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Subject: SoloPlay Variant for Caylus is Available rss

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A way to play Caylus in a solo format has been posted to the Geek.

The download is available using the following link:
Caylus SoloPlay Rules

An expansion board has been included to help in executing and understanding the play mechanics.

This game is #3 in the SoloPlay series

More game files available here on the Geek can be accessed from the following Geeklist:
SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek

Preface:
Caylus was the 2nd game that I introduced to my new gaming group, after Power Grid, and they latched onto it quickly. Soon it became a BSW favorite for them and after that I didn’t stand a chance. It was played a couple more times after that and then we were through with it as a game group. My last memories of the game from our group plays was spending 2+ hours working our way through a 3-player game. It was arduous work and ultimately unsatisfying. It became a very complicated chess match and the AP was excruciating.

As a result, I much prefer Caylus in a lighter setting. A 3-player game in this manner passes in about an hour and allows for experimentation. There is conversation and fun going on. AP? What AP?

This is where this variant began. How was I going to create a challenging solo game of this complicated masterpiece and ensure that it resembles the original in the end? It had to be challenging, thought provoking and open to multiple paths of victory.

Caylus Comments:

Of all of the solo games that I have put together, this was by far the most challenging. There are so many little mechanics going on throughout the game that it was overwhelming to think that I could include them all in their original format.

As a result, I started out by working out a system of balance between the 3 primary mechanics, money, resources and worker placement. The multi-player game is a game where the players compete for resources, money and placement but in a solo environment there is no competition. The deniers became the key. The player must to develop an economy to keep the game progressing. Every placement costs deniers and puts a strain on the player’s pocketbook.

With that in place, I had to deal with the provost. It was just sitting there. In multi-player games you need to account for him. Why would I ever need to move it in a solo game? To integrate the moving of the provost I had to tie it into an action that is the most used in the game, taking resources. Just like that the provost had to be accounted for and you actually have to pay to move him at times to execute your plan. In fact, if you are not paying to move the provost, you may be missing out on some better opportunities.
The bridge is specifically tied to the provost in a unique way. This may seem complicated at first but you have to make it an important part of your play.

Next in the process came all of the buildings. This could not be an open free-for-all. This did not make sense in the solo environment. A restricted building environment was called for. It would need to be one that could be manipulated by the player but at a cost. This is where all of the special buildings needed to be retooled to this “new” mechanic. The Gate(for worked placement), Merchant Guild (for provost movement) and the Stables (for turn order) had no purpose in the solo game if left with the same function. Each has a specific new role assigned in the solo game that requires a great deal of thought to plan and use efficiently.

Still the game was too open. So the resources were given restrictions that cause the player to consider all of the buildings in the game to reach a successful conclusion. Particular care was given to ensure that all of the play mechanics increased the possible uses of the buildings thus varying the potential outcomes and methods of play.

All of it is in there, at least in a modified format. Best of all, the game has the same flow as the multi-player game. Place workers, pay the cost, activate the buildings in order, move the provost/bailiff and get favors.

Goal of the rule design:
1. Include all aspects of Caylus that make the game so good.
2. Give the player many different paths to follow to make the game different each time.
3. Make it a challenge to the advanced player.
4. Caylus is a game with almost no luck. Needed to give the solo game replayability without increasing randomness that could not be overcome by skillful play.

Comments are welcome as always.
I rate Caylus an 8 in complexity to learn and play. The solo version maintains the same complexity (8). You need to have a good understanding of the uses of the buildings to approach a victory in this variant. My initial scores were quite low but as I learned how to manipulate all of the mechanics the scores progressively climbed. I feel that the scoring goals as set provide the necessary challenge that I was seeking for in this game.

Strategies:
1. Develop a strong economy by mid-game otherwise your money troubles will pose you serious issues.
2. Keep an open mind. All favor track lines are viable in this variant. Gold is in very limited supply. Some of the buildings that I never see built in the multi-player game are much more important here.
3. Take special note of the uses for the special buildings (before the bridge). They can be a key element in your success.
4. You are limited to only 20 house placements. It is important that they are effectively used.
5. Focus on creating actions. The cost of worker placement goes up the more you place. It is possible to save actions through the use of building combinations. Seek out these combinations.
6. The stone resource buildings are no longer the dominant buildings in the solo game but can be a strong force if used properly. On the flip side, they also can be a hindrance to success.

Play time for this variant runs about 45 minutes and the best of all, if you are AP prone, no worries.

Final Thoughts
This game is fun and challenging again. It will be hard to play this game in a group setting of serious gamers knowing how much I enjoy the solo game. You really have to be on your game to get the elusive “complete” victory. I have experienced this less than a handful of times.

This variant is intended for at least an intermediate to advanced player. To achieve the highest rating, you must take into account all aspects of Caylus and think beyond the "normal" means of play.

I hope you have fun with this and find it has a great deal of re-playability.

If you have questions about the rules, you can be post them here or to this user’s mailbox to be answered individually, if needed. I will add a FAQ to this post as the need arises.

Other games that will be/are available from SoloPlay/GameRulesforOne are posted within a Geeklist that I created: SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek

All new variants and information about upcoming projects will be listed there.

A game that sits in a closet is a waste. Get it out and play it any way you can. These are just my ideas.
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Shawn Woods
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I am definitely going to give this one a try. It looks like you have put a lot of work into this. I like how you have added some randomization at the beginning to add a luck factor to the game. Now I can play whenever I cannot find another player.

I would really like to see your Carcassonne rules, too. Even though I do not have Goa yet, I plan on buying it when it gets reprinted hopefully sometime this year. I may get Puerto Rico depending on feedback from the solo rules for that. I held off buying that game because it was 3+ and I have a hard time getting more than one other player.
 
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Thank you for your comment and I hope you enjoy the variant.

The "randomization" element was needed to keep the game from being the same each time you played. It also causes the player to think about the different possibilities that will come up in the game due to the different sequence in the buildings.

If you try to man-handle the game into a single strategy, I have found, you will "lose".

What was really cool the other day was finding/creating a really powerful building combination that I was able to build just 2 turns from the end and was able to exploit to get the "complete" game victory. I noticed it coming together as the bailiff was approaching the gold mine.

As a result I achieved my highest score - 158.

Next game, 127 and a loss. I think I was pushing it too hard to manufacture something and my economy fell apart. I was kicking myself for that, I know better.
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Joe Salamone
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I just played about 5 turns to get the feel of the solo rules. The game flows nicely and I think I'll really enjoy this when I have time to sit down for a full solo session. Maybe this weekend . . .
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Greg Wardle
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The rule in regular Caylus is that the player who has placed the most houses in the castle gets a bonus of one favor. Since there is now only one player, do you get a favor every time you choose to build in the castle?
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Quote:
Since there is now only one player, do you get a favor every time you choose to build in the castle?


Yes, each time. The quantity of build has no affect.

Therefore, building one at a time will net you the most favors. I have found that either approach (building 1 or many) can work depending on how the resource buildings fall in the building lines. You may find that building in the castle in multiple rounds is not as easy as it sounds. Remember that it could cost you 3 deniers for the placement or additional deniers to contain the provost due to the need to collect the resources. This cost may/will not make it possible to make a build every round.

I have been successful contributing only a few to the castle, sometimes taking the VP "hit" because a better building opportunity is available. I can't say that there is a sweet spot but I usually try to get at least a favor during the section scoring of the castle.

During play testing, I worked the extremes. No castle building with more jousting and more building with little or no jousting. Both are viable, if not taken to the extreme, depending on the circumstances and your choice of resource distribution during the setup. Overbuilding in the castle is a recipe for disaster since your marker(house) placement is limited to 20. And since you are not allowed to retrieve the markers from your castle builds to build more buildings you can severely limit your opportunities.

Thanks for your question.
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Diego Whitetower
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I try this solo game yesterday and I'm very satisfied.

A little review, in spanish:

http://lexfrikimalacitana.blogspot.com/2010/01/caylus-solo-p...
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Quote:
I try this solo game yesterday and I'm very satisfied.

A little review, in spanish:

http://lexfrikimalacitana.blogspot.com/2010/01/caylus-solo-p...


Thanks for your review, pictures and comments.

Question: I see that there is no color on the player's aid. Did it get washed out with the picture or was this due to the printing or ???

Edit: I see that you did a work up on the player's aid so that answers my question.

Comments to your review: 100 points is a good score if that was your 1st time. I think I scored in the 80s and then low 100s before I started to hone my game. As of my last play which has been awhile, I usually can achieve the low end victory but more often I get to a Major and have had 3+ Complete Victories. Most of the players I know play Caylus very well and I wanted the solo to have the challenge of playing a high caliber player.

What confusion in the rules did you have or found unclear? If it has not been mentioned in this thread above let me know so that I can clarify the concern. Comments from the players help me to improve upon later game designs working to make more concise rules.

As I am not a graphic designer, I use more words to describe play which does not always make the right connection with everyone.

Thanks again for your comments and review.
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Joe Salamone
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I've played this variant a few times recently. Love it. Haven't won yet . . . but I still love it.

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joe_salamone wrote:
I've played this variant a few times recently. Love it. Haven't won yet . . . but I still love it.


Comment: Joe thanks for all of your comments in the various forums for the SoloPlay variants. As always keep at it, a victory is probably right around the corner.

Comment to challenge/difficulty: I play the solo variants to death and have various points where my scoring plateaus but I know that I can do better so I continue to work at it. Once I reach the 3rd "peak" I set the bar and play it upwards of 20-40 more times to see if creates a 5-10% win condition for an experienced player, which I am by that point. Once this is accomplished, I lock in the goals.

I do work on the assumption that the solo player wants a good challenge and not to just achieve the highest score ever.

I shoot for the following ratios in all of the SoloPlay variants:
Game Victory once experienced (50% of the time)
Major Victory once experienced (20% of the time)
Complete/Master Victory once experienced (5-10% of the time)

For Caylus consider 100 points a good score. Everyone should be able to achieve that 80+% of the time.

For the Caylus variant, the building combos that you can put together along with the initial setup is where you reach for higher success. As I mentioned in a comment in another response, noticing how to put together a timely combo with the buildings is crucial to upper level success. When I broke down that key Complete victory I noted how getting off of the same track that I had been on led to that success.

Needless to say achieving the highest level victory is a very enjoyable occurrence even if it only comes every 5-10 games.

Thanks again.
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Joe Salamone
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GameRulesforOne wrote:
joe_salamone wrote:
I've played this variant a few times recently. Love it. Haven't won yet . . . but I still love it.


Comment: Joe thanks for all of your comments in the various forums for the SoloPlay variants. As always keep at it, a victory is probably right around the corner.

For Caylus consider 100 points a good score. Everyone should be able to achieve that 80+% of the time.

Thanks again.


Well, that's encouraging. I've been coming in between about 90 and 115 points so far. Only played 3 or 4 times.
 
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Brian Sturk
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Downloading this now. I'm hoping I can tweak some of the ideas in here to work w/ Caylus Magna Carta (which I just received for xmas and haven't had an opportunity to play).
 
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Brad Musil
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I have tried three of your solo designs thus far (Blue Moon City, Power Grid, & Caylus), and I think that this is by far the most difficult. That's not to say that I don't like it--in fact, I seemed to have the most fun playing this one (I enjoyed them all a lot, by the way). But I got killed--I ended with 46 Prestige Points, after major deductions for resources and houses.

I found it very difficult to take advantage of the extra prestige generator (i.e. where you gain a prestige point after activating and using a building you've already constructed). My building production fell too far behind. Thus, I was building buildings in regions already scored (and thus wasn't receiving any bonus for using/activating them). I think part of the reason for my falling behind is that there's such a strain in terms of money that I was preoccupied at the beginning of the game with increasing my income instead of constructing buildings (perhaps I will learn the nuances of balancing these two important interests as I gain more experience playing). In the end, I scored a grand total of 1 extra Prestige Point via this mechanic, which I received at the very beginning of the game (before I fell hopelessly behind).

On an unrelated note, I finally achieved a victory on Blue Moon City (normal difficulty), with 1 card left in the draw stack.

Thanks again for these terrific designs!!!
 
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Brad Musil
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I must be doing something wrong (or I am just really stupid...or both), because I am routinely getting my butt kicked. Even without the end-of-game deductions I wouldn't achieve a victory. I've played this 4 times, and each time I end up with about the same score (well under 100). I'm not sure what the issue is. However, I love this game/variant...
 
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There is a pretty steep learning curve with this one.

Questions:
1. Are you building a good economy where you are generating some coins? Building comboing is important, picking up a cube and then selling it for 4 or 6 coins. This helps to avoid having to use an action for 3 coins often.
2. Are you setting up the bailiff to give you the maximum # of turns? You don't want him to move 2 spaces very often.
3. Are you using the base material setup? This is a good place to start.
4. What about gold? Are you getting prestige buildings built?

I will look to see what additional help I might be able to give when I get a chance. Maybe a sample game.

Don't give up ... you can do it.
 
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Brad Musil
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Thank you very much for the quick response. Don't worry, I won't give up--I really do love this variant. In fact, I plan on giving it another go tonight as soon as the kids go to bed. As for your questions:

1. Yes, perhaps even to a fault. A lack of money hasn't ever seemed to be an issue for me.

2. Good point here. It didn't take long for me to sense the importance of this. To answer your question, since my first couple of games I have been very cognizant of the bailiff and stifling his progress as much as possible. Hence, I've figured this much out.

3. Yes, I've used nothing but the base setup. I was starting to wonder if this might have been part of the problem. Maybe what is needed is to tweak this. However, it seems to me that the 4 base materials seem equally important, usually regardless of what buildings are available at the beginning. Wood is needed for wood buildings, stone for stone buildings, food for castle contributions, etc. During my commute today I was actually mulling this over--it seems to me that perhaps cloth is less important. Only a few buildings require it, and I don't usually do the special building for a favor (the one that requires cloth). So, tonight, I might reduce the blue cubes, and increase others. But, thus far, I've stayed with the base setup.

4. My first game I was unable to build a prestige building, which obviously killed me. Since then, I've been very mindful of gold. I've been surprised at the end of a few games in the sense that I was preparing to build big prestige buildings but ran out of time. The bailiff really moves fast toward the end, I find, because I've cycled back to the 1 (bridge) by that point. Meanwhile, everything I was doing up until this endpoint was geared toward the acquisition of these buildings. Needless to say, this has hurt me. Still, I'm well below 100, so this can't be my only issue.

Thanks again for the help. Let me know if you think of anything else!
 
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Brad Musil
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Well, I picked this up after not playing it for about 2 months, and I immediately caught something in the rules when refreshing my memory on how to play the solo variant. In all of my previous 6 or so plays of the solo variant, I had been moving the provost incorrectly.

For some reason, I had originally interpreted the rules to mean that, according to the number of resource buildings used, you advance the provost additional spaces along the road, not the provost marker around the bridge. I was then simply advancing the provost marker one spot along its counterclockwise path around the bridge afterwards. Needless to say, this had been making the game much more difficult, as the provost was constantly moving the bailiff forward. Now I realize that you first move the provost marker along its path around the bridge according to the resource buildings utilized, then move the provost itself (according to where the provost marker is around the bridge). I still did not win, but, not surprisingly, I scored much higher!

I'm not sure that my description adequately conveys my confusion, but I'm just happy that I finally get the proper rule, as it makes the variant much more enticing (now that it actually seems beatable). And, just to be clear, I am not chalking this up to a lack of clarity within the rules, as I believe provost "marker" is bolded/italicized at the relevant spot. Rather, this was just an unfortunate oversight on my part.

You must have thought I was a dunce based on the scores I was posting earlier (because of said misinterpretation).
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Michele Po
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GameRulesforOne wrote:

6. The stone resource buildings are no longer the dominant buildings in the solo game but can be a strong force if used properly. On the flip side, they also can be a hindrance to success.


I don't understand this thing. In the file you wrote "they move goods into the common supply". Why?
 
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GameRulesforOne wrote:
6. The stone resource buildings are no longer the dominant buildings in the solo game but can be a strong force if used properly. On the flip side, they also can be a hindrance to success.


lord_capulet wrote:
I don't understand this thing. In the file you wrote "they move goods into the common supply". Why?

Answer: The stone resource buildings that provide 3 resource cubes proved to be too powerful in the solo variant and so a "penalty" of sorts was given to their use.

If you choose to gain the 3 cubes that the stone resource building is providing a cube from the king's supplyis returned to the common supply (this is your limited supply that you draw from) which, if you plan to gain an end game bonus, you want to be empty.

In the normal rules if it was someone else's building he would get to choose one of the resources and score a prestige. In this variant you are "given" a resource to your common supply that you will then need to spend an action to get rid of. The wood resource buildings don't require this to happen.

So you will need to balance the way that you gain resources so that you will be able to most efficiently empty them(common limited supply) to get the end game bonus and still get the buildings completed that you want.

Let me know if you need more information on this topic.
 
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Michele Po
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Thank you.
My interpretation was right. I wanted to be sure.

However, in the rules file this is not written
 
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Diego Whitetower
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GameRulesforOne wrote:
Quote:
I try this solo game yesterday and I'm very satisfied.

A little review, in spanish:

http://lexfrikimalacitana.blogspot.com/2010/01/caylus-solo-p...


Thanks for your review, pictures and comments.

Question: I see that there is no color on the player's aid. Did it get washed out with the picture or was this due to the printing or ???

Edit: I see that you did a work up on the player's aid so that answers my question.

Comments to your review: 100 points is a good score if that was your 1st time. I think I scored in the 80s and then low 100s before I started to hone my game. As of my last play which has been awhile, I usually can achieve the low end victory but more often I get to a Major and have had 3+ Complete Victories. Most of the players I know play Caylus very well and I wanted the solo to have the challenge of playing a high caliber player.

What confusion in the rules did you have or found unclear? If it has not been mentioned in this thread above let me know so that I can clarify the concern. Comments from the players help me to improve upon later game designs working to make more concise rules.

As I am not a graphic designer, I use more words to describe play which does not always make the right connection with everyone.

Thanks again for your comments and review.


Ey, I'm really sorry for answer you after a year, but I don't use BGG forums so often, and I didn't realized your comment until now! Also sorry if my english isn't perfect.

To the first question, yes, I made a work up, 'cause my printer was broken and I really wanted to try the solo game that day, jaja.

About the confusion in the rules, I have some difficults with the use of the stables and the merchant guild. My problem is with the words row and line/stack in the rules. For me, was a bit confusing to know when you're refering to the buildings IN or OUT of the expansion board. Anyway, as I've said, my english isn't perfect, so it could be (it probably be!) my fault.

I think with the guild, you cycle the OUT buildings(the first of the stack), and with the stables, the IN buildings (the ones you can build). I hope I'm right, 'cause my friends and I have been playing in this way nearly a year! :whistle:

We've played at least 10 games each, and from the fifth we started winning, and even achieve some major victories (never a complete victory, so we continues trying :)

We really like the difficult of the solo game, 'cause we are experimented players, and win is a real challenge :)

So, thanks for the solo variant, and sorry again for the late answer.

Greetings!
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illokpasa wrote:
I think with the guild, you cycle the OUT buildings(the first of the stack), and with the stables, the IN buildings (the ones you can build). I hope I'm right, 'cause my friends and I have been playing in this way nearly a year!

Answer/Clarification: I hope that the following clears up your questions:

In both cases you are permitted to cycle the available (the ones on the expansion board) buildings on the expansion board. Cycle means to move 1 to 3 of the available buildings to the end of the line (or stack if you would rather stack the buildings not yet on expansion board) in any order.

With the Guild you may only do this to 1 (wood, stone or prestige) of the 3 building lines.

With the stables you must rotate all of the building lines by removing from 1 to the number you placed your worker on. Example: If you placed on the 2 you must remove the 1st and 2nd building available in each row and rearrange them in any order to the "back of the each line"/bottom of the each stack. If you have set this up right it can save you some actions versus using the guild multiple times. If you placed on the 1 then only the 1st building in each row is moved to the back of the line etc.

I hope that this helps and am glad to hear that you are enjoying the variant.
 
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Diego Whitetower
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Oh, so we've been playing wrong :soblue:

I'm really gratefull for the clarification!

And now, it's time to win in the good way :D

Thanks again!
 
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Thank you for posting a Solo Variant for Caylus. Also has been a favorite game of mine but can't find the players since I've moved out of state. (And just not the same on BSW)

Anyway... Having designed a few solos of my own, I have a few questions on your thoughts behind your solo rules: (These will also be mixed with praises of great ideas!)

Starting with a praise, the system of how the Provost moves is very sly... well done!

Regarding the provost squares:
What was the reason behind not letting the Merchants’ Guild move the Provost?

Love the 3 x 3 building grid idea and love how you adjusted the Gate and the Stable. Really great ideas.

What was the reason behind setting up the 12/12/12/12/3 resource pool?
I’m assuming it’s to simulate another placing workers where you want to go thus limiting your resources?

Why limit the power and bring penalty with the Inn?


Below, I've posted some of house rules I made on your Variant and I tried a few times and welcome your insight back.

Removed resource set-up.

Merchants’ Guild returns to its normal game function.

Stable now does what Merchants’ Guild did under the SoloRules. (1,2 or 3 tiles of one row may be cycled.)

The Inn returns to original rules, (5 coins to place 5 workers,) except a worker only stays on the coin reduction circle for one round. If continued effect is desired, another worker must be placed to replace the worker about to be removed. (Using up 2 workers)

Brilliant Provost moving idea is still used. (Coin never gained from position 1) Still 2 coins/tile to move Provost.

When the player builds a building, the AI builds in the next square the top building in the pile matching the type of building the player built. (ex: Player builds wood. AI builds top face-down wood building in next square) EXCEPTION: When the player builds by use of Favor, the AI will not build after him.

If the player assigns a worker to build a building but later can’t perform it (either due to resources or choice) the AI builds his building anyway.

The AI will always build Residences over his own buildings starting with the closest available building to the bridge. (Will never build over Pink)

The AI will always build the next face-down Prestige building on his closest available Residence to the bridge.

[I feel making the AI build helped fill the road up and gave a better feel of the real game.]


If you build a stone production building, you pick the bonus resource and immediately add that resource to your supply. (Happens only once and only at the time of build)

If you use a building owned by the AI, you lose 2 points.

When you use a Stone production building owned by the AI, you lose 2 point AND one of the bonus resources of your choice. (i.e. You’ll only get 2 of the 3 resources from the AI own Stone production buildings)

Kept the 20 house limit.

Final added rule to give some restriction on building use.
The square the Bailiff is currently on cannot be used and the square the Provost ended last round cannot be used. (Marked by the left over Player Disc not being used) This led to some spending of money or a thoughtful play with the Merchants Guild.

Ending is just as original rules with the addition to your penalty for unused houses.


Not enough plays yet to set a new Victory range but it just feels like the real game a bit more with the AI being able to build.

Being a solo variant, we all can do what we please with this wonderful game. I always like to know the thought behind game designs and this design is no different. I’m intrigued on why you made some of the rules you had. I’m truly impressed with the work you’ve done (LOVE Power Grid's SoloVariant) and I hope to better my thinking by picking your brain.

 
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rent13579 wrote:
Regarding the provost squares:
What was the reason behind not letting the Merchants’ Guild move the Provost?

Answer#1: It made the game too easy and the building rows were given a priority focus and this permits single row manipulation versus rotating 3.

rent13579 wrote:
What was the reason behind setting up the 12/12/12/12/3 resource pool?
I’m assuming it’s to simulate another placing workers where you want to go thus limiting your resources?

Answer#2: It made the game too easy to play. I found that you could just take material buildings endlessly even with the provost mechanic. This was changed very early in the design process to balance all methods to get materials. I found that it increased the importance of the material track.

rent13579 wrote:
Why limit the power and bring penalty with the Inn?

Answer#3: Sorry to be repeating myself but it made the game too easy. I would plant a worker on the inn and pay 5 to place all of my workers. There was little pressure on the money. It balanced the fact that there was no competition for the buildings. I tried many different approachs but the one that makes you think is the one where you get a one time bonus and then you lose the worker. You want to use this ability at the right moment.

rent13579 wrote:
Below, I've posted some of house rules I made on your Variant and I tried a few times and welcome your insight back.

Removed resource set-up.

Merchants’ Guild returns to its normal game function.

Stable now does what Merchants’ Guild did under the SoloRules. (1,2 or 3 tiles of one row may be cycled.)

The Inn returns to original rules, (5 coins to place 5 workers,) except a worker only stays on the coin reduction circle for one round. If continued effect is desired, another worker must be placed to replace the worker about to be removed. (Using up 2 workers)

Brilliant Provost moving idea is still used. (Coin never gained from position 1) Still 2 coins/tile to move Provost.

When the player builds a building, the AI builds in the next square the top building in the pile matching the type of building the player built. (ex: Player builds wood. AI builds top face-down wood building in next square) EXCEPTION: When the player builds by use of Favor, the AI will not build after him.

If the player assigns a worker to build a building but later can’t perform it (either due to resources or choice) the AI builds his building anyway.

The AI will always build Residences over his own buildings starting with the closest available building to the bridge. (Will never build over Pink)

The AI will always build the next face-down Prestige building on his closest available Residence to the bridge.

[I feel making the AI build helped fill the road up and gave a better feel of the real game.]


If you build a stone production building, you pick the bonus resource and immediately add that resource to your supply. (Happens only once and only at the time of build)

If you use a building owned by the AI, you lose 2 points.

When you use a Stone production building owned by the AI, you lose 2 point AND one of the bonus resources of your choice. (i.e. You’ll only get 2 of the 3 resources from the AI own Stone production buildings)

Kept the 20 house limit.

Final added rule to give some restriction on building use.
The square the Bailiff is currently on cannot be used and the square the Provost ended last round cannot be used. (Marked by the left over Player Disc not being used) This led to some spending of money or a thoughtful play with the Merchants Guild.

Ending is just as original rules with the addition to your penalty for unused houses.


Not enough plays yet to set a new Victory range but it just feels like the real game a bit more with the AI being able to build.

Being a solo variant, we all can do what we please with this wonderful game. I always like to know the thought behind game designs and this design is no different. I’m intrigued on why you made some of the rules you had. I’m truly impressed with the work you’ve done (LOVE Power Grid's SoloVariant) and I hope to better my thinking by picking your brain.

Comment#1: I had been many of the roads that you have mentioned before ending up with the final result. When I proceed through playtesting I focus on balance and try to ensure that the challenge level remains high enough to challenge an experienced player.

Caylus was the first solo variant that I went back to the drawing board after I was done to perform some extensive game balancing to ensure that the player was given "complete" control over the result such as being able to provide a small manipulation to the material supply.

Each change tightened up loopholes that I figured that an experienced player would find easily.

If the changes you are implementing will help in getting a game off of the shelf to get it played then the changes you have made are good ones.

Thank you for your comments.
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