Tonight, I took a couple hours to try out another solo variant of Brass Birmingham: VictorAI solo variant. This variant is the "middle ground" with the original 3-fan made solo modes for Brass Birmingham (according to one of the solo gaming podcasts called "Solosaurus" where they reviewed the three variants).
The variant I tried a couple times previously is the "George Variant". Nothing wrong with it. However, you need some dice, and you're constantly referring to a chart based on your dice rolls. It's random (which is fine by me), but there's definitely extra checking and the need for some dice. VictorAI on the other hand, needs no extra components, and as I learned tonight, once you get used to the AI's preferred choices, you're not referring to the rules and/or handy flowchart as often.
Let me first point out that this was my first time playing since I put my folded space organizer together. What a great decision that was!!! It really made a HUGE difference in setup and take down time. Not to mention, you can just pull a few of the trays out and set them beside the board. So quick and easy for a game with so many components. I absolutely loved it! 😍 Here's a pic below of how simple it makes things; You can hand each player (in this case... myself) a tray with everything they need for their individual player board. 😎
Now, onto the game...
The picture above is during the canal era. Now the rules say that VictorAI doesn't "plan well". That may be, but she sure gets in the way! 🤔 She had me nicely blocked off during the canal era and she finished with twice as many points as me. Sure, I'm still working on my game, but this is typical Brass Birmingham; this can happen. 😮
VictorAI networks alot (building links on the canals/rails each era). This gets her several points in the end, unless you're capable of blocking her ... which again I was not (at least not often tonight). 🤣
VictorAI makes her decisions based on the card drawn each turn. From there, she has preferences of what to do: Build, network or develop. There's a handy little flow chart as well to make it really simple (the rules are well written too I felt) to sort out what her choice is each time based on her card. I really was impressed. It's simple management of the AI, and she's a real pain to play against. 🤣
Here's the board after the rail era before our end game scoring. VictorAI is yellow, and as you can see, she's EVERYWHERE! I was able to get some nice network/links happening to help give some VPs in the end. I finished with 111 VPs. For me at this point, I tend to finish somewhere between 110-130 VPs (at least on my digital plays). So I was happy with that score. Unfortunately VictorAI's score was "a touch" more. By "a touch" I mean, more like a throat punch with a kick in the ribs on the way down as my body falls limp to the floor. 😫
Let's just leave it at that shall we. 😂
OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE VICTORAI: I won't go back to poor old "George". That variant was fine, but this one is smoother without question. Not to mention, not needing dice and constantly referring to the chart for decisions is awesome too. 😉
*The crazy thing is, there's a more in depth AI opponent with the third fan made variant AND there's even a more recent Automa opponent a fan created. At least I know I have this variant to fall back on regardless of how those two go. 😀