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Benjamin
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Hi,

Root has been a fantastic experience and is definitely one of my favourite games. However, I found that the solo and coop experience was lacking. The MM is severely random due to the recruiting. I also wanted to be able to include more bots to be able to play the Marquise and have 1-2 bots for a more dynamic playing experience when there isn't enough players for a full game.

The goal is to keep the style of each faction, but reduce the complexity to ensure gameplay is fast and players don’t have to make or evaluate decisions for the bots. Most factions base their turn on revealing the top card of the deck – no need for having a row of 5 cards and refilling them, and no need for the spy cards. Dominance cards still don't work truly with bots, but should be fine in competitive multiplayer games with bots included. (I've included variants for Spy Cards, Dominance Cards, and Ambush Cards!)

I'd love for you to test the bots and provide feedback on what you like and don’t like about them.

Download All:
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BGG Files

(I apologise for the patchwork-look, I currently don't have access to photoshop. I’m hoping that it doesn’t matter for the average printer's quality.)

General
- Please refer to the "Law of Bot" file which runs through each bot in detail with some examples! That being said, all information is actually on the board and the rulebook is technically not required to play.
- Priority of region is fulled based on the official solo mode, meaning highest clearing priority is 1 and lowest clearing priority is 12.
- All bots have a double-sided board with setup instructions on the other side. They differ for most factions and should be used to setup the game correctly!
- There's a small square with the priorities for the winter map that can be placed on top of the standard map in case the winter map is played. (it's included in the MM2.0 file)
- Each bot comes with 4 upgrade cards to increase difficulty and 2 downgrade cards to decrease difficulty. For competitive play they should not be used (unless you find the bots too weak), while I would recommend selecting at least one upgrade card for each player in coop games (2 upgrade card if playing 2 players versus 1 bot, or 3 upgrade cards and 1 downgrade cards).
- Spy cards are not used by default.
- Bots do not have any items for sale when the game starts. It made the Vagabond too strong. Now items are crafted by the bots during the game.

Mechanical Marquise 2.0
Status: v3 (final)


Download MM2.0:
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BGG Files

The MM2.0 has a slightly adjusted action flow and doesn’t gain any extra points based on the number of players. The key change is that it places building tokens and then scores points based on how many buildings it has of the same type. It also recruits before it moves leading to more dynamic map behaviour. If a bird card is revealed the behaviour is slightly modified to make the game less predictable.

Especially when playing 1v1 as the Eyrie against MM2.0 the Blitz Tactics upgrade makes the game more dynamic and should be used.

Notes:
- Crafting always scores 1 VP no matter what the card says.
- If there is a tie for most buildings on the board just go top to bottom (Fox -> Bunny -> Mouse).
- When scoring after escalation the current (second) order card is used.


Automated Alliance
Status: v4


Download AA:
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BGG Files

After some back and forth the current version works great with some changes to WA abilities. There's no supporters or military officers. Guerrilla War, Outrage, Martial Law, and Removing Bases have all been modified.

The bot will require constant attention from the player and if not kept in check will run away with the game.

Notes:
- Crafting always scores 1 VP no matter what the card says.
- When a base is destroyed all matching sympathy is returned; meaning no points are scored for the returned pieces as they haven't been removed.

Electric Eyrie
Status: v4 (final?)


Download EE:
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BGG Files

The EE feels like playing against the Eyrie, but instead of Turmoil being a major setback it becomes many very small setbacks. Each round 4 random cards being added to the decree. If an action cannot be used in full the card is discarded. If any roost is destroyed the EE loses 1 VP, has to discard a bird card from the decree, and has to switch to the next leader.

Some leaders have been modified to work better for the bot. The Builder allows the EE to craft (indeed it crafts each item discarded from the decree!), while the Charismatic leader is always the starting leader for the EE and has his Viziers in Move and Build.

Unlike MM2.0 and AA, the Electric Eyrie doesn’t craft by default (reflecting the Disdain for Trade), which might make the Vagabond quite unhappy if played solo.

Notes:
- Make sure to use the leader provided! They have been modified!
- If you run out of leaders then discard and shuffle as per base game rules.
- Purge is required to ensure the EE can expand in difficult situations, but also scores points for EE.
- When the builder crafts it only crafts cards with an available item (e.g. a hammer if the hammer is still available), but will only score 1 VP for the card.


Robot Raccoon
Status: v4 (final)


Download RR:
Dropbox
BGG Files

The bot for the Vagabond is slightly higher in complexity and I think the goal for further versions is to simplify, simplify and simplify. That being said the Robot Raccoon does his job very well. Please read notes below before playing.

Each turn draw a card that dictates (based on the suit) what 3-4 actions the bot will try to complete on its turn. If he can't complete an action in full he will skip it and move to the next.

The items exhausted for the actions are all wildcard, as in each items grants an action and it doesn't matter what is printed on it. E.g. if the RR needs to move 2 areas and then battle a player he has to exhaust a total of 3 items. It might be Coins, Bag and Crossbow.

Also the RR doesn't need swords for rolled hits. Instead it has a short combat track on which it has to place its 6th, 9th and 12th items. The 6th and 9th increase his rolled hit maximum to 2 and 3. The 12th item adds +1 Extra Hit when attacking. This is meant to recreate the bizarre strength a fully equipped Vagabond player would bring to the table.

Finally, the Raccoon doesn't bother with relationships. Robot Raccoon don't care. Each aid given grants a point and each pieces removed in battle grants a point.
It will occasionally aid the player with the lowest score, but mostly relentlessly hunt down whoever is in the lead. In solo 1v1 games this can be painful, especially as he goes for clearings with the most tokens, then least warriors. On the other hand if playing against multiple bots the RR becomes a balancing force.

Notes:
- If playing with a second Vagabond bot each bot uses his own separate Active Quest card. If the second Vagabond is a player then the player uses the Quest deck as per standard rules.
- Explore, Quest, and Battle all instruct to move to certain clearings before doing the main part of the action. If the bot can't afford to complete the action (e.g. he has 3 ready items and he would need to move twice and spend two to quest) then he skips the whole action and doesn't move.
- Any damage taken is first assigned to exhausted items then to ready items.
- Repair does not repeat and frequently the bot will spend all items battling leaving none for the repair action.


Clockwork Cult
Status: v1 (yay!)


Download CC:
Dropbox
BGG Files

The Clockwork Cult is very similar to the Lizard Cult, but adds a lot more pressure for other players. They key difference is that Lost Souls and the Outcast suit have been replaced with an Outcast pile.
The CC maintains a face-down pile of up to 5 cards as "Outcasts". Any cards that players discard get added to the Outcasts pile if there's less than 5 cards in it.

In Birdsong he uses his Acolytes to punish the player with the most VP, using his Acolytes to Sanctify, Crusade, and Convert.

In Daylight he uses every card in the Outcast pile to recruit a warrior. If he rules a clearing he also automatically places a Garden.

In Evening he discards a card from the Outcast pile to score the suit of Garden with the most pieces on the board, and the suit of Gardens with the least pieces on the board.

Notes:
- If you find CC too strong there's a downgrade that reduces the Outcast pile by 1 card to 4. That might be a good starting point.
- If you find CC too weak there's a good chance you missed a rule.

Otter Overlords
Status: Not yet started


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Benjamin
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
(reserved)
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Joy Cohn
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
Inconmon wrote:
(reserved)


There are no links?

So, have you given thought about playing all 6 bots against each other? Could be revealing.
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Benjamin
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
The files are waiting approval by bgg admins. I'll throw it onto my dropbox for now (I assumed external links are frowned upon) : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/iq4rp6pwdntvh1c/AAC6S2-lj_KLclFb4...


I tested the 3 finished bots against each other and it ended with 27 (EE), to 31 (MM), to 32 (AA) - I did give them an equal amount of turns. Since then I slightly adjusted EE and did another 2 solo game tests. So I assume it would be even next time around.
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Byron S
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I don't remember what I ate last night
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but I can spout off obscure rules to all sorts of game like nobody's business!
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
There's no problem with safe external links, and is probably much more useful in an evolving project like this. I'm curious to see how this will turn out.
 
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Patrick Leder
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
This is getting dangerously close to my fantasy scenario of just watching bots tear into each other for a full hour.
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
GreenM wrote:
This is getting dangerously close to my fantasy scenario of just watching bots tear into each other for a full hour.

I'll give it a go as soon as I get my copy. Really like the concept. Haven't played the original MM yet but as a solo player this is right up my alley.

Psst, OP, the MM is a she, like countess or baroness.
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Patrick Leder
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
I kid but I also applaud this effort as I do all the people making fan factions. Very cool and I long for the free time to try some of this out.
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Anjovi Kulam
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
Great effort! I feel like the River Folk bot might be my favorite (allowing trade to take place in 2 human games)

Have you considered adding a system for the AI to purchase cards off of the river folks? Suppose the parameters would probably only be based on whether it aligns with their turn, but it could be interesting (would probably be best to include such a thing as an extra reference card for the side)

Maybe a purchase + shuffle to allow their card order to remain more mysterious.

suggestion for MM board: Have the mechanical cat's eyeballs poke up over the building track 8o
 
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daniele daniele
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
Hi, if MM 2.0 make an Escalate which order card is used for the evening scoring? (First card, second or both cards?) Thanks
 
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Benjamin
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
The current one, as in the new (second) one.
 
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
Inconmon wrote:
The current one, as in the new (second) one.

So, only 1 card per evening phase, right?
 
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Benjamin
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
cely81 wrote:
Inconmon wrote:
The current one, as in the new (second) one.

So, only 1 card per evening phase, right?


Yes. It can lead to the odd scenario where the first card would have scored 3 points but due to escalate the second card now only scores 1 point. In return the cat gets to bring in another 4 warriors, do some battling, etc.

GreenM wrote:
This is getting dangerously close to my fantasy scenario of just watching bots tear into each other for a full hour.


I added the first version of the Vagabond, which means the base game factions are all there. Enjoy!

Ren3 wrote:
Psst, OP, the MM is a she, like countess or baroness.


It should be "it" like a mechanic device. I see I messed this up everywhere. To be changed in the next version.

anjovi154 wrote:
Have you considered adding a system for the AI to purchase cards off of the river folks?


I haven't even started the Riverfolk bot yet, because of exactly that complexity. I think doing the Lizards and providing better balancing (and streamlining) for all 5 bots will be easier than the Riverfolk.

However, if we go with your idea we could make it work: Each bot could have a condition on when they buy as well as what happens.
e.g. MM buys Mercenaries unless he's got 1+ more warriors than the opponent he attacks. If MM has more than 10 warriors left in his supply he buys a card (matching order card) and adds 2 warriors into the clearing with the least warriors. MM also considers rivers for movement and if the target clearing requires going via boat it pays for it.
On the other side the Otter bot just escalates the prices based on his VP. Means they'll always go up. +1 at 10, 15, 20.
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
Hi, some questions about solo mode:
1) Are mice, rabbit and fox favor card’s used?
2) Are spy or dominance cards used?
thanks
 
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Benjamin
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Re: [Better Bot Project]: Mechanical Marquise 2.0, Automated Alliance, Electric Eyrie, Robot Racoon, Clockwork Cult, Reprogrammed Riverfolk
cely81 wrote:
Hi, some questions about solo mode:
1) Are mice, rabbit and fox favor card’s used?
2) Are spy or dominance cards used?
thanks


1) Yes. If you find it too easy with them try either adding more upgrades or removing the cards.

2) Spy cards don't have an effect, so no. Dominance cards don't work solo or coop. I tend to leave them in the deck for convenience reasons the same way ambush cards don't do anything and stay in the deck.
 
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Benjamin
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I've uploaded a rulebook ("Law of Bot") and updated versions for all 4 bots. This should help using the bots.
Most changes are odd spelling errors and clearer use of language. Woodland Bot has a slight change (bonus VP if all sympathy is on the map).
 
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Vincent Fiocco
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So I tried the automated alliance and I just had a question with sympathy placement.

So the order of placement is matching the order card then highest priority. Is highest priority meaning the largest number or lowest number? I would think the largest number but I read your law of bot and it has it listed the highest priority is the lowest number so I'm confused.
 
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Benjamin
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IronHide71 wrote:
So I tried the automated alliance and I just had a question with sympathy placement.

So the order of placement is matching the order card then highest priority. Is highest priority meaning the largest number or lowest number? I would think the largest number but I read your law of bot and it has it listed the highest priority is the lowest number so I'm confused.


1 is highest priority, 12 is lowest priority. This is based on the Mechanical Marquise from the Riverfolk expansion. I thought about flipping it but everyone who tried the original bot would be confused then.

I'll make sure to add it to the instructions in the next update.
 
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Vincent Fiocco
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Inconmon wrote:
IronHide71 wrote:
So I tried the automated alliance and I just had a question with sympathy placement.

So the order of placement is matching the order card then highest priority. Is highest priority meaning the largest number or lowest number? I would think the largest number but I read your law of bot and it has it listed the highest priority is the lowest number so I'm confused.


1 is highest priority, 12 is lowest priority. This is based on the Mechanical Marquise from the Riverfolk expansion. I thought about flipping it but everyone who tried the original bot would be confused then.

I'll make sure to add it to the instructions in the next update.


I was looking at the rules for the mechanical Marquise and the player board and it only ever refers to priority as lowest number and highest number so it would make more sense to keep those consistent with "highest priority" being highest number and vice-versa.
 
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Chris W
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IronHide71 wrote:
I was looking at the rules for the mechanical Marquise and the player board and it only ever refers to priority as lowest number and highest number so it would make more sense to keep those consistent with "highest priority" being highest number and vice-versa.


Where'd you see that?

Mechanical Marquise rules from the rule book:
"Step 2: Move. Starting with the clearing with the lowest number in the Clearing Priority box (1, 2, etc.) and going up, move from clearings you rule with four or more of your warriors. For each move, move all of your warriors except for three from the origin clearing. The destination is the adjacent clearing with the most enemy pieces, then the tied clearing with the lowest number in the Clearing Priority box."
 
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Benjamin
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IronHide71 wrote:
I was looking at the rules for the mechanical Marquise and the player board and it only ever refers to priority as lowest number and highest number so it would make more sense to keep those consistent with "highest priority" being highest number and vice-versa.


The board for the MM says:

"Clearing Priority
Take moves from lowest to highest number."

followed by

"Move all but 3 of your warriors from clearings matching the order card, following clearing priority.
Destination is the adjacent clearing with the most enemy pieces, then with highest clearing priority."
 
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Derek J
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I haven't yet tried this yet but wanted to say thank you for making this! This will increase the longevity of the game for me
 
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Vincent Fiocco
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McChew wrote:
IronHide71 wrote:
I was looking at the rules for the mechanical Marquise and the player board and it only ever refers to priority as lowest number and highest number so it would make more sense to keep those consistent with "highest priority" being highest number and vice-versa.


Where'd you see that?

Mechanical Marquise rules from the rule book:
"Step 2: Move. Starting with the clearing with the lowest number in the Clearing Priority box (1, 2, etc.) and going up, move from clearings you rule with four or more of your warriors. For each move, move all of your warriors except for three from the origin clearing. The destination is the adjacent clearing with the most enemy pieces, then the tied clearing with the lowest number in the Clearing Priority box."


Yeah after reading the rules and the player board highest clearing priority is the lowest number. It's a little misleading and should have had better clarification on the player board.
 
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Benjamin
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Uploaded version 2b of Eyrie bot:
The language around priority of moving to or from a clearing wasn't clear, same for battles the priority of target clearing and target player wasn't clear.
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Robert Sellers
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Great, can't wait to try them, and to see the lizards and river folk
 
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