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Dale of Merchants» Forums » Variants

Subject: Another solo variant - "The Company" rss

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Mason Weaver
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Hi everybody. Sami asked me to post a thread on this solo variant, as we'd been discussing it on Twitter.



Let me know if you have any thoughts. I already have some changes to make based on feedback from my original post, but here are the V1.0 rules in text form:

Dale of Merchants Solo Rules
The Guild of Extraordinary Traders is under attack! The Company, a shadowy group of wealthy businessmen, wants to corner all the markets and destroy the Guild. Race to put up your market stall before The Company can buy up all the goods and stop them from ruining Daimyria’s economy.

SETUP
Setup as a 2p game. You are 1st player, The Company is 2nd.
Use recommended animalfolk decks. [see GOOD DECKS]
The Company starting deck goes face-up to the side of the play area, shuffle the 1 value starting cards and place one face-up on the deck.

GAMEPLAY
Take your turn as normal, at the end of your turn, the rightmost card on the market is automatically bought by The Company. Place the card face-up on The Company deck.

To win you must build your 8 stacks before the market deck runs out (including the reshuffled market discards). Your score is the number of cards remaining in the market (including the market deck & discards).
The game ends when the last card is purchased from the market. If you purchase the last card, finish your turn. If The Company purchases the last card, the game ends immediately.

If the market is emptied before you build 8 stacks, you lose. The Company has taken control of the Daimyrian economy.

NOTES
All card actions that refer to “other players’ hands” or “other players’ decks” or “other players’ discard piles” become “The Company deck”.

When discarding from The Company deck, cards go into the market discard, The Company has no discard pile.

GOOD DECKS
DoM1: Macaws Pandas Chameleons* Squirrels*
DoM2: Platypus Sloths Beavers Polecats

Chameleons 2 [Reflection] “This card is a copy of The Company’s face up card.”

Squirrels 4 [Acorn] “Swap this card with a card of your choice from The Company deck, then place the new card in your discard pile.”

OK DECKS
DoM1: Ocelots (see below) Raccoons (see below)
Dom2: Owls (work in progress)

DoM1: Raccoons
Raccoons 2 [Nuisance] “Randomly throw away one card from The Company deck.”
Raccoons 3 [Rotten Food] “Place a card from your hand face up on The Company deck.”
Raccoons 5 [Sabatoge] “Draw 2 cards from The Company deck. Throw away one and place the other face up on The Company deck.”
Raccoons 5 [T. Hunter] “Take the top from The Company Deck into your hand.”


DoM1: Ocelots
Ocelots 3 [Whirligig] “Discard your hand. Shuffle The Company deck. Draw matching # of cards from your deck & from The Company deck. Shuffle all newly drawn cards together then deal out evenly between your hand and the top of The Company deck.”
Ocelots 5 [Blindfold] “Choose a card from your hand. Roll the die 2x & add the values. If that # matches your card, discard the card. Otherwise, you set card’s value for this turn.”
Ocelots 5 [Gamble] “Shuffle The Company deck. Roll die & randomly exchange that many cards between your hand and The Company deck.”


DO NOT USE DECKS
Dom2: Crocodiles Foxes (these decks are too highly interactive)
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Mason Weaver
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[reserved for updated links]

Here is the link to the current formatted version. I will upload the final version to the files section after more playtesting.
bit.do/DoMsolorules
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Sami Laakso
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I'm touched by your enthusiasm towards my game. Everyone, please share your experiences, if you try the variant out. I will test this out at some point when I'm less swamped with other work.
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Maximiliano Sanchez de Bustamante
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Hey Mason. Good initiative!
I will take a look when I can and I will write my experiences here.
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Mason Weaver
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Liuhuparta wrote:
I'm touched by your enthusiasm towards my game. Everyone, please share your experiences, if you try the variant out. I will test this out at some point when I'm less swamped with other work.


I absolutely love everything about the game, except that I don't always have another person to play with! I'm excited for more decks in the future as well.
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Sami Laakso
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More decks are indeed on the way. As with previous games, some of them are more interactive and and others concentrate on managing your own playing field. Latter ones are more suitable for various solo variants.
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James Salisbury
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Hello Mason,
Just had a wee few games and really, really enjoyed this!

Played two randomly selected decks, (Platypuses, Macaws, Chameleons - won first time & Sloths, Raccoons, Pandas - lost first time, won the second). I found out about your solo variant via the twitter thread, (I linked in the other solo version), but must say I prefer the simplicity of your Company's remove a card at the end of your turn. Also the use of the Company's deck makes more of the cards make sense too - easier to understand. Saying that your edits make perfect sense! (The Raccoon edits especially).

Raccoons strategy took me a game to get - very different but fantastic as a lifeline to extending the game length! Minor typo with the Raccoon no. 3 card name - its 'Rotten food' not 'Blindfold' - but rules are correct!

How have you found your games? Hard? Easy? I was thinking there is always the option to aim for a further stall to increase difficulty.

I was wondering if you could play Sami's team version with this solo version to create a multi-player co-op against the Company. Could be too tricky but I'm intrigued to try it!

Anyway - thanks so much for this Solo variant - this is definitely one I will continue to play!

And very much looking forward to these further decks Sami, your twitter teasers are getting us all very excited!
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Mason Weaver
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SafeLion wrote:

Just had a wee few games and really, really enjoyed this!

That's great, I'm glad it works!

SafeLion wrote:

Played two randomly selected decks, (Platypuses, Macaws, Chameleons - won first time & Sloths, Raccoons, Pandas - lost first time, won the second). I found out about your solo variant via the twitter thread, (I linked in the other solo version), but must say I prefer the simplicity of your Company's remove a card at the end of your turn. Also the use of the Company's deck makes more of the cards make sense too - easier to understand. Saying that your edits make perfect sense! (The Raccoon edits especially).

I know that a lot of solo variants are aimed at "how can this simulate the multiplayer experience" but I don't really want to try and play someone else's hand. With this my goal was "what is the simplest, most reductive way to make this a playable race game?"

SafeLion wrote:

Raccoons strategy took me a game to get - very different but fantastic as a lifeline to extending the game length! Minor typo with the Raccoon no. 3 card name - its 'Rotten food' not 'Blindfold' - but rules are correct!

How have you found your games? Hard? Easy? I was thinking there is always the option to aim for a further stall to increase difficulty.

I'm not very good at DoM, so it's been difficult, yeah. I've been thinking about increasing difficulty levels and probably the two clearest choices are:

1. as you said, building a 9th stall, which seems the simplest
2. moving more cards from market deck into The Company's hand. Maybe another 5? you'd have to play a ton of games to figure out the right difficulty curve and card count.

SafeLion wrote:

I was wondering if you could play Sami's team version with this solo version to create a multi-player co-op against the Company. Could be too tricky but I'm intrigued to try it!


I don't see why it woudn't work. I would think you could play co-op against The Company and just have it eat a card on it's turn. All players would need to complete their stalls before the cards ran out and maybe at the end of the round, all non-company players could offer up to two cards from their discards up for trade. Any trades would need to be 1 for 1, but no player is required to offer or to swap. Just as a way for it to be more interactively cooperative.

SafeLion wrote:

Anyway - thanks so much for this Solo variant - this is definitely one I will continue to play!


I'm so glad you liked it (and sorry I didn't see this post earlier - I forgot to subscribe to my own thread. duh.) I didn't see your twitter post the first time around. @ me again so I can follow you!

-Mason
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Mason Weaver
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And I updated my incorrectly titled card. Thanks, James!
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Sami Laakso
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breakfastcore wrote:
SafeLion wrote:
Raccoons strategy took me a game to get - very different but fantastic as a lifeline to extending the game length! Minor typo with the Raccoon no. 3 card name - its 'Rotten food' not 'Blindfold' - but rules are correct!

How have you found your games? Hard? Easy? I was thinking there is always the option to aim for a further stall to increase difficulty.
I'm not very good at DoM, so it's been difficult, yeah. I've been thinking about increasing difficulty levels and probably the two clearest choices are:

1. as you said, building a 9th stall, which seems the simplest
2. moving more cards from market deck into The Company's hand. Maybe another 5? you'd have to play a ton of games to figure out the right difficulty curve and card count.

Without having the time to try the variant myself (too occupied with other new DoM content!), I would recommend trying out a simple scoring instead of binary win or lose. That way you could simply say that 7 or less stacks would be poor, 8 better, 9 even more so etc. Of course, if you like to see if you simply win or lose the current ruling is the way to go.
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Mason Weaver
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Liuhuparta wrote:

Without having the time to try the variant myself (too occupied with other new DoM content!), I would recommend trying out a simple scoring instead of binary win or lose. That way you could simply say that 7 or less stacks would be poor, 8 better, 9 even more so etc. Of course, if you like to see if you simply win or lose the current ruling is the way to go.


I sort of see the stacks as the "end game trigger" in solo. You're rushing to set up your stall before The Company buys everything up. I like the idea of changing the endgame (7,8, or 9 stacks - easy, normal, hard) and then taking your score based on how many cards are left. I'll try it out!
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Esben Rasmussen
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Hi, great work, but I have a question regarding The Company Deck.
The way I understand is that I form the deck (3 animalfolks and 7 junk) shuffle them and place them face up, and whenever I finish my turn the right most card in the market goes on top of the company's deck. Is that all there is to The Company deck? Feels like I have missed something, but can't figure oout what.


Can't wait to get a few plays under the belt, and then I will post my comments.
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Mason Weaver
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Esben_Arild wrote:

The way I understand is that I form the deck (3 animalfolks and 7 junk) shuffle them and place them face up, and whenever I finish my turn the right most card in the market goes on top of the company's deck. Is that all there is to The Company deck? Feels like I have missed something, but can't figure out what.


No, you haven't missed anything. The Company just buys and buys and buys. It's passive besides just buying a card every turn, and it gives you something to interact with. You're racing against them swallowing up all the resources, and keeps the Company-bought cards separate from the Discard. Hope that clarifies!
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Esben Rasmussen
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Thank you for the clarification!

I have now played two games using the Polecats, Platypuses and the Sloths. I haven’t had time to play DoM much with friends, so this is a fun way to first learn the game, then practice the tactics and then go for best scores. I’ve lost both of my games, so the practice is much needed. I am trying to figure out the balance between buying cards and building stacks, and if one should go for all three different animalfolks or focus on just two. Thank you so much for this solo play, I like a lot! Can’t wait to try out the different decks. Really like the game and love the artwork
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Matt Crawford
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I tried this twice tonight and liked it quite a bit. I liked the simplicity of the "opponent's" actions. And I liked how it meant that building a stall or using Inventory also advanced the clock. It generally felt like playing Dale of Merchants, and didn't involve a lot of rule changes.

I lost the first game, and was able to just barely win the second (and then only after I read that I get to re-shuffle the market discard pile, which was one card!).

Thanks! Recommended.
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Brian Sison
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Looks great... clarification question:

Do you need to build 8 stalls before "the market deck runs out" or before "the market empties out"? Seems like a potential difference of 2-5 additional turns.

Thanks!
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Mason Weaver
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nosis17 wrote:
Looks great... clarification question:

Do you need to build 8 stalls before "the market deck runs out" or before "the market empties out"? Seems like a potential difference of 2-5 additional turns.

Thanks!


The latter. The game ends when the last card is purchased from the market, so when the market is empty the game is over.
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