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Subject: Solitaire 'Survival' Variant rss

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Aaron Tubb
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Fuquay Varina
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Hi all,
This is a solo play variant that I have been playing with a bit lately. I've played it a couple times and found that it offers quite a challenge. You play as a single color and must defend yourself against a never-ending, overwhelming force. Your mission: obtain 12 victory points by completing various objectives before pulling out of the area.

The basic idea is that you choose a color/corporation to play and try to accumulate 12 VP before the other 3 colors/corporations destroy you. Set up the game just lake any 4-player game.


The other 3 colors form an alliance, and act as follows:

-They never explores hexes, accumulate VP, or get rubium, energize cards, or mission cards.

-At the beginning of an opponent's turn, roll a die for each of their home spaces (3 dice total) and place a unit (corresponding to the roll) on each space. 1=human, 2=fungoid, 3=crystalline, 4=rock strider, 5=lava leaper, 6=rubium dragon.

-If they roll to produce a unit, but all of that unit is on the board, that space does not produce a unit. (e.g. Blue has 3 dragons on the board and rolls 4,5,6 for unit production. Only a rock strider and lava leaper are produced. The 6 is ignored)

-Place a unit or marker on the opponent's reference card, on the 'human' area. That opponent can only produce units at or weaker than the marker on the card. When the opponent takes a turn, advance the marker to the next unit. (This way, the opponents are only producing humans on the first turn, then humans/fungoids on the second, and so on... until they are producing all of the units on the sixth turn)

-If the opponent rolls a better unit than the unit the marker is on for them, they produce the best unit available. (e.g. The marker is on 'rock strider' and they roll 2,4,6 for production. They produce a fungoid and 2 rock striders.)

-On their turn, each of their units moves towards the nearest target (your units). Whether they organize their attacks well and utilize terrain is up to you; make them as smart/stupid as you want, but they have to move towards the nearest target(s). When there is a choice as to where to attack/move, make a judgment for them. (You may choose to make one corporation led by a bumbling fool and another led by an intelligent tactician.)

-Rubium dragons do not use their ability to fly anywhere from the monolith, but they do use their plasma breath. Rock striders and lava leapers do use their abilities when possible.


Other rules:

-You collect rubium, energize cards, and mission cards in the usual manner (gathering from mines; controlling the monolith and getting defeated in battle; at the end of your turn, respectively).

-After moving, if you have a unit in a space with an exploration marker, you explore it and immediately get the benefit, even if the space is contested.

-In this variant, you will constantly be defending yourself during your opponents' turns. Keep in mind that you only get VP when you win a battle during your turn.

-If you wish to alter the difficulty, start the opponent's 'available unit' marker on a better unit, play to more (or less) VP, or play with less opponents.


Here is a picture of the end of a game where I was yellow. The game was just barely won. I wouldn't of lasted another turn.


So, that's it. What do you think?
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Chad Egbert
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Woodbury
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I'll have to try it out.
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Barry Kendall
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Lebanon
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Thank you, I like solo variants of most things. Sounds challenging!
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Stephen Sekela
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Camp Lejeune
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This sounds pretty interesting, I may get a chance to try it out in the near future and I'll let you all know.

Thanks for the post!
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Peter Mosbacher
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Houston
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Interesting idea. I'm going to have to try this later. Thanks.
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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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I tried this today and it worked great! Thanks for coming up with this variant. I decided to start off easy, with a 10 VP goal, and only one opponent. The opponent didn't take advantage of terrain, and always targeted the weaker hex when he had to make a choice (i.e. when there were two or more equally close hexes). He always discarded the weaker of his units when I scored hits in battles. He sent out squads of three units (since they're generated in 3s).
This was a lot of fun, next time I'll ratchet up the difficulty and play against more opponents!
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Aaron Tubb
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Fuquay Varina
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
I tried this today and it worked great! Thanks for coming up with this variant. I decided to start off easy, with a 10 VP goal, and only one opponent. The opponent didn't take advantage of terrain, and always targeted the weaker hex when he had to make a choice (i.e. when there were two or more equally close hexes). He always discarded the weaker of his units when I scored hits in battles. He sent out squads of three units (since they're generated in 3s).
This was a lot of fun, next time I'll ratchet up the difficulty and play against more opponents!

Thanks for the reply!
Playing with less opponents is an idea I just added to the main post. I haven't tried it with 1 or 2 opponents. I know the only way I won against 3 was by taking advantage of the rule concerning combat with more than 2 sides. In the picture, the game was won because Green had a couple guys mixed in with Red and Blue's huge army. By singling them out, I actually had a chance of getting points (though my army would be thoroughly destroyed by my next turn). If I had fought all of the opponents' pieces as a coherent army, I wouldn't of had a chance!
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Mike Hill
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This is really great, into the browser favorites you go. Im definently going to try this out in the next few days. Solo variants are the kuelest.
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Jay T Leone
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Just finished trying it. Seemed like a good idea, but it was a bit easy, even while playing the aggressors smartly. Forcing to attack a hex allows to be thinned out easily and force the opposing forces to attack unwisely (e.g.. 2 humans vs 3 rock spiders).

I actually ended up getting 20 VPs, mostly from 1 point blue cards. And no, I didn't receive any victory points for winning defensive battles + I only started with 8 resources. I think rushing a rock spider to the monolith helps alot because your opponents cannot reach it until turn 4 (first 2 turns, can't get units which climb to the top, 3rd turn move spider closer, 4th turn spider attacks top). That's at least 4 free energize cards to start off! Then again, it all depends on getting a lucky exploration tile grab, which I did.

It was fun though! Thanks for the idea!
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Yours Truly,
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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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jtrleone wrote:
Forcing to attack a hex allows to be thinned out easily and force the opposing forces to attack unwisely (e.g.. 2 humans vs 3 rock spiders).


Hi Jtrleone,
I tried this a few times and noticed the same thinning issue you point out. You can resolve it by always keeping the opposing forces in squads of three (which is convenient since they generate in threes). So the "attack closest hex" rule would be the hex that the squad as a whole is closest to *and* valid for attacking (i.e. if humans are in the squad, it can't attack/go towards a magma pool). This should give you more of a challenge. Of course, sometimes the squads will converge on the same hex giving you more than 3 units to fight.
To form the squads, you could have them all generate in the same home-base hex, or join together after each generating in their respective home-base hexes.

I've really been enjoying this variant, thanks again to Aarontu for coming up with this!
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Steve Post
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Variant on the Re: Solitaire 'Survival' Variant

-----Addition to the solo variant of Nexus Ops.
I liked the solo variant a lot. I wanted to try to add to it. These tweeks are untested. The two main things I wanted: ability to use my own Dragon; multiple ways to win; a variable board; less colors.

Variant Goals
Instead of the normal goal you have a choice of 3 different goals.
1. get 15 VP's.
2. explore all hexes
3. remove the enemy (or one of the enemies if you are using more than one).

Variant use of VPs (helps player)
Instead of accumulating the VPs, you can spend them for free reinforcements.
If you spend 1 VP, you get to roll a 1d6 just like the robot players.
If you spend an X more VP's on that roll you get +X to the roll.
So you could spend 5 VP's to:
1. roll 5d6 or 2. roll 3d6 and 1d6+1 or 3. roll 1d6+4 or... etc.

Variant attendance rules (hurts player)
If the player has less that 2 pieces on the board at anytime, they lose immediately.
You CAN'T WIN unless you control the monolith.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This next one really changes the solo game. (perhaps a bit too much).

Variant Board and 1 enemy
Lay the 3hex-homes to the side. Lay the monolith to the side.

Layout the board completely random with the remaining pieces. Perhaps try to make it more of a long rectangle.

Put your 3hex-home on on side. This is your color.

Put one 3hex-home one the opposite side of the board WITH the monolith. This is the robot color.

Note the robot home and your home should be the furthest from each other as possible. I want you to go long distance to get to the monolith.

Put the remaining 3hex-homes one the sides half way between the robot home and your home. These are neutral homes that can be used by either the robot or you. If you solely occupy a neutral hex at the start of your turn, you can deploy pieces from there. If the robot player solely occupies a neutral hex at the start of their turn, they can deploy pieces from there. This allows a much shorter trip to the monolith.

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Mark Sautman
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Evans
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This solo variant worked well. My game was challenging - ultimately I got stuck at 11 VP and could not get to 12. I definitely regret not picking off some solo human on the first few rounds. It sure did not help that my lava leapers kept rolling 1's and 2's and all of my mines were on the opposite side of the board, keeping me at 10 or less rubium every round. You defintely need to be aggressive early on, because once you get to turn 5, the constant stream of dragons and lava leapers against you gets pretty brutal.
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Just tried this solo variant. I played vs. 2 opponents, with one of them going first, then me (I started with 11 rubium), then the other opponent.

I won fairly easily when I realized that I could pick any tile I liked between me and each opponent and make that tile an impassable "front" (since the enemy has to attack there as long as I have troops there). I came to the conclusion that each enemy can only generate 3 units a turn, and so on average they will only kill 2 of my units per turn. So all I had to do was continue feeding a couple of inexpensive reinforcements into my two "front" hexes every turn and I could hold off the two opponents indefinitely while occasionally scoring VPs on my turn for continuing any ongoing battles.

My conclusion is that against 1 or 2 opponents, this variant is entirely too easy. Perhaps this would be harder vs. 3 opponents, but I doubt I will try this variant again, as I simply didn't enjoy playing solo anywhere near as much as I enjoy playing this game against even a single live opponent.

Still, I appreciate your having shared this solo variant here on BGG.

If I were to suggest any change to these rules, it would be that enemy units only have to engage you if you are located on a 2-point mine tile; otherwise, they will attempt bypass movement to the next-closest 2- or 3-point mine tile that you occupy. Failing that, they will move to and attack whichever tile you have the most units on.
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Janez Kosel
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The rules sound simple and cool

I will try them and report he he meeple
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