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Subject: Unofficial Solo Variant for Arboretum rss

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Dejun King
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The few time I have be able to play this game with others I've loved it! However the somewhat cumbersome aspects of building and scoring have put players in my gaming group off from returning to this beautiful game. For the longest time it sat on my shelf and I would pull it down here and there to play around controlling two hands but that was not as fun as the actual experience so I decided to do something about this and have come up with the following solo variant.


Revision 03

SETUP
-Prepare the deck as you would for a 2 player game by returning 4 Tree Species back to the box.

-Your opponent will be the Start Player.

-Take the deck and deal out 7 card face down to yourself and your opponent. Take your cards into your hand and set the opponent's 7 cards (their hand) in a face down stack somewhere above the deck, out of your play area.

-Flip the top card of the deck face up and place it next to the deck forming the "shared" discard pile.


HOW TO PLAY
The game will begin with your opponent taking their turn. Turns will alternate between you and your opponent until the last card of the deck is drawn which will trigger the end of the game.

TURN ORDER
Opponent's Turn
-Look at the top card of the discard pile to see if it meets one of the following requirements:
///If the card has a value of 1.
///If the card has a value of 8.
///If your opponent's Arboretum contains 2 or more of this tree species.

If the top card of the discard pile meets one or more of these requirements your opponent draws that card otherwise they draw the top card of the deck.

-Draw the top card of the deck.
If your opponent can not draw a card from the deck during either of these steps, move straight to Scoring.

-Choose one card of the 2 drawn to place into your opponent's Arboretum. For choosing which card to place following this list showing your opponent's Order of Importance.
///Value 8 card.
///Value 1 card.
///Highest value card.
///Card matching the most abundant species in your opponent's Arboretum.


-Place this card face up in your opponents Arboretum.
The placement of your opponent's cards in their Arboretum is not important and a simple suggestion for displaying these cards is in a single horizontal row.
These cards are only displayed to give you information about which cards are unavailable to you as well as potential scoring opportunities for your opponent.


-Discard the remaining card to the discard pile.




Player's Turn
-Draw 2 cards into your hand from either the top of the deck or the top of the discard pile or 1 card from each of these locations.

-Choose a card from your hand to place into your Arboretum.
Placement should be done strategically as you would do in a normal game of Arboretum as scoring your Arboretum at the end of the game will be no different than the standard scoring found in the rule book.

-Choose a card from your hand and place it face up into the discard pile.

Play will continue in this fashion until the last card is drawn from the deck. The player that draws the last card from the deck will finish their turn at which point players will score their Arboretums.




SCORING
Paths scored in your Arboretum will score as stated in the rule book. Your opponent will not score paths but will instead have an alternate scoring method explained below.

Gaining the right to score paths
Reveal your opponent's hand of 7 face down cards and sort according to species. You as the dealer will proceed with declaring Tree Species, comparing the value of each species declared found in your hand to the value found in your opponent's hand.
The exception of trumping your opponents 8 with a 1 still applies.
If no players have cards of a particular species then you are able to score points for your single best path for that species.


-If you gain the right to score a species you and your opponent will discard all cards of this species from your hands and you will calculate a score for this path in your Arboretum as normal.
-If your opponent gains the right to score a species they will keep all cards of this species in their hand and you will discard all cards of this species from your hand without scoring.

After declaring and discarding each species in your hand, calculating your final score it is now time to score your opponent's Arboretum.
Score your opponent's Arboretum as follows:

1 point for each card still left in your opponent's hand.
2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum that matches a species found in their hand.
+1 point for each card in your opponent's Arboretum with a value of 1.
+2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum with a value of 8.

Player with the most points is the winner!
=======================================================================

This variant is still considered a work in progress so please let me know in the comments what you think if you decide to try it out. Also let me know if you may see anything can be improved upon in this variant as I am always open to suggestions!
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Maricel Edwards
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Okay, waitaminnit...I'm confused about this:

Quote:
-Reveal the top card of the deck and place it face up in their Arboretum.
The placement of your opponent's cards in their Arboretum is not important and a simple suggestion for displaying these cards is in a single horizontal row.
These cards are only displayed to give you information about which cards are unavailable to you as well as potential scoring opportunities for your opponent.

-Put the top card of the deck face up into the discard pile.
If your opponent can not draw a card from the deck during this step, move straight to Scoring.

Is there a difference between the red and the blue parts? Does my opponent - let's call him Steve - draw from the deck twice? Once to put in his Arboretum and once to discard to the shared discard pile?
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Dejun King
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mtsedwards wrote:
Okay, waitaminnit...I'm confused about this:

Quote:
-Reveal the top card of the deck and place it face up in their Arboretum.
The placement of your opponent's cards in their Arboretum is not important and a simple suggestion for displaying these cards is in a single horizontal row.
These cards are only displayed to give you information about which cards are unavailable to you as well as potential scoring opportunities for your opponent.

-Put the top card of the deck face up into the discard pile.
If your opponent can not draw a card from the deck during this step, move straight to Scoring.

Is there a difference between the red and the blue parts? Does my opponent - let's call him Steve - draw from the deck twice? Once to put in his Arboretum and once to discard to the shared discard pile?

Yes, this is to simulate the opponent drawing 2 cards, playing one, then discarding one like a real opponent would do
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Maricel Edwards
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Okies. Thank you! And sorry for being so thick! Maybe this variant will get me to give Arboretum the love that it seems to garner from loads of guild members. I still prefer Project Dreamscape for card manipulation or Songbirds (although it's so very light, even for me) for a mathy good time.
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Brian "Langalore"
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I’m really wanting to play this and my wife thinks it’s a bit too brain-burney for her to play it often. So, I need help scoring this. I’m not sure I understand the opponents scoring.

Do I discard the cards from his arboretum that I won the rights to score? That’s my biggest question.

Here’s my arboretum and their’s:

Their hand is upper left and arboretum next to that.
My hand is lower right and arboretum is obvious.

So, I won the rights to all of mine - yellow, purple, blue, and silver.
My score, regardless of what happens with the dummy hand, is 22.

I discard the cards from opponents hand but leave those trees in their arboretum?

This score would be 30 - 3 left in hand, 11 in arboretum, 0 #1s, 3 #8s.

OR if I discard those trees from their arboretum:

Their score would be 17 - 3 left in hand, 5 in arboretum, 0 #1s, 2 #8s.

So, is the score a loss for me 22-30 or a win 22-17?
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Dejun King
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Langalore wrote:
I’m really wanting to play this and my wife thinks it’s a bit too brain-burney for her to play it often. So, I need help scoring this. I’m not sure I understand the opponents scoring.

Do I discard the cards from his arboretum that I won the rights to score? That’s my biggest question.

Here’s my arboretum and their’s:

Their hand is upper left and arboretum next to that.
My hand is lower right and arboretum is obvious.

So, I won the rights to all of mine - yellow, purple, blue, and silver.
My score, regardless of what happens with the dummy hand, is 22.

I discard the cards from opponents hand but leave those trees in their arboretum?

This score would be 30 - 3 left in hand, 11 in arboretum, 0 #1s, 3 #8s.

OR if I discard those trees from their arboretum:

Their score would be 17 - 3 left in hand, 5 in arboretum, 0 #1s, 2 #8s.

So, is the score a loss for me 22-30 or a win 22-17?


First off thanks for giving this variant a try!
Some things that might help clarify the variant for you...

-Opponent will never remove cards from their Arboretum.
-When you and your opponent compare cards for the right to score paths, no matter if you win or your opponent both of you will discard the cards compared from your hands.
(If you win rights, you score path)
(If opponent wins rights nothing happens, just prevents you from scoring)


As for your example I see your second photo as being correct for your opponent.
Their score would break down as:
11 cards in Arboretum at 2 points each = 22
3 cards left in hand at 1 point each = 3
Zero 1’s present in Arboretum at 1 point each = 0
Three 8’s present in Arboretum at 2 point each = 6
Total= 31

In your Arboretum though I see you scored:
Purple with 3 of the same species and path ends with an eight = 8
White with 4 of the same species starting the path with a one = 9
Yellow (can’t tell but the card at the top of your arboretum looks like a five and if so makes it an unscorable = 0
Blue with 2 of the same species = 4
Total= 21

Final scoring: You with 21 and your opponent with 31

The opponent is a tough competitor that’s for sure lol but looking at your Arbotetum you could have had 4 more points by placing the yellow five above the yellow 4. Every attempt I make at this variant I feel makes me a better Arboretum builder

Best of luck though in your next attempt and I hope this helped


Ps. Jealous of the original cards I love them!


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Brian "Langalore"
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It’s a yellow 8 up above so the yellow path is 4Y-5P-6P-8Y for 6 points.
However, there a major issue with tour scoring (unless the new Renegade rules are different from the original rules) - you only get double points for a path of all the same color if there are FOUR or more cards in the path. So, my silver trees are the only ones with double points, not the blue or purple.

I’m going to give it another few tries tonight and see how I do. I can’t imagine ever beating the dummy player, as I think it will always get 25+ points, but I’m willing to try.

Thanks for coming up with a solo variant. Arboretum is one of my favorite games and rarely makes the table.

PS - I got them from Germany. I had some colleagues coming over for work and had them bring me a copy. I wish the rules and scorepad were in English. I’ve thought of also buying the deluxe edition that came out but everyone was worried about the foil on the cards so I didn’t.
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Dejun King
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Langalore wrote:
you only get double points for a path of all the same color if there are FOUR or more cards in the path. So, my silver trees are the only ones with double points

This is right, thanks for the correction
If you have any suggestion for a more balanced scoring method after some more play throughs I am all ears
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Brian "Langalore"
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I think something needs to be done with the dummy arboretum.

Here’s why - the dummy player gets a minimum extra 2 points (max of 4 if they get an 8) if I ever pick up from the discard pile because this delays the end of the game and allows the dummy to build a bigger arboretum.

So, my strategy would be to NOT pick up from the discard because there’s no way 1 card would be worth 4 points for me unless it was an 8 that I already had a bunch of cards down to be able to take advantage of the “all cards in path the same tree.”

If I’m never picking up from the discard, then the game becomes mostly luck based on the card draws. There’s still some optimal building involved so it’s not like playing WAR, but why have a discard pile then?

I’m not great at game design (I’m barely capable of even playing!), but I’ll try to think about what might work.

Have you ever beaten the variant?
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Brian "Langalore"
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Ok. I think I’ve got it.

So, the automa has to have some rules.
1. It will pick up the discard if it has 2+ of that color in their arboretum already.
2. It will then reveal the next card on the deck (or 2 cards if it didn’t pick up the discard).
3. It will then choose based on the following: 8, 1, card that it has more of in its arboretum, higher value card. If there is a tie between 8s or 1s, it picks whichever it has more of in its arboretum. If there is still a tie, then it picks whichever was first (either the discarded card (if it picked one up) or the top card on the deck (if it picked up 2 from the deck).

Scoring - it only scores trees that it “wins” but scoring remains similar as to how you have it: 2 points per tree in arboretum, 1 for each card in hand that it “won” (this is the biggest didfeeence, don’t discard cards from its hand if it won that color), 1 point for 1s in arboretum, 2 points 8s in arboretum.
IF neither of you had that color tree in your hands at scoring, then the automa gets to score that color (even though they didn’t have it in their hand).

It’s both beaten me and I’ve beaten it. I tried 4 games with these rules and we went 50%.

I’ll get a larger sample size tomorrow.

What I like about it - it brings back the hard discard decisions. Sometimes you want to keep a card just so your opponent doesn’t get it. I found this lacking in the original iteration of this. It plays much more like a real 2 player game and it’s really screwed me up on a couple of paths I thought I was winning.

Please let me know what you think when you get a chance to play it. I’d love to make a video but all I have is my iPhone for recording.
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Andrew Chang
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dejunking wrote:

As for your example I see your second photo as being correct for your opponent.
Their score would break down as:
11 cards in Arboretum at 2 points each = 22
3 cards left in hand at 1 point each = 3
Zero 1’s present in Arboretum at 1 point each = 0
Three 8’s present in Arboretum at 2 point each = 6
Total= 31

I don't quite understand this scoring.
Don't the scoring rules above state:
"1 point for each card still left in your opponent's hand.
2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum that matches a species found in their hand.
+1 point for each card in your opponent's Arboretum with a value of 1.
+2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum with a value of 8."

So would that not be:

3 Points for the cards left in the opponents hand
10 points for the cards in the Arboretum which matches the species in your hand (i.e. 2 red cards x 2 points plus 3 pink cards x 2 points)
0 points for Arboretum cards with a value of 1
6 points for Arboretum cards with a value of 8 (i.e. 3 cards x 2 points).

The total would be 19 points.

In effect you only include cards in the opponents Arboretum which match a card in their hand or are either a 1 or 8.

I don't see why in the scoring above each card in the Arboretum gets 2 points (as they all don't match a species found in their hand). They only have 2 species of trees left in their hand. Or, is the scoring supposed to say 2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum?
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Jessica
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Thanks for the wonderful solo variant! I tried it out today, and my full report can be found on SGOYT February 2019. Both losses, although they seemed pretty close. I had a great time!

I think I played everything correctly, and found this to be a very tense sort of matchup. Quite the change from the other times I played with other solo methods... Even using the Songbirds rules wasn't quite the same.

I'll keep an eye on the scoring clarifications. I'm looking forward to playing again soon. Well done with this variant, and thank you again!
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Dejun King
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Applefiend wrote:
dejunking wrote:

As for your example I see your second photo as being correct for your opponent.
Their score would break down as:
11 cards in Arboretum at 2 points each = 22
3 cards left in hand at 1 point each = 3
Zero 1’s present in Arboretum at 1 point each = 0
Three 8’s present in Arboretum at 2 point each = 6
Total= 31

I don't quite understand this scoring.
Don't the scoring rules above state:
"1 point for each card still left in your opponent's hand.
2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum that matches a species found in their hand.
+1 point for each card in your opponent's Arboretum with a value of 1.
+2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum with a value of 8."

So would that not be:

3 Points for the cards left in the opponents hand
10 points for the cards in the Arboretum which matches the species in your hand (i.e. 2 red cards x 2 points plus 3 pink cards x 2 points)
0 points for Arboretum cards with a value of 1
6 points for Arboretum cards with a value of 8 (i.e. 3 cards x 2 points).

The total would be 19 points.

In effect you only include cards in the opponents Arboretum which match a card in their hand or are either a 1 or 8.

I don't see why in the scoring above each card in the Arboretum gets 2 points (as they all don't match a species found in their hand). They only have 2 species of trees left in their hand. Or, is the scoring supposed to say 2 points for each card in your opponent's Arboretum?

Sorry for the confusion, I tend to let the comments section of my variants be more of an open discussion.

The scoring mentioned in my earlier comments used a different scoring method leading to the score I say not matching the current rules set.

With the help of Brian we have toned the scoring down and simplified leaving us with the current revision you see in the OP.

You are completely right though that with Revision 2 the opponents score should be 19 that you see in the photos.

Again sorry for any confusion this may have caused, possibly I should mention this as a warning to those who read the OP and then start in on the comments only to find they don’t line up

Thank you for your comment though and let me know if this helped at all.
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Dejun King
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Albia wrote:
Thanks for the wonderful solo variant! I tried it out today, and my full report can be found on SGOYT February 2019. Both losses, although they seemed pretty close. I had a great time!

I think I played everything correctly, and found this to be a very tense sort of matchup. Quite the change from the other times I played with other solo methods... Even using the Songbirds rules wasn't quite the same.

I'll keep an eye on the scoring clarifications. I'm looking forward to playing again soon. Well done with this variant, and thank you again!

Thank you! As long as you scored as outlined in the OP you should be good.
Also I have to give credit where credit is due and thank Brian for all his ideas and help on the variant.
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dejunking wrote:

The scoring mentioned in my earlier comments used a different scoring method leading to the score I say not matching the current rules set.

With the help of Brian we have toned the scoring down and simplified leaving us with the current revision you see in the OP.

You are completely right though that with Revision 2 the opponents score should be 19 that you see in the photos.

Again sorry for any confusion this may have caused, possibly I should mention this as a warning to those who read the OP and then start in on the comments only to find they don’t line up

Thank you for your comment though and let me know if this helped at all.

Thanks! That makes perfect sense now.

I really appreciate your efforts creating this solo variant, and I have been enjoying it a lot. It’s a great variant.
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Andrew Chang
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Under the current rules (where your opponent only scores their arboretum when they win the right to score), have you found the variant to be too easy now?

I have only played 3 games with that scoring method, but have been able to easily beat my opponent each time. Scores were 27/9, 24/10 and 24/8 in my favour. I found that whilst the opponent managed to score the 1's and 8's in their arboretum (as well as the cards in their hand), I was able to deny them the right to score their other trees as I just kept hold of a high value card in the species that they were collecting.

The opponent kept collecting cards which they already had in their arboretum (as they had 2 or more of that species already) which meant that they were denying themselves other scoring opportunities, and I kept feeding them cards in the species that I knew they would not be able to score.

For example they already had the 1 and 8 in their arboretum. I kept the 7 and a 5 in that species knowing that this would likely be enough to win the right to score that species. As I drew more cards in that species, I kept discarding them knowing that my opponent would pick them up. I eventually threw out my 5 card as well as the 7 was more than enough to win the right to score. My opponent ended up with 5 cards in that species in their arboretum, but could not score them as they did not have the right to score them.

It seems that since the opponent always plays their cards into their arboretum (rather than holding on to them to help them score), it is fairly easy to deny them points. There is no danger in holding onto the 8 when you know that unless they have the 1 in that species in their starting hand, they will play the corresponding 1 into their hand removing the risk that my 8 will become a zero.

In an actual multiplayer game, if I was building a large path of a particular tree, I would make sure I had the right to score them and would hold cards in my hand, but the opponent in the variant will always play any further cards it gets of that species into their arboretum rather than keep it.

My strategy has been to give up on a species where I have a high value card, and keep feeding them that species knowing that they will preference that species over others. I then just concentrate on building my arboretum on the remaining species.

However, if I revert back to the old rules (where the opponents scores for each card in their arboretum), I can't beat them.
 
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Brian "Langalore"
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Applefiend wrote:
Under the current rules (where your opponent only scores their arboretum when they win the right to score), have you found the variant to be too easy now?

I have only played 3 games with that scoring method, but have been able to easily beat my opponent each time. Scores were 27/9, 24/10 and 24/8 in my favour. I found that whilst the opponent managed to score the 1's and 8's in their arboretum (as well as the cards in their hand), I was able to deny them the right to score their other trees as I just kept hold of a high value card in the species that they were collecting.

The opponent kept collecting cards which they already had in their arboretum (as they had 2 or more of that species already) which meant that they were denying themselves other scoring opportunities, and I kept feeding them cards in the species that I knew they would not be able to score.

For example they already had the 1 and 8 in their arboretum. I kept the 7 and a 5 in that species knowing that this would likely be enough to win the right to score that species. As I drew more cards in that species, I kept discarding them knowing that my opponent would pick them up. I eventually threw out my 5 card as well as the 7 was more than enough to win the right to score. My opponent ended up with 5 cards in that species in their arboretum, but could not score them as they did not have the right to score them.

It seems that since the opponent always plays their cards into their arboretum (rather than holding on to them to help them score), it is fairly easy to deny them points. There is no danger in holding onto the 8 when you know that unless they have the 1 in that species in their starting hand, they will play the corresponding 1 into their hand removing the risk that my 8 will become a zero.

In an actual multiplayer game, if I was building a large path of a particular tree, I would make sure I had the right to score them and would hold cards in my hand, but the opponent in the variant will always play any further cards it gets of that species into their arboretum rather than keep it.

My strategy has been to give up on a species where I have a high value card, and keep feeding them that species knowing that they will preference that species over others. I then just concentrate on building my arboretum on the remaining species.

However, if I revert back to the old rules (where the opponents scores for each card in their arboretum), I can't beat them.

Applefiend - are you remembering that the dummy will always choose a 1 or 8 over a species that they have 2+ cards of? The order of choosing is 8>1>2+ cards in their arboretum. I've found that they often end up having a lot of 8s and 1s in their hand but their hidden hand usually beats one of my paths in my own arboretum.

I have about a 50% win rate with this version of the solo rules but you might be a better player who has "solved" this variant.
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Andrew Chang
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Langalore wrote:

Applefiend - are you remembering that the dummy will always choose a 1 or 8 over a species that they have 2+ cards of? The order of choosing is 8>1>2+ cards in their arboretum. I've found that they often end up having a lot of 8s and 1s in their hand but their hidden hand usually beats one of my paths in my own arboretum.

I have about a 50% win rate with this version of the solo rules but you might be a better player who has "solved" this variant.

I do have the dummy player preference 1 and 8's when selecting cards, so have been playing correctly in that regard. I also watched your Youtube video play through as well to check my play and scoring.

In my plays, the opponent rarely gets to score any paths as they don't win the right to score, or when they do score it usually only 1 or 2 cards which score in the arboretum. Most of their points come from collecting 1 and 8's and the cards remaining in their hand.

I am going to have some more plays and will report back on the results.
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Andrew Chang
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I just played another 3 hands and won again 22/9, 21/10, 22/10

The last game 22/10 is below



This is the opponents hand which scored 10 points.
- 5 Points for the cards remaining in their hand (3 x Jacaranda + 2 x Cherry Blossom)
- 1 point for cards in their arboretum which they could score (1 x Cherry Blossom)
- 2 points for '1' cards (1 x Blue Spruce + 1 x Dogwood)
- 2 points for '8' cards (1 x Tulip Polar)
Total 10 points.


This is my hand which scored 22 points
- 9 points for Royal Poinciana (6 points for path length, 1 point for '1' and 2 points for '8')
- 5 points for Tulip Polar (path length only)
- 8 Points for Blue Spruce (4 points for path length, 4 bonus points for all Blue Spruce).
Total 22 points.

I had the 8 Dogwood card and kept it knowing that it was safe as the opponent took and played the 1 Dogwood into the arboretum. I then knew that it was pretty safe to discard all my Dogwood cards as the opponent was going to actively collect Dogwood once it had 2 Dogwood cards in its arboretum) and the 8 would likely be enough to deny the opponent being able to score for their Dogwood cards.

I abandoned collecting Cherry Blossom and Jacaranda and focused on Blue Spruce and Tulip Polar. I kept my Royal Poinciana till late until I collected enough cards to know I would win the right to score and then played the 1 and 8 to get the bonus.

Does anything look amiss to you in my play and strategy?
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Andrew Chang
Australia
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Below is my response to a Geekmail message. I thought it would be beneficial to also post in the forum as well.

I have only played 6 games using the variant, but in each case the Opponent scored very low (more than half of my score).

I did play the rule that if no player owns the tree species, then everyone gets the right to score those trees (as per the base game rules). It did not impact the score as both my opponent and I were never in that situation.

I believe the reason why the opponents scores so low is because they don't retain any cards into their hand which would assist them in being able to score the trees in their arboretum. Because the opponent plays all cards directly into their arboretum (rather than keeping them in their hand), they don't alter their ability to score that path of trees. In effect (as their starting hand does not change from the initial deal), they will only (potentially) score trees which are already in their starting hand.

A normal human opponent would retain some of the high value trees which they are placing in their arboretum so that they get the right to score them. Conversely the opponent will play those cards into their arboretum (which means that it becomes easy to deny them the right to score that species by keeping a high value card in that species). The opponents strategy works only if they were lucky enough to draw high values of that card in their starting hand.

Personally, I am not sure that the rule which only allows the Opponent to score trees which they win the right to score in their arboretum is working. It is too easy with that rule. Similarly your original rule which gave the opponent 2 points for each tree in their arboretum is too strong.

I am not sure what to do to tighten the variant up (Other than doubling the score of the opponent), but even if you did that, I still beat the opponent in every game I played. In two of the games, I tripled the score of the opponent.

I also don't consider myself an 'expert' Arboretum player (I actually think I would be a beginner). I have only played Arboretum 5 times multiplayer, and have only won 1 of those games. So my total Arboretum experience is 11 games (5 multiplayer games and 6 solo games).

EDIT: Perhaps giving the opponent 15 points to start the game might work. The would make my scores 27/24 (9+15), 24/25 (10+15) and 24/23 (8+15), 22/24 (9+15), 21/25 (10+15), 22/25 (10+15). This would adjust my win/loss ratio to 2 wins and 4 losses. The losses would also have been close, and the score differential ranges from 1 to 4 points.

So scoring could be:

Easy: Opponent receives +10 points (still would have won all 6 games)
Normal: Opponent receives +15 points (would have won 2 games, lose 4 games)
Hard: Opponent receives +20 points (would have lost all 6 games, but some losses would have been close).
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Andrew Chang
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A further 4 games played - Still no losses. Current Tally is 10 wins/0 losses

I played a further 4 games and still won all games even one game where I thought I played poorly, but still won quite easily.

The other games were an 18/11 win (the closest score I have had), a 27/8 win and a 26/11 win.

The game I played poorly still resulted in a win 36/26. The opponent managed to draw the entire set of Blue Spruce into their Arboretum (1-8) giving them 21 points. My opponent drew the 7 and 8 Blue Spruce early and placed them into their arboretum early in the game. I knew that they would continue to collect Blue Spruce. I drew the 1 Blue Spruce but decided to discard it as the value of the 1 was lessened as the 8 had already been played. I thought retaining the 1 would not be enough to prevent my opponent from scoring the Blue Spruce, and was hoping that a higher value Blue Spruce would be drawn later in the game. I never drew another Blue Spruce card so was unable to deny them the right to score. If I had kept the 1 Blue Spruce card, I would have prevented my opponent from scoring. Despite this error, I was still able to win the game by 10 points.

Under adjusted scores (i.e. adding +15), I would have lost 2 games, won 1 game and 1 draw.

Win/Loss Tally (using various scoring)

Current rules (ie. no point adjustment). 10 wins / 0 Losses
Easy (+10 points). 9 Wins / 1 Loss
Normal (+15 points). 3 Wins / 6 Losses / 1 Draw
Hard (+20 points). 0 Wins / 10 Losses

The points might need to be tweaked, but in normal mode a 30% win rate feels right to me.
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Dejun King
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Applefiend wrote:
A further 4 games played - Still no losses. Current Tally is 10 wins/0 losses

I played a further 4 games and still won all games even one game where I thought I played poorly, but still won quite easily.

The other games were an 18/11 win (the closest score I have had), a 27/8 win and a 26/11 win.

The game I played poorly still resulted in a win 36/26. The opponent managed to draw the entire set of Blue Spruce into their Arboretum (1-8) giving them 21 points. My opponent drew the 7 and 8 Blue Spruce early and placed them into their arboretum early in the game. I knew that they would continue to collect Blue Spruce. I drew the 1 Blue Spruce but decided to discard it as the value of the 1 was lessened as the 8 had already been played. I thought retaining the 1 would not be enough to prevent my opponent from scoring the Blue Spruce, and was hoping that a higher value Blue Spruce would be drawn later in the game. I never drew another Blue Spruce card so was unable to deny them the right to score. If I had kept the 1 Blue Spruce card, I would have prevented my opponent from scoring. Despite this error, I was still able to win the game by 10 points.

Under adjusted scores (i.e. adding +15), I would have lost 2 games, won 1 game and 1 draw.

Win/Loss Tally (using various scoring)

Current rules (ie. no point adjustment). 10 wins / 0 Losses
Easy (+10 points). 9 Wins / 1 Loss
Normal (+15 points). 3 Wins / 6 Losses / 1 Draw
Hard (+20 points). 0 Wins / 10 Losses

The points might need to be tweaked, but in normal mode a 30% win rate feels right to me.

Noted and going to work on this
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Israel Waldrom
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Dunedin
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and Solo Playtester too ^^
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Thanks for the solo variant. Played my first game of Arboretum with it. It plays smoothly enough, without too much overhead for the opponent.

Final score was 25-17, so an easy win.
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Julie Ann Glaz-Bopp
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Very excited to give this a try! I’m in my first play through and I have a question: How should the opponent choose between two equal drawn cards?



He has an 8 magnolia and a 7 jacaranda in his arboretum. He draws 4’s of each type - which will he choose?

I had him select the magnolia since he had the higher value there. Not sure about this thinking but wanted to play on.

Edit: After that question everything was clear and I had a fun time! I’ll post again after a few more plays.

Thanks!
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Julie Ann Glaz-Bopp
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Hi ya’ll, I’m now reporting back after 7 plays. First of all, thanks so much for posting this, I’ve been having a good time getting to play more Arboretum. Here are some of my comments:

thumbsupThe rules are generally straightforward and easy to follow. I only needed to refer to them for the first few plays, after that I was able to memorize them.
thumbsupI think the rules for which card the opponent will select prioritize the right cards.
thumbsup I think the point system is fairly good. I only suggest adding a rule that gives the opponent an extra point for any color in his Arboretum with four or more cards. This would match the color match bonus received by the player.

thumbsdownThat said, I had several more instances where there were two “equally valuable” cards were flipped for the opponent and I didn’t know which to choose. I suggest a rule something like “Between two equal cards, the opponent will choose the one which matches the most common color planted in his Arboretum.”
thumbsdown I agree that as written, the game is VERY easy to win. In my first three plays, my scores were 29/5, 17/6, and 37/7. Especially near the end of the game, you get pretty nearly perfect knowledge that the opponent can’t act on. I tried playing with one more color in the deck, shuffling, then randomly discarding eight cards. This was more interesting and challenging, since I couldn’t know what was in the opponent’s hand. My scores were much tighter, and I even lost once 11/18.

I hope my suggestions don’t offend - I very much respect anyone who can create a variant and has the courage to share it with the public.
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