Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

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Cpt Ric

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Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Cpt Ric » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:48 pm

I wrote this up in Word so It doesn't have the icons, and I'm being lazy and not editing it to change to all the icons. Please comment on what you think of these. My goal here is to generate ideas for a Solo Deck Expansion for the game. These cards would be intended for Solo play only. I suppose they could be used in multiplayer games but the idea is basically to "change" existing cards to make them more useful in Solo play. Most card are fine in Solo play, and some are just not that useful and a few are down right useless except for the :ev value. My goal is to get those not so useful and useless cards to be at least more useful in Solo play so they aren't just a :ev card. Here is my first cut at that. Also, I'm not saying here that the Solo card would necessarily be the same named card with just changed text, it might be a "new" :crew card for example, but it's morphed from the one that already exists.

Solo Version Cards for Traveller

All these cards have attributes that are not useful in Solo play, some they are just less useful. Other really are very useful at all other than resource value, like “Lost and Found”.

Crew Cards. For these other than the skill they offer, any effect they have is not really useful in Solo play:
Ganiddiirsi Digushii – Change to “Exert cost 1 – search deck for a Heroic action and add to your hand”
Rika Honami – Change to “ready a target crew” rather than exert a crew
Wabapawap, Speaker of the Tree – Change to “Exert cost 2 – search deck for a noble or imperial and add to hand”
Liach, T’zen and Giiar – change to “Exert cost 1 – search deck for event and add to hand”
Imlaii Ergarsuu – Change to “Replenish 1 if any crew is wounded”
Gvaerrggoursu – Change to “After completing a Military Contract gain one additional victory point”

There are other crew (like Flint) that could potential be more useful in Solo play but at lease have an attribute that is helpful in Solo.

Heroic Action Cards. Certainly, you can just play and not use these, however that limits the number of possible Heroic Actions available for the given skill required:
Lost and found – Trained: search discard for one gear add to hand, Expert: same but attached to this crew member instead.
Psychic Theft – Trained: Copy one Skill from targeted crew, Expert: copy all from targeted crew.
Remember that time – Expert: same as trained but user of the Action is not exerted.
Police Raid – Trained: resolve any unsavory compilation. Expert: Same but also replenish 1.
Sabotage – This one might just be one to not use in Solo. I was thinking of something like “Soup Up” that is coming in Rogue’s Gallery.
Sinkers and Slanders – This one might just be one to not use in Solo.
Hobble – Not sure about this one, but something for the combat skill would be good.


Connections Cards. There are lots of connections so these are likely on the very tail end of the list:
Biddable Official – Add a corruption counter when you play an event. Use and exert remove 4 corruption counters and retrieve a random event from the discard pile.
Hortalez et Cie Bonding office – Add a leverage counter after each contract completed. Ready phase, use and exert pay 4 leverage counters and retrieve one crew from the discard and add to your hand, doesn’t count toward hand size.

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Wargfn » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:27 pm

I really like this idea. Solo play seems a little one dimensional.

I play a variant that I mentioned before where I add a ship deck stack that changes every turn for a piracy target; however, I have not had much luck of it feeling like a diversion. And since had already tended to avoid large crowds have yet to make it to a Con where people are playing the game, my very occasional opponent has always just been a race to get to 20 VPs before my wife does.

Piracy itself is a pretty complicated action to take as a Captain. It can be used as a mill action against your opponent or to try and get him to sacrifice a needed :upgrade on his ship to slow his accumulation of :vp. While holding onto :infamy tokens makes it more difficult for you to acquire additional cards during the procurement phase. In a Solo game, milling does nothing. No Opponent also means the race is only with you running out of cards before hitting 20 :vp.

I do like the solo challenges that we already have. They have specific requirements you are trying to meet will still getting to 20 :vp. I like the announcement of the Solo Scenarios, which is one thing that can benefit solo players. I would also love to see a mini-campaign, where you build your Captains deck, plus a small sideboard of 5 cards, and select your ship, then play a 3 linked game set. Those three games have specific adventure cards which have to be overcome. Between the three games you are allowed to switch in a sideboard of 5 cards on a 1 for 1 basis. Maybe that is where Ian is headed with the Solo Scenarios.

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Cpt Ric » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:04 am

No Opponent also means the race is only with you running out of cards before hitting 20 :vp.

Roger that! Playing "The Cost of doing business" really puts you under pressure.

A variation on that could be if you aren't actively pursuing a :contract you have to discard some number of cards (2? 5?) either from your hand or the captain deck, which again would just put pressure on you that you can't lallygag around.

The other obvious thing to do is set a higher goal, not 20 :vp but say 30 :vp instead.

Or just don't have a fixed number, play out the whole deck and see how many :vp you can get. And now can you beat that? That could be interesting, especially if you play the same deck.

There are plenty of solo scenarios out there with all the "Solo Saturday" challenges and the other published ones. I don't think there is really a lack of ways to play solo, I do think there are cards that are not useful in solo play or at least not very useful. I still think it would be a very cool thing to see a solo expansion deck. Again a boost for all of us playing solo and a great marketing way to get folks into the game.

I just got a buddy of mine to start playing and he basically said, if a game doesn't have a solo option he tends not to buy it. This game is a great solo game, but looking at the box you wouldn't know it.

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Horizon Jeff » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:20 pm

Cpt Ric wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:04 am
No Opponent also means the race is only with you running out of cards before hitting 20 :vp.

Roger that! Playing "The Cost of doing business" really puts you under pressure.
This is supposed to be a time-pressure type scenario, but one work around people have used is to spend a few turns to "build up." Then they go do stuff.

While that's certainly valid, it leads to a less than exciting play experience. So maybe another scenario will use a different ticking clock mechanic that may be more interesting.

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Cpt Ric » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:38 pm

Horizon Jeff wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:20 pm
Cpt Ric wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:04 am
No Opponent also means the race is only with you running out of cards before hitting 20 :vp.

Roger that! Playing "The Cost of doing business" really puts you under pressure.
This is supposed to be a time-pressure type scenario, but one work around people have used is to spend a few turns to "build up." Then they go do stuff.

While that's certainly valid, it leads to a less than exciting play experience. So maybe another scenario will use a different ticking clock mechanic that may be more interesting.
Yes and I do that, "build up" then go, and it still can be a tight! Timing when to "go" is a little tricky, wait to many turns and your :ship might be all tricked out, but you might run out of cards! ACK! I think the last time I played it only had a couple cards in my deck and not a full hand of cards. About two maybe three turns is about all you can afford in my experience.

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Horizon Ian » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:48 pm

Jeff and I talked yesterday about solo play.

In my playing various games solitaire, I'm looking for payoff to my decisions and the feeling of challenge as I usually (but most definitely not always) win. While I play something kind of like FreeCell a lot, I often question why as it's a solvable experience like FreeCell or sudoku or chess problems or whatever. I don't approach it that way, though, making decisions before running through every possible scenario as I'm looking for something that feels more dramatic than like grinding.

For solo Traveller play, people can make use of the game components to play whatever they want, but, in terms of trying to present components and scenarios, I'm concerned about matching audience expectations.

For instance, I don't need a ticking clock to make solo Traveller interesting, but I worry about play that puts no forward pressure on the game. Multiplayer play puts pressure on by someone else winning. How important is it that people are pushed to act? Or, here's another direction that may not be giving people what they actually want: how desirable are more random effects? For instance, if an effect caused random dispersement of cards (from hand, deck, wherever), would this just annoy solo players because it deprived them of playing their deck out?

Anyway, when it comes to thinking of specific cards rather than a set, I'm not sure how much people are looking for the cards to drive a different experience than what is possible or just more options within the current experience.
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Cpt Ric

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Cpt Ric » Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:18 pm

Horizon Ian wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:48 pm
Anyway, when it comes to thinking of specific cards rather than a set, I'm not sure how much people are looking for the cards to drive a different experience than what is possible or just more options within the current experience.
Totally understand. I'm just looking at the cards and when I see attributes that are useless in solo play, that reduces my options. So I'm in the "more options within the current experience" set of folks. I think there already is a rather large set of options for solo play available, I'd just like more cards that work (better) for solo play.

Doing things like solo campaigns are very cool as well. I'm sure that even with the current :contract and :complication cards folks could build a campaign.

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Re: Solo Card Ideas - Comments please!

Post by Horizon Ian » Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:54 pm

While more relevant to another thread, following up on your last comment, Wargfn mentioned a style of play to me that he would find interesting. Maybe he can detail it. But, yes, our interest in a coherent solo campaign set combines several goals of which two of them are: more adventure cards for any sort of play; adventure cards that relate to each other more closely than someone building themed adventure decks with existing cards.
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