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Subject: Pirate Runner - Starship Catan solitaire rss

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Lawrence Lopez
United States
New Mexico
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Here's my crack at a solitaire variant for Starship Catan... feel free to give comments and suggestions.

Starship Catan Pirate Runner (version 1.0): The story…

Political dissention within the Galactic Advisory Council has drastically diminished its ability to actively govern the galaxy. Trade routes, no longer efficiently policed by the Galactic Advisory Council, have become significantly more challenged by the ever-increasing space pirate threat. While the Council struggles to regroup (and pirates demand higher and higher payments to open trade routes), starship captains throughout the galaxy compete to master runs through the dangerous pirate net, each acting as much needed trade liaisons between the Scientists, the Green Folk, the Merchants and the Diplomats. Fame and influence await any captain daring enough to run the Pirate Runner gauntlet as each establishes his or her own political power base for a future in any eventual galactic governing body.

Number of Catan Players:

This game is a solitaire variant to Starship Catan.

Game Objective:

The solitaire player must total all accumulated victory points after the Trading and Building Phase during the turn when the reserve deck is exhausted. Final scores relate via the following breakdown:

1-6 VP Try another venture: your starship and its “enterprise” are an embarrassment to all captains in the galaxy.
7-9 VP Maybe a role in law enforcement awaits you after the pirate threat subsides and central government control re-emerges.
9-12 VP You and your ship are an honored asset to the spacing community! Bravo!
13-14 VP You have what it takes (and any political support needed) to successfully cast your name as chair of any future Galactic Advisory Council!
15+ VP Heroic! The stuff of kings and legends!!!

Set Up:

Set up game per normal game rules, with the following modifications:

• The solitaire player begins the game with 20 astro.
• Remove one “lost planet” card from each reserve deck numbered I, II and III. Remove two “lost planet” cards from the reserve deck numbered IV.
• The solitaire player selects his/her starting colony card by any random means. For purposes of examples in these rules, the solitaire player will be described as the “sun player.”

Game Play:

I. Production Phase – play the production phase per normal game rules with the following modification:

a. After purchasing the Trade Module upgrade, choose one of the four basic resources (ore, fuel, carbon or food) as a “starting resource” and roll the blue die. Beginning with the “starting resource” and moving clockwise through the basic resources, place a marker (penny, etc.) on the resource that corresponds to the number on the blue die. If the player owns an Improved Trade Module, place a second marker on the next space after the first maker (clockwise). Resources marked in this manner are available for purchase from the “opponent” per normal game rules. Only one of each resource is available when using the Improved Trade Module. Resources tagged in this way are always considered available, whether purchased or not.


The sun player owns a Trade Module. At the beginning of the production phase, the sun player chooses fuel as his “starting resource.” He rolls a “3” on the blue die and places a mark on the food resource. He may now purchase one food from his “opponent” during the Trading and Building Phase. If The sun player owned an Improved Trade Module he would place his second marker on ore, allowing a purchase of up to one food and one ore from his “opponent” during the Trading and Building Phase.

II. Flight Phase - play the flight phase per normal game rules with the following modifications:

a. Always play with the variant rule listed in the official rulebook.

b. At least one flight row card will be removed and replaced with a reserve card every turn, whether by game normal game play (using official variant) or by modified rules listed below. The replacement card will always enter play face down. All cards removed from the flight row in this manner will also be removed face down so that the play can’t see ether the discard or the replacement.

i. Randomly remove and replace one card from/to the flight row at the end of any turn in which no cards are taken from the row (i.e., no colonies or trading posts established or pirates defeated).

ii. It is possible for more than one card to be removed and replaced, per normal game rules (using official variant).

c. THE PIRATES: Payment required to bypass any pirate card turned and revealed shall be modified by doubling the pirate’s combat value. All other normal game rules apply.


The sun player draws a “Pirate5” card from the deck (combat rating 5). The card states “A pirate demands 5 Astro!” This demand is increased by 5 to 10, effectively changing the text to read “A pirate demands 10 Astro!.” The sun player may choose to either pay or fight per normal game rules.

III. Trading and Building Phase - play the trading and building phase per normal game rules with the following modifications:

a. All selling to trade planets (either trade posts or otherwise) is done at a premium. All purchases from trade planets (either trade posts or otherwise) is done at a discount.

i. Sales made to trade planets (either trade posts or otherwise) are made with a premium of two (2) astro. All other normal trade rules apply.

ii. Purchases made from trade planets (either trade posts or otherwise) are made at a discount of one (1) astro. All other normal trade rules apply. Purchases may never be discounted below a minimum of one (1) astro.


The sun player sells two carbon at an carbon trade planet. The printed exchange rate is three astro for one carbon. The sun player makes a total of ten astro (3+2=5 astro for one carbon, times two).

Later, the sun player purchases three ore from an ore trade planet. The printed exchange rate is five astro for one ore. The sun player purchases all three ore for a total of twelve astro (5-1=4 astro for one ore, times three).

In another trade, the sun player purchases two food from a food trade planet. The printed exchange rate is one astro for one food. The sun player purchases two food for a total of two astro (purchases may not be discounted below the one astro minimum).

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Dale Buonocore
United States
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Nice little solitaire variant -- thanks very much for posting it! Played it for the first time (after finally acquiring and then learning the basics of the game) tonight, and scored 9 VPs, which brought to light the question of where this falls in terms of your score "breakdown," as the 2nd category is listed as 7-9 while the 3rd is listed as 9-12. I'm figuring the 3rd category should probably be 10-12, but maybe the 2nd should be 7-8? Just a small thing, I realize, and overall this variant plays quite well-- any additional "tweaks" since this 4-years-back posting?

Thanks again.
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