Soren
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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I just tried out this method for solo play:

1. Play against three robot players. You will go last in turn order. Set the game up normally, except only place one location tile on each location hex.
2. On a robot's turn, place his settlements wherever you wish, as long as it's a normal, legal move dictated by the newly drawn terrain card. As much as possible, you'll want to keep the robots from scoring. If you are forced to place a robot's settlement beside a location hex, simply remove that location tile from play; it's no longer available to you. The robots do not use location tiles.
3. Count up the scores at the end of the game. Your score must be greater than the combined score of all three robots.

My first game using this method was quite thinky and though I did lose, it wasn't too much of a landslide.
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Russ Williams
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Wrocław
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Sounded amusing, so I just tried it out.

Player: 1 2 3 4
Farmers: 6 0 0 21
Hermits: 3 2 3 11
Discoverers: 11 9 11 19
Castles: 3 0 0 9
Total Score: 23 11 14 60


So I won, 60 to 23+11+14=48.

Being able to choose the AI's move really lets one screw the AIs.

It may be certain goals permit screwing the AI far more than others. E.g. Farmers...
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Soren
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Falls Church
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I think a good player should perhaps start with a few less settlements of his own--or maybe deal one extra points condition card just for the 'bots, which they can use but you can't. I am not a good player so fortunately I'll never have to worry about this.

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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Just tried this out. It was a lot of fun. It was interesting to have to switch gears for the NPC and be in "anti-scoring mode".

I barely lost, 75-82.

Unfortunately two of the scoring cards were Citizens and Hermits, so damned if you do, damned if you don't, I had to give points to the NPC either way. I tried to bulk up their Citizens scoring since that's only 0.5 points per house vs. 1 point per house for Hermits. So I just tried to make them as close to 1 big settlement area as I could. In retrospect this was a mistake: I should have made it 2 big settlement areas per NPC, which would have cut down on Citizens a lot and only lose 1 extra for me via Hermit. And they say there's no thought required for this game shakedevil

I could see this variant scaling well as well: if it gets to easy, just lay 2 houses instead of 3 but still let the NPC lay 3.
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Russ Williams
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
Just tried this out. It was a lot of fun. It was interesting to have to switch gears for the NPC and be in "anti-scoring mode".

Indeed I found myself playing my own side rather casually on auto-pilot, but thinking a lot more for the AI turns, about how to minimize their scores and potential for reaching castles and such. Somewhat surreal and amusing.
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Darren Nakamura
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Columbus
Mississippi
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This brings up an idea for an all new multiplayer variant. Golf-scoring! See who can get the lowest!
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Dutch Jones
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Very good variant.
Have played twice now and lost narrowly on both occasions - the last being 71 to 73.
Are there any 'unusable' kingdom cards here? In my last 'Lords' came up which meant that the robots got 3 first places and 3 second - thus outscoring me 54 to 18. I know I should have probably scraped another second place but even so the points swing in the robots favour.
I'm thinking Hermits may be similarly flawed - this time in favour of the human player.
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Yours Truly,
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Raleigh
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Headless_Ned wrote:

Are there any 'unusable' kingdom cards here? In my last 'Lords' came up which meant that the robots got 3 first places and 3 second - thus outscoring me 54 to 18. I know I should have probably scraped another second place but even so the points swing in the robots favour.
I'm thinking Hermits may be similarly flawed - this time in favour of the human player.


I wouldn't call Lords unusable, but it's the most challenging I think. With careful play it should be beatable. I played it with this variant and was able to get 2 1sts and a 2nd, against the 3 AI robots.
Lost 91-79.
Barn, Farm, Harbor, Paddock.
Merchants, Lords, Citizens, Capitol.

I was just one or two settlements away from another merchants link which would've put me 2-3 points down 91-88 or 89 (merchants points + citizen points), very close indeed.
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Tim K
Australia
Colonel Light Gardens
SA
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Great idea. Tried it out and just lost 60-64 with citizens, hermits and knights. Second time I had miners, hermits and discoverers and easily won 56-30!
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Tim K
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As discussed above the chance of you winning using this variant seems to be somewhat dependent on which Kingdom Builder cards are chosen.

I've compiled a quick assessment of which ones I think favour the 3 "bots" and which ones favour the solo player. I've listed them roughly in the order from most advantageous to the solo player to least advantageous. Obviously it also somewhat depends on the location tiles that come into play and how the board configuration is laid out. Also some card combinations will also be biased towards the solo player and some towards the bots. For example if the solo player can get the Paddock tile with the Hermit Kingdom Builder card in play it will be a strong advantage towards the solo player.

Feel free to give me your thoughts. Can anyone beat a Lords, Citizens, Discoverers set up?

Farmers: Likely to strongly favour the solo player as it should be fairly easy to keep the bots out of one of the four sectors of the board thereby giving them 0 points.

Merchants: Likely to favour the solo player as it should be reasonably easy to prevent the bots from connecting location and castle hexes.

Miners: Likely to favour the solo player as they can try and start the bots settlements a long way from any Mine locations. However could become more difficult if combined with Fisherman or Workers.

Fisherman: Likely to favour the solo player as they can try and start the bots settlements a long way from any water locations. However could become more difficult if combined with Miners or Workers.

Workers: Similar to the Fisherman and Miners card but less of them so will be generally lower scoring for both the bots and the solo player. However could become more difficult if combined with Miners or Fisherman.

Knights: Likely to be high scoring for both the solo player and the bots and be fairly easily matched. Likely to favour the solo player if they have use of the Paddock or Harbor tile and possibly the Tavern.

Hermits: Likely to be in favour of the solo player but only if they get use of a Barn, Harbour or especially the Paddock tile. Otherwise likely to favour the bots but would be fairly low scoring for both the bots and the solo players.

Discoverers: While the solo player should be able to get close to 20 points with this feel that it is tough to limit the bots to less than 7 rows each so is likely to favour the bots.

Citizens: Likely to favour the bots due to the fact they have three times as many settlements and that it is difficult to make lots of small settlements (especially as the bots can't use the extra location tile actions).

Lords: Likely to strongly favour the bots as they will have three times as many settlements. If you managed to cram all the bots into only 1 or 2 sectors then it might work out a bit better.

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Marco Teti
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Arizona
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I've been looking to see if there is a solo variant of this game. I like the simplicity of it and the 'Go/Othello' aspect of it (Yeah I know you don't take over/flip but the concept of blocking players from scoring is definitely alluring) I usually get games if there is a decent solo variant around.

There hasn't been many worker/settler games that i've noticed that have solo variants. I could be wrong though. If so, point me in the right direction.
 
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Ilja Preuß
Germany
Karlsruhe
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Played this variant today, and really liked it. Won 48:41

Has anyone considered playing against 4 bots?
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Ilja Preuß
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Karlsruhe
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Just played against 4 bots. But with Miners, Noble Women and Families, no challenge. Won 72:8...
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Jim Stevenson
United States
New Cumberland
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Great variant. I just lost 41-40 with Fishermen, Hermits & Workers.
 
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