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La Isla» Forums » Variants

Subject: La Isla solitaire variant: the Royal Society rss

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Byron Campbell
United States
Valencia
California
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This solo variant for La Isla simulates a competitive opponent without introducing too much complexity. It can be played with either the basic or advanced decks.

Theme:

A team of researchers from the Royal Society has landed at La Isla, and they are systematically rounding up all of the local fauna for study. Can your quick wits overcome their numerical advantage?

Concept:

This variant breaks the board down into three concentric "rings" of spaces: an inner ring of 5 spaces, and a middle and outer ring of 10 spaces each. Each round, the Royal Society places explorers on one of these rings, starting from the center of the board and working outward. Unlike the player, their explorers will NOT remain on the board for long; except for the outer ring, Royal Society explorers are removed at the end of each round.

Setup:

Choose a color and set up for yourself as usual. The Royal Society will use explorers from the 3 remaining colors. Take 5 explorers of one color and place 1 on the "0" space of the score track; 2 will be used for the inner ring, and the other 2 are set aside for now. You will need 4 explorers of another color for the middle ring, and all explorers of the remaining color for the outer ring (including the two that are normally set aside). Deal yourself a starting hand of cards, but don't give any to the RC yet.

Gameplay:

You are the first player. Take your turns as normal. Any RC explorer is considered another player's explorer for advanced cards.

For gameplay purposes, all of the RC's explorers are considered to be the same color as their score marker.

The RC's turns follow yours and follow a 3-round repeating pattern:

Round 1: One at a time, flip over 2 cards from the deck. Looking only at the cube color in the card's bottom left, place the RC's explorers on all matching-colored spaces in the inner ring. If the second card shows the same color as the first, place the second RC explorer in the next clockwise space. Check for and score any captured animals. Then, flip over a third card and, looking only at the bottom-right, advance the matching research track one space. Again, the RC scores normally for this action.

Round 2: Repeat the above, except this time the RC will place explorers on matching spaces in the middle ring, for a total of 4 explorers placed. Check for captured animals and advance one animal track as above.

Round 3: This time, flip over only one card and place 2 RC explorers on the matching-colored spaces in the outer ring. If an RC explorer would be placed on a space already occupied by an RC explorer, place on the next available space, moving clockwise. Check for captures, then flip over two additional cards and advance the research tracks for both matching animals (which may be the same animal twice). The RC scores for each advancement.

After the third round, remove all of the RC's explorers from the inner and middle rings, but explorers on the outer ring remain in play for the rest of the game. Starting with the 4th round, repeat this cycle every three rounds until the game ends. Use the 2-player setup for determining game-end trigger.

If you run out of RC explorers to place on the outer ring, use the 2 previously set aside to fill the final 2 spaces. The game should end before this happens, but in case you would need to place RC explorers in the outer ring and all 10 spaces are already occupied by the RC, you should skip this part of the RC's turn and simply advance the 2 research tracks.

The RC scores normally for animals collected and research conducted, but they get no "A" cards and can't strategize. They will often grab a lot of animals at the start of the game, but as the board empties out, the RC's random placement will result in more "misses," giving you a chance to catch up. Even still, beating the RC's score will be a challenge.
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Byron Campbell
United States
Valencia
California
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I made a gameplay video of the variant:

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Hans Hiemenz
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Arizona
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Played my first game tonight. I gotta say. I saw my loss coming a mile away. The Society gains so many animal tokens that their end game bonuses were insane. I lost 99-63. 60 of the Society's point came from just end game. Got me thinking about scoring for this variant. Perhaps you subtract the difference between your score and the Society's score? I will play more before I decide my feelings on it but I don't see how the Society will not score insane amounts of end game each time. Overall though I really enjoyed the ease of play and the board management. Well done.
 
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