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Pandemic» Forums » Variants

Subject: Any thoughts on scoring and solo variant rss

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AB
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Well I'm still waiting to get hold of this game but having read the rules and the posts here I'm looking forward to getting it. Its painful waiting so to try and pass this time amiably its fun thinking about different aspects of the game.

Scoring a game
For increased playability could it be worthwhile to score how well you did in some way. Beyond just saying we managed a win playing at level X if you could say we managed that win at level X with Y points.

So I'm particularly interested in anyones thoughts on how YOU might score a game, would you keep it simple and just add up number of infection cubes on the board at the time you cured that last disease or would you try and factor in number of research stations, number of players cards left, infection rate, number of outbreaks?

Also I'm wondering about how the game could be tweaked to play solo.
Obviously its a coop game intended to be played with a small group but could it work? and if so how well?

On the surface I think there are a couple of main possibilities with pros and cons to both of course.

1. Single role
Could you play this game in a single role?
The dispatcher and researcher would be pretty useless. Playing the medic would be fun though you'd be using up so many cards travelling you wouldn't get much chance for fighting cures. Perhaps if the hand size was increased for a single role this could address that?

2. Multiple roles
The most obvious (and possibly better) way to play solo would be to play 2 or 3 (or 4 I suppose) roles simultaneously alternating between the hands of each role.

At the end of the day playing solo isn't going to be as good as a multiplayer game but I see no reason why it couldn't work. And if there was a good way of scoring the board at the end of a game (assuming you win) you could at least aim to beat your previous score.

Feel free to chip in with any comments and help me pass the time quicker.

AB
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Scoring based on cubes on the board would not really work.
Those can be easily decreased especially later in the game, so you'd actually score better by waiting and removing cubes before discovering the last cure.

Cards drawn and number of outbreaks are irreversible however, and I think that counting those alone would be a good indication of score.
I'd start with a base score based equal to the number of cards left in the draw pile, and then apply a penalty (perhaps 5 or so) for number of outbreaks. A negative score would be possible with this, in fact I'd expect scores near zero to be somewhat common especially in the harder game, but it does give a basis for comparison.

As for number of roles, cooperation among different roles is really what makes this game interesting. Moving one pawn around the board and removing cubes while just waiting for the right hand of cards for a cure would be extremely boring. There's no reason one player could not manage multiple roles with individual hands. I played with 4 roles by myself and it was entirely manageable.
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AB
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Good points.

I like the idea of cards left in the players draw pile as a way of scoring, simple and effectively the players deck is a countdown timer so you'd be recording how quickly you managed a win (or how close to losing you actually were).

AB
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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I thought of another idea though --

The game does not end when you find the last cure. Every cure you find is worth a certain number of points, and when you find the last cure you score points for the cards left in the draw pile. Then you keep playing!

Go until you eradicate all the diseases or one of the losing conditions is met. If all diseases are eradicated, score points for cards left in the draw pile but deduct points for outbreaks. If you meet a losing condition before eradicating diseases, deduct points for outbreaks and cubes on the board. Cards in the draw pile are not scored.

I haven't decided exactly how MANY points everything is worth, but I think this would be a cool challenge. You still want to find cures fast so you can maximize the draw pile score on the 4th cure, but your work is still not done once you find them! Clear as many cubes as you can before the game ends while minimizing outbreaks to score the most points possible.
 
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Brian Griffin
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I like that idea Cam--

Keep going and try to eradicate even after the 4th and final cure before any losing conditions are met. I've played a few solo 2 and 4 player games and I'm thinking 3 hands would probably be the optimum for this senario. Easily managable yet still challenging because of the less cards avaliable to you at one time. Well I guess it all depends on the 3 roles you draw as well...

The cube count is probably not the best way of keeping track of points. It should definately be card based.
 
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David Spangler
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As for solo play, I played two solo games and three multi-player games last night and found each fun in its own way. This game plays very well solo (you just play two or three or more roles yourself) since basically it's you against the system anyway. No need for any tweaking. But I also like the scoring system based on cards left. Good idea!
 
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Kirk Monsen
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My view on scoring:

Actions (specifically Special actions) are a fixed and depleting commodity in this game, so they would be a good gauge for making a scoring mechanism.


Grab a scoreboard from another game (like Carcassonne)

Let's say:
* Basic Actions - any basic action scores no points

* Build a Research Station - score one point for each research station unbuilt after building this one (minimun 1 point). Score an additional point if no other research station is in the city of the same color. Score an additional point if built on a space with 3 of the same color disease cubes. Lose a point if built next to another research station.
-Yes, the base range is 4 (cost of 2nd base) to 1 (cost of 5th and subsequent bases) points with modifiers from -1 to up to +2

* Discover a cure - immediately gain one point for each city that has the disease

* Treat Disease - score one point for each 'Treat Disease' action
-This means if there is no cure (and you are not a medic) you gain a point for each cube removed.
-If there is a cure (or you are the medic and there is no cure yet) you gain a point for clearing a city
-If you are a medic and there is a cure, and you move into a city removing all disease, you get a point (note, if the dispatcher moves the medic around, the medic is the one who scores the points)

* Eradicate Disease - if you remove the last disease you score nothing extra. Place a momento next to the disease eradication marker, showing you eradicated it. Any time that disease is drawn as an infection card (either in the infection phase or as a result of epidemic) gain a point.

* share knowledge - if you share knowledge, the player who gives a card scores a point.

Keep track of everyone's score individually. If the players defeat all diseases and win, the player with the highest score can be considered the best of the winners.

If the diseases win though, the player with the LOWEST score is considered the best (even though everyone lost). The logic is, while the player with the highest score performed high scoring actions, they also were not the most optimal actions for the group winning the game.

-Munch "this is just a start, balance of some kind will need to be done" Wolf
 
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Randy Cox
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Munchwolf,

I like the individual scoring idea (in fact, after one play I was wondering how you could run a tournament of this game at WBC--which necessitates individual scoring). I think I'd alter the building of research centers though to give points for a center only when a cure is made in that center (so you'd have to keep track of who built each center by having that person lay the city card face up in front of them). Otherwise, someone just tries to build them willy-nilly to get points. I'd just make it a standard number of points for each time a person cures in "your" research facility (3 sounds good) and another point each time a person files to or from your facility.

I wouldn't make curing based on number of cubes on the board of that color. That encourages people to let a few more get sick before "discovering" the cure they already had in their hand. I'd just give points equal to the number of cards used to cure the disease. I'd also make the dispatcher get the points for moving the medic around. I might also bump up the share knowledge to 2 points (or more) per card doled out.

I also like the fact that self-sacrificing players win if humanity is destroyed--gives an incentive to play for the team while also trying to increase your own fame (just like real doctors would do, I'm sure).

It would be interesting to come up with standard scoring rules and see who can get the best scores with each role.
 
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