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Council of 4» Forums » Variants

Subject: Another solo variant rss

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Thanks to Nick Shaw for getting the solo ball rolling! This one is a little bit tougher, as your absent opponent takes bonus tiles into account.

Beat the rival and/or beat your best score. Use the 2-player rules with you as the starting player. Pick a rival color and collect the emporiums (emporia?). He will track only victory points and nobility. It’s best to have on hand a D4 (or D8 if you prefer something that rolls) to make random determinations when necessary. A cup to hold the extra council members is handy as well.

The rival collects no money or assistants, but he does take permits. He collects only victory points and movement on the nobility track.

The rival's VP tracker begins at 30. During the game, keep your used permits in a stack.

Play your turns as normal. On his turn, the rival will do one of the following, depending on whether he has an unused permit:

If he has no unused permit:

The rival will take the permit with the fewest letters. If there are more than one with the fewest, he'll take the one that gets him closest to a earning a bonus tile. (On ties, he'll select the tile in the region with the greatest number of his emporiums. If still tied, he'll take the tile that offers, in preferential order, a star, a nobility advancement or VPs.) Put the tile on his stack, and the D4 on top of it (as a reminder to roll it next turn. See below.)

The rival gets any victory points and nobility track advancements that appear on the permit tile. He’ll also take an extra turn if he gets the “star” bonus.

If he has an unused permit:

1. Use the D4 to randomly choose a council (including the King’s). Draw a random council member (from the cup holding them on the side of the board) and displace a member from the selected council.

If this was the King's council, look at your "oldest" obtained permit. Put the king on a randomly selected city named on that tile. Put that tile on the top of your used stack (assuming it is used).

2. The rival will build an emporium in the city that gets him closest to a bonus tile. He will gain any VP or nobility bonus granted by that city and any connected cities. Flip the permit tile and keep them all in a stack.

3. Check to see if he has gained any bonus tiles.

The nobility track: The rival takes all victory point bonuses he encounters along the nobility track. The “star” bonus will give him an extra turn. For the bonus that lets you take a permit for free from the board, he'll take the one that will get him closest to earning an available bonus tile. For the bonus that allows you to regain the bonus on a city you’ve built in, he'll take the one that gives him most VPs, if any. The same is true of the bonus that lets him regain a bonus on used permit cards.

The games ends normally. The rival and his permit stack get all applicable endgame bonuses.

Suggestion: It is very helpful to get hold of 29 small cubes from one of your other Euros to keep track of how close the rival is to the various bonus tiles. Put 5 cubes next to the "gold" bonus tile, 4 next to the "silver" one, etc., and 5 next to each of the region bonus tiles. Each time the rival places an emporium, take the 2 relevant cubes off the board (one from the region he built in, one from the city color). That way you can see at a glance which bonus tile(s) he is currently closest to earning.


Edit: adjusted difficulty, city-selection procedure
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