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Subject: Solo Androids Clarification rss

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Dan Pratt
United States
Kent
Ohio
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I've been reading different posts about people's opinions of the solo variant for Space Alert and I've noticed that players are controlling just 4 crew members total. In Section 5.5 of the Rulebook players are instructed to play with four androids. By definition in the "Androids" section of the Handbook "An android is a crew member without a player." My interpretation of this has been a solo game consists of the human player plus four (non-player) androids. Can anyone clarify or add their thoughts?
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Benjamin Grey
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When you're playing solo, you can choose to play with as many crew as you want. Who's to tell you otherwise.

I play with 4 crew when I play solo because it's about as many as I can keep track of on my own. I see no reason why you couldn't play with 5 crew, but be aware that it's likely to be more of a challenge than 4. It's one more guy to plan out, not to mention additional "unconfirmed reports".

Try them both, and stick with the style you like best. I'm sure the other players won't mind.
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Sean McCarthy
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You don't play with a non-android player. You'll notice the rules for solo are a bit different. Instead of having a player, you have 4 androids. Instead of having a hand, you have the entire deck of cards. It doesn't really make sense to play cards face down in a solo game.
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Ian Klinck
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If you play with the expansion, you do explicitly play with one player, and 3 androids, because you need to be there to get experience points.
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Dan Pratt
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I was just reading over the rules again and I am further convinced that the solo variant is intended (as written) to consist of 5 figures on the board. Again in Section 5.5 it reads: "Play with 4 androids (ignore unconfirmed reports)." There would be no need to instruct the reader to ignore unconfirmed reports because they are always ignored unless you are playing a 5-player game (i.e. 5 figures on the board).

So, to belabor the point, when you play solo you are making the decisions for yourself and your 4 android companions but with the advantages of being able to freely select your actions, ignore unconfirmed reports, and change the androids' played action cards (unlike in 2-3 player case).
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Drew Spencer
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dpratt00 wrote:
I was just reading over the rules again and I am further convinced that the solo variant is intended (as written) to consist of 5 figures on the board. Again in Section 5.5 it reads: "Play with 4 androids (ignore unconfirmed reports)." There would be no need to instruct the reader to ignore unconfirmed reports because they are always ignored unless you are playing a 5-player game (i.e. 5 figures on the board).


I disagree. The fact that "ignore unconfirmed reports" is in parentheses suggests that it is just a reminder of an earlier rule. Ordinarily in something like a rulebook, if a phrase is in parentheses, you should be able to remove it from the sentence without losing anything.

I believe that a solo game consists of four androids, and that's it. The ship is staffed only by four androids. You control all four. Hence, you ignore unconfirmed reports because it's like a four-player game.
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Marco Reubzaet
Netherlands
Landgraaf
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I agree with the statement that parentheses usually indicate a repetition rather than a modification of a rule.

If you were indeed playing with 4 androids and 1 player, you would have to put your own cards face-down, even though you would be allowed to look at them whenever you wanted. That simply does not make sense, as it detracts from the flow of the game and suggests that your player character would be unable to remember his own actions. However, since no exception is stated, this is what should happen in that case. Considering you would instead tend to play with your cards open, that would make for a game with 5 androids and 0 player characters. Of course, "playing with 4 androids" could never ever refer to that case!

I would usually not go into logic this far to make a point, but this game is all ABOUT thinking deeply and logically.

Maybe not a very valid argument, but I found several images from enthusiastic Space Alert solo players which clearly show they are playing with only 4 androids.

Another argument that may or may not be very convincing: the Dutch rulebook says "met vier androïden", which is literally the same as the English, but which cannot mean anything else than "you play 4 androids (and nothing else)".
The Czech version reads: "Hrajte za čtyři androidy". I do not know any Czech, but maybe someone else can let us know what this means. Google Translate says: "Play four androids", but as a professional translator, I know perfectly well this does not mean a thing :-)
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Christopher Ebert
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I see how you can interpret this. However it is meant to be played as only 4 androids. Not a player with 4 androids (equal to 5)..

I only know this cause of the expansion rulebook. Page 26.

Quote:

Solo Missions and Campaigns
Solo missions and campaigns can also be a part
of your explorer’s career. Although the rules in the
basic set are written as though you are playing
four androids, you should consider your explorer
to be the captain, with three android helpers.
Game play is the same, but the consequences of
the mission apply: For your explorer, the mission
is life-or-death (-or-clone).
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Cameron Chien
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Rancho Cucamonga
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Yup, the expansion clarified the solo number of players.

Cameron
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Dan Pratt
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Nice! Wow, that decreases the chaos of my solo plays. Thanks for the help, folks!
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Milan Mašát
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Co1980 wrote:
The Czech version reads: "Hrajte za čtyři androidy"... Google Translate says: "Play four androids", ...

Just to confirm - "Hrajte za čtyři androidy" translates "Play as four androids". - so it is bit more clear than English version "Play with four androids"
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