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Circus Train (First Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Special Counters & the solo game rss

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howl hollow howl
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1) General observation: "Victory" in the solo game is determined by the fixed Solitaire Success Chart. Adding Special Counters (from the base game) to the solo game by definition makes it easier. It seems to me that, in the solo game, picking up a Special Counter should have a cost, either at the time of picking it up, or as an end-of-game penalty against the schedule.

2) Are the Special Counters in the expansion intended to be used in the solo game? In particular, Big Bertha seems inappropriate for the solo game. A;so note that Sam and Eddie would never be used a second time, as the Overnight Hire action card is not in play (same thing with the 2p game). Given the wording in 3.1 (The new Performance counters and Talent counters can be mixed right in with the base game set. If you decide to go back and play with just 1 or 2 players, you do not need to remove the new counters. The game is balanced to work with all of the counters.), I'm guessing the the exclusion of Special Counters in that paragraph was intentional.
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Tom Decker
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Good points about the Special Characters in the solitaire game. Since they are optional characters, you can choose to use them or not in your game. But in general, the optional rules in the game can radically alter scores. So for purposes of comparing final scores, players should note which rules (Basic or Advanced, and which, if any, optional rules) they are playing by and make sure they are using the same set of rules if competing for a best score.

1. Most of the special characters shouldn't change the scores by much because you will usually have to sacrifice valuable time to go out and get them. But if you feel they are making the game too easy, try playing without them. Or, if you aren't using them and you find the game too hard, try adding some or all of them in.

2. Yes, you can use the expansion characters in the solo game if you want to. Big Bertha is certainly one who can make a big impact on your final score if you manage her well.

3. As for mixing the base game with the expansion set, yes, all optional counters or cards in the game can be added or removed as per the optional rules chosen. Since the optional components are specified, it shouldn't be hard to find and pick them out (unlike the other components which are not marked as being expansion counters).
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howl hollow howl
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Having now played the solo (basic) game several times with the Special Counters, I will add that they add their own challenge. If the Special Counter is drawn with a Performance Demand Counter (PDC), and it's a PDC that you wanted to satisfy anyways regardless of the Special Counter, then there is a 1/3 chance that you will fail to draft the Special Counter which will result in no new Performance Counter being drawn from the pool, which can be huge in the solo game. In this case, PDC's without Special Counters can have much bigger appeal.

You're similarly hosed with a Points Counter, but those are usually ignored in the solo game anyways. Same goes with if you drew a second Special Counter as part of the same draw, in which case the one Special Counter goes out there by itself.

Best case for a Special Counter is if it comes out with a Bankrupt Circus Counter, as the pile of Talent Counters is rarely fully drafted in the solo game, since you don't get the end-of-month bonus scoring for most-of-a-kind sets.

So I definitely have a much greater variance in my scores since introducing the Special Counters.
 
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