I've done a couple tests on a Solitaire variation over the weekend, and thought I'd share.
Write names for six party members on the roster card.
Shuffle the Trail deck. Remove the top six cards and place them to one side, but not out of play. Place the Willamette Valley card on the bottom of the deck, and place the Independence, MO card next to the deck to form the discard pile.
Shuffle the Supply deck. Take 15 cards to form your supply pool. The rest of the cards become the shop.
Shuffle the Calamity deck.
Draw cards from the Trail deck one by one, place them in the discard pile, and follow their directions. (Don't worry about the trail lining up as in the regular game.)
Any Calamity card that takes effect after a certain number of rounds will instead take effect before you draw your next Trail card. You can decide to spend any number of Supply cards, if possible, before these consequences take effect.
If a Calamity card would cause you to lose one or more turns, this makes your time on the trail longer. Take one Trail card for every turn lost from the set that you set aside at the beginning of the game and place them on top of the Trail deck.
If any event would kill the player who played it, you can select any party member to die. Erase their name from the roster and write it on a tombstone.
If you exhaust the Trail deck, including the Willamette Valley card, before your entire party dies, you win the game.
If you prefer, you can play the game by building and stacking the trail cards as in the standard version. Draw five cards at the beginning of the game for yourself and play them one at a time according to the standard rules. If a Calamity card would cause you to lose one or more turns, remove that number of cards from the end of the trail (unstacking them if necessary) and place them on the bottom of the Trail deck. If you make 10 stacks before your entire party dies, you win.
For an easier game, begin with 20 Supply cards. For a more difficult game, start with fewer Supply cards or party members.
Thanks for sharing. I was thinking about trying out some solo variants. The game really feels like it should be playable as a solo.
If you come up with any suggestions, please share them.
Just played 2 2p games where one of the people died within the first stack due to dysentery. Seemed to play fine as written for the other player.
Only changes I would make for solo would be increase number of starting cards and allow the player to play any number of supply cards on their "turn". Otherwise I think it works fine.