This has got to be one of the most interesting jobs, right? Whether you’re right or wrong, it doesn’t appear to matter much. I’ve seen the same folks on TV/internets giving weather forecasts for years – and even saying what temperature it is currently can be a challenge. This is more likely due to the large surface area they need to cover, but even so…For example, this weekend was supposed to be rain with a 90% chance from Friday through Sunday. Most of the daylight hours. It turned out we had 20 minutes on Friday, a storm overnight, then a sunny day Saturday, and overcast on Sunday.
What was supposed to be a weekend indoors at the cottage turned into a large labour effort in the yard instead. Physical work always feels good, offsets the office hours nicely.
That said I did get a couple chances to play some Friday. This is the solitaire/war – like card game for solo players. I had mentioned that it was a hell of a challenge due to the RNG at the start. That trends continues.
The game provides you with 4 phases – green, yellow, red, and pirates. The first 3 phases are growth phases, where you are attempting to grow the power of your deck, by acquiring new cards and getting rid of bad ones. Each of these phases moves forward once you complete the “challenge deck” – which shrinks in size over time. The pirate phase is a set of bosses, where your deck is locked and you have to take on 2 large challenges. The overall goal is to complete both of those challenges, with at your health points remaining.
Each card has a power level (ranges from -4 to +4) and has various skills attached (more health, card swaps, duplication, doubling of power). The starting state is poor – you have many negative cards. In order to grow the power of your deck, you need to beat various numerical challenges (e.g. get 2 points across 3 cards). Beating a challenge has you gain that challenge card. Losing a challenge allows you to sacrifice life points and get rid of poor cards. In the green phase, you want to do both, though losing is arguable more efficient in the long term. At best, by the end of this round you have shrunk the challenge deck in half (from 30 to 15). More likely, you’ve shrunk your hand deck from all negative point cards and acquired 5 challenge cards.
The yellow phase is the same as green, except that you need more points for the same set of challenges. The goal here is to win as much as possible and shrink that challenge deck as much as possible. This is hard, since most cards are only 1 power point and you need an average of 1.5 to beat any given challenge. Skills come into play now, where you swap/boost other cards.
The red phase is attrition. Whatever challenges remain are nigh impossible to win unless you have the best cards. The weakest challenge cards from Green are actually the hardest now. What was a 1 card pull for 0 points, now requires 5. There are no 5 point cards.
If by the grace of some deity you complete red, you move onto pirate mode. These require you to draw 6-10 cards to meet specific skill point values. One has a 10/40 cap, which means you need an average of 4 points per card. The only way to do this is with specific skill cards – doublers and copy cards. A near perfect deck. The other pirates aren’t much better. Either you attack points are worth less, or you need to fight all the remaining challenge cards, or a set of other handicaps. So in truth, it isn’t about surviving the first 3 phases. It’s entirely about preparing for this one.
Across a dozen games:
- reached yellow majority of times
- reached red half the time
- reached pirates a quarter
- defeated 1 pirate once
- never defeated both pirates
That 1 pirate victory cost me every single card and life point. And it was a softball card compared to some others.
There’s some strategic growth to be had, but it’s clear that only a single strategy will work and that the card-to-card tactics require more card counting for success.