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Subject: Solitaire Coach, Myself & I - Solo Play Recommendation rss

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Miguel Borba
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Solitaire Coach, Myself & I
Solitaire Coach is a simple, but very effective system to help determine what a solitaire opponent is likely to do. I have used it to play various games and even various RPG's. The system is based on Tom Pigeon's Mythic GME in which one determines the various possible moves your solitaire opponent may make and assign an ODDS (ODDS being the likelihood of each choice). A table is then consulted, random number generated, result applied. It makes for a very enjoyable experience and can be used at various levels of command, from strategic to tactical decisions, is excellent for CDG's, etc. I should also mention it has been very useful for learning game rules.

The Solitaire Coach helps make your solitaire opponent, a better test, yet unpredictable. The key to using the system is to fully immerse yourself into the role of the solitaire player.

Please visit my geeklist: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/27602 which has three frequently asked questions about the Coach.

If anyone would like a copy of the file, please send me an email to msborba@aol.com and I'll be more than happy to send you the latest version of the file (v5.0). I have also uploaded v4.0 of the file here on BGG:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/28968

I would appreciate feedback, suggestions for improvement, examples of use, etc.

Please feel free to share your own experiences with the Solitaire Coach!!

Below is a list of games I've played with the Solitaire Coach and specific examples of how the Coach was used.

STRATEGY GAMES with open information for all players and little to no player to player interaction.

I played a 4-player game of Puerto Rico using the Solitaire Coach. Below is an example of a decision solitaire player #1 made using the Solitaire Coach...

At one point in the game, solitaire player #1 had to make a decision of whether to purchase a factory (increasing income), a harbor (increasing VP's) or saving his doubloons in order to purchase a "big building" later on in the game:

1. Purchase Factory; Very Likely ODDS of 17 Factor
2. Purchase Harbor; Likely ODDS of 15 Factor
3. Saving Doubloons; Unlikely ODDS of 7 Factor

Using the Solitaire Coach given the above choices, one gets the following percentages:

1. Saving Doubloons; 1 - 14
2. Purchase Harbor; 15 - 44
3. Purchase Factory; 45 - 78

Now all one has to do is roll a d100 to obtain solitaire player #1's choice.

Solitaire player #1 rolled a 12 and saved his doubloons, helping with a later purchase of a "big building" and coming in second place. I came in 3rd place.

WAR GAMES

In Combat Commander: Europe, I played a 2-player game using the Solitaire Coach. At the beginning of Scenario #1, the solitaire player decided to move one of his squads:

1. Immediately South through the fields of a farm in order to approach the farm from the West; Very Unlikely ODDS of 5 Factor
2. Continue moving SE along the road, stopping at the edge of the forest; Unlikely ODDS of 7 Factor
3. Continue moving SE along the road as far as possible; Likely ODDS of 15 Factor
4. Continue moving SE along the road just past the forest and then head South into the fields of the farm; Very Likely ODDS of 17 Factor

Using the Solitaire Coach given the above choices, one gets the following percentages:

1. Move South immediately; 1 - 10
2. Move SE along road to edge of forest; 11 - 24
3. Move SE as fas as possible; 25 - 54
4. Move SE past forest and then S; 55 - 88

Now all one has to do is roll a d100 to obtain the solitaire player's choice.

The Solitaire player rolled a 56 and moved his squad SE past the woods and then S into the field.

SPORT GAMES

In Second Season Football, I played the 2000 San Francisco 49ers versus the Solitaire Coach's Atlanta Falcons. Late in the 2nd half, the Falcons were faced with a 3rd and 5 at the 49er 25 yard line. The score at the time was SF 7 - ATL 14:

1. Inside Run; No Way ODDS of 3 Factor
2. Outside Run; Very Unlikely ODDS of 5 Factor
3. Screen; Unlikely ODDS of 7 Factor
4. Short Pass; Very Likely ODDS of 17 Factor
5. Medium Pass; Somewhat Likely ODDS of 13 Factor
6. Long Pass; Unlikely ODDS of 7 Factor

Using the Solitaire Coach given the above choices, one gets the following percentages:

1. Inside Run; 1 - 3
2. Outside Run; 4 - 8
3. Screen; 9 - 15
4. Long Pass; 16 - 22
5. Medium Pass; 23 - 35
6. Short Pass; 36 - 52

Now all one has to do is roll a d100 to obtain the solitaire player's choice.

The Solitaire player rolled a 2 against my Pass Defense. His Jamal Anderson galloped 25 yards on an inside draw play for the TD. I was never able to recover, losing the game 28 - 10.

CDG's

In Command & Colors: Ancients, I played a 2-player game against the Solitaire Coach. One nice feature about the Coach is the solitaire player can play with his full complement of cards. In a recent game, my solitaire opponent had the "first strike" card. When faced with a situation where using the "first strike" card would be beneficial to the solitaire player, one simply consults the Solitaire Coach:

Simply determine the likelihood of the single question, does the solitaire player play the "first strike" card now? In this example, the likelihood was a Very Likely ODDS of 85%.

Using a d100, the solitaire player rolled a 43 and proceeded to play the card against my forces. I lost this particular game 5 flags to 0.

Many solitaire players also remove the "counter attack" cards from play. With the Solitaire Coach, however, "counter attack" cards just become another choice for the solitaire player.

MINIATURE GAMES

I played a 2-player game of HeroScape:Marvel against the Solitaire Coach. An example of how the Coach helped my solitaire opponent:

Early in the game the solitaire player's Hulk was engaged with Abomination and had the following options:

1. Attack Abomination; Very Likely ODDS of 17 Factor
2. Leave engagement with Abomination to attack Doom; Very Unlikely ODDS of 5 Factor
3. Leave engagement with Abomination to attack Venom; Very Unlikely ODDS of 5 Factor

Using the Solitaire Coach given the above choices, one gets the following percentages:

1. Leave Engagement and Attack Doom; 1 - 15
2. Leave Engagement and Attack Venom; 16 - 30
3. Attack Abomination; 31 - 81

Now all one has to do is roll a d100 to obtain the solitaire player's choice.

The Solitaire player rolled a 13 and proceeded to leave his engagement with Abomination, suffering 1 hit which primed his Rage Power. This helped Hulk later defeat Doom.

RACING GAMES

I played a 10 car game of Formula De, taking on one of the teams, while the Solitaire Coach played the other 4 teams. A memorable moment in the game occurred when two of the solitaire cars were running dead even (5 spaces required to reach the turn) heading into the last turn of the race, a (2-6) one-stop turn. Car 1 had a single tire and no brakes left, while car 2 had no tire points nor brakes:

Car 1:
1. Remain in 3rd gear; Likely ODDS of 75%
2. Shift up to 4th gear; Unlikely ODDS 35%

When faced with a two-choice situation like this one, simply determine the ODDS of the most likely choice, which in this case is for Car #1 to remain in 3rd gear, 75% chance.

Using a d100, the solitaire player rolled an 83, then proceeded to roll a 4th gear die roll of 12 and spun out in the last turn of the race. This made Car #2's choice much easier, A Sure Thing ODDS of 90% to remain in 3rd gear. The d100 roll was safely under 90%, but the 3rd gear die roll was a 4. In the end, Car #1 and #2, lost to my trailing car which nailed the turn in 4th gear and passed them both.

ABSTRACT GAMES?

Chess? Why would anyone ever play Chess using the Solitaire Coach? Well, for those of us who need to better develop their chess play, I think the Coach can help quite a bit...

Before playing against a solitaire chess opponent, one decides how many possible actions the Solitaire Coach will have per turn. I choose 5 when I play. What this means is that you have to determine 5 different moves the solitaire player may make, assign an ODDS for each and let the Solitaire Coach determine the play. Not only will you gain valuable experience by searching for 5 different moves, but having to assign ODDS for each move is also a highly valuable experience.

Sometimes the decision for the solitaire player seems to be a no-brainer, but being forced to look for 4 other alternatives is quite challenging and at times very enlightening.

As the game progresses, you may have to reduce the number of choices required.
 
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