Here is a solo variant I thought up:
Take the following cards out of the deck:
Boss Deck: Draculord and Robobo
Hero Deck: The Fool
Spell Deck: Freeze, Counterspell, Trepidation, Zombie Attack and Kobold Strike
Pick a Boss, either random or one you like.
Draw 10 room cards and 4 spell cards and discard until you have a hand of 7. Your maximum hand size will also be 7 during the entire game.
Build one room and then you are ready for your first turn!
You do not draw a room card at the start of your turn. All card draw must come from room effects, spell cards or boss powers.
Each turn one ordinary hero arrives in town. Each tenth turn or after all ordinary heroes have arrived, an epic hero arrives in town.
Heroes will venture to your dungeon provided you have enough treasure icons of the relevant type. The first 10 only need one, heroes 11 to 20 need 2, heroes 21-30 need three and to lure the last 10 heroes you need 4 icons of the relevant type.
If two heroes venture to your dungeon on the same turn, they form a party and their strength is added up. They still count as separate heroes when applying card effects like teleportation or bottomless pit.
If there are 5 heroes in town, or it has been 5 turns since a new hero arrived, you lose.
The strength of each hero is boosted by the number of heroes of the same type you already killed in your dungeon. Here ordinary and epic heroes add the same amount of strength to each hero. So if you have already killed 5 mages and an epic mage of strength 11 shows up, he has a strength of 16.
If you sustain three wounds, you lose (or 1, for a bigger challenge).
You level up when hitting 5 rooms or killing the epic heroes that arrive as 10-th, 20-th and 30-th hero and get to use your leveling up bonus. When killing one of these three heroes you are also allowed to build an additional room (so at the end you can have up to 8 rooms).
If you kill all the heroes in both decks, you win.
I used the following adjustments to cards and rules:
- King Croak and Cleopatra: Instead of looking for and building an advanced monster/trap room you can also build a basic monster/trap room.
- You can build advanced monster rooms over basic monster rooms and advanced trap rooms over basic trap rooms, disregarding the icons. I don't think it's possible to win without this rule because you will simply not be able to get enough treasure icons in the later turns without remodeling your dungeon every turn.
- Assassin decreases the power of a hero by 3.
- Room cards that let you draw a card from an opponent or make them discard can be changed to doing the same, but on the decks (you will want to have a large discard pile to obtain cards from).
I had one play with King Croak and managed to do it without sustaining a wound. It was hard to attain the right amount of treasure icons while also dealing enough damage and not running out of cards but not impossible.
I'm interested in your thoughts and any possible improvements.
I just gave this a go, but including Tools of a Hero Kind and The Next Level.
A few notes:
- I haven't yet had the opportunity to actually play the game properly. This certainly colours strategies (as I don't have any) and potentially resulted in misunderstood rules.
- I forgot about your rules of treating multiple heroes as a single party, and increasing health of future heroes of the same class based on defeated heroes. Both of which made the game easier.
- I misremembered the treasure icon count as being a hero count. As in, for the first group of heroes, I drew one at a time, for the second group I drew two at a time, etc. This made room management much easier as I only needed to get to one room per class.
To incorporate the two expansions, I removed any cards that operated on opponents, or had optional negative effects on rooms or positive effects on heroes (that would only ever logically be used on opponents). I did the same with vanilla cards, though I think the only one already not excluded in your above list was the Assassin.
For heroes, I included all II and III normal heroes, and all II epic heroes. All star heroes were excluded. This maintains 40 heroes from the OP's ruleset, but shifts to be 28 normal and 12 epic. To account for this, instead of every 10th being epic, have every 8th being epic.
Despite the lack of incoming rooms to play, room management was relatively easy (though with both base game and sequel the Room Deck itself was not easy to shuffle). I think only the first epic hero presented trouble, but had the right spells to counter. With so many items removed, they ran out well before the last phase of epics came around, so they weren't any trouble (nor did they need to be used much). Spell management got a bit tricky, but I think that's because I had a room in the right place that drew spells whenever a hero died there. I ran into the hand limit frequently and made discard decisions difficult preparing for a (supposedly) difficult last phase with two rounds of 4 epic heroes.
I'm going to try again later, this time correctly incorporating your treasure icon and party rules. I'm going to try to come up with a way to rework items, perhaps find alternatives to being used on opponents, or perhaps have only epic heroes carry items.
I did find keeping track of the hero count a bit too much information, and likewise the extra win/lose conditions. I think a high scoring system might work better, game ends when the hero deck is empty, and score is how many didn't survive your dungeon. Then in future games, you have a score to beat.
I really like your variant, but was wondering about building rooms... It's a little unclear
You mention that you can build advanced monster rooms over basic monster rooms, ditto for trap rooms, but can you build basic monster rooms over basic monster rooms same as the games? And when you've built advanced rooms, does it stay like that? You can't build over that at all?
I allow myself to build any type of basic room over any room, just like in the normal game but you can impose limits on this if you desire more of a challenge