Someone asked me at Essen 2012 if there was a solo variant of the game. Unfortunately, I had to say no, but it got me thinking and here is the result of that thinking:
For a 1-player game, use 2 bots to play against. The game follows the normal rules with just one exception but excludes the optional rules. Use a normal setup for a 3-player game. The bot hands are put face down.
On its turn, a bot will do an action using the following priority:
1) Repair any damage, starting with the damage closest to the Core Module and going clock-wise out from it (starting to the ‘south’). Workshop is used if possible and repairing Workshop and Airlock has priority.
2) Reveal the top card from the bot’s hand.
a - If it is an event and the bot can play it, the bot plays the event.
Exceptions: A bot never plays Visiting Worker, will only play Cold War and Crew Rotation if it gains something for it and it will not play Global Economic Crisis if another player loses less than it does itself.
When choosing targets for an event, the bot targets the leading player if possible, or the next player if there is a tie. Module targets are chosen from the inside out clock-wise, like when choosing what damage to repair first.
b – If a module is revealed and the bot can play it, it will do so. The module is placed using the same algorithm as for targeting (going out clock-wise from the Core Module), with the following alterations: Military Command and Command Center are used if possible. If there are exits of the same color as the module, one of those exits is used to get the discount. It can’t build a module that would leave the station with no exits. And if the bot can’t afford the module, it can’t play it of course.
c – If the bot can’t play the card, it is discarded instead and the bot gains +2 MC. This is the only exception to the normal rules! It means that although the bots will be bad builders and tacticians, they will get this bonus to their economy and they will always draw 5 new cards for the year.
3) If there is no damage and the bot has no cards left, it will use its crew actions in the same order as described above, going out from the Core Module clock-wise to determine what module to use first. A bot will not use the function of Core Module, Junkyard, Robotic Arm or Recycling Center. Observatory will take the topmost event and put it on the top of that bot’s hand. Military modules will choose targets in the same way as the events.
4) If nothing else remains for the bot to do, it passes.
A bot will repair OR play a card or discard it for +2 MC OR use a crew action OR pass.
The leading player is targeted first, and modules are chosen from the inside, going out clock-wise, starting south.
Can you beat the bots?
These rules will give the player a challenge and the game takes about 40 min.
A bot player can also be used in 2-player games to add more interaction.
Please add your thoughts, comments and experiences using this solo variant!
Edit: Link to the official document:
- Last edited Sat Oct 3, 2015 7:58 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:26 am
I do not understand how the bots build a module. The part that I don't understand is the alteration part.
"following alterations: Military Command and Command Center are used if possible. If there are exits of the same color as the module, one of those exits is used to get the discount."
So instead of going clockwise in & out, if possible, the bots build on Military Command or Command Center first? And then the same color modules? And at last, in normal clockwise in & out order?
Let's say the bot reveals a military module to build. If there are two Military Command ready for use and crew and money to do it, the bot will use a Military Command with a crew action, using the clockwise order to choose between available exits and Military Command modules.
If there are both Military Commands and Command Centers, the bot will choose to use a Military Command (since this is cheaper) if possible. In absence of Military Commands, Command Centers will be used.
If none of these modules are available, but there are 'military exits', one of those will be used to get the discount (provided the bot can pay for the module). The exit will be chosen according tho the clockwise procedure.
If no military exits exists ;-) then the bot will use the clockwise procedure to determine where to attach the module (provided it can pay for it).
If the bot can't pay for the module, it is instead discarded and the bot gains 2 MC.
So, in short, the bot has the following priorities:
1) Use a Military Command
2) Use a Command Center
3) Connect to a military exit
4) Connect to any exit
5) Discard and gain 2 MC
During these options, you always use the clockwise procedure to determine exactly where to connect the new module.