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Subject: When do I lay province cards on the action spaces of my player's board? rss

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Steve Post
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Do you lay cards on ALL action spaces before the round begins?
Or
Do you lay cards on the current action space that is about to commence this round.
I'll ask it another way, if I am in the current round, and we have already gone through 3 out of 10 actions...
Are there ten cards in front of me and 7 are face down?
Or are there 3 face up cards in front of me?

The rules are vague enough for me two read it both ways.

 
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Jürgen Duvendack
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You place all cards before the round begins, so you have 10 cards face down at the beginning of the action phase.
 
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james napoli
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Are there ten cards in front of me and 7 are face down?
>yes

All player place their cards face down and reveal in turn order in the order of the action cards, if that makes sense.

but i think the ultimate answer of your question is they stay face down until the time they are revealed
 
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Petre Tutunea
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As Jürgen already stated, you must decide upon all the actions you want to take each turn, before the action phase, by placing the province cards (face down) on the individual board. If you don't want a certain action to take place on one of your provinces or simply have less than 10 provinces, you have to place war chest cards on the undesired/empty action spaces (also faced down).

So, if you already gone through 3 actions you should have 7 province cards left face down on your board.
 
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William Hostman
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After planning, 11 cards are down, actually, since you also bid for turn order.

Don't forget, tho', that after combat or collection, you may wind up with a missing card due to combat losses.

 
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Steve Post
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Ok. The reason why it seemed like I wouldn't place them down in advance is because of the discussion about seeing only the first 5 action cards. I don't see much of any tension.

At the start of the round you have your province cards on action spaces. You're not moving them. So this makes me think of Roborally.


So I'm surprised that no one has made a solo variant of this game. It seems really simple. Put all 10 cards down randomly for any number of robot players.

It probably appears this way merely because I just bought it. As I play the game (I haven't even played one game of it yet), I would suppose that strategies come about that would be at a greater advantage to a human than to a robot that places province cards down randomly.

But if there are enough simple rules, I bet you could play it solo. I'm playing the game solo right now. Through the first year, I had two random robot players vs me. I'm in second place. In the second year, I see a lot more strategies. But randomness still seems to not hurt the robot players too bad......so far.

Another way to look at it is to play it like a wargamer. Look at the strategy you want for player 1, place the cards down, then repeat for player 2 and player 3. I tried this in Spring of the 2nd year. I haven't had any big issues with this yet.

I know I would not want player X to know the which province player Y is collecting taxes or rice. This is because player X would invade that province. But so far I have gotten around that with a simple rule:
A robot player collects the highest war chests/rice off of any upturned card, NOT just the province card on the tax or rice action.

Bigger issues like planning a sneak attack on a province with 3 buildings would not be that sneaky. But I would expect it anyway.

Bidding for who goes first is replaced by a die roll.
Who gets what special card is replaced by a simple deal of 3 out of 5 cards.

That's about how far I got.


 
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Steve Post
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....ok.....
I see there is a lot of strategy associated with this. The in the summer of the second year. Most of the robot players actions were messed up.
Attacking from a province with only one army?
Building a temple when there is one already there?
Adding 5 armies to a spot that doesn't need it?
Yep. No solo yet.
The closest I can get is the wargamer way of planning each player's moves. The only way I can get away with this is to leave the board alone for a few hours in between. Since it is setup in my basement. I do have the luxury of playing the game over the course of a WEEK.

Thanks for the answer on when to lay out cards.

steve
 
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Jürgen Duvendack
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Actually we had a game of Wallenstein (which is nearly the same as Shogun) where one player decided to shuffle his province cards and place them randomly on the command card. And guess what, he won the game.

So you solo variant should work, although I think the "deciding" player should have an advantage, but probably not as big as one would imagine.
 
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Steve Post
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I'll think I'll try it next time with 4 random, idiot players and me.
If I end up with a stupid move, perhaps I'll figure out a simple rule to get around it.

thinking.... If I have a province that is supposed to attack but has only 1 army? I randomly pick one of the already flipped over cards so it has another chance to have it make sense.
I could apply this to all the actions I guess.
 
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Randy Brown
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Clonea,

There is a lot of strategy here. A human player should cream bot players. You pointed out some of the ridiculous situations that can come up with random play. To make a solo game work, I think that you would need quite a bit of modification to make it challenging for the human player. My thoughts (untested):

1) Bots always attack the human player. They will always attack the most valuable (to them) province. In the case of a tie, they will attack the most valuable (to the human) province. Same difference? Roll a die. If the selected province can not attack the human player, it will attack a neutral province. If no neutral province, then it can attack another bot with the same selection criteria above. By valuable, I mean to say only how many points a province is worth if scoring were to happen AT THAT MOMENT. Bots always attack with all but 1 cube (may need to tweak that).

2) Bots do not have treasure, and they do not spend treasure. Gondor has no king, Gondor needs no king. They don't have rice either.

3) Bots do not have rebellions. Rice is not tracked. The rebellion counters are only there for the purpose of determining which provinces get farmer help on defense.

4) Bots always take the first available slot (during the special action/turn order selection phase).

This should make the bots TOUGH, and therefore give you a challenge. You can modify the challenge by # of bots, and # of bid cards that you shuffle into their actions. For more challenging, only shuffle the minimum needed to get 11. For less challenging, always shuffle all of the bid cards with the territory cards. There is no need to place the bot players' cards on their displays: just make a deck of their shuffled territory and bid cards. Draw the top one for bid, then the top one for each action as it comes up.

How many cubes to attack with is a tricky proposition. I'd try it with all out warfare (all but 1 cube) and see how that goes. Another formula that might even things out a bit is to have the bot always leave one cube behind for each building in the province in addition to the 1 left behind anyway. The bots will not have a very good defense, b/c they will be fortifying at random, and will not get to use the attacks to move cubes from crappy regions to important ones. On the flip side, they will target the human first. However, with random draws, that may not happen more than half the time.

If that proves too tough, you can add rebellions back in. Use your rule about the bots using the highest face up rice value on their display during the confiscate rice action (placing the token in the territory drawn during the action and not on the one that provided the number). If there's already a token there, do a rebellion as per the rules. Do winter rebellions per the rules. Bots always fight winter rebellions in their best defended provinces first. You might decide to skip the non Winter rebellions if you notice the bots are losing too much (their cubes being distributed strangely.

One more idea: variable setup. Obviously the pre constructed makes the most sense for a solo play. However, if you want to spice things up, you can just draw random cards for the bots, placing the first unused army group on the drawn territory. To handicap the human a bit, throw out the refresh face up cards rule (since the bots will be taking a face down card each turn). To make things more difficult, have the bots always take any face up card w/ maximum treasure/rice (7/5) to deny the human player.

Good luck.

edits: Embarrasing how many typos I've let through. Also, I totally forgot to address # of cubes bots attack with. Added variable game: this is getting to be a lot of work for a dried up thread.
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Steve Post
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yep. the thread is pretty stale.

As it is right now, I played a couple of solo games and won by a small margin.

Perhaps random cards are better than thought out plans? Well, I just got the game.

I played it with 5 players where I preferred that Red win but I still carefully thought out all of the other player's moves. How could I do this?
It's simple:
I figure out what I want to do for player blue, I place the cards down on the action spaces, face down. Then I purge the strategies from my brain. I go away. I come back a wee bit later and set up yellow...then purple...then...you get the idea.
I can afford to do this because I set it up in my basement, and play it for the course of a few days.
It worked ok.
But I would rather play it without trying to clear my brain.

I'll take your advice and try another solo attempt with your ideas.

 
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Randy Brown
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I used to do that for Risk when I was a kid, but then I didn't prefer one color to win over another (how can you really?). I think Shogun could work as a solo game given enough tweaking.
 
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