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GI John
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Solitaire Play and observations Tue, 28 July 2015 19:37
I've been playing some solitaire games and after reading some old threads I have a few notes to share.

I've played with a full hand as myself versus 1 2 or 3 cards for the house.

Ambush is not used and pulled out of the deck.

Basically you play you hand as normal. The house draws a fresh hand of cards each turn. If the house has no playable card you keep drawing until it does.

One thing I've noticed about a three card hand for the house is it is very powerful. For example, if the scenario calls for my side to draw 5 cards, then after 5 turns I'll have seen only 10 cards to the houses 15!! So unless you start off with a good hand, the house has a huge advantage with being able to draw 3 cards every hand. With the house drawing 3 and you only 1 you're going to lose more than you win.

So, to me, the amount of cards for an balanced scenario for the House would be only 2 cards. 1 card on a scenario heavily favoring the House and 3 cards if my side is heavily favored.

Now as for the Air Rules, the house gets to keep any Sortie, equivalent or recon 1 if air strikes are in effect. These are not counted as part of the houses hand.

When you play just 1 card for the house, it's ability to respond to a sustained attack will falter. So I use the house hand count as a means of balancing scenarios so it will not be too easy or too hard to win.

Even with the house drawings 2 cards per turn it might be an advantage to the house. 2x cards per turn X 12 turns = 24 cards versus the regular player starting with 5 + 12 is only 17 cards. So, my thinking is 1 card for the house when the scenario is even or in its favor and 2 cards for the house when the scenario favors the players side.

[Updated on: Tue, 28 July 2015 22:18]

      
50th
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 29 July 2015 00:16
I've said this before, I lay out the "other sides" cards and roll a six sided die when it is time for "them" to play a card like so:

Card 1 2 3 4 5 (for 5 card hand example)
roll 1 2 3-4 5 6 (whatever I roll, I play that card)

If any of these five (or however many the other side has) cards is an ambush, I discard it.

I also have a solo play chart on my user page in case I just want to play a skirmish type game, check it out:
http://cdn.daysofwonder.com/uploads/userpages/272628/_4778.p df

      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 29 July 2015 12:21
Drawing a 5 card hand and then playing a random card is no different than just taking the top card off the deck and playing it. Plus, you can see the other 4 cards and have knowledge you shouldn't have.

I think it's better to play with 1, 2 or 3 cards for the House and then discard the hand afterwards. When the house plays with 1 card you can't count cards and you don't go through the deck as fast. When the house gets 2 or 3 cards per hand, I choose the best card for the house. So, as in my previous post, I think that gives the house an advantage as the games goes on.

If I play the heavily favored side, the house gets 2 cards. 3 cards only in the rare cases where I have 3 Artillery and other strategic advantages. Most of the time 1 or 2 cards is enough for the house.

I appreciate your comments.
      
sam1812
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 29 July 2015 14:33
If doing it that way makes you happy, that's wonderful. personally, I just play both sides the standard way, root for whichever side is holding the dice at the moment, and try to be honest about how I would play Ambush and defensive Combat cards.

Replacing the House's cards after every turn makes it impossible for that side to plan a strategy.
      
Antoi
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Thu, 30 July 2015 08:49
sam1812 wrote on Wed, 29 July 2015 14:33


Replacing the House's cards after every turn makes it impossible for that side to plan a strategy.


I'm with Sam here. Part of the game is to plan your attack a few turns ahead en make sure you have cards for that section. If you draw new cards every turn its impossible to do that.

If i'm not playing on Vassal or online when I'm playing alone, I always play as normal as possible. Both sides take the number of cards as described and I can start planning Cool
      
Achtung Panzer
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 01 August 2015 12:50
sam1812 wrote on Wed, 29 July 2015 13:33

I just play both sides the standard way, root for whichever side is holding the dice at the moment, and try to be honest about how I would play Ambush and defensive Combat cards.


Me too. When you are familiar with the game it becomes clear which is the obvious / best card to play each turn, and how you should build your hand.

Remember, the dice will always decide
      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Mon, 03 August 2015 03:06
My point was to play against the house and not against yourself. You draw 1 2 or 3 cards depending on how difficult you want your solitaire opponent to be.

Cards like Ambush cannot be played or strategies played fairly when you know both hands. Thus system is better for solitaire play.

[Updated on: Mon, 03 August 2015 03:08]

      
Antoi
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Mon, 03 August 2015 12:35
GI John wrote on Mon, 03 August 2015 03:06

My point was to play against the house and not against yourself. You draw 1 2 or 3 cards depending on how difficult you want your solitaire opponent to be.

Cards like Ambush cannot be played or strategies played fairly when you know both hands. Thus system is better for solitaire play.


That depends on how you play.

If you setup a scenario, before you draw cards you can make your plan depending on your strength and weaknesses per section. You try to get the cards you need en use the others for diversion.
Halfway the game you adjust your plan according to the situation on the battlefield. This play good enough for solitaire play Smile

The fact that in your solitaire play ambush cannot be used and "the house" can not develop a strategy is not appealing to me.
Its more like an "opposite johnny" (as the computer plays online). The house is only reacting and has no initiative.
      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Thu, 06 August 2015 02:37
You simply can't play both sides of the battle knowing the cards for each side. At least this way, you play a true strategy based on your cards.
      
Quit2
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 16 August 2015 13:17
GI John wrote on Thu, 06 August 2015 02:37

You simply can't play both sides of the battle knowing the cards for each side. At least this way, you play a true strategy based on your cards.

Some people are schizophrenic enough to play for both sides knowing the cards for both sides.
      
Clexton27
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 16 August 2015 13:22
Quit2 wrote on Sun, 16 August 2015 07:17

GI John wrote on Thu, 06 August 2015 02:37

You simply can't play both sides of the battle knowing the cards for each side. At least this way, you play a true strategy based on your cards.

Some people are schizophrenic enough to play for both sides knowing the cards for both sides.


Yes, that is exactly how I play solitaire. It is simply a matter of not letting the LEFT HAND know what the RIGHT HAND is doing. And since I am ambidextrous it works just fine.

However, I do not suffer from schizophrenia nor "multiple personality disorder" where there are distinct personalities, I just play my best by building a strategy for both sides based on the cards at hand and hope for the best..

[Updated on: Sun, 16 August 2015 13:32]

      
Antoi
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 16 August 2015 14:23
Quit2 wrote on Sun, 16 August 2015 13:17

GI John wrote on Thu, 06 August 2015 02:37

You simply can't play both sides of the battle knowing the cards for each side. At least this way, you play a true strategy based on your cards.

Some people are schizophrenic enough to play for both sides knowing the cards for both sides.



Laughing

Good to see you back Wim, haven't heard from you in a while Smile
      
tinsoldier
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 19 August 2015 10:15
sam1812 écrit le Wed, 29 July 2015 14:33

If doing it that way makes you happy, that's wonderful. personally, I just play both sides the standard way, root for whichever side is holding the dice at the moment, and try to be honest about how I would play Ambush and defensive Combat cards.

Replacing the House's cards after every turn makes it impossible for that side to plan a strategy.


Same for me. I also have one chair on each side of the table, and I change seat each turn.
      
bdgza
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 19 August 2015 11:36
I think the Solitaire player side in the VASSAL module helps.
      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Tue, 21 November 2017 15:14
Solitaire play is meant for the solitary player to formulate a strategy against 'The House' or 'System'. The goal is to strategize 'Your Own Side' while rigging the house difficulty to be a challenge. You simply cannot play yourself. What is the point of that?

Drawing 2 new cards, play 1 and discard the other for the house each hand is the only realistic way to play solitaire. Ambush can be randomized on which attacker it applies to with a die roll if you have to include it.

This is not unlike Johnny or Hermann and they win their share of battles.

Air Sorties and Recon 1 are explained in my previous post if Air Rules are in effect.



      
Clexton27
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Tue, 21 November 2017 15:28
bdgza wrote on Wed, 19 August 2015 05:36

I think the Solitaire player side in the VASSAL module helps.

I agree Bart!
      
JJAZ
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Tue, 21 November 2017 18:10
For those with programming skills you could make a flowchart on what to play next.
First decision would be offense or defence or even both with the cards and units and terrain at that turn.

Mind you this would already be a big flowchart just to decide that.

Maybe we should start a thread to create this flowchart.

It sure would be better then the AI from the online version.
Rolling Eyes
      
Jon Washington
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 22 November 2017 09:07
sam1812 wrote on Wed, 29 July 2015 08:33

personally, I just play both sides the standard way, root for whichever side is holding the dice at the moment


This is what I do. I take the ambush card out and I don't look at the new card until the next turn. This works for me. I just play the best card available on every turn. I generally don't get enough coordinated cards to develop a multi-move plan so long term hand management is usually not a thing anyway. It's fun when I do but not common.

I don't have a problem not remembering those other cards. In fact, I'm not sure I even could keep both sides' cards in my mind if I wanted to. Embarassed

And even if I could, what fun would that be?


      
Major Duncan
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Wed, 22 November 2017 10:12
I have played 99% of all my games all my gaming life (almost 40 years now!) solitaire, and I am totally happy with the experience.

Ftf play IS different. I only play ftf with my brother and he never does what I would do, or what I expect him to do. It is just another interesting dimension for me.

Proper solitaire play where a computer or rules set is acting as a AI is another gaming experience. I don't personally prefer this method, but I did enjoy Ambush back in the day. Carrier was alright, but I just enjoyed playing both sides more.

I can see what GI John is trying to do, and if he enjoys that method that's great, but it isn't real solitaire. If the house is getting 2 or 3 cards per turn you are still having to choose the best card to play, as you would in a normal game by yourself. And once the card is chosen it is all down to you what units will be ordered, and what they will try and do. That is still alot more player input than in a proper AI system. Granted the house will not be able to plan a strategy, but on a turn by turn basis it will be you choosing their best cards and actions, and with a three card choice I would be fairly confident of getting a card I wanted and would then be planning ahead for the house as I would do in a normal game.

IMO, if I wanted a M44 solitaire experience, I would want the other side properly controlled. This method has too much of my own input into the house to make it satisfying for me. I would rather have full control of both. But that is me. In GI John's M44 world he is king! and can do as he wishes, and share it with others who may also like his ideas.

[Updated on: Wed, 22 November 2017 10:15]

      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 05:31
The main thing I'm trying to accomplish is not knowing the House hand. So, if you draw 1, 2 or 3 cards (depending on the difficulty you're looking for), choose 1 and discard the rest. This way, you're not privy to the 'house' hand and changing the way you're playing your own side. That is the huge issue with playing solitaire for me. I want to challenge a house like system.

So, without Ambush and knowing the house hand you can strategize your side, while playing as best you can with the house side.

Alternatively, the purest form would be to draw 1 card for the house and play that. If the card is not playable, discard and draw another for the house. However, if you're playing with the Allies on Arnhem Bridge, the House will need at least a 2 or 3 card draw to make it more of a challenge.

[Updated on: Sat, 25 November 2017 05:33]

      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 07:19
Has anyone in this conversation played Scythe? I've recently started enjoying that game and it has a whole deck for an Automa Player to allow people to play solo.

What if we designed a solo deck (separate from the player deck) that allowed the "house" to have some basic strategy?

EDIT: I haven't played Solo in a long time but when I did I would simply play both sides the best I could. It worked great for me and was a lot of fun.

[Updated on: Sat, 25 November 2017 07:20]

      
Major Duncan
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 11:37
GI John wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 04:31

The main thing I'm trying to accomplish is not knowing the House hand. So, if you draw 1, 2 or 3 cards (depending on the difficulty you're looking for), choose 1 and discard the rest. This way, you're not privy to the 'house' hand and changing the way you're playing your own side. That is the huge issue with playing solitaire for me. I want to challenge a house like system.


I get what you are trying to do, but with 3 cards the house isn't far off a normal hand of four of five. Yes, you are choosing the card blind, but with another draw of 3 cards next turn there is a good chance that whatever you are deciding for the house this turn, can be continued on their next turn, and that fact would influence what I am doing for the house and I would be planning ahead.

I honestly don't know what would work really effectively to get me to try a solo system, but if you find it a rewarding experience, more so than playing both sides, then have at it!
      
Major Duncan
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 11:38
rasmussen81 wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 06:19

What if we designed a solo deck (separate from the player deck) that allowed the "house" to have some basic strategy?


Okay, I'm intrigued. How would it work roughly?
      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 16:29
A solo deck is a great idea.
      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 18:59
Major Duncan wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 02:38

rasmussen81 wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 06:19

What if we designed a solo deck (separate from the player deck) that allowed the "house" to have some basic strategy?


Okay, I'm intrigued. How would it work roughly?



I'll need to do some more research, but here's my rough ideas:

~ You have a separate AI Deck (we can call it Johnny in honor of the Online version)
~ The cards would use a lot of Icons to indicate what the AI does
~ There would be multiple options for the AI and the player would go through the options until they came to the first one the AI can do.
~ The AI wouldn't use any normal cards, and would often be more responsive (basically have Direct from HQ most turns)
~ Certain cards would be taken out of the player deck (maybe Ambush and others)

It would take some testing, but I think it could work.
      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 19:17
My thoughts are based on the AI cards used for Scythe. Here are those rules for anyone interested:

https://app.box.com/s/rj3jrw0rab2uiz02up89kbant5g8ew1p/folde r/4995749493

Memoir '44 is a very different game so we would have to make some major adjustments to the system used in Scythe, so it would take a lot of work.
      
Jon Washington
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 22:55
rasmussen81 wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 13:17

My thoughts are based on the AI cards used for Scythe. Here are those rules for anyone interested:

https://app.box.com/s/rj3jrw0rab2uiz02up89kbant5g8ew1p/folde r/4995749493

Memoir '44 is a very different game so we would have to make some major adjustments to the system used in Scythe, so it would take a lot of work.


Overall, I like this idea of an AI deck.

It seems like the problem is the variety of balance of scenarios. And not just overall balance in terms of who has the tactical or positional advantage on their first turn for the whole scenario, but also in the balance of which flanks are stronger at the start of the game. It seems like each scenario would have to have its own AI deck. Either way, I'm curious to see what could be done with it.

Cheers!

[Updated on: Sat, 25 November 2017 22:56]

      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 25 November 2017 23:15
Jon Washington wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 13:55


Overall, I like this idea of an AI deck.

It seems like the problem is the variety of balance of scenarios. And not just overall balance in terms of who has the tactical or positional advantage on their first turn for the whole scenario, but also in the balance of which flanks are stronger at the start of the game. It seems like each scenario would have to have its own AI deck. Either way, I'm curious to see what could be done with it.

Cheers!



The goal would be that one deck would work for any scenario, any front, any time. Like I said, it would be a responsive deck. The card would be broken into three sections: Order, Move, Battle. So a card might do something like this:

In the Order Section
Option 1: Order 3 units in the flank that was just ordered by the player
Option 2: Order 3 units in the flank with the most objectives
Option 3: Order 3 units in the Center Flank

For every section of the card, players do the first option if they can. For this card, if it's the opening card, the player skips Option 1 and goes to Option 2. If there are no objectives, the AI goes to option 3 and orders 3 in the center.

In the Move Section
Option 1: Move all units adjacent to enemy hex to attack
Option 2: Don't move to attack
Option 3: Move forward into cover

In this case, the AI will move the ordered units to close combat when possible. If units are nearby but too far away to get adjacent to, the AI will hold position if they have a target. If they are still a ways away from combat, the units will move forward into cover.

In the Battle Section
Option 1: Attack weakest target
Option 2: Attack target allowing the most dice

Different cards in the deck can be more aggressive or allow more (or less) units to attack. Some cards may allow the placement of Sandbags or attacking with extra dice.


[Updated on: Sat, 25 November 2017 23:21]

      
GI John
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 26 November 2017 02:50
Very good work so far.
      
Jon Washington
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 26 November 2017 06:25
rasmussen81 wrote on Sat, 25 November 2017 17:15



The goal would be that one deck would work for any scenario, any front, any time. Like I said, it would be a responsive deck. The card would be broken into three sections: Order, Move, Battle. So a card might do something like this:

In the Order Section
Option 1: Order 3 units in the flank that was just ordered by the player
Option 2: Order 3 units in the flank with the most objectives
Option 3: Order 3 units in the Center Flank

For every section of the card, players do the first option if they can. For this card, if it's the opening card, the player skips Option 1 and goes to Option 2. If there are no objectives, the AI goes to option 3 and orders 3 in the center.

In the Move Section
Option 1: Move all units adjacent to enemy hex to attack
Option 2: Don't move to attack
Option 3: Move forward into cover

In this case, the AI will move the ordered units to close combat when possible. If units are nearby but too far away to get adjacent to, the AI will hold position if they have a target. If they are still a ways away from combat, the units will move forward into cover.

In the Battle Section
Option 1: Attack weakest target
Option 2: Attack target allowing the most dice

Different cards in the deck can be more aggressive or allow more (or less) units to attack. Some cards may allow the placement of Sandbags or attacking with extra dice.





Oh yeah, that sounds really good. Like a flow chart. I didn't read the Scythe page, maybe I should have.
      
Major Duncan
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 26 November 2017 14:56
This looks a really good idea.
      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 26 November 2017 17:25
I'm going to start a new thread about this AI idea, so that it'll be easy for people to find in the future.

I'll see if anyone is willing to start testing the cards, so look for that.
      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sun, 26 November 2017 21:56
great idea, i've been thinking the same for some while.
Never put it into something more then a thought though.

You could make the AI thinking more strategical by looking at medals.

If behind with medals then a more defending / careful option should be choosen. if the AI has more medals than a more aggressive option (moving forward and shooting) can be a good plan.
      
50th
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Mon, 25 December 2017 23:10
GI John wrote on Wed, 29 July 2015 05:21

Drawing a 5 card hand and then playing a random card is no different than just taking the top card off the deck and playing it. Plus, you can see the other 4 cards and have knowledge you shouldn't have.

I think it's better to play with 1, 2 or 3 cards for the House and then discard the hand afterwards. When the house plays with 1 card you can't count cards and you don't go through the deck as fast. When the house gets 2 or 3 cards per hand, I choose the best card for the house. So, as in my previous post, I think that gives the house an advantage as the games goes on.

If I play the heavily favored side, the house gets 2 cards. 3 cards only in the rare cases where I have 3 Artillery and other strategic advantages. Most of the time 1 or 2 cards is enough for the house.

I appreciate your comments.


All five cards (or whatever number of cards) are face down and I don't know what they are until I roll and pick a card for the other side to play.

      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Sat, 30 December 2017 21:02
GI John wrote on Tue, 21 November 2017 15:14

You simply cannot play yourself. What is the point of that?



I can. I do it for plenty of games.

The point is that I have fun doing it.

(I even do it with games with a traitor mechanic. My wife doesn't understand how I do it and still enjoy it, but I do. It's just a question of compartmentalising the knowledge. What is the strategic decision I would take having this knowledge but not that knowledge.)
      
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Re:Solitaire Play and observations Mon, 01 January 2018 16:46
I used to play Memoir solitaire thinking I could do it like Quit2, but often found myself playing cards I probably normally wouldn't or pursuing units that I shouldn't. For me, one key element of gameplay is that you can try to play cards in one section to force the opponent use up all his counter-actions (after which you might get to rampage freely) and I couldn't do it solo. I mean of course I could but it didn't work like it would against an actual opponent.
      
    
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