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Power Grid: The Robots» Forums » General

Subject: Has anyone tried with solo play against the robots? rss

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John blog
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Just wonderin how it turns out?
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Derek McKay
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Yes! I did 2 days ago, and I am about to try it again today. My two robots took an early lead, leaving me 7 points behind most of the game. What I realized, (a little too late) is that you need to use the robots powers against themselves to slow their progression in the late game.

Of course, I could have been doing a number of things wrong, so I want see what happens next time. We'll see how I fair today.

Down with the Robot Overlords!!!!
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Vince Lupo
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ALEXANDRIA
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Najimbe wrote:
Yes! I did 2 days ago, and I am about to try it again today. My two robots took an early lead, leaving me 7 points behind most of the game. What I realized, (a little too late) is that you need to use the robots powers against themselves to slow their progression in the late game.

Of course, I could have been doing a number of things wrong, so I want see what happens next time. We'll see how I fair today.

Down with the Robot Overlords!!!!



I look forward to trying this some time.
 
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Patrick Kessler
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Just lost against two robots in China. 18:17 cities. The special abilities are the dangerous stuff.

One robot did not have to pay for the first city each turn, so it build a lot of cities/connections. And it always bid for the best power plant +10.

------------------

Edit: won 2nd match in France 15:14

Maybe one can find strong opponents/ combinations. I am going to try a few combinations.
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Steve Monofas
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Just this post also for solo playing.

Have you people played more solo? Is it challenging? Can you master the robots so each game turns out to be easy enough and not worth playing?

Thanks.
 
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Derek McKay
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Lokertis wrote:
Just this post also for solo playing.

Have you people played more solo? Is it challenging? Can you master the robots so each game turns out to be easy enough and not worth playing?

Thanks.


My second game wasn't a blow out by the Robots like my first one, but it was fun. I think solo play is fun enough to explore possible strategies, i.e. lean markets, no room for growth on the board and such. My two games were random Robots builds, but I would probably build specific Robots for future solo plays.
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Patrick Kessler
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Hi,

just received a pm, asking me to tell a bit more about my solo experiences. So I thought I will answer it here ...

up til now it is still very challenging for me. I found a nice/ hard robot combination for one robot, which I haven't beaten yet. I am a big fan of the game, so it is easy for me to like the robot solo variant. I played 5 solo games against 2 robots and lost 4 times (with different maps and power plants). The management of these robots is not difficult and after a few rounds you have remembered what they are supposed to do.

What makes them hard opponents are their special abilities like:
- get more money at the beginning
- pay only half price for a power plant
- get more money when using power plants

I played a few solo variants of other games (Agricola) and actual solo games like astro navis merchant and Friday (also 2F games) and I have with the robots as much fun as with these. I have to tell you that I haven't won Friday yet ... What makes this "solo" game special in my opinion is the big board, the components and so on.

cheers

Patrick
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Dick Hunt
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I've tried solo play a couple of times now and am about to try it again. My two tries have been 4-player affairs, me against three robots.

The biggest challenge has been remembering to apply their different special abilities at the proper times. The one that starts the game with 100 Elektro is pretty easily handled, but some of the other special abilities are easy to forget.

You'll also probably find some combinations of robot tiles that don't work well together in a solo game, such as tiles that let the human players make lots of choices for the robots. Playing those tiles "honestly" makes the game work, but the fun tiles are the ones that are more specific and don't make me fake my way through decisions that are supposed to be robotic.

One interesting solitaire variant I've tried: the robot whose maximum bid is "minimum bid + 10" is a bit boring to play by yourself. You'd just bid the minimum +9 and then let the robot "win" the bidding "war" to stick it with a crappy plant that you didn't really want in the first place.

So I use dice to determine whether the robots will bid on a tile. If a plant is put up for auction, the first "bidder" automatically raises the bid by one. For the second "bidder," I roll two dice and raise the bid by one if I roll any number from 2-11. The third "robotic bid" is raised on a 2-10 result, the fourth on a 2-9 chance, and so on.

Of course, the human player makes his bids normally here, without dice rolling. A robot drops out of the bidding any time his dice roll is higher than the range he's supposed to make on his roll. Finally, in a bidding war that involves the human, the robot is awarded the plant if he survives all the way down to a 2-6 roll. If a robot is that lucky with his dice rolling, I concede that he wants the plant more than I do and drop out of the bidding myself.

This works well with multiple robots bidding, too:

1. I put up the #16 plant for bids
2. Robot 1 "rolls" 2-12 and automatically raises the bid to 17
3. On a roll of 2-11, Robot 2 raises the bid to 18
4. On a roll of 2-10, Robot 3 raises the bid to 19
5. The human (me!) raises the bid to 20
6. Robot 1 gets another turn, raising the bid to 21 on a 2-9 roll
7. Robot 2 raises to 22 if he rolls 2-8
6. Robot 3 raises to 23 if he rolls 2-7
8. I bravely raise the bid to 24
9. Robot 1 finally beats the 2-6 roll; at this point, I would let him "win" the auction.

What generally happens is that the robots drop out at different times, boiling the bidding down to just me and one stubborn robot. Sometimes I'll deliberately drop out before the robot does, and at other times I try to outlast him.

The dice rolling adds a bit of time to a solitaire game, but it's well worth it as it's much easier to keep the human bidding at a more honest level. Using this system, you can't bid 12 for the #3 plant simply because you know that the "minimum +10" robot will take it off your hands with one more bid. With this dice system, you can get burned while trying to run up plant prices on your robots...
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James Burns
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Just played 2 Solo games with random robot assemble.

Now the only problem I had to start with was the First City for the Robots. I can't be Last Choice or Deciding Choice for I am the only one in the game. Therefore I used a Dice rolls to give them random starting cities in the 3 areas I had. I also used Dice rolls if they had to build into cites that had the same cost.

Used Russia MAP
The first game I missed a few rules like 1/2 price plants for one Robot or Robots could actually jump connections in stead of getting locked into an area.

Used America MAP
Second game went more smoothly ,but in the end the Robots were fighting over the same resource (trash) therefore they had a few turns were one didn't get optimal money and vise versa. I actually got boxed in for 1 turn before Step 2 hit. The 1 robot actually triggered endgame for it was building 3 cities a turn for Step 3 ,but it could only power 15 cities and I was able to power 17.

Has anyone out there tried to play SOLO with Japan Map, for you can start with 2 different non connected networks? I guess you could use a Dice Roll to determine whether the Robot builds or not? Does anyone else have a suggestion.
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Jeremy Avery
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The buzz in this thread for the solo game is decent, but it hasn't seemed to really take off as a solo game (it doesn't ever appear in Solitaire Games on Your Table geeklists, for example).

Anyone have any thoughts on this as a solo game, 4 years later?
 
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Derek McKay
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I have not played PG solo since, because I have much better games for that. I do however, use the robots for when I only have 2 players, so that we can have 3 players. It makes the bidding and board placement more dynamic.
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Alex Drazen
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thisaliensean wrote:
Just wonderin how it turns out?


I had a pretty easy time of it (alas, some of the robot configurations have been lost to the ether).

Using the rules as written, you can use the robots' starting location choices to basically win the game on the first turn (there are so many that become the only human's choice that you can just pack them all in where it's expensive, and you take the cheap area).

I think there is a solo-play variant where the AI player always builds in the location that is your cheapest build.
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