For my 4th solo game I used Harald's modified solo rules (http://www.geekdo.com/thread/584070/new-rules-for-the-solo-g...). These presented a much stiffer challenge.
Firstly, more cards were played as events than policies:
- From the dummy player perspective, the liberal icon appears on a reasonable number of the cards so many more of the dummy's actions were also events rather than policies.
-From my point of view, I hardly played a policy - not many cards benefited the liberals ahead of the other parties and therefore I tended to play cards as posturing (to gain the upperhand on a political scale), as alliances (to establish an alliance to allow me to take a posturing action), as issues or events (when I was ahead on the political scales).
Not many policies meant that not many alliances were secured. This had a distinct impact on my ability to manipulate the scales because I had to waste cards forming alliances before I was able to do some posturing. In my previous games there was usually an alliance already made for this purpose thanks to the dummy players constant use of policies.
This meant it was further into the game before I was really able to establish the liberals on the voter scales in a way that they were able to challenge the Socliaist juggernaut (who, once again were heading all the scales after the first few turns).
The problem with this is that if enough voters vote before you get established then you are already chasing the game. Harald's second rule change compounded this because I wasn't able to keep any voter cards in my hand to play at a moment when they suited me. Thus by mid-game, I was seriously behind even though I had established parity with the socialists heading 5 voter scales each. Granted, it was fairly easy at that point for me to maintain that situation but by then the damage was done. It did not really seem practical to challenge the socialists in the other 5 voting areas myself but I was able to manilupate the Communists to the top in a couple of areas before the end of the game but I don't think it really impacted any voting.
I therefore suferred my first loss. Strangely, I was much more satisfied with losing than I had been with winning my first three games. This seemed more of a challenge and I need to try and work out how to slow the socialists down in the first third/half of the game so that they don't get such an unassailable lead.
The only disappointing aspect was that once again, alliances did not enter into it - in fact they were less likely to impact the game because of the new rules. However, with more parties able to compete (i.e. more players), I can see how they would have a more significant effect.
Final Scores (after deduction of handicaps)
The Rest: did not score
These solo-session reports are great... but when can we see some multi-player session reports?
Hopefully these new rules keep the solo game fun.
- Last edited Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:33 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:09 pm
Thanks for the report!
It was quite a jump from the largest parties with super-simple rules to the 4th party with much harder rules. Maybe you would have done better if first learning the new ropes playing the large ...
But as you say, the fact that you lost is greatly satisfying - beating a solo game the first time is a big fat "meh"
When I play a small party, I normally horde up on cards, and I kind of make four piles of them - cards I will use for positioning, cards I will use for events, cards I will use to make alliances and cards I can't find any use for. I try to find the best "natural" use for each card, as the discard 2-moves are expensive.
Cards I judge as best for positioning, I play early. Events I normally wait with until it's time for one of my "offensives". Alliance cards I also wait with, until I have an offensive, and until I have someone worth ally with.
But as you say, waiting too long is dangerous as the Socialists will start eating voters like a panda eats bamboo from Turn 1. And the game is luck-prone, you don't know how much time you have, it's a bit like Starcraft - you build and build and prey for just one more turn.
I don't know if this is good as in "whoa, the system picks up the pace, I need to change the perfect strategy I sat and optimized for an hour before starting playing - how interesting" or bad as in "the system rolled a '6' so I'm fkd forever. Fun game, really."
Unfortunately, if you really want to crush at 2010 Swedish Parliament, you kind of need to learn how the parties move on the different scales. You don't need to memorize every card (although that would help), but you need to know that the Communists will want to raise the tax (fairly obvious), that the Greens are a bit "wishy-washy" on the Privatization scale (less obvious), that the Conservatives are actually on the more radical side of the soft value issues (a surprise to some).
(That's an aspect I don't like myself, and I never give "10" to games where someone who knows all the cards have a significant advantage over someone who doesn't - although I nevertheless love several such games.)
So if I'd play the Liberals in a solo game, I'd probably try to outflank the Socialists on the "wrong side" of many scales, moving myself in the more Communist direction when possible, sometimes paying 2 cards for that. Sometimes this would give me a whole half for myself; sometimes it'd just give me 1-2 voter points as I'd be outflanked by the Commies, Greens or Feminists - but it'd help in keeping the Socs down. I'd take every chance to move the Socs in the "wrong" way, thereby sandwiching them between me/the left and the Conservatives/the right. I'd also collect a bunch of cards that let me and the Cons move together and at some point in the middle of the game - after having done my positioning on all or most scales - I'd tie the knot with the Cons, and then try to keep that alliance alive to the end. That would mean sacrificing my advantageous position on some political scales ... and I would sort of have to divide the political issues into those I play on to gain votes, and those I play on to gain alliance strength.
And this will be much easier with the new WIP game board, where I will exactly, directly see where to play to satisfy what voters, and on what issues my core voter groups disagree, and thus are better abandoned for voter-fishing purposes and instead used for alliance-building.
And, now that I think of it, maybe I should also calculate what parties are on average popular with what voters, and add the party symbols next to those voters on the game board ... (already, people intuitively think there is a connection between the party symbols' positions on the game board and the positions of the political issues ... but there is none). That would give a new player some good-to-know information upfront, without having to feed all the cards to a spreadsheet and go rainman on it. Yeah, I think I'll do that.