Recommend
19 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Cold War: CIA vs KGB» Forums » Variants

Subject: “The Adversary” - Cold War: CIA vs KGB Solo Variant rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Prelude
Pick a side, but whether you play the CIA or the KGB, your opponent will be referred to as “The Adversary”.

Setup
Discard the Analysts: they are not used in solo play.

Gameplay

Your turns are played normally (draw, activate or pass), with the following differences:

- The Balance of Power Token is assigned normally each turn but always means that the side its possession goes in second. (i.e you go first if The Adversary has the Balance of Power).
- The Adversary’s Agent X is determined randomly each turn within the agents that are not on leave and were not killed or assassinated. Place it face down after the objective is set.
- Political group: When you use a Political groups to bring a group over from The Adversary’s side, it comes over already mobilized (i.e. you cannot use its ability)
- Cease-Fire: If successful, The Adversary’s Double Agent sends one of your Agents on leave randomly selected among the ones that are not already dead or on leave. The Deputy Director cannot be sent on leave.

How The Adversary plays
The Adversary will always draw cards unless he is within 2 of the objective’s Stability, or has met the population limit. He then automatically passes (which means the Influence Struggle is over when you both pass, as usual)

The Adversary’s groups are never “ready” or “mobilized”. Instead, when the Adversary draws a card, put it with his groups, and immediately apply the following effect :

- Political Groups: The Adversary immediately seizes one of your group with the highest power that does not make him go over either the Stability level or the Population limit. In case of groups with equal power follow the current objective's bias icons. If no group fits the description, it has no effect.
- Military Groups: The Adversary immediately destroys the highest power group in your camp. In case of a tie follow the current objective's bias icons. If you have no group it has no effect.
Exception: The Adversary will not destroy one of your groups if you are at the maximum population limit and The Adversary is currently winning.
- Media Groups: Look at the next card. If it would not make The Adversary go over the Population limit or break the Stability level, draw it, and activate its effect normally. Else, discard it (do not replace it on the deck).
- Industrial groups: Immediately mobilize the group with the Highest power in your groups. In case of a tie follow the current objective's bias icons. If no group fits the description, it has no effect.

Winning and Losing
You win if you reach 100 points before The Adversary reaches 50.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Messing around with this game I like a lot, I came up with this variant to play solo.

Although it's much more random and there's really nothing to replace a "real" opponent, it plays pretty quickly and is quite fun from my perspective when you're looking to pass time on a Cold War agenda. If you want to give it a try, I'd appreciate feedback on it!

(That being said, I really got that box out when I saw the "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy" movie with Gary Oldman... if you like the Cold War era, make sure you watch it!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thom0909
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just looking into this game and appreciate the solo option. The fact that you recommend Tinker Tailor - which I enjoyed a lot - gives you a good bit of credibility in my book .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vicious Tiger
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a great solitaire variant.

The main difference I've been using is open knowledge of Agent X selected. (Also, still removing the Analyst cards.)

Basically, during planning stage the solo player selects their Agent X first, then The Adversary Agent X is randomly selected and both are left visible. After this, play for The Adversary side still follows same approach as above where The Adversary group cards are activated immediately.

Now, instead of The Adversary rigidly adhering to always drawing cards unless he is within 2 of the objective’s Stability, The Adversary will act in it's best interest relative to the Agent X cards in play. For example, Master Spy will pass when it's total is lower, Deputy Directory will press population limit not worrying about civil disorder and using military to remove it's own groups, etc.

Play for The Adversary is not totally automatic, but decisions should be logical for the situation. For instance, The Adversary will typically concede an objective rather than risk civil disorder, but the Assassin may press their luck if there's a reasonable opportunity to kill the solo player's Director.

With this approach, I've been able to play tense games with both sides playing to 100 points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Absolutely love this, you can bet I'll give it a spin!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Been trying it out a bit, and I have to admit that having The Adversary "play to win" makes a big difference. The only thing I'd try to do is to remove all player choice, effectively building an entirely autonomous "AI". I'm thinking that there could be "guidelines" by Agent, something like:

Master Spy: Will pass as long as he is below your score and the Stability.
Deputy Director: Will take a card even if within 2 of Stability if he has a lower Stability.
Assassin: Will "push his luck" if he's facing the director or the assassin.

If you don't mind getting into game balance, you can even think of "powers" to level out the playing field, something like:

Assassin: Ignore the first card that "goes over" if he's facing the director or the assassin.
Deputy Director: Ignore the first card that "goes over", but doing so makes you forfeit your "bonus goal".
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I made some further tests, and here is a proposition for the "Open Agent" variant.

Master Spy
- Will pass as long as he is below your score and the Objective's Stability (but will always take at least a card).
- At the end of the Influence Struggle phase (when both players pass), If The Adversary still has higher value, draw another group. If a group in The Adversary's groups has the same value, remove it and discard both cards. Proceed to the Cease-Fire phase directly.

Deputy Director
- Will take a card even if within 2 of Stability if he he is losing the Influence Struggle.
- If a political group would make him go over the Stability, ignore the card and discard it instead.

Assassin
- Will take cards as long as he's below Stability if he's facing the director or the assassin.
- If a military group would make him go over the Stability, ignore that card and discard it.

Director
- Ignore the first card that makes you "goes over" the stability, but doing so makes him forfeit the "bonus goal" and only take the normal Objective as reward.

Double Agent
- At the end of the Influence Struggle phase (when both players pass), If The Adversary still has lower value than you, draw another group. If one of your group has the same value, add it to YOUR groups (even over the Population Limit). This can make you go over the Stability. Proceed to the Cease-Fire phase directly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Skip Maloney
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just played this game for the first time last night, and though I was soundly defeated, I enjoyed it. Takes a while to get into the ebb and flow of the thing; not the mechanics, which are pretty straightforward, but the developing sense of how to use the various factions to improve your chances and frustrate your opponent's. It would be interesting if the game of blackjack were altered to accommodate some of this game's mechanics.
That said, it should be noted, as well, that while Gary Oldman has done a credible job portraying George Smiley in the recently-released Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, there are those (me among them) who think that Alec Guinness did it a lot better in a made-for-British-television mini-series (and eventually Masterpiece Theater) production in 1979. I think the story played out better (writing and direction was better) in the 1979 film. Guinness would go on to portray Smiley in the follow-up tale, Smiley's People. All part of the book trilogy, collectively known as The Search for Karla; Karla being Smiley's counter-part in Russian intelligence. The middle book of the series, which hasn't been put to film, is The Honourable Schoolboy. The role of Karla, by the way, in both of the Guinness vehicles, was played by Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean Luc Picard and Professor Xavier). He appears in both films and has exactly one line.
A little off-topic in regards to the game, but I'm just sayin'. . . .
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I'll wait to see how the new Star Wars version FFG has announced looks, but I'll probably try to adapt this variant in some fashion to give it solo rules.

It's never wasted!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roy Reyes
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
javascrybe wrote:
I'll wait to see how the new Star Wars version FFG has announced looks, but I'll probably try to adapt this variant in some fashion to give it solo rules.

It's never wasted!


Hi there. I know this thread is really old, but did you ever try adapting those solo rules to Star Wars Empire vs Rebellion? Thanks for your help!
Roy
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lex Major
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Royreyes wrote:
javascrybe wrote:
I'll wait to see how the new Star Wars version FFG has announced looks, but I'll probably try to adapt this variant in some fashion to give it solo rules.

It's never wasted!


Hi there. I know this thread is really old, but did you ever try adapting those solo rules to Star Wars Empire vs Rebellion? Thanks for your help!
Roy

Never did, even though I actually have Star Wars Empire VS Rebellion. I have to admit I prefer the CIA VS KGB version, if only for the nice components
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.