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Subject: Monopoly Solitaire rss

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Stephen Rogers
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Oklahoma
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Howdy, y'all.

So, my wife recently gave me a research project. She has a friend who really loves to play Monopoly and considers it her favorite board game. Why? Who knows...

Anyway, this friend can never find anybody to play the game with her (probably owing to its many, many, many perceived inherent flaws in the modern day and age) and so began The Quest: to find a way of playing it as a single-player game!!

I wasn't particularly thrilled about this.

But, I decided to be a dutiful husband. I got online, typed in a Google Search, and came across the following quaint set of rules for "Monopoly Solo" -

So you start the game with only $50 (or $500,000, if you're playing the Here and Now edition) dollars, and no other assets. The big catch is, if you go bankrupt you return absolutely all assets to the bank (including properties, cash and Get Out of Jail Free cards) and start again at Go with only 50 dollars again. You roll the dice and go around the board as usual. If you land on a property you don't own, you can buy it. If you land on a property already owned by you, the bank pays you whatever the rent is. All other rules stay the same. At the end of the game (when you go bankrupt) count up all of your assets. Keep track of your score and go for a higher score the next time you play.

I found a couple of variants on this idea - mainly, ones that say "start without the $50", and "play to fifty dice rolls" or "play with a time limit". Pretty much those are the only variations on this idea that I found.

So what's wrong with that? I'll tell you...IT'S BORING!! With the base game, if you can make it around to GO without hitting Jail or Luxury Tax and if you have half a brain you'll never go bankrupt. Playing with a time limit or turn limit works okay, but the game devolves into a "get a high score" exercise. I want some BLOOD when I stoop to playing Monopoly. So to that end, I took this basic concept and made a few tweaks...

====

Steve's “Let’s Make This Actually Worth Playing” Monopoly Solitaire Variant
(An exercise for losers, old farts and guys without dates on a Friday Night.)


Set up the game as above and play with the following exceptions:

Doubles: Ignore doubles. You may not roll doubles to get out of jail; you must pay $50 or use a Get Out Of Jail Free Card. (Why? Why not...doubles is just one more damn thing to keep track of and if you're playing by yourself nobody else is going to be there to say "Ooooh, off to jail with ya laddie-buck", who you then promptly want to haul off and slap; if you say it to yourself, though, feel free to knock yourself out. Literally.)

Un-owned Properties: if you land on a property and decide not to buy it, place one of the unused player tokens up in the colored section of the property on the board. The next time you land there, you have to pay the rent for the un-developed property to the bank before you make the decision to buy or not. If you buy, remove the token and claim the property. If you don't, replace the token with a house. The next time you land there, pay the rent value for one house. You add houses each time you decide not to buy the property, with the rent going up correspondingly until there is either a hotel there or until you buy the property. When you finally do buy the property, remove all houses from it.
HARD RULE: if you CAN afford to buy a property, you MUST buy it. (This ties up your cash. In fact, that's pretty much what ALL the "Hard Rules" are designed to do, and I highly recommend that if you're going to play this at all, you play with ALL of them.)
HARD RULE: you may not mortgage other properties if the proceeds will go towards the purchase of a different property. (So if you're a buck short of buying Boardwalk, you can't mortgage Mediterranean to cover it; you have to pass it up and pay more rent next time).

OBSCENELY HARD RULE FOR SHORT GAMES: you may not sell off houses or mortgage properties to cover the cost of rent. (I haven't actually tested this one out so I can't recommend playing with it. It does strike me as a rule for folks with guts. Or idiots. Or both.)

Mortgages: mortgages work as normal. When you pass GO, you may un-mortgage any properties you choose. You may only un-mortgage after you pass GO, and then only after resolving any actions required by the space upon which you land.
HARD RULE: if you can afford to un-mortgage a property, you MUST do so.
HARD RULE: you must un-mortgage a property as soon as you can afford to do so rather than waiting until after you reach GO. (This has the effect of tying up your cash to do other things - same thing with the similar rule for houses. Playing with BOTH of those rules pretty much guarantees poverty for the duration of the game).
HARD RULE: when un-mortgaging properties, you must do so in order starting at Mediterranean Avenue going clockwise around the board. (So rather than getting the properties with the higher rents back, you have to settle for the little pud cash-wads.)


Houses: buying houses works as normal, but you must wait until you pass GO before you can buy houses, and must do so before you roll again. You may buy houses for any completed monopoly that you own.
HARD RULE: if you CAN buy houses, you MUST buy houses.
HARD RULE: you must buy houses as soon as you can afford to do so rather than waiting until after you pass GO.
HARD RULE: when covering a rent, all of the player's undeveloped properties must be mortgaged before ANY house may be sold back to the bank. (You might not think this is that hard of a rule, but it does reduce the number of money-making "safe" spaces you have available to you).
HARD RULE: when selling houses, the ones worth the highest value must be sold off first. When buying houses, the ones with the lowest value must be bought first. (i.e. if you've got two monopolies, you've got to develop the crappier one or tear down the better one first. Again, this has the effect of less money in your pocket if you manage to collect rent from them).

If playing with hard rules, paying to un-mortgage properties always takes precedence over any actions involving houses. (Or the other way around, if you want to go hard-core...).

ENDING THE GAME: if you go bankrupt (i.e. if you own no un-mortgaged properties and can't cover a debt), you lose. You win if you can collect ALL the properties on the board and ALL the money in the bank.
WUSS RULE: you win if you EITHER take all the money from the bank OR buy all the properties on the board (instead of having to do both).
WUSSIER RULE: you win if you collect $5,000 ($50M Here and Now).
WUSSIEST RULE: you win if you can collect $1500 ($15M Here and Now).


Too hard? Try this:

CHICKEN/TURD RULE: if you land on Free Parking, remove one house from all un-owned properties on the board. If you remove the last house, replace it with an unused player token. If a property was originally sitting with just an unused player token on it, remove it from the board and treat the property as though it has never been landed upon

====

That's pretty much it. I did have the thought over this last weekend that instead of using unused player tokens to mark spots you've landed on without buying, you could just start with all the properties mortgaged in the bank. You buy it, it goes to your hand unmortgaged. You don't buy it, you just flip it over. There are, after all, only ten player tokens in a standard Monopoly set; this way you won't run out.

Anyways, that's my solitaire. Y'all feel free to discuss. Or be disgusted. Whatever.
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Leo Dip
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I LOVE Monopoly: that's due to it being basically the only board game I had when I was younger and due to having played it with friends tons of times and having fun as an 8 years old. I must admit I still like it, although I've been working on improving it to make the game more decent by regular standards.

Said that, I don't like this:
Monopoly's only good side is that it is plenty of fun when you roll exactly what you needed to avoid an opponent's property with an Hotel and then laugh at them or when they land on your broadwalk with 3 Hotels.
What you've proposed is basically a Monopoly game incredibly hard to complete which removes both the fun and the skill needed (you MUST buy properties you land on, you MUST un-mortgage when possible and so on leaves you without choices to make).

However, as much as I dislike this version, I would be happy with having a good Solitairopoly to play with. I'll add that to my to-do list.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Kentwood
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I cannot recommend this solo as you are all but spitting venom and hatred in every comment, especially with that vile parting shot.

 
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Stephen Rogers
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Looking back through the rules this evening, I realized I did fail to clarify one thing - the rules listed as "Hard Rules" were intended to be 100% optional. That is, if you play through it and find the game too difficult, you're perfectly free to ignore that rule. I myself have found the game extremely difficult to win without employing the Free Parking rule. On the other hand, difficulty is the hallmark of any good solitaire. I mean, why play a game at all if you know you're going to win it from the get-go?

Now, as far as the "spitting venom" comment is concerned, I am sorry that you feel that way. Reading the BGG forums, there seemed to be a lot of people that really just didn't like Monopoly in general, and when I was writing that out I didn't stop to consider the minority that did like the game - and that it would be that minority who would probably be willing to try the solitaire game out. I was trying to be funny; obviously I was neither sensitive or funny. That said - was that the only issue that you had with the rules?
 
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Leo Dip
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As I said, I'm a Monopoly fan and I'm supporting each and every project regarding it, by either explaining why I don't like it, explaining what I think could be done better or, when I'm lucky, explaining what I like of it.
The problem I have with this variant is that it requires no skill at all to play, only luck's the determining factor (the only choice you have to make is where you should buy houses). I've tried it both with Hard Rules, without them and with only some (I've removed the "you must buy properties", the "you have to unmortgage when possible" and most of the other "must"s rules) and neither did I have fun (except that time when I landed on my own Hotel on Broadwalk) nor I thought it was a constructive experience (I rarely made important decisions, and thus the game didn't make me feel involved).

I've worked on my own Solitairopoly ([url=http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1239878/skilled-possible-monopoly-solitaire]Skilled Monopoly Solitaire[url]), and I was fine with that: no dice rolls denatured the game a bit, but it was the price to pay to have some skill in it. That aside, the game has few and easy rules, basic aims and the possibility to score an higher record to compete against your friends.
Although it'd be really arrogant of me to say that mine is the best Monopoly Solitaire possible, but I can still safely say that it's, most likely, on the good road (maybe, as an alternative, implementing the multiple dice rule writing about in the next paragraph).

If you still are thinkering with your version, I think that having different dice to improve the rolls might be better (for example, a d4, d6, d8 and d12 and d24), but you have to pay a certain amount to roll a dice different from d6 or you buy/gain them by making laps around the board (every time you pass go you get one of the special dice at random, which can be used only once before it's given back to the bank which will make it available again for when you pass go).
 
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jeff davis
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Montana
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What if you just set it up for 4 players and play it out playing for each player. It's not like there is anything to hide.
 
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