SoloPlay Variants Posted on the Geek
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This GeekList is a listing of all SoloPlay variants that I have posted to the Geek since February,2009. Since the list has grown over the past year I am consolidating the information to make it easier to update in the future. I would appreciate any comments that you may have.


If you have questions about certain games, please post your questions in the individual forums where the design threads reside or in the file section. I monitor those and try to respond back to the players as soon as I can.

Warning:
All of the Solo variants were put together to challenge experienced players of the various games. The goals set for these variants are not to score the highest possible score ever but to beat the game design. I assure everyone that all of the variants can be beaten.

As some have noted, a byproduct of practicing these variants is that your multi-player play should improve. You are able to try out different strategies that you may/would never try in "live" play. Suddenly you see how you could implement certain play styles. I hope that you enjoy the exploration.

Additions to this list will be made when new variants have been completed and I will update design statuses below in the "update" section.

All links to the variant files have been included.

By subscribing to this GeekList you will be notified when a new variant has been completed.

The games listed are not ranked. The list is in alphabetical order.

I hope that you enjoy them.
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26. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:101] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion
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Yes, you are seeing double. I have taken another swing at creating a variant that includes a consistently higher level of challenge.

The new Dominion SoloPlay rules were designed for those who own multiple expansions for Dominion and desire a more 'natural' challenge. It will take a very good deck builder to achieve the highest performance regularly with this variant. At least I have not been able to do it.

The core of this is the setup which does break the various cards from all of the card sets into groups to ensure that the balance is there each time that you play. I do not know if the apps that select cards will provide this.

If you do not own more than 1 expansion, you may not find this variant as variable as I intended it to be. In this case stick with the original design.

Setup is about 10 minutes with a normal playtime around 30-45 minutes.

Update (9/30/20): Variant includes adaptations for all expansions available through 9/30/20 with the exception of Alchemy.

SoloPlay Dominion Pyramid Challenge (#51): 10 pages of rules and card explanations included.

Rules file - Dominion Pyramid Challenge SoloPlay Rules
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27. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:89] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue
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Many have requested an update of the SoloPlay rules including the expansions (Intrigue/Seaside/Promos) and I am now happy to comply.

The new cards did pose some interesting problems but I attempted to iron these without deviating from the quick play and without altering the primary function of most cards. Some I had to alter or add a requirement to give them a purpose in this variant.

The Embargo, Ghost Ship, Ambassador and a few others allow you to impede the game from shortening the game time by allowing the player to activate kingdom discards which can help the player to get those last few points needed to gain a greater victory condition.

Supplemental scoring: It is suggested that you reduce your scoring when using the Embargo (30 points) since the ability to complete kingdom sets is much greater especially if combined with the Militia. Without alteration the game may be too easy in most card sets.

All in all it was very enjoyable to attempt to execute the new strategies.

Dominion Intrigue/Seaside/Promos (supplemental rules)
Rules file – Dominion SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Dominion SoloPlay Design Thread
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28. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:267]
Board Game: Dungeon Lords
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It took a while to pick this one up but I eventually was able to get this one at a reasonable price. It was a hit with my kids right out of the box once I got all of the mechanics down.

The key with this design was trying to include a greater planning aspect and to mitigate the randomness that the design holds while making the game harder to "beat".

This variant uses the expansion tiles that come in the base game in a few ways. The tiles indicate the way that your dungeon can be built, increase the gaming challenge depending on how you expand and provide an end game scoring goal. I also use them to determine your title goals so that each game will be slightly different.

There are 4 levels of play included to keep the soloist challenged.

Dungeon Lords SoloPlay (#31): File includes a player aid to note the title goals and contains some game play reminders. Also included is a SoloPlay expansion consisting of 10 tiles that can be used in the solo variant and, as noted in the strategy session at the end of the rules, can be used in multi-player play.

Rules file - Dungeon Lords SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Dungeon Lords SoloPlay Design Thread
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29. Board Game: Empire Builder [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1271]
Board Game: Empire Builder
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This was one of the games that I grew up with. I liked the way it played even given the little interaction between the players. It has never been played with my current game groups and most aren't even familiar with it.

Designing this was something I had to do regardless as to how "old" the game is. I wanted to speed the game up, give it variability and replayability.

When I was finished I was glad that I worked on it. It plays beautifully for those that know how to play the game. Even though it is a solo game the "best" path for your tracks are not always the same and the money is just as tight as in the original. You have multiple goals to accomplish to maximize your score and different milestones that you need to achieve to advance your position.

I stated it in the design thread and I say it again here. It plays much better than Power Grid which has a similar game feel in a multi-player format to me. The player has some tough choices to make all throughout and win or lose, I enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor in the network design which is always unique.

Maybe many of you have not heard of this one or don't care for it and that is fine. The solo variant has given the game a rebirth in my collection. My only regret is that I could not get EuroRails done using the same rules set. It just did not work.

Empire Builder (#17, solo) includes a visual player’s aid.
Rules file – Empire Builder SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Empire Builder SoloPlay Design Thread
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30. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:305]
Board Game: Endeavor
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This is the game of the moment right now for me (Nov/Dec 09). I like the way it plays and works great with 4 and 5 players. With fewer players the game starts to break down and even with 3 which it says that it supports. I realize that this is a matter of taste.

Not to be limited by the impossible I set out to convert this game to a reduced player variant for 2 or 3. The changes were really nothing to do and the games plays great. We have been playing the 2-player game to death and it always plays out different. This game paid back its cost in less than a month and much of this is due to the reduced player variants.

The solo variant, that I originally did not think would be possible was born out of the 2-player variant. It was one of those aha! moments. It plays quick and will make you think as you compete against(indirectly control) your opponent(s).

Endeavor (#18, solo and reduced player(2&3)) includes a visual player’s aid.
Rules file – Endeavor SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Endeavor SoloPlay Design Thread

French Translation - Endeavor Soloplay Rules(French) Translation by: Christian Cang (BGG user: plastic77)
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31. Board Game: Fabled Fruit [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:788]
Board Game: Fabled Fruit
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Fabled Fruit turned out to be one of those "it's so simple" projects.

I was concerned about the balancing of all of the different cards and the amount of interaction between the players that occurs. This also ended up being a non-issue.

Initially it felt somewhat random to be able to achieve success and so I added the structured setup that creates a natural balance between the cards available. Once this was integrated into the design I would play it only with this setup. This was a case of overriding the designer's sequencing to create a more interesting game.

Those last handful of plays created a very rewarding experience as I could see how I could improve my odds due to the card layout and executed my plan to success. This was the point that I knew I was done.

As with all of my solo designs, stick with it. What seems impossible just needs to be broken down a bit and then it becomes clear what you need to try to do.

Setup is around 5-10 minutes with a play time between 30-45 minutes.

SoloPlay Fabled Fruit (#60): 2 pages of rules and 4 other pages of rambling about the design to help in the overall understanding of my insane mind.

Rules file - Fabled Fruit SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Fabled Fruit SoloPlay Design Thread

Please post questions about the variant in either the file or design thread to keep this geeklist as clean as possible. Thanks
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32. Board Game: Fields of Arle [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:61]
Board Game: Fields of Arle
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This variant includes rules for the Tea & Trade expansion.

When Fields of Arle came out I was very mixed about it. My main concerns were that it was 1-2 players and had little variability. This makes for a bad solo game IMO. At that time I was playing more 3-4 player games. As time has gone on I am now playing more 2-3 player games. However, I still had no interest until the Tea & Trade expansion was released. The game really needed that.

I bought a copy at clearance prices and while traveling I brought it along and absorbed the rules. Much like A Feast for Odin there is a lot of information to take in. I muscled my way through it only to find the solo rules to be a couple of sentences in essence saying play the same way just do the best you can and then try to do better next time. What this means to me is "not a solo game".

Not one to stand for that I began work on this one after At the Gates of Loyang. Much like a Vital game the mechanisms were tightly wound and very dependent on a limited set of actions. I unwound this ball of string and started to set upon the task of variability which FoA lacks completely (a few buildings change from play to play but that is it (only 3 red buildings ... come on!).

To make a long story longer the playtesting took a loooong time. I decided to build up 3 play modes given the materials in the box and then had to test the rules with all of them. There were little bits that I had to consider everywhere and things were changing after I started playing the next mode. Once I played through all of them a significant amount of times I made a final run through of each mode, made a final tweak and called it a season. Major FoA burnout. There was still a little spark left in me to validate the last rules edit and then I packed it up after 30+ days of constant table time.

Setup: 10+ minutes (sorry for this, there are a lot of components: between plays it was more in the 5-7 minute area)

Playtime: 45-60 minutes

SoloPlay Fields of Arle (#83): 4+ pages of rules with 3 modes of play.

Rules file - Fields of Arle SoloPlay Rules
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33. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:72]
Board Game: Five Tribes
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The solo design for Five Tribes came very quickly as I was breaking down the components. The fact that the tiles are duplicated made it possible to easily balance the game for a single player and keep the scores around a normal result. This also helped to reduce the playtime.

The key to this variant was the use of the turn and bid order tracks. I noted a relationship between these that was going to help challenge the solo player and make you keep track of your money.

With a couple other tricks the variant was done and the playtesting started the same day. The variant did not change much over the rest of the development period. Extra challenge levels have been included for those who want to grind out a higher level victory. I never achieved any of them but know that they are theoretically possible.

Setup is about 15 minutes with a normal playtime around 45-90 minutes.

SoloPlay Five Tribes (#52): 4 pages of rules, a sample turn and 16 additional tile layouts for additional variability.

Rules file - Five Tribes SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Five Tribes SoloPlay Design Thread
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34. Board Game: Forum Trajanum [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:981]
Board Game: Forum Trajanum
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One of my one play wonders. DOA but I saw something in this was more interesting than it first seemed. I wanted to get it played a few more times right away but no takers. Too dry and not thematic were the cop outs.

The design of this went quick when the core mechanisms were put into place. The speed of play and the thoughtfulness in how to accomplish the scoring goal is great. After each play I just wanted to set it up again.

A rare recommendation by me is to go ahead and buy this just for solo. It is a multi-solitaire game anyway and AP'ing during the game is a little tiring. Better to do this when others are not watching.

I like these kind of solo designs.

Plays almost exactly like the normal game.

Setup: 6-8 minutes

Playtime: 30-60 minutes

SoloPlay Forum Trajanum (#88): A little over 4 pages of rules with a setup schematic.

Rules file - Forum Trajanum SoloPlay Rules
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35. Board Game: The Game of 49 [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3199]
Board Game: The Game of 49
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And now for something completely different ...

What can I say, it just happened. I pulled the game out and looked at the components and focused my effort on those 2 pawns and there you go.

I was surprised with the game balance as I was worried about the "cost to purchase" mechanism, "just but the cheap ones". In practice, that did not work and that is when I knew the variant would work. Sure you are going to pay more for a space than you would in a regular game but your competition is what you can't do.

This is also another game where the solo variant far outpaces the normal game. It takes a certain audience to enjoy auction after auction.

Setup is around 5-10 minutes with a play time between 15-30 minutes.

SoloPlay Game of 49 (#62): 3 pages of rules, includes a full game to follow to aid in the understanding of the game play

Rules file - Game of 49 SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Game of 49 SoloPlay Design Thread

Please post questions about the variant in either the file or design thread to keep this geeklist as clean as possible. Thanks
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36. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:208]
Board Game: Glory to Rome
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Glory to Rome has always been a kind of polarizing game in the BGG community. Game art or quality of game play? There does not seem to much mid-ground in the debate.

I am of the mind to say that the gameplay is really all that matters. The art etc. are just the icing on the cake. Glory to Rome has proven over time to be an excellent gaming value. Including the SoloPlay testing I have played the game a couple of hundred times. I still do not tire of the game.

The combinations seem endless and broken but all in all, fun.

I had made a couple of passes at GtR trying to put together a SoloPlay variant but none of them felt right until a day in August this year when the core mechanic presented itself to me. It became quick work from this point. Even the wild swings in the "normal" game play drifted away and a new strategic solo card game was born. This was a very enjoyable project.

Glory to Rome SoloPlay (#34): The file includes a partial sample game to help in learning the mechanics.

Rules file - Glory to Rome SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Glory to Rome SoloPlay Design Thread
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37. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:187]
Board Game: Goa
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This is one of my all-time favorite games and actually one of the 1st games that I worked on after Puerto Rico. The primary mechanic to replace the bidding system and create competition for the player was quite complicated and went through many different changes to smooth out the play to where it stands now.

It has always amazed me how balanced the score comes out given all that is going on. This is much like my solo variant for Agricola. The game is always close which is why in Goa I went with score differential as the victory condition instead of total score. This brings in the variability the solo game needed.

Goa (#12, solo) includes a player’s aide that visually walks the player through a tile selection round to help with the core mechanic
Rules file – Goa SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Goa SoloPlay Design Thread
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38. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:82]
Board Game: El Grande
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It has been a long time coming. El Grande was in the second batch of games that I bought when I got back into gaming about 7 years ago. I remember opening my Decennial copy and being impressed with what I saw and when I played it, I was not disappointed.

I had made a 1st run at a solo about 3 years ago and it was OK but not worthy of regular play because it really was not that challenging. So it sat on the shelf for a long while.

After completing Endeavor I thought of a way that I could make El Grande work and it came together rather quickly. The action selection mechanic was key and I was amazed by how balanced the play is. There is no one way that I have come across that wins everytime. You have to figure out how to play your power cards and adjust to your "opponents' (there are 3 of them)" play.

I hope that my attempt has given this classic game the solo variant that it deserves. Have fun

El Grande (#19, solo)
Rules file – El Grande SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - El Grande SoloPlay Design Thread

French Translation - El Grande Soloplay Rules(French) Translation by: Christian Cang (BGG user: plastic77)
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39. Board Game: Guildhall [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1037] [Average Rating:6.92 Unranked]
Board Game: Guildhall
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Ohio
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There are projects that sometimes feel like work and then there are others that just fall together. Guildhall was the latter.

The methods to this design were obvious from the start and only needed a little bit of coaxing to pan out. The game play is tight and challenging but not insurmountable. To help you out there are 4 levels of play within the rules to build you up to the experienced play levels.

With its short setup time (less than 5 minutes) and playtime (30-60 minutes) it is a nice casual diversion to take with you on the road or for a rainy/snow day activity.

I use the word casual in the SoloPlay sense, if you know what I mean. If you enjoyed the Morels and Glory to Rome variants then your should feel right at home here.

Guildhall SoloPlay (#40): 7 page ruleset with a setup and turn example detailed and explained.

Rules file - Guildhall SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Guildhall SoloPlay Design Thread

Rules file - Job Faire Expansion + Full Game Rules
Includes player aids for both the base variant and the full game to make key rules more readily available.
Design Discussion -Guildhall-Job Faire SoloPlay Design Thread

Please post any questions about this variant in either the file or design threads for quick response, thanks.
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40. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:135]
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica
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After playing this game for almost a year, I was looking forward to getting my new Z-Man copy in October. I like the subtle changes that were made to make the game easier to discern the starting tokens and how the cities stand out a bit more. These changes make a big difference.

I start by saying that this SoloPlay variant was a very enjoyable experience to put together. This is probably because the idea presented itself very early and I was able to get to playtesting fairly quickly.

How each element came together is described in more detail in my design thread below but I wanted to focus on a couple here:

Setup: this is where the variability is contained in this variant. It takes a little time to complete but once it is done, I found myself spending 2-5 minutes noting how the turn sequence was going to affect my ability to open up my development board. Is Coellen going to be possible? How about the cross-board route? Will the actions open at the earliest moment or will it be delayed till later and do I even want to open it up? All of this I found very interesting.

The “traveler”: The core mechanic. I hope that I explained it thoroughly enough in the rules. This little guy balances and drives the game to completion. Without him this variant would fall apart. The guards also have a subtle effect on the game.

I hope that you find this variant an enjoyable solo experience. Oh and you can play both sides of the board so you are getting 2 different variants here. Sweet!

Hansa Teutonica SoloPlay (#28):

Rules file - Hansa Teutonica SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Hansa Teutonica SoloPlay Design Thread
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41. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:50]
Board Game: Le Havre
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Like Agricola, I was a little disappointed with the official solo game, although it is better than Agricola's. There just was not enough variety. The resources did not fluctuate and there was of course no competition. Getting the highest score ever just doesn't do it for me.

Le Havre arrived while I was working on the Agricola's expansions and provided a nice break in the middle of development.

For Le Havre I wanted to increase the number of decisions that the player had to make even in choosing to activate buildings. The goal was basically to set in motion a perpetual game engine where every action you performed affected what you could do in a future turn.

It has a good flow to it for the solo long game. The short game is brutally short and very intense. I prefer the long version because of the flow but they both work for what they are.

Le Havre (#15, solo) includes a visual player’s aid and a score sheet.
Rules file – Le Havre SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Le Havre SoloPlay Design Thread
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42. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:718]
Board Game: Homesteaders
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With this 41st SoloPlay release I wanted a challenge and Homesteaders provided that. To create a solo variant for a bidding game that is realistic required a great deal of thought and planning.

The level of challenge is on the high side hopefully not to the feeling of unfair. Early on I was beaten regularly but in the past month I had started to slow down my play a bit and think and I started doing better. The victories started coming more regularly though never a master level.

Included are 3 different levels of play contained within the rules text, a few different setup possibilities and a variant (possibly multi-player) mini-expansion.

Setup is around 5 minutes with a normal playtime of 30-45 minutes.

Homesteaders SoloPlay (#41): 7 page ruleset with a setup and turn example detailed and explained. 2 player aids, a town and building board to organize and visualize the variant mechanics are included.

Rules file - Homesteaders SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Homesteaders SoloPlay Design Thread

If you have questions about this variant please post your questions in the file or design threads, thanks.
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43. Board Game: Impulse [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1622]
Board Game: Impulse
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Ohio
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After my little break to work on an expansion for my own game I have put the finishing touches on the SoloPlay variant for Impulse.

This one has been very fun to play and develop. It was interesting that the solution to making the variant work was making the universe a bit larger. Bam! done.

I love the challenge and the thinkiness that the game provides and given that you don't have to wait for someone else to parse the Impulse it makes it all the better. Another better solo game.

Setup is around 5-10 minutes with a play time between 30-45 minutes.

SoloPlay Impulse (#63): 4 pages of rules, setup and scoring schematics and a sample opponent's turns explained.

Rules file - Impulse SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Impulse SoloPlay Design Discussion

Please post questions about the variant in either the file or design thread to keep this geeklist as clean as possible. Thanks
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44. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:307]
Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon
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I had one false start on the development of the solo variant which was about 6-8 months ago.

I really like this game. It has a tension that is similar to Agricola that once you get used to it makes the game a fun contest to manage.

There were many challenges in putting this solo together. Most of the difficulties came as a result of giving the solo game more replayability and eliminating the "best" way everytime play.

There are a couple of new mechanics that are employed to keep the pressure on the player. The primary one to focus on and understand comes when choosing a person to add to your palace. It is almost a game unto itself. The player can start planning for the best approach from the beginning and seeing where there may be difficulty in getting the right person depending on how the game is pressing the person track.

I worked to streamline the rules as best I could and provided a player aid with a rules brief on it to help during play. I hope that you find them complete.

I have the Alea expansion and incorporated it into this solo design. It adds additional variety in the play and some interesting decision points to consider. It did make the game very slightly easier about 2-3 points on average (after the adjustments that I made in the variant) which was not enough to alter the play goals.

Expect a play time around 30 minutes and a setup time around 3 minutes.

In the Year of the Dragon (#22, solo, includes a player's aid)
Rules file – In the Year of the Dragon SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - In the Year of the Dragon SoloPlay Design Thread
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45. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:331]
Board Game: Innovation
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Innovation was the best new card game that I played last year and it has only gotten better as time has gone on.

The depth of play and just the sheer fun of the combos and back and forth action is just a great gaming experience. I have at least 50 multi-player plays and now well over 70 solo games. It hasn't gotten old yet.

This one was a very challenging solo project with all of the little balancing that had to happen here and there to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way. In each game I just don't know if I can keep it together for the whole 45-60 minutes. Victory can be snatched away in the last turn if you are not careful.

This solo design heavily focuses on the player aide which drives your ability to use dogmas, limit your scoring goal, execute or defend against demands and gain points for your culture. I tried to use as many effective examples that I could come up with to help you along the way. This is solitaire but it sure does not feel like it.

Innovation SoloPlay (#30): Includes a player aide which is required for the primary mechanic. You will also need 10-11 mm cubes or beads or the like to mark your progress on the culture track.

Rules file - Innovation SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Innovation SoloPlay Design Thread
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46. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:331]
Board Game: Innovation
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Ohio
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Including

Board Game: Innovation: Echoes of the Past
Board Game: Innovation: Figures in the Sand
Board Game: Innovation: Cities of Destiny
Board Game: Innovation: Artifacts of History


Well, I finally set aside the time to integrate the expansions into Innovation. You can now play with any or all of the 4 expansions currently available for Innovation.

This has been and still is one of the best card "board games" out there. Most of my plays are solo or 2 player but I will play with any player count. The expansions provide the full rich experience and extreme variability that is a hallmark of great gaming experience.

Good stuff, enjoy.

Setup: up to 15 minutes depending on how many expansions are incorporated

Playtime: 60-90 minutes

Innovation SoloPlay w 4 Expansions (#30, updated): Includes a player aide which is required for the primary mechanic. You will also need 10-11 mm cubes or beads or the like to mark your progress on the culture track.

Rules file - Innovation SoloPlay Rules w Expansions
Strategy/Design Discussion - Innovation SoloPlay Design Thread
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47. Board Game: Kingdom Builder: Big Box [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Board Game: Kingdom Builder: Big Box
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Kingdom Builder has always been a game that I would far prefer to play than Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne etc. It is quicker, has some light planning elements and does not outstay its welcome. It is easily one that I would play back to back.

That said. It is not a game that I would pull out frequently. I usually prefer a deeper play experience. This was one of the goals with the creation of this solo variant. I wanted to add a bit more planning, additional variability while maintaining familiarity and to provide a couple new ways to find success.

The 2 scoring mechanisms that I added are the Noble (he wants to travel to another location, you get points based on how far you are able to move him) and the distant lands (points on the edge of the game boards where connecting them together can get you a decent amount of points).

What this did was to shake up the "typical" paths that you would build on a board where you are the only color placing. I decided not to have a neutral color(s) fill the board as this tended to be too disruptive depending on the scoring cards available.

Everything in the Big Box will work with this variant. I do not own the Marshlands expansion and leave it to those gamers to determine if the SP variant rules can integrate with that expansion.

It was a fun and simple variant to put together and the rules are short compared to many of my variants, slightly over 2 pages.

Setup: 4-6 minutes

Playtime: 20-30 minutes

SoloPlay Kingdom Builder (Big Box) (#91): 2+ pages of rules plus a scoring card and location tile appendix for the minor changes needed for a consistent play experience.

Rules file - Kingdom Builder Big Box SoloPlay Rules
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48. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:364]
Board Game: Kingsburg
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Ohio
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The expansion is thrown in there as well ...

I had tried working on this one many times but each time I would stop because the variant wasn't fun. It played like Kingsburg and you were pushing around cubes etc. but there did not seem to be a point to it.

I want competition! Nothing clicked.

However, when I pulled the game out recently something clicked into place and I could see how I could make the game more interesting. It started with the enemy battles. I have always found those to be dull. More of an afterthought. They don't give you any "real" points and maybe just a resource or two, big deal. I needed to make the battle mean something.

However, if you change the balance you have to add something to up the ante. This was brought to life through the ability for you to build a legion who will fight for you in every battle. From then on everything went smoothly and even my concerns about the expansion did not come to be (other than a card or 2). from then on it was just play to see if anything breaks along the way. Things did but were easily addressed and the variant finished up in good time.

As an added bonus you get a full game played out in the rules. This is rare as I only think that I had done this for Princes of Florence. My hopes are that this will help in getting the core feeling for the variant and get you into playing the game quicker. Hopefully, I was successful with that. Enjoy

Setup: 6-8 minutes

Playtime: 40-60 minutes

SoloPlay Kingsburg (#79): 4 pages of rules, 2 pages of card interactions and 2+ pages of a game walkthrough.

Rules file - Kingsburg (including To Forge a Realm) SoloPlay Rules
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49. Board Game: Kingsport Festival [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1837]
Board Game: Kingsport Festival
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Ohio
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Since I finished Kingsburg right before this I thought that I might as well take a swing at a similar game. It should be about the same ... except it wasn't. Only 2 sules carried over into this variant from Kingsburg, roll "1" and that the dice from your previous turn remain on the gods till the end of the next turn.

Due to this I had to find another core mechanism to create the challenge. This was found with the cult track resource process. I wanted something simple and variable to create the illusion of a changing and limited resource pool. The nature of the resources required for the Level 1 & 2 buildings allowed this to work well right from the beginning.

From there on it was just the stress of trying to figure out how to achieve victory. Your scoring goal is variable and you don't really know what it will be until you finish your last turn. This means that a score of 38 could be a great score or a score of 44 could be a losing score. There is a weird tension when the goal is being calculated and oh so satisfying when you cross the line. Good stuff, this one was fun to work on.

Setup: 8-10 minutes

Playtime: 30-45 minutes

SoloPlay Kingsport Festival (#80): 4 pages of rules including a short card section for variant adjustments.

Rules file - Kingsport Festival SoloPlay Rules
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50. Board Game: Lisboa [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:63]
Board Game: Lisboa
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United States
Ohio
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Lisboa is the first game in a long while where I actually played the official solo variant. I had resigned myself that there are too many throwaway variants included in games and I was better off just doing it myself. The official variant was OK but it did not take long to find out that it is solvable. It helped you learn the game to a degree but could be gamed completely. I had hopes.

Apollo XIII came along and I was on a high again and after reviewing Lisboa I thought that I had to do something about the solo variant.

Having never played an automa system before (I still haven't) I set about seeing what kind of variant would work. When I laid out the decree cards, I knew what I could do. Lisboa if nothing else is balanced (it is Vital after all). This fact set the variant on the rails. It turned into a very enjoyable time playing the variant. I felt like I was learning new strategies to do better. This is the way it should be.

Setup is around 15 minutes with a play time between 60-120 minutes.

SoloPlay Lisboa (#70): 9 pages of rules and 3 pages of rule cards to help with the flow and learning the variant.

Rules file - Lisboa SoloPlay Rules
Strategy/Design Discussion - Lisboa SoloPlay Design Process

Please post questions about the variant in either the file or design thread to keep this geeklist as clean as possible. Thanks
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