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Subject: Solo play? rss

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Richard Diosi
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It would seem by the description that this game isn't ideal for solo play. However many of us out here play the most absurd games solo (we have no friends)

Has anyone tried it solo and how does it play? I realize you have to be different zombie to play in multiple frames of mind but it can be done.
 
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Chuck Easterlin
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You: "Do, you want to move the provost?"

Other You: "I dunno, if you won't move it, then I won't."

You: "Hmmm..."

On a serious note... I can't see how this could possibly be played solo. It's hard enough to adapt to the twists that come up during gameplay to even FATHOM playing multiple sides at once.

Half the fun is adapting your game to "fit the moment"... I can't see how you could keep the two seperate.

I feel your pain though!

 
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Luca Iennaco
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I was working on an algorithm to create a "dummy" opponent (even if making it simple enough to handle, but competitive enough to compete with a human is a bit hard...). If I'll ever resume the project I'll keep you informed.

 
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Eric Brosius
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You could certainly play Caylus all by yourself and try to get the highest possible score. Since there are thousands of arrangements of the starting buildings, and each one has a highest possible score (it won't be the same for each arrangement) there's little danger of running out of possibilities.

On BSW, you can play "solo St. Petersburg" in which you are the only person buying cards. People get scores greater than 1000 this way. I'm sure you could get a gigantic score in Caylus. Part of the challenge would be in slowing the bailiff down and filling up the castle slowly so you get as many turns as possible.
 
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Al Johnson
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I have played 1 "5 player" game solo. I did not however play as any color - I had played a once before and I was just trying to get all the rules fluid.

The game was actually enjoyable. I simply played it like many people play wargames solo - try to make the best possible move when it's that "player's" turn.

Of course, I would not recommend it for solo play alone. This game shines with other players. My one experience solo, like I said, was enjoyable, but I can't see playing it that way very often, if ever again since I know people who will gladly play it.

Al
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Thomas Cauet
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Well you can play solo caylus without changing any rules (even getting the denier for being the first to pass): it's only a matter of how to optimize the placement of my 6 workers to have the maximum number of points.
The order of the initial pink buildings has no importance: you'll have 18 turns and never move the provost. You don't use the stables, inn, gate or guild. I did several play and my best score was 354. I think there is room for improvement but you really have to be a geek to test the solo game (or want to see the balance between buildings ). It's a very different feel of the game.
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Henri Harju
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I tryed that kinda solo play out of curiosity.. It was actually much more of a brain burner than I initially thought.. zombie

My top score was 403 points. And I still think there's room for improvement... snore

Btw, what were the first buildings you build. I did that stone building enabler and then all three stone production buildings in a row.. as for favors I ignored building track and points track until first scoring and then started using those heavily.
 
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Dave Weeks
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(this is turning into a confessional of sorts), I also 'solo-played' a 5P game of Caylus, for two reasons. Firstly, being an (amateur) game designer, solo-playing helps one to understand the game's mechanics and structures, what makes it tick. The other reason was to replay an earlier F2F game to see if my 'money-strategy' ever had a hope of winning (it didn't in both cases) shake
 
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Thomas Cauet
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Henkka wrote:

Btw, what were the first buildings you build. I did that stone building enabler and then all three stone production buildings in a row.. as for favors I ignored building track and points track until first scoring and then started using those heavily.


I am impressed by the 403 points score
I don't recall exactly (I did this in November). I did lawyer then mason and the 3 stone buildings, then bank and architect (I convert it into residential when the first prestige building - hostel - is built). I use the money track and trading post (the first 2 turns) to pile some money. I convert as much as possible buildings into residential to avoid looking for money afterwards, do 6 batches in dungeon and walls, use the building track on architect to build 3 prestige building in a row in the last turns (and build before prestige building that still give money)... and of course invest heavily the points track.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Well, its not a 'game', instead its a 'puzzle'. But this IS an interesting puzzle.

The starting position should be irrelevant....unless the optimal solution involves the lawyer as the first build, in which case it would require the cloth to be before the pink carpenter.
But I cant see how the optimal solution is anything other than some variation on "mason, then all three stone prodution builds" .

You want to use the favor track for points, I would think.
 
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Thomas Cauet
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You're right about this being a puzzle and not really in the spirit of the game.

Alexfrog wrote:

The starting position should be irrelevant....unless the optimal solution involves the lawyer as the first build, in which case it would require the cloth to be before the pink carpenter.

Well you have several turns to build the lawyer even as a first build (the bailiff move one by one) so even a cloth after the carpenter is not that problematic (the turn before the first building space is available, you have the second carpenter).

Alexfrog wrote:

But I cant see how the optimal solution is anything other than some variation on "mason, then all three stone prodution builds" .

I though too but the most valuable ressource is your workers/actions: not wasting time collecting money is important and the lawyer allows you to get rid of this. Mason then all 3, means lawyer not available before 5th position. And wait to build the residential during the building of walls is late for me, and didn't work that well.
 
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Henri Harju
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Well, you guys got me involved now..

The way I see it, money isn't that important during the first phase. I try to break it down to you guys.

The amount of money you need during your first 6 turns is 36 dinars. You have 5 at start, you get 2 at the beginging of each of your 6 turns. That's total 12 dinars. You get total 7 fafors in your first phase, lets assume you use them go forward 3 times in money track, two times on cubes track, once in bouldings and once in points (other than money these may wary). So you get 11 dinars from there. That amounts to 28 dinars total. So you have to take marketplace 3 times. I'd say that is pretty acceptable.

This indicates that building mason and then all three stone production buildings is the correct way to go. Cubes are far more important than money in the beginging. After first phase you don't want to take money from favors needlessly so you must think of alternative way of getting money.

I'm speculating what would be the next building to build. There's a number of possibilities...

Edit:
God dammit all those speling erors!
 
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Luca Iennaco
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Henkka wrote:
The amount of money you need during your first 6 turns is 36 dinars. You have 5 at start, you get 2 at the beginging of each of your 6 turns. That's total 12 dinars.

You're missing the 1 dinar per turn you get because you're always the first to pass (effectively raising your minimum income to 3$/turn).
 
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Henri Harju
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I can't believe I forgot all about that... surprise

I actually played all my games ignoring that income source. Well it just makes money that much less important.
 
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martin kolk
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It seems far more optimal to build through favours in the castle than wasting actions
 
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Alex Rockwell
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I think this is a cool puzzle.


As an additional bit to the puzzle, lets add this:

At game start, you place the six pink buildings in whatever order you want. Thus, there is no potential variation there.


With the $1 for passing, we are essentially getting $3 a turn.
We spend 6, plus 1 more if we use the joust. But also, more money could be used in the church or bank.


 
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Thomas Cauet
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Alexfrog wrote:
But also, more money could be used in the church or bank.

My biggest surprise in solo play was that bank was more effective than gold mine, when you are not at all short on cash.

I agree that it's better to build through the building track afterwards (except maybe for residential).
 
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Jeff Dawson
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But the mason is an absolute must before the dungeon phase is over to get the 3 stone production buildings up. I don't know if any other production buildings are necessary. Let me crunch some numbers.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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The limiting factor in the game is 6 actions a turn.

Phase 1 is getting to the point where all 6 actions are very strong, ASAP.
Phase 2 is using those 6 actions every turn to score big points.

You want as many things as you can that give you a benefit without costing any actions. That would be residences.

So your early priorities are lawyer and stone mason, stone production buildings.

Turn 1: Staring resources: FFW, $7, 0 pts.
Actions: F, W, S, C, $3, Carpenter (pay FW for stone mason).
Accounting: 7 - 6actions + $3 space + $1 passing + $2 income = 7


Turn 2: FFWSC, $7, 4 pts, Mason(2) (i.e at 2 in front of Prov).
Actions: S, C, $3, provost mover (save $2), Carpenter (WC for Lawyer), Mason (FS for SSC producer).
Accounting: 7 - 6actions + $3 space + $1 passing + $2 income = 7

Turn 3: FSC, $7, 11 pts, Mason(1), Lawyer (2), SSC (3)
Actions: F, $3, provost mover (save 3), Mason (FS for FFC producer), Lawyer (C+$ for residence on market), SSC
Accounting: 7 - 6actions - $1 lawyer + $3 space + $1 passing + $3 income = 7 for next turn

Turn 4: FSSC, $7, 16 pts, Mason, Lawyer(1), SSC (2), FFC (3), 1R (residence)
Actions: $3, provost mover (save 3), Mason (FS for FWW producer), Lawyer (C+$ for residence on W build), SSC, FFC
Accounting: 7 - 6actions - $1 lawyer + $3 space + $1 passing + $4 income = 8

Turn 5: FFSSSCC, $8, 21 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC (1), FFC (2), FWW (3), 2R
Actions: Mason (SC for Church, Favor #1), Lawyer (C+$ for resi covering CHURCH), SSC, FFC, FWW, Castle (pay FWS for build).
Accounting: $8 - 6 actions + 1 passing - $3 to move provost +3 church favor -$1 for lawyer = 2 + $5 income = 7. + 4 from castle favor = 11.
Favors spent on: church favor on $3, castle favor on $4.
Notes: Wow, that church favor money from the mason came just in time for the lawyer, to avoid using a money getter this turn!!

Turn 6: FFFFWSSSCC, $11, 31 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC (1), FWW (2), (space 3 from Prov was church, now covered), 3R
Actions: Mason (SW for Bank, Favor #1), Lawyer (C+$ for resi, cover F/W), SSC, FFC, FWW, Castle (FWS, FWS, FSC for 3 builds).
Accounting: $11 - 6 actions + 1 passing - 2 moving provost - 1 lawyer + $6 income = $9 for next turn.
Cube accounting: FFFFWSSSCC - SWC + FFFWWSSCC - FWS - FWS - FSC = FFFFSCC.

Castle favor on 1 pt, bonus favor on 2 pts.


To start turn 7, middle castle section:


FFFFSCC, $9, 57 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC, FWW (1), Bank (3), 4 Residences, covering Market, W, F/W, one build spot, 2 favors on money track, 2 favors on points track.

Alternate positions: I can build only 1 or 2 spots in the castle, and have either:
FFFFFFWSSSCCC and 47 pts,
FFFFFSSCCC and 52 pts, or
FFFFFWSSCC and 52 pts.





 
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Alex Rockwell
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I feel good about that start because it has 4 residences already, 2 favors each on the two tracks I wanted, all 3 stone buildings fast.


Strategy from here forward:

Continue to build Church, and residence over church. Church for 3pts + favor is a WAY better way to get a favor than joust.
And it gives a spot to keep putting residences. Mason for church then lawyer over it every turn is good. Excess money will eventually be spent on bank (not church).

Eventually I will need architect to make blue builds, and maybe alchemist to convert unneeded food into gold.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Turn 1: Staring resources: FFW, $7, 0 pts.
Actions: F, W, S, C, $3, Carpenter (pay FW for stone mason).
Accounting: 7 - 6actions + $3 space + $1 passing + $2 income = 7


Turn 2: FFWSC, $7, 4 pts, Mason(2) (i.e at 2 in front of Prov).
Actions: S, C, $3, provost mover (save $2), Carpenter (WC for Lawyer), Mason (FS for SSC producer).
Accounting: 7 - 6actions + $3 space + $1 passing + $2 income = 7

Turn 3: FSC, $7, 11 pts, Mason(1), Lawyer (2), SSC (3)
Actions: F, $3, provost mover (save 3), Mason (FS for FFC producer), Lawyer (C+$ for residence on market), SSC
Accounting: 7 - 6actions - $1 lawyer + $3 space + $1 passing + $3 income = 7 for next turn

Turn 4: FSSC, $7, 16 pts, Mason, Lawyer(1), SSC (2), FFC (3), 1R (residence)
Actions: $3, provost mover (save 3), Mason (FS for FWW producer), Lawyer (C+$ for residence on W build), SSC, FFC
Accounting: 7 - 6actions - $1 lawyer + $3 space + $1 passing + $4 income = 8

Turn 5: FFSSSCC, $8, 21 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC (1), FFC (2), FWW (3), 2R
Actions: Mason (SC for Church, Favor #1), Lawyer (C+$ for resi covering CHURCH), SSC, FFC, FWW, Castle (pay FWS for build).
Accounting: $8 - 6 actions + 1 passing - $3 to move provost +3 church favor -$1 for lawyer = 2 + $5 income = 7. + 4 from castle favor = 11.
Favors spent on: church favor on $3, castle favor on $4.
Notes: Wow, that church favor money from the mason came just in time for the lawyer, to avoid using a money getter this turn!! Note that the need to build the church this turn forced the build of FFC building 2nd, instead of FWW. Though I would prefer another wood over a food, I really needed that cloth.

Turn 6: FFFFWSSSCC, $11, 31 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC (1), FWW (2), (space 3 from Prov was church, now covered), 3R
Actions: Mason (SW for Bank, Favor #1), Lawyer (C+$ for resi, cover F/W), SSC, FFC, FWW, Castle (FWS, FWS, FSC for 3 builds).
Accounting: $11 - 6 actions + 1 passing - 2 moving provost - 1 lawyer + $6 income = $9 for next turn.
Cube accounting: FFFFWSSSCC - SWC + FFFWWSSCC - FWS - FWS - FSC = FFFFSCC.

Castle favor on 1 pt, bonus favor on 2 pts.

To start turn 7, middle castle section:
Choosing the 52 pts, FFFFFSSCCC position, I think its best:

Turn 7:
FFFFFSSCCC, $9, 52 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC, FWW (1), Bank (3), 4 Residences, covering Market, W, F/W, one build spot, 2 favors on money track, 2 favors on points track.

Actions: Mason (SC for church, favor $5), Lawyer (C+$, cover church), SSC, FFC, FWW, Castle (FWS, favor 3 pts).
Accounting: $9 – 6 actions +1 passing – 1 to move provost, - 1 lawyer + 5 favor + 7 income = $14 for next turn.
Cubes: FFFFFSSSCC – SSC + FFFWWSSCC – FWS = FFFFFFFWSSCCC
Scoring: 52 + 3 church + 2 resi + 4 build + 3 favor = 64

Turn 8:
FFFFFFFWSSCCC, $14, 69 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC, FWW, Bank (2), 5R, 1 castle spot.

I am now realizing that I might prefer the CC building over the FFC building! But we'll go with that another time.

Actions: Mason (SC for church, favor 4pts), Lawyer (C+$, cover church), SSC, FFC, FWW, Castle (FWS, favor 4 pts).
Accounting: $14 – 6 actions + 1 passing - 1 lawyer + 8 income = $16 for next turn.
Cubes: FFFFFFFWSSCCC – SCC + FFFWWSSCC – FWS = FFFFFFFFFWWSSCC
Scoring: 64 + 3 church + 2 resi + 4 favor + 4 castle + 4 favor = 81

Turn 9:
FFFFFFFFFWWSSCC, $14, 81 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC, FWW, Bank (1), 6R, 2 castle spots.
Actions: Mason (SC for church, favor 4pts), Lawyer (C+$, cover church), SSC, FFC, FWW, Bank ($5 for GG)
Accounting: $16 – 6 actions + 1 passing - 1 lawyer -1 provost -5 bank + 9 income = $13 for next turn.
Cubes: FFFFFFFFFWWSSCC – SCC + FFFWWSSCCGG = FFFFFFFFFFFFWWWWSSCCCGG
Scoring: 81 + 3 church + 2 resi + 4 favor = 90

Turn 10:
FFFFFFFFFFFFWWWWSSCCCGG, $13, 90 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC, FWW, Bank, 7R, 2 castle spots.
Actions: Mason (FS for ALCHEMIST, Lawyer (C+$, cover S space), SSC, FFC, FWW, Bank ($5 for GG)

Accounting: $13 – 6 actions + 1 passing – 1 lawyer – 5 bank + 10 income = $12 for next turn.
Cubes: FFFFFFFFFFFFWWWWSSCCCGG – FSC + FFFWWSSCCGG = FFFFFFFFFFFFFFWWWWWWSSSCCCCGGGG
Scoring: 90 + 6 alchemist + 2 resi = 98.


Turn 11:
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFWWWWWWSSSCCCCGGGG, $12, 98 pts, Mason, Lawyer, SSC, FFC, FWW, Bank, Alchemist (4?), 8R, 2 Castle


 
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Thomas Cauet
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I don't understand the hurry with the provost mover: you want the maximum number of actions so 18*6 actions to optimize is best than less, no?
You just have to wait that the buildings are activated by themselves.
And I had the assumption that going every turn in the castle was a good choice...

Alex, you know we will be qualified as total geek discussing a subject like that ?
 
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Jeff Dawson
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Henkka wrote:
My top score was 403 points. And I still think there's room for improvement...


400 points, WOW. How many blues did you build? Did you fill all the castle spots? How many buildings did you get built?

I capped out at 366. I know I left a few points on the table, but I'd like to see where an extra 40 points can possible come from. I filled all the castle spots, built most of the greys, and build three prestige buildings. 400 would require all of the wood buildings and another big prestige building and a few more 5 VP bonuses than I got. There just doesn't seem like enough turns to get this done. But I'd love to learn

By the way, it was an interesting exercise. I don't know that I learned a lot, but it was fun. The first phase seems to be the most critical. After round 6, the game goes into auto pilot with 4-5 forced moves each and every turn.
 
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Henri Harju
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Played another game today.. and scored 349 points. I think that 403 has 100 points too much. It was last game out of three (300+, ~about 330, and that last but it's more like 303 I think), it was late in the evening already and I MUST have counted the rounds wrong. I felt good about that game, though. I'm starting to think that over 400 points is not mathematically possible, even. For what it's worth.. In that game I built 4 or 5 prestige buildings and I was recycling 6 point buildings all the time..
 
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Luca Iennaco
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My first attempt (without reading much of the above) was 325.
 
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