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Subject: Concerns about Solitaire Play rss

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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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I have about a dozen games under my belt. 2 wins, and ~10 losses. All wins have come when I have the yellow "Free Tao Token" power. All wins were on Initiate difficulty.

I'm certainly no expert, but I have some concerns I'd like to hear other opinions on about solitaire play.

1) The taoist you have is almost a determining factor towards victory in solo play. It seems to me that yellow is vastly easier than any other board, and other boards seem to be able to hit insurmountable snags much to easily. Having two haunters seems especially toxic in most cases, as does any of the black cards that suppress the spending of Tao tokens.

2) After setup, many games are configured to be unwinnable. This makes the learning loss games feel like pointless endeavors in masochism. Some games I feel like I've learned something about the game, with most I don't. This makes it also hard to introduce it to others - my main game partner felt it was a pointless endeavour after our first "dead in 5 rounds" game.

Thoughts on how I'm wrong, and how I can mitigate my misconceptions?
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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The solo game is winnable with different Taoists, even on harder levels. I find the blue power to be able to use a village ability and exorcise on the same turn to be a powerful one, as well as the green ability to forgoe the Curse Die and roll an extra Tao die.

I wouldn't say that the game, on setup, is ever stacked against you, for sure... it might be, but sometimes there are some tactics that will help. This game definitely seems to reward further plays in terms of discovering methods to deal with things. For example, in my first few games I seemed to want to go to use the Watchman's Post a lot to move the haunters back... now I feel like that is often a waste of a turn, and I'm usually better off doing something on that turn that will help to get rid of the haunters, not just push them back. Also, I used to rarely use the Heavenly Wind tile, but now I find myself going to that every game, usually. It can be very helpful, indeed. Well okay, that's a bad example for the solitaire rules as included, because the Heavenly Wind doesn't let you move a monk in that case... but I split playing solo between using the provided solitaire rules and just playing all four monks myself, which I still think is preferable. With all four monks on the board, Heavenly Wind can be particularly useful. But I didn't appreciate that before.

Stick with it... It's a great game and I think your ability to win will definitely improve.
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Rich Moore
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apotheos wrote:


1) The taoist you have is almost a determining factor towards victory in solo play.


Funny, I always like to play the blue taoist when soloing, and I've won a few games that way. It does help to have yellow's endless pockets ability, although I've also won with the enfeeblement token.

apotheos wrote:

2) After setup, many games are configured to be unwinnable.

Can you give an example of a game that is configured to be unwinnable? I've never felt that I didn't have a chance from the get-go.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I've been playing all my solo games at Hell Level recently, and think it's winnable with any Taoist. My favorite power is probably Blue's Second Wind, which I love to use for grabbing two Buddha's, and to double dip tao tokens at the Herbalist's Shop.

My second favorite is Green Strength of a Mountain, because it provides immunity from Tormentor's on my own board.

If I draw Yellow, I don't care which side is up. Enfeeblement Mantra is just as good as Bottomless Pockets in my experience. You don't lose if you lose all your Tao, and it still works when Tao can't be used.

Red is the toughest to play, but still winnable. The thing to remember in solo games is that you've got 4 powers every time you play. If you're not spending Power Tokens repeatedly in your solo games, you're not getting full advantage.
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Jorge Arroyo
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Grudunza wrote:
Well okay, that's a bad example for the solitaire rules as included, because the Heavenly Wind doesn't let you move a monk in that case...


Looks like you've been making it harder for yourself From the other thread with rules questions for the designer:

toinito wrote:
waddball wrote:
For Pavilion of the Heavenly Winds:

1. MUST I move a monk?
2. MUST I move a ghost?
3. MAY I move my own monk?
4. Is the answer to #3 different in solo play (or if all but one monk is dead in multiplayer)?


1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No
4. Yes : in a solo game, you don't have other choice. In a multiplayers game with a only taiost standing, you must reraise one companion before using the tile..
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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rcmoore4 wrote:

Can you give an example of a game that is configured to be unwinnable? I've never felt that I didn't have a chance from the get-go.


Not directly. Let me relate a situation that has come up a few times and has led to defeat each time, although I felt with some better arrangement of ghost and hording of power tokens it would have been a lot easier.

Multiple haunters seem really aggravating to me, much more so than in multiplayer games. While you can only add one card per turn, each additional haunter compounds the degree to which the game moves towards a loss. Having gotten four haunters in a row more than once, each time I barely managed to contain the damage to four haunted villagers.

Equally frustrating was a succession of "locked die" and "no tao token" black ghosts. That led to a quick defeat of the most ineffective taoist I'd ever seen.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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maka wrote:
Grudunza wrote:
Well okay, that's a bad example for the solitaire rules as included, because the Heavenly Wind doesn't let you move a monk in that case...


Looks like you've been making it harder for yourself From the other thread with rules questions for the designer:

toinito wrote:
waddball wrote:
For Pavilion of the Heavenly Winds:

1. MUST I move a monk?
2. MUST I move a ghost?
3. MAY I move my own monk?
4. Is the answer to #3 different in solo play (or if all but one monk is dead in multiplayer)?


1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No
4. Yes : in a solo game, you don't have other choice. In a multiplayers game with a only taiost standing, you must reraise one companion before using the tile..


Yup, gee this game is hard enough, and I keep making it harder for myself.
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Brendon Russell
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apotheos wrote:
rcmoore4 wrote:

Can you give an example of a game that is configured to be unwinnable? I've never felt that I didn't have a chance from the get-go.


Not directly. Let me relate a situation that has come up a few times and has led to defeat each time, although I felt with some better arrangement of ghost and hording of power tokens it would have been a lot easier.

Multiple haunters seem really aggravating to me, much more so than in multiplayer games. While you can only add one card per turn, each additional haunter compounds the degree to which the game moves towards a loss. Having gotten four haunters in a row more than once, each time I barely managed to contain the damage to four haunted villagers.

Equally frustrating was a succession of "locked die" and "no tao token" black ghosts. That led to a quick defeat of the most ineffective taoist I'd ever seen.


Agreed, those situations can be extremely difficult to . In a recent solo game I drew successive Tormentors (not playing as green, and with limited power tokens left). Things went downhill for me pretty quickly...

I guess these situations show why it's crucial to preserve power tokens and your Yin-Yang token unless you really need to use them, or you're setting yourself up to get them back easily.
 
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