stubb always builds these in a fixed order.

Clock times refer to the location of each heading on the captain's helm. 12:00 is the top of the circle and 6:00 is the bottom.

Place the heading marker on the 9:00 position (get coins), then roll the die and advance the marker this many spaces in the clockwise direction. This is the starting heading for the Captain. Do not actually take the action described on the starting heading.

Round order proceeds in the following manner. Captain Stubb takes a turn (roll die, move marker, follow directions on heading), then human, then Captain again, then human. The Captain always goes first in every round.

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Types of headings:

a) use an action space to get a specific type of good
Bricks (1:30 in turns 1-3) Wood (4:30) Food (6:00 in turns 1-3) Money (9:00 and round 12 2nd turn) Bricks (10:30)

Place a meeple on an action space that provides the required goods
first try the Captain's buildings then try the opponents buildings and then try the town buildings.
If multiple buildings exist within a given ownership, use the one that provides the most goods
The goods are not actually taken and the Captain's turn is over

If no action space is available to provide the required goods, because either no such action space is built or all are blocked
Then go to "Last resort Captain's orders" (don't place a meeple yet)
(This should only possibly happen with the get coins heading, because all other goods are available from the town and these action spaces can not be blocked)

b) Build a new action building

Place a meeple on an action space that provides the build a building action
First try the Captain's buildings then try the opponents buildings and then use the Town Hall (which can't be blocked)
If multiple buildings exist within a given ownership, use the one that costs the least

White building (12:00 and round 12 1st turn)
Build whichever of these buildings are not built and first in order in the randomized setup.
On die roll 1 - Courthouse or Inn
On die roll 2 - Brickyard or Bakery
On die roll 3 - Bank or Post-office

Black building (3:00)
Build whichever of these buildings are not built and first in order in the randomized setup
On die roll 1 - Storehouse or Tavern
On die roll 2 - Chandlery or Schoolhouse
On die roll 3 - Post-office or Bank or Post-office

If both building in the list are already built (or not included in the setup)
Then build the first not built action building in the randomized setup

If somehow all action buildings are built (is this even possible?)
Then go to "Last resort Captain's orders" (don't place a meeple yet)

c) Build a new Victory point building
(1:30 in turns 7-12 and 6:00 in turns 4-12)

Build the first unbuilt (but included) victory point building from the following list
(in list order and not in randomized setup order)
Municipal Office
Mansion
Church
Lowest cost unbuilt victory building (required bricks cost 2 and required wood costs 1)

If all victory point buildings are already built
Then go to "Last resort Captain's orders" (don't place a meeple yet)

d) Ship prep / launch action (7:30)

If there are ships on the pier, and it is in round 6-12
Then place a meeple on an action space that provides the launch a ship action
First try the Captain's buildings then try the opponents buildings and then use the City Pier (which can not be blocked)
If multiple buildings exist within a given ownership, use the one that costs the least
Then launch one ship from the pier to sea on space 4

If there are no ships on the pier, or it is in round 1-5
Then place a meeple on an action space that provides the prepare a ship action
First try the Captain's buildings then try the opponents buildings and then use the Dockyard (which can not be blocked)
If multiple buildings exist within a given ownership, use the one that costs the least
Then put all unused ships on the pier

If neither of these actions can be taken (both ships on pier in turns 1-5 or both ships out to sea in turns 6-12)
Then go to "Last resort Captain's orders" (don't place a meeple yet)

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Last resort Captain's orders

Try to place a meeple on the Captain owned School then Inn then Coffeehouse (if they are built and not blocked)
Then try to place a meeple on the player owned School then Inn then Coffeehouse (if they are built and not blocked)
Then try to place a meeple on a Captain owned building that supplies coins then wood then food then bricks (if they are built and not blocked)
Then try to place a meeple on a player owned building that supplies coins then wood then food then bricks (if they are built and not blocked)
If none of these are possible then place a meeple on the Forest (always available and can not be blocked)

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Special notes on the get money heading
When the Captain attempts to use a building that provides money,
The order in which the already built buildings should be used is not very clear.
Calculate the value of each already built building and use the one with the highest value.
(Thanks to BGG user KevintheBold)

SET VALUE BUILDINGS
Market (fixed): $6
Bank: $5
Lumber Mill (fixed): $5
Chandlery (fixed): $4
Insurance: $3
Brewery (fixed): $0
Post Office (fixed): $0

VARIABLE VALUE BUILDINGS (depends on conditions elsewewhere. Read each tile and calculate)
Customhouse: $ 0/4/6/10
Refinery: $ 0/2/4/8
Tryworks: $ 0/2/4/6
Tavern: $ 0/4/6
Perfumery: $ 0/3/5
Loading Dock: $ 0/1/2/3
Fire House: $ 0/2/3 (per each other Captain/Player)
Almshouse: $ 0/3
Cooperage: $ 0-??

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Buildings
When the player uses a Captain owned building, one coin is paid to the supply.
When the Captain uses a player owned building, one coin is taken from the supply.

When Captian Stubb uses a special action building he performs that action. He can only use an action building if he could perform the action. For example, when Stubb uses the lighthouse he moves his farthest ship one additional space out to sea (there is an occasional exception but just do this anyway). If he has no ships out to sea then he may not use the lighthouse (react as if it is blocked/unbuilt). If the Tavern is available it is worth 4 gold if there is 1sea token out and 6 gold if there are 2 sea tokens out (and it is unusable if there are 0 sea tokens). The tokens are moved back into the draw bag just as if a human player used the Tavern.

Whales
At any point when a player ship returns, any unpurchased whales go to the Captain (the player receives half cost from the supply)
At the end of the game any whales in excess of 10 minus 1 per 2 buildings the Captain built are returned to the supply. Return the whales worth the least victory points).
Captain whales should be stored in the ships hold section of the Captain's board and only moved to the scored section of the board when the ship arrives back in the harbor. This is because there are some ways for ships to be lost at sea (not in the basic setup described here but good practice).

Resources
There is no need to track resources or gold for Captain Stubb. He requires no resources to build or use buildings (he builds them for free) or prepare or launch ships (also free).

End game scoring
Captain Stubb does not score gold at the end of the game (so no need to track his gold). He scores one point for each building he built, the points listed on his scored whales, victory points listed on vp buildings he built, and any other vp bonuses listed on his vp buildings. For example, if he built the Municipal Office he also gets one vp for every 2 buildings he has built.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary
If possible, place a meeple on an action site that provides the heading requirement
using the building ownership order of Captain then opponent then town

And perform the action on the site
(ignore resources, build using the chart on the Captain's board, or prepare / launch ship

If the above steps can not both be performed then instead
Place a meeple on School or Inn or Coffeehouse
using the building ownership order of Captain then opponent then town
(try all 3 buildings in each ownership category before moving on to the next ownership category)

If the above step can not be performed then instead
Place a meeple on a resource giving action site
in the following order coins then wood then food then bricks
using the building ownership order of Captain then opponent then town
(try all 4 resource types in each ownership category before moving on to the next ownership category)
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Eric B
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Thanks for the work involved in putting this together. Confusion with regard to the New Bedford solo rules is pretty common so its always good to have an outline to help.

I have a quick clarification question with regard to some of the references in your walk through. When you use what I interpret as clock references (e.g. "Bricks 1:30 in Turns 1-3") I assumed you were referring to location on the ships wheel where that action is taken by the AI. Am I correct? I didn't understand why you used those and I find them confusing, particularly since there are only 8 movement spots on the AI's player board. Perhaps I just missed the boat (pun intended!) and have misunderstood.
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Tim Morton
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A additional question

For the setup, are you picking random buildings? Or buildings that the captain referred to as requested builds. Example place courthouse or inn as available to build so if Stubbs tried to build it it's there.


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Imot90 wrote:
A additional question

For the setup, are you picking random buildings? Or buildings that the captain referred to as requested builds. Example place courthouse or inn as available to build so if Stubbs tried to build it it's there.



I have played a fair few solo games and am still just running with 2 player buildings so save the random variety into the future.

Whilst I can agree solo took a little bit of understanding, I feel like a lot is easily interpreted as what would the captain take that would help him most in his position for that icon going down the list.
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esterjey wrote:
When you use what I interpret as clock references (e.g. "Bricks 1:30 in Turns 1-3") I assumed you were referring to location on the ships wheel where that action is taken by the AI. Am I correct? I didn't understand why you used those and I find them confusing, particularly since there are only 8 movement spots on the AI's player board. Perhaps I just missed the boat (pun intended!) and have misunderstood.

You are correct. The clock face times refer to the locations of the headings on the Captain's rondel.
12:00 build buildings in white list
1:30 get bricks (turns 1-6), build vp building (turns 7-12)
3:00 build buildings in black list
4:30 get wood
6:00 get food (turns 1-3), build vp buildings (turns 4-12)
7:30 prepare or launch ships
9:00 get gold
10:30 get bricks
 
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Imot90 wrote:
For the setup, are you picking random buildings? Or buildings that the captain referred to as requested builds. Example place courthouse or inn as available to build so if Stubbs tried to build it it's there.


For the first game use the following setup.
Action buildings (8)
Bank, Dry Dock, Lighthouse, Lumber Mill, Schoolhouse, Tavern, Tryworks, Wharf
Resource building (4)
Counting House, Seamen’s Bethel, Mansion, Municipal office.

The 8 action tiles should be set in a random order because that is the order they will be built by the AI in the build building actions. The order of the 4 victory point buildings in the setup does not matter because the Captain always build this in a fixed order.

During the Captain's turn, skip any actions that refer to a building that is not available, in the same manner you would react if the building was blocked (for resource actions) or already built (for build actions).
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Roger S
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Hi Tom, thanks for doing this! Do you plan to do this for all of the Captains when you have time? Or do you think they are similar enough that this example will suffice for all of them? (I haven't played in a while, so I don't quite remember the differences between them.)

 
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schiavonir wrote:
Hi Tom, thanks for doing this! Do you plan to do this for all of the Captains when you have time? Or do you think they are similar enough that this example will suffice for all of them? (I haven't played in a while, so I don't quite remember the differences between them.)

The Captains are definitely similar enough that once you learn how to use one of them, the rest are self-explanatory. In general after learning the rules it should no longer be necessary to refer to the flowchart at all as all the information is already printed on the Captain's board. It will also play a lot faster that way.
 
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Lunadips Sixsmtih
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I'd been using Captain Orders not only for goods but also for when the Captain built new buildings or victory buildings, e.g. for Stubb the order of determining which building tile to use would go:

-first see if any of his buildings provides an action to build a building
-if this is not possible then use the opponents buildings,
-if this is not possible, use the Town Hall,

This way the Captain is blocking others from using building tiles that are more efficient at constructing new buildings (e.g. Courthouse) compared to the Town Hall. This seem to be more representative of what an opponent might do, and in particular jelled with Ahab's Captain orders.

Anyone see any concern that this might limit the Captain's actions using this approach?

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I am almost sure that you are definitely correct. This is also true for the Wharf when launching ships. I am pretty certain this can never reduce the options available to the Captain because the default building (i.e. town center) is always available lower down in the search hierarchy.

I will make a clarification in the walkthrough notes. Thanks.
 
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Roger S
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I played two games over the weekend using this guide. It was a tremendous help! The second game, I relied less on it and paid more attention to the icons.

Unfortunately, I'm just terrible at the game and Stubbs rolled me in both games.

Thank you for this guide!
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I played Ahab today, and I think I'm misreading the orders. My misunderstanding centers around his building action. If his heading is to build a building, his orders indicate he should NOT use a town building to accomplish his action. So, if his heading is to build a building, and no other player buildings facilitate a building action, I then he just goes to the Inn or reroutes to gathering money? That would mean I could basically stalemate his building construction buy simply not having any player buildings that have a building action on them?
 
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Tom Builder
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Row 3 on his Captain's orders let's him use the town buildings.
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Von Rugen
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Yes, but he'd switch to a money making priority before he got to line 3 (line 2 is Inn > $)
 
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Only if one is built and unblocked
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Claudio Coppini
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Quote:
If the above steps can not both be performed then instead
Place a meeple on School or Inn or Coffeehouse
using the building ownership order of Captain then opponent then town
(try all 3 buildings in each ownership category before moving on to the next ownership category)

If the above step can not be performed then instead
Place a meeple on a resource giving action site
in the following order coins then wood then food then bricks
using the building ownership order of Captain then opponent then town
(try all 4 resource types in each ownership category before moving on to the next ownership category)


Maybe I overlooked this in the rules, but shouldn't you first check all ownership categories for one heading before moving onto the next? So let's say you get to "School", shouldn't the captain use a captain owned School before checking for the Inn?
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Drugo81 wrote:
Maybe I overlooked this in the rules, but shouldn't you first check all ownership categories for one heading before moving onto the next? So let's say you get to "School", shouldn't the captain use a captain owned School before checking for the Inn?

This is a good question and the rules are somewhat vague. The problem is with Stubb's board. In row 3 of his Captain's orders the sequence is coins -> wood -> food -> bricks. Now if we checked all ownership categories for one heading before moving on to the next heading, then there is no way to ever reach the food or bricks heading because it is always possible to get wood from the unblockable town space. So the only way for this to make sense is to check the entire row for each ownership category first and then move on to the next ownership category.

Now for the named buildings (row 2 of the Captain's orders) the rules clearly state to try each named building in sequence regardless of ownership. (Use this specific building if built, regardless of owner). So it seems you are correct. But then row 2 would have different rules than row 3. This would be unnecessarily confusing. So for consistency I interpreted the general rule as try each row on the Captain's orders in its entirety before trying a different ownership category.

In your example it doesn't matter though, because if the Captain owns a School then he would use it either way. The ambiguity would arise in a situation where the captain owns an Inn and the player owns a School. If you check the whole row for each ownership category (my interpretation) then the captain would use the Inn (does the captain own a School? no, move on to next building, does the captain own an Inn? yes). If you check each building over all ownership categories then the captain would use the School (does the captain own a school? no, move on to then ext ownership category, does the player own a School? yes).

Of course I have never heard an official ruling about any of this so that would be nice to get.
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Claudio Coppini
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jellyfish1 wrote:
In your example it doesn't matter though, because if the Captain owns a School then he would use it either way. The ambiguity would arise in a situation where the captain owns an Inn and the player owns a School. If you check the whole row for each ownership category (my interpretation) then the captain would use the Inn (does the captain own a School? no, move on to next building, does the captain own an Inn? yes). If you check each building over all ownership categories then the captain would use the School (does the captain own a school? no, move on to then ext ownership category, does the player own a School? yes).

Of course I have never heard an official ruling about any of this so that would be nice to get.


I meant a third captain in that example, not Stubb himself, sorry if it wasn't clear (due to Stubb's particular captain orders that prioritize opponents' buildings).

Your point makes sense though, and I think that for consistency I will also follow the "check the whole row for each ownership category" approach. Either way I don't think it makes a big difference anyway.
 
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